When Jane and Greg Hills visited New York City, they grabbed a drink at the lobby bar of Dream Downtown, a boutique hotel in Chelsea. As music continued to pulse on the full room, the couple gained an inspiration – to build a boutique hotel with a rooftop pool and 5 restaurants in the premises. The 74-room Unscripted Durham will be among the wave of new boutique hotels that can be found in Durham, N.C.
In the hospitality industry, when one hotel thinks of a good idea, everybody follows. According to Jan Freitag, senior VP at STR, a hotel research team, this is one of the reasons why there is a consistent supply of boutique hotels to meet demand.
One example is the Trump Organization that recently announced plans for Scion, a boutique brand that will soon be opening its very first location in Cleveland, Massachusetts. Other industry giants like Marriot and Hilton have also moved into boutique hotels which they often call as lifestyle hotels. How do boutique hotels differ from traditional hotels?
A boutique hotel usually highlights whatever unusual architecture or history that can be found in the property. Generally, the boutique hotel has no more than a dozen rooms with special guest services and amenities.
Hotel expansion is pretty common in big cities that have a growing economy. New York is leading the way with 15,470 rooms currently under construction. In smaller cities like Durham, the number of available rooms grew by 5.7% in 2016, more than 3 times the national average. In Cleveland, the number of rooms increased by 5.8% while in the Albany area of New York, the increase was 5.3%.
Boutique hotel growth is being driven by the demand of consumers for a unique experience. Instead of the standard hotel rooms, travellers want to be surprised with something fresh and different.
Even in Thailand, boutique hotels are also the trend. One example is 4 star boutique hotel in Sukhumvit that offers a unique blend of retro and modern style with charming elegance. The boutique hotel is also favourably located in the heart of Bangkok’s business, entertainment and shopping district.