Design Services
Books by Ultimate Library
Bespoke book collections for hotels, private residences and retail spaces

There’s nothing more disappointing than a naff hotel library. Which is why the likes of Four Seasons, Firmdale, Raffles and Soneva Resorts have all turned to the Ultimate Library for intelligent collections of books that guests actually want to read. Set up by Philip Blackwell in 2009 after he stepped down as the CEO of the bookselling arm of Blackwell’s, the London-based company began by supplying books to hotels and resorts around the globe; now it also works extensively within the design sector, curating bespoke collections for private clients and interior designers that add personality and soul to residences, retail spaces and offices.

They are chosen with precision by a dedicated team of expert bibliophiles to inspire, educate and entertain

From vast libraries with over 2,000 books to a handful of large-format illustrated titles, authentic vintage leather-bound tomes to modern classics, Ultimate Library can provide books to suit all reading tastes. What all the collections have in common is that they are tailored to a property’s location and the client’s interests, chosen with precision by a dedicated team of expert bibliophiles to inspire, educate and entertain. For instance, for one chalet-owning couple in the French Alps, they combined thrillers set in snowy destinations with interior design books on Alpine style and inspirational climbing tales. And Ultimate Library’s personalised process takes care of every aspect, from the design and shelf layout to supply and installation.


For interior designer clients working to a specific palette, the colour of a book often matters as much as the contents and Ultimate Library has a range of looks that it can work to – colourful contemporary say, or heritage hues. One of the most recent trends Ultimate Library has seen in luxury projects is a desire for art, fashion and photography titles in neutral tones, as well as a more general significant increase in clients’ investing in installing books as a way of creating a haven at home (a heartening shift in today’s digital-first world). To keep collections interesting, the company can also supply regular updates of the latest and best titles.

As well as Ultimate Library’s current focus on interior projects (the team has worked with designers such as Sophie Paterson, Noor Charchafchi and Todhunter Earle) it is also branching out to provide book-related content to influencers – something that has been received with great interest over the last few months. The most challenging part for the team, though, is not only ensuring that the selection of titles reflects every aspect of a client’s interests, within a set budget, but also getting them to trust their judgement. It’s especially rewarding when a client is genuinely taken aback by the results and their understanding of the brief.

The goal, always, is to go beyond ticking the obvious boxes to create a unique, often playful library that excites, whether that’s for a top hotel who wants to harness the power of books to lend a sense of place and engage with guests, an interior designer adding beautiful tomes as decoration or an avid reader being introduced to new authors for the first time.