In the face of the rising popularity of the boutique hotel, it leaves one wondering which type of hotel establishment is the better option to opt for during international travel trips. Ultimately, the choice of the boutique hotel against hotel chains comes down to personal preferences, with both establishment types having their advantages and disadvantages. Whilst some travellers prefer the predictability of service, interior design and amenities of hotel chains, and others will be drawn to the uniqueness of the boutique hotels.
Predominantly, the boutique hotels in recent years seem to be experiencing a surge in popularity amongst a wide range of customer types. Particularly because boutiques offer a multitude of benefits over big hotel chains.
Boutique hotels utilise smaller properties, with around 10-100 rooms that allow them to promise a more personalised service to their customers. Additionally, a smaller establishment also results in less ‘traveller congestion’ which permits for, arguably, a more intimate, private and relaxing vacation for customers, allowing for quieter dining experiences or finding room by the pool.
What makes boutique hotels so appealing to customers is their location and architecture, often sporting unusual property experiences, full of personality and distinctive architectural features. The locations are stereotypically off the beaten track which means you can be in the heart of the local community; this is particularly enticing for travellers who desire a more authentic and cultural experience or in the heart of the bustling city, close to the action.
Boutique hotels can offer all the amenities that bigger hotel chains boast, with most being offered within the package price. Ultimately, the goal of the boutique hotel is to bring customers the luxuries of what is offered at hotel chains but in a more intimate environment. However, it is not always guaranteed you will have all the amenities in your selected boutique hotel than in an alternative hotel chain that is within close proximity, so it is advised to carefully check before booking.
Averagely, boutique hotels cost 10 to 20 percent less than other hotels, but there can be fluctuations in pricing regarding the boutique hotels against big chain establishments, depending on the location and amenities offered. Generally, with boutique hotels, you will get more value for your money, with luxurious experiences at a lower cost.
In most cases, you will also be supporting independent business owners, with the opportunity to connect with them, which can help build up your professional network, if you desire to do so.
Even the bigger chains are embracing the interest in the boutique hotels, particularly chains located in the U.S and Asia. Prestigious hotel brand Marriott partnered with industry expert Ian Schrager in 2008 to incorporate the boutique trend into the brand. After slow progress at the start of the development, six projects have started works across three continents. Projects include an ultra-trendy boutique hotel in Manhattan’s Clock Tower building and one located in Abu Dhabi along the city’s marina.
Marriott is not the only big hotel chain trying to cash in on the increasing popularity of the boutique hotel; the Wyndham Hotel Group acquired the boutique brand Tryp and have begun to open locations across the world. Special features at the Manhattan location include a social network, Lobby Friend, where guests can interact with other guests in the hotel and then arrange to meet up in the hotel’s tapas bar.
So, why do people still opt for the big chain experiences if boutique hotels offer so many benefits? Big chain hotels can guarantee a hotel establishment in a majority of destinations around the world, whilst it is not always guaranteed that certain locations will have a boutique hotel within close proximity to the conveniences you require. Additionally, hotel chains offer customers the option to opt into loyalty schemes that reward you for continuous bookings, giving you money off stays, free gifts and so on.
If, however, you find yourself gravitating to the same location time and time again, there is another alternative to hotels that you could lean towards, and this is investing in your own holiday home. From smaller, trendy apartments in Milan to grander French chateau for sale, there is a wide variety of property types across the globe for you to explore on the Prestige Property Group website. You will truly capture that home-away-from-home experience the boutique industry tries to encapsulate in your very own home and won’t have the issue of sharing the pool.