A hospitality segment that some have called “recession proof” – sounds too good to be true, right? Well, not exactly…
HVS estimated that the boutique segment would double in size from 2011 to 2013 – and it appears they were spot on. Boutique hotels have been booming over the past decade, particularly in London and other popular European cities. This trend has carried over into the United States as well. Hospitality expert Bjorn Hanson estimated boutique hotels account for 3 percent of all hotels in the United States, but could grow to as much as 10 percent in the largest urban markets in the next 10 to 15 years.
What exactly does “boutique” mean? According to a recent New York Times article, the terms “not cookie cutter,” “chic,” and “100 rooms or less,” have all been used to describe this booming market. The article goes on to name several big name hotel brands that are “thinking smaller” to build their business.
The main reason boutiques are faring well is because guests are looking for more than just a room number – they want comfort, individualized rooms, personalized service, and specialty treatment. A boutique hotel offers a unique vacation experience, and often times come with superior customer service.
But whether you are a small hotel or a large chain, the characteristics listed above should always pertain to you. Details such as artwork, unique furniture, and plush towels and linens can help give a more “homey” and boutique feeling. Browse our catalog and see how you can get started setting yourself apart from competition.