So boutique hotels are the “in” thing now. Minneapolis is getting a slew of them, the most famous ones recently being The Chambers, The W Foshay and the Ivy. The key differentiator of boutique hotels is that they are intimate, luxurious and quirky- typically having only 3-100 rooms. The furnishings are often themed and some might also refer to them as “design hotels” or “lifestyle hotels”. They have a high focus on service and individuality as well. They began springing up in major cities during the 1980’s as a way to differentiate themselves from the major chain properties, although now some boutique hotels like the “W” are owned by players such as Starwood Hotel and Resorts.
So now that you’ve been educated on the concept of boutique hotels, how about a fun website that you can use to identify where they are. I recently came across this gem: www.tablethotels.com. It has comprehensive listings and rankings of boutique hotels around the world, along with tools like top 10 lists that help you see which ones are the most popular. My favorite part is that you can become a member for $200 a year which earns you a resource guide, complimentary room upgrades and 3 free amenities at over 200 participating hotels. It’s a fabulous deal if you’re a frequent traveler!