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The best cheap boutique hotels will provide unique accommodations and stellar service, often for less money than a standard chain hotel. Thanks to the Internet, searching for boutique accommodations is easier than ever before, and can help a traveler uncover hidden gems in nearly every part of the world. Choosing the best cheap boutique hotels requires a little patience and research, as well as the desire to take a risk in trying the unknown.
One good place to start a search for good cheap boutique hotels is a travel website. There are several popular sites dedicated to reviewing and presenting boutique properties throughout the world. These websites are generally free to use and allow customized searching, so that searches only return options in a given price, date, or style range. While this can be a great way to compile a list of options, be wary of relying totally on boutique hotel search sites; some of them may operate on commission, and may not provide fully objective reviews.
After creating a good starter list, it may help to hunt down more objective reviews of cheap boutique hotels through a review website. These websites allow travelers to post their own reviews, and may be updated on a daily basis. Using a regularly updated site allows travelers to see how a hotel is faring in the present, rather than relying on copy written when the hotel opened. One quality to look for when reading reviews is whether the hotel managers take the time to publicly respond to critique and praise. Management responses that are hostile and defensive, however, can be a big red flag.
Even though boutique properties offer a smaller and more personalized experience than large chain hotels, many operate websites that can be useful for prospective visitors. While not always objective, hotel websites often contain high-quality pictures of accommodations, list features and available services, allow travelers to take advantage of special deals and packages, and allow online booking. Hotel websites also usually feature a phone number or email address where travelers can forward any questions to the hotel staff.
Another good way to choose cheap boutique hotels is by finding a travel agent who specializes in boutique travel. A good travel agent will be able to work with any reasonable budget, and will pay close attention to a traveler's needs and desires. Travel agencies specializing in boutique hotel travel may also have great suggestions for activities, tours, and sightseeing while on the trip.
Travel magazines can also be a good resource for hotel choices. Many larger magazines will post an annual list of top boutique properties around the world, which may be available year-round on the magazine's website. These lists are often sorted by price, and can be a great way to find a truly unique hotel that fits a tight budget.