“Boutique hotel” is one of those terms thrown around in urban slang like “foodie” that you hear often, but are sure it’s not actually being used correctly. Certainly not all encompassing to any nice hotel, what actually qualifies as a boutique hotel? These anti-chain luxury digs offer an intimate and personal experience in a lifestyle stay. Made popular in trendy cities like New York, London and San Francisco, they are often well stylized with modern design or themed and kept to only 3-50 guestrooms to ensure attention to detail. The two first boutique hotels were opened in the 80s - the Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London (designed by celebrity stylist Anouska Hempel) and the Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco, operated by the Kimpton Group. Now, they range in price and popularity across all major cities and are a growing travel trend.

Photo Credit: Mighty Travels

Why Go Boutique?

The intimacy of chic design, interesting architecture and urban locales are big contributors to their underground appeal. The thing that attracts travel connoisseurs to boutique hotels over a staple luxury brand where you know what to expect is just that - the unpredictability. It is like a vacation within a vacation, a way to make a business trip more personal. The element of surprise (in design, service, food and ambiance) keeps a frequent traveler’s stay fresh. No two stays are the same, and each city and hotel offers a unique experience to make travel memories whether you’re visiting as a business professional, solo, family or couple.