Chic at home
“Now the difference between the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Best Western and Hilton, on the one hand, and boutique hotels, on the other, is primarily in the size and degree of individuality,” says architect Eric van Egeraat. The operators of the top ten global hotel chains prefer new buildings. “Boutiques”, however, fit perfectly into existing buildings, often unusual. It can be monasteries, secluded huts, museums, trains, or winery. These hotels offer guests houses in the trees, as in Brazil, or tents in the desert, both in Australia and cites examples of Anatoliy Kondratenko, development Director in Russia and CIS Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
“In chain hotels all the standards, all the rooms are similar everywhere one and the same unobtrusive beige gamma. Waking up, you immediately realize where you are: in Rome, Paris or London. Boutique hotel a very different look and feel due to the service, design and something elusive,” says Skorbenko. Implemented the design sometimes looks like a deliberately, somewhat grotesquely. And all in order to make a lasting impression on guests, complements Anna Isayeva, development Director at Traveller Made.
Creed boutique hotel – impossible requests. Habits and preferences of regular guests known to the staff. Said butlers with years of experience, “the guest said,but he thought”. The most common request – “bring the same thing as last time”, says Roman Yeremyan. Still, he said, is often asked to prepare or get something, be it a basket of fresh berries or a live king crab at three in the morning, in the middle of winter: “Our guests are not too interested in the standard menu”. Happen and very extravagant requests. For example: change the repertoire of the theatre; to give a tour through the halls of Flemish painting of the Impressionists or after the closing of the Hermitage; to find the forgotten at the airport the bag with unique chronometers; to catch up with the car on the train from Moscow to St. Petersburg or to arrange a hunt for wild boars not further than 10 km from Peter.
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It was thought that travelling around the world, people prefer to deal with the same predictable concept. “On this view rose chains such as Hilton. But this same dogma almost destroyed them,” reminds Egeraat. “The idea of repeated comfort displaces the idea of comfort as a unique, unrepeatable experience, organized by taking into account personal tastes. Gone are the days when people feel more comfortable with standardized, impersonal spaces. Today they want to be pampered and pleasantly surprised. Meanwhile projects like airbnb poses a serious threat to the hotel business, a nice apartment, tailored to the individual requests appear literally on the doorstep, and they are cheaper. Major players adapt to the situation. I think what we call today a boutique hotel, will soon become the General concept for the hotel networks,” says Dutch architect.
Exclusive of may not belong to known networks. Can form associations, such as Morgan Hotels or Design Hotels, transfers Kondratenko. But most of the major hotel operators moving in this direction, as in the developed markets the demand for boutique hotels: the Starwood W, Andaz from Hyatt, etc. Collection of exclusive hotels Mgallery (there are about 50) as Accor, adds Marianna Romanovskaya, head of the consulting Department of GVA Sawyer.
For 2013-2014, Hotel Indigo (hotels on 100-140 rooms in historic locations) network IHG increased the size of the room stock in Europe at 26%. Planned discoveries in the next five years that number will double to 100 hotels, says Aaron Libinson, Vice President of operations and development IHG in Russia and CIS countries
The mark-up for the story
Among the main characteristics – creative design and/or the rich history of the building, creative positioning, well-trained staff. In some cases, it all starts with a story, or rather, with the monument of architecture, exemplary renovated, comfortably equipped and decorated with fine artwork. The “historical” component is optional, but provides a marketing advantage and “antique” mark, say Romanov and Natalia kuvayeva, head of projects of Department of strategic consulting at NAI Becar.
According to her, modern design in a historic place is played in the hotel W St. Petersburg (Starwood Hotels chain). Ten years ago, the investments of the developer company “R. E. D”, the project was estimated at 4 billion rubles In the place of apartment houses of the XVIII century in the centre of Petersburg there hotel with 137 rooms – 9600 sq. m on eight aboveground and one underground floors. He designed the interiors Italian office Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners.
According to Levinson, in terms of the number create a boutique hotel will likely cost more than the construction of an average price category: more funds need to invest in finishing and furnishing of the rooms and public areas, “But the payback periods are comparable, if the concept is correct.”
But questioned by “Vedomosti” experts explain the unpopularity of the format among Russian developers is the fact that of all kinds of hotel formats “boutiques” are more expensive and only pay off slowly. The number and qualification of personnel for a boutique hotel must exceed the standard specifications for hotels “5 stars,” according to consultants and hoteliers.
In addition, stresses Romanovskaya, “boutiques” much of it should not: “They take the cream of demand”. And the last is not yet enough, even apart from sanctions and the General political and economic situation. “The demand in this market is still immature, is limited to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Besides, haven’t satisfied the demand for traditional hotel rooms,” said David Jenkins, Vice President for business development at Rezidor. However, the market is now moving towards greater personalization is, in the opinion of Levinson, the General direction of the changes of the modern traveller.
Roman Yeremyan, CEO of Indigo development, notes the potential demand in Sochi and in Northern Caucasus, but then the problem is with the sentence: “the Owners don’t understand what a boutique hotel does not begin with gilding, and with employees. While the luxurious interiors are the wear people who are not too motivated on a high level of service, the situation will not change. Alas, work on the quality of service is boring and long. Much easier to buy in Italy, the marble and the furniture.” “Some of the hoteliers, using a stable demand of this format, call themselves “boutiques”, being very far from the classical understanding,” complains Skorbenko. However, gradually the demand creates supply.
“Wealthy guests to the luxury of surprise, but they all appreciate a truly personalized service is only possible when the employees know well the habits of regular guests. And guests sure: whatever happens in the rooms, it will never go beyond the walls of the building and will not be discussed on the staff,” says Yeremyan.
In Moscow, within the Garden ring, boutique hotels can be counted on the fingers of one hand. According to experts NAI Becar, their appearance in the Russian capital coincided with the development of premium formats of hospitality. The most famous – Golden Apple Boutique Hotel Malaya Dmitrovka (92 rooms). Night in a standard double room will cost 9900 rubles. In Chenonceau, located in Trekhprudny lane, just nine apartments, and the price goes up to RUB 15,000 per night. The hotel “zodiac” on the Leningrad prospectus only 17 rooms (from 9 000 to 13 500 rbl.). The “boutiques” experts of NAI Becar include the historic hotel “Soviet” on the Leningrad prospectus (106 rooms from 7000 to 18 000 RUB.).
One of the first regional “boutiques”, according to GVA Sawyer, was the Grand Rodina hotel (40 rooms) in Sochi in 2006 In St. Petersburg this category refers Kondratenko hotels “Pushka Inn”, located in the architectural monument of the XVIII century (33 rooms), Golden Garden (23 rooms in the mansion of the XIX century) – the only Russian representative of Boutique Hotels & Resorts International, as well as Rossi Boutique Hotel & SPA (50 rooms). Typically, in such hotels at least 10 but not more than 100 rooms.
According to the t-shirt, friendly “boutiques” are popular among young couples wedding in the travel, sophisticated lovers of unusual tour, executives on business trips