Where did the phrase “boutique hotel” come from?

As we said last time, it’s a phrase that really conjures up some wonderful imagery.  It was originally coined in 1984 when Steve Rubell compared the Morgans hotel – which he owned along with Ian Schrager – to a small boutique as opposed to a “monolithic department store”.

So what is a boutique hotel then, exactly?

Well, there isn’t a specific definition but there are some common characteristics:

  1. size. Boutique hotels are small, typically less than 100 rooms or so.  Not too small though, otherwise it might be classed as Bed & Breakfast.  It’s this small size that offers up the intimate feeling that so many guests enjoy
  2. independence. They strive to be unique, and have an independent attitude – as do many of their guests – and they are usually privately owned
  3. architecture and décor. They are often a little bit quirky, perhaps even eccentric, and more often than not different from all the rest.  Think Picasso (although you’re unlikely to find one on the wall, sadly!)
  4. service. This will be exceptional and highly personal
  5. eating and drinking. You’ll want to do it, of course, and you’ll probably find the food amongst the best you’ve tasted and a splendid range of drinks.  Extraordinary restaurants and bars is one description we’ve read
  6. They may be small, but they will certainly be luxurious, making sure that your stay is a wonderful one

How would we summarise all this?

Transforming the guest experience seems a good summary to us … the guests are positively surprised and delighted in equal measure!

Why wait, when there’s so much on offer?

It’s a good question isn’t it?  To help transform your own guest experience, Fine Individual Hotels exists.  We are a collection of some of the finest independent and exclusive luxury family boutique hotels in the United Kingdom, and we are waiting to surprise and delight you!

Go on, spoil yourself!


You can find our web site here – and be completely spoiled for choice – and if you like Facebook you can find us here, and Twitter lovers please look here.

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