Business travelers like traveling light. Most trips for work don’t last long, with frequent travelers often becoming experts in precise, hand-luggage only, packing; the exact number of pants, socks, shirts, ties, blouses and of course, those all-important toiletries. Occasionally, a slim, softcover book or fully-loaded tablet sneaks in, but nobody would ever think of lugging a heavy collection of records around with them. What about staying in a hotel for vinyl lovers?
For many music fanatics, the right way of listening to music is on vinyl. Spin the record, drop the needle, hear the crackles and pops, followed by that familiar warm sound of vintage, humming through the speakers. It is almost a ritual that brings some comfort after a busy day. If you’re a vinyl lover, how do you maintain this passion while on the road? Certainly, that docking station for mobile phones with tiny speakers is not enough. What if you could stay in a hotel room fully kitted-out with top quality HiFi equipment, a turntable, and a carefully curated record collection? Sounds like bliss right?
London-based music and arts enterprise, The Vinyl Factory, has compiled a list of hotels where you can listen to your favorite records in a true analog fashion. They are located all over the world and on their shelves you’ll find anything from classic rock and pop to new wave, to dub and reggae. What about diving into some contemporary Polish jazz in Warsaw? Or a Neu! album and a krautrock compilation in Berlin?
Some of these hotels for vinyl lovers are located in iconic music cities and record choices capture the atmosphere and culture of the destination. While they might not be the Chelsea Hotel in New York in the seventies, at least you can listen to some tunes and reimagine the musical scene of past eras. Do you remember the nineties? Red and black flannel shirts and grunge music? Nirvana topped the charts and Seattle was the music capital of the world. Nowadays, Hotel Max in Seattle has an entire floor dedicated to one of the key record labels at the time, Sub Pop. Besides photographs and a unique Sub Pop television channel, rooms include turntables and an ever-evolving vinyl collection.
Hand-picked music for vinyl lovers
Since the early sixties, London has been one of the great music cities in the world. There, The W offers music suits and a record collection hand-picked by Irish DJ Annie Mac, spanning classic and contemporary sounds from pop and rock to hip-hop and soul. Plus, being London, you can also find a Britpop collection, curated by BBC radio DJ Lauren Laverne. A real treat for vinyl lovers.
Hotels and pop music have been closely interrelated. Musicians are a traveling bunch and stories of late nights jamming and creating in smokey suites litter pop and rock history, not to mention the untold stories never recorded or published. Business travel is perhaps at is best when it becomes truly personalized, as close to home as possible, and familiar. Perhaps, mixing your meetings with your favorite music collection provides just that comfort.