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 Q&A  Michael Lamprell, Founder & CEO, CABN


Michael Lamprell, the Founder and CEO of CABN, spent 18 years prior to entering the world of luxury travel managing his own business representing key retail brands. In 2016 he realised that realised stress and anxiety were affecting all areas of his life and vowed something had to change. He went on a study trip to the US that included a leadership course at Harvard, and while on the trip he read a book called The Minimalist which really resonated with his journey to founding CABN. The idea of living a simple and authentic lifestyle appealed to him, as did the opportunity to create a sustainable, off-grid experience. Having grown up spending so much time outdoors and living an adventurous life, he reflected that every happy childhood memory involved outdoor, nature and travelling with the important people in his life. 

It made Michael want to make this an everyday reality for as many people as possible, understanding that even a short break in nature is enough to recharge. Michael set out to bring the concept to life and CABN was born.  A leader in nature-based tourism, CABN  has the clear intention to ‘provide spaces for people to relax, rediscover nature and reconnect with each other’. Starting with one cabin in 2017, CABN's sustainable, nature-based accommodation experiences can now be found across seven different sites in South Australia and includes luxury CABN X experiences in the McLaren Vale, Barossa and on Kangaroo Island. 

What inspired you to get into the luxury travel industry?
Late in 2016, I discovered transcendental meditation and the revelations of this practice led me on a new life journey. After 20 years in another industry, I realised that every happy memory I had as a child involved camping, hiking, cycling and travelling with the important people in my life. I always had a desire to want to camp, get into nature and create memories that weren’t behind a screen.
It made me want to encourage people to love each other, rather than things. It might not be possible for most, but to be able to escape for a short break is enough to recharge. I then set out to bring the concept to Australia, tailored to our community – and CABN was born.


What is the single best/defining thing about CABN? What are you most proud of?
CABN is designed to help provide people with a means to disconnect from the intensity of their own lives. 
When you leave CABN, you feel energised and revived. The human element of the stay reminds me of why we are doing what we’re doing. It changes people for the good. Our completely off-grid, sustainable and eco-friendly tiny houses set in some of Australia’s most stunning and stimulating landscapes; offering an ideal nature escape, carefully curated to include everything you need. 
The meaningful inspiration and opportunity to take time away with a loved one, friend or even your pet. I am proud of the feedback we receive from guests, it shows that what we aimed create when launching CABN in 2017 has continued to grow and resonate with guests, creating lasting memories. 
''Luxury off-grid accommodation stands out from the crowd when it has a unique design and layout that is curated to encourage disconnection''. 
What’s next for CABN in 2023/2024? 
The launch of CABN X Cape St Albans was one of the exciting next steps for CABN in 2023. 
The launch of CABN Seppeltsfield in August 2023, with 5 CABN CANVS and 4 CABN X nestled amongst vineyards and overlooking the iconic palms on Seppeltsfield Road.
We are currently collaborating with traditional owners, the Kabi Kabi people and Queensland Government to enhance the iconic 102 km Cooloola Great Walk in the Fraser Coast Region, Queensland. The proposed project will offer a new experience in the area and bring visitors to the existing walking and camping trail between the Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach. 
Each site for the proposed off-grid, eco-friendly CABNs has been carefully considered and selected to minimise the accommodation's ecological footprint, respect cultural heritage and allow visitors to enjoy an area of astounding natural beauty. 

Why is a CABN holiday such a unique experience?
We keep all our exact CABN locations a secret until shortly before each stay, to keep the surprise and create a unique experience. 
Our CABN X’s are entirely off-grid, providing a guilt-free way to enjoy nature, wildlife and restorative energy. Our guests will feel relaxed, rediscovered and reconnected after their visit. 
Cape St Albans is the perfect retreat for those seeking a relaxed place. It’s an important reminder to focus on the simplicity of nature; allowing guests to turn off technology to truly disconnect, all while in total comfort.

What does luxury off-grid accommodation need for it to stand out from the crowd?
Luxury off-grid accommodation stands out from the crowd when it has a unique design and layout that is curated to encourage disconnection. 
CABN provides people with an opportunity to digitally detox by disconnecting them from the intensity of their lives; instead immersing themselves in nature to recharge their batteries. 

CABN X Cape St Albans

What do you love most about the luxury travel industry?
I love experiences, creating memories and leaving positive impressions, whether it’s through offering our luxury CABN experiences, or experiencing my own, personal stays. The positive impressions and recognition of culture is something I always take with me, no matter where I am in the world.

What is your own personal litmus test for whether a hotel/resort is worthy of the 'luxury' tag? What makes it ideal?
When we launched CABN X, the concept was to bring the comfort of a 5-star hotel room to nature; where you still had to walk across a gravel path to reach your private sauna overlooking the ocean. A key term we used when we originally launched CABN X was ‘nature is the new luxury.’
We set out to create an entirely new experience, and CABN to us is the ideal private escape for a luxury stay. Moving away from traditional hotels and being surrounded by thousands of people.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why?
That’s almost as hard and picking your favourite child. If forced to choose, I have to say Kangaroo Island in South Australia. There’s something magical about the separation from the mainland. It’s a feeling of isolation in a pristine environment. The air changes, the sky changes, and the water is completely different. There is as much, or as little to do as you like. For someone that desperately loves being in nature and away from the day-to-day grind – this is my version of paradise. 

How do you think the luxury travel industry has evolved/changed since Covid-19? Have guests’ demands/needs changed?
We have seen significant change since COVID, with a key focus being on people showing less desire to travel to densely populated cities, and other areas globally. We found an increased number of guests actively seeking the CABN experience, where you can enjoy comfort and disconnection, only a maximum of 2 hours from a major city while tucked away in your own world

What is at the top of your 'where to next' wish list? 
I would like to experience some places and countries that you would not necessarily hear of or see at the top of people’s lists. I very much want to settle in one region, or town for a couple of weeks – to enjoy a slow stay, and experience more of the location’s culture and community.

What is the one travel experience you will never forget?
I will never forget living in London as a 21-year-old. We used this stay as a base to travel all through Europe, I worked in Hyde Park and made the most incredible memories and friendships. My only regret was not staying longer.

What three things do you never travel without?
My headphones, iPad and a great book!

Who would you most like to sit next to on a long-haul flight? Why?
The list would be long, however, I would have to say the first person that springs to mind is Ricky Gervais. I think he’s a comic genius, but more than that I really relate to his perspective on life and his love of animals.

What is the most important thing (travel-wise) that money CAN buy?
Being 6’5”, for me it’s any travel seating with additional leg room! 

What is the most important thing it can't?
Memories and experiences with the ones you love.


Read Also: CABN X at Cape St Albans 

Luxury Travel Links:  www.cabn.life

Posted 16/06/23


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