chain hotels

Big or Boutique Hotels?

[trip style = budget or luxe?]Do you favor big or boutique hotels? I've stayed in and like both. And surprise, surprise, each follows a unique trip style. Here's a quick comparison to help you decide which hotel style is best for you:

Big Hotels big hotel- usually win on the "amenities offered" side - offer multi-property loyalty programs, making it easier to collect points and benefits quickly - have varied in-house dining options - most have a pool(s) and a gym - are more likely to offer programs for kids - are large, and as a result, discount rooms on sites like Priceline and Hotwire

Boutique Hotels boutique hotel- offer one-of-a-kind decor - sometimes include breakfast - are more likely to include internet (yay) - can be more personable - are more apt to run promotions like this, recently tweeted by @kimpton: Summer Playground is here! Check into a Kimpton this June and use password "Flip Flops" at check-in for an extra surprise! - offer a more regional or localized approach to service and atmosphere - are easy to find with the StayHIP app

Two Experiences Loving the Boutique Hotel A few years ago my husband and I spent a few days in Miami's South Beach. Instead of paying top-dollar to stay on the ocean-front strip at the Ritz or Loews, we opted to stay 3 blocks from the beach at a recently-renovated boutique hotel called the Greenview. I think we payed about $69/night and had a great (basic) room, wireless and included breakfast.  It didn't have a pool, but who cares, we were close to the beach!

Loving the Big Hotel Earlier this year we stayed in a host of local, boutiquy hotels in Italy. I wouldn't change our experience, but did appreciated our 'big' hotel stay in Venice. After a week of wonderful breakfasts, locally-inspired design and hard-as-a-rock mattresses, we were ready for a plush, soft bed and roof-top pool at the Hilton Molino Stucky.

To Big or to Boutique big or boutique hotels- get out of your comfort zone, try the option you don't normally choose - if you're a family with young kids, save the boutique hotel for a romantic getaway - if you want a more localized experience, go with boutique - if you're a business traveler, big hotels offer more rewards and incentives - as for price, you can find both for similar price-points depending on what you want

[photos by me]