What is a boutique hotel?
A boutique hotel is a small hotel, or a multi-unit vacation rental, which typically has a central location, upscale amenities, and a unique design across the entire property. In many ways, a boutique hotel is the modern equivalent of a bed and breakfast. That being said, modern boutique hotels do not offer breakfast included in their offerings, in fact, most boutique hotels do not have 24/7 staff on site.
The typical boutique hotel operates similarly to an Airbnb property but has the added benefit of multiple units that allow for a variety of room and suite types. Here are some examples of services offered at a boutique hotel:
- Secure and automated self-check-in
- Professional cleaning services between guests
- 24/7 remote guest communication
- Hotel quality linens and towels
- Variety of room types to cater to all group sizes
How to manage a boutique hotel
Managing a boutique hotel can be challenging. It requires an in-depth knowledge of how to operate with hotel quality without the economy of scale that comes along with having 300+ suites and a full-time staff of 50.
Because of the challenges of managing boutique hotels, most owners partner with a hotel management company to help coordinate the guest experience, communication, and cleaning.
It is imperative that your management company have 24/7 guest communication in case of any issues that arise. While most issues can be resolved remotely, it is still very important that the communication be responsive and quick to react in case of an emergency.
24-hour guest communication is extremely important in the case of an emergency, but it is also important when it comes to coordinating guest inquiries, questions, bookings, and the entire check-in and check out process.
How to self-manage your boutique hotel
If you intend on self-managing your boutique hotel, be prepared for all of the responsibilities that go along with managing a hotel. Typically, hotels have dozens of employees with a different array of responsibilities from hotel management, cleaners, to front desk attendants. With a boutique hotel, you have to wear multiple hats and coordinate all of these different activities simultaneously. Sound difficult? It can be, but here are some ways to successfully self-manage your boutique hotel.
Setup your hotel properly - The way you set up your boutique hotel will have a big impact on the value and quantity of bookings your property will receive. Additionally, the way you set up your listing will directly affect your operational efficiency when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
Use professional software - You're competing against hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other vacation rental properties for high-dollar bookings so make sure you have reliable software and data to assist you.
- Channel manager - A channel manager is an important tool to help you distribute your listings across dozens of online travel agencies (OTAs).
- Pricing Data - How much should you charge per night? What is a reasonable occupancy rate for your region? These types of questions are extremely important for hotel operators to understand. Airdna and All The Rooms provide excellent pricing data to help you make informed decisions.
- Task management - Coordinating cleaners and maintenance staff can be exhausting without the help of a task manager. This software is often standard in most modern channel management systems, so speak with your PMS representative.
Develop a direct booking website - While OTAs may provide the bulk of your bookings, it is important to develop and maintain your own direct booking website. The age-old saying, “Never put all your eggs in one basket”, has never been more true when it comes to managing a boutique hotel.
Difference between boutique hotel and hotel
So what is the difference between a “boutique hotel” and your typical run-of-the-mill hotel chain?
Boutique hotels provide guests with a unique and personalized experience that chain hotels can simply not provide. Travellers familiar with staying in Airbnb properties are seeking a personalized and culture-rich experience and expect that same level of service in a boutique hotel.
Chain hotels are faceless corporations that provide very little in the way of a cultural experience. And that is not to say that chain hotels provide a lackluster service - simply put, they provide a different experience. Large scale hotels have around the clock staff that can help resolve immediate issues that arise, whereas boutique hotels typically do not have on-site staff.
|Unique & Cultural Experience||Nation-wide consistency|
|Airbnb-like Interior Design||Better and more building amenities|
|Better in-suite amenities||Cable and Internet options|
|Smart TV’s and Complimentary WiFi|
How to market a boutique hotel
Marketing a boutique hotel can be difficult. With so much competition it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from the competition. Thankfully, if you partner with a boutique hotel management company they will be responsible for ensuring that your property is being properly marketed and booked up. But for those owners that intend on self-managing their boutique hotel here are some ideas:
- Create and optimize your Airbnb listings for each unit in your hotel
- Hire a professional photographer to capture the true essence of your property
- Utilize a channel management system to distribute your listing across dozens of OTAs
- Develop a direct booking website to encourage your friends and family to book
- Regularly post on Craigslist and other free websites to market your property
Need help with your boutique hotel?
At Lifty Life Hospitality we have the experience, knowledge, and systems in place to assist you with launching, managing, and successfully operating your boutique hotel. Contact us today and we will be happy to assist you! Call Now - (778) 255-0130