Thread count is essential for some guests. Others check in for the views or a buzz-worthy restaurant. But for geeks, a hotel is nothing without a high-tech gadget, a high-concept gimmick, or a connection to something the geek world holds dear (paging Star Wars fans).
In the brave new world we live in, free Wi-Fi doesn’t cut it anymore. As with many of the wonderful technical advances we take for granted, geek hotels owe a lot to Steve Jobs. The late Apple maestro made using technology so accessible that it has become easier to interact with an iPhone than a doorknob. Touch-screen technology has infiltrated hotels worldwide; one in Switzerland allows diners to use an iPad to view dinner being prepared and even chat with the chef.
Jobs, with his appealing, intuitive design sense and seize-the-moment attitude, also endowed geekiness with a certain cool. It comes with the specialized knowledge and passion typical of geeks, whether for coding or clever wordplay. Groups like Brooklyn’s Secret Science Club—think date-night lectures from NASA scientists and Nobel Prize winners—make flaunting your inner geek sexy. And there are plenty of role models, real (Tina Fey) and imagined (Harry Potter).
Today’s geeks want to be heard, and hotels are listening. In New York, the central conceit behind the Library Hotel is entire floors and individual rooms ordered according to the Dewey Decimel system.
Architecture aficionados can get in touch with their inner Le Corbusier at the Hotel Silken Puerta América, in Madrid, which brings the world’s greatest architects under one roof. For guests who consider Pritzker prizes more important than the Oscars, it’s the ultimate retreat.
Geek hotels exist all over the world, from New York to San Francisco, Tunisia to Hong Kong. Some of the properties on our list offer traditional inducements—beautiful views, enviable locations—along with their more esoteric offerings. But much like geekdom itself, many of the hotels largely ignore the outside world in favor of their own awe-inspiring reality.
Follow your own passion to the check-in counter at one of these top geek hotels.