What's more, what does it mean when you apply it to a hotel?
Now I can understand its use in certain circumstances when you have small, very targeted hotels that aim to do something specific.... but personally, I find the use of the word "boutique" to be one that should draw immediate warning signals. It seems to have become the word used interchangeably with "small" or as a way of hiding some other fact about the subject being described. It's a "boutique" firm, it's a "boutique" company, it's a "boutique" (insert noun).
Well, I found myself in a boutique hotel.
I was sent to one of these establishments for work. Since they were sending me, I wasn't going to say no......
The hotel seemed nice enough. The catering was good and the conferencing facilities they provided were also enough for our needs. It also had some very nice looking rooms and open areas. Everything was decorated in an old English style.
But of the hotel itself.... it was strange. While nice enough, there was something about the place that made me feel as though this was a cross between the set of an old murder mystery and the house of the old ladies my mother used to make me visit as a child (they would give me scones with jam and cream).
There were quirky decorations, old paintings and random books strewn everywhere. My favourite thing was probably the chessboard with the mismatched pieces.
I was lucky that my room was in a secluded corner of the hotel as well. I was able to get a nice quiet nights sleep. Others were not so fortunate and were subjected to bizarre creaks and the sound of pipes at various times during the night. The hotel may have looked nice and posh in an old country-manor sort of a way, but for me, it really did seem as though the word boutique had been used in this situation to replace the word "old".