Travels with Bob

Small is Beautiful and Usually Better

The more I travel the more I appreciate the sanctuary provided by a small “boutique” hotel sheltered from the noise and distractions of a major city. I also like the more personal, home-like experience they provide each guest.


Boutique hotels offer a quiet respite from travel

Take the Hotel d’ Aubusson located in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris, for example. This 17th century home of a French nobleman has been repurposed as a 49-room boutique hotel that warmly caters to the needs and wishes of guests from the time they arrive. Breakfast in the inner courtyard, jazz in the lounge, comfortable, well-appointed rooms and a location within minutes of the best Paris offers are why guests return again and again. It’s like a home away from home.

A few of my other favorite small hotels include Dukes Hotel in London, Hotel Lord Byron in Rome, Hotel d’ Europe in Avignon, Eastwell Manor in Kent County, England, Hotel d’ Europe in Avignon and The Inn at Irving Place in New York City.

Such hotels often provide a richer cultural experience as you get to know the staff and seek their recommendations on where the locals eat and secret spots nearby that guide books ignore. In addition to complimentary breakfast, many boutique hotels provide outstanding lounge and dining options when you don’t feel like leaving the property for dinner.

Each of these independent properties offers one-of-a-kind respite with a four- or five-star rating. For the person seeking value over price in their travels, boutique hotels are well worth the added cost in sharp contrast to their large, impersonal counterparts that usually boast of 500+ rooms.