Places that Work: An Alpine Gem
Prestigious hotels often feature formal common spaces with high ceilings, stylishly uncomfortable furniture, and a stuffy staff. So I was delighted to experience the unexpected recently, when I happened on the library at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
This is a place where you feel comfortable sitting with a small group of your friends. A wall of windows brings the ski slopes inside. The view helps you restock the mental energy you’ve depleted while concentrating on such things as knowledge work. The views and daylight boost your mood and help you acclimate your circadian rhythms after a long flight.
Seating areas facilitate socializing. Game tables allow you to make easy eye contact with others–and games are readily available. Fireplaces are everywhere, and the one in the library creates another ready gathering spot. This is a wonderful place to hang out, socialize, or just plain gaze into the leaping flames.
The many different seating areas means that you can choose an arrangement that suits your particular mood, and feel a sense of control. A divider in the middle of the room allows several different groups to use the space, each with some visual privacy. The light and surface colors are relaxing, as are wooden finishes used throughout. Furniture is comfortable. Beautiful books with intriguing titles wait for to be read.
Ideally, the ceiling of the library would be a little lower, to further signify that this is a casual, not a formal area. A television in the space has the potential to distort the relaxing/social dynamic; this is the only negative aspect of this alpine jewel. Otherwise, the Four Seasons library in Jackson Hole is a place that works.