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Is A Boutique Hotel Right For You?

There are so many hotel options when planning a trip that can be overwhelming. There is a growing trend in boutique hotels. That’s a hotel that typically has less than 100 rooms and offers more personalized service. However, “boutique” doesn’t mean small rooms.

Many offer space for the whole family, including the pets! Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is known to be an industry leader in boutique hotels. I was invited to stay at the Kimpton Brice Hotel in Savannah’s historic district on a recent trip to Savannah. Here is my experience with a boutique hotel. 

Brice Hotel Lobby Lounge
The beautiful lobby lounge at The Brice in Savannah, Georgia. Photo Credit: Kimpton Hotels

Kimpton Brice Hotel Location and History

The Brice is at the end of Bay Street, at the edge of the Savannah historic district. We could walk everywhere without being in an overly busy area. Directly across the street is the historic Factor’s Walk and River Street. If you’re in town for a festival or event that takes place in that area, this is an ideal location. 

Like most Savannah buildings, The Brice building has a long and interesting history. Part of the structure was originally a horse livery, and that’s evident in the arches of the area referred to as the Secret Garden. The brick of the building is locally sourced and gives the hotel its name; “brice” is the Gaelic word for “brick.” Finally, the building once hosted the first Coca-Cola bottling plant outside Atlanta!

Everyone loves Savannah’s famous River Street!

Related: Savannah’s American Prohibition Museum

Boutique Hotel Ambiance

Since a boutique hotel has fewer guests, they design spaces inviting gatherings or quiet downtime. Multiple lounges are present at The Brice with comfortable seating. I saw many guests who were originally strangers striking up conversations with each other. There are also cozy nooks for folks who want to keep to themselves. 

As part of the more personalized service, many boutique hotels host a morning coffee and tea station in the lobby and an evening wine hour. At The Brice, the outside garden area is full of guests enjoying the beautiful Savannah weather and each other during these gathering times. If you’re an extrovert and love meeting people wherever you go, this aspect of a boutique hotel will appeal to you.  

Secret garden at The Brice
There’s a secret garden at The Brice! Photo Credit: Kimpton Hotels

Rooms That Will Fit Your Family

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the size of the rooms in boutique hotels. Catering to a smaller clientele doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. Many of the hotels offer suites with plenty of bed space for everyone. Our Savannah lodging included a sitting room with a long couch separate from the bedroom. I remember past trips when putting the kids to bed meant we ALL had to go to bed at 9:00 pm if we only had one room.  My husband and I absolutely could have used a set-up like this. 

Separate hotel space from bed
Loving the separate space in the hotel room. Photo Credit: Kimpton Hotels

Can’t Travel Without Your Pet?

A boutique hotel is typically more pet-friendly than larger hotel chains if you’re considering traveling with your pet. While at The Brice, I saw dogs everywhere. Since Savannah is such a walkable city, it’s also very dog-friendly. The Brice offers complimentary access to Wag! Premium, a service providing pet-sitting, walking, or boarding and access to veterinary professionals. Fido is not the only one welcome at Kimpton hotels. All manner of pets are welcome, with no breed or size restrictions. Available for loan are cushy pet beds and food and water bowls. 

Unique Amenities at Boutique Hotels

Here is where a boutique hotel shines! The hotel can offer more personalized and sometimes unique services with fewer guests. Perks in some hotels include musical instruments, record players and albums in the room, or special food and beverage items. I could have requested a plant pal for my room at The Brice if I wanted a little greenery! Since the hotel is so close to Tybee Island, they also rent a tote and beach towels if you want to make an impromptu trip. If there is anything you need, just ask. Boutique hotels are typically accommodating to reasonable guest requests.

Brice Hotel Pool
Who doesn’t love a great pool? Photo Credit: Kimpton Hotels

Health And Wellness Perks

If you like to stay active on your vacations, a boutique hotel may offer amenities attractive to you. In addition to standard fitness centers, they may offer access to workout gear and even fitness classes. Kimpton Hotels offer in-room yoga mats and free bike rentals. They have a great program for families needing to keep milk cold. You can request a Mini Me Milk Fridge to safely store breast milk during your stay.

On-Site Restaurants

Be sure to look for lodging with on-site dining. I’ve found restaurants at boutique hotels often have anything but typical dishes while maintaining a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.  It’s not unusual for these on-site restaurants to have some signature dishes that reflect the history and culture of the area. Our meal at Pacci, the restaurant at The Brice, was excellent, with plenty of Savannah seafood on the menu. As a nod to the building’s history, they even offer a Coke float as a dessert choice! 

Pacci restaurant at Brice Hotel in Savannah, GA
Pacci Restaurant at The Brice. Photo Credit: Kimpton Hotels

Is A Boutique Hotel Right For You?

Hotels that cater to a smaller volume of guests are often able to give more personalized attention. Travelers who enjoy interacting with hotel staff and other guests may appreciate the gathering spots often found in these lodgings. If pet-friendly is a must, you’ve got a better chance at finding accommodations without all the size restrictions and extra fees you might get charged at larger chain hotels. If a hotel has unique perks designed to show you something new or, conversely, make you feel right at home, a boutique hotel may be for you. 

About The Author: Amy Albers is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer based in Atlanta she has over a dozen years of experience writing and using social media to share her family travel and solo travel experiences Amy enjoys tent camping and has special expertise with state and national parks however she has never mad about a hotel stay she loves exploring her home in the southeastern United States but is always happy to explore other destinations as a genealogy and historic history librarian Amy is a sucker for all things historic.

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