An Odd Place to Put a Hotel Bible

Your hotel room probably has a bible, because the Gideons distribute them for free. They started doing this in 1908 at the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana. And they give away bibles also to hospitals, jails, and medical offices. Worldwide they reportedly give out 80 million bibles per year. The Gideons were formed by two men sharing a hotel room in 1898.

With ubiquitous internet in hotels, though, I’m not sure whether paying to distribute physical copies makes sense anymore. Anyone who wants can read it free online. Still, the average life of a hotel room bible is six years and ‘thou shalt not steal’ notwithstanding Gideons keeps replacing ones that go missing for free.

If you’re going to have a physical bible in a hotel room, it has to go somewhere. Traditionally it might go in a drawer by the bedside, but hotel rooms don’t always have night stands anymore. Especially where properties are trying to cram more rooms into a space they’ll use more ‘efficient’ furnishings. If there’s a place to put things by the bedside it may just be a ledge attached to the wall.

At the 9 year old Hyatt Place Reno airport, they have a creative solution. Put it in the bathroom..

That may seem like an odd place for it, but in the bathroom you do have a rather captive audience for reading.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Is this in every Hyatt or just that room? Maybe the previous guest used it as a good reading material while taking care of business and just left it there!

  2. I love the cheeky response from Hyatt! Still, though, with as sensitive as we are to the fact that there are more religions than Christianity – not to mention those who are agnostic or atheist – I’m surprised hotels waste *any* shelf space with Bibles at all anymore. I always figured those who are so devout they’ll need to crack open a Bible while on travel probably have their own.

  3. One of the first things I do when I get to my room is clear off all the space-wasting junk hotels fill your room with. Glossy style magazines, hotel guidebooks, room-service menus, and such that take up valuable surface space get shoved behind the TV or in the closet floor. Anything taking up drawer space that I want to use, often bibles and sometimes hair dryers, dry-cleaning trays, etc., also get stashed out of the way. As @kalboz suggests, the photo might not be hotel policy but simply where the previous guest left it, unnoticed by Housekeeping.

  4. Formed by two men “sharing” a hotel room. Right.

    I always throw the Bibles in the trash. Not much of a fiction reader.

  5. I would hope that there were many people referring to the lord in the bedroom area.

  6. The right place for the hotel bible, like for bibles of any sort, is the trash. It’s all fake news.

  7. >Bob says:
    >Formed by two men “sharing” a hotel room. Right.
    >I always throw the Bibles in the trash. Not much of a fiction reader.

    Well, that explains your lack of tolerance.

  8. Hey Bob and Ray – you can solve your problems right now. Convert and accept the Risen Christ as your Savior. He’s waiting to welcome you into His Kingdom.

  9. Marriott’s also provide Book of Mormon in the rooms along with the bible. Some hotels also have additional books in the room like the John W Hammond bio etc.

    Bathroom is a bit odd placement. The reason Gideons continue providing physical bibles is the outreach ministry plan. Christians and Mormons can use an app or internet to read but non-Christians don’t get that exposure to God’s word usually.

  10. Is the Hyatt Place comment a reference to Bathroom Sex or to Diarrhea?
    Its Cheeky in either case

  11. I have also seen “The Teachings of Buddha” and “Book of Mormon” in hotel rooms . None are a problem for me . I have also seen books in languages I can not read that may have been inspirational or religious in nature . Often these type of books can inspire people for the better .I believe that is the important benefit regardless of any other explanation .

  12. Can confirm, Hyatt Place in Madison, WI. Bible in bathroom under sink. Just got up to look.

  13. ♪♫♬Rocky Raccoon
    Checked into his room
    Only to find Gideon’s Bible
    Gideon checked out
    And he left it, no doubt
    To help with young Rocky’s revival…♪♩♪

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *