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OpenThread / Hotel Religion / Travelodge Hotels / UK Hotels / Hotel Bibles / Hotel Bookshelves / → All Tags
A Bible in your bedside drawer has always been one of those comforting mediocre hotel room givens, like toiletries of dubious provenance and chocolates – if you’re lucky enough to get them – that taste of cardboard. But could this be coming to an end?
Travelodge is currently coming under fire in the UK for removing Bibles from all its hotel rooms, “because of diversity reasons” and “‘in order not to discriminate against any religion”. Predictably, there’s a firestorm of people on Twitter vowing to switch allegiance to Premier Inn, and the Church of England declaring that: “It seems both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word ‘diversity’.”
In actual fact, the story isn’t as extreme as it sounds at first – the Bibles, which were always provided free of charge by the Gideon Society, haven’t been burned or chucked out – Travelodge says they are being “retained” and will be doled out by reception on request. What’s more, in surely the most telling part of this story, Travelodge says this decision was taken in 2007, and the hotels have been steadily implementing it since then, without receiving any complaints until the Daily Mail got wind of it last week.
Ernest Hemingway / Hemingway Hotels / Literary Hotels / Hotel Libraries / Hotel Bookshelves / → All Tags
It doesn't take much to get us excited about a new hotel brand but this one has us fired up, or rather ready to relax in a hammock with a classic novel on the beach somewhere.
Hemingway Ltd., a corporation owned by the estate and family of Ernest Hemingway have just announced a worldwide licensing agreement for Hemingway Hotels and Resorts to build luxury hotels and resorts based on the life of the legendary author.
The company has had interest from and is targeting developers and existing owners who are building new, or converting existing, hotels in destinations that are inspired by his work, travels and appetite for life, all representing the best of the Hemingway lifestyle. A prolific writer, world traveler and constant adventurer, Hemingway’s spirit lives on with a timeless appeal that will imbue each distinctive property.
Four Seasons Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Hotel Art / Hotel Bookshelves / Photo Gallery / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Ever since the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago rebranded and reopened its lobby and resto space this February, the new restaurant Allium has been getting a lot of buzz. We stopped by to see it out for ourselves and venturing out of the elevator, were stopped by something else: the gorgeous entry that felt every bit a private art collector’s gallery.
Dramatically, big paintings hung across the walls from each other, coin-melded sculptures called from the corners, flower arrangements brightened a table in the center. Had we taken a wrong turn? Where was the front desk? The concierge? Was this even the lobby?
Turns out we were right where we were suppose to be, right in the Four Seasons new hotel lobby, which is suppose to be every bit about art. We spied the registration desk and concierge to the right and more spacious, art-filled rooms flowing beyond it and very much like a museum, only more posh and comfortable.
Hotel Libraries / Literary Hotels / Taj Hotels / India Hotels / Hotel Bookshelves / Hotel Bibles / Hotel Korans / → All Tags
The newly opened Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India, has a lot of cool features, like it is one of the country's last remaining grand palaces, and it's built entirely of Italian marble and in the shape of a scorpion. But the geeks that we are, we're digging its expansive library.
The hotel carries more than 5,900 books in its Imperial Library. You'll find tomes on literature, history and religion. Though the standout is a rare collection of the holy Quran.
UPDATE: It could be opening as early as this week!
Last week we rounded up a bunch of new NYC Hotels that are opening later this year but there's one hotel that we missed--The Gotham Hotel. This is that mysterious hotel going up on E. 46th Street, whose identity we just discovered the other week.
There's not a whole lot going on here but we are loving the typeset logo and the books on the nightstand. (The hotel is named after the old Gotham Book Mart that used to be at this address.) And a tipster has written in saying that the hotel will have 66 guestrooms with four different room categories, starting at $225 a night. That's rather good!
For the Sake of Hotel Art / Hotel Bookshelves / Waikiki Hotels / Edition Hotels / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
The brand-new Waikiki Edition Hotel officially opens on October 15 but lucky guests have been able to stay at the hotel during its soft-opening for the past two weeks. And while we've learned that the hotel has loaner iPads available for guests, we just found out the lobby also sports an old-school bookcase. Ok, it's a little savvier than a traditional bookcase.
A large, rotating bookcase divides the lobby space so it can be closed off to separate and define the Lobby Bar, which is hidden behind this secret passage as if tucked away in a castle. This bookcase will feature rotating art installations by local artists as well as curated collections of objects, books and memorabilia.
And are those iPads we see there on the shelves?
Possibly. No, actually they are digital frames. But still, that's not all the lobby of the Waikiki Edition has to offer.
UPDATE 10.10.10: There is a website for The Gotham Hotel as well as an updated exterior shot below. Also, the Real Deal article was actually written in August so the hotel didn't quite make the "next month" deadline but keep sending in the tips if you've got 'em.
Nearly a year ago, we received some snapshots from a tipster of a scary skinny hotel going up on East 46th Street but we had no idea what hotel this was going to turn into. So we asked you dear readers for some help and got radio silence instead.
But now it looks like the hotel will open as The Gotham Hotel, a tribute to the old Gotham Book Mart that used to occupy the lot. Real Deal has the scoop on the skinny minnie:
According to the architect of the project, Damir Sehic of C3D Architecture, most of the furniture has been moved into the hotel and the restaurant on the first floor. Work on the hotel, developed by R+B Development (after Refik Radoncic and Jeffrey Bennett), may finish next month.
The yin and yang of top-drawer reading material at the Shangri-La Sydney.
When we first enter a hotel room, we like to poke around and open drawers, checking out every tiny detail. But we were shocked to see a bible—and The Teaching of Buddha—when we flung open the nightstand drawer at the Shangri-La Sydney recently.
We shouldn't have been, of course. Bibles have been a mainstay of hotel rooms for at least a century. But aside from this encounter, we haven't actually seen one in eons. As hotels increasingly focus on providing geeked-up rooms with fancy light settings, glossy flatscreen TVs, and (more, please) free WiFi, they seem to be leaving the good old Gideons behind. But is this a good thing or not? Are hotels losing their religion, and does anyway care?
Looking for a good summer read to throw in your carry-on? The premise of this new book, out on June 8, is perfect for hotel geeks: Based Upon Availability chronicles the (mostly lonely) lives of a group of New Yorkers, who are all loosely connected by their stays at the Four Seasons New York. The hotel's manager is the book's main protagonist, but we get to see each character's story told through both her eyes and their own. Author and journalist Alix Strauss has traveled extensively over the course of her career and says she has "a love affair with hotels." Here, she shares some her favorites.
HotelChatter: What are the main things you look for in a hotel room?
Alix Strauss: I really love free internet. If you're spending up to $300 or even $600 a night, the internet should absolutely be free. I love that the Andaz Hotels have the free in-room minibar. And I like forward-thinking hotels like The Liberty Hotel in Boston. I like a hotel that makes me feel pampered.
As a longtime literary haven, the Algonquin was early on the hotel loan-a-Kindle trend, and now they’re stepping their bookishness up yet another notch. Guests at the Algonquin can choose between a Kindle or a Sony reader to use during their stay (free of charge.)
But that's not all. Guests will have even more books to choose from as the hotel has struck a new partnership with the Harper Perennial imprint.
Harper Perennial will provide a fresh batch new titles and classics to the hotel each month. Upcoming titles available include The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy, and Oscar Wilde’s The Model Millionaire.
Sick of toting heavy hardcover books in your shrinking carry-on allowance? Not quite keen on the Kindle? If you’re heading to Los Cabos for spring break, you can leave all the books and e-readers at home—as long as you’re willing to drop some major cash on a room at Las Ventanas.
The resort’s Hot Type program not only makes books available for guests to read poolside, they bring you the freshest titles possible—books six weeks to six months away from hitting Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The lobby of theWit buzzes with businessmen chatting, workers scurrying about and people wandering in and out, but head to the second floor of the hotel and you'll find some peace in the library.
But it's not a library per se. Yes, the table in the middle of the room has small stacks of oversized coffee-table books on everything from fashion to architecture to music that you can peruse. (The most popular one among library visitors is Frank Lloyd Wright Complete Works, Vol. 3: 1943-1959.) But it's more about the atmosphere.