What’s So Great about Boutique Hotels, Anyway?
Hotel experts have many varying definitions of boutique hotels - hip, less than 100 rooms, or independently owned, to name a few. Whatever the terminology may be, the reason that boutique hotels have become so popular is because they refuse to treat their guests as anything but cherished visitors. They spend time, money and energy developing a concept that makes us feel unique, comfortable and at home. Because they have a lower number of rooms, they are able to give that special touch by remembering returning guests’ names. Owners and innkeepers want guests to know that they had them in mind when creating their property.
In case you haven’t heard, the most important factor in real estate is… LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. The majority of boutique hotels and inns are found off the beaten path. Rarely will you find one in a busy downtown location or within a stale financial district. At a boutique property, you will be able to enjoy a more relaxing and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. The natural surroundings and unique habitat specific to that area provide for a more unique ‘escape’ from the stresses of urban life.
The design of a boutique hotel is often eclectic and one-of-a-kind. A design you cannot find anywhere else. Because the structure is often older, these properties have more room to showcase new and interesting design concepts. From the lobby to your room, you will frequently find original pieces of ‘objets d’art’. Often these rooms and suites have a theme of their own; one that can suit your personal taste. This makes for a more intimate and colorful staying experience.
There’s no doubt that amenities play an important role in guest satisfaction. Boutique hotels have some of the most unique conveniences. From home-cooked gourmet breakfasts to petting zoos, there is always something engaging to do during your stay. Many times you can also find a boutique spa on property that rivals those at larger chain hotels. Boutique properties are less crowded, therefor you have more amenities at your disposal. You don’t have to wait long periods for tennis rackets or a canoe.
Let’s face it, service is the most important factor in traveling. After dealing with traffic and racing to connecting flights, we want to be able to arrive at our destination to someone with a genuine smile on their face. We want to be acknowledged and recognized. Paramount service is often found in boutique hotels. The smaller size of the property better ensures that the standards of guest satisfaction are exceptional. Staff are more apt to remember who you are and what your preferences are. They may remember to put you into a preferred suite, or have a cup of your favorite hot chocolate waiting for you. Truer words were never spoken: the most important part of hospitality is being able to anticipate a guest’s needs.
This last decade has seen a major uprising in boutique hotels throughout the world. Gone are the days where travelers have cookie cutter accommodations with the same stale amenities. Traveling has always been an important part of our lives and now we want to be able to enjoy a hotel that has a style that we can relate to with amenities that keep us engaged and intrigued.
Dustin Keith- Owner/ Consultant at Keith Communications
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March 14, 2013