Boutique - a word that's banded about quite a lot nowadays.
It seems several of our competition have added the word to their names in order to emulate our success or perhaps they think it will just bring in more business.
We made a conscious decision when we came up with the name of our B&B that by including the word "boutique" in it, we were making a statement and that guests would know what to expect when they arrived.
We would hate to confuse or disappoint a guest. We have local B&Bs who describe themselves as a "hotel" - though some of them have less than ten rooms, are personally run, offer no food (apart from breakfast), no gym, swimming pool, reception, concierge and so on. They are plainly a B&B but hope to gain more business from calling themselves a hotel. We would hate someone to think they had booked a certain type of product, only to arrive and find a very different thing all together. You wouldn't be happy if you booked an Italian meal out to find when you got there it was actually a chip shop. They still sell food, it's probably still really tasty and the staff are still friendly...but you booked an Italian.
Boutique & Breakfast website are particular about who they include on their site, and rightly so. They say that their description of boutique is "Intimate, stylish, luxurious, exclusive and, perhaps, just a little but quirky". That description fits us perfectly.
To us, we wanted to be funky, trendy, designer, top quality, a little bit different and unusual. We have all the luxury and comfort you would expect from a 5 star B&B, but we also have a design flare and special features in each room which make a big statement, along with the latest technology provided. You would have to travel a long way to find another rainbow mannequin light in someone else's reception area!
We don't think that boutique just means having a different paint scheme in each of your bedrooms. To us, it's a whole ethos that runs through everything we do.
Another way to look at boutique is to use it in terms of boutique shops. These are small, independent clothes shops, selling unusual and designer clothes, different to the sort of things you're likely to find in run of the mill clothes shops. The service you receive tends to be of high quality and personal, with experienced and hands on staff, or more usually by the owners. The prices will often be higher, but you don't mind paying a little extra to get a lot more for that special occasion.
Hopefully from our website, excellent reviews, and the numerous awards we've won, you'll see that we genuinely are a boutique B&B. People will continue to be confused by the differences between terms like boutique, hotel, guest house, guest accommodation, serviced and so on, but I hope I've offered some food for thought and next time you book accommodation, you will look carefully at their website first to ensure it is what it "says on the tin".