Boutique hotels becoming mainstream

Boutique accommodation properties make up a fifth of Australia’s hotel pipeline, driven by a millennial appetite for unique travel experiences.

New research shows boutique developments represent 20 per cent of the hotel pipeline across Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, and 12 per cent of all CBD hotel developments nationally.

The need for properties to differentiate themselves in a crowded online marketplace, means boutique hotels “are becoming more mainstream” as they contribute to a larger share of stock, according to research report Are Boutique Hotels Becoming Mainstream by CBRE.

“Experience-based travel is becoming prevalent across all demographics, but highly preferred by younger cohorts, giving boutique and lifestyle hotels the upper hand in the battle for customers,” said CBRE senior research manager Danny Lee.

Big hotel chains have also jumped on the trend, with Accor snapping up lifestyle brand Tribe and growing its Australian-grown Art Series portfolio, while Marriott is looking to debut millennial boutique brand Moxy in Melbourne in 2021.

“As the hotel environment witnesses an increasing level of competition between sharing platforms, independents and hotel chains, hoteliers are focusing on innovation and personality-based offerings in order to differentiate and retain market share,” said CBRE Hotels national director Wayne Bunz.

“The success of independent local boutique brands over the past decade has supported the case for both international groups and smaller players to undertake boutique hotel developments, such as Ovolo The Valley, Brisbane; The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney; Veriu, Sydney; Little National Hotel, Canberra; Emporium, Brisbane; The Calile Hotel, Brisbane and the Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula.”