Boutique hotels are all the rage right now. It used to be that they were reserved for those ‘in the know,’ – regular travellers who like a bit of adventure but aren’t quite prepared to rough it like a backpacker. These days, though, things are changing when it comes to boutique hotels.Staying in them no longer has to cost the earth and enjoying them no longer paints you as a middle class yuppie desperate for an exotic thrill. Finally, boutique hotels are for everyone, says adventure travel blog Vagabond3.com.
Why is this great news? Well, because they’re awesome. The entire ethos of a boutique hotel is wrapped up in the notion that personal service should have a certain intimacy to it – that it should feel like you’re the first, last and only guest during your whole stay there. Boutique hotels will not compromise the well being of their guests just to make sure that the bedding is stripped like clockwork or that each breakfast takes exactly the same amount of time to serve. If you want a lie in, they’ll clean your room later. If you want a sausage sandwich or a can of Fanta at 2am – they’ll get it for you. What more could you want from a hotel?
Here are five great reasons why you should think boutique when booking your next holiday.
Beautiful Design and Facilities
Boutique hotels, or ‘design hotels’ as they’re often known, are created to be beautiful. They are as far away from chain hotels as it’s possible to get. They have their own unique styles, their own personalities and their own secrets, wonders and surprises. To reiterate – they are designed to be uniquely beautiful. Why wouldn’t they be great places to stay? Most have stunning art-deco fixtures and furnishings, complete with vintage furniture, elegant colour schemes and beds the size of trampolines. By their very nature, boutique hotels tend to be fairly small. The sterile, clockwork efficiency of chain hotels has no place here. Hotels have to be kept small so that staff can offer a personalised service to all guests. This means that boutique hotels are always very quiet, very relaxing and more than a little intimate.
Due to the reduced size of boutique hotels and their low guest to staff ratio, they tend to be extremely personal places to stay. That’s not to say that members of staff are a constant presence – they can be as present or as invisible as you wish them to be. However, this guest to staff ratio does mean that they’ll give every visitor VIP service, say the experts at ChicRetreats.com. If you want something, just ask. They’ll go above and beyond to make your request a reality. Boutique hotels are designed with personal service in mind, remember?
24 Hour Room Service
Again, this goes back to that VIP service shtick. Staffs at a boutique hotel are trained to treat you like royalty and 24 hour room service is an important part of that process. If you fancy a romantic meal on your hotel balcony with your wife or girlfriend, just ask – the staff at your hotel will make it happen. Do you want a fried breakfast brought to your room every morning? Just ask politely and your wish will be their command. Don’t abuse the power but by all means, take advantage of it.
Boutique hotels are generally considered to be rather pricey. The truth is – their prices vary as much as their decor. Some are right at the top end of the market and come with eye-watering price tags, whilst others are very reasonably priced indeed. Whatever your budget, if you look hard enough you’ll find the right hotel for you. The cheaper establishments tend to be much, much more luxurious than similarly priced chain hotels, so don’t be put off by the misconception that you’ll have to empty your pockets to go boutique.
Almost all boutique hotels are hiding a raft of hidden surprises that you won’t know about when you book your stay. It might be a hydrotherapy pool or a steam room. It could be a beautiful, hidden garden or a private wine cellar in the basement. Some have their own gym, dry cleaning service or poolside waiter. Searching out and enjoying the unique perks of a boutique hotel is all part of the fun.
Emily Steves is a restaurant critic and the author of several publications on Britain’s best eateries. She loves the food in Scotland and recommends a stay at the Carberry Tower hotel for anyone looking to get away from it all in Scotland.