The Main Characteristics of a Boutique Hotel

by Fitzroy of London

Whilst there is no strict definition of a boutique hotel, the genre does tend to have some common features and characteristics:

Size – Boutique hotels are typically small but can range from 10 to 100 rooms. They are intimate in scale, creating the ambiance of being a personal guest in a private home, rather than just a hotel occupant.  They often have communal ‘living spaces’ where guests can interact.

Individuality – Properties have a distinctive vibe and never have the ‘cookie cutter’ feel of being one in a series. They are often operated independently and are not affiliated with a major chain. That said, the largest independent hotel operator in the world, the Kimpton Hotel brand, is owned by InterContinental Hotels and Resorts (IHG).

Design – The architecture and interior design of a boutique hotel is as unique as its operations, but always upscale and often combining historic details with chic elegance. The lines may be sleek and contemporary or quaint and homey – or even an artistic amalgamation. Boutique hotels convey a progressively forward style with fastidious décor. Guestrooms are individually decorated and use upscale linens and exclusive amenities.

Character – Boutique hotels usually have an eccentric personality. They could be fun and funky, trendy and offbeat or luxurious and relaxing.

Location – There is no hard rule, but many boutique hotels are located in the most hip and fashionable urban areas. You’ll find them in lively, up-and-coming sections – they may well be one of the factors in the area’s rejuvenation – and high-end residential neighbours that are away from the crowds.

Service – High personalised service is a hallmark of boutique hotels. Staff will know your name on arrival, you will be provided bespoke luxury amenities such as an extensive pillow menu and custom toiletries, as well as offering sumptuous spa service creates a very high-quality, personalised experience.

Clientele – The types of travellers who are attracted to boutique hotels are as individual as the hotels themselves and tend to be just as hip. Guests from millennials to boomers who enjoy creative design, quirky character and luxurious service will be right at home in boutique hotels.


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