The Ben hotel in West Palm Beach will debut “The Book Butler,” a complimentary offering in partnership with The Palm Beach Book Store. The initiative invites bibliophiles to order a book from a specially curated menu. Hotel guests can dial “0” from their in-room phone to be connected to the Book Butler, who will hand deliver a copy of their selected book to their guest room, accompanied by a custom designed tasseled bookmark. A complementary in-room dining option, Book Bites, will give guests the option to order specially paired small plates with their book.
The property’s nineteenth century origins are grounded in literature and storytelling. Byrd Spilman Dewey, a bestselling author and celebrated columnist, moved to South Florida in 1892 and lived in an estate originally named Ben Trovato, The Ben’s namesake and a term loosely derived from an Italian phrase meaning, “even if it isn’t true, it’s still a good story.”
Keeping with this literary heritage, the Book Butler program pays homage to the rich history of the hotel and to the late Byrd Dewey, whose love of storytelling informed many of the The Ben’s touchpoints, like secret sliding bookcases in guest rooms and the lobby’s book display wall, arranged to resemble a silhouette of Dewey’s face.
“We are thrilled to introduce The Book Butler program to our guests, not only because it offers another glimpse into the rich, literary-inspired backstory of The Ben and its muse, Byrd Dewey, but also because it celebrates a fine local establishment through our new partnership with The Palm Beach Book Store,” said Bernardo Neto, General Manager of The Ben. “We understand the value in supporting independently-owned, neighborhood businesses and giving back to our community, particularly during the current economic climate, and are pleased to be able to introduce our guests to such a revered local bookshop as part of this new program.”
Each book available through the Book Butler program is complimentary to guests, who may take the book home with them after check-out or leave it behind to be donated to the West Palm Beach Library Foundation. Selections on the in-room book menu will rotate seasonally in partnership with The Palm Beach Book Store.
“During the pandemic, it has been especially important that we continue to connect our customers to books,” said Candice Cohen, founder of The Palm Beach Book Store. “We look forward to partnering with The Ben to curate a selection of new and topical book titles that relate to the history of the hotel and the city of West Palm Beach, providing a wonderful keepsake for those who are visiting for the first time or who have lived here their whole life.”
As the program develops, The Ben and The Palm Beach Book Store hope to invite featured authors to give readings and talks at the hotel for guests.