A lot of people take the road most often traveled when they make plans for their next trip. They book themselves at a chain hotel because it’s easy to get rates online and they rely on the name familiarity to confirm the quality of the hotel. Chain hotels also offer rewards and discounts for staying there, and they are consistent in their offerings, from free breakfasts to daily maid service. But chain hotels are also not ideally located: They are either right in a central location that is too busy (and expensive) or they are too far removed from the places where you’ll want to be.
Staying at a boutique hotel offers many advantages over a chain. Here’s a look at just a few of them:
Allow You to be Immersed in the Local Culture
When you travel, it’s better to try to get a true sense of the place rather than just check off a list of local landmarks. Don’t just see the popular sights – talk to the people, eat at small cafes and diners, visit shops that aren’t popular with tourists, drive through local neighborhoods, and go to local parks. By staying at a boutique hotel, you can be right in one of the neighborhoods, rather than on a primary tourist strip, and you can talk to more people who have connections to the local area.
For example, boutique hotels in West Hollywood help you learn more about the little nooks and crannies that make the neighborhood so unique, such as the oddball shop on the corner, the café that sells the best bagels you’ve ever had, or that funky clothing store where you found your favorite shirt.
Likewise, a boutique hotel in Hell’s Kitchen will help you see New York like other tourists don’t usually get to, from the dingy yet trendy noodle restaurant to that hidden gem of an art gallery that you love.
Make Local Friends
Staying at a boutique hotel gives you the chance to talk to some of the locals. You might strike up a conversation with the desk clerk, who isn’t as busy with managing the large number of guests that chain hotels can get. You might end up chatting with other guests who are there visiting friends and family who live in town, and who found the hotel on the recommendation of those friends and family.
By making these connections, you might get the opportunity to have a local adventure. Your new friend might give you a tour that offers you an insider’s look of the city, or might even invite you home for dinner. You’ll learn about the really interesting places to visit, have a really delicious meal, or save a ton of money. Who knows? You might even make a pen pal who you can visit the next time you come to the city.
Have a Unique Experience
Do you know anyone who’s been to Los Angeles? Chances are that all the people you know who have gone have been to the same places. Maybe they visited the Walk of Fame, or maybe they toured a few studio back lots or sat in on a few show tapings. When you see their pictures on social media, they are probably all the same.
By staying at a boutique hotel and taking advantage of the unique opportunities it offers to be more immersed in the local scene, you are going to have a unique experience. You’ll have stories from your trip that people won’t have heard in some variation or another dozens of times from other friends. You’ll have pictures that no one else has because you took the time to explore something different. You’ll love the vacation itself, and you’ll love recounting it.
Some boutique hotels have eclectic décor and unique offerings. Others offer a home-like environment with more personalized service and amenities than what a chain hotel offers. No matter what boutique hotel you choose, you are going to have a more interesting experience than what you would get in a major hotel right along a main drag that is frequented by tourists. In many cases, you’ll even save a little money. When you plan your next trip, take a little time to explore the boutique hotel options and book something different.