Defining Luxury Boutique Hotels

The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association Moves Forward In Developing A Universal Standard For Boutique & Lifestyle Hotels

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) January 24, 2012

The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association, (BLLA, www.blla.org), a leading hospitality industry association officially representing independent boutique and lifestyle properties and the suppliers worldwide, announced the much-anticipated release of its first research White Paper. This document, in a united voice of independent boutique hoteliers, serves as an important tool in developing a universal standard and criteria for defining boutique and lifestyle lodgings.

boutique is defined by the Webster’s dictionary as “a small fashionable specialty shop or business”. While the term is used liberally, there has been no commonly agreed definition of “boutique hotel” which is why BLLA’s Founder and hospitality industry veteran Frances Kiradjian initiated the survey and is releasing the project findings today.

This study was undertaken to provide greater clarity for the current meaning of the terms “boutique hotel” and “lifestyle hotel”. The research points out to perceived differences between the boutique and lifestyle hotels, indicating that the aesthetics of a lifestyle hotel, as opposed to that of a boutique hotel, are more contemporary, with unique design and architecture, and a high technology touch. A lifestyle hotel offers more ancillary services and is focused on wellness and life-enrichment.

More specifically, a lifestyle hotel would not be a small, historic property, which would be categorized more appropriately as a boutique hotel.

Researching further the difference between the Lifestyle Hotels and Boutique hotels, the research formulated a list of Emerging Definitions, as well as Emotions and Experiences that define the boutique and lifestyle hotel experience. Among them are Discovery, Curiosity, Intrigue, Amazement; Social, Joyful, Sensual, and Romantic.

Among the characteristics that define a Lifestyle Hotel are: innovative, personal (vs “branded”), contemporary and modern.

Boutique hotels are described as personalized, customized, unique, and individual. The most important defining features of boutique hotels are cultural, historical, authenticity; the boutique hotel is not part of a chain and that it provides interesting, unique services. Other important defining descriptors of boutique hotels include, “social spaces such as living rooms, libraries with social rooms” and “many, high-quality in-room features”.

Kiradjian said, “We look forward to continuing to expand this research into additional groups as well as other research the sector has indicated is of vital importance.” Adds Kiradjian, “There is no entity today better suited for initiating and heading up research in the independent boutique & lifestyle lodging category than BLLA, since in essence, it is the only available professional and personal resource to this hospitality industry sector and has become its voice.”

Special Thank You goes out to Dr. Jonathon Day, Purdue University, Donna Quadri, New York University, Dr. David Jones, Hong Kong Polytechnic Universit for collaborating on this research.

Request a copy of the full research White Paper HERE.

About The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA)
The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association is the first and only association dedicated to uniting the world’s boutique and lifestyle properties. Created to be the unifying voice of this distinctive subset within the hospitality industry, its goal is to unite the world’s collection of boutique & lifestyle properties and the suppliers that sustain them, offering them the opportunity to successfully compete on a level playing field with major hotel companies, as well as market themselves to meet the ever-increasing demand from discerning boutique-seeking clients. For more information, or to become a member, visit: www.blla.org.

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.

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.

Boutique Hotel in TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport New York?

That’s the idea – there’s no ink on the deal yet. But the plan is to put a boutique hotel with around 150 rooms.

The TWA building on the airport was closed in 2001 when American Airlines bought TWA. The Port Authority of New York invested 20 million USD into renovation works in 2008.

You can read more about it in the Wall Street Journal article…

Boutique Hotels – Avantgarde Hotels New Website

Avantgarde Hotels has a new website. They are a chain of boutique hotels that you can find all over the world – in the United States, you find them in LA, New York and Florida.

The website consists also of a straightforward system that allows clients to find the boutique hotel they are looking for the quickest way possible. Fine tuning the hotel search is made easy and swift through the websites Advanced Hotel Search, where one can single out the properties by continent, location, experience, hotel type and activities.

The Epoque & Avantgarde management and IT felt the need to improve both aesthetically and functionally its existing portal. We were aiming to build a very simple, very minimalist yet eye-catching and user-friendly website for the Avantgarde line, says Juan Palmada, Vice President of Epoque & Avantgarde Hotels.

A lot of websites nowadays tend to provide excessive content and display a host of distracting gimmicks. We wanted to weed the superfluous and concentrate on the easiest way for travellers to find and book the hotel of their choice, concludes Palmada. Avantgarde Hotels guarantees that AvantgardeHotels.com and its affiliates will offer the best room rate for any of their member hotels under the Best Rate Guaranteed Program