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How to Manage a Boutique Hotel?

How to Manage a Boutique Hotel?

Boutique hotels are known to be the best places to stay with their cozy, unique, and one-of-a-kind experience getaways. It’s also the perfect compromise of having your own space or don’t have the budget to spree at 5-star luxury hotels. That said, boutique hotels offer great amenities at reasonable prices. If you are thinking of starting a boutique hotel or are looking to have in-depth knowledge in managing a boutique hotel; the article will guide you through:

  • What is a boutique hotel?
  • Differences between a boutique hotel and a hotel?
  • A Must-have feature in a boutique hotel
  • The best practices in managing a successful boutique hotel
  • Recommendations in self-managing a boutique hotel

What is a Boutique Hotel?

A boutique hotel is a type of hotel that is considered small, sophisticated, and stylish with less than 100 rooms. In other words, it is a multi-unit vacation rental that offers great amenities and personalized services with a more reasonable price range. Boutique hotels operate ideally similar to an Airbnb, although with added benefits such as:

  • Secure and automated self-check-in
  • Professional cleaning services between guests
  • 24/7 guest communication
  • Hotel quality linens and towels
  • Variety of room types catering to all group sizes

Typically, boutique hotels are usually found in city centers or urban districts that feature the city’s local culture. And while there are no strict guidelines, a ‘boutique hotel’ showcases its distinct characteristics that are easily visible and alluring. With that said, boutique hotels are more appealing, picturesque getaways and Instagram-worthy spots.

What Are The Differences Between A Boutique Hotel And A Regular Hotel

What differentiates between a boutique hotel and a regular hotel? Well, there are so many factors that differentiate between the two establishments and ideally, can be seen in the services and facilities offered, location, and amenities.

On the other hand, boutique hotels are:

  • Petite
  • Has a personal touch
  • Feature contemporary and modern spirit
  • Rich in local culture
  • Pet-friendly

While hotel chains feature:

  • World-wide consistent
  • Overall comfort-focused
  • Feature large-scale amenities
  • Top-notch hospitality staff (24/7)

In addition, both establishments provide top hospitality staff, though it is not necessary for modern boutique hotels to offer 24/7 staff. But that does not stop guests from seeking a boutique hotel. Travelers preferably stay at boutique hotels to experience the local culture it offers.

Furthermore, boutique hotels also have the option of changing their interiors based on when they see fit. It could feature from trendy artwork to live bands to jazz and other unique amenities that will suit and appeal to its guests.

But of course, with chain hotels, we likely know what to expect beforehand and know that they are known to be worldwide consistent with their facilities and large-scale amenities such as gym, swimming pool, spa, etc.

What Are The Must-Have Features In A Boutique Hotel?

For a boutique hotel to be successful, it is important to focus on providing what large hotel chains feature as much as including the extra ‘boutique’ features that will help to stand out such as:

  • A great and appealing website
  • Easy booking and check-in
  • Incentives and loyalty reward program
  • Food and beverage options
  • Clean rooms, comfortable beds, and quality furniture
  • In-room technology

Furthermore, the more personalized feature you offer at your boutique hotel, the more successful it will be. But for that to happen, the first step is to establish the boutique hotel identity and brand. With this in mind, think about what makes your boutique hotel stand out and your preferred choice:

  • Is it pet-friendly?
  • Does it have a welcoming feeling when guests walk through the doors?
  • Do you offer customized and personalized welcome treats?
  • Do you go above and beyond when it comes to personalized service?
  • Are you highlighting local art and food?
  • Do the décors incorporate a theme?

What Are The Best Practices In Managing A Successful Boutique Hotel?

No doubt, managing a successful boutique hotel can be very challenging. You have to keep up with 24/7 guest communication, daily operation tasks and so much more that results in higher occupancy and receiving positive reviews from the guests.

Furthermore, you also need to concentrate on:

  1. Creating a strong personality brand and distinct identity
  2. Understanding and reaching ideal guests
  3. Keeping guests happy and satisfied

With the challenges faced by the owners at managing a boutique hotel, ideally associates with a hotel management company to ease and help to coordinate guest experience, communication, and cleaning.

With that said, below are some best practices for managing a successful boutique hotel:


Running a boutique hotel can be challenging especially when you are starting. It requires in-depth knowledge and experience. You need to learn and keep learning about so many things like how to operate with hotel quality or even the fact about looking after your guests and keeping them happy. Though that does not stop there, you need to have skills like accounting, health & safety, and so forth.

Ideally, the best way to manage and run a boutique hotel is to go for further studies in a hotel management school or work in a hotel chain to gain experience and knowledge in helping you to prepare and be sure of knowing what you are getting into.

Wider Audience

Wider Audience

Different hotels cater to different markets. For example, luxurious hotels cater to the rich and famous while some others focus on mid-range travelers and backpackers. Though, if you want to stand out, you must offer rooms that are suitable for all. It could be from hostel-style rooms for backpackers and students or luxurious single rooms for guests who want comfort but also with class and glamour.

Focus on Decor

Focus on Decor

This is perhaps more critical when managing a boutique hotel. Unlike large hotel chains, rooms are designed identical and bland. However, your décors in the room and property should be designed with flair and uniqueness. It also needs to be easy on the eye but not being afraid to be bold. Feel free to be creative!

Offer More

Offer More

Today, boutique hotels and hotel chains are quite competitive. Therefore, offer something extra that other vacation rentals or hotels cannot offer. It doesn’t have to be big but it does need to have quality. Possibly, a small café shop serving the best coffee and food in the area or perhaps offer in-room service, a kitchenette in the room, or a personalized gift basket before arrival. By doing so, helps you stand out and create a strong brand identity resulting in being known on its own.

Unique Selling Point (USP)

It is important to have a unique selling point (USP)- differentiating you from other hotel chains. Also, be sure to be clear on your USP as this helps you sell your boutique hotel to potential guests. It could be anything from food festivals offering local cuisines to guest chefs or perhaps an eco-friendly bar with live local music.

Recommendations to Self-Managing a Boutique Hotel

If you are thinking of self-managing your boutique hotel, be ready with the responsibilities that come along with it. In comparison to hotels, they ideally have 24/7 staff that help with guest communication, cleaning, and management. However, that won’t be the case if you are managing the boutique hotel on your own. It sounds daunting but here are some ways to successfully self-manage your boutique hotel:

Optimal Establishment

  • Set up your property according to the impact on the value and quantity of your bookings. For further information, check out: How to list a Boutique Hotel on Airbnb?
  • Facilities should be eligible to receive guests. Maintenance of rooms and common areas is essential as they can affect the customer experience.
  • Provide personalized services and offer extras
  • Offer a list of activities and points of attractions surrounding the area

Professional Management Software

When self-managing your boutique hotel, it is crucial to have an all-in-one property management system that is reliable and helps you grow your business. By doing so, saves time, reduces the risk of errors, fast-track your success, and untangle difficulties.

With Hostaway, a leading all-in-one property management, it can help you:

  • Generate bookings from your website. To learn more, visit: How to Generate Direct Bookings
  • List your property on multiple booking platforms while avoiding double bookings
  • Manage reservations
  • Schedule cleaning tasks and much more

To learn more, please check out: Choosing your Vacation Rental Stack

Qualified Team

Emergency to handle all maintenance of the property maintenance team. Check out: Building your Vacation Rental Team| Hiring Qualified Handymen A cleaning team to help attend all the cleaning between guests. Check out: Building your Vacation Rental Team| Hiring Airbnb Cleaners A receptionist who speaks English and the local language

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!