Latest hotel move: new in-room libraries

Hotels may be giving a lot of attention to upgrading in-room technology, but a handful are going the old-fashioned amenity route: creating in-room libraries.

Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island, for example, has recently partnered with the locally owned Island Books to stock rooms with five titles including “The Vacationers” by Emma Straub and “The Martian” by Andy Weir.

At the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore, the 18 rooms in the 19th-century mansion have six to 12 classic books each, such as “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “The Odyssey.”

The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel in New York, has filled several shelves of a leather-wrapped closet with a collection of classic literature including “The Great Gatsby” and “American Eve,” the story of America’s first supermodel, Evelyn Nesbit, who had a rich history with the building’s original architect, Stanford White.

At the Library Hotel in New York, each of the 10 guest room floors honors one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System, such as literature and history, and each of the 60 rooms has a collection of books exploring a distinctive topic within a category.

The St. Regis New York has digitally remastered 58 titles from the original collection of its founder, John Jacob Astor IV, which have been housed behind glass at the hotel for over a century.

These libraries help guests make a meaningful connection with their hotel, said Bobby Zur, who owns Travel Artistry, a consultancy in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

“Books in your room are a counterrevolution to technology overload and are almost comforting for guests,” he said. “They also give the properties a unique identity.”