Did you ever think about the differences in types of hotels? Many people do not. When planning vacations, people tend to book reservations based on popular brand name hotels, without giving any thought to the type of hotel they are booking.
Boutique hotels are a new breed of hotel which is a smaller, stylish hotel usually located in a specific, affluent area of suburbia, which caters to a higher lifestyle and environment. Sometimes they are compared to the modern day “bed and breakfast.” Find out more about boutique hotel trends here.
In short, these unique boutique hotels fashion themselves after the early 1980’s London, New York, and San Francisco hotels which focus on luxury facilities and intimate settings, coupled with full service accommodations. According to The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association, (BLLA, www.blla.org) boutique hotels differ from standard hotels in many ways, and offer personalized, customized, unique, and individual experiences (read the first published report on boutique hotels from Hospitalitynet here). Here are more ways that make boutique hotels unique.
Boutique vs Chain
1. Boutiques Have Themes
One of the characteristics of boutique hotels is that they often carry a theme such as a Roman or royal look, Hollywood-flair appearance, or other style. This adds to the uniqueness of boutique hotels and gives people something they don’t see as often in standard chains.
2. Amenities or Services
The service and accommodations for boutique hotels distinguish themselves from standard chain hotels in that they offer a much higher standard of service than you find in typical chains. They tend to focus on comfort and quiet rather than technology and often have on-site dining facilities, which are becoming more rare among the standard types of lodgings. One of the things to look out for is the meals on offer, such as breakfast which some chain hotels no longer offer.
Boutique hotels have a uniqueness which separates them from standard hotels and provides a unique experience for guests. In addition, boutique hotels used to be owned by private individuals (see here for the origins of Morris House Hotel). However, lately, there has been a move toward larger hotel companies trying to establish their own brand of boutique hotels in order to get in on this unique market.
4. The People’s Choice
There are many reasons people often prefer boutique hotels to standard hotels. One of the reasons is that they like being pampered. Let’s face it. When you stay in one of the typical chain hotels, you get just what the Holiday Inn commercial says you’ll get, “because the best surprise is no surprise.”
But some people like an occasional surprise. An extra mint on your pillow. A valet waiting to help you with extra luggage. Cushy, colonial atmospheres and luxury accommodations. These are the surprises people live for, to break up the monotony of their every day lives and discover something unique and exquisite. That is what boutique hotels are about.
A Unique Experience That’s Well Worth It
If you could summarize what you get at boutique hotels, as opposed to the standard chains, it would be “a unique experience.” You know what to expect at the Holiday Inns, the La Quintas, the Mariotts, and while these are good places to stay and are predictable, they do not offer the uniqueness and luxury present at a boutique type hotel. So if you want a better and more elaborate experience, if your hotel accommodations are important to you and add to your vacation experience, it would be worth your time to look into staying at a boutique hotel the next time you book a trip. The staff and management of boutique hotels have a unique perspective-to treat each and every guest like a king or queen and to cater to their every whim. And you can’t find that at the typical chain hotels.
Sure, you’ll have a place to sleep, access to amenities, and such like if you stay with the typical hotel route. But you won’t be treated like a king. And that, when you are on vacation from your mundane life-is worth a lot.