The Daily Mail reports that breathless interest in E. L. James’ Fifty Shades series has translated into unlikely marketing gold for hotels in the Pacific Northwest.
At least two hotels in Seattle are offering lush, choreographed packages in hopes of attracting couples who wish to recreate scenes from the steamy books.
James’ trilogy, which takes place in Seattle, is about the torrid sexual liaisons of a young lit student and a racy young billionaire. It has stood atop the New York Times bestseller list for 18 straight weeks.
Controversy erupted in May when libraries in three states banned the novels for their sexual content. Some have hinted that the scandal might have been avoided if the states had simply banned the books for their piss-poor writing.
Reading for pleasure has a whole new meaning.
But Seattle’s Hotel Max and Edgewater Hotel, as well as the Heathman in nearby Portland, appear poised to exploit the controversy and interest surrounding the books. Their packages include chauffeured limousine rides, bottles of expensive wine, and a helicopter tour in an homage to the lavish lifestyles of James’ characters.
Packages range anywhere from $900 to $2700 per night.
These hotels are the latest in a list of institutions that have pandered to fads in order to drive revenue.
In 2008, before Quantum of Solace appeared, the Dukes Hotel in London offered a “Bond About Town” package that included a wet shave and a martini-making tutorial.
For £450 ($900), guests were granted special access to the closely guarded secret of how to mix gin and vermouth together with ice.