There was a time, not so terribly long ago, that there was really no such thing as a “boutique” hotel. There were big chain hotels (Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott), luxury hotels (the Ritz, the Four Seasons) and there were motels. And there were others: bed and breakfasts, pensiones, and ryokans. Oh, and since we’re talking Japan: there were love hotels.  There was no AirBnB, no VRBO. Boutique hotels really got their start in the late 70s, in London, courtesy of Anouska Hempel and Blakes. They were small (under 50 rooms), idiosynchratically decorated, with service that promised to be more intimate, more personal, and restaurant food that was actually edible. The fashion and media crowds gravitated to this kind of thing. And it was then that things got out of…