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In need of a good read this Labor Day Weekend? One of our VIP hotel reviewers (and disclosure, a close friend of HotelChatter), Gabe Rotter has just published his second book, The Human Bobby, and we're geeking out because a big hotel makes an appearance.
Since writing about books about hotels is one of our things, we decided to ask Gabe a few questions about his book and his own hotel habits. And awaaay we go!
Your book has a long section that takes place at Shutters on The Beach in Santa Monica. Why did you choose this particular hotel for the setting?
The Human Bobby is about a wealthy man's fall from affluence to homelessness, and after he loses his house, I wanted him to spend a great deal of time in a hotel room, squandering away the rest of his money in the most luxurious and extravagant place possible. Shutters, to me, is the nicest (and most expensive) hotel in Santa Monica, where the story takes place, and it seemed like the ideal place for him to fritter away the rest of his money in (relative, considering his situation) comfort.
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.
HotelChatter contributor AndrewC is bringing life back to your summer reading book list. Though beach reading season is steadily winding down, keep an eye out for his reviews; he rounds up the tomes worth picking up in lieu of your typical Harlequin or grizzled detective story. Do you have your own travel reading suggestions? Comment below or e-mail us.
It's not too often that you find something besides a bible and phone book in the nightstand drawer at your hotel, but until the late 90s every Hilton Hotel included the book Be My Guest, Conrad Hilton's autobiography. That's how we "found" our copy during our stay at the Hilton in East Brunswick, NJ awhile back.
The Bardessono in Yountville, Calif.
As part of our Summer Reading List for Hotel Geeks, once a week, we will review a book about hotels whether it be fiction, non-fiction, historical, auto-biographical or even just a cool coffee table book with incredible photos. These could be the perfect books to kick back with while laying poolside, or while working the late-night shift at the front desk or while entertaining friends with your high-falutin' aspiring hotelier schemes. Our latest read is of the travel guide variety but we loved these California hotel picks.
As a former long-time California resident, we were excited to learn about fellow travel writer Lena Katz’ new Travel Temptations series of books, SNOW, SIP and SUN – especially SUN: California: Delicious Destinations, Secret Hideaways, Expert Sources , since this HotelChatter contributor moved to the land of Vitamin D deficiencies, a.k.a. Seattle.
We asked Katz to dish on her fave summer vacay destinations in the Golden State. She shared with us four Northern California picks, all known for their emphasis on nature – not artificial materials.
Depending where your publisher puts you up, a book tour can be a disaster or a delight. Just ask author Jane Green, who has been tweeting about the book tour for her latest beach read, Dune Road. We noticed that a few of her tweets dealt with her hotel accommodations and since we've gone a bit book-mad this summer, we though we would ask the Connecticut-based author for her book-tour survival tips.
What essentials do you look for in a hotel?
A warm welcome with a smile, luxurious bathrooms, and comfortable beds.
Which extras are particularly attractive to the traveling author?
Plenty of easily accessed outlets for Kindles, iPods, BlackBerry. etc.
Keep on reading for more of our interview with Jane Green.
Summer is officially here and while the weather on the East Coast has taken its sweet old time warming up, there's still no better way for us hotel nerds to celebrate the hot days and long nights other than with a Summer Reading List of Hotel Books.
Once a week, we will review a book about hotels whether it be fiction, non-fiction, historical, auto-biographical or even just a cool coffee table book with incredible photos. These could be the perfect books to kick back with while laying poolside, or while working the late-night shift at the front desk or while entertaining friends with your high-falutin' aspiring hotelier schemes.
First up, one for those aforementioned aspiring hoteliers: Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp.