Epic Hotel's 'Virtual Nightstand' Does Not Seem Particularly Epic
July 7, 2009 at 4:27 PM
Huh. Yeah. So we got excited about Amazon Kindles at the Algonquin. And yes, we even got excited enough to put down our poolside go-to literature (Us Weekly, let's be real with each other here) when we heard about the sunshine-friendly Sony Readers offered by the Gansevoort. But for some reason we're not quite as excited about the "EPIC Page-Turner" program that's being heavily touted by Miami's new (and highly-praised!) Epic Hotel and Residences.
Here's the deal: the hotel offers up Sony Digital Readers "on a complimentary basis to Club Level guests and those spending their day lounging at the hotel’s 16th floor pool deck." Which is cool and the readers are loaded with one complimentary book only. You are allowed to request other titles to read during your stay for the cost of the eBook "plus a nominal download fee that EPIC will donate to the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe." Which is nice. We can't hate on charity.
But also being heavily promoted is something called the "EPIC Virtual Nightstand," which is accessible from your in-room desktop computer (oh yes, did we mention EPIC rooms have computers in 'em?) or at home. From the "nightstand," you can read excerpts "from a variety of best-sellers, new releases, and pre-publication titles from Hachette Book Group." Okay, so you can read an excerpt. We can also do that on Amazon.com, where there are many many books there are 11 books on this digital nightstand thingy. And if you want the whole book, you've gotta fork over some cash after that which is sort of meh.
On the plus-side, the hotel does provide a complimentary title from Hachette Book Group as a turn-down amenity, starting with B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras and a new book is provided every month.