The British writer, broadcaster and adventurer on what hotels should do to attract explorers – and the destination that’s still on his bucket list.
1. Adventure holidays are one of the hottest travel trends for 2019. Which destinations do you recommend for the ultimate trip?
Sri Lanka is pretty popular right now. It has everything you could want – beaches, surfing, wildlife, food, history, culture, good accommodation. We took the children last year and we had one of the best holidays I can remember.
2. What should hoteliers do to offer more adventure for guests with families?
They need to offer flexible room arrangements. Children don’t need much but it can be a little disheartening when there is a pull-out bed propped up in the middle of the room. I’d love to see some more creative use of rooms that can incorporate children.
3. In your most recent book, ‘UP,’ which you co-wrote with your wife, you document the planning, training and eventual summit of Mount Everest. What did you do to mentally and physically prepare for this climb, and what was the feeling like when you finished?
I spent many years training for Everest. We travelled the world climbing peaks. As much as it was a physical challenge it was also a great mental one. I needed to be in a good psychological condition before heading into the Himalayas.
4. Does social media influence your travel plans?
I often find myself seduced by photographs on Instagram. It gives a whole new perspective on travel.
5. What is your favourite destination?
I have too many. I love Cornwall in the autumn. Austria is our family summer place. The Bahamas are our winter escape and I love the adventure of places like Mozambique in the Easter.
6. What is the one place on your bucket list that you have not yet had the chance to visit?
I still haven’t been to China. I can’t wait to visit. Bhutan is also high on my wish list.
7. How do you maintain wellness when you travel?
I drink lots of water.
8. What makes a hotel truly great in your eyes?
I like attention to detail and great service. I don’t like over-attentiveness – there is nothing more annoying than a knock at the door every 10 minutes. If I want someone, I’ll call for them.
9. What is your definition of great customer service?
Attentive from a distance.
10. As an avid and frequent world traveller, what are your top travel tips?
Drink lots and lots of water. Be adventurous and explore. Vary where you eat each day.