Why Smaller Hotels Are The Future

Owning a large, luxurious hotel is often the dream or aspiration for many in the hospitality industry. Having the next Hilton or Holiday Inn will have certainly passed through the mind of your average hotel from the smallest bed and breakfast to the national chains. However, as we have seen from the Covid pandemic and in recent years prior to that, smaller hotels are starting to form a bigger portion of the market, and are arguably more important. There is clearly an upward trend of smaller, independent hotels and accommodation providers such as Airbnbs, with more guests choosing more intimate and homely options akin to a home away from home. Below, we look at some of the reasons why smaller hotels are going to become more important over time.

They offer more variety

In a way, people choose to stay at big-name hotels because the quality is consistent and usually meets expectations. However, while many people used to consider hotels as a place to sleep and a base to work from, nowadays guests expect more. The rise of staycations means guests expect a broad range of amenities such as pools, spas and gyms, but they also want more of an experience. Consistency is great, but it also lacks a certain ability to create a new experience. The same type of views and room layouts large hotels are known for, while being high quality, can get quite boring, and this is why many people are now choosing to stay in smaller hotels that can offer a new experience and different perspectives. From small hotels in edgier neighbourhoods with thriving music scenes to one in a quaint countryside town where you really feel personally catered to, these are the types of hotels that are proving popular.

The industry is not putting all its eggs in one basket

While huge hotels are able to take advantage of lower costs thanks to economies of scale, if one gets into financial trouble – and we have seen some do so during the covid-19 pandemic – its demise could have a detrimental effect on the industry as a whole. By spreading out available rooms over many providers, the industry is effectively spreading out the risk, and this is what’s being encouraged in light of the pandemic.

You’re helping smaller businesses

You would baulk at the amount of money the large hotels make and imagine the benefits to society and the economy if that would be spread amongst many small business owners. Sure, large hotels hire many people and support the supply chain, but overall society and the economy would be much better off if the wealth was more evenly distributed. 

Just because they’re smaller businesses doesn’t necessarily mean that they are lagging in terms of quality too. You can certainly expect some of these smaller hotels to also be using room booking software, high-quality furnishing and serving delicious food, even if they don’t have a big name!