Boutique Hotel Categories

Introducing, the first series of creating structure within the boutique hospitality industry.

Welcome to the Next Decade of Boutique

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of boutique hotels are their sheer variety. From luxury boutiques and wellness resorts to the glamping and branded boutiques found around the world, there’s a perfect getaway for everyone. Better yet, the world of boutique hotels can take travelers on an unexpected, elegant adventure; one only has to peruse the array of hotel types available within the boutique industry itself.

Boutique hotels are no longer a subtype of the larger hotel industry. Together, this broad range of boutique hotels form an entirely unique and individual boutique hotel industry, which is an independent market all its own. These individual categories of boutique hotels showcase just how diverse the boutique hotel industry has become.

Travelers now have a full range of options at their fingertips outside the world of standard cookie cutter hotels. Consider the differences between the boutique hostel, perfect for budget travelers and backpackers, and the luxury boutique, complete with Michelin starred restaurants and upscale design. No matter what the destination, price point, design preferences, and amenities requested, boutique hotels have the ability to match a travelers every whim or provide an entirely new hotel experience. 

This list of boutique hotel categories is a comprehensive categorization of each of the current types of boutique hotel. Certainly, more unique entries may be necessary as traveler needs continue to expand and spur an even more nuanced take on the boutique hotel industry. Though all are different, a continuous thread through the boutique hotel industry has been and continues to be focused on meeting traveler needs in an elegant, unique way. 

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Classic Boutique

The classic boutique hotel is what likely comes to mind when one considers the definition of the “boutique hotel;”  these locations are essentially living organisms within their cities. Often the classic boutique hotel is decorated with comforting furnishings that emulate the residential neighborhoods within which they are located.  Food and beverage services at the classic boutique hotel are generally exceptional as well as locally sourced.

Hotel Le Ballu


Luxury Boutique

The luxury boutique hotel provides unparalleled aesthetic and services.  Luxury boutique hotels can be noted by their upscale design, high-quality amenities, luxury, often Michelin Starred food and beverage programs, and spacious rooms.  Often the luxury boutique hotel is a beloved destination of recognized cultural visionaries.

Crosby Street Hotel

New York,


Boutique on a Budget

This hotel type is designed for the traveler treasuring a boutique experience at a more accessible price.  These are particularly appealing to those active on social media, as the “Budgeted Boutique Hotel” is generally characterized intricately composed design, particularly within public spaces, providing the full experience of boutique aesthetics.  The “Budgeted Boutique Hotel” is an emerging facet of boutique that offers the boutique experience to those who previously may not have been able to feasibly afford it.

Generator Hostel



Boutique Resort

The boutique resort is designed for a leisurely stay; often a draw to families.  The resort, by general structure, is designed for experience, which is why the defining factor of a boutique resort is its independent ownership; the boutique resort is never owned by a larger conglomerate.

Monastero Santa Rosa

Conca dei Marini,


Hipster Boutique

The Hipster Boutique is designed for the traveler driven by immersive experience with the comfort of amenities; those who attend concert festivals and return to hotels, or travel seeking unique stimulation.  The hipster boutique boasts interactive public spaces and partners with local events, providing relatively ordinary room accommodations that encourage guests to explore the cities.

The Hoxton



The Concept Boutique

The Concept Boutique is built around a particular experience or lifestyle.  There are many subsets of the “concept boutique;” the most common include the “art,” “wellness,” and “glamping” experiences, however what each holds in common is that these locations are designed to provide as stimulating an experience in a hotel as within its surroundings.

Gold Digger Hotel

Los Angeles,


Micro Boutique

The micro-boutique hotel is designed in a way, to discourage the guest from spending an excessive amount of time in the room, rather pushing them to enjoy their surroundings.  The micro-boutique hotel is characterized by small rooms with minimal storage, social and lively public spaces, and locations in the heart of their respective surrounding cities.


Inhabit Hotel

London, UK

Historic Boutique

Historic boutique hotels gain an element of authenticity by developers applying specific features into a building that is considered historic by the very nature of their beginnings, whether they were hotels to start with or a building that has been adapted, converted and/or renovated  to be a boutique hotel. Many times, a hotel may get extra financial assistance or tax credits, as an example, to assist in the development of these properties. Having the ability to market these properties with their historical references, makes them highly desired as long as design aesthetics and service elements are actually in the close to luxury category. Those can includes experiences throughout the property. 

Hotel Cafe Royal

London, UK


Boutique B&B

B&B’s have typically been known for large home conversions and small inns that offered a comfortable stay including a breakfast of some sort. Notch that up 10 times and you will get much more than that. Boutique B&B’s have stepped up their game by thoughtful design upgrades, luxury food choices, phenomenal amenities and very customized, personal services for local experiences.

The Maidstone



Residential Boutique

The serviced apartment, unlike its counterpart the sublet, is designed to accommodate long-term stays with the benefit of luxury amenities and services.  While boutique serviced apartments are designed most often for the traveling business person required to take long-term stays, it is generally open to the public wishing to travel with the comforts of the home and small luxuries of the hotel.

AKA Serviced Residence



Branded Boutique

The Branded Boutique is an emerging powerhouse; as trends move consumers back to boutique travel, chain hotels such as Marriott and Hilton have taken to developing their own boutique collections that retain the definitive qualities of boutique, making them more conducive to personal and leisure travel.  While these locations boast boutique features, they are maintained by a major brand but independently owned. 

Hotel Le Veque



Boutique at Sea

Boutique cruise lines have a smaller number of rooms per ship (i.e. 200-300 vs. 1,000 and up) and pay attention to the overall experience similar to boutique hotels. From luxury extras like amenities, upgraded food and beverage, well-trained staff and staff-to-customer ratio higher, a good selection of upscale on-board activities as well as carefully curated tour selections at each destination.

Seabourne Cruises


Adventure Boutique

A boutique hotel or resort that is located in unique destinations with breathtaking landscapes and who offer a myriad of outdoor activities including guided tours and unforgettable experiences while feeling pampered by experienced hotel staff and guides.

Collective Retreats



Convention Boutique

Hotels that are either located near convention centers and offer truly unique, custom services to customers attending events as well as upscale services for travel bookers/meeting planners, or boutique hotels that are connected to a convention center or large meeting space, but clearly fit as an independent boutique hotel.


Terranea Resort

Rancho Palos Verdes,


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