For decades big hotel chains across the globe have provided secure and predictable accommodation, as hotels marketed themselves based on product consistency. However, this model is being challenged as consumer expectations change. The advent of social media has altered what travellers – particularly among younger demographics – demand from hotels. They tend to avoid the generic hotel experience and eschew the cookie-cutter hotel model. The desires of these modern travellers have given rise to the emergence and growth of boutique hotels and home sharing platforms. While big hotel chains have been somewhat slow to react to competition from boutique hotels and the sharing economy, they are now fighting back. A number of big hotel operators have launched (or purchased) their own boutique hotel brands over the past five years. The rise of boutique hotels is inevitable and will increasingly account for a larger share of the hotel universe