From hotels filled with next-level libraries to those inviting you to place your head where famous authors have rested, here are five ultimate destinations for book club trips.
This hotel is located in the heart of New York City, but you may never want to explore the Big Apple after you step inside. Stocked with more than 6,000 books, you could choose your choice of reading rooms — from the glass-enclosed poetry garden to the main reading room (open 24/7) to the writer’s den, which has an indoor and glass-covered outdoor space. Each of the 10 guest floors of this hotel is devoted to one of the Dewey Decimal System categories: general knowledge, technology, social sciences, languages, history, literature, math and science, philosophy, the arts, and religion. Choose the floor you stay on carefully, depending on your interest, as each room contains books relating to the theme. When you stay at the Library Hotel, you have access to refreshments, coffee and tea all day and all night, as they understand that nothing goes better with a book than a steaming cuppa. (More information at Libraryhotel.com)
At this Washington, D.C., boutique hotel, located just a few blocks away from the White House, your book club could gather to read, chat and take a deep dive into literary history. Our favorite spots at The Jefferson is the 500-square-foot cozy Book Room, surrounded by leather-bound books — including signed copies by everyone from Bill Gates to Dave Barry to Ron Chernow to Bono, all of whom have been guests of the hotel. The Book Room was designed to look like Thomas Jefferson’s personal library at Monticello, and the books that reside there were curated to presumably be interesting to Jefferson and to his colleagues at that time. Bonus: Each time someone makes a direct hotel reservation here, the hotel donates a book to the First Library Book Program. (More information at Jeffersondc.com)
Le Pavillon Des Lettres
It’s a boutique library hotel located steps from the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Enough said? But there’s more. There are 26 rooms and suites, and each is named after a different writer. Above each bed, there are quotes from novels, poems and plays. Before bed, head to the hotel library, where you can check out books for your stay. You may also contact room service for a book butler: They’ll deliver a book directly to your room based on your mood or description. (More information at Pavillondeslettres.com)
Stay with your book club in an actual library within a charming countryside village in Flintshire, Wales. This is a residential library, complete with more than 150,000 books. Many of the people who stay here are actual writers or academics, but it’s not required: You could just be a book lover. The rooms themselves are sparse, almost dorm-like (if dorms were to have book-themed wallpaper), complete with adorable little desks. But oh, that library. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it looks like it was designed by the same architects who made those dark, moody spaces at Oxford University. More than 300 books were written in these reading rooms, and we’re not surprised. They’re entirely inspiring, and silent. Access to the library is restricted to guests of Gladstone’s or registered readers. This is a perfect retreat for book clubs, as they offer a 20 percent group discount if you take more than six bedrooms. (More information at Gladstoneslibrary.org)
Read books by Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Sherwood Anderson, Stephen Ambrose, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, and then stay in the hotel where they wrote their novels. Williams even featured the hotel in his play The Rose Tattoo. At this New Orleans historic hotel set in the French Quarter, you’ll sip drinks at the infamous Carousel Bar and Lounge — where the bar revolves like a merry-go-round and which often was the spot where Truman Capote would enjoy his evenings. (Though Capote often spread the rumor that he was born inside the hotel, he was born after his mother stayed at the hotel and was transported to Touro Hospital.) The bar was featured in The Night Before Battle, a short story by Hemingway. The rooms are over-the-top and elegant: The perfect setting for a girls’ getaway or an author’s retreat. This hotel was one of three to receive the Literary Landmark designation by the Friends of Libraries, and guests can stay in one of the literary suites, which pay homage to the authors who once stayed the night. It’s a block away from Bourbon Street, so you’ll have plenty to do. (More information at hotelmonteleone.com)