Two words – one meaning? Today, even global chains claim to offer a “boutique hotel” experience. Is it possible to find a single definition that is totally on-message with the needs of the modern traveller?
The attraction of staying in a boutique hotel, even for only a couple of nights, has captured the traveller’s imagination and transformed tourism over the last three decades. Visitors to the Cyprus capital who seek the best hotels in Nicosia increasingly look to the boutique concept and its promise of a “lifestyle” experience.
But everybody is likely to have their own definition of boutique and what they might expect at their chosen Nicosia accommodation from the moment they walk through the reception doors. Around the world and on this island alone, all types of Nicosia city centre hotels may declare their boutique or lifestyle credentials. But there can be a difference between the two, and recent research provides instructive insight…
Experienced global traveller is no longer content with brand standardisation
Over the last 30 years, the increasingly experienced global traveller is no longer content with brand standardisation supplied by the major international hotel chains. Whether on annual vacation, weekend minibreak or business trip. The rise of the boutique and lifestyle hotel reflects a changed sensibility towards travel and leisure. A journey in the outward world is also about the inner journey of meaningful discovery and transformation.
A panel of more than 40 industry professionals from around the world – commissioned by the Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association – agreed that the most important defining features of a boutique hotel are Cultural, Historical and its Authenticity. Boutique hotels are typically small hotels offering high levels of service, not part of a chain and provide unique and interesting services with “many, high quality in‐room features”.
Hotel experience should provide guests with important emotional responses
Hotels often describe themselves as boutique and lifestyle, but there are perceived differences.
Lifestyle hotels tend to be small to medium sized which are most importantly focused on innovation and providing a more “personalised experience” than the traditional “branded” hotels. The aesthetics of a lifestyle hotel are more contemporary, offering unusual design and architecture plus high level technology. A lifestyle hotel tends to focus on wellness and life‐enhancement.
However, the research reveals both the boutique and lifestyle hotel experience should provide guests with the important emotional responses of Discovery, Curiosity, Intrigue” and Amazement. Other meaningful emotions include, “Happy, Joyful, Amused” and “Sensual, Sexy, Romantic”. A luxury hotel is increasingly redefined as the richness of the personalised meaningful experience.
A lifestyle experience
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