What Is a Boutique Hotel?

Boutique hotels combine the excellence of a four- or five-star hotel with the personability of a bed and breakfast. From boutique resorts to smaller operations like boutique inns, we have the information you need to learn the ins and outs of what makes a boutique hotel so special.

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Boutique Hotel Definition

A boutique hotel is a type of hotel that has less than 100 rooms, personalized services, and a stylish aesthetic. Although boutique hotels are smaller than regular hotels, guests do not feel like there is any shortage in amenities offered at these quaint getaways. Keep reading to learn more about what boutique hotels have to offer!

Boutique Hotels Characteristics

loft style bedroom with exposed ceiling and natural light

If you are looking to create your own boutique hotel, here are a few things to incorporate as you start making your plans:

  • Upscale Design - The outside of a boutique hotel is usually quaint and historic or modern and contemporary.
  • Individualized Decor - Following the aesthetic of the outdoor decor, all boutique hotels have an individualized decor that gives the space a welcoming personality.
  • Trendy Restaurants - Add a restaurant or bar to your boutique hotel, and feature authentic and locally sourced menu items from your area. Describing the specialty ingredients and the small businesses they came from will not only charm your customers but help your neighbors.
  • Personalized Service - Allow your guests to customize their toiletries and amenities when they stay at your boutique hotel. You can make your business stand apart by greeting guests by name upon arrival.
  • Local Culture - Wherever your boutique hotel is, it should help your guests acclimate to the local culture. Whether it's with local artwork, free bicycles for your customers to ride around town, or a few brochures that give insight to townie secrets, they should see the best of the best.

Differences Between a Boutique Hotel and a Traditional Hotel

Besides being much smaller than regular hotels, there are multiple characteristics that set a boutique hotel apart. We have rounded up all of the traits that make boutique hotels so different from the rest:

Boutique Hotels

  • Usually has 1 to 100 rooms
  • Focuses on current trends
  • Employs less staff because of smaller size
  • Offers more free amenities like bottled water and snacks
  • Each room can be individually decorated with different themes


  • Can offer anywhere from 100 to 1,000 plus rooms
  • Focuses on overall comfort
  • Employs more staff to check customers in and do housekeeping chores
  • Charges for refreshments and other food
  • Offers additional luxuries like pools and saunas
  • Takes a one-size-fits-all approach to decoration

How to Be Successful with a Boutique Hotel

Upscale boutique hotel interior

The movement of taking an individualized approach to overnight hospitality and boutique lodging continues to sweep across many big cities and small towns all over the world. Here’s a list of what your boutique hotel needs to stand out to be the best among the rest:

  • Stylish bar or lounge area
  • Modern salon or spa
  • Upscale interior with home-like feel
  • Customized and personalized services
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Pet-friendly
  • Unique group activities like yoga classes or nature hikes

How to Find Property to Convert Into Boutique a Hotel

When looking for a property to use as your boutique hotel, search realty sites for vacant properties that are already sectioned off with many rooms, large common areas, and an area to add a restaurant. This way it's easier to design the layout of your boutique hotel while also cutting down on renovations. Vacant space lot ideas to look for can include:

  • Historical buildings such as old factories or government buildings
  • Large homes that are for sale
  • Building a boutique hotel by finding a spacious lot in a prime destination
  • Pre-existing BnB's or hotels to renovate

Boutique Hotel Inspiration

If you are looking to open your own boutique hotel and need a little inspiration on how to do it right, here is a list of some well-known boutique hotels across the United States that might help:

  • Ocean House - Watch Hill, RI
  • The Jefferson - Washington DC
  • The Little Nell - Aspen, CO
  • The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician - Scottsdale, AZ
  • Solage - Calistoga, CA

Whether you are thinking about starting a boutique hotel or you're looking for ways to make your boutique hotel more personal, use this blog post to find some fresh ideas.

Posted in: Management & Operation|By Angalena Malavenda
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