The popularity of boutique hotels has been booming even before the pandemic, and this trend continues today. People are craving a more personalized experience that boutique hotels can satisfy. Often located in a lively urban or trendy location, boutique hotels tend to be a bit more on the smaller side and provide one-of-a-kind event spaces, catering, and accommodations.
If you are currently building your boutique hotel business, we’ve put together the steps you can take to optimize the opportunity to acquire group sales this year and beyond.
Why boutique hotels are above ordinary
“Boutique is lifestyle, and lifestyle is boutique,” was well conveyed by Ariela Kiradijian, the COO and Partner of the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association. Certainly, boutique hotels can provide personalized experiences, and for that reason, they are flourishing.
Boutique establishments are usually more embedded within their community and provide a more creative setting for accommodations and spaces to dine, shop, and celebrate. If the boutique hotel has an event space, they usually offer a more intimate and upscale space for family gatherings, special anniversaries, weddings, corporate retreats, and more. And if they offer catering, their menus and service reflect a unique, high-quality flair.
How to boost boutique business
To market a boutique hotel to drive sales, it is best to leverage what makes you stand apart. Here are some concrete strategies to use:
1. It’s all about the people
Boutique hotels have the unique ability to make a positive emotional impact on guests. You have the opportunity to cater to your guests and make them feel like they are VIPs. Amenities make the difference, and these ideas are ways to put focus on your guests:
- Incorporate local and cultural touches within decor, food, products, activities, and events
- Offer amazing food and beverage menus
- Create a flexible event space
- Personalize guest’s experience with things like welcome baskets
- Provide complimentary fitness or spa services
- Supply concierge, valet, travel, and event management services
- Accommodate with spacious and luxurious guest and event rooms
- Provide technology, including wireless Internet access, AV equipment, charging stations, and more
- Arrange ample parking and transportation options
- Include family-focused amenities
- Provide work-from-hotel accommodations
- Consider being pet-friendly
2. Focus on staff
In order to provide exemplary guest services at your boutique hotel, your staff is imperative. Hire the best and prevent your team from burnout. Just as guests are allured to boutique hotels, workers often desire the culture that working at these establishments provides. In order to build your entire team, offer expert training, incentives, and the tools and technology to empower them. Ultimately, the culture you create will attract and keep a wonderful staff of boutique hotel employees.
3. Show your value
No doubt that boutique hotel guests are seeking something memorable and special. But consider the overall value you are providing. Not all boutique hotels charge exorbitant rates for their guest rooms and event space. You can be affordable and still provide boutique luxury and vibe. Regardless, make sure your fees match the experience you provide. Wow your guests with amazing value. Utilize marketing initiatives, social media, email campaigns, and more that are clear and visual about all the great things your boutique hotel offers.
The Ivy Hotel, located in Chicago, is extremely well equipped in both style and luxury. They have breathtaking ballrooms and elegant corporate space. Meanwhile, overnight guests can pamper themselves in guest rooms with 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, a separate rainfall shower and deep soaking tub, and automatic draperies.
4. Decor and design aesthetics
Many boutique hotels have a specific style and they all seem to provide a one-of-a-kind setting. They may have a unique layout, or outstanding decor, or maybe they centralize around a specific theme or niche. You may have one with ultra-modern art and decor or you might have embraced a more relaxing and subdued design. Regardless boutique hotels are visually one of a kind.
New York urban retreat Hotel Hugo is suitable for an elegant backdrop for both business and relaxation. According to their website, Hugo has a style and spirit all its own. Its architecture and decor draw from a 20th-century industrial vibe and it is located on vibrant Greenwich Street in SoHo. Their corporate space and private event space have become the go-to place and attract artists, publishers, and design lovers. Their accommodations are glamorous.
5. Event space and catering
As a boutique hotel, you differentiate yourself as your event space and offerings are unique. To meet the demand for events at hotels, make sure to think about different areas of your property that would lend themselves well for events and parties. Review both inside and outside spaces and layouts for both corporate events and social celebrations. Think about your menus and catering services and how to set you apart from other options. Guests will value the ability to create corporate retreats, special birthdays, weddings, and more. It will boost your event and catering bookings as well as your room blocks.
6. A focus on wellness and safety
Boutique hotels should provide what guests are looking for which includes wellness and safety measures within both their accommodations and events. Implement cleaning and hygiene practices and focus on your lobby, restrooms, and event space. Provide on-site or access to a gym for overnight guests. Offer healthy menu items and perhaps a peaceful common area for your guests to retreat.
7. Take steps to become more eco-friendly
No doubt that today people want to do all they can for our environment. Boutique hotels have the opportunity to provide eco-friendly accommodations and events. Think about ways you can reduce plastic and food waste and water consumption at your hotel. Make sure your guests are aware of these efforts as they will feel good about becoming your guests.
8. Create flexible booking policies
If COVID has taught us nothing else, people want flexibility. Pay attention to your booking and cancellation policies. Your guests will appreciate your clarity and understanding in both event booking and room reservations. This is especially important to your repeat customers. Your generosity will go a long way.
9. Tech for the win
While some may think that technology is most feasible within a larger hotel chain, event the smallest of boutique hotels can benefit from tech solutions. Not only will you improve your operations, but guests now have come to expect it including self-serve bookings and touchscreens. Tripleseat offers hotels of all sizes the ability to manage room blocks and groups with ease. Increase your guest experience with fast and efficient responses to leads.
Ready to boost your boutique hotel business?
If you’re looking for new ways to drive hotel bookings and save time, make sure to use a tool like Tripleseat to help you increase and manage the group sales that are essential for filling hotel guest rooms, booking event function spaces, growing banquet revenues, and increasing your overall revenue. Schedule a demo to learn more about Tripleseat for Hotels.