Boutique Hotels are springing up all over the country, and many guests enjoy the uniqueness and personality they exude. Although brand-name chains are more conscience than ever about personalized services and design, boutique hotels contain their own unique style and creative atmosphere which makes them special. Simply stated, a boutique hotel doesn’t look or feel like a chain, even though it is often part of a larger hotel group.

As designers, the JAI team appreciates the individuality that boutique hotels offer. Currently we are working on the Front Street Village Inn & Bistro in Beaufort, NC., operated by Ascend, the boutique division of Choice Hotels International. This hotel will be the perfect choice for business or leisure travelers who appreciate an upscale hotel with a strong local identity. When complete, the property will be a one-of-a-kind reflection of the local culture and enables guests to experience the true flavor of the destination.

Every boutique project we work on is different and gives a design nod to the architecture, surroundings and form of the building. When initially evaluating the design schematics, we often become storytellers who have the privilege of giving the narrative of the history, location, and hotel distinctions through artwork, accessories, flooring, lighting, furniture and fabrics. Because boutique hotels also tend to be smaller in size than a hotel chain, we work to create a feeling of intimacy through lighting, colors and the creation of warm, inviting spaces. For example, Front Street Village Inn & Bistro is located right along the water where visitors can see both dolphins and wild horses while watching a spectacular sunset. We couldn’t imagine a more perfect picture, so we naturally carried this imagery into our design.

We are conscious about selecting furniture and textures that will have longevity as with the larger hotel chains, but we also emphasize mixing high-end materials and details with beautiful, quality finishes and style into all our projects to give the boutique hotel an air of sophistication and prestige.

The most challenging aspect of our work as designers is managing our clients’ expectations, maximizing the guest experience and keeping everything operating on schedule and within budget; however, the balance of all that is also exhilarating and rewarding. The most exciting aspect for interior designers is collaborating with clients on their vision for a new space and then seeing it all come to fruition.

As the leader and founder of JAI, I strive to stretch our designers toward creating stirring and emotional connections between the hotel space and its guest, which will boost loyalty and create long-term financial benefits for our client. Whether designing for a boutique hotel or a well-known brand chain, I always want JAI’s client projects to be successful and become a vital part of their community.

If you’re starting a boutique hotel project and want to talk about your plans with an experienced hospitality design firm, I would love to talk!

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