Boutique hotels arent a passing fad or a here-today-gone-tomorrow trend. They are a growing sector of the hospitality market.
When the first boutique hotel opened in New York in 1984, it caused a stir. Shedding tradition, its whole purpose was to turn a paid-for bedroom into a whole new travel experience. Since then, small, chic hotels have sprung up all over the world; some more successfully than others. Those who have followed the fundamental theme of design-led individuality have experienced incredible success and that in turn has spawned a new generation of these stylish hotels.
What are the essential characteristics of this type of hotel that will ensure its place in the industry?
Individuality boutique hotels are all different. Housed in a wide range of buildings, many of which werent intended as hotels or even houses originally, they use design and architecture to create entirely individual structures and spaces that catch the attention and stimulate the senses. Whatever theme or style has been chosen, youll never stay in a boutique hotel thats exactly the same as the last one you stayed in.
Style personality and style matter to these hotels. Its what gives them their intimate atmosphere; their air of authenticity. Boutique hotels go for style thats deliberately introduced and followed through to the smallest of details, resulting in all-round quality thats really appreciated by the guests.
Service many other parts of the service industry could learn from these small hotels. Their low guest numbers gives them the opportunity to shine when it comes to looking after residents, and their service is always discreet but immediate; helpful without pestering and always pleasant, never patronising.
Quality discerning guests know quality when they see it; from the finest bed linen to the freshest ingredients. A boutique hotel takes the time to source materials, furnishings, fabrics and accessories of the finest quality, ensuring that guests are always experiencing comfort and style.
Boutique hotels are here to stay because we like them. For not much more cost than an average high street hotel, they allow us to enjoy the experience of travelling. They give us good design, a high standard of decoration and fittings and outstanding service, reminding us that we often set our standards too low when we travel. They allow us to relax and spend our time exploring and enjoying our destination rather than sorting out problems with the accommodation. They remind us that where we stay is as important as where we go.