Boutique Hotel Services That Show Your Local Charm
Though in recent years travel has been suppressed, we are seeing a renewed enthusiasm for travel of all kinds. Boutique hotels and bed and breakfast establishments are more popular than ever. Family-run inns and small business boutiques bring local charm and community connection that we crave.
What Is a Boutique Hotel?
The boutique hotel industry includes intimate, luxurious, and upscale hotel environments that feature unique architecture and design. Boutique hotels are also known as lifestyle or wellness hotels, and may include food and beverage, spas, and salons.
A boutique hotel is generally defined as a high-end, independent hotel with fewer than 100 rooms and a unique design style.
There were over 4,600 boutique hotels in the United States in 2021.
What Is Unique About Boutique Inns and Independent Hotels?
The boutique hotel experience appeals to many travelers seeking regional culture, local charm, a slower pace, and meaningful connections when they vacation. Check out some compelling stats1 about the popularity of boutique hotels today:
Around 40 percent of hotels in the US are independent.
Boutique hotels have grown in popularity: Over 25 percent of new hotel projects are boutique hotels, including smaller markets.
Boutique hotels typically outperform non-boutique hotels in daily rates and occupancy: Boutique hotels tend to have seven percent higher occupancy and a 65 percent higher daily rate compared to non-boutiques.
How Can I Maximize the Success of My Boutique Hotel?
When it comes to your bed and breakfast or boutique hotel, you’re perfectly positioned in the middle of a trend toward local culture that’s setting you up for success. Fine tune your customer’s boutique hotel experience with features that appeal to your target audience including millennials, experience-seekers, and eco-conscious travelers:
Reviews Matter and Influencers Have Influence: 81 percent of travelers read reviews before booking accommodations; and 72 percent of the time1, travelers will choose a hotel with a higher guest review score over one with a brand name or a lower price. Ask guests how you’re doing and correct what you can. Similarly, seek out visits from social media influencers who will tell friends, fans, and followers about their great experience.
For Success, Make It Sustainable: 81 percent of travelers want to stay in sustainable accommodations. Focus on features like:
Glass or metal instead of plastic
Less frequent or modified housekeeping in exchange for hotel credit or a donation to a local charity
Meat alternatives and local, plant-based options
Tech-Friendly Means Happy Travelers: Your guests may choose to leave their laptops off and their notifications on silent, but don’t make that choice for them through outdated tech. Most guests, especially millennials and younger, feel more at home and more efficient when they can make decisions and communicate with the concierge remotely. Consider these conveniences:
Mobile check-in and payment
Room service via QR code
Smart controls on A/C and heat (this allows you to monitor utilities more closely as well)
Super-fast (free, please!) wifi
Text messaging with front desk
Accommodate the Explorers! Today’s traveler wants an experience as much as peace and quiet. Guests may enjoy a good night’s sleep and be up with the sun to head into town, see the sites, or take a hike. Offer to-go snacks and gourmet coffee for visitors on the move. If you’re close to a scenic road, bike path, or beach, have bikes and beach accessories available.
Sales Calls and Spa Days: Help Them Blur the Lines: Today’s traveler is often a remote worker and putting in a few hours at the office can relieve stress and extend a vacation. Offer desks in rooms or a quiet common area where similarly-minded guests can put in the work time they need while enjoying the comforts and scenery your boutique hotel provides.
Every Dog’s a Therapy Dog: If possible, don’t require a service dog vest in order for your guests to bring along their furry friend. Often vacationing with a family pet means a happier, stress-free stay for kids and family.
Local Culture, Funky Furniture: Domestic as well as global guests (travelers from India and China are on the uptick) want to experience the culture and historical influences of the local community. Elements of your bed and breakfast that impart local charm might include antique furniture, art from local artists, and historical books and reproductions.
What Gifts Can I Give to Welcome Guests to My Boutique Hotel?
A personal touch is part of the boutique hotel experience. A gift to your guests helps them feel special and at home. Personalize your gift so your guests have a souvenir to remember you by as well. We like these:
Roll-Up Picnic Blanket: For impromptu picnics or trips to the shore, this blanket is a souvenir they’ll put to good use.
Hang In There First Aid Kit: Whether they’re strolling through town or doing a little river rafting, this first-aid kit makes everyone feel safer.
Embrace the unique style, local charm, and luxurious comfort of your bed and breakfast or independent inn. Sleep well, knowing your guests are in the mood for the eco-friendly, tech-savvy, very cozy stay you serve up day and night.
Tip: For more on hotels including marketing tips and promotional merchandise, see these related blog posts: