5 Ways to Evaluate Your Next Getaway Spot
What people love about boutique hotels is that they offer a refreshing alternative to the chain hotel experience. They feature an elevated interior design scheme, modern amenities and comfort features, and attentive staff who bring a personal touch when tending to guests.
So, does this mean that all boutique hotels deliver the same luxurious experience? Not quite. Although boutique hotels have done a lot to differentiate themselves from chain hotels in terms of level of service and environmental aesthetics, some are better than others.
After explaining the best way to find boutique hotels, we’ll break down what qualities to look for when evaluating your next home away from home.
Finding Boutique Hotels Among the Big Chains
The major hotel chains spend plenty of marketing dollars to ensure they appear at the top of the Google search results when people search for out-of-town lodging. This can make it tougher to find boutique hotels in the area you plan to visit.
For example, if you search a broad term like “best Austin hotels,” you’ll likely see a list of corporate names you’re familiar with. However, by adjusting your search phrasing to “boutique hotels in Austin” or “luxury hotels in Austin,” it allows the higher-quality options to appear in the results.
Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Boutique Hotels
Before you hit the “book now” button on the first boutique hotel you see, it’s important to evaluate things with a critical eye. Going through this brief assessment process helps ensure you select the right hotel that delivers a luxurious experience.
1 – Location
As someone planning their vacation getaway, you likely have a rough itinerary you intend to follow. That means you’ll want to find a hotel that’s close to the stadiums, museums, and local attractions you want to see. When evaluating boutique and luxury hotels, make sure they are conveniently located to cut down on rideshare expenses and travel time between attractions.
2 – Stick with High-Rated Hotels
Whether it’s a chain hotel or a boutique hotel, they both are graded by customers using a star rating in online reviews. When evaluating your next potential stay, it’s best to stick with hotels that have a four-star rating or above.
Want to take your research a step further? Spend time actually reading some of the customer reviews. Some reviewers are extremely thorough and paint a personal portrait that candidly conveys their experience.
3 – Identify Your Hotel Must-Haves
In a broad sense, all vacationers expect their hotel to deliver the basics: clean, comfy rooms, food and beverage options, and other simple amenities. Perhaps on a business trip, you’re willing to settle for the basics. Vacation trips, on the other hand, deserve a little more pomp and circumstance.
When evaluating boutique hotels, take a moment to consider what you really want out of your stay. Think about it in terms of experience and what can elevate it. Perhaps an outdoor pool with a full bar is a vacation must-have. Or maybe you plan on staying out late, so 24-hour room service will be essential to satiate your midnight snack cravings. Identifying the one or two things you value most will help you filter down your boutique hotel options.
4 – Size Up the Features and Amenities
A boutique hotel’s features and amenities help guests enjoy their stay by catering to their wants and needs. The perks and frills a hotel provides can boost a guest’s experience from good to unforgettable, so finding the right mix is an important step in your evaluation.
Boutique and luxury hotels typically feature:
- On-site pool, hot tub, and outdoor lounge space
- Free Wi-Fi access
- Concierge services
- Full fitness center
- Dry cleaning and laundry services
- Complimentary business center
- Dog-friendly rooms and suites
- On-site fine dining and bar
- Gift shop with locally curated souvenirs
5 – Assess the Aesthetics
Vacationers spend most of their time sightseeing, sampling local fare, and experiencing the culture of the city. Unlike national chain hotels, boutique hotels have a reputation for investing in the aesthetics to create a memorable look and feel. Some are chic and modern while others may stick with a traditional style.
As a guest, it’s important to check out the image galleries of the hotels you’re considering. Boutique hotels provide plenty of photo-worthy opportunities for vacationers and their Instagram followers.
Embrace the Unique by Going Boutique
The charm of boutique hotels is that they aren’t cookie cutter. Each one has its own personality, style, and appeal, which all serve to help you capture the one-of-kind vacation experience you’ve been searching for.
When evaluating boutique hotels, remember to consider location, customer rating, and all the features and aesthetic value they provide. Finding the right luxury hotel can elevate your vacation in ways you never expected.