Boutique Hotels

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the lodging industry has become increasingly over-supplied with big monopolies of hotel brands. These brands, predominantly based in North America, succeed in selling consistency across the nation and, for some, around the world. These lodging facilities publicize the meaning of "hotel" through the truly traditional definition: a lodging accommodation for travelers. Nevertheless, travelers nowadays expect more than simply comfort and convenience. An increasing number of travelers prefer to be "surprised" — positively, needless to say. When planning trips, they seek properties that are noticeably different in look and feel from branded hotels. Although many travelers claim to seek lodging facilities that coincide with the traditional hotel concept, boutique hotels are becoming more and more of a social manipulation: those who do not stay in boutique hotels are categorized as unfashionable and un-hip. Boutique hotels are believed to have been invented in the early 1980s. Two of the first boutique hotels in the world opened their doors to the public in 1981: The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London (designed by celebrity stylist Anouska Hempel) and the Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco (the first in a series of 34 boutique hotels currently operated under the flag of one of the most eminent players in the boutique hotel world today, the Kimpton Group). In 1984, Ian Schrager opened his first boutique hotel in Murray Hill in New York City: the Morgans Hotel, designed by French stylist Andrée Putnam. The definition of a boutique hotel varies, especially among the hotel industry's primary players. However, the majority of boutique hotel operators, creators, and owners can all agree on the following primary features of boutique hotels:
• Architecture and design Style, distinction, warmth, and intimacy are key words in the architecture and design of boutique hotels, which seem to attract a niche of customers looking for a special and differentiated property able to fulfill their individual needs. Boutique hotels are not boxed into standards; the definition and expression of a theme is a crucial path to success.Many boutique hotels introduce different themes in each guestroom, making every single stay unique, even for their repeat guests. For example, the Library Hotel in New York City offers a different theme (from romance to music) in every guestroom. Many hotel owners are revitalizing older hotels, repositioning them as boutique properties. While true modernism and newly born design generally become "hip"

but bland. and music." such as the Paramount Hotel (594 rooms) and the Henry Hudson Hotel (821) rooms. and effective distribution/reservations coverage. is among those who do not believe in this commonly accepted facet of the typical boutique hotel. characterless hotel no time. the success stories of boutique properties begin with fundamentals such as location. Cooler notes. an experience that is clearly difficult to achieve in a large-scale hotel. "Does size matter?" Most boutique hotel "celebrities" insist that it does. London. founder and president of Ian Schrager Hotels. Personalized service does not appear to be important at Schrager properties. They believe that what distinguishes boutique hotels from standardized hotels is the connection that hotel guests experience with members of the hotel staff. Nevertheless. • Although no standard definition of boutique hotels has been agreed upon. San Francisco. big fashion and media capitals. for example. art. Good locations for boutique hotels are not determined only by manner of convenience.. most existing city boutique hotels are located in vivacious cities such as New York. a clearly defined marketing approach. with mid. and the sizes of these types of hotels vary considerably. Accordingly. boutique hotel creators detach their creations into two branches: Boutique hotels in city destinations In city destinations. Schrager hotels place the emphasis on entertaining their guests by creating a theatrical atmosphere that attracts all senses: through architecture. he defines "boutique" as an approach and attitude.000 guestrooms in nine properties. with no regard to hotel size. • Service The question that blurs the meaning of boutique hotels is. it is usually those properties that succeed in combining historic details with chic elegance that outlast the fads. Most of these hotels impose the acknowledgment of guest names by all hotel staff members. Ian Schrager. which currently comprises approximately 3.e. and Miami. claims to only open his hotels in cities with enough depth — i. design. As with any other hospitality product. and that boutique hotels are properties that do not exceed 150 rooms. Ian Schrager. market demand. modernism. product quality. especially in his "biggies. most boutique hotels do share some common characteristics. more and more companies are targeting less cosmopolitan cities that are believed to have strong potential for boutique hotels: cities with vibrant economies and high-end residential areas. lighting. and the interpretation of the 21st Century — at times matched with historical components and art — • 2 . Target Market Boutique hotels generally target customers who are in their early 20s to upper-income averages. but also by the "trendiness" and "chic-ness" of their respective neighborhoods. colors. location still ranks number one on guests' priority lists. With creative people as his target market.Both the style and the design of city boutique hotels are unlike the traditional resort boutique hotels. In light of these factors. Instead.

and bar. Exotic amenities take the role of technology in city destinations. service is generally more important than it is in boutique city destinations. the idea of a boutique hotel is entertainment in its own nature: a hip restaurant. and are found in most successful city boutique hotels. Boutique hotels in resort destinationsBoutique hotels in resort destinations are exotic.are considered modish. lounge. rather than the product itself. tucked away in deserted corners of the islands or the mountains.Successful boutique resort hotels unite traditional architecture with the comfort and luxury of modernism. if location should be central in the case of city boutique hotels. as there are generally financial restrictions and other resource restrictions. • Marketing Boutique Hotels Most guests stay in boutique hotels because it is fashionable to do so. These boutique hotels give their guests a chance to explore the local feel without sacrificing luxury. and intimate. In boutique resort destinations. trendy resort boutique hotels are generally well-hidden. in the boutique hotel concept. In this regard. without losing the personality of the local community. which relates back to the special 3 . not because of the facilities the hotels offer. or technology that is provided for the convenience of hotel guests (such as in-room DVD players. in fact. and computers with highspeed Internet access and the latest monitor genres). Each boutique hotel must develop its own recognizable flavor. an exceptional theme. where the experience and the image are sold. However. Marketing an independent boutique hotel can be difficult. Technology strongly relates to these factors. boutique hotels are being marketed in a manner that is similar to many other goods. The main issue in marketing a boutique hotel or resort involves "sending a message" to the target market.Although location is just as important in resort destinations as it is in city destinations. cordless phones. whether it is technology that enhances the ambience and promotes emotional contact between the guests and the hard attributes of the building (such as lighting and music). and art and painting sessions are just a few examples of boutique amenities offered in resort destinations. with sumptuousness and excellence as the only similarities among boutique resort hotels. small. the more fashionable the location is considered.Entertainment in boutique hotels is an important dynamic in creating a lively. rose petal baths. flat-screen television sets. the word "trendy" has a different designation in this matter. and visually spectacular decorations. Story development is more important than ever. Traditional spas. entertainment is not limited to events such as live music and performances. private individual plunge pools. honeymoon packages. boutique resort hotels actually promote the non-existence of electronics and communication devices in guestrooms as a competitive advantage. The more difficult it is to reach the destination by means of common transportation. chic and trendy mind-set.

boutique hotels also tend to have a higher percentage of repeat business compared to the industry in general.nature of the experience or location. The unique and easily related story must then be delivered through effective and affordable channels such as direct mail or direct sales. these amenities. or the history behind the creation of the hotel. affinity group travel planners. when styled in a boutique manner. Boutique hotels bring certain benefits in terms of operations and profitability. Once established. tastes. the economics are favorable for operators.HVS International" 4 . The hotel can survive and succeed without such costly amenities as restaurants and ballrooms/meeting spaces. and public relations through press. Besides strong customer demand. Bibliography: "The Definition of Boutique Hotels . which may reflect a smaller degree of volatility when going through difficult economic times. and fashions in order to remain competitive in the flourishing boutique hotel market. allied group marketing. boutique owners do not have to pay a franchise fee to become part of a larger chain. smart boutique hotels must continue to adapt to the incessantly changing needs. can bring significant additional profitability to the hotel's rooms revenue. For example.Written By: Lucienne Anhar . Nevertheless. however. preferences.

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