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What Is a Boutique Hotel?

A boutique hotel is a hotel establishment with less than 100 rooms, personalized service, 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!

Characteristics of Boutique Hotels

Homey boutique hotel living room

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 modern aesthetic of the outdoor decor, all boutique hotels have an individualized decor that gives the space a welcoming personality.
  • Trendy Restaurants - When walking into a restaurant or bar at a boutique hotel, you will be overwhelmed by the smell of authentic and locally-sourced menu items.
  • Personalized Service - Look forward to customized toiletries and individualized amenities when you stay at a boutique hotel. You might even be greeted by name when you enter!
  • Local Culture - Wherever you choose to travel, the boutique hotel you choose to stay in will help you acclimate to the local culture. Whether it's with local artwork, free bicycles for you to ride around town, or a few brochures that give insight to townie secrets, you'll feel like you've been there before.

Differences Between a Boutique Hotel and a Traditional Hotel

Besides being much smaller in size than regular hotels, there are multiple characteristics that set a boutique hotel apart from many other types of hotels offered across the globe. 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 is 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

What Makes a Boutique Hotel "The Best?"

The movement of taking an individualized approach to overnight hospitality 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.

Upscale boutique hotel interior
  • 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

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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