The Mystery of BOUTIQUE HOTELS!
The hospitality Industry is thriving like never before. New hotels are mushrooming one after another across the globe. With more and more travellers taking the travel way, this boom in the industry is here to stay.
This exponential rise in the Hotel industry has led to a creation of a number of classes which is not only confusing for the guests, but also for the hotel companies, as now everyone has a different interpretation of what each of these classes mean.
Full Service…Luxury… Limited Service…First Class… Select Service…Focused Service… Extended Stay… Seven Star… Five Star Deluxe… Five Star… etc.
And, here enters the boutique hotels; the confusion around what classifies as a boutique is one of the most interesting unsolved mysteries known in the hotel industry.
The expectation of a frequent traveller today has moved beyond just comfort and convenience. Increasing number of travellers prefer to be “surprised” — positively of course. Nowadays, they look for properties that are different in look and feel, somewhere where they can get a unique experience while on the go and, their this expectation is fulfilled by the Boutique hotels
The origin of Boutique hotels dates back to the early 1980s. Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London and Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco, are known to be the first two boutique hotels in the world.
Boutique hotels distinguish themselves from others on the basis of their small size . For a property to be considered a boutique hotel, it should not have more than 100 rooms, but shouldn’t be that small either. Hotels with less than 10 rooms are generally not categorized as a boutique hotel. It can There could also be a Boutique wing of a big hotel. The boutique section feels like a separate hotel. It has its own reception desk, lobby, and decor. Guests can quickly sense a more exclusive identity and better service in a Boutique hotel. For example, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace in Vegas, has a quiet enclave within the massive Caesars Palace casino-hotel.
A Boutique Hotel offers ultra-personal service. They are eccentric and can surprise and delight guests with winsome touches. A Boutique hotel has a special focus on Food and Beverage. Most of the boutique hotel houses outstanding restaurants and bars; celebrity-chefs and offers stylish lounges. The Taj Campton Place in San Francisco has a bay area two-Michelin-star restaurant Campton Place.
W ST. PETERSBURG HOTEL, RUSSIA
A Boutique hotel is not generic, or bland. It strives to be one-of-a-kind, and has an independent attitude. The designs can range from Modern or Designer Decor with a Quirky Touch. For example, W St. Petersburg Hotel in Russia has a fantasy décor which resembles a space-age disco.
So, if special attention, best food and services are on your check list for your ideal hotel, a Boutique Hotel is the hotel for you.
-Bindu A. Menon
Senior Faculty, INLEAD