What is a boutique hotel?
A Boutique Hotel is a small and intimate hotel, held in stylish designer decor with a personal touch. A Boutique Hotel has its own unique character and stands out from the other (big) hotel brands. It is true to its heritage and offers guests personalized service. Most Boutique Hotels are often centrally located and located in many popular cities.
You can recognize a Boutique Hotel by the following characteristics:
Size: Small and compact with 10 to 100 rooms, with a sense of intimacy and privacy
Individuality: must be unique with a personality.
Design: Architecture and interior design are unique and high quality. Decor, aesthetics and attention to detail, often a theme are typical of a boutique hotel.
Character: Has an independent spirit the hotels can be vastly different from each other and all have a unique style. Fun and funky, trendy and offbeat.
Location: Usually located in the most hip and fashionable urban areas. In trendy, vibrant, up-and-coming places or in high-end residential areas.
Culture: True to their heritage, they celebrate local flavor.
Service: Exceptional and highly personalized service is crucial for boutique hotels.
Gastronomy: Hip, trendy and locally produced features high-quality authentic cuisine.
Clientele: Is individual and hip just like the hotels themselves. From baby boomers to millennials. They are smart, fashionable and chic.
The history of boutique hotels
The term was initially used in the United States and the United Kingdom. Although the first boutique hotels opened in London and San Francisco in 1981, the term “boutique” originated in 1984, when Ian Schrager and his business partner Steve Rubell opened the Morgans Hotel in New York City.
In addition, the major hotel chains Marriott, Holiday Inn and Hilton emerged during this era. As the chains flourished, other hotels wanted to stand out from the rest and explored new and innovative services for guests to create that unique feel. In addition to bringing in innovative services such as a 24-hour room service offering, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell came up with this whole new concept. This new concept became hugely popular and was picked up by other entrepreneurs. By now, a boutique hotel is a big concept, so big that the well-known hotel chains can no longer ignore it and are now investing in it themselves.
Requirements of a boutique hotel
There are no strict requirements for creating boutique hotels, though there are some “guidelines” by which you can tell if the hotel you are in is a true boutique hotel. However, most hotels follow some guidelines that help them fall into this category.
While not all of these are followed strictly, they are usually followed and can be seen almost everywhere.
Here are some of the most notable characteristics of boutique hotels:
– Smaller in size
– Unique in character
– Gives great attention to design
– Located in fashionable areas
– Personalized services
– Large selection of things to do
1. Smaller in size
Boutique hotels are usually small in size, somewhere between 10 and 100 rooms (max 150 rooms). In addition, suites are also available.
In addition, they are usually more intimate than other hotels, so the service is a lot more personal. However, we do often see that the highest quality boutique hotels have less than 30 rooms. This is also partly due to keeping it small and making it a special hotel.
2. Unique in character
Boutique hotels usually strive to create their own character in their space.
Even if they are part of a hotel chain, they make sure to give their guests the experience of a luxury Boutique Hotel.
Currently, most hotels operate independently, though the larger hotel chains are creating quite a few hotels focused on a smaller number of rooms, unique locations, atmospheric restaurant and other unique elements that characterize a boutique hotel.
3. Gives great attention to design
Design is one of the easiest ways to create unique features. That’s why most boutique hotels really pay attention to perfecting even the smallest details of their space.
They usually combine interesting architecture, artistic furniture and play with décor to create character. A theme is also often attached to the hotel to keep it as unique and exclusive as possible.
4. Located in fashionable areas
As mentioned, there are no hard rules for a boutique hotel, but we do see some characteristics constantly recurring. For example, most hotels can be found in fashionable areas, in the heart of the city’s cultural spots. This is often an excellent location for travelers because it is easily accessible. In addition to a good location, hotel owners also look for places that have a lot to tell about. In this way, owners want to give their guests a special experience. For example, many hotels are built in historic locations; by taking advantage of these unique locations, hotels ensure that they remain exclusive.
Hotels in larger (fashionable) areas are not always located in the heart of cultural sites. Some are found along busy streets, and others in a back alley, or sometimes even in residential areas. Still, they are easily accessible to the city.
At the same time, convenience and service vary from hotel to hotel. But one thing is certain: they prioritize providing a convenient option to get to the best cultural and artistic spots.
5. Personalized services
Because most boutique hotels are smaller, they are also able to offer more personalized service to their guests.
On a special note, some may offer customized amenities while others provide a comprehensive guide to the area, depending on your preference.
Each hotel has its own way of doing this. But they make every effort to give you a great time during your stay. For example, it is possible to participate in various events from the hotel. To ensure quality, the hotel often organizes these themselves and does not work with partners. This also to continue to guarantee personal service, for example, city tours, events, music nights, book presentations, lectures etc etc are often organized.
6. Large selection of things to do
Boutique Hotels usually focus on what the city has to offer, this is mainly reflected in the culture, art, decor and food. Most hotels make sure these details are incorporated to what they offer their guests. Whether it is highlighting local artists or serving locally produced ingredients, these factors are always ingrained in boutique hotels. That makes them more attractive than ever to travelers who want to experience a place as authentically as possible.
Difference between a boutique hotel and hotel
Although boutique hotels are still technically a “hotel,” there are quite a few differences when compared to a traditional hotel chain.
First, as mentioned earlier, they give top priority to creating their own personality and character.
Unlike most hotels that don’t mind having the same style of accommodation, boutique hotels do their best to stand out and offer their guests a unique stay. This usually results in eccentric and eclectic choices.
Moreover, traditional hotels usually rely on offering incredibly luxurious amenities to their guests to create a one-of-a-kind experience; while boutique hotels focus on offering services and events to highlight that experience for their guests.
There is also a big difference when it comes to the market they serve.
Compared to traditional hotels that cater to the general public, boutique hotels tend to cater to travelers who like things “hip” and “stylish.”
Their guests usually range from millennials to baby boomers who enjoy creative and unique spaces.
They also tend to target middle-class travelers who want to enjoy the privacy and luxury of a hotel stay without spending too much. And the price varies depending on the hotel’s location and amenities.
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