More and more people are getting “In Bed With” Rhiannon Taylor.
Let’s rephrase that. More and more people are logging on to her cheekily-titled website for breathtaking looks at some of the world’s most luxurious accommodations. Launched in 2014, “In Bed With” is a showcase for Taylor’s stunning photography as well as an outlet to document her travels. It is also an irresistible glimpse at how the ultra high net worth travel.
Australian native Taylor, 29, earned her degree in photography from RMIT University in Melbourne. She also has a background in architecture. For nearly a decade, she had been splitting her time between New York and Melbourne as an in-demand architectural and lifestyle photographer.
But as she approached the big 3-0, she wanted more control in choosing her photographic assignments not to mention creative freedom. “My work took me all over (the world),” she told Millionaire Corner. “As a consequence, I stayed in different hotels regularly. Hotels have always fascinated me. It’s a chance to stay in your dream space - a stunning temporary residence.”
As a frequent lodger, she found herself becoming “quite fussy,” Taylor said. “Not because I wanted ‘luxury’ – luxury travel is a term a bit overused, I think--but because I like staying places where you feel considered. Be it design, food, environmental attitude, service; what really started to make me tick were hotels that were unique from all the others.”
The original concept of “In Bed With” was a hotel blog. “If people can blog about fashion or food and their readers look to them for a curated aesthetic, then why not a blog about my love of hotels?” she said. This has now turned into a full-time pursuit. “I do have regular clients from whom I accept photographic work, pending my availability,” she said.
Her availability has become more and more precious as she broadens the horizons of her website and expands her brand (she has more than 16,000 Instagram followers). She considers “In Bed With” to be both a photography and travel site. “One cannot function without the other,” she said. “No one would be interested in my site if it was all captured on an iPhone. Likewise, the content would be boring if I wasn’t traveling to some incredible places. It’s really visual stimulation.”
Among those incredible places curated on her site is Drift House in Port Fairy, Victoria. “It’s really unique,” she enthused. “It’s not a B&B, nor is it a full-service hotel. You’re left alone and it’s fabulous. They have four rooms, all individually designed by an architect with bath tubs, rain showers, exquisite tiling, King Coil mattresses--the best sleep you’ll ever have--a mini kitchenette, books and high ceilings. They give you a breakfast basket with local eggs, sourdough bread, avocado and dukkah spice, homemade museli and poached pears. And the ‘maxi-bar’ is stocked with orecchiette, parmesan and wine. They pay so much attention to detail. It was how you’d love your own space to be. They recently won the Qantas award for best luxury accommodation which is huge, they were up against some big names.”
In America, Taylor has been impressed by the Chambers hotel in NY, which she calls “a reliable spot with huge rooms, which is rare in New York, and is less pretentious than some of the Soho spots.” She also considered the Wynn Encore in Las Vegas to be a good bet. “It’s refreshingly sophisticated, which you don’t always see in Vegas.”
Two other hotels ready for their close-up she said are the Alila Ubud, a treehouse villa in Payangan, Indonesia,, and The Resort at Pedregal (“an incredible Mexican escape,” she said). The genius of the world’s best hotels is in the details, she noted. The Alila Group, for example, has created branded men’s and women’s product lines, including robes, shampoos, hats, lotions and soaps. One of her favorite bathrooms is at The London West Hollywood. “It contains a huge rainshower, a sit down vanity area and surround natural lighting.”
“In Bed With’s” audience is “pretty evenly split” between male and female, her research shows. The majority are from New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong and London. She is currently working on forming alliances with tourism boards to create experiential regional and country-wide campaigns. “A lot of people are looking to visit once-in-a-lifetime spots around the world, so it’s about discovering (accommodations) that can offer that.”
“In Bed With” is curated with a certain aesthetic, she said. It does not contain a forum for readers to share less than stellar experiences. “Perhaps I should start another site, ‘Bad Beds,’” she joked.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.