If you’re looking to invest in a new hotel, you might be wondering whether it’s worth it to take the risk and plunge into a brand new, traditional boutique hotel -- or delve into the safe world of franchise soft brands.
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits all answer for every prospective hotel owner. There are a lot of things to keep in mind before purchasing.
We’ve outlined a few of the key considerations below.
Just What Are Boutique Hotel Soft Brands Anyway?
Before we delve into the pros and cons of investing in a boutique hotel soft brand, we should spend some time unpacking what exactly a soft brand is. Soft brands can sometimes be a little confusing, since they straddle the line of franchise hotel and boutique hotel.
Here are some soft brands you may have heard of:
- Hilton’s Moxy Hotels and Curio Collection
- Wyndham’s Dolce Hotels & Resorts
- Marriott’s Autograph Collection
The main difference between these brands’ soft brand hospitality venues and their traditional, franchise spaces is the design element that is put into it. Soft brand hotels are carefully honed to make guests feel as though their in a boutique hotel.
Soft Brand Benefits
Soft brands can definitely be the best of both worlds for some hotel owners.
You can achieve the feel of a smaller, more intimate hotel that guests love while operating under the umbrella of a larger brand -- which ultimate translates to security for you.
Where Soft Brands Fall Short
On the other hand, the soft brand hotel’s attempts to fit into both worlds can ultimately lead to running the risk of it not fitting in to either.
Guests checking into a soft brand, expecting all the traditional amenities and design features associated with the franchise, can lead to disappointment when they realize the two are not one in the same.
Sometimes, depending on the demographic you are trying to appeal to and the location that you are looking to open the hotel in, it is better to pick one and excel at it than to try and split your efforts in two.
All About Traditional Boutique Hotels
Boutique hotels have always had a space in the hospitality industry, but have grown larger and more sought out by guests in recent years.
In case you’re new to the industry and aren’t super sure about what makes boutique hotels so different, here are some examples:
The main difference to note is in design. While franchise hotels can appear sterile and unwelcoming, boutique hotels strike the balance of cozy and interesting, with surprising design elements throughout.
Why Invest in Boutique
Oftentimes guests are travelling because they want to experience something extraordinary, and unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. Having a boutique hotel means it is totally unique, and full of moments that delight guests (bonus points if they snap photos and share on social media).
Boutique hotels are also often heralded as the fastest growing segment in hospitality. Investing now and opening a boutique hotel is a great way to ensure ROI.
The Downside of Traditional Boutiques
For a lot of new prospective hotel owners, investing in boutique is just too risky. You are not guaranteed the resources and security of being tied to a larger franchise.
Additionally, if your target demographic is customers who seek familiarity, they will often seek out traditional franchise brands they feel comfortable and safe staying with. They may also be unwilling/ displeased by the unique designs and amenities that a boutique hotel offers.
The Key to a Successful Hotel
Whether you decide to invest in a soft brand or a traditional boutique hotel, the key to standing out in either industry is design. Oftentimes, the best way to do this is through the integration of custom hotel furniture.
Once you purchase your new property -- give us a call! We’re happy to walk you through all of the options for your new hospitality space that will wow every guest.