Gideons International supplies Bibles to thousands of hotels around the world. However, one hotel in Britain has ditched its 148 copies of the book and replaced them with an electronic version of the Bible that has been pre-loaded onto Kindle ereaders. Guests staying at the hotel will also be able to download any other religious text valued at £5 or less during their stay.
According to the Telegraph, Hotel Indigo in Newcastle is claiming to be the first hotel in the UK to do so. However, the hotel isn't just offering patrons access to holy texts. Guest will also be able to access additional titles in a pay-per-view set-up that will allow them to purchase regular fiction and charge it to their room.
"In the 18th Century, Newcastle was one of the largest print centers in Britain and we're in Grainger Town, close to the Literary and Philosophical Society," general manager Adam Munday is quoted as saying. "We wanted to reflect this literary history in a very contemporary way, so are offering guests the use of cutting-edge Kindles pre-loaded with The Bible, instead of the more traditional hardcopy Gideon’s Bible that they would expect to find in a hotel."
The Kindles will be in Hotel Indigo's 148 rooms on a trial basis until July 16. After that, a decision will be made on whether or not to keep the program. Additionally, Hotel Indigo will decide whether it wants to expand the program and put Kindles in any of its other hotels. A chain of boutique hotels owned by InterContinental Hotels, Hotel Indigo currently has 39 locations around the world.