In-Room Magazines: Reading Between the Sheets
Traditionally, it is the job of a hotel lobby to convey to its guests the energy and mood of the property, but the days of the grand reception desk and kowtowing bellboys are over. The rise of smaller, boutique hotels has done more than just stylize the hotel experience, but has allowed individual properties to develop their own tastes, which are then impressed upon the guests. The most obvious example of this is in interior design, but we're not interested in the obvious; instead, we're digging into those piles of magazines on the side table.
In-room magazines may seem like a do-it-yourself concierge, as often the offerings are city guides like Where and FrontDesk, but any other titles give a peek into the hotel's sensibility. For instance, two of our most recent stays, at The James in Chicago and the notorious New York Standard, have yielded some seriously eclectic glossies. From The James' choices of a Skrebneski coffee table book and readily available copies of TimeOut and The Reader, they are painting the hotel as a bastion of local culture. On the other hand, The Standard's indie artsy choices of Interview, TAR and Art in America paint the hotel as an art school dropout with a penchant for indulging in expensive periodicals.
Next time you plop onto your hotel bed and reach for the room service menu, take a gander at the magazine pile and marvel at the little personality it creates for the hotel. So long as you're not staying at the Trump Las Vegas with their Ivanka Trump jewelry catalog, something should pique your interest; in any case, it sure beats whipping out the good old Bible.