It’s easy to find vacations designed to replenish the body, but what about trips to stimulate the mind?
In a time when digital technology and e-books can keep you entertained on a train, there’s still something special about a good, old-fashioned paperback book. Epicure & Culture has identified some of the best accommodations for those interested in literary travel. These hotels have well-stocked libraries, book-themed rooms and literary events that can help you reconnect with the simple and underrated pleasure of curling up with a book. Rainy days will not dampen these vacations!
1) Dunton Hot Springs (Dunton, Colorado)
For a rustic gem of a reading room and a library with a story, consider staying at Dunton Hot Springs, a 19th-century ghost mining town transformed into a luxury resort village. The resort’s owner saw an old windowless barn at a nearby farm, bought it and brought it to the hotel property, and transformed it into a beautiful library for his wife.
The space houses a vast collection of art books — his wife’s specialty — as well as literature on the American Southwest and books on the local region. As a guest, you are always invited to curl up here and pursue the collection at your leisure. After a long soak in one of the property’s natural hot springs, what could be better?
Rates for double occupancy cabins start at $700. Click here for more information.
2) The Heathman Hotel (Portland, Oregon)
The Heathman Hotel houses one of the largest autographed collections in the world, with over 2,700 signed volumes. The hotel’s compilation includes signed editions from Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. Poet Laureates, a former United States President and authors who have stayed here and left signed books over the past 30 years. Guests can always stop by the Mezzanine Library to read and relax, and also mingle with fellow book lovers from 5-6pm on Monday to Thursday. Enjoy complimentary local wine and ask staff for recommendations to check out and take back to your room. If you want immediate access to a collection of titles, you can stay in the private library suite.
Finally, some bookworms might even recognize the Heathman Hotel as the setting for several scenes in the popular Fifty Shades of Grey. You can ride the lift mentioned in the novel or sip a Christian Grey-inspired “Fifty Shades of Gin” cocktail at the bar, served in a glass adorned with miniature handcuffs.
Rates start around $250 per night. Click here for more information.
3) The Spencer Hotel & Spa (Chautauqua, New York)
Step into a setting more captivating than the backdrop of your favorite storybook with a stay at the Spencer Hotel & Spa in Western New York. You can chose from 24 themed rooms and suites each named for celebrated writers including Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter and Charles Dickens, and each room includes thoughtfully chosen selections from their work.
The talent of local artists was harnessed in creating spaces to honor the lives and works of these famous authors. Hand-painted murals grace many walls, floors and ceilings. Musical selections are available to further immerse you in each writer’s life and times. Although you may not want to leave the privacy of your literary paradise, The Spencer has plenty of communal areas perfect for curling up with a book and maybe starting a conversation about it.
Rates start around $195 per night. Click here for more information.
4) The Commons Hotel (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Centered on the University of Minnesota campus, close to downtown, is the Commons Hotel, designed to delight knowledge lovers of all types, from colleague scholar to creative geniuses to armchair travelers.
The edgy geek-chic atmosphere of the hotel aims to elicit feelings of discovery and knowledge, embracing explorers who love learning in every form. The hotel’s lobby library invites guests to borrow books from its shelves, stocked with everything from classics to bestsellers. You can also request a book to be delivered by the resident Book Butler, be surprised by literary quotes on your pillow at turndown and enjoy Sudoku puzzles delivered with in-room breakfast orders.
Rates start around $140 per night. Click here for more information.
5) Library Hotel (New York City)
As the name suggests, the Library Hotel in New York City is a literary lover’s dream. The 10 guestroom floors are designed to highlight the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System with 6,000 books throughout 60 guestrooms. The books in each room have been strategically chosen according to the floor’s topic, such as philosophy, religion, and math and science.
This library concept expands throughout the hotel and provides countless comfortable places to read and connect with fellow bookworms. The hotel’s 14th floor rooftop terrace has a Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden and hosts a complimentary continental breakfast in the morning. As the sun sets, it morphs into the trendy Bookmarks Lounge, serving up literary inspired cocktails.
Rates start at $300 per night. Click here for more information.
6) Hotel Arts Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)
One of Spain’s tallest buildings with 44 storeys, the Hotel Arts Barcelona inspires in more ways than one. This year the property is celebrating the Spanish city’s UNESCO acknowledged literary history for four months, starting on April 23. On this Day of Books and Roses, they opened a temporary library featuring the works of Miguel de Cervantes and Shakespeare (to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of their deaths) and Gaudi (90 year anniversary of death). In addition to hosting the collection, the Club Lounge has invented corresponding cocktails to honor each iconic figure. For example, see the recipe for the Romeo and Juliette Inspired William Shakespeare cocktail below.
1 1/2oz gin
1oz chamomile honey
1/2 egg white
Rooms start at 425 euros per night. Click here for more information.
7) Casa Palopo (Lake Atitlan, Guatemala)
While Casa Palopo is an exclusive nine-bedroom boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, its intimate size hasn’t forsaken the creation of a well-stocked library. The Lending Library allows guests to explore hundreds of pieces of literature, from classic novels to the latest magazines; that is, if you can keep your nose in a book instead of looking up at your lake and volcano surroundings. Similarly, the interior of the hotel is a feast for the senses, immersing you in the area’s rich Mayan heritage. Brightly painted stucco walls showcase Latin American artwork and artifacts to peruse at your leisure.
Click here for more information. Rates start around $150 per night.
8) Jack’s Camp (Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana)
Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans and Kaladari Desert is named in honor of pioneering explorer Jack Bousfield, who wanted the world to appreciate Botswana as much as he did. If the location overlooking the nearby watering hole and the majestic herds that frequent it isn’t enough to inspire you to appreciate this special place, learn more at the camp’s library. Jack’s Camp’s carefully curated library doubles as a registered National Museum with family heirlooms and titles from ‘Out of Africa’ to an encyclopedia of historic information on Botswana and the family legacy.
Rates start at $1190 per night. Click here for more information.
And while you’re staying at these literary-themed hotels, bring along one of these awesome travel books to relax with.
What’s your favorite literary travel accommodation? Please share in the comments below!
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