Just curious. What is a boutique hotel?

Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #1  
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Just curious. What is a boutique hotel?

I have read lots of people mentioning "boutique hotels".
What is the difference between a boutique hotel and a regular one?
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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"Boutique" usually refers to a hotel that is smaller and more stylish than the typical chain hotel, and where one expects a bit more in the way of personalized service. Even if multiple boutique hotels have the same ownership, each likely has a different name (that does not include the chain name), theme, and decor.

What a boutique hotel is not: a convention hotel, one with hundreds of rooms, decorated just like all the other hotels in the same group.

I think this is an American concept, meant to indicate that the hotel is something like typically older, smaller European hotels (though the decor could just as well be starkly modern as easily as antiquey).

Maybe think of it as the difference between Macy's and the locally-owned dress shop, or between the TGI Friday's and the single restaurant operated by a local Thai-American family.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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kayd's description is very good.

These days, sometimes I think in the US, the term "boutique hotel" is used to justify rooms that are so small you can't turn around in them or have extremely sparse furnishings.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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I agree with Neo and you can add the term may also be used to "justify" a higher price.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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Oh, yea. I forgot that part!
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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check out the hotels on www.i-escape.com I would consider these boutique hotels
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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Another one of those meaningless but effective terms coined by some brilliant ad exec.

People would rather stay in a place called Hotel Boutique than in a place called Hotel Generic that's slapped some framed Doisneau photos on the walls.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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But of course, some hotels that are referred to as "boutique" may not be that small. Like the Ws around the country and Soho Grand in NYC. Hundreds of rooms in most.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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True, rkkwan. I still think it's basically a marketing gimmick, though. An effective one, too!
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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Thank you very much to all for the clarification.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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I think it's a useful term, as kayd describes it perfectly. Marketing term or not, it can help describe what you like or don't like.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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True to some degree, Maureen, except for the fact that kayd's description -- which is absolutely accurate -- leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which is what the admeisters are counting on. Kinda like the term "gourmet food," which we all know can cover a LOT of territory!
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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I think of "boutique" as a hotel with unique architecture or design theme, and individually decorated rooms so they don't all look the same.

And I think the term is over-used.
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