by Vincent I. Porter
The term boutique in the English language epitomizes fashionable, upscale, unique, and independent lifestyles. Boutiques tap into a niche of the market and distinguish themselves from the bigger players who cater to a wider audience. When it comes to hotels, boutique hotels are not about the product but about the experience. Boutique hotels aim to offer their guests an upscale experience that cannot be matched by the bigger chains. Each hotel adds its own flair and a sense of individuality to the guest experience. Whether it be the smaller size of the hotel, or its unique setting and features; boutique hotels are each unlike any other.
Whilst the large hotel groups, despite being segmented, still focus on the mass market and appeal to as many travellers as possible; their properties often appear as if they’ve been formed from a mold. Boutique hotels redefine the experience and actively attempt to appeal to personal taste and preference which is often eschewed among the name-brand hotels in the interest of neutrality and mass-appeal. Though this isn’t going to go away entirely, many of the large hotel groups have launched brands that emulate and tap in to the boutique hotel experience.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) launched the Indigo brand of hotels with a view to create “the individuality of a boutique hotel with the reliability of one of the world’s leading hotel companies.” Starwood competes with its W brand of hotels which focuses on the experience and luxury lifestyle. Hyatt’s Andaz properties are “boutique-inspired” priding themselves with an individualized service model and progressive style. Recognizing the need to speak to the market of the sophisticated traveller these hotels are designed to offer that sense of individuality and connectedness with the cities and areas they are located in.
Whether it’s a secluded retreat in a small privately owned hotel, or a break from the mold in a thriving metropolis you’re looking for; there are plenty of options. VIP Upgrades will help you explore these options in our upcoming Boutique Hotels series. Keep checking back to this blog for more.