Boutique hotels are something of a mystery, although they are generally seen as smaller hotels with an intimate atmosphere and unique style, there is no strict definition of a boutique hotel, yet the style does have some common features. We will run through some of those below and then present our best boutique hotel picks from across Europe.


The most common characteristic associate with boutique hotels is their small size. Indeed, the word boutique was originally used to describe a small shop or any establishment that is small and sophisticated. One would assume this applies to the hotels. 

Typically, boutique hotels should never have over 100 rooms and most keep the number below 50. Most offer a communal space where guests can relax and interact.


A distinctive and individual atmosphere is vital to any hotel being labelled boutique. Operating independent of any major chain is ideal but there are many boutique brands owned by larger hotel groups. 

The character of such properties is another aspect of the individuality. Boutique hotels are in part fun, off beat, stylistic and different from the rest. Not just in look but services and staff attitude.


The architecture and design of a boutique hotel is usually unique, always upscale, sophisticated and often combining classic elegance with chic. Guestrooms are individually decorated and use high quality amenities, décor and linen. 


The hallmark of boutique hotels is the highly personalised service. The staff to guest ratio works in favour of the hotel and guests are made to feel like friends. Luxury amenities, high quality appliances and individualised experience are all to be expected.

Restaurants and bars tend to be hip, trendy and individualistic as hotel themselves. Local sources and authentic cuisines means these are as popular with locals as they are guests.

Best Boutique Hotels in Europe