This summer, at the Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit, more than 250 key players gathered for this sector’s leading international hotel conference and exhibition. Much like boutique hotels themselves, it was a creative and inspiring scene, bursting with enthusiasm and promise for the remainder of the year and well into 2017.
A panel of experts ended the event with a bang, swapping buzzwords along with their top ten boutique hotel trends. Ultimate verdict: From small independents to large multinationals, the global boutique market is “booming” and evolving quickly, in an exciting way. Let’s catch up on the vital takeaways!
1. Experience and Integrity
Cookie-cutter no longer, well, cuts it anymore. But no need to obsess over fancy design minutiae. Boutique hotel guests simply long for something singular. Be sure to present them with a distinctive, memorable experience that lingers far past checkout time.
So popular! From the U.S. to overseas, expect to see more and more members’ clubs integrated with boutique hotels, especially in major urban markets, like New York and London.
3. Caring for the Environment
Some travelers are troubled by the carbon footprints they’re leaving behind. Help clear their consciences by implementing environmentally conscious measures. They can include enabling guests to control their own energy usage and serving locally sourced, seasonal chow. Consider this, though. Not every guest is “green,” so don’t force the issue.
4. Boutique Goes Budget
Humble is wonderful. Homogenized, not so much. While boutique hotels previously tended toward the posh and pricey, there’s a growing place for budget-minded options that offer that sought-after, one-of-a-kind experience.
5. In-room Technology
Provide tech that, at minimum, equals the quality of that in guests’ homes. User-friendly and practical are paramount. And here’s a tip for historic boutique hotels housed in heritage buildings: Avoid the appearance of tech that clashes with your notable backdrop.
On a similar note, historic and interesting buildings are positively primed for transformation into boutique hotels. When that happens, always keep it real. Be mindful of the original edifice and the materials used, and you should wind up with a genuine, sustainable structure.
It’s the spice of life! Take full advantage of your independence and flexibility by crafting uniquely stylish guest rooms, instead of only standard, uniform––read, boring––options.
8. Location, Not Brand
In the beautiful boutique world, guests are much less concerned about companies and global brands. What do they want? A direct connection with the hotel itself, and to converse with the passionate human beings behind the experience and who give them great service.
9. Boutique B&B
Experts are spotting a significant trend in the bed-and-breakfast model, furnished in exceptional, design-centric properties. Many incorporate bonus options, such as wine tastings, interactions with visiting chefs and other special experiences.
10. Lifestyle Hotels
Multinational brands may be challenged in their efforts to yield a bona-fide boutique feel, but that’s unlikely to stop them. Capitalizing on their economies of scale and managerial expertise, some are increasingly focusing on the 100-to-200-room hotel model.
All about breaking out of the big box? Check in with us to discuss how your brand can optimize these trends. Email Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com or call 609.466.9187, ext. 117 today.