We have previously discussed about hotel chains and what they need to learn from boutique hotels. Also, we presented some Boutique brands created by some of the largest hotel corporations in the world.
The word is out: these brands are the new generation of boutique hotels and they are bringing out all they know about guest experience and mixing it with the exclusivity qualities of boutique hotels, and they are called lifestyle hotels.
Although this action is not new, the difference between lifestyle hotels and boutique hotels is more perceptible nowadays than when they began. BLLA’s Founder and hospitality industry veteran Frances Kiradjian, made a survey in 2012 about both terms and achieved the following: The aesthetics of a lifestyle hotel, as opposed to that of a boutique hotel, are more contemporary, with unique design and architecture, and a high technology touch. A lifestyle hotel offers more ancillary services and is focused on wellness and life-enrichment. More specifically, a lifestyle hotel would not be a small, historic property, which would be categorized more appropriately as a boutique hotel (1).
Cultural, historical authenticity is a quality that every boutique hotel has. On the other hand, innovation and a personalized service are two basic components of lifestyle hotels.
From these concepts, we can see now why hotel chains are more likely to develop a lifestyle property rather than a boutique one. They have the knowledge and resources to develop focus groups, interviews, and other research methods to receive the latest information about guests’ needs and tastes, and decide how said properties will evolve according to the research’s results.
In an interview for Hospitality Trends, Hotel Indigo’s VP of Global Brand Management, Janice Cannon, talked to Daniel Edward about the qualities of lifestyle properties and the reason they are so attractive to travellers. She states how Hotel Indigo’s costumer prefers a long-term relationship with his chosen brand; he appreciates the security this brand gives to him about the offered service and value proposition. “Hotel Indigo offers guests a unique hotel experience with the modern design and intimate service associated with boutique hotels, along with the peace of mind and consistency from staying with the world’s largest hotel group”, says Janice to Daniel.
About the intimate service mentioned by Janice, she explains how guests appreciate the same face, rather than a random hotel employee each time they need something. When a customer service employee interacts with a guest, he learns something about him and keeps it in mind for further requests. No other example works better than a current customer in a coffe shop, helped by the same smiley cashier every day “American with no sugar, right Mr. X” are the words that materialize how customized experience is heard. The feeling that Mr. X (and all of us) experiences is invaluable, it means the brand really cares and understands the customer, it means he is not one more.
Resuming, lifestyle hotels require brand innovation according to guests’ new tastes and desires. Properties can and should be different one from another even though they have the same name and are owned by a hotel chain. Also, individualized moments developed by the staff’s great attention and care, are key factors to the success of these new type of hospitality.
If you own a lifestyle hotel and are looking for advice about personnel and recruitment, contact one of our senior recruiters; she’ll be happy to help!