Editor’s blog: It’s time for the real boutiques to shine


According to news this month from HVS London, more than half of the world’s hotels are now branded properties, with franchising being the operating model of choice for most of the big name chains.

The report showed that five of the largest branded hotel companies (IHG, Accor, Marriott, Hilton and Starwood) make up 30% of the current global branded room supply and 65% of the development pipeline.

The report also looked at the rise in the number of players and stakeholders involved in running a successful hotel, including brand owners, owners and management companies as well as a combination of operating models and specialist hybrid models.

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This then shows how increasingly rare it is to find a hotel that is owned, run and managed by the same team and something that is the case for many smaller boutiques around the country. While the report revealed that branded hotels are set for world domination, being a one- or two-man band is certainly very far from being a bad thing.

Independent, boutique hotels still very much have their place in the market and despite the dominance of the chains, groups and franchises, indies continue to go from strength to strength. This new report helps stress the importance of shouting about your heritage and your ability to build long-lasting relationships with guests. Especially as ‘we met the lovely owner’ is a plus-point cited on a growing number of hotel reviews and something that the big name brands will rarely be able to compete with.