Boutique hotels have gained huge popularity, as they offer a unique experience for the high-end, discerning traveller. These hotels are aimed at people with a disposable income and a taste for style. Those who choose to stay in a boutique hotel are tired of the boring functionality offered by brand hotels. They want convenience, quality and character. If you are thinking about starting your own boutique hotel, you will need to offer a personalised experience, a popular location and a certain wow factor (Inc.com). Before buying a building or calling in an architect, here are a few things you need to think about.
You can have a well-designed hotel, complete with an infinity pool on the viewing deck and a shark tank in the lobby. However, without good service your hotel will fail. According to Inc.com, boutique hotel owners often place too much emphasis on style and not enough on serving their guests. Boutique hotel customers expect quality service which is personalised and which they can’t find in larger hotels. According to Inc.com, they need service that’s almost intimate and totally centred on them. They will expect you to know their names, their favourite kind of wine and whether they’d prefer Egyptian cotton or satin sheets.
Before signing any real estate agreements, make sure that your boutique hotel is located in a central, popular area (preferably in a big city). According to Inc.com, cities provide a diverse market, from business people to up market travellers. Although you want a varied crowd, you should also have a niche, as this will define the overall style and character of your hotel. Convenience is also important, as your guests will expect no less.
Starting a boutique hotel is a big investment, and if it’s not planned properly you can say goodbye to your life-savings. According to Inc.com, it’s recommended that you renovate an existing building, as the costs of starting from scratch will be astronomical. How much you invest will also depend on the number of rooms and amenities you want created (where the sky is the limit, but so is your budget). You should also take land and improvement costs into consideration. The Telegraph adds that you shouldn’t expect to see a profit for a while, as it can take between three months and three years just to cover overhead costs!
If you’re going to run a successful boutique hotel, you will need to create a memorable, out-of-this-world experience for your guests. You will need to live and breathe style and be equally obsessed with service. Although it may take some time to see it paying off, have some patience and keep at it. A well-run hotel with personalised service is the best form of marketing and money-making, as guests will keep coming back for more!
This guest post was written by Natalie Simon, a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa, Natalie grabs the opportunity to write on any topic that comes her way, including travel, tourism and hospitality, such as online and on-campus hospitality courses in Australia.