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What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

London, United...
Level Contributor
290 posts
What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Look now, I just dont like seeing that 'Is Khao Lak Dangerous' thread at the top of this forum! So I thought I would ask this question instead!

The use of the 'boutiqe' description is becoming, in my opinion, a little overused. So what do people look for in a boutique hotel?

Number of rooms?

Lower age limit for guests?

Spa treatments?

Location?

Style and layout of rooms?

Special arrangements/tours?

Wedding facilities?

From personal experience, Khao Lak had the first boutique hotel, even before the phrase was being used! Since then we have measured all hotels against this standard.

Comments please....................................................

London, United...
Level Contributor
290 posts
1. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Which is your 'Boutique' Hotel in KL?

arctica
Level Contributor
932 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Boutique+hotels

London, United...
Level Contributor
290 posts
3. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

I was hoping for a more personal view than just a reference to a 'stock' quotation.

Cambridgeshire...
Level Contributor
2,970 posts
233 reviews
4. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Hi Russetsprint,

With you on this one!!

For me the first criteria would be number of rooms. No more than 40ish.

Personal service, whereby the staff go the extra mile to get to know you, what you like, drinks/food maybe.

Style of resort should be un-imposing, low level with a spacious but homely feel.

I would also prefer, although not the case, for them to be adult only but that's just me being selfish.

Sarah

xx

London, United...
Level Contributor
290 posts
5. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Hi Sarah,

Looks like our requirements are similar then!

Our next visit will be to The Haadson, BKL may be next.

JBR already promised.

Mike.

Phuket
Level Contributor
2,979 posts
6. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

I tend to think of boutique as more individualized design but maybe also a smaller hotel/resort.

By the design definition, I think many of Khao Lak's smaller resorts might fit the definition. BKL certainly, but maybe a bit too big.

Does Bali bathroom/outdoor shower make a place boutique?

Brisbane
Level Contributor
1,561 posts
7. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Usually hotels including words such as: “boutique”, “themed” or “lifestyle” in their advertising.. or hotels that advertise that they cater for a certain category of travellers.. be it “couples only”, “gay friendly” or whatever... will be overpriced and pretentious... IMHO. But I’m sure there are some exceptions.

Brisbane
Level Contributor
1,561 posts
8. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

A helpful definition?

Everyone seems to disagree on the subject of boutique hotels: on

what is and what is not; on where they are to be found and where

not; on their best pricing policy and the true economics; on their

fashion status or long-term promise. In particular, on what to call the

market sector.

On two issues, most commentators agree. So-called boutique

hotels look in better commercial shape than traditional chain hotels.

And it all started, as so many trends do, in London. Twenty years ago,

in a South Kensington side street, Anouska Hempel made her name,

more famously than ever she had as an actress, with Blake’s. It had

about 50 rooms, some of them as small as broom cupboards, a

dauntingly cool bar, and the blackest hole of a restaurant that any

one ever overpriced in this often overpriced city. And if you were a

rock and roll figure or an actor under 50, you stayed at Blake’s if you

were anyone.

Around this time, Tom Wolfe had written a little-regarded essay in

Rolling Stone magazine, entitled ‘Funky Chic’. (This piece was greatly

overshadowed by its predecessor, ‘Radical Chic’, which satirised New

York’s über-liberal elite as it entertained Black Panthers in the

Bernsteins’ palatial home, but in its way it described a more

important and lasting phenomenon.) Funky chic was a disease that

spread, Wolfe asserted grandiloquently, from Chelsea’s famous Club

Dell Arethusa around the world, via Paris to California’s Troubadour

and Whisky-a-Go-Go (where Elton John was really launched). If

Wolfe had stayed his hand, he would have seen his disease find its

fullest flowering in New York’s Studio 54, the now notorious base

camp for assorted cokeheads, entertainment entrepreneurs, and its

notable founders, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.

In a similar way, the funky chic of so-called boutique hotels spread

from Blake’s (via Paris’ L’Hotel in Rue des Beaux Arts with its Oscar

Boutique n a small shop or department of a

store, selling (esp. fashionable) clothes or

accessories, [French]

Oxford English Dictionary

Where the ‘funky chic’ of so-called boutique hotels really started:

Blake’s, Roland Gardens, London SW7

locum-destination.com/pdf/LDR7BoutiqueHotels…

Cambridgeshire...
Level Contributor
2,970 posts
233 reviews
9. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Mike,

When are you off to the Haadson?

Our trip to the BKL is getting a little closer for December.

Ted,

Don't know if the outdoor bali bathroom showers would make it boutique but must admit, I just love em.

Bali is booked for next May, so I will certainly be bathing al fresco.

Sarah

xx

London, United...
Level Contributor
290 posts
10. Re: What Makes a Hotel a Boutique Hotel?

Hi Sarah,

Our visit to The Haadson is for the 'green' season, so not long now! It will be our first time there at this time, so we're looking forward to it.

From personal experience, the Bali shower is essential to classify a hotel as boutique! Thinking back to our first visit to Khao Lak, our hotel felt like we were the only guests there and we were treated like celebrities, even though we were not. A subjective defenition of boutique, I know, but one which works for us.

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