Get more character, history and experience this summer in boutique hotels

Try something a little different for your summer incentives, small meetings or executive retreats in major destinations. Boutique hotels come in all different varieties—historic, niche, off the beaten path and everything in between. Smart Meetings is inspiring meeting professionals to be creative and immerse their guests in experience and culture with these popular and unique boutique hotels.

By the Beach

Of course, most people imagine the beach when they are looking forward to summertime, yet overcrowded tourism to popular destinations can be overwhelming. It’s worth researching those same destinations a little further to snag great deals on boutique beach hotels with equal parts beach fun and flexible meeting spaces.

Enjoy a quintessential Southern California summer with a modern edge and eco-friendly focus at Shore Hotel on the Santa Monica pier. Visitors can have both the exciting nightlife of the city and the peaceful nature of the beach with this hotel’s easily accessible location. With a dedication to being green, including sustainably sourced and energy conservation practices in each room, guests can travel to La La Land responsibly and fabulously this summer.

Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, California
Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, California

Looking to travel further for a true paradise experience? More and more boutique beaches in the Caribbean are becoming popular for a more intimate island getaway experience. Morningstar Buoy Haus Beach Resort at Frenchman’s Reef, Autograph Collection is located just steps away from the sunny beaches of St. Thomas. Providing private villas, poolside cabanas, fine-dining Caribbean cuisine, dockside watersports and 60,000 sq. ft. of flexible outdoor meeting space, visitors can enjoy paradise for any type of meeting or event.

Read More: Boutique Hotels Riding Mid-Size Meeting Wave

Historical Charm

Boutique hotels can represent more than just a fun new place to be. They can also be cherished historical establishments that are important to the history, community and culture they are surrounded by. With the knowledge of a particular geographical area and the input of the people, travelers can find something truly special when visiting a historical boutique hotel.

Going back to the days when the word “inn” was used more than “hotel,” the charm of the South is blended with 2024 in the Old Village of the quaint town of Mount Pleasant, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, at Post House. Built in 1896, the hotel’s location on Pitt Street has long been a popular fixture of the neighborhood. With the modern flexibility and Southern hospitality to accommodate incentive travelers, small meetings and staycationers, visitors will feel the charm and modernity of Charleston. With small event spaces from 35 to 100, visitors can enjoy an intimate event and enjoy a small travel back in time.

On the opposite side of the country, the Hassayampa Inn is one of Arizona’s most historic hotels. Winning awards like Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel from Afar while staying aligned with a rustic Southwest aesthetic, the brick building in Prescott offers impressive classic Western glamour. Authentic regional art decorates the 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space to bring Arizona’s summer desert motif into a modern-day event space.

The Hassayampa Inn, Arizona
The Hassayampa Inn, Arizona

Read More: Downtown Meetings: What’s Old is New Again

Unique Themes

Boutique hotels have the freedom to explore unique themes that mainstream hotels may not be able to. That kind of freedom of themes can lead to memorable experiences in great destinations and just might take your meetings out of the usual comfort zone in the best possible way.

Any literary fans traveling this summer? The Dorian in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is an experience as soon as you walk through the doors. Based on Oscar Wilde’s famous novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, this boutique hotel captures the opulence and lavish lifestyle of the book’s main character. Adorned with gold and peacock touches and high-end dining from its restaurant The Wilde on 27, the hotel also has a few fun tricks up its sleeve. Log-in to the device you are given as you enter your hotel and submit a secret. Depending on how “salacious” the secrets of the guests are, the picture of Dorian Gray in the lobby will change from a handsome man to a spooky skeleton!


Do your guests want drama? Over the top? Unapologetic self-indulgence and glamour? Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, will not disappoint. You can’t help but have summer fun in a hotel decked out in a Versailles meets palm springs meets Liberace motif. The kitsch is sophisticated at this 110-guest room hotel, yet Madonna Inn also has scenic outdoor space where the glitz and glamour gives way to the beauty of the natural California coast.

Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA
Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA