Although industry experts estimate boutique hotels today represent at most 3 percent of all hotels in the United States, they expect this number to grow significantly. Bjorn Hanson, dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University, said almost a third of all hotels opening in Manhattan this year would be boutique hotels, and as much as 10 percent in other major urban markets. He estimated that they could account for 6 percent of all hotels in the United States, and as much as 10 percent in the largest urban markets, in 10 to 15 years.

One reason for this growth, said Henry H. Harteveldt, travel analyst for Forrester Research, is a reaction by travelers against large hotels that are much the same, no matter the location.

“Everybody pays attention to design,” Mr. Harteveldt said. “People like things a little bit different, offbeat. And they make someone who may have a rather mundane life feel hip.”

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