Boutique Hotel:  Maybe!

Posted: February, 22 2016

Sometimes the best solution for your travel accommodations is not the boutique hotel route.  Let’s face it, these days grandparents, matriarchs and patriarchs, extended families and others are all enjoying the benefits of #bucketlisttravel.  While Europe has done a great job in the area of family room accommodation with quads and suites in many hotels, we think the better solution in most cases is renting an apartment.
Apartments provide significant benefits to a family traveling together.  First, economically, it is often more reasonable to secure a two or three bedroom apartment in Paris, London or Rome than it is to book two or three hotel rooms.  Add the efficiency of the capacity to cook meals and the comfort and closeness of a common living room area and the appeal of an apartment option becomes obvious. 
There are two types of apartment options available to the #bucketlisttraveler: the private apartment and the serviced apartment.  A serviced apartment is common in Europe and typically provides many of the amenities of a hotel.  Front desk, concierge, food service, etc. are many of the amenities in a serviced apartment.  American travelers love the fact that someone is available at the front desk to assist with tours, tickets and restaurant recommendations.  It is also nice to be able to pop downstairs and grab some extra towels or a bar of soap.  The other benefit of a serviced apartment is the flexible stay policy.  Many do not require a fixed number of nights, just like a hotel.  And, of course, their location is also key, often times in the middle of the sightseeing action.
A private apartment, however, gives a traveling family a real submersion opportunity.  The best part of boutique travel is as we say, “putting you at the scene of authenticity.”  You live like a true local.  Private apartments, usually available for stays of a least three nights, do just that.  They are in residential neighborhoods, so you shop, live and sleep like local.  The challenge always is the question of how do I know it’s a nice apartment.  Consolidators rarely inspect apartments so you really never know what you are going to get.  Rent an apartment from a resource who knows the area, has local management that can assist you with any questions or issues you have with the apartment…see note about towels above…and has a local meet and greet you at the apartment to show you the ropes.  This is the best formula for a great boutique experience.
Either way, explore the benefits of an apartment next time you travel.  Not just for the value, but for the opportunity to spend more time together in the moment, away from technology, in some of the most historic and beautiful places in the world.

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