Travel guidebooks can be great for planning the specifics of a trip, but sometimes the greatest travel inspiration comes from classic works of literature. From Ernest Hemingway to Jack Kerouac and Bill Bryson, some of the most prolific writers were, and some still are, avid travelers. I’ve also found that profound readers are among the most inspired travelers. These seven hotels are for literary lovers and recognize the undeniable marriage between the written word and travel through amenities like book butlers, literary-themed decor and even in-hotel libraries.
New York, New York
Photo via The Library Hotel
It’s not just a name, the theme runs from the lobby to each of the 10 floors and 60 rooms at The Library Hotel in New York City. You’ll start to notice the motif as soon as you check in. The reception desk is flanked by bookshelves and sits in front of a large card catalog. The entire hotel, home to more than 6,000 books, is inspired by the Dewey Decimal System. Each floor is named after a different category in the system and rooms are decorated and stocked with books to match. Pop into the 24-hour Reading Room to sneak away for some quiet reading, complimentary tea, coffee or espresso drinks, as well as stunning views of Madison Avenue and the New York Public Library’s quote-filled sidewalk along Library Way.
New York, New York
Photo via The NoMad Hotel
The book-themed bar at The NoMad Hotel in New York City is dimly lit and stacked with floor-to-ceiling volumes for you to thumb through while grabbing drinks or a small meal. It’s the perfect spot to lose track of time while getting lost in a book. The hotel is housed in a fully-renovated Beaux-Arts building from the turn of the century and time spent in the Library will have you feeling like you’re tucked away in a private residential study.
Photo via The Commons Hotel
According to The Commons Hotel’s website, “This industrial schoolhouse chic property embodies a sense of inner geek in a chic setting, embracing diversity through the common desire to discover, with an uncommon experience.” The hotel is located in the heart of the University of Minnesota’s campus and features a library lounge with a roaring fireplace you can curly up next to with a book. For those who prefer to stay in their room, there’s an in-house book butler who will deliver books to your bedside upon request.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Photo via The Library
There’s no need to pack a beach read for your stay at The Library on Koh Samui. The focal point of this hotel, located on Chaweng Beach, is its modern and expansive library of more than 1,300 curated books that you can rent or purchase during your stay. The Library has 26 suites, a ruby-red pool, as well as a bar and restaurant lounge all conducive to cracking a good book and relaxing on one of Thailand’s most idyllic islands.
North Wales, United Kingdom
Photo via Gladestone’s Library
As the name suggests, Gladestone’s Library is fully dedicated to reading and writing. It’s more of a library you can sleep in than a library-themed hotel. Nearly 250,000 printed works are housed on its shelves and it’s also home to 26 rooms available for guests to spend the night. The boutique-style rooms are decorated with furniture that looks like it came straight from the stacks of a traditional library. The hotel also has a bistro, aptly titled Food for Thought, that serves locally-sourced dishes, along with coffee and tea in a quiet setting overlooking the library’s grounds.
Photo via The Apostrophe Hotel
The rooms at the Apostrophe Hotel are decorated with different literary icons that will delight anyone who has a respect for the written word. One room features a massive book that hangs from the ceiling above the bed, while others have art with colorful letters of the alphabet, printing press blocks and typewriter keys.
True bibliophiles will love the library-themed foyer at the Hotel Milana Scala? (pictured at the top)?, housed in an 1800s Milanese palace. It features a library and overlooks the old court of the grand property. The glass ceiling and towering bookshelves make it a great place to read a classic Italian book like Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler or Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio.
Paste Travel’s Bucket List columnist? ?Lauren Kilberg is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her travels have found her camping near the Pakistani border of India and conquering volcanoes in the Philippines.