The Writer’s Room is a small space, carefully curated to encourage contemplation, that has welcomed more than 100 writers into its inner sanctum in the last two years. We’re thrilled to share that just today the program was briefly covered in the New York Times in an article about literary hotels. So, what began as our little project in South Florida to nurture writers while traveling is inspiring travelers to write – and to read – and to see Miami Beach as a place where words are welcome.
Two years ago, the Betsy-South Beach in Miami started a writers-in-residence program that offers guest rooms to writers — from newcomers to the former poet laureate Billy Collins — for stays of up to seven days, along with a dining stipend. In exchange, the writer holds a literary salon, lecture or reading open to the public, adding ballast to the beach scene. “People tend to stereotype what South Beach is about, and that stereotyping is wonderfully true,” said the owner, Jonathan Plutzik. “But there’s also a really diverse, interesting, culturally committed community here that embraces the arts.”
When management bought the neighboring Carlton South Beach Hotel in October, it expanded the program to house writers exiled from their home countries for extended stays, the first being Chenjerai Hove, originally from Zimbabwe, a critic of the Mugabe government.
Mr. Plutzik, the son of the poet Hyam Plutzik, believes the philanthropic program helps cast the hotel as the thinking traveler’s choice, while underscoring the natural association between books and travel — when guests actually have the time to read. “That’s why people go on vacation,” he said.