Boutique hotels began appearing in the 1980s in major cities like London, New York, and San Francisco. Boutique hotels are believed to have been introduced in the early 1980s. Two of the first opened in 1981: The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London (designed by Anouska Hempel) and the Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco (the first in a series of 34 boutique hotels currently operated by the Kimpton Group). Although there is some quibbling as to whether it was the first boutique hotel ever, Morgans, founded by Ian Shrager and Steve Rubell in New York City, is the most notable of the era; it debuted in 1984. San Francisco & Los Angeles Boutique Hoteliers, Paul Ruffino, Charles Mosser & Chip Connely were engaged in what was an East Coast/West Coast debate over who coined the phrase. Many have laid claim.
International hotel chains later began to establish luxury boutique sub-brands to capitalize on the growth of this sector.
Many boutique hotels are furnished in a themed, stylish and/or aspirational manner. The popularity of the boutique concept has prompted some multi-national hotel companies to try to capture a market share. In the United States, New York City remains an important centre for boutique hotels clustered about Manhattan. Some members of the hospitality industry are following the general "no-frill chic" consumer trend, with affordable or budget boutique hotels being created all around the world. Boutique hotels are found in London, New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. They are also found in resort destinations with exotic amenities such as electronics, spas, yoga and painting classes.
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