The residence industry is one of the oldest businesses in this world. It's been a while since people started traveling from one place to another for commercial and other purposes. What began as the need for time (rest and refuge on long trips) soon became an industry that offered comfort, convenience and even luxury at the border. For example, the Greeks built thermal baths that allowed them to rest and recover. The Romans built palace mansions for travelers, while Caravanserais provided refuge not only for men but also for their animals along the famous Silk Road from Turkey to China.
In the 21st century, hotels have evolved into a flourishing business that has become an integral part of the travel industry. The styles range from fantastic properties to youth hostels and all-inclusive honeymoon resorts to picturesque hostels.
However, as competition increased and hotels began to offer services across the chain, there was a need for something innovative in the market. Tired of impersonal services, people have started moving to smaller hotels that offer personalized attention and unique experiences.
This is how the love of the boutique hotels was born. Today, it is the most sought after accommodation option for leisure travelers and the ultimate name for exclusivity. More and more people are choosing to stay in boutique hotels because they almost always guarantee that they will have a good time and have great value for their money.
Given the popularity they enjoy, it's worth taking a look at the fascinating history of boutique hotels and tracking their evolution over time.
History of Boutique Hotels
The first boutique hotels appeared in the early '80s, the first two of which were The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington in London and Bedford in San Francisco's Union Square. The term "boutique hotel", however, appeared much later in 1984, coined by Steve Rubell. Comparing its own establishment, the Morgans Hotel, in a small boutique, obviously wants to highlight its exclusivity and set it apart from other hotels that were cultivated everywhere, like monolithic department stores.
This does not mean that boutique hotels are a modern invention. There are many documented cases of similar deposit experiences dating back to the 13th century, when places were created for travelers to Mongolia and China.
Here are some more examples of one-of-a-kind boutique hotels that are popular nowadays:
- In 1705, César Ritz opened a boutique hotel in Place Vendôme, which gave him great praise from King Edward VII who named him "king of hoteliers and hoteliers in kings" .
- In 1822, Venetian artist Giuseppe Rubino transformed an old palace into a charming hotel and renamed it "il Rubino".
- In 1880, the Sagamore Hotel in Lake George (New York State) became the first to provide electricity to all of its rooms, causing minor disturbances to visitors at that time.
- In 1900, Edouard Niiermans, known as the architect of the palaces, transformed the summer residence of Emperor Napoleon III – the villa "Eugenie" into a charming and sophisticated hotel.
- In 1919, Barcelona inaugurated an elegant hotel equipped with hot and cold water in its bathrooms.
As you can see, there have been numerous opportunities throughout the history of the lodging industry when hoteliers applied creativity and offered top-notch services to stay ahead of the competition and offer something extraordinary to their guests.
21st Century Boutique Hotel – Features that stand out
Today, the term "boutique hotel" is used to describe small facilities with approximately 150 rooms. It is privately owned or part of a small group of hotels and is known for its iconic, unforgettable and at times eccentric design themes. The concept of boutique hotels became a trend after hotelier Ian Schrager and French designer Philippe Starck used unique designs to build their hotels. And now, it has become a flourishing industry of its own, complete with unique features and properties.
Here are some of the most important ones.
The size matters
Boutique hotels are generally considered small but do not belong to the same category as hotels and apartments that accommodate up to 10 rooms. Boutique hotels can have up to 150 rooms, which makes it seem smaller when compared to most chain hotels.
However, this familiar scale helps to create an intimate atmosphere with peace and privacy. These comfortable properties often have a shared "living space" where guests can sit and interact with each other.
The personality speaks volumes
As boutique hotels are independently owned and not affiliated with any major chain, they are a brand in themselves. They have a distinct atmosphere that sets them apart from others. It is their unique personality and the absence of cookie cutter solutions that visitors find refreshing, attracting more and more people to boutique hotels.
Designed by Desire
Boutique hotels are known for their famous interiors, often created by leading designers and architects. In general, these specialist hotels tend to retain a refreshed look, combining historical elegance with elegant details. The décor conveys a progressive style forward and the overall design can range from contemporary and graphic to intimate and artistic. Each room is uniquely decorated, with exclusive amenities and luxurious bedding.
It's all in the charm
You know how you walk into a big hotel, but nothing is really spectacular or interesting? The boutique hotels will have none of them and the first thing to grab your attention is their eccentric personality. It's funky, trendy, and offbeat. For example, the Monaco Hotel in Washington will bring goldfish into a bowl in your room if you do not have your own pet.
Although there are no hard and fast rules about where a boutique hotel should be located, it is no coincidence that the best of them have a great location going to them. When designing boutique hotels, most hoteliers choose the most curious places and most places to place them. You can find them even in high-end neighborhoods, away from the hustle, but still close to the city's sights and attractions. Another popular choice for boutique hotels would be in areas that are far from the city, in the lap of nature and surrounded by lush vegetation.
One of the most distinctive features of boutique hotels are the highly personalized and exclusive services expanding to their customers. The staff are kind and friendly and are likely to know your name from day one. The hotel offers luxurious amenities such as an extensive pillow menu, personal care products and a range of relaxing spa services. A rich selection of food and drink menus is also a signature part of a boutique hotel. All these services combined create a top notch and unique experience for visitors.
Delicious dining options
Another feature that makes boutique hotels stand out from other hotels is their significant focus on creating great restaurants and bars that are modish and modern. These hotels have a high reputation for themselves, which is independent of conventional stars. Thanks to their appeal, they can draw crowds not only locally but also globally.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why boutique hotels are rapidly gaining popularity among travelers, who demand more than the comfort and convenience of their accommodation choices. They want to be surprised, they want to experience something new, something completely different from what the train hotels offer. In fact, these days, unless you are staying in a boutique hotel, you find it not fashionable.
I do not mean in any way to imply that hotels are boring or unwanted. There are excellent hotels around the world that offer off-season services to their guests. However, boutique hotels break the traditional mold and refuse to be packed with regular patterns. Offering guests style, distinction, intimacy and warmth, they leave guests with an experience they can love forever. And isn't that what the hotels they set out to do in the first place?
Source by Ram Gupta