As a person who has been working in the hotel industry for most of my working years, there definitely is a difference between a “box” hotel and a boutique hotel. I personally have now worked at three boutique hotels; and as different as they are, they are very similar.
Sure, you call and make a reservation; you want the best rate for the best quality room that you can afford but does X brand hotel ask you if you are celebrating a special occasion? Does X brand ask you if you want the same room you stayed in last time you visited? Does X brand hear you when you say you hate the color red and they offer you a room decorated in subtle blues and yellows? A boutique hotel does.
We WANT to know that you are celebrating your 10th anniversary or that it is the first time you are getting away since having twins; we WANT to know that you are coming to visit the area because your family is here; we WANT to know these things. Why? Because if you are celebrating your anniversary, expect a bottle of complimentary champagne in your room. If you hate the color red, then you won’t be assigned to a room with red walls. If you are getting away from the babies for the first time, we will make sure you are in a room that is quiet and has a very relaxed setting. Visiting family? We will probably recommend one of our suites with a separate living room so you can have company in an environment that will make you feel like you are in the comfort of your own home.
And talking about rooms, know those hotels you stay at and all the rooms are exactly the same? Well, you won’t find that here. Every room is different, every room is unique, and every room is decorated like you may decorate at home (or dream of!). We don’t purchase our furnishings from the hotel supply company – we go to local furniture stores, we go to antique shops, we buy things you can purchase for your own home; we want you to feel like you are at home – we like cozy, we like elegant, we like unique – just like you do. We design your room like it was a room in our home. Sure, some things we purchase in quantity, but I know personally that more things than not are individual purchases. When a lamp breaks in one of our rooms; we can’t go to the closet and get a second one to just replace it. We call our owner, we look at the room, we look at the décor; we go shopping.
We have to admit though; sometimes we have big mouths… If it’s your night to propose; you can bet that every manager in the building will know. You may feel like you are being watched – guess what? You are! We are going to make sure all our employees know your plans for the weekend; they are going to make sure you get the best table in the dining room, they are going to make sure your champagne and glasses are delivered to your room, they are going to make sure your walk around the grounds are uninterrupted. Our staff wants to be amongst the first to congratulate you both! That’s who we are – your extended family – if it’s your first time here or you are coming back for your 10th anniversary!
What else does our boutique hotel offer? Believe it or not, we have all the conveniences of the big box hotels too. We have a gift shop, two restaurants, an outdoor pool, facilities for exercise, Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, flat screen TV’s and more. But those things are everywhere; they are expected. What you will find here is a Front Desk staff that will learn your name; that will ask about your adventure for the day; give you suggestions and WANT to hear about YOU and your preferences!
So if you Google “boutique hotels”, you will find so many opinions and so many similar definitions across the internet, but to sum it up, a boutique hotel is a small hotel, with an outstanding atmosphere offering great service and is unique overall. But the best explanation I found was “…. …. it is an accommodation that makes their guests feel happy and contented while staying there, makes them feel extraordinary, makes them… recognize that this hotel is worth discussing with others.” (Found on http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/216448/hotels_and_hostels/what_exactly_is_a_boutique_hotel.html)
And of course I had to have one more opinion, so in the words of our General Manager, Gary, (who by the way has worked here for 27 years) when asked about what makes us a boutique hotel…. “We offer that personal touch, that all important one on one contact…. We are not “cookie cutter” – every room is different and we like to accommodate people’s preferences…. Our restaurant is so much more than your typical hotel restaurant, everything is prepared to order – we don’t mass produce. A boutique hotel with an “inn” personality – exceptional personalized service – we want to know your name.”
So if you want that special touch to your getaway; a boutique hotel is probably your best choice. Talk to us, we listen and we will do our best to accommodate your preferences; after-all that is why we do what we do! (And LOVE it!)
What special touch do you remember most about a boutique hotel you stayed at? We’d love to hear it!