WEB design for Boutique Hotels: Where starts the Guest Experience?

The history of the Boutique Hotels began with Ian Schrager, who in 1984, faced with the prevailing trend of large, standardized and impersonal hotels, decided to go against it. Who knows why, he created the opposite concept: a small, unique hotel with a personal and exclusive service. That small hotel was to offer the same services, but better, with more attention and on a human scale.

That motivation for the personal, the unique, the special, in contrast with the anodyne and alienating of the big brands, we already talked about in our post about Soft Brands

Many years have passed and that concept has grown and developed a lot. We can say that, in essence, the values of that “Hotel Morgans”, created by Ian Schrager in New York in the 80s, have been maintained: the aim is to give our hotel guests the intimate and differential experience of feeling at home… even better than home. What happens is that, in these modern times, where everything is going faster and faster, often emergencies prevent us from maintaining focus and coherence:

Where is the entrance to our house? Is our house just the physical building?

Where does the guest experience begin for our guests, in the physical building? Or before it?

Things have changed

Many times, more than we think, we continue to manage Business “as our elders did, because it worked well”, without being aware that the rules have also changed in this regard.

In the past, a customer became a guest of our hotel when we checked him in. Now that happens when he discovers our name on the internet. They usually find out about us through a search engine or an OTA; they compare various prices; they visit recommendation pages, our networks and they go through our website. By the time a client walks into our hotel, they may know more about us than we do.

This is where we have a lot of room for improvement and above all, we must be aware of not losing the essence of a boutique hotel: unique, exquisite, personal service on a human scale.

It is common to think that our networks and our website should be pure sales tools. Slightly adapted templates, lacking the differentiation and personality that we do offer in our hotel; beautiful and eye-catching carnivorous plants that make our potential client’s visit end up in a conversion to direct sale. A website full of Call to Actions, networks that encourage you not to miss out on an offer. Sirens that make the customer does not go to the OTA that takes away so much margin …

All this sends the message: “We care about you when you have paid. We care about your money, not you.”

If we are confident that our guests will have a great experience at our hotel, why don’t we do the same with our online presence, or would we fill our reception with souvenir stands, our elevator with discount vouchers, our hallways with vouchers and notices that “only 3 continental breakfasts are left with the juice included”?

Our house now begins much further away and long before we reach the physical entrance to the hotel. If our website is the first thing you see of us, our only chance to make a good first impression, this is not the best way to leave a mark, a footprint, and generate the reputation we are looking for among our future guests, don’t you think?

A Coherence issue

The reality we live in is no longer than in the old times. We are physically and we are also on the Internet. Our networks and our website are our voice, our image, our essence and they have to transmit to our guests what we are, what they will experience when they are in our house, even evoking what they will be able to experience and how they will feel.

Let’s be aware of this and build our website and the way we use it, in line with what will be our guest’s stay at the hotel afterwards.

Let’s talk on the net as we do when we are asked at the reception, at the bar or at the table in our restaurant. Let’s talk, let’s generate relationships of trust, let’s be us, as we are inside the physical walls of our hotel.

Let’s create experiences and experiences from before they enter our establishment, because in our house they have already entered before.

Recently we have collaborated in the creation of a project like El Môderne Hotel, where we have developed its brand and all its applications taking into account all these considerations. This is an example of how we see hotel branding in Mandarina Brand Society, how we understand the value and projection of a hotel brand, including its web applications. Also about how it relates to people, especially its guests.

Do you have a boutique hotel project underway? We can help you to add value and preference from the brand. Shall we talk?


Carlos Belío
Carlos Belío
Director de Cuentas
Mandarina Brand Society Mandarina Brand Society

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