The luxury hotel industry seems to be jaunting off in to two major directions: TOTALLY HUGE and SHOWY or something more akin to a BOUTIQUE experience. Seems there are customers who want to be WOWED into submission by the sheer glitz and large gestures as the demand from Asian markets has put the hotel business into high gear. This has actually improved many offerings in the older markets like Paris or London, who realized those old stuffy chairs and bathroom faucet fittings just weren’t going to meet the high standards demanded of by this newly rich customer. So, interesting new versions of luxury hotels and refurbished grand classics have arrived in these markets to shake things up a bit. From a branding standpoint, there is a difference between these two travel experiences: the story of the property. How was the property created? Who is the designer? Was the hotel something else before, such as a bank, or perhaps a private mansion? Did the hotel have a unique history that gives it a colored past? All of this makes the experience in the property have some resonance and meaning like a storied Luxury Brand. That is the art of creating a branding story translates into experiences right from the time you enter the front doors to the time you are departing. Creating the back-story of your hotel is part of a luxury brand campaign that may have some glitz or glamour, but in truth, the story of the property and how it is told through all of your channels is really what makes a boutique hotel work best. Just like a good foreign film, there is a set of characters and a plot line that draws you in, takes you on a journey and gives you a great finish.