Boutique Hotels, Apartment Hotels, Art Hotels, Design Hotels, Lifestyle Hotels, etc, etc, there’s a lot of terms used to describe small independent hotels these days. While there isn’t a solid definition of what exactly makes a hotel a Boutique Hotel, it’s generally applied to a smallish, privately owned business that has a different look and feel about it. However, it’s hard to come up with an accurate generalization of Boutique Hotels since every one is by definition different.
Quirky might be the best word for it. Boutique hotels are quirky. The framework of the “normal” hotel (pool, usually mediocre cafe/restaurant, bar, concierge, hundreds of rooms) doesn’t really apply, and in its stead you get a much higher level of personalized service, rooms that are light years above the hotel standard in design and aesthetic, and (hopefully) a unique brand of charm. But, boutique hotels always have quirks. Some of them are good, our wall-mounted coffee machines with devoted water lines spring to mind, but there are also the quirks that maybe aren’t so good (our lack of an elevator for example) and are there to be forgiven, if not overcome.
Hopefully, the higher standard of personalized service makes up for whatever shortcomings the Boutique Hotel is heir to. For example, we don’t have an elevator, and due to the insane expense of installing one we probably never will, but if you’ve stayed with us before we can send you everything you need to access your room in advance of your stay, including setting your room’s door code to one you’ve specifically chosen, making sure you get your favourite room, and of course our standard free WiFi and Long Distance phone calls within North America. We will also carry your bags up the stairs for you if you like.
Other Boutique Hotels will make similar allowances for whatever their own personal quirks are. And, I suppose that might be the best way to describe what makes Boutique Hotels different from normal hotels. By developing a unique style and service that overcomes the quirks inherent in small hotels, Boutique Hotels build a character that is all their own.
Jonathan Meier is the Online Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for Nuvo Hotel Suites, a small boutique hotel in downtown Calgary, Alberta (to learn more about it, check out our Facebook Page). When he’s not at his desk, he’s usually out in the mountains near his hometown of Canmore where he can be seen climbing, skiing, or doing anything at all that doesn’t involve computers.