April 19, 2012

Across the river and into the lobby


Following in the footsteps of celebrity hoteliers Jimmy Buffett, David Copperfield, and Olivia Newton-John, the entrepreneurial folks minding Ernest Hemingway’s estate have entered a global agreement with developers to build a chain of luxury hotels across the globe.

The idea is that Hemingway’s lifestyle — the exotic locales! the copious liquor! — is a lifestyle worth emulating, or at least visiting, while on vacation.

According to the Hemingway Hotels & Resorts Web site:

Ernest Hemingway’s greatest pleasure in life was the crafting of the “one perfect sentence.” He would then “refill the well” by spending the rest of the day as a “man of action.” Hemingway was the ultimate sportsman. He loved deep-sea fishing, hunting, nature and the active physical life. But he was also just as at home at day’s end with friends, enjoying the perfect martini in Paris, daiquiri in Havana or a Bellini in Venice, along with fine cuisine. Hemingway was always seeking the essence and fullness of each of life’s experiences, about which he would then write so beautifully. It is these experiences and lifestyle that Hemingway Hotels will deliver to our guests.

Ernest Hemingway, who said “The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without” is now the namesake behind a bunch of hotels hawking luxury, branding adventure, and monetizing personal exploration.

All this is nothing new, of course. The commercial bastardization of American culture is itself part of our culture. I suppose all one can hope is for a present-day Hemingway character to shack up in one of these establishments and trash the hell out of it while penning a novel about disillusionment and the downfall of literary culture.

On the other hand, what if you’re an ambitious hotel owner who knows a good opportunity when he sees it?

Say you want in on some of this action … Well, franchising is available, but only if your property meets the following criteria:

— A property must be located in a destination that has a relationship with the great author and his literature, or offer the lifestyle opportunity for an adventure experience that those locales may suggest.

— The architecture will express the spirit of the hotel’s location and often reference the places where Hemingway lived and wrote.

— In homage to Hemingway’s passion for great food, the restaurants will serve authentic cuisine reflecting the local culture.

— Bars will serve as the ultimate gathering places to enjoy Hemingway’s favorite libations and the camaraderie of friends.

— Enlightened activities will be offered day and night; from adventurous sports in the great outdoors to cultural events like book readings and tours.

— The essence of Hemingway will be celebrated — a passion for life, intellectual curiosity, unwavering integrity and a respect for the natural world.

— Guestrooms should meet a minimum 4-star criteria.

This is great. Now each and every traveler/hotelier can live exactly like Hemingway.

Let’s just hope the shotguns are kept firmly mounted on the walls.


Kevin Murphy is the digital media marketing manager of Melville House.