The lodging industry is one of the oldest businesses to exist in this world. It has been around ever since people started travelling from one place to the other for trade and other purposes. What began as the need of the hour (rest and shelter during long journeys) soon turned into an industry that offered comfort, convenience, even luxury, to their boarders. For example, The Greeks built thermal baths that allowed their guests to rest and recuperate. Romans constructed palatial mansions for travelers, while Caravanserais along the famous Silk Road from Turkey to China offered shelter not just for men but also their beasts.
In the 21st century, hotels have evolved into a flourishing business that has become an inseparable part of the travel industry. The styles range from flamboyant properties to bare-bone youth hostels, and all-inclusive honeymoon resorts to quaint country inns.
However, as competition grew and hotels started offering standard services across the chain, there was need for something innovative in the market. People, tired of impersonal services, started moving towards smaller hotels that offered personalized attention and unique experiences Rajeel.
And thus was born the darling of the hospitality industry – boutique hotels. Today, they are the most sought after stay option for leisure travellers and the ultimate name in exclusivity. More and more people are choosing to stay in boutique hotels, because they’re almost always guaranteed to have a good time and get great value for their money
Given the popularity they enjoy, it’s worthwhile taking a peek into the fascinating history of boutique hotels and trace their evolution over time.
History of Boutique Hotels
The earliest boutique hotels appeared in the early 1980s, the first two of them being The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London, and the Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco. The term ’boutique hotel’, though, appeared much later in 1984, coined by Steve Rubell. He compared his own establishment, Morgans Hotel, to a small boutique, obviously wishing to highlight its exclusivity and set it apart from other hotels that were cropping up everywhere, much like the monolithic department stores.
This is not to say that boutique hotels are a modern invention. There are plenty of documented instances of similar lodging experiences dating back to the 13th century when staging posts were set up for travellers in Mongolia and China.