In an increasingly digital world, interest in and sales of vinyl records are skyrocketing. It’s not just DJs and music geeks who are returning to this very human and tactile format, either. With Fortune reporting vinyl sales at a 28-year high, it’s spinning right into the mainstream — and more boutique hotels are making it part of your travel experience. Check out these cities where you can go on record-digging excursions and then enjoy the audio fruits in the comfort of your room — or kick back and let a “vinyl concierge” do all the work.
1. San Francisco
Hotel Zeppelin debuted in the spring with a groovy '60s feel, but the vinyl selections that are presented in the suites to be used with a portable record player veer towards more modern classics, like N.W.A., Nirvana, and Sia. Hit up the Haight for brand new underground dance sounds from the U.S. and Europe at specialist shop Vinyl Dreams and to find cheap thrills in the vast used bins at general store Amoeba Music.
Hotel Saint Cecilia has a “vinyl concierge” who will gladly set up a private vintage vinyl shopping trip for you at Breakaway Records, or you can hit up local favorites like End of an Ear and Friends of Sound at your leisure. The hotel also maintains a lending library of vinyl and rock biographies, so you can check out some tunes on your room’s turntable and learn the stories behind the music at the same time.
Both the W London and Ace Hotel London Shoreditch offer record players as in-room amenities, but the W has amped up with vinyl room service, where you can select five records from their collection of 200 (curated by BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac) and have them brought to you on demand. When you’re ready to shop, head straight to Soho, where you can look for buried treasures at old-school staples Reckless Records and Sister Ray and hear the pulse of current dancefloors at Phonica Records.
4. New Orleans
Many branches of the Ace Hotel are hip to providing vinyl, but suites and select rooms at the Ace Hotel New Orleans offer both turntables and Martin acoustic guitars. Visit Euclid Records for rarities and to catch live performances and ride out to the Domino Sound Record Shack to discover the store’s original and independent record label and file through a large selection of international sounds, including a massive collection of reggae 45s and albums. Note however that the latter doesn’t take plastic for platters.
Reps from Capitol Records, the legendary label that brought the world artists like The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Radiohead, and Katy Perry, curated the vinyl selections inside the rooms at Redbury South Beach, and everything is available for take-home purchase. For more fine stacks of wax, venture off of South Beach to entrenched stores like Yesterday and Today Records or Sweat Records, where you can grab coffee and vegan snacks while you’re browsing.
Grunge has become fine design at Hotel Max, where a whole floor is devoted to the city’s seminal label Sub Pop Records, home of Nirvana, Soundgarden, and a wide sonic spectrum of current artists. Turntables in each room mean you can spend some private time soaking up the label’s legacy and discover exciting acts who are fueling it today, like Beach House and Shabazz Palaces. The Ballard and Capitol Hill areas of Seattle are good zones for record hunting at mainstays Sonic Boom, Bop Street Records, and Wall of Sound.
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