We love them because they are classy, comfy and friendly. The most important criteria are that there cannot be more than 150 rooms and the hotels must be easily accessible. The reason which makes these hotels even more attractive is the personalized service and the relationship between the guests and the employees.
The first two boutique hotels opened in 1981, the Blakes in London and the Bedford in San Francisco. The Blakes, situated in South Kensington, was established by Anouska Hempel, the brilliant and talented designer, who created this unique hotel when the concept of "couture" hotels did not even exist. Thanks to her out of the box thinking, the hotel industry could be reborn and transform into the form as we know it today. What Anouska gave to the world, was not only the design, but a form of art, as she uses the living environment to create a theatrical world with a sense of harmony, and this is exactly the reason why the Blakes is so unique: behind its entrance a whole new world can be revealed. Staying here gives you a lifetime experience, a bit of luxury, lust and serenity. The rooms are divided into 6 categories, each of them with different designes, representing the uniqueness and exclusivity of this place.
The opening of the Bedford in San Francisco meant a refreshing option in the popular tourist city, where (before the boutique hotels) the visitors could choose between mostly Holiday Inns and big hotel chains. These small hotels were very unusual to the American tourists, though gained popularity within a very short period with their personalized services, such as shoe shines, local newspapers delivered to the doorsteps of the guests or special afternoon tea. These small courtesies brought the feeling of "home away from home" closer to the guests than ever before. Nowadays you won't find the Bedford anymore as it was before, because the Marriott hotel took over the operation of it.
The Cap Rocat on Mallorca raises the concept of boutique hotels to a whole new level. A former military fortress was forged into a luxurious escape for those who want to avoid the masses and enjoy their holiday in an exclusive environment.There are 24 rooms and 22 out of them are suits which reflect the atmosphere of the old fortress combined with elegance and peace. The different types of suites come with various benefits, for example in the Cap Rocat suites the guests can enjoy three terraces on different levels, or in the Sentinels that are carved in the watchtowers, a private pool is waiting for the guests on the terrace with a gourgeous view to the Mediterranean Sea.The hotel's gem is the spa with the swimming pool, filled with salty water. The glass ceiling lets the sunshine to brighten the pool during daytime whereas at night swimming is more appealing connected with stargazing under the Mallorcan sky.
On our list we have to mention a success story from Hungary as well. The Aria Hotel Budapest is a relatively new boutique hotel but already won a couple of prizes. In 2016, it won the "Top Hotel in Central Europe" title in the Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards, whereas in 2017 was awarded with the first prize in the TripAdvisor's 2017 Travelers' Choice awards. The hotel's design was inspired by the music and its four wings are dominated by four different music genre: Classical, Jazz, Opera and Contemporary. The other curiosity of the hotel is the High Note Skybar, from where the visitors can enjoy the stunning view of the St. Stephen's Basilica all year round. The gastronomic experience is provided by three professionals who work in synergy (a bartender, a chef and a pastry chef) to create memorable and unique menus.
Which boutique hotels would you put on this list and why?