Cross-Pollinate is a handful of people who travel around and find cool places to stay. We inspect them, review them, and make sure the owners are ok to work with, so we can be accountable for our recommendations. We work almost exclusively with non-hotels - spare rooms, private apartments, small B&Bs - places where you can get a more authentic experience of what it's like to live in that city.
We are travel experts (with our own hotel in Rome), who know and love the cities we operate in, know the properties we list, and know their owners. We don't like searching through thousands of properties and hundreds of reviews. We prefer to provide a curated list and a qualified, personal recommendation.
It begins in 1999 when - as a newly married couple - we flew by the seat of our pants to Rome and opened a hostel/hotel called "The Beehive". It was a risky endeavor, done without even a shoestring (we had a Swiss army knife and a handful of credit cards though). The first night we had 5 guests and have been full since.
Riding this wave of success, in 2000 we started Cross-Pollinate, one of the first online accommodation websites in Rome that specialized in alternative, unconventional accommodations. Over the years we've grown and expanded, but we keep true to the initial plan - to only work with places we feel we can truly recommend.
When we travel we want to experience the uniqueness of a place, even if that means
straying from our
comfort zone. We seek out private homes, B&Bs, and self-catering apartments owned and run by both
locals and expats that represent what life is really like in that city. We find that this results in a richer
and more authentic experience of the way others live, and helps us understand ourselves,
and the world, better.