The Rise of the Boutique: 5 Hotel Marketing Trends that Prove Unique Travel Experiences Pay Off
December 31, 2015 by Sarah Hughes
The rise in popularity of boutique hotels is one of the most noticeable hotel marketing trends of recent years, proving that the industry is very much open to change and dynamism.
The term “boutique hotel” was first used in early ’80s by Steve Rubell when describing his Morgans Hotel on Madison Ave, NY. Nowadays it is synonymous with lifestyle, design, cool spaces, individuality and experiences – everything the modern traveller loves.
It’s not difficult to understand the reasons for the success of boutiques; they appeal to the lifestyle aspirations of travellers in many ways.
Boutique hotels are often shining examples of 5 hotel marketing trends that define a successful hospitality business today:
1. Great locations
Boutiques tend to be in convenient city locations, often the most chic or trendy neighbourhoods. In resort destinations, boutiques are generally situated “off the beaten track”, giving a greater intimacy and feeling of adventure, while encouraging exploration and local interaction.
Meanwhile, the remoteness of resort boutiques doesn’t detract from the levels of luxury and comfort enjoyed by guests, it is often part of the appeal.
2. Unique experiences
The potential for up-scaling the experience of a stay is a prominent feature. One hotel marketing trend is the targeting of specific customers, for example eco, wellness, design, spa, detox, while others focus on providing accommodation to visitors in a particular demographic. Niche marketing in this way allows for a more personalised and bespoke service.
3. Exciting design and decor
Boutiques focus on design and interior, setting themselves apart from the often bland, standardised hotel rooms found in major chains. Savvy chains are finally picking up on this, and bringing variety and life to their own design plans.
Rooftop spaces are rapidly growing in popularity, while cool networking and co-working areas are increasingly being used to attract travellers for whom business and pleasure are not mutually exclusive.
4. High tech and great entertainment options
Modern technology and entertainment are important features, contributing to the lively atmosphere appreciated by modern travellers. Targeted use of architectural features, design, colour, lighting, choices of music and art displays can attract hipsters and millennials.
Social spaces allow younger travellers to relax alone or in groups while remaining hooked up to laptops or internet-enabled devices. Guest technology platforms allow a seamless experience from keyless check-in to streaming media to ordering from the restaurant or local eateries.
5. Great service
Hardly a trend you might say, but a more personal service is a constant feature of boutique properties. Owners believe this is what makes the genre stand out above hotels providing similar accommodation on a larger scale. Intimacy and attention to individual details is highly valued. The challenge for larger brands is to make each visitor feel special, and not just one of the crowd.
The forecast in hotel marketing trends is for the continued rise in popularity of boutique hotels, indicative of their talent for providing a great experience, coupled with value for money accommodation. This sector of the hotel industry looks set to continue its spectacular growth, with high occupancy and healthy profits, while new hotels and chains are steadily entering the sector.
Many independent boutique hotels and boutique chains have adopted a hotel marketing methodology that’s reliant upon social media communication, most commonly via Facebook and Twitter. This enables hotels to avoid costly reservation platforms, promote direct bookings, and has contributed immensely to successful budgeting.
Boutiques are riding the wave of transformation that’s taken over the travel industry. People want local, small and connected. Boutiques more closely resemble that desired vision over the bigger hotels.
If boutique hotels use their website and staff to better sell their location, connect with and inspire potential and existing customers then it’s goodnight Vienna.
The next step
Fiz partners with a number of successful boutique hotels and providers including Oliver’s Travels, Bespoke Hotels and Dictionary Hostel to ensure guests are supplied with the best hyper-local content, trust their accommodation provider and can make the most of their visit.
Fiz helps boutique hotels exploit their location, ensure unique experiences and provide better service – we’re pretty happy covering 3 out of the 5!
Bespoke Hotels use Fiz tiles to show off their top places in cornwall to lift their destination off the page.
Oliver’s Travels have dropped their run of the mill maps for our Fiz maps which populate the area with whichever exciting attractions, restaurants, bars, parks and more they want to point their customers towards.
Get in touch to start a free month Fiz trial or have a quick go at playing with our different widgets here.
Looking for some more insight? Download our free ebook (opens in new window):