|Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson, September 2001
What specific attributes qualify a hotel for this appellation?
What makes one hotel a boutique while another is not? We believe
there are several characteristics that contribute to the accurate application
of the term. One is size. What is the maximum number of rooms
allowable for a boutique hotel? In our opinion, and in the opinion
of some others, 100 rooms seems to be the upper limit.
An intimate atmosphere may be the one absolutely essential component without which a hotel cannot be called boutique. In our opinion, the difficulty lies in creating an atmosphere of intimacy without familiarity. We define intimacy as caring, warm, personalized, yet totally professional. Familiarity involves using guests’ first name, hugs, excessive hand shakes, and other physical contact.
The boutique environment also includes anticipating guests’ needs and desires rather than simply responding to a request. Knowing what a guest wants, when they want it, and how they want it is a major difference between good service and great service. The goal of any fine hotel, boutique or otherwise, must be great service.
We suggest that a unique theme is one important component of “boutiqueness”. We are seeing a variety of interesting themes around the country , ranging from a library concept in New York City to a hotel in Washington, DC for guests interested in the occult.
We find this quite interesting and feel that a segment of the public will respond positively. Our only question is where does a trend end and a fad begin.
So, what is a real boutique hotel? Can you create a checklist of very specific characteristics that will apply to every property? Can you develop a profile that applies to all?
We suggest it is a hotel that makes guests happy to be there, makes them feel special, makes them want to return soon, and makes them want to tell others.
That description makes a boutique hotel sound like any other fine hotel, only smaller, right?
As with many intangibles, “boutiqueness”, like beauty may be in
the eye of the beholder.
|Also See:||The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001|
|How Important is Service? / Sept 2001|
|Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001|
|Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001|
|Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001|
|Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001|
|Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001|
|Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001|
|Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001|
|AAA Standards vs Guests' Expectations / May 2001|
|Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001|
|Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001|
|The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001|
|Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001|
|How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000|
|Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000|
|Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000|
|The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000|
|What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000|
|If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000|
|Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000|
|Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000|
|What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999|
|Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999|
|Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999|
|Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999|
|Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999|
|Who Should Train Your Employees / Aug 2000|
|Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998|
|Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000|
|The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999|