Are you traveling for the holidays and staying in a hotel wherever you’re going? You may want to know what makes a Boutique Hotel boutique.
While a patron of boutique hotels, you’ll immediately notice their variety, use of color, sense of unexpected style with personal touches that larger chains forgo. They express creative individuality, which is often lacking with more homogeneous larger hotels. They tend to be rather small — with a lower quantity of rooms than larger chains but they make up for this by charging more to experience the quality materials they use for their décor and details that make a difference like luxury bedding and unusual use of artwork that leave a lasting impression. One thing all good hotels have whether boutique or large brand is they are welcoming and make you feel exceptionally good about being in their space. This experience will make you want to return or even consider staying in other hotels of the same company.
The most notable boutique hotel chain, known for their variety of hotels, is the Kimpton Hotel Groupe. They consist of many styles and often take over smaller, high-end hotels that will further flourish under the Kimpton management. Three exist in my back yard (literally a block and just a few more down the way): Lorien Hotel, The Morrison House, Hotel Monaco. Here’s a full list. They are known for their famous chefs and their five-star restaurants. Brabo Restaurant by Robert Wiedmaier is one of them — exceptional food. This picture shows the entrance flanked by Brabo on the left and The Tasting Room, where you know it’s bad when they’ve seen you too many times. The Butcher Block is their version of providing the neighborhood with local fine meats, cheeses, chocolates, wine and beers. It’s our go to place for hostess gifts among other things.
Even designers get in on the action. Vincente Wolfe designed the 107 rooms and suites in the Lorien Hotel & Spa matching their calming, zen-like, spa feel. At this point, you may be wondering if I’m a spokesperson for them but I assure you, just every one that I’ve experienced has been exceptional, so I am an unpaid fan.
But what I like the most is even if one of their hotels has the same name, they are all different. Here’s Hotel Monaco down the street in Alexandria, VA compared with its same namesake in DC. Perfect to show a Christmas pairing of emerald green and red colors for the season. This leaves you with the element of surprise in never knowing just what to expect from one hotel to the next.
But if you’re like me and you can’t just getaway to every boutique hotel like you’d want, you can just slip away to enjoy dining in their restaurant or having a drink in their lounge. Hint: this becomes helpful if your own house has become a hotel filled with holiday guests — one way to survive that experience. 😉