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A library off the hotel lobby

None  New York, July 30, 2013
First Published: 21:37 IST(30/7/2013) | Last Updated: 21:41 IST(30/7/2013)

Some hotels are giving the humble book another look, as they search for ways to persuade guests, particularly younger ones, to spend more time in their lobbies and bars.


They are increasingly stocking books in a central location, designating book suites or playing host to author readings.

While the trend began at boutique hotels like the Library Hotel in New York, the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon, and the Study at Yale in New Haven, it is expanding to chain hotels.

For these chains, a library  feel allows a lobby to evolve from a formal space to a more homelike atmosphere, one that younger customers seek.

There, however, is a financial angle. Room revenue in hotels rose 6.3% in 2012 compared with a year earlier, but food and beverage revenue increased only 2.3%, according to research.

For hotels, the challenge is to persuade guests to spend more time, and money, in restaurants and bars, rather than venturing outside. Scott Mayer, a senior vice president at Country Inns Hotel, says the goal is to provide guests with “something they didn’t expect.”

New York Times

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