Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

The Do’s and Dont’s of running a small hotel

The Red Horse Inn, Landrum South Carolina USA

The Red Horse Inn, Landrum South Carolina USA


Hotel ambiance is a reflection of the personality of the owner

There are many aspects involved in managing and running a one of a kind quaint hotel.  New owners envision themselves as being the Lord or Lady of the manor but can fail to realize all the responsibilities associated with the day to day activities.  The tasks are almost an unending series of coordinating staff and verifying inventory of supplies; all the while meeting the demanding needs of the hotel’s clients.

Everything about the hotel becomes a reflection of the character and personality of the owner.  From the attitude of the employees, to the cleanliness of the rooms and including the ambiance and style of the hotel.  All are a direct or indirect reflection of the taste and preferences of the owner.

DO: Create a unique style and apply that style to all the rooms. Quite often it is the style of the hotel that differentiates it from other similar quality establishments.

Customer service is tantamount

Customer service encompasses almost all the major aspects of running a boutique hotel.  It does not just involve the face to face interaction between the management and staff with the customers.   It involves the the most minute details: from ensuring that the place is cleaned thoroughly to making sure that the bedding and linen are impeccable.

Do: Create a daily checklist for your staff.

Do: Be very concerned with the cleanliness of the rooms. 

Don’t compete with the Big Guys

Big luxury hotels or resorts may have amenities which are not suited to the smaller boutique type of hotel.  Fancy chefs, an elaborate wine list, sateen sheets are not necessary to provide an enjoyable experience for the smaller hotels.  As the proprietor of a small hotel, you will find that having on hand a selected a few of your own favorite wines to include with the meals will add all the necessary ambiance to the meals.  Put your stamp of preference in regard to art and design throughout  the premises. Decorate with your favorite books, art collection or antiques. The menus should typically focus on locally grown produce that can be easily obtained and with a menu of simple and delicious meals.

Do Not: Overcompensate for being a small hotel.

Do: Keep things simple and easy to maintain.

Get involved with the local community

Being the proprietor of a small local boutique hotel, you should be very involved in the community and local activities.  This will help you stay familiar with all the local attractions and events that are occurring in your community.  Become a site where the locals can hold social functions celebrating events and anniversaries and function as the center for social center for events within your community. This way you will stay abreast of the activities and places to see within your community.

Do: Become a great resource for local activities and current events that are available for enjoyment while staying at your hotel.

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