A boutique hotel is a smaller establishment than the vast majority of chain hotels. They're usually converted from older buildings, with unique styles chosen for each room. It can be tempting to book one when you're going on holiday, but there are actually plenty of advantages that come with going for a larger chain hotel instead, and here are just five.
1. No Rewards Packages
When you book into a chain hotel, you're becoming a customer of a vast network of hotels, one that possibly spreads across the world. They are likely to have rewards packages to let you save the more you visit. By staying in a chain hotel one year in Sydney, you could end up paying less for your accommodation in a hotel from the same chain in Melbourne.
2. Lack of Familiarity
The major selling-point of boutique hotels is that every room is different, but that can actually become quite tiresome. Most travellers only use their rooms for sleeping, washing, and maybe chilling out a night. Chain hotels know this, so the set-up of each room will feel more familiar. Boutique hotels can seem less homely simply because they are so dissimilar from other accommodation options.
3. Fewer Amenities
The vast majority of hotel chains will provide Wi-Fi free of charge, and usually a fitness centre. Others may have swimming pools, particularly in warmer parts of the country. A boutique hotel may provide Wi-Fi, but you're unlikely to find one with a fitness centre, games room, or swimming pool – there just simply isn't enough space to work with.
4. Fewer Location Options
Boutique hotels are converted from other properties, usually character properties with a little history to them. Such properties will almost invariably be set right in the centre of the city or town you're visiting. That's great for some people, but others will prefer to be close to certain attractions away from the city centre or within easy striking distance of an airport. Chains will usually offer several location options in popular areas, so you'll be more or less able to select exactly where you're staying.
5. Unknown Reliability
It's true that most boutique hotels are wonderfully run, but that isn't always something you can count on. Unlike larger chain hotels, they probably won't have either a strict set of standards and guidelines for staff to follow or lots of performance reviews, and any complaints you might need to make will need to be directed at people onsite, perhaps the very people who have been treating you poorly. At a chain hotel, service is often a little less personal due to the large number of people accommodated, but you can count on it being friendly and professional.