The ABCs of Boutique Hotels (with Salt Lake City recommendations!)

Traveling opens up your eyes to the multitude of places you can stay while you’re away from home. From hotels, hostels, and guesthouses to vacation homes, campers, and tents, it’s easy to find something that suits your budget, tastes, and needs.

Something that I like to do is reserve rooms at different types of places within a certain category. For instance, that would means sometimes I’d stay at a big brand hotel or go to a boutique hotel. But even after all of my travels, I never exactly knew what a boutique hotel is and how it differs from other hotels. What distinctive characteristics does a boutique hotel possess? Is there a certain price the boutique hotel needs to be? What type of experience should you expect at a boutique hotel? Do they only exist in Manhattan?

After some online research (thanks Google!), I have a better grasp of what the term “boutique hotel” means and the benefits of staying at a boutique hotel. I chose Salt Lake City as a model market so you can understand, too, for the next time you book a trip at a boutique hotel.

Trover.com via TravelTess

Boutique hotels are typically smaller than the average hotel. Take for instance the Metropolitan Inn: with only 60 rooms at this property, there’s definitely more of an intimate experience than if you stayed at a massive big brand hotel. There’s also more flexibility for the hotel to choose what touches they want to invest in for their customers. In the Metropolitan Inn’s case, each room has a Tempur-Pedic mattress for guests to enjoy.

Boutique hotels can be luxurious. The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City is regarded as one of the city’s nicest hotels. Dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and multiple dining options are just a few of the perks you’ll experience as a guest here.

Boutique hotels offer a unique experience. For instance, each room at Anniversary Inn – Fifth South is individually decked out with its own decor and coordinating theme. You can reserve the Carriage Lane room where you sleep in an antique carriage, travel back in time with a wagon as a bed in the Wild West room, or enjoy the elegance of the English Manor room.

Boutique hotels run independently (and exist everywhere!). Though the first boutique hotels popped up in New York and England in the late 80s/early 90s, you can stay at a boutique hotel pretty much anywhere now. These hotels can create and manage their own brand standard rather than having to enforce a big brand’s name and policies on their guests. For example, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square is across from the world’s biggest genealogy library, so it hosts and caters to family historians with package deals and resources for their stay.

Boutique hotels don’t have to be expensive. Looking to save a bit of money while you’re traveling in Salt Lake City?  Airport Inn Hotel is a great example of this. The prices for a standard room range from $50-$80, and the hotel offers the basic amenities like breakfast and free wifi.

Have you ever stayed at a boutique hotel? How was your experience?

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