The world's best hotels for book lovers

Tamara Hinson

Reading and comfort compiled into one, what more could a book-lover ask for in a sanctuary? Find out where to stay with these amazing literary-based hotels

Late last year saw the opening of the Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China. Designed by a Dutch architecture firm, MVRDV, the library's highlights include a climbable book mountain and a stunning eye-shaped atrium. But, libraries are no longer the only place for avid bookworms, thanks to a growing number of hotels aimed at literature-loving travellers.

 

University Arms, Cambridge, UK

When it opens later this year, this beautiful hotel will pay homage to Cambridge’s literary heritage. Suites have been named after the world’s most famous writers, and the hotel's collection of books has been curated by the team behind Heywood Hill, one of London’s most prestigious bookshops. It’s also the perfect place to curl up with a book, with plenty of cosy nooks and crannies, tassel-trimmed reading lamps and marshmallow-like armchairs.

 

Le Pavillon des Lettres, Paris, France

Each room at this Parisian hotel is dedicated to both a letter of the alphabet and an author. And if you're trying to think of an author whose second name began with a Z? That would be the French novelist Émile Zola. Lines from plays, novels and poems are stencilled above the beds, and in the hotel library you’ll find everything from dusty, well-thumbed paperbacks to comic books. The room service is also special—simply tell staff what kind of book you’re in the mood for, and a suitable tome will be delivered straight to your door.

 

The Mandrake, London, UK

A brilliant part of The Mandrake is its library, with the literary-inspired art and enormous collection of books; covering everything from philosophy to science. The collection was curated especially for the hotel, and there are some seriously beautiful coffee table books, including Yves Saint Laurent, Margiela: The Hermès Years and Andy Warhol: Portraits. The best places to peruse the hotel's books? The wonderfully wild greenhouse, or the courtyard, with its fragrant jasmine and passion flower plants.

 

Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam, Holland

Named after newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer (and the namesake of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize awarded to authors), this beautiful hotel is made up of 25 connected historic canal houses. The airy lobby is filled with reading material, and book lovers with cash to splash will love the Book Collector’s Suite; it comes with its own private library. In fact, the owners couldn’t have crammed more reading material into this two-roomed oasis if they’d tried. Head from the bedroom to the living area and you'll pass under an archway made entirely of books.

 

Hotel Café Royal, London, UK

This hotel was once a meeting place for the country’s greatest literary minds, including Oscar Wilde (the bar is named after him), Arthur Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling and W B Yeats. If you can drag yourself away from the book-themed bar, we recommend an exploration of this historic neighbourhood. This leafy corner of Mayfair featured in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, in PG Wodehouse’s novels and in William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.

 

The Library Hotel, New York, US

There are over 6,000 books at this “big apple” hotel, and the rooftop is the perfect place to enjoy them—there’s a writer’s den, poetry garden and book-themed lounge area. The entire hotel has been designed according to the Dewey Decimal system—the library classification system created by Melvil Dewey in 1876. Every room is filled with books chosen to fit the Dewey Decimal category for that particular floor, although our favourite is the Mythology Room, which comes with spectacular views of the New York Public Library.

 

Hotel Indigo, Edinburgh, Scotland

This cosy boutique hotel can be found just off Princes Street, in a neighbourhood which was once home to some of Scotland’s greatest writers, including Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. It’s the ideal base if you’re heading to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which takes place at nearby Charlotte Square Gardens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the rooms are filled with the works of Scottish authors, and even the room numbers are mounted on books affixed to the doors.

 

The Renwick Hotel, New York, US

If you’re a budding author who dreams of penning your own novel, head to The Renwick, where rooms have literature-themed décor and writing desks come with supplies of paper and ink. You’ll be in good company, because John Steinbeck, author of Of Mice and Men, once lived here. Be sure to enjoy a tipple from the bar’s writers' collection, which features cocktails inspired by former literary guests. Our favourite? The Gatsby. This potent nod to F Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous work is made with Johnny Walker Blue, Amaro Montenegro, bitters and Prosecco. If that doesn’t get the creative juices flowing, nothing will.