If you read my article on Why you should always support local independent businesses, you’ll know I am not a massive fan of big chain companies and global brands, and given the choice I always pick the smaller independent businesses over the larger global ones every time.
Whether out shopping, looking for a restaurant for dinner or finding a place to stay for the night, I am passionate about supporting local businesses and communities.
In particular I love to stay in independent boutique hotels as opposed to big chain hotels.
Read on to learn more about boutique hotels, why you should stay in them, and discover some of my favourite boutique hotels I have discovered on my travels!
So what are boutique hotels?
Boutique hotels are small and unique hotels with a big personality! They don’t want to fit in with the corporate big chain hotels: they strive to be unique!
They often come up with a creative and original idea and have a contemporary and upscale vibe. Boutique hotels are usually very stylish and often housed in very unique buildings with impressive architecture.
There’s even one in East London that’s set in an Old Town Hall! The interior design is always spot-on too, with a great attention to detail.
Most boutique hotels are independently owned, however there are some who are members of boutique brands created by luxury hotel companies.
However they have an independent attitude and so definitely do not feel like chain hotels.
Why you should stay in boutique hotels:
They are unique!
In recent years boutique hotels have become very popular as today’s travellers are always looking for something different. They want to experience somewhere that not everyone has been to or even heard of.
Staying in a boutique hotel is a very authentic experience as the atmosphere is intimate and cosy. This gives the guests the feeling of being in a private home as opposed to a hotel.
Whilst large-chain hotels are often very modern and aesthetic (and sometimes bland in the room design), boutique hotels have a huge focus on bespoke and unique rooms that are full of character and spirit.
Travellers appreciate the effort that boutique hotels make to be original and unique.
Many people are fed up of how predictable and uniform chain hotels can be: whichever city in the world they’re in, the rooms in that hotel chain will always be the same.
Whereas people love the original and different ideas that boutique hotels come up with. Boutique hotels are creative, they stand out and offer something different to their guests.
This creates a unique brand in doing so. They are quirky, cool and stylish and have their own personality.
Whilst many people like that chain hotels are predictable in the sense that you know what you’re going to get before you even arrive, many people feel that this standardisation makes them lack character and feel soulless in comparison to boutique hotels, as each hotel in the same brand is decorated in the same way as the next one, wherever they are in the world.
They are always in a great location!
As urban boutique hotels are a lot smaller than large chain hotels, they are always set in a great area. They are almost always in very central and lively, trendy neighbourhoods.
The location is very important to them and often reflects on the interiors of the hotel.
They excel at attention to detail!
Boutique hotels really focus on attention to detail and make your stay very personalised.
They display variety and offer personal touches such as flowers, goldfish, locally sourced produce or even breakfast bags delivered to your room!
They may not necessarily be more luxurious than big-chain hotels, but by focusing on the little things and adding extra customisable details, it often makes it appear more luxurious.
Therefore guests feel like they are getting more for their money.
Boutique hotels offer great customer service!
Boutique hotels really want to provide you with the best experience. They care that you enjoy it there, and their reputation is so important to them.
I also love boutique hotels because their prices are similar to big chain hotels and they also often feature a great restaurant and a stylish bar that draws in the city crowd.
This also makes it easier to meet people if you are travelling by yourself.
If you are looking for unique one-of-a-kind experiences, boutique hotels are definitely for you.
I find with many chain companies that something is missing, and independent companies manage to fill that gap and always add something unique and personalised to you.
Nowadays more people are opting to stay in independent boutique hotels and airbnbs as they start to realise the benefits of staying in local places, and whilst sure boutique hotels may not be for everyone, they’re certainly here to stay!
Some of my favourite boutique hotels:
Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!