The first grand hotels emerged in the 19th century -- particularly thriving on the power of the newly-arrived Industrial Revolution including the mass transport of travelers from across Europe to even Asia. From then on, the evolution of luxury hotel accommodations continued.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, the size of the hotels had changed compared to modern-day standards. Hotels were described as "grand" as they were huge in size and had hundreds of rooms. As most 19th century hotels held monopolies against affordable inns, they also needed to guarantee more rooms. Smaller rooms are practical for the 21st century as technology permits cheaper advertising and rates for travelers.
Hotel chains have begun to emerge only during the 1920s and proved to be popular among traveling businessmen, which helped propel them to new heights with bigger networks. Hotel chains are slowly tearing at the seams caused by the disruption of travel distribution by the Internet. These chains need more than just free rooms per mileage; they would need to make the "premium" experience something unique and truly hospitable.
Before AirBnb had helped many travelers find cheaper rooms, grand-sized hotels found themselves less attractive to travelers, who might be in need only of a few days of stay for less. Add the incrementing traffic situation heading to a luxury hotel from the airport, micro luxury hotels have sprung up near airport terminals or even bus stations to deliver excellent grand-hotel hospitality without having to tackle the problem of time management.
The Internet is an immense travel distribution disruptor but it had also paved the way for house-style luxury accommodations in the form of boutique hotels. According to Forbes, James and Tamara Lohan of the "Mr & Mrs Smith" guidebook recommends more boutique hotels than luxury micro hotels and other variants because of their unique appeal, such as the Togo Island Inn in Canada.
Perhaps the most that has changed are concierge services. Luxury hotels do not only offer a private chauffeur but also bring forward other amenities including free music streaming services or even free tickets to certain events (depending on one's membership or reserved room).