What is a boutique hotel?
They became fashionable in the 90s. They arrived directly from New York, where they had started to be famous a decade before, in the 80s, although it took long to crystallize the idea. In the European continent hotel boutiques conquered the capitals until they became cult places visited by the most exquisite travellers. Although boutique hotels seem to be of recent creation, they have a large history during which they have left representative gems like the Posada del Peine, one of the oldest hotels in Spain, located near the Plaza Mayor square of the capital.
Boutique hotels, despite being part of large hotel chains, stand out for being unique spaces full of character and with a unique identity which combines architecture, indoor design, decoration, services and the best personalised attention.
The small details are the hallmark of this type of urban hotels we can find in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, or even in medium cities like Bilbao, where we find a boutique hotel in front of the Arriaga Theatre, between Bilbao’s old town and the Ensanche area. Another hotel of this category which has become a meeting point in the local society is the Mencey hotel, a 5-star hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife considered one of the architectural gems of the city (and declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity), but which cannot be included in the boutique hotel category due to its size.
And this is one of the features boutique hotels must have: they are hotels of a few rooms (no more than 100), which enables hoteliers to offer a personalised attention. These hotels must have the adequate size for the charming and intimate atmosphere that characterises these establishments.
The atmosphere is another of the essential elements of boutique hotels. An elegant and quiet atmosphere with a combination of classic and modern touches, which creates a sensation of exclusivity and peace for the most demanding guests. Contrary to the bustling atmosphere of the family resorts of Tenerife, Lanzarote or Majorca (just to mention some of the most representative beach destinations), boutique hotels are relax temples where jazz, classical music, chill out sounds and silence prevail.
In fact, in these destinations we also find first class boutique hotels specially designed for couples looking for sophistication and calmness during their holidays. Thus, together with the traditional All Inclusive beach hotels of Majorca we find some small boutique hotels on Santa Ponsa bay, in Illetas, and some new incorporations in Palma’s city centre.
The boutique hotel is normally located in the centre of cities and of large European capitals, such as some of the luxury hotels of Budapest or the hotels in the centre of Hamburg. Although these establishments have also adapted to other locations, the best boutique hotels in Spain are the accommodations in the centre of Madrid, Valencia or Barcelona.
Regarding their public, these hotels are devised for medium-high class tourists with refined tastes who travel for business, on their own or with their couple and who look for a minimum of a 4-star service. Adults Only Hotels, hotels for seniors … However, other hotels can be included in the category of family hotels and hotels for groups of friends.
Basic features of a good boutique hotel:
- Unique and surprising character and style
- Elegant, quiet and sophisticated atmosphere
- 4 and 5 star service
- Small size: not more than 100 rooms
- Well-cared indoor design and architecture. Even with well-known works of art
- Attention to small details
- Personalised attention.