1. Why do you rent out your place?
This way I can stay there myself every time I go to Portugal to play concerts with my band, The Soaked Lamb. And with my family, when we go there on vacation. The rest of the time, which is most of the year, the apartment is free and by renting it I can make some profit without investing one euro on it, and I also have a lot of fun preparing the apartment for the guests.
9flats has a very nice philosophy. ‘Stop being a tourist’ is what I look for when I travel myself. I also like the way things happen between hosts and guests at 9flats. The communication is much more personal (and therefore more helpful and fruitful) than in other websites. Everything is more simple and uncomplicated. It is better designed as well.
3. What do you offer your guests as a treat?
I always leave a welcome bottle of great (I mean it, it’s really good!) Portuguese wine and a bottle of water (just in case). Bus tickets are left there as well.
4. How have you changed your decor since listing your place?
I didn’t change it a lot. I made it more simple and I removed the really personal stuff. This way my guests feel at home, because the apartment has a natural living feeling, but nothing there really reminds them of other people. They have all the comfort one can expect from a private home without strangers’ things lying around. I could say I made it more cosy and convenient at the same time.
5. What do you enjoy about being a host?
I love it. Although I do it from a distance, check-in and check-out, cleaning, maintenance, etc. are all done by my family members. This way I can control everything and be sure everything is just perfect. I design some stuff to make it even more personal and to give the guests the complete experience of Blue Terrace philosophy.
6. What's your best/funniest hosting story?
Once I had a guest that forgot to close this really big umbrella that I had on the terrace. It was an unusually windy day (more like a storm) and the umbrella just flew away, passing the rooftop and landing on the street – no people or animals were hurt during this episode. The guests arrived at the end of the day and I replaced it with a even nicer sunblind. Hurricane proof!
7. What’s your most memorable travel experience?
Damascus. I felt in love with the city and its people. I wanted to move there. But this would turn out to be an impossible task. Once you work there, you can’t afford to get out anymore, unless you work for an international company with an international pay check. This was a long time ago. Everything changed these days. I would like to visit it again one day.
8. What's your personal travel philosophy?
Be open. Try to connect with the locals – even better, try to act like one and feel the real soul of each city. Avoid the tourist crowds and typical spots. Be curious and don’t be afraid to follow the path.
9. If you could host anyone in the world as your next guest, who would it be?