What is the meaning / definition of Boutique Hotel in the hospitality industry?

A Boutique Hotel is a small and intimate hotel, helt in a stylish design decor with a personal note. It has a unique character and distinguishes itself from other hotel brands. It it true to its heritage, it provides guests with great and ultra-personalized service and is typically situated in a fashionable urban location.

The term was used initially in USA and the UK. While the first boutique hotels opened in London and San Francisco in 1981, the term ‘boutique’ was born when in 1984, when Ian Schrager and his business partner Steve Rubell opened together the Morgans Hotel in New York City, comparing it to a ‘boutique’.

While it is not a specific hotel category, a boutique hotel can be defines by its characteristics:

  • Size: Small and compact with 10 to 100 rooms, with sense of intimacy and privacy 
  • Individuality: Has to be unique with a personality
  • Design: Architecture and interior design are unique and upscale. Décor, aesthetics and attention to detail, often a theme are typical for a boutique hotel.
  • Character: Has an independent spirit. Fun and funky, trendy and offbeat. 
  • Location: Usually located in the most hip and fashionable urban areas. In trendy, lively, up-and-coming places or in high-end residential neighborhoods. 
  • Culture: True to their heritage they celebrate the local flavor.
  • Service: Exceptional and highly personalized service is crucial for boutique hotels. 
  • Gastronomy: Hip, trendy and locally-sourced. High quality, authentic cuisine 
  • Clientele: Is individual and hip as the hotels themselves. From Baby-Boomers to Millennials. They are smart, fashionable and chic.

See also:

Synonyms