Boutique hotels’ evolution
Abstract Recent studies in the hospitality management field illustrate that small hotels, boutique type are increasing their market share. The increasing popularity of boutique hotels satisfies a need for more sophisticated, personalized and intimate hospitality services. Theinnovative and diverse nature of these hotels makes their identification difficult. Purpose – This paper aims to identify boutique hotels and describe their evolution. The study methods included a review of literature. Anotacija
Vartotojų poreikių pokyčiai lemia ir vartotojų poreikių tenkinimo pokyčius. Viena iš šių pokyčių tendencijų – populiar÷jantys boutique viešbučiai. Straipsnyjeanalizuojama boutique viešbučio samprata, aptariama raida bei atsiradimo prielaidos. Straipsnio tikslas: pateikti boutique viešbučio sampratą ir jų raidą. Darbo metodai: literatūros ir internetinių šaltinių analiz÷.
Introduction Since 1980 cultural tourism has been growing as a direct result of the rising interest for art, culture and history. This shift in demand can be explained by demographic,social and cultural changes. One aspect of cultural tourism development is the new forms of hospitality industry called boutique hotels. As recent studies in the field illustrate, the hotel market has undergone a transformation in favour of small hotels, boutique type. Concept and features of a Boutique hotel Rabontu and Niculescu (2009) in order to define the concept of boutique hotel, one has todefine these two separate terms. Thus, boutique is the name given to the small and luxurious stores that sell goods on small series and the hotel is the building with furnished rooms that offer the possibility of hiring on short-term, especially to travellers. The concept of boutique hotel is strongly opposed to big chain hotels as it describes hotels reduced in size, located in prestigious areas,furnished with unusual furniture, and designed to offer an intimate and/or family atmosphere. Unlike big chain hotels, boutique hotels offer a unique experience. Certainly their small size can offer privacy and discretion to customers. Boutique hotels are able get to know customers very well and offer services tailored to their needs and preferences that large hotels cannot.
In another attemptto define boutique hotel, Hartesvelt (2006) distinguishes common features which are found in today's modern version of boutique hotels. These features are illustrated in Table 1.
Size Table 1 Features of boutique hotels Boutiques typically range from 20 to 150 rooms. The ability to provide the intense personal service required of a boutique becomes exponentially more difficult above 200 rooms.Upscale Restaurant Not for large groups It is almost impossible to offer a boutique experience below the upscale level of at least four stars. Boutique hotels usually have high-class restaurants. Boutiques should have limited meeting space. When a boutique depends on the group meeting segment for more than 10%-15% of its weekday demand, the hotel begins to lose its unique personality. BuildingBoutiques typically are housed in older, unique structures that have been converted from another use. These structures help the property exude a unique personality and often bring tax-credits that will help the project pencil out. Location Lobbies Location for a boutique is not as important as for a branded hotel. Boutique lobbies generally are much smaller than conventional hotels, which make theguest experience much more intimate Profit Properly run boutiques will have lower operating costs and higher margins than branded hotels.
Agget (2007) states a difficulty in determining the number of boutique hotels, partly due to a difficulty in defining these hotels. Table 2 illustrates the definitions found in the review of the literature.
2 Table Definitions of a boutique hotels (...