Category Archives: Boutique Design

Passionate hotel owners (BLLA Video)

There is nothing like coming into contact with an independent hotel owner in the boutique, lifestyle or luxury category.

Their passion shows in their eyes, in their every movement and in just about everything they do online or off.

Why is that?

Basically, they are on their own, making decisions about everything including what/where/when & why. Their sounding board is either themselves, trusted friends and family or consultants and business associates they choose to work with.

They get into the business and some become passionate only after they’ve opened the hotel and see first-hand their vision come to life.  “It’s like birthing a baby,” says Tim Dixon, owner of the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee.  The heart and soul of these properties mostly are tied into an owner, even if the hired designers and architects take a lead position.  They don’t have a rule-book with strict policies and procedures to follow.  They are the P&P’s at the end of the day.

On their own — reminds me of the ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) tagline “Without a travel agent, you’re on your own!” In today’s world of traveling, it’s kind of nice to have someone backing you up in case you need help or advice or just a sounding board to help you make the right decision so you aren’t floating around out there without a safety net, wasting both time and money, and with so many choices online, this is not hard to do!

For boutique & lifestyle hotels, they also need that back-up, that sounding board, that one place to find experts and relevant information to help them through the thick and the thin of hospitality ownership in this special category.

That’s where BLLA comes in. The association’s mission is to raise the awareness of boutique & lifestyle properties everywhere on earth. Not an easy task. But one that is becoming more and more urgent and necessary. With new global property owners joining everyday, the larger number of members will mean that our voice gets louder and louder.

No matter who you are, if you believe in our mission, come join us today.

Authenticity – have it and win!

When searching for a new car, what do you take into account before making the final decision?

Price, gas mileage efficiency, and safety features are all common answers. But even more importantly, the authenticity and dependability of the car and brand weigh significantly into your decision.

The same is true when deciding which hotel to stay at. You look for properties that are committed to the guests and offer authentic services. The Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) resonates with this idea of authenticity and ensures that this theme is apparent in every aspect of the organization. Within the hospitality industry, it is imperative not to confuse imitation with legitimacy.

In uniting boutique and lifestyle properties all around the globe, BLLA assures authenticity is displayed in all areas of involvement in order to enhance the image of the members. When securing a new property, a vetting process is conducted to uncover all features of the hotel. It is essential for the property to exhibit dependability with their interactions with guests, vendors, as well as their own employees. This commitment to the authenticity of their approach is vital to BLLA. Without credibility, boutique properties lose their main asset, customers. Guests become apprehensive if they believe the endeavors or service offerings are fabricated.

In addition to obtaining credible boutique and lifestyle properties, the authenticity of BLLA events is highly regarded and paramount to the organization. In connecting boutique/lifestyle properties and suppliers, again this theme of authenticity must be presented by BLLA itself, projecting their legitimacy within the hospitality industry. BLLA makes sure that all aspects of their conferences and programs are genuine, ranging from the speakers to the actual venue. It is critical for BLLA to demonstrate authenticity to strengthen the reputation of their properties and the suppliers that sustain them.

Defining Boutique

We consistently hear that this stuff is getting old and what does it matter anyway.  Funny enough, people are still talking about it, especially as it relates to the boutique & lifestyle hospitality sector.

Read this article which is conceived through a writer’s experience at the BLLA Leadership Conference held in October 2012.


It’s a Wrap!

The Inaugural Boutique & Lifestyle Leadership Symposium, held last week Oct. 22-24, 2012 at the Hollywood Roosevelt, a Thompson Hotel, was a smashing success!

The event, produced by BLLA (Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association) shot off into new space not seen by the industry in quite awhile, if at all.  It’s a simple concept but one that seems to have been overlooked by most conferences today.  That is …. taking care of attendees as if they were checking into a five star hotel. 

CEO Panel Discussion

From the non-commercialized and professional-looking conference garb (lanyards, bags and the such) to the tidbits of surprises during the panel discussions such as the hotel chef serving up oxygen-laced popcorn, the event was seen as innovative and inspiring from start to finish.

Here are some of the words used to describe attendees experience (from non-solicited emails received the day after the event):

achievement environmental leadership specialty
advantge excellence networking spectacular
agility excellent new streamed live
amazing exceptional opportunity success
appreciation extraordinary passionate talented
approachable fantastic perfect technological
assembling fresh perserverence the best
attention fun personal think-tank
caring heavy-hitters perspective thrilled
compelling historic positive thrilling
competitive honor powerhouse trends
congratulations immaculate preferences unique
connectivity individual privilege valued
current inspiring productive  vision
deeper interesting proud warm
delight intimate refreshing well-executed
dreams intriguing  relationship well-planned
electrifying knowledge relevant well-run
engaging  leaders smart wonderful 

Further testimonials are available here:

We will be writing more in the coming days of the panel discussions, entertainment and other events surrounding the Symposium.

Signing off for now.

BLLA Founder, Frances Kiradjian