by Geordie Wardman, Gemm.tv
In the US, less than 3% of the hotels are boutique hotels. I find that data to be pretty shocking, as when I’m traveling I almost always look for and prefer boutique hotels.
But why go boutique?
Well, as we found in my own recent interview with John Knowles of the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan, NY when you’re a boutique hotel, you have a chance of doing things different, doing them your own way, being unique.
In today’s world, being unique can be a huge benefit as the travelers go to the Internet and search specifically for what they want. How many people do you think will be looking for things like – Hotel X Chain brand standard, or hotel corporate standards?
Me? I look for unique products, for things that are fun, and for the guy that’s making the extra effort. That’s what you’ll find in the family run Roger Smith Hotel. Initiatives like the Market - take valuable window space in mid-town Manhattan and turn them into fun, temporary “Pop-Up” displays which show case a particular artist or product. The idea allows potential participants to try out their product for a limited time in prime retail space, with no real long term commitment while also enjoying some benefits like a 2-3 minute professionally made video, an opening reception, PR and the considerable marketing prowess of the Roger Smith hotel staff, which haven’t escaped the eye of big media like Huffington Post, and other savvy social media stars.
If I were a boutique hotel owner, I’d be looking to break away from the norm, as far as I could go. I’d look to develop my own story, and I’d work hard at communicating that story to my potential guest. I’d also likely keep that dialogue going with my guests once they left the hotel, and I’d look for ways to remember things about each guest, so when they can back, they’d feel special. That’s what you’ll find the staff at the Roger Smith doing.
That’s unique, and that’s what being a boutique is all about.
If you’re a boutique hotelier, I challenge you to think about what you’re hotel is doing that is unique, or could be unique. Find that one thing as the Roger Smith did with its unused window space in mid-town Manhattan. They took that by-product, and turned it into a water cooler area for potential guests to pause on the street, talk about some of the fun, hip new artists or musicians. Can you see a major brand having the creative leeway to do something like that? Stop right now, and take that one thought home with you, and then work on it. Work, until you had it just right.
If you’re a traveler headed to New York City, you already know my thoughts on the Roger Smith Hotel. Stop by and check them out, they’re fun, they care, and they’re unique.