Full-service hotels have long been a model of high performance, outperforming the rest of the U.S. hotel industry in nearly every conceivable benchmark for decades. But the tide has been turning in recent years, as soft brands and boutique hotels continue to claw out their positions of prominence.

Fueling this change is a shift in traveler preference away from high-touch service and toward the unique, local, and authentic. In part, soft-brand and boutique hotels are satisfying this need, and demand for these hotel options has surged in recent years.