Boutique hotels sprouting up to meet growing demand

Boutique hotels in the Republic are gearing up for a growing group of travellers that are seeking unconventional experiences.

Such hotels tend to be more exclusive, intimate, and unique than major chain hotels, and they are seeing demand from millennials who seek differentiation and the thrill of discovering something distinctive.

One such boutique hotel is Naumi, which is designed to feel like a private home, while boasting of amenities such as an infinity pool and Apple TV’s AirPlay. One suite in the hotel even allows you to indulge in the vintage world of Coco Chanel.

“If you look at the Singapore market 10 years ago, people may not have understood what a boutique hotel is all about,” said Naumi Hospitality vice-president Peter Wong. “They may think that a boutique hotel is a budget hotel – I think that’s a very wrong concept. If I can borrow an analogy from the fashion or retail industry, a boutique hotel is something like a Prada shop or Hermes, it’s small, it has its own style, compared to a big retail shop.”

Boutiques hotels have been sprouting up in recent years, to meet a growing demand.

Said Mr Victor Wong, Area & Development Director, Asia Pacific, Small Luxury Hotels of the World: “Now there is actually a growing trend among travellers especially in the luxury segment for them to look at something more local, authentic, experiential and boutique hotels are actually in a very position to tap on this market.”

Industry observers say the popularity of boutique hotels lies on the back of a rising wave of millennial travellers that make up the bulk of their clientele.

“They’re usually younger in terms of crowd, between 30 to about 45 years old, and they’ve got good spending power,” said Mr Donald Han, Chesterton Singapore managing director “They’re non-cookie cutter type, they’re looking for hotels which are typically smaller but don’t compromise in terms of quality of services.”

“They’re not looking for a typical ball room, meeting, function rooms – they just want somewhere which is hip, trendy somewhere where you can be recognised in terms of your name,” Mr Han added.

Chesterton adds that boutique hotels tend to generate higher profit margins than conventional luxury hotels.

And in Singapore, they are expected to hold their own, as nearly 80 per cent of new room supply coming onstream in the next couple of years are in the mid-tier segment.

French hotel operator AccorHotels says while families and business travelers still prefer the norm and predictability, the demand for differentiation is having an impact across the board, and even Accor’s standard brands are increasingly providing ways for each hotel to develop its own identity and character.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Jul 2015

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