It is undeniable that reading great books, whether fact, fiction, traveller’s tales or poetry provides some of our most satisfying experiences and is a pleasure most busy people only have the chance to indulge in on holiday and is also an integral part of the holiday experience.
It is often that holidaymakers end up settling for a last minute escapist fiction purchase at the airport. What better way to surprise and delight your guests on arrival than by with an intelligent book collection that inspires, educates and entertains.
This type of intelligent offering not only adds warmth and texture to your property but also creates a greater sense of place. With this in mind we created Ultimate Library, a supplier of bespoke book libraries for hotels, resorts and private residences. Today we now offer luxury hoteliers from China to Cheltenham an innovative out-of-the-box service specially tailored to their location, guest profile and brand values.
Each book collection is designed to surprise and delight guests and ensure a more memorable guest experience.
With an expert team of bibliophiles, all widely travelled we aim to give hoteliers the chance to stand out from their competitors through a unique, niche service which redefines intelligent luxury. Grey matter is after all the new black. In addition to offering guests a new amenity, a bespoke book collection can enhance a guest’s stay through a provision of thoughtful service, historical context, and that most intangible and elusive of qualities, soul.
Bespoke book collections is a growing trend within the luxury hotel market
Remarkably, books are perhaps the one item left behind by guests in hotels at the end of their holiday that are subsequently recycled for future patrons. At once discarded by one party and yet valued enough to be recycled by another, books are singular in this way and are a living testament to the cultural significance of the printed word.
Bearing in mind recent findings which show that on average we each read 2.6 books on a typical two-week break, and that on holiday is the only time many people read a book, there is a clear need and desire for thoughtful hoteliers to offer guests access to intelligently created book collections.
Furthermore, if a collection is expertly curated and tailored to the general profile of the guests then a holiday experience can become all the more memorable, helping to increase the chance of guest satisfaction, recommendation and ultimately new and repeat business. This is why we believe that bespoke book collections, whether it be an entire library, a small collection in a suite, a turndown offering or a single stand-alone book in a lobby for aesthetic purposes, can alter a guest experience dramatically.
A library or bespoke book collection, when curated and crafted by experts such as Ultimate Library, does not only add warmth, texture and soul to a particular space, but can also create a wonderful design element for a property.
How does Ultimate Library work with the hotelier to curate the ‘perfect’ library?
We work closely with our clients and their designers to capture their brand values compliment the decor and meet individual needs. We offer an on-site personalised service with a consultant to take care of the whole process from design and supply to installation, staff training and personalised operating guides.
We have found that some clients like to be more involved than others by offering their feedback on every book that we have chosen whereas others are happy for us to take complete control and source and select the books to reflect the personality of the guests and the property. One aspect of our service that hoteliers and their interior designers particularly like is that we are not only offering a luxury amenity for their future guests but also to the hoteliers themselves by taking the problem away from them. From design, supply and installation to seasonal updates and offering continuous advice, there is no hassle for the hoteliers.
A key unique aspect of our service is not only that it offers ‘intelligent’ luxury but also ‘responsible’ luxury through our Philanthropy Programme. With our philosophy being to create a better educated world, our Philanthropy Programme means that for every hotel where we curate a library; we will also donate a library to a local community of the hotel’s choice. For example, one of our clients is Lewa Wilderness Game Reserve in Kenya and through our out-reach programme, we donated a library to a local community, in this case a local Aids orphanage. As we did for the library in the Game Reserve, we tailored this to the profile of the community, which in this case were children. This bespoke book collection featured many titles on role models for the children, with three key elements at the fore; to educate, entertain and inspire.
What ideas are you working on offering new services? What are the future trends in the luxury travel market?
The future will need to cater for traditional booklovers but also the digital generation and we are therefore currently trialling a new digital service that will allow the more tech-savvy to reap the same benefits of an ‘Ultimate Library’ from their iPads and other e-readers.
For example, through our digital media box, guests will have access to a selection of core magazines, newspapers and e-books and will also be able to pre-order specific favourite publications whether whilst skiing in Switzerland or on the beach in the Seychelles, in their chosen language. We also detect that as the world becomes faster and more digital travellers delight in escaping between the pages of a good book and that is why we believe you need a literary agent as much as any travel agent to deliver such a service.