Marco Polo: Library Hotel • New York
Calling all literature enthusiasts: pay close attention. Conveniently located in midtown Manhattan is a book lover’s haven called the Library Hotel — an entire hotel dedicated to the glorious respite that is books. Aptly located on what used to be known as Library Way (now 41st Street) on the corner of Madison Avenue is the Library Hotel Collection’s New York establishment, whose entire concept is premised on bringing the Dewey Decimal System to life.
From the moment you enter the Library Hotel, there is no mistaking that this facility means business when it comes to books: guests’ first encounter with the hotel’s impressive collection is at reception, which features a floor-to-ceiling dark mahogany bookshelf along the passage wall.
Over 6,000 books are housed in the Library Hotel, some systematically spread across guestroom floors and others shelved in easily accessible spots throughout the facility.
Each floor has been allocated one of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal System. For example, the third floor covers social sciences, with books spanning law, money, world culture, economics, political science, and communication. Above this, the fourth floor focuses on languages, such Ancient, Middle Eastern, Asian, Germanic, Romance, and Slavic varieties. The eighth floor is all about literature (mystery, fairy tales, dramatic literature, poetry, classic fiction, and erotica) and the 10th floor covers general knowledge. Other categories include: math and science, technology, the arts, history, philosophy, and religion.
Each of the 60 rooms has its own selection of 50 to 150 books, with corresponding art décor. The books are selected in accordance with the floor’s Dewey category. If none of these appeal, guests can enquire at reception regarding available pre-published manuscripts, which can be read in a number of nooks, such as the hotel’s Reading Room (where refreshments are available at all hours of the day). One reviewer wrote: “Being in the Library Hotel is like stepping away from a crowded dinner party and into a well-kept study. The atmosphere is quiet and contemplative — just the thing after a day in Manhattan’s fast lane.”
Another highlight of this hotel is that it provides access to a DVD library of the American Film Institute’s 100 most highly rated titles of the 20th Century.
The Reading Room is also where a daily wine and cheese reception is hosted. Between 17:00 and 20:00, guests can enjoy a selection of Prosecco and local and international cheese. Other entertainment at the Library Hotel can be found at the Bookmarks Lounge, which opens daily at 16:00 and offers an amusing range of literature-inspired cocktails: think Tequila Mockingbird and a Tempest. When the cosy Bookmarks Lounge is not in service, the space is used as a Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden. From this wraparound terrace, one can enjoy magnificent views of the ever-bustling Madison Avenue and the Manhattan skyline.
Established in 2000 (and having undergone renovations in 2012), Library Hotel is conveniently located and is within walking distance of a number of key attractions, including the New York Public Library, Times Square, the Theatre District, and the shopping heaven that is Fifth Avenue. This easy access to heritage and entertainment makes the hotel a favorite among business travelers preferring character, culture, and charm over the typical, large offerings of multinational hotel chains.
With such a comprehensive offering, it is no wonder the Library Hotel Collection prides itself on its “novel approach to hospitality”.