What’s the meaning of “boutique” anyway?

Boutique hotels have once been something special. And not just something special, but something that only certain (special) people even knew about.

Jason Q. Freed wrote about how it all started:

the late Steve Rubell and partner Ian Schrager in 1984 were gearing up for the opening the first Morgans Hotel in New York City. As interest was drumming for the opening of the hotel, Rubell was being interviewed by local press and the reporter began asking questions about the hotel, wanting Rubell to describe it or compare it to a similar hotel in the area. Rubell couldn’t find the right words to describe what the first Morgans Hotel would represent but instead was able to paint a picture for the inquisitive journalist.

“You can go clothes shopping at Macy’s or you can go clothes shopping at one of these small boutiques in New York City,” Rubell reportedly said. “This hotel is going to be like the boutique of hotels.”

Over time, smart people in the hospitality industry figured out that just using the word boutique in their hotel descriptions had a nearly magical pull on people, and it also justified a heftly increased price tag.

So over time, there was a kind of inflation of the word “boutique”.

(Which is also one reason why we’re calling the website luxury boutique hotels, because it reflects the original spirit of the term a bit better).

Jason Q. Freed continues to talk about how the term boutique got kind of devalued, and what he think of the term branded boutique. It’s well worth reading his thoughts on the subject, whether you agree with him or not.

Bangkok Tenface Boutique Hotel

The Bangkok Tenface boutique hotel is a great place to stay if you value high-quality service.

The atmosphere everywhere is awesome. Quite minimalistic, and each piece of decor that you find here is tastefully chosen.

There are private elevators directly to your room too, and the rooms are quiet – which is not always a given in Bangkok. And the suites are very large, so you really do have space to make yourself comfortable.

The staff here is very friendly, polite, attentive and helpful.

Getting wired in

But one of the best things about the Bangkok Tenface is their “concierge service”/entertainment guru. This guy is really wired into what’s happening in Bangkok. He knows what’s going on, and he knows the right people. Which is something that money can’t (usually) buy.

When you check in here, you also get an iPod, and they have a great entertainment system with a nice selection of movies and music. Plus, there’s a video of must-see places in Bangkok plus a map that will help you to find them on the road.

You also get a prepaid SIM card that you can put into your phone. Then, if you come back to the hotel after a day of Bangkok sightseeing you can call for the shuttle service from the BTS station and they will pick you up and drive you to the hotel for free. This shuttle service is available around the clock, so even if you come back after a night of partying out, it’s all easy.

Internet

High-speed WiFi Internet is available for free both in your room and in the public spaces of the hotel. They also have IBM laptops available that you can rent for a couple of hours free of charge (upon availability), which is useful if you’re just traveling with a smartphone but need to work a bit every now and then and a smartphone doesn’t do it.

Fitness

You can use their fitness facilities for free. Not large, but a good selection of very well-maintained high-quality equipment.

They also have a small swimming pool (2 lanes, around 20 meters long). The pool is very well maintained, but as mentioned quite small, so not really for relaxing but more for doing a few strokes.

Eating

They have a really nice restaurant called Wanara Eatery with set lunch offers between 11:30-14:30 every day. The two course menu comes at 300 baht (around $10), which isn’t cheap for Bangkok standards, but not expensive either. And the food is good quality Thai fusion food.

Drinking

The Site Bar is also nice, and can also be booked for private parties, and they have good cocktails & mocktails.

Sita btw. is the name of the consort of Pra Ram, which is the greatest love couple of the Thai national epic, the Ramakien.

Services

Of course they have a laundry service, in-room dining, you can choose special pillows if you prefer others than the standard ones for more sleeping comfort, a free Tuktuk shuttle service to the next skytrain station (BTS Ploenchit) and airport transfers.

If you’re in town for business – the business center/meeting room is always there for you.

Long Stay (30 days or more)

If you plan on staying a full month (or longer) in this great city with a friend or partner, then I wouldn’t recommend staying anywhere else than the Bangkok Tenface. Currently, they have a promotion running where you pay 50,000 THB for a full month (around 1620 USD, which comes down to 54 USD per night, and if you share with a friend that’s 27 USD per person).

Location

Just a 10 minute walk (or a 2 minute drive in the complimentary tuk tuk shuttle service) from the BTS station Ploenchit away, you’re right in the heart of a very cool place. Lots of good bars, restaurants and easy access to many of Bangkok’s attractions.

Tips

When you make your booking in the Bangkok Tenface, book on the upper floor (8th), where you also get a nice view.

You can check out their official website, their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Boutique Hotel Phuket: Dewa Phuket

The video opens with water flowing out of the beautiful swimming pool of one of the Best Boutique Hotels in Phuket, Dewa Boutique Resort. One could see a family of three guests spending their time blissfully inside the swimming pool. They are having a whale of a time inside the swimming pool. Now the focus shifts to a relaxing room on top of the swimming pool in Dewa, phuket. There is a cushioned cot in the room with a lot of cushion pillows arranged neatly on top it. Now the lens takes us to have a close look at the beautiful plants in the garden side of the resort and shows the natural greenery of the resort rooms. While we are gazing at the green plants, a female staff of Dewa Boutique Resort welcomes everyone with a pleasant smile. One could find plenty of plants on both sides of the walk ways. Then the focus shifts to the serene beach in Phuket. The camera focuses on a father and his daughter relaxing on the white sands of the beach. The little girl seems to be enjoying the gentle waves of the beach. Now the focus shifts to the swimming pool and the bed side furnishings and then zooms into room no 128. After this the viewer is taken back to the beach view, which paints a pretty picture of the blue water in between two trees.

The video lens now shifts back and forth between a dining table and the beautiful phuket beach. I think the lens man finds it extremely difficult to leave the beautiful beach and wants it to be there in every frame. Now coming back to the video, the scene now shifts back to the swimming pool of the Dewa Boutique hotel, where the camera focuses on a basket full of wine bottles kept near the swimming pool. One could see four guests swimming in the beautiful swimming pool and one could also get a glimpse of a small gushing fountain. The scenery around the swimming pool is quite marvelous. One could come across flowers of various colors such as white and pink and thick green plants. There are plenty of chairs and slanted seats around the swimming pool for the visitors to relax by the side of the pool.

The scene now shifts back to the serene sands of the beach where the sea water comes and wets the white sand. Now the viewers are taken to the other important facility of the Dewa Boutique Hotel, which is the spa. One could see a spacious hall containing sofas and chairs. There are plenty of spa related creams and oils sitting at the corner of the spa. There is also a fish aquarium which is captured beautifully by the camera man. Now we reach the end of this video where it is showing the external decorative which looks pretty good.  Seeing this beautiful video, one will be definitely tempted to go to phuket and stay in Dewa Resort for at least a couple of days.

Future of Boutique Hotels – What’s Next?

Boutique hotels is a constantly developing concept – so how will boutique hotels change in the coming years? What’s about to come? LiveShareTravel has summarized ten key emerging trends in the boutique hotel industry.

  1. Although many boutiques are design-focused, there is an acknowledgement that guests are looking for more than the “cookie cutter” approach. So resorts will be aiming to offer an experience guests will remember fondly.
  2. Look out for a proliferation of members’ clubs being incorporated into boutique hotels, particularly in key urban areas such as London and New York.
  3. Boutique hotels will cater for what is seen as a small but growing band of environmentally-aware travellers from serving locally-sourced, seasonal food to allowing guests to control their energy usage. But they believe it’s also important not to force the green agenda onto visitors.
  4. Until now boutique hotels have been at the upper end of the price scale, but you can expect to see budget hotels offering a more distinctive, less homogenised experience.
  5. Boutique hotels will be offering technology at least as good as the guest would expect in their home, ensuring it’s user-friendly and practical.
  6. Expect an authentic experience with hotels using historic or striking buildings with sensitivity to the materials used and the original structure, to be among the most sustainable and authentic in the built environment.
  7. With more individually-designed guestrooms rather than standardised offerings boutiques will capitalise on their flexibility and independence.
  8. Acknowledging that guests are looking to interact with the hotel, its location, the passionate people who drive it and great service, there will be more focus on this rather than the company behind it.
  9. There’s a significant trend towards offering bed and breakfast in distinctive, design-led properties with a range of added services and experiences such as visiting chefs, wine tastings and more.
  10. While the multinationals will struggle to replicate the true boutique experience, they will increasingly focus on the lifestyle hotel model offering 100- to 200-room boutique hotels.

To find out more, read the original post.

Sira Boutique Hotel

For everyone who love the taste of Lanna culture, wake up with ancient wall face to face, walk only 5 minutes to shopping at the Walking Street or to Wat Pra Singha temple. Lanna was an old kingdom of Northern Thailand.

There are 17 luxury rooms with contemporary Lanna style decoration and 1 room that’s decorated in the traditional Thai style.

This isn’t a luxury hotel, but rather a nice, unique concept boutique hotel. In terms of value for money that you get here, it’s not the best in Chiang Mai, but it’s ok, and if you like their traditional Lanna style concept, it’s a good choice.

Boutique Hotel near Bangkok Airport

Mariya Boutique Residence is a boutique hotel in Bangkok that provides delightful accommodations with the intimacy of a bed and breakfast. Located only 5 minutes from Suvarnabhumi Airport, the only place providing Lanna (Northern Thai) charm in the area; Mariya Boutique Residence is a low-rise 4-storey building renowned for its exclusive service and boutique lounge.

The Mariya offers 37 guest rooms in an exquisite Lanna Style with the highest standards. All first class amenities are meant to provide a unique sanctuary for you to relax in and enjoy your time before continuing your onward journey in and around Thailand.

All rooms feature very comfortable beds and top quality bed liner, multi-language TV Channels, LCD TV, bathrobes and slippers, small pantry area with kitchenettes, microwave, private balcony and more for guests’ convenience and relaxation.

Standing out among myriads of other Bangkok airport hotels, the Mariya offers spectacular values for all guests with our strikingly different facilities:
–    Free Wi-Fi Internet connection
–    Free use of business center
–    Free round-trip airport transfer
–    Free access to the 24-hour boutique lounge in cozy atmosphere allowing guests to relax in and enjoy our fine selection of snacks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juice, and fresh fruit at any time of the day.

So Why Wait? Book now to stay comfortably different at Mariya Boutique Residence and enjoy our special offer:

“Stay at least 3 consecutive nights and enjoy 30% discount on the 3rd night.”

This promotion applies for all room types and valid from June 16th, 2011 until October 31st, 2011. Reservation must be made at least 3 days prior to arrival date. To make a reservation for this promotion, please kindly send your booking request to reservation@mariyahotel.com.

Hotel Contact Details:
Mariya Boutique Residence
Tel +66 2326 7854(-5)
info@mariyahotel.com

http://www.mariyahotel.com

Luxury Boutique Hotel Conference in Europe – A Review

150 delegates from countries all over the world participated in Europe’s first ever luxury boutique hotel conference in London this week.
Topics that have been discussed were: what makes a hotel a boutique hotel? How to market a boutique hotel? And other issues related to finance, mixed-use developments and food.

The feedback from participants of the Boutique Hotel Summit was overwhelmingly positive.

The Luxury Boutique Hotel Paramount New York Gets A New Owner

NewYork 09-189-20091014

The Paramount Hotel is a legend in the world of luxury boutique hotels in New York. Originally built in 1928 (on a design by Thomas W. Lamb) – it’s seen some of New Yorks most exciting times. In 1990 the hotel reopened after a remodelling period, and with new ownership. No other than Ian Schrager, with design help from Philippe Starck.

In 2004 Schrager sold the hotel for $126 million to Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts.

Now it’s been sold for $275 million. The new owner? Aby Rosen, who among other things also owns the Seagram Building and Lever House.

You can read more about this deal in the Wall Street Journal…