Boutique Has Changed

Ariela Kiradjian
Vice President, BLLA
Co-Founder, Stay Boutique


I remember being in middle school when my mother decided she wanted to be the silent hero of boutique hotels. She would discuss with my father and I how hotels of this type were the future, but when she went to conferences and met with business friends, no one believed her. However, she didn’t let this negative energy prevent her from helping boutique hotels to finally have their moment. 

Eight years later, here we are. Boutique hotels have grown to be the driving force in hospitality, the industry’s greatest and most influential trend to date. Yet now the white elephant in the room is the question: what’s next?

I have a two-part answer to this. Firstly, collaborations are trending like crazy. Working together with other brands is smart business when you can use each other’s strengths to help compensate for any weaknesses. The hotel industry should take inspiration from the fashion world, where collaborations are bigger than ever – from Rihanna’s partnership with Puma to Off-White collaborating with FWRD, and Louis Vuitton creating art on its handbags with Jeff Koons. In today’s world, it’s not always about you. Our culture is becoming less focused on the individual than about community and working together; and collaborations are a natural way to reflect this

The second part of my answer is all about BLLA’s new catchphrases:

‘Boutique is not just a hotel, it’s an experience


‘Any industry can join the community’

BOOM! With those two announcements, BLLA has changed hospitality and prepared the industry for the future. (We’re not afraid to disrupt – we thrive on change.)
We’ve just opened the doors of the boutique community to the world. 

Simply having a small amount of rooms doesn’t make a hotel ‘boutique’. It’s about so much more than that. Boutique is just as much about an ethos and an innovative approach. Leaders in other industries have many similarities with boutique hoteliers (out-of-the-box, genuine forward-thinkers). So we’ve broadened the scope of our organization to include like-minded businesses from across the board.

That’s what BLLA is all about now: connecting all the boutique communities together, whether they be hotels, restaurants, bars, fitness studios, retailers, fashion labels, liquor brands, or countless other alternatives. 

Our family just got a whole lot bigger.