New Delhi: They may lack the ambience and the luxury of 5-star hotels, but in times of a downturn, boutique hotels that come with up to 50 percent lower tariffs, but with almost same kinds of services thrown in are too tempting to ignore. As a result they are drawing in a growing number of corporate clients. “The trend was that VPs, directors were staying at 5 star hotels and with the slowdown, many top executives have decided to use boutique hotels”, says Mohinder Pal, General Manager of the Rockland in New Delhi. “With this, the flow in boutique hotels has gone up, he adds.
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Hotel Parkland, which has seen its corporate business grow 15 to 20% in the last few months, estimates about 30 to 40% of companies have moved away from 5 stars. DolphInn, another boutique hotel in New Delhi, has also seen its corporate business grow over the last year. It now accounts for 80% of its occupancy.
According to the Ministry of Tourism 80-90% of boutique hotels offer services that are on par with four and five star hotels. So how do boutique hotels keep costs down? Many don’t have facilities like a bar, a pool, a gym or even parking - the things that drive up prices in a 5-star.
Some hotels like The Rockland in New Delhi include beverages and dinner in the room tariff. Room rates average from Rs 5000- Rs 9000 per night. The DolphInn also offers a two-bedroom apartment for Rs.15,000 per night.
Five star premium hotels, five stars and four stars have had a consistent growth rate over the last 3 years of about 11%. The Ministry of Tourism does not classify boutique hotels. But anecdotal evidence suggests they are not outpacing the growth rate of 5 stars yet.