First of all, let’s ask: What exactly is a boutique hotel?
Well, it is a hotel with a more bespoke feel than a standard hotel. Boutique hotel owners aim to eliminate the anonymity inherent to many hotels, particularly those with labyrinths of corridors leading to identical rooms and huge reception and dining areas to accommodate hundreds of guests. As a result, boutique hotels typically have between 10 and 100 rooms. The lower number of guests means that staff can provide a more personal experience and are more likely to recognise guests during their stay. Boutique hotels are usually characterised by individuality and creativity; i.e. they have visual character and incorporate fashionable or unusual styles into the décor.
- Top 3 Hotel Franchises
- Does Choice Hotels Franchise in the UK?
- Hotels for sale in the UK
- Hotel Chains - Who Franchises?
- Why Scotland Is a Great Place to Start a Hotel Franchise
- Do Hilton Hotels Franchise?
Boutique Hotel Franchise
Although the phrase ‘boutique hotel franchise’ may sound like an oxymoron, there are several hotel chains out there that work to create a collection of individual hotels and operate a franchise model to run them. Let’s take a look at why entrepreneurs should consider managing a boutique hotel franchise business.
Advantages of Opening a Boutique Hotel
Firstly, at a time when people are celebrating individuality, diversity and authenticity, boutique hotels offer something that falls in line with the public feeling, in contrast to the homogenised experience of the standard hotel. While businessmen or travellers looking for a quick stopover might appreciate a conventional hotel, those staying at a hotel for leisure purposes are likely to be looking for something a little different. Boutique hotels provide new and exciting experiences for guests.
Secondly, people love sharing their experiences on social media. Hotels with quirky furnishings and unique layouts will benefit from the free publicity created by guests who post photos on sites like Instagram.
Finally, because boutique hotels are unique, they can justify higher rates on their rooms than normal hotels. Many consumers will be willing to pay for the ‘experience’ of staying there, rather than simply the convenience.
Boutique Hotel Franchise Opportunities
There are several options for entrepreneurs looking to start their own business with a boutique hotel franchise.
Curio by Hilton
Founded in 2014, Curio has been one of the brands in the Hilton Hotel portfolio for five years. Hilton has opened over 35 hotels in this time, all of which have a distinctive interior design strategy and atmosphere. Curio hotels present “distinct character and a personality you can’t duplicate”, but above all they are “authentic, independent and remarkable”.
Hilton is seeking out potential franchisees to expand the Curio brand further, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to lead a boutique hotel under the Curio name, head to the Hilton website now. However, due to the size, level of infrastructure and ongoing expenses of a hotel, the investment amount is significant. Franchisees will need to make an initial investment of between £2,960,000 and £76,820,500, depending on the size and location of the hotel. On top of this, investors must be prepared to pay franchise fees of £60,000 (Entrepreneur).
Esplendor by Wyndham
Like Curio, Esplendor is the boutique hotel brand in the Wyndham hotels portfolio. It is a notable hotel chain in South America and aims to give each guest an unforgettable stay by putting comfort and style first. As a franchise, Wyndham owns 20 different brands which offer consumers slightly different experiences. In total, the business operates over 9,000 hotels which have almost 800,000 rooms and stretch across 80 countries. The business’ club, Wyndham Rewards has over 70 million members, which demonstrates the brand’s popularity. Also, Wyndham was listed as one of the Top 100 Greenest Companies in the US by Newsweek Magazine in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
If you become a franchisee with the Esplendor brand, you will receive plenty of support from the business. If you start an Esplendor hotel from scratch, you’ll be able to seek advice on development, design, project management and construction management from Wyndham’s in-house Strategic Development Team while the Architecture, Design and Construction (AD&C) specialists lead the project. If, on the other hand, you opt to remodel an existing hotel into an Esplendor hotel, the AD&C team can help you with the refurbishment strategies. In either case, you can rely on ongoing operational support and additional training to ensure that your hotel is as efficient and profitable as it can be.
Hotel Indigo by IHG
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is an international franchise that operates 16 hotel brands. Franchisees make up the majority of the business, as 4,615 hotels out of 5,518 are operated under franchise agreements. The IHG name spans almost 100 countries and delivers 163 million nights of board every year. When IHG introduced its brand, Hotel Indigo, it gave its customers a chain of hotels that listen to the local community and fit in well. They all have plush bedding, hard surface flooring and spa-inspired bathrooms. There are 103 Hotel Indigo branches, offering 12,828 rooms in total.
If you’d like to open up your own Hotel Indigo, you will need to have the funds to invest between £13,142,000 and £29,388,000. This is a comparatively cheaper investment opportunity than Curio by Hilton, but the franchise fee rate remains the same, at £60,000 (Entrepreneur).
There are plenty of opportunities to open a franchise business in the hotel sector, whether you are interested in a boutique hotel or not. Unfortunately, Point Franchise doesn’t currently have any hotel franchises on its books, but don’t rule out alternative options in the holiday and leisure industry, such as the cruise agency, GoCruise, or Award Leisure, the hot tub and outdoor leisure retailer, which both offer profitable franchise models for savvy entrepreneurs.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©