Over the last twenty years, the burgeoning boutique hotel industry has demonstrated travelers’ increasing demand for the more personal, intimate, and unique hospitality experience that boutique hotels offer. Some of the largest hotel chains are starting to work with “boutique” consulting firms, helping transform their standardized hotels into varied spaces that provide a specialized, small-feel atmosphere.
The trend is even starting to permeate into other areas of the hospitality industry. One prime example is that of the Waterford Grand development in Eugene, Oregon, where the BPM Senior Living Company is learning from the success of boutique hotels and applying common boutique hotel elements to its assisted living community.
Waterford Grand – Boutique Assisted Living
Located on the banks of the Willamette River, Waterford Grand is a 140-unit development that, unlike many drab and cookie-cutter facilities, is designed to fit into the natural environment in which it is situated. Large windows and open, sheltered areas connect the interior with the outdoors, which include a pool, labyrinth, massage salon, and a riverside terrace. Using natural elements in designing both the exterior and interior, the development creates a certain continuum between the two spaces that encourages residents to go out and experience the outdoors.
Given that Eugene is known as the “Emerald City” with myriad options for recreational outdoor activities, this is just another example of a boutique hotel influence: allowing the environment to dictate the design rather than imposing the brand on the environment.
Like many boutique hotels, the design, while consistent throughout the facility, is not uniform. The 140 units provide different styles and options depending on the needs and preferences of the residents, which range from memory care, to independent and assisted living. The natural, organic feel ties all of these elements together with lots of wood features, earth tones and greenery to match the environment outside.
Over the next few years, it will be very interesting to see how this trend continues to influence different industries.