For many, the pressure of choosing a crowd-pleasing party playlist on the spot is the stuff of nightmares. For others, even the role of "car DJ" on a road trip can be too much pressure to bare *gets ready to explain to friends why THAT is on my 'most listened to'*. Then, you've got the talented few who hit the nail on the head when it comes to choosing a killer soundtrack for any occasion at all. Talented artists like Olivia Coléon...
Olivia isn't just a lucky stranger to the concept of what we'll call "Aux cable anxiety"- she's made a career out of guiding venues on how to place music at the heart of the atmospheres they want to create. The Vibe Project was ultimately carved out of frustration, reflects the entrepreneur:
"I'll never forget sitting in a treehouse-style resort with a friend in the Dominican Republic, overlooking a stunning view, and just hearing this music that was so misplaced... it was driving people away. I knew I had to give them new music." Weeks later, the resort management contacted Olivia to thank her for the transformation the new tone had set. Suddenly, what was an empty bar and hammocks lounge, had now become the magnet for guests it was designed to be.
"It's easy to overlook the science of what the music will achieve for customers - what "soul" these venues will actually have."
Hailing from New York, Coléon's partnerships have taken her to some of the most exotic locations in the world. With a new base in Singapore, she says the city has been begging for a shake-up in atmosphere design. "Singapore is contradictory in a way because in one sense it's extremely progressive- it's quick to jump onto new trends and build these exciting new spaces like yoga studios and co-working spaces. Though in another sense, amidst that rush it's easy to overlook the science of what the music will achieve for customers - what "soul" these venues will actually have." Whether it has been a bar in Paris, a co-living space in Bali or a cafe in Malaysia, Olivia has challenged her clients with the same first question: "How do you really want to make your guests feel?"
For a discerning atmosphere chaser and world traveler, it was only a matter of time before Olivia found Boutiq. "What I love about the App is that I'm usually such a victim of spending hours of research on different locations to really dig deep into which places are best. Boutiq is cutting out that time." In the spirit of top recommendations, these are seven of Olivia's standout Boutiq Places that get it right when it comes to all things 'vibe'...
Olivia's Top Global Vibes
1. Jake's Hotel
Treasure Beach, Jamaica
"Jake’s is bohemian chic at it’s finest and so beautifully designed, you will want to stay forever. Located on the southwest coast of Jamaica, Treasure Beach is far from the tourist vibes that dominate popular parts of the island. It’s a bit hard to get to, but once you’re there, you’ll quickly forget about the journey. Each building, room and villa on the property is bursting with vibrancy and authentically curated; the printed textiles, the bright colors, and the meticulous details from the cozy hammock nooks, outdoor showers overlooking the ocean to the relaxed, Jamaican atmosphere. Though there is no beach on the premise, guests have a private dock where they can jump into the ocean, which is protected by a reef, perfect for floating or grabbing a pair of goggles. The food menu is filled with fresh fish and Jamaican flavor, and a more casual, local option, Jack’s Sprat, is just a five minute walk down the road. Though there isn’t much to do in the town of Treasure Beach, have no fear. Jake’s Hotel is so blissful you won’t want to go anywhere else!"
New Orleans, USA
"One of the reasons the Country Club is so amazing is because it is the exact opposite from what it’s name implies. Yes - from the outside it’s a colonial mansion that resonates a regal feel, but this club is far from haughty. What was once a clothing optional retreat for New Orlean’s bohemian crowd, The Country Club is a chic, gay-friendly oasis with a curated vibe: themed living rooms, a refined and sophisticated menu, and a backyard pool perfect for drinking margaritas in the middle of the day. The music selection is on point, and everywhere you look there is laughter. The various indoor lounges have been hand painted with furniture to match. The Country Club offers an incredibly welcoming and fun environment. I recommend going during a weekday if possible, as the pool can get very crowded during the weekend. They also have amazing cocktail happy hours!"
Buenos Aires, Argentina
"La Bomba de Tiempo is one of those experiences that will stick out in my mind forever. Whenever someone asks me for Buenos Aires recommendations, I practically scream, “LA BOMBA!” La Bomba is a weekly Monday night event that takes place at Konex, an outdoor cultural center with hipster vibes. Nearly 20 drummers and instrumentalists are onstage jamming to whatever moves them with a rotating “mæstro” who sets the tone. The Konex is a warehouse space, with huge sculptures scattered throughout, providing the ultimate atmosphere for dancing, letting lose and getting to know your new Argentine friends. The crowd is a mix of people, ages and races, though you will find a good amount of travelers who have stayed in Buenos Aires to check out the show. The music is a mix of world beats with Latin American and African rhythms, samba and Argentine beats; the ultimate dancing music. Get there early (between 6-7pm) to ensure your entrance ticket and to hang out and mingle. The show starts at 8pm and lasts until about 10pm."
4. Bali Bohemia
"Bali Bohemia is a good vibes haven. The restaurant and venue space is filled with colorful, funky decor, pillows, low tables and the occasional monkey who has wandered in. This place is great either solo, with a date or friend, or with a group - it can easily accommodate them all. My favorite spot is the upstairs, which is strewn with lounge pillows and prime viewing to the downstairs stage, perfect for when music is playing. Their weekly open mics are legendary among the Ubud expats on Thursdays, and their Saturday night world music parties are constantly offering something new from reggæ to Baltic jams. So leave your flip flops at the door and dance or relax barefoot, Bali-style."
5. Don Ho
Keong Saik Rd, Singapore
"The moment you enter Don Ho, you know you’ve come to the right place. The fresh, tropical vibes, the cool tunes and the bright atmosphere pull guests into the Don Ho experience and you can spend hours going through their tapas dishes and cocktail menu. I curate the music for this space, and always love pulling together playlists that bring out the different atmospheres. Don Ho’s sound is one of cool soul, instrumental hip-hop, and danceable beats for some nighttime fun. They are also known for throwing great parties, so keep an eye out for their curated events that bring in DJs and dancing crowds."
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
"Kuala Lumpur is an underrated city when it comes to innovative design. Coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and shops have been build into old heritage buildings with crumbling walls with trees and vines growing through them. And Merchant’s Lane on Petaling Street is no exception. The space once housed a brothel, and the raw authenticity of the building is felt the moment you walk in. The owners have redone the space to bring to life the natural beauty and dynamic environment with various seating options, hammocks and bright couches and pillows. The menu is an eclectic mix with strong Malay roots, but with a Western spin. Granted, Merchant’s Lane draws Instagram-hungry crowds, but it’s well worth checking out the cool vibes and delicious menu (I still think about the salmon dish, South China Sea, I had over a year ago!)."
7. Sixth Sense
"I stumbled upon Sixth Sense while strolling along the streets of George Town in Penang. It was instantly clear that this curated lifestyle store oozed warmth and style. The shop has a minimalist design and uses natural materials like plants, wood furniture pieces and organic cottons and hemp to bring out the raw, earthy textures of the colonial building. Their clothing selection has a range of favorite basics and classic pieces, but all stylish and cool. They also have an immaculate home and accessory collection, all coming from boutique lines around Asia, and their inhouse manufacturing label. If there already aren’t enough reasons to visit Penang (food! art! architecture!) Sixth Sense is worth the shopping trip."
Like Olivia, you can also remember your best food and travel places on Boutiq, the app turning unforgettable discoveries into everlasting recommendations between you and your friends. Join Boutiq and enter for your chance win a Trip for 2 before February 7th!