HomeCultureBooksBook Reviews

Can you identify these 7 literary holidays from the reviews?

Can you identify these 7 literary holidays from the reviews?

Holiday review sites can be endlessly fascinating sources of literature themselves. People post reviews of trips that are tense, tragic, farcical, and (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not) incredibly comedic. The following are seven literary trips reimagined as such reviews. Can you identify the novels they are based on? (Answers at the bottom of the article)

1. Five star R&R, and a golden bar!

Room 237 - Literary hotel review

After a few months of all work and no play, my family decided to winter at The Overlook Hotel, in the peaceful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We thought a little R+R would do us good, and also give me plenty of chance to crack on with my novel.

What a stay it has been! To walk into the well-stocked bar was like stepping back in time – some truly stunning period detail. And where to start with the incredibly lifelike topiary animals in the gardens? I had to double-take to notice they weren’t real!

Fellow guests were admittedly few and far between, but there were two incredibly sweet twin girls who couldn’t have been friendlier to my young son, constantly inviting him to play with them. It’s a shame all the guests haven’t been as polite – indeed, the less said about the positively rotten old lady in room 237 the better.

Well, we’ve just a few days left of our residency at The Overlook. The boiler is making a few suspect noises, but aside from that I could stay here forever and ever! 5 stars!

—Posted by Heresjohnny6



2. A train journey I will never take again!

Poirot Moustache

I had the misfortune of riding the Istanbul-Trieste-Calais on my way to an engagement in London. What can I say? This journey was one disaster after another.

Alarm bells should have rang when we wound up stuck in snow somewhere in Yugoslavia, although it’s hardly fair to blame the train staff for that.

The other passengers were a rather hostile mix of nationalities, but particularly grating was an oddly moustachioed French man who insisted on sticking his nose into everyone’s business.

To top it all off someone got murdered, which really put a dampener on the whole excursion! I’m not having a go at the staff, they were doing their best on an unusually busy service, but the least you expect in such circumstances is some complimentary shortbread or something. None appeared.

Baffled as to why this service has had such positive reviews on here. If you’re considering this route, my advice is to fly or go by boat.

—Posted by Anti-hercule



3. Disgusting! Mice everywhere! 

Mouse from the Witches

Me and the hubby have stayed several times at the Hotel Magnificent. The luxurious rooms and the charming environs of the Bournemouth beach front always draw us back!

What made this stay extra special was the lovely bunch of ladies from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Granted, their insistence on leather gloves in the height of summer was odd, and the stench of wig powder did begin to irritate, but their charming presence throughout our stay was a treat. Even whispers of two young boys going missing did little to spoil our fun!

Sadly, our trip to the Magnificent was marred entirely by a sudden infestation of mice in the dining room. As proactive as the staff were in addressing this, one simply doesn’t expect vermin at accommodation that describes itself as 4+ star. Until the management address this we certainly shan’t be staying here again.

—Posted by Whichwitch04



4. High stakes: high entertainment! 

Casino Royale Literary Trip Review

I can’t praise the Hotel Splendide in Royale-les-Eaux highly enough, but on this occasion the highlight of my stay was the time I spent in the Casino over the road. I was lucky enough to witness a fascinating baccarat duel between a Mr le Chiffre and a terribly slick fellow whose name I didn’t catch. (Smartly dressed, said he was from Jamaica, very partial to the martinis – although who can blame him?!) I’m no stranger to high stakes, but this game ran into the millions of francs! Great entertainment, although both men disappeared before I could offer a drink to express my thanks.

You always know what you’re getting from the Splendide, but my top tip is to check out the gambling establishment nearby – who knows what excitement you’ll stumble upon!

—Posted by tripleo7


5. Paradise for the lone traveller

San Remo a Literary Travel Review

I was joined for a spell in Mongibello, Italy, by my good friend Tom – a time stuffed with swimming, sailing and, yes, plenty of drinking! The undoubted highlight was a boating jaunt to San Remo, a real paradise. I was left on my own when Tom had to dash off abruptly (a real shame), but San Remo’s café culture provided a multitude of places for a solitary traveller to grab an espresso or two, or even a stiff brandy. I was almost sad to get back to Mongibello, but that passed soon enough. I rather think I shall stay here!

—Posted by Margesherwood


6. Unaccommodating!!!

Piazza Signoria literary Travel Review

My cousin and I spent a week at the Pension Bertolini, in Florence. Now one really does hate to quibble about these things, but when one books a room that promises a view of the River Arno, that’s what one expects to get – not a balcony overlooking a dingy courtyard. When I took this to the hotel staff they didn’t do a single thing to accommodate this, and it was only when another guest offered to swap (rather forthrightly, if I may say) that we got our promised vista.

Florence itself was wonderful, one rather macabre episode in the Piazza Signoria aside. I don’t doubt for a minute that I shall return one day – although I shan’t be staying at the Bertolini.

—Posted By Ms_Honeychurch



7. Mucky good fun!

Plaster-of-Paris Trout

Myself and my pals George and Harris (to say nothing of Montmorency the fox terrier) thought it would be a swell wheeze to make our way down the Thames, Kingston to Oxford, in a camping skiff. We thought we’d take in a bit of the history, sleep under the stars, and see if our hypochondria wasn’t cured in the process.

Although the route varied in interest (there was little to entertain in Reading, and we’ll skirt right over Goring, if that’s OK) it was punctuated throughout with some smashing public houses. There was one in Wellingford we’d recommend in particular, despite a rather regrettable incident with a plaster-of-Paris fish.

Top tip: If you’re going to wash your clothes, it’s worth paying the extra few pence to have a washerwoman do it. Doing it yourself in the Thames just makes them infinitely muckier.

—Posted by JeromeJerome



The Answers

1. The Shining by Stephen King
2.  Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
3. The Witches by Roald Dahl
4. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
5. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
6. A Room With a View by E.M. Forster

7. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome