What is Boutique Hospitality?

When we say we service the “boutique hospitality,” what do we mean?

What do we really mean when we say boutique hospitality? Easy – rhymes with “unique”. Boutique hospitality means custom design that personifies the surrounding location and appeals to an owner’s target guest. We want these hotels to be more than just a place to rest your head after a long day of traveling, exploring, or meetings, we design them to be a destination themselves! A hotel’s design should authentically reflect the city, culture, and community in which it’s built. 

The biggest mistakes in hospitality design

Hospitality designers often make one big mistake when designing a hotel; they try to appeal to EVERYONE! This leaves the overall space feeling dull, unexciting, and typical. At times, traditional hotel design can even feel cold and impersonal with large lobbies, muted palettes, jarring lights, and oversized and overly contemporary furniture.

As a design firm that works with multiple large brands on a portfolio of work, we understand the value in standardizing certain finishes and, of course, specifying fabrics and furniture that maintain a high level of durability and cleanability. And, we are all about nailing the basics and working efficiently, but we don’t do “cookie-cutter.”  Whether business or pleasure, most guests are travelling to a new place with the hope of having a new experience. They will want to enjoy the local cuisine, see the popular attractions, and have new experiences, so why shouldn’t their hotel be an extension of that? We pride ourselves on designing our projects so that the hotel feels like a seamless addition to its surroundings and is a place that guests look forward to returning to after a long day.

How does Banko Design design differently?

We believe that the industry is doing themselves a disservice in making all their brand hotels look the exact same! When a hotel is mass produced, it also looks and feels increasingly commercial (and not in a good way)! We pride ourselves on our resimercial design ethos, residential in look and feel but commercial in scale and durability. Our timeless resimercial approach to design appeals greatly to leisure markets, “homes away from home” (vacation ownership rentals), custom lobbies, and clubhouses.

There are a variety of factors that draw a visitor to a hotel – central location, amenities, price, cleanliness etc. With so many to choose from, it is the attention to detail that will draw visitors in and keep them coming back. Specifically, visitors are drawn to hotels that reflect the city they’re visiting. This is why our team believes that immersion trips are an important step to a well-rounded design. Our team travels to the location of the community to see all the city has to offer – restaurants, hotels, residential areas, major attractions, etc. We use this trip as blueprint of where to start with our design. Every project starts with this foundation, and we build the design from there, layering in inspiration from the location’s history, landscape, vernacular architecture, and the direction the location is going (not just what it’s been). 

We believe that hospitality should feel warm and inviting, reflecting the service guests would like to experience. We create a sense of place and a level of intimacy in the lobbies and guestrooms by introducing rich colors, luxury finishes (that hold up), organic forms, and intentionally programmed spaces that feel appropriate no matter what level of property we’re designing for. Our team works closely with owners, developers, and brands to provide a design that targets their ideal guest.

As designers, we want to create a space that is a part of the overall destination experience for guests by creating a location-centric design, utilizing our expertise in the housing market to make the hotel feel luxurious yet comfortable, and taking a few risks here and there to make sure that your property stands out among the rest.

Do you need design help for your new build boutique hotel or perhaps your current property needs a refresh? We’d love to help! Reach out to us to chat by emailing business_development@bankodesign.com!

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Banko Design is a full-service interior design and FF&E procurement firm for the senior living, multifamily and boutique hospitality markets. Our talented team of designers and purchasing agents work with developers and operators to program, design, document, procure and install stunning spaces at any price point.