What specific attributes qualify a villa for this title? There are several characteristics that contribute to an accurate description of this term.
Atmosphere is a major factor. If atmosphere is considered the main reason why a boutique villa produces memorable holidays then it must be crucial. The definition of atmosphere includes décor, ambience, personalised service, the attitude of the management or owners and how all these ingredients combined create a genuine sense of intimacy.
“An intimate atmosphere may be the one essential component without which a villa cannot be called ’boutique’.”
The boutique environment also includes anticipating guests’ needs and desires rather than just responding to a request. Knowing what a guest wants and interpreting their needs correctly is the difference between good service and great service.
So what is a real boutique villa?
A unique theme is one important part of “boutique-ness”. It may be a contemporary interior reflecting colours and designs of the specific location, literary figures connected to the area ; ie each room named after a famous writer, composer, artist etc and the villa echoing this theme with books, music and pictures in an original way. Art lessons can be offered for example.
I believe it is a place that makes people happy to be there, making them feel special, they want to return soon and they want to tell others.
As with many impalpable things, “boutique-ness”, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder.