The lodging industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. It has been around since people started traveling from place to place for trade and other purposes. Beginning with the demand for hours [rest and shelter on long trips], it quickly became an industry that provides comfort, convenience, and even luxury to boarders. The Greeks, for example, built hot water baths to allow guests to rest and recover. The Romans built magnificent mansions for travelers, and caravans along the Silk Road from Turkey to China provided shelter not only for humans, but also for their beasts.
In the 21st century, the hotel industry has developed into a booming industry and has become an integral part of the tourism industry. Various styles, from gorgeous properties to quasi-bone youth hostels, to all-encompassing honeymoon resorts, to quaint country hotels.
However, as competition intensifies and hotels begin to provide standard services throughout the chain, there is something innovative in the market. Tired of impersonal service, people are turning to small hotels that offer personalized service and unique experiences.
Therefore, the darling of the hotel industry-boutique hotels. Today, they are the most sought-after accommodation option for leisure travelers and are the exclusive ultimate names. More and more people choose to stay in boutique hotels, because it is almost always guaranteed that they have a good time and value for money.
Given their popularity, it's worth a glimpse into the fascinating history of boutique hotels and tracking their evolution over time.
History of boutique hotels
The earliest boutique hotels appeared in the early 1980s, the first two of which were The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London, and Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco. However, the term "boutique hotel" appeared later in 1984 and was coined by Steve Rubell. He compared his company, Morgans Hotel, to a small boutique store, apparently wishing to emphasize its uniqueness and distinguish it from other hotels scattered all over the place, just like a large department store.
This is not to say that boutique hotels are a modern invention. There are many similar records of accommodation experiences dating back to the 13th century, when staging stations were set up for Mongolian and Chinese travelers.
Here are some examples of once-popular boutique hotels:
In 1705, César Ritz opened a boutique hotel in Place Vendôme, winning high praise from King Edward VII. "The King of Hoteliers and the King of Hoteliers".
In 1822, the Venetian artist Giuseppe Rubino transformed the old palace into a magnificent hotel and named it "Ir Rubino".
In 1880, the Sagamore Hotel in Lake George, New York became the first hotel to provide electricity in each of its rooms, attracting many visitors during that time.
In 1900, known as the "Palace Architect", Edouard Niiermans transformed the summer villa of Emperor Napoleon III-"Villa Eugenie" into a beautiful and niche hotel.
In 1919, a stylish hotel was set up in Barcelona with hot and cold bathrooms.
As you can see, there have been countless opportunities throughout the history of the lodging industry for hoteliers to use creativity and provide first-class services to stay ahead and provide extraordinary experiences for tourists.
21st Century Boutique Hotel-Unique Features
Today, the term "boutique hotel" is used to describe small places with about 150 rooms. They are privately owned or part of a small group of hotels and are known for their iconic, memorable and sometimes quirky design themes. After hotelier Ian Schrager and French designer Philippe Starck used unique designs to build the hotel, the concept of boutique hotels became a trend. Today it has become a thriving industry with its own unique characteristics and qualities.
Here are some more important ones.
Boutique hotels are often considered small hotels but not in the same category as bed and breakfast hotels or homestays with less than 10 rooms. The boutique hotel offers up to 150 rooms, and it does appear smaller compared to most hotel chains.
But it is this intimate scale that helps create a family atmosphere with peace and privacy. These comfortable residences usually have a common "living space" where guests can sit and interact with each other.
Individual speaking volume
Since boutique hotels are independently owned and not affiliated with any large chain store, they are a brand in themselves. They have a unique resonance with them that sets them apart. It is their unique personality and lack of uniform solutions that make guests feel refreshed, which has attracted more and more people to boutique hotels.
Designed by Desire
Boutique hotels are known for their fascinating interiors, which are often created by leading designers and architects. In general, these niche hotels tend to maintain a high-end appearance, combining historic elegance with chic details. The decoration conveys a progressive style, and the overall design ranges from contemporary and quaint to home and art. Each room is individually decorated and comes with premium amenities and premium linens.
You know the way you walk into a big hotel, but nothing really spectacular or interesting happens? Boutique hotels will have nothing, and the first thing that catches your attention is their quirky personality. They are fashionable, trendy and alternative. For example, if you don't have your own pet, the Monaco Hotel in Washington DC will bring a bowl of goldfish to your room.
Although there are no hard and fast rules about where boutique hotels should be located, it is no coincidence that the best one has the right location. When designing boutique hotels, most hoteliers choose the trendiest and most happening places to place them. You might even find them in high-end communities, away from the hustle and bustle, but still close to the city's attractions and places of interest. Another popular option for boutique hotels is in areas that are far from the city, surrounded by nature and lush greenery.
One of the most distinctive features of boutique hotels is the highly personalized and exclusive service provided to guests. The staff is courteous and friendly and may know your name from day one. The hotel offers tailor-made luxury facilities such as an extensive pillow menu, custom toiletries and a variety of leisure spa services. The extensive dining menu is also one of the characteristics of the boutique hotel. All these services combine to create a first-class experience for guests.
Another feature that sets boutique hotels apart from other hotels is their focus on creating stylish and trendy extraordinary restaurants and bars. These hotels have earned themselves a high reputation, independent of traditional star ratings. Because of their appeal, they can attract not only local people, but also global people.
As you can see, boutique hotels are rapidly gaining popularity among travelers for a number of reasons, and their demands for accommodation options go beyond comfort and convenience. They want to be surprised, they want to experience something new, which is completely different from what ordinary hotels have to offer. In fact, these days, if you don't live in a boutique hotel, it will be considered out of date.
I'm not trying to suggest that the hotel is boring or uninspiring. There are excellent hotels all over the world to provide guests with world-class services. However, boutique hotels have broken the traditional tradition and refused to box according to conventional standards. Providing visitors with style, uniqueness, intimacy and warmth, they leave guests with an experience they will always cherish. Isn't this the first thing the hotel does?