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About this article: What is a Boutique Hotel: Lifestyle hotels

Boutique hotels are sometimes referred to as lifestyle hotels because they offer one of a kind services and luxury. Guests can experience a different lifestyle and be pampered in small but luxurious hotels.

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What is a Boutique Hotel
The term 'boutique hotel' was, it can be said, invented in North America and UK, where people used it to describe a hotel environment which was usually intimate and luxurious. Boutique hotels vary from the traditional chain hotels / motels in that the service, accommodation and the facilities are more personalized. Also referred to as 'design' or 'lifestyle' hotels, boutique hotels sprouted during the 1980s in famous cities like London, The Big Apple and San Francisco. Boutique hotels generally have furniture with a particular theme in mind and are usually quite stylish designed. Though they are generally smaller in size than the normal hotels (having about 3 - 100 guest rooms), some of the boutique hotels in city - centers are bigger.

Boutique hotels are rarely part of a chain of hotels. You can find boutique hotels with all the facilities, or with some of the usual hotel facilities. They are generally 'quiet and easy going'. Guest services are catered to by the hotel staff who work around the clock. Most boutique hotels have dining facilities and they even have bar facilities, which, in some cases, may be attended by members of the general public.

Regardless of the definition, the increasing fame of boutique hotels has led to a bit of confusion regarding their name. These are generally owned by small - time owners, but, their success has caught the attention of 'multi - national' hotel owner, who establish their own brand to get a share of the pie. The more famous example can be said to be Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worlwide's W Hotels, which consist of big boutique hotels (W Union Square NY), as well as the really luxury ones (SLS Hotels, Thomson Hotels).

There does tend to be a general confusion, too, between the smaller boutique hotels and the 'bed-and-breakfast' hotels.

As far as the US is concerned, NY is home to the boutique hotel craze, with the Schrager boutique hotels still around. These are complemented by a whole load of competitors and small - time joints, which mainly reside in downtown Manhattan. Miami, too, is home to many boutique hotels, mostly along the beach sides of Ocean and Collins Drive. Most of the boutique hotels are there from the days of Art Deco. Their attractiveness lies in the environment, easy access to the beach, Latin cuisines and the tropical themed internal design.

The whole idea of boutique hotels has also spread outside the US. A great example can be Thailand, where the no. of boutique/design hotels are on the rise, more so in particular (resort) areas, like Phuket. Boutique hotels are also making their presence felt in places like Turkey, Shanghai and Indonesia. These hotels are starting to gain fame even in the Far East in places like Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing
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