A lot of us dream of the freedom of being self-employed. For most of you who read this blog, that’s probably through blogging and social media – but have you thought about another way to free yourself from the 9 to 5 lifestyle?
If you have a soft spot for home interior magazines, you probably know a great deal about minimalist décors and colourful accents. Surprisingly, décor is exactly what makes the difference between your standard hotel and a boutique hotel. Naturally, the quality of service does play an essential role in it too. But boutique hotels add the charm and elegance that simple chains often lack. If you’ve ever wondered how people can turn a large manor house into a splendid boutique bed & breakfast, here’s the answer.
It’s no wonder that boutique hotels have a luxury feeling to them: they redefine elegance and independence at a new level. Boutique hotels are primarily characterised by their stylish offering, from being the real life model for a home interior magazine to an individual range of services. For homeowners, a boutique hotel is the ideal solution to afford a large property, assuming that they are happy to work in contact with customers. Besides, boutique hotels have a sense of exclusivity, which means that you don’t need to own 100 bedrooms to make it work. Some boutique hotels count less than 10 bedrooms and still make a generous profit.
What does it take to run a small hotel?
Running a small, independent hotel is said to be like having a baby: plenty of early mornings and laundry and a reduced social life. That might sound horrible, but boutique hotels can hit £100,000 a year, so it is worth the effort! The sector of boutique B&B and hotels turns over £2b per year, so most homeowners are happy to embrace the daily routine of hospitality, especially as it pays back their mortgage. More importantly, running a luxury hospitality service needs a natural sensibility to customers, but most owners look for staff to help them with this. All it takes, in the end, is to have a good eye for décor and some free rooms. You can rely on qualified staff to look after the essential customer interactions for you if that’s not your thing.
Start with the basic settings
At the core of a boutique hotel, you need to furnish to impress. You’ll notice that small boutique hotels, with 10 or fewer rooms, tend to find their inspiration in genuine home design trade shows. Developing the individuality of the hotel requires an eye for elegant furniture and tableware sets outside of the hospitality trade, such as fashionable wood dining table and chairs or colourful table service. Most boutique hotel owners think of themselves as hosts who are willing to impress their guests. In other words, in a boutique hotel, you get back to the very basics of hospitality: getting the guests wanting to come back!
Add an unbeatable décor
The décor of a boutique hotel carries its personality. Just like your décor can turn your house into a home, in a boutique hotel it creates the feeling of comfort, luxury and charm. In the end, running a boutique hotel is very similar to keeping your house looking neat and friendly. It’s a matter of smart DIY touches and a natural talent for making budget-friendly ideas look expensive and stylish. A common trick is to work with layer accents, using pillows, rugs and ornaments to marry colours and textures into a new design. Contrasting colours are often used to make a powerful statement that gives guests a feeling of luxury.
There can be no boutique hotel without online visibility. As a result, most hotel owners choose to advertise on booking platforms such as Booking.com or Trivago. However, while this kind of visibility is ideal for holidaymakers who need a to book a short stay, long stay guests prefer to explore a website that promote your rooms and story.
Go the obsessive extra mile
Boutique hotels are famous for their out of the hospitality scale offering. While you don’t need to serve breakfast in golden plates, you need, as a boutique hotel owner, to be obsessive about your services. The rooms have to be spotless, which isn’t something guests can always say about standard hotel chains. The breakfast should be an example of how much the hotel owner cares about his or her guests. In other words, the packs of cereals and bottled orange juice are not enough. You need the element of wow to win your guests.
When you think about it, running a boutique hotel is very similar to running a tidy home. It’s about making your guests feel welcome and ensuring that they enjoy their stay. It’s about wanting your home to be their elegant home for a couple of night. People run a boutique hotel like they run a family home: with a lot of care and love for the people in it.