1. It’s Personal
Being personal is paramount in a boutique hotel and it could easily be added as a descriptive adjective to the other basic boutique attributes listed below. This is because being personal is the essence that differentiates a boutique hotel from the rest.
People who demand quality service will often choose to stay at boutique properties because they feel that a smaller, more intimate, and bespoke environment appeals to their desire for personalization. The success of boutique hotels lies in never forgetting that everyone (guests) likes to be treated personally while having their specific wants and needs met to their satisfaction. By definition of a boutique property, it is the core responsibility of the staff to cater to those specific desires that each person holds.
Creating an unforgettable experience means that working in a boutique property requires a personalized mindset that is different than that of a larger chain hotel. From cleaning a room to the service in the restaurant/bar to the recommendation of a day out on the town to the upkeep of the property; this personalized mindset is something that everyone should keep present in everything they do.
2. It’s individual
Working in a boutique property allows you to shine as an individual who has a unique personality, has life experience, and who is able to share intelligent thoughts, ideas, and opinions with your guests. It is very rewarding, both personally and as a hotel professional, to actually get to know your guests by engaging them and demonstrating that it is in your heart to take care of them personally during their stay in your hotel.
Working in a smaller boutique hotel definitely isn’t about making your job or life easier. But it is about mutual experiences and giving people memorable times. There is nothing quite as gratifying as a guest who approaches you smiling ear to ear while giving their personal thanks to you and all the committed and attentive professionals that made their stay so enjoyable.
3. It’s sincere
One other rewarding reason to work in a boutique hotel is that it encourages sincerity between you and your guests. Being sincere adds to the personable aspects of your work and there is no doubt that guests appreciate it much more than the ”drone” who communicates with them like an automated wakeup call.
Guests at hotels in this day and age have likely dealt with all kinds of situations that allow them to tell from miles away when someone is not being true to them. In boutique hotels, especially, they don’t like being lied to and they don’t like run-around.
From my experience, even the most demanding guests will respond better to honesty and forthcoming answers than those that try to make fools out of them by offering up outlandish excuses for their lack of quality service. Even in the most inconvenient of situations, sincerity pays off and will undoubtedly help build a lasting rapport between you and your guest. These seemingly small, yet crucial details will add to the joy of their stay and turn your work into a meaningful endeavor.
4. It’s passionate
Successful leadership and effective teamwork in a boutique hotel operation are in symbiosis with both a passion for hospitality and a passion for working with people. Executing this symbiosis brings balance to the hotel’s operation, your guest’s stay, and your own growth as a professional. Although discipline, appropriate work procedures, goal setting, feedback, and vision are all important parts of your work as a hospitality professional, they mean little if your heart is not in it or you do not have the proper people skills. Without passion, you, your guests, your team, and ultimately the entire operation will suffer in the long term.
Since boutique hospitality is always about people and the relations between people, how well you connect to guests and to your fellow co-workers depends a great deal on your passion for your work. If you are passionate about delivering quality, being of service, and constantly thinking about the better welfare of your guests and team members then you will inevitably be successful.
5. It’s inspiring
The uniqueness and character of boutique hotels usually go hand in hand with all that I have mentioned above. Many times they provide inspiration and provoke your passion for your work by virtue of their location in a heritage building, a one-of-a-kind contemporary design, or maybe even an eccentric old house decorated with flea market objects.
Genuine boutique hotels, like the Palacio Belmonte where I work in Lisbon, Portugal, inspire guests and staff alike through their ability to be personable, sincere, and detail-oriented within a setting that is unique itself. At the Palacio Belmonte, it is inspiring to know that every detail was thought of with the single most important purpose of making each guest’s experience a special one.
(If you would like to read more of Nelson’s travel articles please see his blog entry at globalblackbook.com )