Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel

Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel

Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel
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Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel

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The rise of the boutique hotel started in the late eighties and has gradually been gaining momentum for the past couple of decades before interest exploded in the past five years. With quirky design features and off beat offers along with stylish furnishings and an often enviable location in the heart of fashionable or up and coming areas there is no wonder that these independently owned hotels have gained a loyal following. Now these boutique accommodations are spreading their wings and opening up at the top of mountains, in the deepest of countryside’s and in the remotest of area.

Marina and I are are huge fans of a good boutique hotel and will often go out of our way to stay at a fun and funky boutique hotel over a traditional and dull seeming hotel, I mean why not?

But besides their urban locations what exactly have these new boutiques got to offer?

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Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel

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Location, Location, Location

The most obvious thing that sets these boutiques apart from their city centre rivals is of course their location. Where once the whole appeal of the  boutique hotel was that it was a stone’s throw away from the action, these new retreat like boutiques pride themselves on their almost secret locations. From renovated farms in England to beachside villas in Bahia, boutique accommodations of all sorts can now be found dotted across cities and countryside’s worldwide alike. While the old farmhouse bed and breakfast used to be nice, and is still enjoyed by some, many travelers want to maintain a personal boundary between them and the proprietor. Who wants to walk down the hall and be scared they are going to wake up the lovely couple that runs the bed and breakfast when they go for a wee at 2am?

The appeal is of course a retreat from city life; perhaps as a romantic break for two or simply as a spiritual getaway to soothe the soul, and these new breed of boutique hotels offer just right right amount of personal space, convenience and retreat to satisfy a large number of todays travelers. Many of the newer boutique hotels are theme based, like the Foto Hotel in Phuket, one of our all time favorite hotels.

The real appeal of boutique for us comes by finding a place to lay our heads which has the corporate hotel feel striped out of the experience while offering services above and beyond a traditional hotel, or at least unique or new age ways of housing guests without feeling cliche or tacky. Bright lit entrances, modern art, touch screens, etc are all being worked into some of the best new boutique hotels.

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Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel

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Case Study

Castello Banfi il Borgo is a boutique accommodation located on a winery in Tuscany which boasts fourteen individually decorated suites all designed by the prestigious Italian designer Federico Forquet. Each of the suites offers slightly different accommodations but they include kind size beds, queen size sofas, large rain showers, freestanding bath tubs and a whole host of luxury products to enjoy during your stay. There is an ever-helpful concierge presence who can arrange wine tasting, vineyard tours, cookery classes and Ferrari driving amongst a whole host of other engaging activities.

The focus here of course is enjoyment of hobbies and maximising the most of the time that is yours and doesn’t belong to your career.

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Hide & Chic Boutique: The Rise of the Boutique Hotel

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City Versus Country

When deciding whether to head a bit off the beaten track as with Castello Banfil il Borgo or staying closer to the traditional boutique model and searching in city centres, the main question to ask yourself is around atmosphere. Are you wanting to be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city or do you want a calmer environment for your break? One of our favorite city boutique hotels is the Qbic chain, with locations in both London and Amsterdam. The Qbic experience is like none we have ever had as their “cube” concept for their rooms is not only revolutionary but extremely fun and fresh.

Photos provided via Flickr via leyla.aPierre Lesage, onbhotel and Turismo Bahia

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

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