As travelers become more adventurous and discerning, the small luxury and boutique industry is at their service.

John Sears, executive vice president of Boutique Hotels & Resorts International, an independent network of boutique hotels under one brand name, says visitors want their hotel address, like their home address, to reflect personal taste and standards.

"It is clear that the ordinary hotel trade drastically underestimated the demand for originality and character," says Sears. "The tide has radically shifted."

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