Boutique hotels are seeing a healthy growth rate vs the standard hotel chains. However, all hotels are facing an ever increasing market of self-catering villas and alternative accommodation providers.
Below are a few distinct guest sentiments that drive the trend towards demand for boutique hotels.
Personalised service is a major factor. In paying a premium rate for their accommodation, guests are indicating a wish to be treated with the same level of friendliness and warmth from the owner and staff that a friend would be, rather than just another customer. They are looking for hotels and hotel owners who will go ‘above and beyond’ in a range of areas.
Attention to detail is also very important. Guests, increasingly, have very specific preferences regarding decor, bedding, food and drink. Choosing a boutique hotel over the alternative is a sign that they wish to have a degree of control over major aspects of their stay. A hotel that pays attention to, and more importantly, remembers a customer’s preferences (Still or sparkling water in rooms? Different pillow type, lemon and ice in drinks) will find the same guests returning again and again.
Some guests prefer personal relationships with owners and staff. Enjoying a personal relationship with the hotel owners is a powerful contributor to the enjoyment of some guests. A level of trust that is maintained over time will not only result in repeat custom but endorsements and recommendations from guests to friends and family
The unique features, appearance and histories of boutique hotels often keep guests returning to them. Establishments with a long history of family ownership, or a historic building (a castle, or a palazzo) help add to the ‘story’ and romance of a holiday. Some guests prefer the ultra-modern and chic styling that boutique hotels often excel at – a case of being ‘fashion forward’, especially on holiday. Some hotels, particularly those on tropical islands might have private boats or watercraft to take guests to the hotel – always an exciting part of any luxury getaway.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the reasons behind the trend towards boutique hotels as a holiday choice. New factors and motivations emerge constantly, driven by changes in society and technology. However, these are all factors that boutique hotels should consider in articulating their proposition to guests. What are you presenting to guests?