by Vincent I. Porter
Finding a Boutique Hotel
One of the major advantages the Boutique Hotel brands offered by the major chains have is their visibility. They are listed on not only their own websites, but feature by default on sites such as hotels.com and Expedia. These hotels have the klout of their parent companies to generate bookings. What about the independent boutique hotels. They do not have a multi-million dollar marketing machine at their disposal. Often these are hotels that are privately run with no corporate affiliation or identity other than their own. This independence can make them hard to find; but ultimately worth searching for.
A good place to start is your web browser. To do business in this day and age, you need a web presence. In fact, by reading this article, you have already started your search online. Typing your destination and ’boutique hotel’ into your favourite search engine is a good next step in finding your getaway address. Even if you don’t have a specific destination in mind, using a search engine to search for boutique hotels can yield good results. The hotels you’ll come across and the sites you’ll see are ones that have spent the time and taken the effort to get high search engine rankings.
Once you’ve found some potential addresses, have a look and see what people say. Hands down the most popular source for traveller reviews is TripAdvisor. Their website lists reviews from everyday travellers on not only accommodation, but also activities. Take some time to read the reviews of the hotel you have in mind. read some good, and some bad. If many reviewers say the same thing, good or bad, it can help you in determining what to expect. Another great thing to look out for on TripAdvisor are responses by hotel management. The site allows verified hotel staff to reply to guest comments. A good hotel will read the reviews and offer a personalized response addressing any flaws; but also showing thanks for praise and a job well done.
Finally, there are some sites that provide listings of boutique hotels and will offer booking services as well. Sites such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Small Luxury Hotels and Tablet Hotels all allow hotels to register with them; and wach has its own level of scrutiny before allowing a hotel to be listed. We have not (yet) tried these sites for booking, but they can certainly be used in your overall search for that perfect getaway.
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