According to British newspaper The Independent, the luxury lodging company Morgans Hotel Group is introducing a collaboration with The School of Life, a group that runs personal-fulfillment programs and services, called "Minibar for the Mind." (Don't worry: We're sure that the Toblerone will not depart the regular minibar.) The product, which will soon appear in five Morgans properties (the group has hotels in London, New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere), will comprise "a box of 250 conversation starters, a volume of columns written by faculty at The School of Life, 'Reading Prescriptions' designed to evoke moods of relaxation or seduction and a notebook and pencil set." The story continues:
The set costs $56 (suggesting, perhaps, that minibars are extortionate whatever you put in them) but guests who don't want to shell out for the product will also be treated to a "Daily Aphorism" with their turn down, with insights from some of the world's great literary minds.In other hotel news, a writer for USA Today, reporting from the Americas Lodging Investment Conference in San Diego, describes a new boutique hotel brand called Modo that is aiming to open its first properties in 2012 in New York City and Kansas City, in addition to five cities apiece in Brazil and India. The hook is "indie music" — aka, music produced by (or that "feels like" it was produced by) independent record labels. Rooms will be loft-like spaces with record players in each room. Perhaps this is the right time for such a concept, with indie band The Decemberists at the top of the charts last week in the U.S. (beating out "Kidz Bop 19" by a nose).
How's this for meetings management: New York City Michael Bloomberg, reports the Wall Street Journal, has installed "count-up clocks" in City Hall meeting rooms. The clocks were an idea of one the mayor's friends in the private sector, who said that the clocks' installation at his firm had cut time spent in meetings by a fifth. Bloomberg's press secretary, Stu Loeser, told the newspaper, "We're always looking to find ways to make things work faster. We're not here to sit around and meet with each other—we're here to get things done." Not a bad plan!
Lastly, in the forecast: As another round of heavy snow moves in across the Midwest, the Southern states, and the East Coast, it might be worth reading this New York Times story about "How to Fight Back When Your Flight is Canceled." The basic strategy is as follows:
- Tweet for help.
- Read the fine print.
- Avoid being bumped.
- Report lost bags immediately.