Modern Hotel Stories

  • Arriving is Departing

    September 21st, 2015 by Michal

    Just why do we love to travel? It’s an age-old question and one potential answer is that we love to travel because we can’t—and maybe we shouldn’t—answer that question. Travel can be all things to all people because it is completely what each of us make of it. Travel is life.
    Try this. Pick up an in-flight magazine and you’ll find all kinds of force-fed messages trying put you in a tiny, demographic box. Are you an adventurer, spa-enthusiast, road warrior, foodie, or sight-seer? Yes, no, and all the above. Contrary to the mass marketing gloss, we are always seeking new experiences. Our journey isn’t about who we are, but more about who we are becoming.
    This is why those who love travel are more than happy with ambiguities and even contradictions. We love living “in-between,” not being here or there. This is where the magic is. Where the personal becomes mythical. You’ll find this tension in literature, film, and television. From Homer’s odyssey through Kerouac’s On The Road to David Lynch’s Wild At Heart and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, it truly is the journey and not the destination.
    Case in point, this excessively detailed literary road map  of America. Here’s to those that keep going for the sake of going. Happy going.

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  • Campfire Stories at the Modern Hotel

    June 16th, 2014 by Michal

    Stories are central to the Modern Hotel.  We tell the story of how the Modern came to exist each time a guest inquires about the pictures on the wall. Our story Facebook-Tileis planted deep in Idaho, in the rich history of the west, Basque boarding houses, sheep herding, immigration, the American dream and stories told around the campfire by pioneers.

     Beginning this summer, the Modern Hotel and Boise Radio will host Modern Campfire Stories, produced  by Christian Winn.  Christian, who also produces Storyfort, the literary add-on to this year’s Treefort Music Fest, has invited writers from around Idaho to read their work. Original fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenplays and more will be offered from Boise’s rich literary community.  On Monday nights throughout the summer and fall, you camp out around the fires in the courtyard of the Modern Hotel and hear the best writers Idaho has to offer. 


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  • letter from room 235

    July 19th, 2012 by webAdmin

    hi there,

    i am writing from room 235 where i just returned after a very lovely dinner and concert on the patio. i am just so in love with everything about your fine hotel that i HAD to write, right now, and tell you all.
    when we told friends we were traveling to boise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary they laughed at us…literally. we wanted a get away that required a plane ride, wasn’t too far, was affordable, offered a city feel with good restaurants and some live music, and was hot. we also wanted hip accomodations. with college tuition payments for our kids we were working with a budget. and i wanted to be someplace where i knew literally  no one. still…they all laughed.
    when we looked online for accomodations we fell in love with you all via your website, replete with staff bios, history, and menus. the fact that you included a bio for your housekeeping manager/staff endeared me to you immensely!! i, in particular, couldn’t wait to arrive. i love midcentury modern design and also am committed to supporting local small businesses when i have the choice. we booked late so only had a choice of a small room which my husband tried several times to upgrade but you guys are just so popular no one ever cancelled.
    i cannot tell you how thrilled we are with exactly where we are. we keep trying to want to go try other restaurants but can’t seem to leave. everything we eat here, from the fresh squeezed orange juice this morning, to the afternoon nut snack, to our dinners is amazing and feels as though it is prepared with utmost care and attention to detail. it was especially wonderful to have the days’ specials described to us by the chef…in our room!! michal and polly have provided great help and recommendations, and our server at dinner tonight (cowboy boots, pony tails, and round glasses…so bummed not to have gotten her name) was spectacular. our room couldn’t be more comfortable and so fun to be right over the patio.
    our son is working retail this summer and it’s reminding us how difficult it can be, at times, to work in service and customer focused industries. i’m sure that’s true at times for you all. given that, i didn’t want to wait to thank you so much for providing us with a really fun and relaxing together time. these are rare for us and your fine hotel will forever be associated with wonderful, fun, happy, and warm (literally and figuratively) memories for us!
    thank you, thank you, thank you! a million times…thank you!!

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  • A room, a hare, Bill and Kirsten

    February 22nd, 2012 by webAdmin

    For Modern Art 2010, artists Bill Lewis and Kirsten Furlong collaborated in Room 117.  Using the work of the German performance/installation artist, sculptor and art theorist Joseph Beuys as inspiration, Lewis and Furlong spent the whole of Modern Art within their room in a tableau vivant.  Take a look at the photos below and marvel at the dramatic incidental scene that they were able to create!  Then be sure not to miss Modern Art 2012 at the Modern Hotel on May 3rd.


    To see more of Kristen and Bill’s work visit their websites at:

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  • Published in 39 rooms and the Book of Modern

    November 17th, 2011 by webAdmin

    The Modern Hotel is thrilled to present this short story by J. Reuben Appelman, Paris Goes to Chinatown. Jason’s story will be available in every room at the Modern Hotel and proudly placed in the Book of Modern. Enjoy and thank you to Jason.

    Here are a few words from J. Reuben about his story:

    I fell in love with Paris Hilton when she went to jail. She was spoiled, slightly gangly, and seemed soulless, a perfect “suicide-star” I could latch onto while plummeting from my own recent successes in the film industry. Somehow the glittery Paris everyone knew of became my femme fatale. She called to me from dreams, dragging me into dark hallways. I watched TMZ religiously, absorbing her flicker in the glow of my living room. I addressed explicit letters to her during her incarceration, but for some reason didn’t have the guts to stamp them. One night in a restaurant, I looked across the candlelight of my table and saw myself in a mirror. My eyes looked like smeared charcoal. My cheekbones were like cheap shelving gone lopsided. Paris might have been in the pokey, but somehow she had become my warden from there. I was the fish, a newbie in lockdown. I watched television for another month straight, then started writing about her to break free of the spell.

    Paris Goes to Chinatown


    Paris Hilton buys a fish. She pushes a cigarette into his mouth. They go to dinner in a popular restaurant. His scales glow beneath the china balls, taking on rainbow colors. When he leans over to nibble her ear, she tells him he smells bad. Dejected, the fish flops back into his chair. Secretly, though, she has decided they will make love. Everyone is watching them. A few people order drinks, and whisper.

    By three in the morning, Paris Hilton and her fish have consummated in every room of a large house in Beverly Hills. Paris was ravenous, and for the fish’s part, he had never seen so many rooms. Nor had he drunk high dollar cognac before, like now: It burns beneath his gills, but he feels he is making progress with her. He does not want to go home. Everything is so new. He watches her sleeping through the dawn. He dozes. In her dreams, she imagines herself eating him, but there is no way for him to know this.

    It’s four in the afternoon when Paris Hilton’s fish wakes up. He scratches his dorsal fin, and yawns. He puts on a pink robe from her closet. In the kitchen, there’s a pot of coffee and a note that says, “Be gone when I’m back.” The fish throws her coffee pot, shattering it against a wall.  He thinks of her skin glowing in Chinatown, her cheekbones bending with the light as she walked. He has nowhere to go home to now. Nothing can be the same.

    Later that night, Paris Hilton’s fish wakes in a dumpster behind a bar. He’d been drinking again. He flops onto the pavement. Somebody gives him directions to the ocean. His face feels hot. He imagines Paris soothing back his pelvic fins. Everybody should feel that once, he thinks, flopping into a cab. His head feels a little shrunken from tequila.

    When he leans out the window, he can smell the sea. He hates that smell. In the sea, there is nothing. He can see the stars whizzing by. Orion has traded out his bow for a handgun. The fish feels this violence in him.


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