Boutique Hotels

Boutique HotelsBoutique hotels first started to appear in the 1980’s as a reaction to the often bland and uniform chains of hotels that dominated the hotel industry. Alternatively named ‘lifestyle’ or ‘designer’ hotels, they first appeared in cities like London, San Francisco and New York, where there is a market for ‘something different’. Boutique hotels are actually quite difficult to define, because, by nature they are meant to offer an alternative to the mainstream.

Being different doesn’t mean that they offer less. In fact, the reverse is true. A good boutique hotel will strive to offer guests a luxurious stay on a par with a 4 or even a 5 star hotel, but on a smaller scale.

Boutique hotels tend to be in smaller buildings – they can be as small as 3 rooms and tend not to be larger than 50 rooms (although there are some larger exceptions). The main feature of the hotels is that they are usually furnished and decorated to a specific theme, e.g. all black and white styling.

What Are Boutique Hotels?

Being on a smaller scale than mainstream hotels, the boutique hotel offers intimacy and staff can spend much more time with the guests. They will always be very individual by nature so you really are guaranteed to experience something very different from ‘the norm’. They are particularly favoured by some celebrities for this reason.

As with conventional hotels, you will still find all the facilities that you would expect such as en-suite bathrooms, digital TV, Wi-Fi, gadgets, a bar and lounge area and a restaurant. The accomodation can also sometimes offer similar luxuries to spa hotels however less emphasis will be placed on treatments. Often, the restaurant will be open to the public as well as guests.

From the beginning of the concept, boutique hotels have typically been unique properties operated by individuals or companies running a small chain. However, the exponential success of this genre has prompted multi-national hotel companies to try to establish their own brand of boutique hotel in order to capitalise in this market sector.

Boutique hotels are really catching on with the major chains as they ‘tap-in’ to the younger age markets who view this type of accommodation as being ‘hip’ and ‘cool’. A typical boutique hotel guest would be within the lucrative 20 – 35 age bracket.

Boutique Hotels In London

With London being a metropolitan hub of culture and designer brands, it is no surprise that there is an equally large number of intimate and luxurious boutique hotels to choose from. For your convenience, we have highlighted some of our favourites below – you can find out more information and book online by clicking on the name.

1. 41 Hotel (near Buckingham Palace)
Stakes the claim to being the Capital’s smallest 5 Star boutique hotel. It is styled to emulate life in a gentleman’s smoking club (without the smoke, of course!). Full of mahogany, Chesterfields and leather bound books, it is a cocoon in the heart of London.

2. Blakes Hotel (South Kensington)
Acknowledged as being the ‘first’ boutique hotel in the world. Super-chic, romantic, inspirational. Ultra cool, and according to sources is often frequented by ‘A-List’ celebrities.

3. Hotel Indigo (Paddington)
This is an example of a boutique hotel chain. They take inspiration from the neighbourhoods in which the hotels are located. Rooms are styled and furnished accordingly so that guests feel encouraged to go out and explore the locality.

4. Sanctum (Soho)
Historic Georgian building with an edge, glamour and opulence. A real nod to Soho’s heritage as a centre for hedonism and worth exploring for anyone interested in being on the doorstep of London’s entertainment district.