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What is a Boutique Hotel: 6 characteristics

We occasionally get the question what is a Boutique Hotel: "Are you part of a chain?"

There are no strict guidelines for what can be considered a "Boutique Hotel," Any hotel can call itself a Boutique Hotel. However, most of them have different characteristics that you could easily recognize.

Meaning of Boutique

The simplest definition of what a Boutique hotel is "a small, sophisticated and fashionable business or establishment."

This simply means that a boutique hotel is a luxury and unique hotel that does not belong to a hotel chain. These hotels are sophisticated and stylish, often small in size, popular in large cities and score high in quality.

There is no strict definition when it comes to describing Boutique hotels. However, they usually exhibit common features that give a distinct characteristic to this type of property.

Compared to regular hotels, Boutique hotels tend to be smaller, more intimate and usually have a strong artistic feel and focus on design.

In addition, the appeal lies in the promising services, Instagram-worthy spots and decors, as well as location.

A history of Boutique Hotels

Starting in the 1950s, hotel chains increased rapidly. For decades they dominated the market by quickly opening new hotels in different cities, including through franchises.

Although there were attempts to offer unique hotel concepts much earlier, it was not until the 1980s that the rise of Boutique hotels began. First from major cities such as New York City, San Francisco and London. This has continued to this day, where hotel chains are now even investing to create sub-brands that can cater to fans of Boutique hotels. On the other hand, this also shows that this segment in the industry has really blossomed and is not going away anytime soon.

6 Charasteristics of a Boutique Hotel

Although there are no strict requirements when it comes to creating a Boutique hotel. Next most hotels do have some guidelines that help them fall into this category.

Here are the most notable characteristics of Boutique hotels:

1. Smaller Format

Boutique hotels are usually small in size, somewhere around 8 to 30 rooms, but larger is also common. In addition, most also have suites available.

Most Boutique hotels operate independently, although larger chains are also beginning to invest in creating their own.

2. Personal

Compared to traditional hotels, Boutique hotels focus on their individuality. They do this by paying close attention to design and details, and by putting together personalized experiences for their guests.

3. Unique Character

Boutique hotels usually strive to create a distinctive feature in their space. While there are no strict rules that a Boutique hotel must be stylish and fashionable, this is usually one of their most distinctive features.

Their attention to detail and how they place great importance on design stems from Boutique hotels' desire to be unique.

To be unique, most Boutique hotels use their knowledge of design and culture to create a distinguished personality for their spaces.

Boutique hotels also generally have a contemporary, chic and stylish look. They tend to offer elegance and luxury without going overboard with their prices.

4. Pays close attention to design

Design is one of the easiest ways to create unique features. That's why most Boutique hotels really pay attention to perfecting even the smallest details of their space.

They usually combine interesting architecture, artistic furniture and play through décor to create a character.

Sometimes they also play with themes that run throughout the hotel - whether it's quirky details, the typical design that most follow is a contemporary, chic and stylish atmosphere mixed with personality.

5. Personalized services

Because most Boutique hotels are smaller, they can also offer their guests more personalized service.

Traditional hotels typically look to offer their guests incredibly luxurious amenities to create a unique experience; while Boutique hotels focus on curating services and offerings to highlight that experience for their guests.

Making them more appealing than ever to travelers who want to experience a place that is as authentic as possible.

6. The Guests

There is also often a huge difference when it comes to the market they serve.

Compared to traditional hotels that cater to the general public, Boutique hotels tend to cater to travelers who like things "hip" and "stylish."

Their guests usually range from millennial to baby boomers who enjoy a creative and Instagram-worthy space.

They also usually target middle-class travelers who like to enjoy the privacy, tranquility and luxury of a hotel stay without spending too much money. And the price usually depends on the hotel's location and amenities.

What is the difference between a Boutique hotel and a regular hotel?

Boutique hotel offers guests a more luxurious experience compared to a regular hotel. They are unique, stylish and they focus on comfort and tranquility. Guests prefer a Boutique hotel because they offer the best hotel experience.

Compared to traditional hotels, Boutique hotels focus on their individuality and creating their own character. They do this by paying close attention to design and details, and putting together personalized experiences for their guests.


Boutique hotels are some of the best places to stay while traveling.

It's a perfect compromise if you prefer your own space, don't like staying in a dorm, or don't have the budget to spend on 5-star hotels.

Boutique hotels are somewhere in between middle and luxury segments and offer luxury and comfort, great amenities and personal attention, but with a more reasonable price range.



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