The advantages and disadvantages of independent hotels compared to large chains

on March 03 at 01:28 PM

Independent hotel chains should not be confused with general hotel chains. While independent hotels tend to remain single and not part of a group, more and more chains are beginning to acquire these types of hotels to diversify their portfolios. The main advantage of a hotel chain is reliability, which means that wherever they go, customers know what to expect, which is usually high quality service. The main drawback is standardization.


Best romantic hotel apartments in Jebel AliOn the other hand, the main advantage of independent hotels is that they are more personal and tend to target a specific target audience. On the other hand, they are generally more expensive and elitist. Let's take a closer look at the difference between these two types of hotels and find out if these two types of structures can compete with each other. Let's start right away.


What are the differences between independent hotels and hotel chains?

Today's consumer is increasingly demanding. More personalized and more diversified offers have therefore emerged within the hotel sector. The offer has thus expanded to meet these changing demands and to satisfy different types of customers, which has given rise to the appearance of different types of structures such as boutique hotels, independent hotels and hotel chains. But what exactly is the difference between these two types of structures?


Standardization versus uniqueness

While chains are built on the idea of having a standard offering, including standardized design and quality standards, no matter where the guest is staying in the world, independent hotels pride themselves on their character. unique. In other words, they strive to provide a unique and authentic experience in every hotel.


One of the ways for hotels to ensure that they offer a unique service is to carry out a competitive analysis. This helps determine what other hotels in the area with a similar offer are offering, to ensure you are competitively positioned in your category.


Personalization versus brand standards

Another differentiating factor is that independent hotels focus on each guest individually, seeking to anticipate their needs and outdo themselves in service. They usually create customer profiles to record customer preferences and thus better tailor their services, especially for repeat customers. This personalized attention, which is simply knowing what customers want, gives them a competitive advantage.


On the other hand, hotel chains have extremely high standards when it comes to service, but they tend to take a more simplistic approach to customer service, meeting the needs of customers when they come in and ensuring to offer a professional and quality service throughout the chain. That said, chains tend to have a less personal touch and focus on their brand standards rather than individual customer expectations.


Originality versus uniformity

Another major difference between chains and independent hotels is that the latter focus on originality in all aspects of their hotel, unlike chains which focus on uniformity. This leaves little room for creativity and makes it seem like no matter where you are in the world, everything is the same.


However, in seeking to be original, independent hotels must be creative in their design, in what they offer, their decorations, their gastronomic menus as well as in all aspects specific to the concept of the hotel. This originality is often the deciding factor for a guest when it comes to choosing to stay in a smaller and more unique establishment.


The rates

While it is true that all hotels focus on profitability, chains are more concerned with generating the maximum revenue from each room. To achieve this objective, they favor quantity, which is why they are often more competitive in terms of price. Chains also often choose the location of the hotel according to the attractiveness of the place. For example in Barcelona you might find a chain on the Abar Hotel and Apartments avenue, while a smaller property will seek a more atypical location.


The overall experience

Single bedroom hotel apartments in DubaiThere is a significant difference in the overall experience offered by the two types of hotels. In other words, independent hotels can use technology to create a frictionless customer journey, improve the guest experience, and be able to offer 24/7 service. are generally once-visited hotels, this means that they can focus all their attention and resources on providing the best possible experience, constantly adapting to always improve the service.


In comparison, the chains, like many others, seek to provide a standardized experience that will be the same across the brand's product collection. In practice, this means that channels may fall short on certain aspects of the customer experience.


Marketing and distribution strategies

There is also another major difference in marketing and distribution strategies. While an independent hotel can afford to be original and adapt its marketing and distribution strategies to its liking, chains must adhere to the overall chain strategy. This leaves little room for the creativity of each individual establishment. Independent hotels also don't have to contribute revenue or pay chain marketing fees, which means less overhead.


Are independent hotels able to compete with hotel chains?

We've looked at the differences between these two types of structures, but you might still be wondering if there's a way for them to compete. The key to gaining a competitive advantage is to provide a unique experience that cannot be replicated in any other structure.


Another way to compete with channels is at the level of the services offered and when it comes to a specialized target audience. By correctly segmenting the hotel offer for a specific target group, they can better compete with chains. It's naturally less likely that they can compete on price, but the quality and type of offering are good points to focus their efforts on.



We looked at the pros and cons of these two types of hotels and whether they can compete with each other. Although small independent hotels will find it difficult to compete on price, they can on the other hand stand out by developing a unique offer, in an incomparable location and with impeccable service.


In addition, by creating a targeted, highly segmented offer for a specific audience, it will be easier to attract customers who are not very price-conscious and who are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience. Chains, on the other hand, can be more competitive on price and can offer a sense of reliability that will target and appeal to a wider audience.


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