There’s nothing more disappointing than a naff hotel library. Which is why the likes of Four Seasons, Firmdale, Raffles and Soneva Resorts have all turned to the Ultimate Library for intelligent collections of books that guests actually want to read. Set up by Philip Blackwell in 2009 after he stepped down as the CEO of the bookselling arm of Blackwell’s, the London-based company began by supplying books to hotels and resorts around the globe; now it also works extensively within the design sector, curating bespoke collections for private clients and interior designers that add personality and soul to residences, retail spaces and offices.
They are chosen with precision by a dedicated team of expert bibliophiles to inspire, educate and entertain
As well as Ultimate Library’s current focus on interior projects (the team has worked with designers such as Sophie Paterson, Noor Charchafchi and Todhunter Earle) it is also branching out to provide book-related content to influencers – something that has been received with great interest over the last few months. The most challenging part for the team, though, is not only ensuring that the selection of titles reflects every aspect of a client’s interests, within a set budget, but also getting them to trust their judgement. It’s especially rewarding when a client is genuinely taken aback by the results and their understanding of the brief.
The goal, always, is to go beyond ticking the obvious boxes to create a unique, often playful library that excites, whether that’s for a top hotel who wants to harness the power of books to lend a sense of place and engage with guests, an interior designer adding beautiful tomes as decoration or an avid reader being introduced to new authors for the first time.