Latest trend in Las Vegas is boutique hotels

Latest trend in Las Vegas is boutique hotels

Written by Ann Friedman

Boutique hotels have been sprouting up across the Las Vegas Valley and there could be more soon.

Chris Komanowski, vice president of commercial real estate brokerage CBRE, said the rise in boutique hotels could mark a new trend.

ÒOur market is underserved and people see an opportunity,Ó Komanowski said. ÒIn the last 10 to 15 years, the boutique space really became a viable segment that a lot of the Marriotts and Hiltons realized they want to be in that growth arena as well.Ó

Karie Hall, vice president and general manager of The Cromwell, a boutique hotel that opened on the corner of the Strip and East Flamingo Road in April, said sheÕs not surprised that boutique hotels made their way to the valley.

ÒBoutique and lifestyle hotels have had a strong footprint in New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and many other major cities for years; it was inevitable that Las Vegas caught on to this,Ó she said. ÒBoutique hotel environments cater to this need and understand that a new generation of guests do not necessarily want the megaresort environment that Las Vegas has been so famous for in the past.Ó

The difference between boutique hotels and a traditional hotel, Hall said, is in the details.

ÒThe scale of our property allows us to deliver very personalized experiences,Ó she said. ÒOur associates know you, remember your name and preferences, and we build on that.Ó

For example, Hall said The Cromwell offers customized coffee choices in the lobby, welcome amenities and turndown surprises that change seasonally.

ÒWe consistently hear from our hotel and casino guests that the service is really the differentiator,Ó Hall said. ÒThey love how passionate and committed our team is to the service experience.Ó

The Cromwell has 188 rooms, including 19 suites, the Giada Restaurant Las Vegas, owned by Chef Giada de Laurentiis, and DraiÕs Beach Club, Nightclub and After Hours. Since its debut, the hotel has boasted a 90 percent occupancy rate.

ÒGiada is a phenomenal setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner; itÕs Italian cuisine with a California twist and it is truly a destination dining experience. And then there is DraiÕs; whether itÕs the DraiÕs Beach Club, DraiÕs After Hours, there is always a party happening,Ó Hall said. ÒWe have a very diverse mix of guests who all come to The Cromwell for those exclusive experiences.Ó

Komanowski said customers will pay more for the right experience at boutique hotels.

ÒMany will offer a complementary wine hour, theyÕre pet- and eco-friendly, focused on recycling and issues that matter to a lot of millennials,Ó he said.

Downtown, Gold Spike unveiled Oasis, a 44-room boutique hotel with six suites on its Las Vegas Boulevard North lot in September.

Oasis is owned by Downtown Project, Zappos CEO Tony HsiehÕs $350 million initiative to redevelop downtown Las Vegas. It is a nonsmoking and nongaming hotel, Downtown Project spokeswoman Kim Schaefer said.

ÒItÕs an urban oasis in an energetic part of Las Vegas,Ó Schaefer said. ÒWe offer bike rentals, a library, office space and in-room and poolside dining.Ó

Downtown Project Operations Manager Michael Stoll said although most hotels only have one or two schemes throughout the rooms, Oasis has individual schemes in each room.

ÒEvery room has different furniture and artwork, and offers a different experience,Ó he said. ÒItÕs great for people who are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience that is off the beaten path.Ó

Stoll said the OasisÕ occupancy rate was relatively low when the hotel opened Sept. 15, however, itÕs increased approximately 50 percent since the grand opening Oct. 29.

Schaefer said sheÕs experienced an increase in bookings for December and into the New Year. She added that travelers are looking for unique and authentic experiences.

ÒThey want to see what itÕs like to live where theyÕve traveled to and thatÕs one of the exciting things about the location of Oasis is that itÕs downtown, which is undergoing resurgence and is attractive to travelers looking for a boutique experience,Ó she said.

ÒWhat I hope most is that people will come to downtown Las Vegas and really experience a different side of our city that will not only grow their interest but grow interest for the folks who live here as well.Ó

Komanowski said Las Vegas may see more boutique hotels soon.

ÒA lot of hotels have been buying boutique hotels in major markets so I think that will continue as long as thereÕs a strong market,Ó he said. ÒI think these assets will continue to be developed in many markets and I donÕt see any stopping this.Ó