Why You Might Not Find A Bible In Your Hotel Room Nightstand

Image courtesy of Freaktography

There are several things a traveler expects when staying in a hotel: that room service is available, the beds won’t be as comfy as your own, and there will be a Bible in the nightstand. Guests of Marriott’s latest hotel chains — Moxy and Edison — can remove the latter expectation from their list: the chain won’t include the holy book in rooms.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Marriott has decided that no religious materials will be offered at the two millennial-focused brands.

It’s not that Marriott thinks younger travelers aren’t religious, the materials just don’t “fit the personality of the brands,” a spokesperson for the company says.

Marriott isn’t the only lodging company to stop including the Bible in some rooms, a survey by hospitality analytics company STR found that just 48% of the 2,600 hotels that responded include religious materials in rooms.

The decline — 95% of hotels included the books back in 2006 — is a result of several factors: targeting younger travelers that might not be as devout, avoiding any offense to guests, and new room designs that ditch traditional nightstands.

James McKnight, pastor at the Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship in Los Angeles, tells the Times that another reason hotels might stop offering the Bible is because most people who read it already have one with them.

Still, STR cautions that it’s difficult to determine just how many hotels have stopped adding the Bible to rooms, as several companies allow individual hotel owners and managers to decide whether to make the book standard in rooms.

For example, managers at 5,000 Intercontinental Hotel Group locations aren’t required to put Bibles in each room.

A rep for the company said the “hotels have the flexibility to offer religious materials to their guests if they choose to do so.”