Boutiques vs Chains

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Jimgotkp, Nov 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Do you prefer boutiques or chains?

    Personally I prefer boutiques since my experiences there have been better in terms of the room and the service. Employees of the boutique hotels tend to be more friendly and non-robotic compared to employees of chains where they have to follow the guidelines of corporate.

    The best thing about boutiques is the I Prefer program which I didn't know about until a few weeks ago. The benefits include comp. room upgrades, comp internet, and priority check-in/outs which are all great.

    Which one do you prefer?
     
  2. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Well there are some chain hotels that are borderline boutique... some Ws for example, Andaz (to an extent) and pretty much any high end property out there will give you incredibly personalized service and nice rooms if you're willing to pay for it or you have status.
     
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  3. Quasiconvexity
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    I agree with the post above. I tend to prefer smaller, boutique hotels for sure. One of the reasons I like the Starwood program is because of their luxury collection hotels which tend to be smaller (not always), more "interesting" properties to stay in.
     
  4. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    For me, I prefer chains as I do not really like surprises especially when travelling. By choosing to stay in big chain hotels, I have the comfort factor of knowing that I will find consistent standards anywhere in the world.

    Also in my limited experience as a Hyatt Diamond, I have often times received highly personalized service from almost all the hotels I've stayed in. And the Grand/Regency Clubs certainly give that unique 'hotel within a hotel' feeling that I consider to be almost similar to staying in a boutique property :)
     
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  5. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I have to agree with this, I like what Hyatt has been doing lately especially with the Andaz

    Very interesting feedback though!.
     
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  6. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    When on vacation I prefer boutiques (if I can afford it), or even preferably bed and breakfasts. The breakfast table at B&Bs are great ways to meet other travelers and compare experiences and trade tips and advice.

    When booking smaller and independent hotels you can also do it through hotels.com and use their welcome rewards if you want to earn free stays.
     
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  7. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Good point! I believe Expedia has a loyalty program too now and there are boutiques that are using Expedia as a 3rd party.
     
  8. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    Haha. Everyone must find their own way!:D
    I have dear friends, nice people, who spend a week in DC each year. They put a premium on good service. I am much more irascible and I tend to like chains. I never expect 5 star service when I know I'm eating at Mickey D's!
    If a hotel is a property that I really wanted to stay in, I will put up with some poor service. If a hotel is one I picked because I just needed a roof over my head for the night, I'm not likely to stay there again if the service is poor.
    If the chain has a hotel I want to stay in, then that's where I'll be. Still, there are some destinations, like Hawaii, where I might shy away from the big chain hotels in favor of a smaller boutique.:cool:
     
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  9. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    What about.. boutique chains, like Joie de Vivre or I Prefer? Individuality of boutique hotels with at least some sort of universal standard and perks.
     
  10. TRAVELSIG
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    I used to say "chains".
    The last 24 months I have been preferring hotels in many cities which are not chains.
    The chains are too much into squeezing out value for the chain/holding group now and this is impacting guests in a lot of cases.
    A case in point is London:

    With the exception of Four Seasons Park Lane (which incidentally I have not stayed in since its rennovation)- the "non-chain" hotels offer better value and this is where I stay frequently.
     
  11. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Put me in the boutique camp for most travel, particularly pleasure. Although for business, chains can certainly have their advantages.
     
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  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    While we've benefitted by staying at the big chains, we find ourselves drawn more towards boutiques.

    While I like B&B's, Mrs Sweet Willie is not a fan as she prefers the anonymity of a hotel, she's not a 'talker' the way I am:D
     
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  13. Quasiconvexity
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    I am currently at the Avia Long Beach which is a nice combination of boutique and chain (Hyatt). So much better than the Regency hotels!
     

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