Another type of hotel, the Apartment Hotel, can be found in large cities and popular resort areas alike. This type of hotel, whilst having all or many of the facilities of a regular hotel, such as the reception, dining and leisure areas, is comprised of self-contained apartments, where guests are able to cater for themselves, much as they might do at home.
Apartments are designed and furnished with everything a single guest or a family might need for an extended stay, including separate sleeping and living areas and fully functional kitchens, containing a full range of cooking utensils. Guests are able to book stays for as little as one week or as long as several months (sometimes even years!) so that apartment hotels suit both business people, working in the area temporarily and people relocating to the area but still not settled into their own long term accommodation.
Many hotels, especially the older, smaller, privately owned ones, don't fall into any particular 'type' as far as having the generic features of chain hotels or business hotels. Independent hotels can be anything from the traditional, inexpensive Bed and Breakfast establishments of England (private houses with rooms to rent and breakfast included in the price of a night's stay) to character filled, ancient buildings in historic cities across the world, whose rooms may be small and cramped but whose locations and ambiance can command luxury brand prices. Some of these hotels, situated in historic, even romantic locations, like Venice, Paris or Rome, for example, were probably the forerunners of the increasingly popular 'Boutique Hotels.'
The term 'Boutique Hotel' was first used by the owner of a famous hotel called Morgans, in the Manhattan district of New York. The concept behind the hotel was that it should appeal to guests searching for perfection in every detail of their hotel 'lifestyle experience' and that this experience should be very different from that offered by a traditional chain hotel.
Needless to say, the uniqueness of this first Boutique hotel, combined with the business ambition of its owners,resulted in the creation of a chain of Boutique hotels (Morgans Hotel Group) so that now some, once 'unique', features have become signature features, shared by each of the hotels within the group.
The original hotel's interior (as with all hotels in the group) was created by a world famous Interior Designer, and it is really this concentration on chic, artistic and luxurious accommodation, fixtures and fittings, that defines the character of this type of hotel. Boutique hotels attract guests who like to feel they are experiencing something that other more 'normal' hotel guests are either unlikely to appreciate, or perhaps unable to afford!
Eco and Green Hotels:
Eco Hotels and Green Hotels also fall into the lifestyle category. The first Eco Hotels began as exotic destination hotels. Located in remote areas of the world, they were often built using local materials and set in areas of great ecological importance and beauty (the jungles of South America, for example). These days, regardless of location, the terms 'eco' and 'green' are attached to hotels that aim to use as many eco-friendly products and materials as possible in their buildings and furnishings.
These hotels appeal to people who share the environmentalist philosophy of energy saving and conservation and, although many of them are privately owned, Eco and Green hotels have also become a significant new addition to the portfolios of leading hotel groups. They may offer either basic or luxurious rooms and amenities, but their main feature is their 'eco-friendliness' and their use of organic materials, which often extends from the linens you find on your bed to the food that appears on your plate.
So, as you now know, defining hotels by their 'type' involves far more than labeling them, 'One Star Economy' or 'Five star Luxury'. The expansion of hotel groups and each group's desire to be competitive in today's huge tourism and business markets, has led to the creation of more and more hotel brand names, each satisfying a particular population of hotel guests and each tempting their clients with 'trademark' offerings in the way of personalized amenities and services.
Presented with so many options, “Where shall I stay?” and “Where shall I work?” are both questions that are likely to take many more hours of investigation and planning than you might, at first, have imagined!