Liz Lambert has lived many lives. She started as a creative writing student and then ended up in law school before serving in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. But she’s best known for her design-forward work in the hotel industry as the founder and chief creative officer of her hotel group, Bunkhouse. Her spaces, from the Hotel San José and the Austin Motel in Austin to the Phoenix in San Francisco, have long been on Traveler’s radar, thanks to Lambert’s eclectic taste and commitment to high-quality service. Her work as a master hotelier, and her deep sense of place infused in every hotel, is why she not only made it onto our list of people changing the way we travel but also our most powerful women on travel list, too. We caught up with Liz for a live podcast taping at Holy Roller in Austin during South by Southwest to hear how she fell in love with hotels (starting with The Lincoln Hotel in Odessa, Texas), her non-traditional path into the business, and how having a five-month-old child has changed the way she travels.
Plus, we get the goss on her go-to room service order, her hatred of in-room coffee, and what’s coming next for her hotel group (hello, New Orleans!). Liz also shouts out Kelly Sawdon, chief brand officer of Ace Hotel Group, and Harsha Chanrai, founder of Saira Hospitality, which hosts restaurant and hotel training pop-ups in under-served communities. Thanks to Liz for joining us, our sponsor Bermuda for providing the top-notch rum swizzles at the event, and to all of you who made it out for the live taping. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for updates on future meet-ups and live tapings. As always, thanks to Brett Fuchs for engineering and mixing. Check back every Tuesday for the latest installment of Women Who Travel. To keep up with our podcast each week, subscribe to Women Who Travel on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and if you have a minute to spare, leave a review—we’d love to hear from you.