The marketing term boutique hotel comes from the USA and personally describes guided, individual, small and often luxurious hotels, as they are increasingly common in Europe and Asia since the beginning of the century.


The word comes from the French boutique and translated means small shop or general store. According to the dictionary and the Knaur dictionary on the Occitan botica back what store means and this in turn Pharmacy on the Greek term, equal storeroom or magazine. As bo (t ) tega or botica the term also exists in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

In its importance as a fashion boutique, the word has taken a shift in meaning, the emphasis on small - Retail instead of department stores or fashion chain - has remained, at the same time - in contrast to the initial concept - emanating from the owners individuality of the range, the exclusivity may also Hochpreisigkeit emphasized. This shift in meaning has been modeled also in the formation of the concept of boutique hotel.


The first boutique hotels emerged in the 1980s in major cities like New York, San Francisco and London. Many of them attracted the attention because famous interior decorators and designers had taken their equipment. So try, for example, Anouska Hempel 1981 Blake Hotel in South Kensington, London. In the next decades emerged in many important tourist cities accommodations similar concepts - Paris, Barcelona, Berlin or Marrakech, later on hip islands and Alpine resorts like Majorca, Santorini or Grisons.

Meanwhile, the boutique hotel has become a generic term, regardless of the often additional classification. This is thanks to a second parallel development: In 1979, Switzerland became the first country a certified hotel classification hotel stars one. Other countries followed, and partly as a legal requirement in the hospitality industry, partly as a voluntary procedure as in Germany. Serves the classification on the one hand for the guest as orientation and binding standard, so it contributes to the other side, next to the general strengthening of the hotel chains, to the fact that the hotel landscape in many tests are always similar and interchangeable is. The backlash was not long in coming: In the large hotels emerged Design and Art Hotels in the region of the smaller hotels individuality is now sold under the term boutique hotel: An oasis of calm, gem or jewelry box, unique, small, fine, personally performed or charming hotels and travel providers describe these houses ..


Boutique hotels differentiate themselves usually of large hotels and houses the hotel chains through personal design of the architecture, the facility and grounds, often they are also exceptional, elaborately refurbished historic buildings. Personal and influenced by an individual handwriting is usually also the service, as these hotels are mostly managed by the owner.

Some boutique hotels are dedicated to a particular theme or style and decorated accordingly. Often, individual rooms differ in terms of the chosen theme. Although boutique hotels are usually associated with small hotels with a small number of rooms, some boutique hotels in major cities such as London, Barcelona, ​​New York or Paris more than a hundred rooms, and boutique hotel chains are there in the meantime.