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For “Boutique” Read “Fantastic Service”

For "Boutique" Read "Fantastic Service"

One of the things that marks out a boutique hotel from others is the high standard of service it offers.

Why do hotel services matter? As long as the bed’s comfortable and the food’s edible, does it matter how the hotel treats you? For discerning guests, the answer’s “yes”. A hotel’s reputation is often based on its service – from the quality and availability of its food to its ability to handle complicated or sensitive requests. It is this type of service that many travellers believe is lacking in large hotels, which is why boutique hotels have high standards of service at their core.

What is good service?

People often complain about the service at their hotel, but what are they complaining about? Often it’s to do with the amount of time they spend waiting; waiting to check-in, waiting for someone to answer the phone, waiting for room service, waiting for food in the dining room. Slow service and lack of grace from staff is usually what causes complaints.

Boutique hotels believe that good service is:

Immediate –

there’s no question of staff at a boutique hotel forgetting that you’ve ordered a drink. The service is designed to be almost anticipatory, making sure that you receive everything you ask for and that nothing is left out.

Pleasant and friendly –

one of the most common complaints about hotel service is about attitude. No-one wants to be treated badly in a place where they are paying to stay. Boutique hotels ensure that staff are polite and friendly at all times, so that you feel comfortable asking for help.

Memorable –

good service is not just about getting the minimum you expect, it’s about getting much more – to the point where it is one of the most memorable things about your stay.

Intuitive –

it feels good to be greeted personally when you return to a hotel for a further visit. You notice if your favourite drink is available or if they’ve previously made a note of any allergies or particular likes, so that it almost feels like visiting old friends. Intuitively good service like this makes a real difference to guests.

Hotels shouldn’t be blinded by the trend for quirky design or hip accessories and forget the basics of good service. Those that do won’t make it into the boutique category of hotels, whereas those hotels that make the service one of the most important aspects of its offering will undoubtedly win fans from guests and travel writers alike.