The Texas summer season is winding down, and customers are looking for exciting last-minute destinations before the kids return to school. Many guests turn to Google and booking websites for hotel suggestions. The word “hotel" has become an incredibly broad concept encompassing a wide spectrum of hospitality establishments. In the industry, we use better classifiers, but do not assume guests know the difference. When searching for accommodations, our clients often come across terminology that alludes them.

Clients often do not understand the difference between "resort" and "boutique." Hotel facilities are primarily concerned with accommodations for occasional guest; they also offer additional services which create a luxury feel. These distinctions must be made clear to clientele. This week at Paradigm we will take a closer look at the similarities and differences between resort and boutique hotels.

What is a resort?

A resort is a self-contained facility which caters to its guest’s recreational needs. Resorts have lodging, shopping, food/drink, and entertainment all in one place. For this reason, they are particularly well suited for vacationing.  A stand-alone hotel with its own restaurant does not qualify as a resort. The term resort is reserved for hotel properties providing a variety of recreational activities and other sources of entertainment. While the hotel is the central feature of a resort, some resorts exist which are not hotels at all. Timeshares and condominiums are often present rather than traditional hotel rooms.

Many resorts specifically cater to family vacations. These resorts include family-friendly activities like cycling, local excursions, live performances and other appropriate entertainment options. This type of resort often includes an all-you-can-eat buffet (multiple times daily). After all, food should be the last thing a guest is worrying about during a family stay at a resort. If guests want to work off all those buffet calories, resorts often provide access to a full gym as well as access to multiple swimming pools.

What is a boutique hotel?

A boutique is a small hotel of no more than 100 rooms, normally located in urban areas. The first Boutique Hotels sprang up in trendy cities in Europe, followed by San Francisco and New York City during the mid 1980’s. The boutique concept is far removed from that of traditional hotel chains. Boutiques strive to be unique and cater to a very personalized style, which means better customer service. Boutiques often focus individual room design. Each space has its own design concept, and nothing is purchased in bulk. You will not find the same drab art hanging on every wall.

Some boutiques offer yoga and painting classes, and other activities to allow the guest to connect on a more personal level. While boutique hotels do provide some recreational opportunities and can provide quality restaurant accommodations, they strive for a one-of-a-kind experience.

At Paradigm Design Group, we have experience working with both resorts and boutique hotels. Knowing the difference between their particular needs ensures we can create high-quality designs perfect for any renovation or new construction.