Imagining I could link to a couple dozen articles here about places being designed specifically around what’s particularly Insta-hot right now, but you’ve probably read them too. When we walked into The Graduate hotel in Oxford, Mississippi earlier this month, that’s exactly what I was thinking: built for IG.
The location is perfect — just a block off the Square, so in the morning after breakfast at the hotel, we got to walk around before setting off to Memphis. Here’s what’s going on inside:
…globe lamps above a small library at check-in, only to behold that the books are sawed (?) in half and adhered to the cabinetry. Seriously, I found ‘You: The Owner’s Manual’ smashed between ‘The Heat of Ramadan’ and Garrison Keillor’s ‘Wobegon Boy’ which was either crackpot genius or just, you know, somebody grabbing yardsale books and finishing a shelf.
Some of the brand’s philosophy on why they choose university settings, from the founder via Skift:
We morphed into really focusing on university anchored secondary and tertiary markets and what we found was that most of those markets had a very limited — or very lackluster is probably a better word — hotel product in what were some very dynamic and unique markets. We saw there was opportunity there because there was very little competition for doing any kind of lifestyle, boutique or independent hotel in those markets. Then, we also saw after doing some research that there was very low volatility in these markets safety well; they didn’t suffer nearly as badly in terms of the last two recessions and they bounced back much quicker.
art by William Goodman in the lobby
I always associate him first with that big mural at the Mississippi Museum of Art
More lobby fab:
The televisions here are in big frames so they look less like big dopey televisions.
Lest we forget college town, there’s a few reminders strewn about
Back to the yearbooks for a sec, the ones on display were late ’60s and ’70s and w o w y e s s s s s
El Burrito! Yassss.
and the, um, Benzo Burger
Students are welcome to sit in the lobby at the hotel to study, etc and who exactly gets to study in Eames chairs at school?
I do remember, though, luxuriating in the ball chairs in the Oberlin College library a couple of summers, though, so there’s that. Beyond fab.
There’s a restaurant upstairs at the hotel as well as this quick-serve little cafe:
and just outside:
Then there was this one moment when it got just waaaay too Pinterest-y:But but hey, we all overdo it at college I guess.
at the elevator alcove:
and down the hall (though you’d think they’d want to reconsider houndstooth in Oxford, but ‘kay…):
The room was fine — it’s wasn’t super plush or too minimalist. It was comfortable and alright. They’re making a killing on football weekends but overall it’s not luxurious or particularly service oriented. It seemed as though students were running the hotel, and even when we went to breakfast, instead of someone welcoming guests, they were just sitting around chatting and we mistook them for fellow visitors. There was a whole back-and-forth-how-do-we-even-do-this between the front desk and restaurant when we explained we had purchased a package with breakfast included (so it was as though it was a completely new concept to everyone, and they still wanted to charge us tax). Would we stay here again? Nah. But it was okay.
There was a bluetooth speaker you could take into the bathroom for musical accompaniment, Faulkner illustrations framed on the wall, and Malin + Goetz goodness:
For nicer, there’s Chancellor’s House in Oxford (and that’s a lot of greige).
Our stay at the sister Graduate Hotel in Athens, Georgia here.
My husband the UVA grad is prob going to want to stay at the Graduate in Charlottesville to give that one a go, and if you like card catalogs in your hotel, well there’s this.