“The simplest definition of what a boutique hotel is “a small, sophisticated, and fashionable business or establishment.Lesboutiquehotels.com

A boutique hotel is a small, stylish, and sophisticated establishment oftentimes situated in a nice area in its city of location. Although there are no strict definitions of what best describes boutique hotels, they usually possess common features that give a distinct characteristic to these types of properties. Compared to regular hotels, boutique hotels are generally smaller, more intimate, and usually have a lower price point.

When it comes to travelling, choosing a boutique hotel is one of the best choices you could make. Why you may ask? It boils down to the fact that it’s the perfect compromise for someone who prefers his or her own space and may not like the atmosphere that other lodging options such as shared accommodation, staying at a close friend or relative’s place, or splurging on a 5-star hotel room gives.

Boutique hotels are somewhere in the grey area, offering great amenities along with a more reasonable price range. A great example of a boutique hotel is the Cocoon.  It is a small hotel, with two locations in Ilupeju and Gbagada, together both hotels have a total of 30 rooms and a curated list of amenities. It also comes with 24-hour in-room dining, a restaurant, a bar, and airport transportation.

Boutique hotel

Origin of Boutique Hotels

Originally the term boutique hotel was coined by Steve Rubell to describe Morgans Hotel, his first hotel with Ian Schrager. During the 40s and the 50s, hotel chains were quickly multiplying in the United States. The presence of the same hotel concepts and the desire for something new was what shocked the hotel industry into pursuing more creative ways of servicing its clients.

Despite these attempts to create unique hotels, this trend was not picked up in the 1960s and 1970s. During this era, hotels were described as stiff and mundane with a focus on providing the usual services rather than exploring innovation.

All that changed in the 1980s with a surge of boutique hotels starting in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and London.

Traits of Boutique Hotels

There are a number of traits that boutique hotels possess, however below are some of the few a customer should look out for:

Smaller than the average: Compared to larger hotel chains and brands like the Hilton, boutique hotels are usually smaller in size with anywhere from 10 to 100 rooms, with the maximum being 150. Also, they are usually more intimate compared to other hotels, making their services more personal than ever.

An example? The Cocoon Luxury Suites in Ilupeju has just 14 exquisite rooms. It is a nice and cosy hotel that offers privacy and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Lagos mainland.

Boutique hotel


Distinctive style: Boutique hotels usually strive to create a unique characteristic in their space. The goal is to avoid the stiff cookie-cutter appearance offered by traditional hotels in the industry.

An example? The architecture and interior design of the Casa Faena hotel in Miami are inspired by Spanish culture.

Customized services: If there’s one saying that boutique hotels live up to, it’s the saying “small but might”. Due to its small size, they are more equipped to deliver more personalized and curated services to their clientele. Customers are able to enjoy great services due to the simple fact that there are not too many people in need of attention from the staff, so the hotel staff can spend more time tending to the needs of each individual customer.

Such needs could include tour suggestions, shopping recommendations, event bookings, dining suggestions, the list goes on…

An example? Hotel Londra Palace, which specializes in organizing personalized Gondola Rides for their guests in addition to hosting events, concerts, and even book presentations.

Attention to detail: Overall design is important to the aesthetic of boutique hotels. It is because of this that most boutique hotels really give attention to perfecting even the smallest details in their space. Usually, a combination of dazzling architecture, creative furnishings, attractive décor, or themes is used to give spaces a sense of character and wonder.

An example? Hotel Cycle located in Onomichi Japan, the hotel utilizes the theme of bicycles throughout the decoration and design of its rooms and spaces.

Boutique Hotels

In conclusion, boutique hotels are created to offer a different experience to their clients who are seeking something outside the conventional hotels that exist. They are designed for everyone willing to get the most out of their stay, in touch with the place’s culture, art, and food scene, and most especially receive great service and comfortable accommodation without having to empty their entire bank account.

Have you stayed at a boutique hotel before? If so how was it? Tell us about your experience below in the comments, we would love to hear them.