Since 5-star hotels and their accompanying amenities are numerous, many millennials search for more customized experiences in boutique hotels as opposed to the cookie-cutter experiences bigger chains have historically provided.
Often located in vibrant cities, these distinctive properties are almost always more attractive to millennials than their big brand counterparts. Boutique hotels that create memorable experiences are successful for all the right reasons.
One of the challenges that independent historic and boutique hoteliers face is finding new approaches to attract this demographic to their properties. According to Phocuswright, a global travel market research company, in 2014, millennials spent slightly less money when traveling ($3,217) than older travelers, who spent $3,381.
While not a significant difference, millennials tend to travel more spur of the moment. As such, millennial travelers are seen more as explorers and adventurers than as tourists, implying that they also value unique lodging experiences that engage their sense of spontaneity and creativity.
One of the most attractive traits of boutique hotels is the presence and capabilities of personalized service. These smaller properties also have the ability to change their decor and update their room themes more frequently than larger hotel chains.
Boutique hotels offer millennials customer-centric service and cater to fewer people at any given time, which makes guests feel important and valuable. Guests staying at a smaller property also have more opportunities to interact with hospitality staff and sometimes the hotel owner or general manager. The more attention a guest feels, the more likely they are to return.
Quirky and Memorable Environments
Staying in a unique location is often more memorable than staying in a chain hotel, as chains typically offer the same look, feel, and interiors all across the world. Boutique hotels employ many techniques to remedy this, including the furnishing and design of the guest rooms. The right furniture, crafted with care and skill, can completely revolutionize a room, giving unique lodgings the ability to stay up-to-date on trends as well as to garner positive experiences and reviews from their guests.
Comfortable beds, minimalist chairs, and casegoods that leave plenty of open room space combined with eco-friendly fixtures are features prioritized by millennials. Overall, a favorable environment and thoughtful interior design of your boutique hotel can make a huge difference for guests, even if they spend very little time in the room itself.
Contemporary Aesthetic of Boutique Hotels
In addition to room furnishings, the overall aesthetic of a hotel is critical for creating a boutique experience. Keeping up with furniture and design trends can be challenging, but the effect of a unique lodging experience in addition to that of a well-designed room can be unforgettable. For all guests, establishing relaxed, upscale environments often do the trick. Luxury items such as plush towels, overhead lighting, and technology built into casegoods are always a plus.
Importance of Sharing Experiences
In the current digital age, millennials strive to balance sharing their lives on social media platforms with their sense of independence and individuality more than ever. Staying at a sometimes overlooked location or finding that hidden gem the masses tend to miss gives guests the assurance that they are making the best choice. According to the Millennial Brief on Travel & Lodging, boutique hotels should focus on building a more memorable experience that is suitable for their hotel brand and their millennial guests.
Digital connectivity is also often considered as a top priority for the millennial traveler. Sharing memories from a vacation or business trip on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat is a mainstay in many people’s lives today. Hotels that create a unique brand experience that incorporates easy ways to share images and hashtags on social media can also boost their brand by engaging future customers.
In a nutshell, service, overall aesthetic, and upscale amenities are often what make boutique hotels successful. Unique lodgings of all types offer an individualized experience for fewer guests than say a 25-story hotel tower in the middle of the city. This gives guests who choose the former a feeling of satisfaction that they choose the better option.