Simon Westcott is the Managing Director (Asia-Pacific) of Mr & Mrs Smith talks about its growth and popularity in this region.

What’s fuelling the growth of luxe, boutique hotels in the Asia-Pacific region?

Southeast Asians are getting better educated, savvier and more urbanized. As travelers get more experienced, they want to experience the adventure of lesser known brands. Also, the rise of no-frills carriers over the past 10 years has encouraged travel to short haul destinations, allowing people to spend more on nicer accommodation.

There is a tendency these days to brand any new small hotel as “boutique.” What defines a proper boutique hotel?
The word “boutique” is a little overused these days; at Mr & Mrs Smith we define it in four ways:

1) It has to be boutique scale–as a rule of thumb there are less than 50 rooms at most of the hotels in our collection; intimacy and privacy are big components of this. Of course, there will be some exceptions to this.

2) Boutique Style: We’re a style arbiter; we’re very keen on style with a purpose featuring both function and form. We use good textiles, good art and bespoke furniture.

3) Personalized, attention-to-detail service.

4) Sex appeal. The getaways we feature have an X-factor that appeals to couples and are intrinsically romantic destinations.”

Mr & Mrs Smith is one of the world’s leading boutique hotel experts. The Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique Hotel Collection: South East Asia ($50) is the latest addition to their collection and offers detailed insights into some of the finest boutique hotels in the region. Available at major bookstores. Log on for more information.


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