The Lists

The Best Luxury Hotels in the World for Book Lovers

Whether you’re planning a journey to celebrate National Poetry Month in April, or just a book worm who also loves traveling the world, you may (as we often do) find yourself in search of a luxury literary boutique hotel with a bibliophile’s sensibilities. Which made us wonder: what are the best luxury hotels in the world for book lovers? Our correspondent Jillian Tangen has curated a list of the world’s best luxury literary hotels with a library and a focus on books, reading and story-telling as their sine qua non. Intrigued? Read on.

what’s behind the rise of the luxury literary hotel?

Book mavens, poets, writers and story lovers of the world, heads up. If your favorite spaces in the world tend to involve towering shelves of books, if you personally collect books, or just like to hang around raconteurs, the luxury hospitality industry has several treats in store for you. We love nothing more than a great library or a charming bookstore, whether at home or abroad. So we went in search of luxury boutique hotel properties that share our bibliophilia.

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Call us Luddites, but we feel that being connected to digital devices 24/7 can be overwhelming and burdensome.  The constant emails, calls, texts and social media check-ins may make us feel plugged-in and up-to-date. But they also get stressful. Who wants to bring all of that on vacay?

What are the luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

What are the best luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

at luxury hotels, the library is the new infinity pool

So when we heard about the concept of literary holidays and the recent resurgence of literature in luxury hotels, we were intrigued.  The idea of a simpler, quieter, analog-central trip sounded appealing, harking back to a time not so long ago when people read books on the beach, as opposed to lounging poolside whilst scrolling through Instagram or sneaking peeks at work emails.

What are the luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

What are the best luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

Local bookstores are having a Moment, and perhaps that’s what’s causing luxury hotels and resorts to take note and respond in kind.

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Whatever the catalyst, more and more of them are offering vast libraries, reading rooms and “book butlers” that are tailor-made for bibliophiles. They’re featuring activities like meet-and-greets with visiting artists, and experiences that pay tribute to writers and classic novels alike.

What are the best luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

What are the best luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

The Best Luxury Hotels in the World for Book Lovers

Are you in? If so, here are some of the best literary luxury hotels and some of the best hotel libraries in the world:

1. The Betsy South Beach

The Betsy South Beach in Miami is a place where culture and creativity meet. Poetry is deep in its DNA, and the property is home to over 10,000 books.

Jonathan Plutzik is the owner of the property; his father Hyam was an award-winning poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist. As an homage to him, the Betsy champions all kinds of creative outreach. One of those programs, Writers-in-Residence, provides complimentary stays in the Writer’s Room for poets and other creative types.

What are the best luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles?

The best luxury hotels for book lovers and bibliophiles: a Royal Suite at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach, Miami. Courtesy Photo.

For the rest of us, though, the Royal Suites are a bibliophiles dream, with large living areas and balconies. The property boasts a proper library for guests on the third-floor. And just outside is The Poetry Rail, a public art installation

At the property’s rooftop Wellness Garden and Spa, guests receive a poem with every treatment. Finally, every night along with turn-down service, guests receive a bookmark featuring poetry penned by Hyam that also doubles as a flower to take home and plant.  Sowing the seeds of literature, indeed.

2. Aman, Tokyo

Nearly all of the ultra-luxurious Aman hotel and resort properties around the world feature a library, which is just one of the reasons we love staying at their properties. The one in Tokyo is particularly stunning.

best luxury hotel library

The best luxury hotel library in the world: The Aman, Tokyo. Courtesy Photo.

The hotel sits within the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower, providing panoramic views of Mount Fuji and the Imperial Palace Gardens. At its base you’ll find a tranquil inner garden; there’s also a slate-clad spa and 84 ryokan-style rooms. All accommodations come with a large furo (the deep-soaking tub that is a key component of the Japanese bathing ritual). The Resident’s Library is lined with books on Japanese art and culture.

3. Kristiania Lech, Austria

Nestled in the mountains near the birthplace of Alpine skiing is Kristiania Lech. This quaint and luxurious Austrian spot has its own resident “book butler,” who interviews guests on their literary tastes and then provides them with a curated book selection from which to choose. 

The best luxury hotel library in the world

The best luxury hotels for bibliophiles: The Kristiania Lech, Austria. Courtesy Photo.

With only 29 rooms, the resort prides itself on providing its guests with whatever they need to help them fulfill all of their relaxation needs. Fur blankets and bookmarks included.

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4. The Owl and the Pussycat Hotel, Sri Lanka

Inspired by the poem by Edward Lear is the Owl and the Pussycat Hotel in Sri Lanka. The boutique resort offers guests a luxury hideaway in the southern coastal town of Thalpe, just a short tuk-tuk ride from historic Galle Fort and its surrounding Buddhist temples. 

The best luxury hotel library in the world:

The best luxury hotel library in the world: The Owl and The Pussy Cat Hotel in Sri Lanka. Courtesy Photo.

This whimsical retreat is made for daydreaming, and cleverly conveys the nonsensical world that Lear imagined (in 1875, Lear spent a month visiting the island.)  The hotel also sponsors the annual Edward Lear Prize for Poetry.

5. Mischmasch at Rockliffe Hall, Hurworth, England

The kids’ adventure park, Mischmasch, takes full advantage of the literary history of the surrounding neighborhood of the 5-star resort Rockliffe Hall in the village of Hurworth in the North East of England.

The best literary luxury hotel in the world

The best literary luxury hotels in the world: Mischmash at Rockliffe Hall Hotel and Resort in England. Courtesy Photo.

It’s inspired by Lewis Caroll, who spent some of his childhood in nearby Croft.  Families will find an Alice in Wonderland Nature Trail and Sculptures (some of which will be well hidden for children to find); a large Eco Adventure Playground including climbing frames and slides, and Interactive Water Fountains. The hotel also offers a variety of literary and movie-themed events catering to guests over the age of 16.  

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6. The Taj Falaknuma, Hyderabad, India

Home to over 5,000 volumes of rare books and manuscripts is the Taj Falaknuma in Hyderabad, India.  This dramatic hotel is set in a palace built in 1894, and is home to a massive and breathtaking library.  In fact, there are so many volumes in the Palace library that you would have to read a book a day for at least 16 years to go through the entire collection.

The best literary luxury hotel in the world

The best literary luxury hotel library in the world: Taj Falaknuma Palace

7. The Library Hotel, New York City

If you’re a book lover visiting New York City, The Library Hotel is for you.  Just don’t plan on seeing anything else during your visit, because chances are you’ll never leave the hotel – it’s stocked with more than 6,000 hardcover books.  Located just a short stroll from the main branch of the New York Public Library, each of the hotel’s rooms are decorated based on the 10 different sections of the Dewey Decimal System. They’re adorned with 50+ books and artwork exploring a distinctive topic. 

The Library Hotel, New York City

If by chance you don’t find sufficient reading material in your room, the hotel’s Reading Room is open to guests 24 hours a day and is filled with hundreds of books. There are also complimentary snacks and drinks to nibble and sip while you read. Other public spaces throughout the hotel are lined with still more books, including the rooftop writer’s den and poetry garden where you can sip a literary-inspired cocktail.

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8. Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Though difficult, it’s worth tearing yourself away from the luscious shores of the Indian Ocean at Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius to visit the hotel’s library.

Le Prince Maurice

This luxury tropical hotel boasts a wide array of wanderlust-inspiring novels and beach-worthy reads for guests. The hotel also awards an annual literary prize called Le Prince Maurice.

9. Il Salviatino, Florence, Italy

Set in the hills overlooking Florence in a restored 15th-century villa is Il Salviatino.  This hotel features 12 acres of impeccably landscaped grounds, 19th-century frescoes, a museum’s worth of art, sweeping views of Florence and an incredible library. 

The best luxury hotel for bibliophiles: Il Salviatino Florence. Courtesy Photo.

Il Salviatino’s candlelit library has the feel of a private study and is the perfect spot to curl up and read Italian romances (or plan your stay with local maps and guides) with a glass of Tuscan wine in hand.

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10. La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco

Over its illustrious 100-year history La Mamounia in Marrakech has played host to writers, thinkers and world leaders, including the likes of Winston Churchill.

The best luxury hotel for bibliophiles: La Mamounia Marrakech. Courtesy Photo.

In 2009 the hotel established a literary prize to help promote Moroccan scholarship and literature across the French-speaking world. In addition, there’s a well-stocked library on site that includes a book about this fascinating property. The opulent resort features 17 acres of walled gardens, pools, tennis courts, fountains, a 27,000 square foot spa and four restaurants.

11. Le Pavillon des Lettres, Paris

Each of the 26 rooms at Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris is assigned to a letter of the alphabet, and each one is dedicated to a notable author from European literary history (B for Baudelaire, H for Hugo, S for Shakespeare). In each room, quotations from the author’s work are stenciled on the walls.

The best luxury hotel for bibliophiles: Le Pavillon des Lettres Paris. Courtesy Photos.

Complimentary in-room iPad’s are loaded with bestsellers and newspapers.  If you prefer hard copies, the hotel recently partnered with local bookstore Galignani to offer on-demand delivery of the latest new arrivals.  The hotel itself also occasionally offers literary-themed excursions, including tours of famous writer’s homes in the St. Germain district or language lessons to assist tourists during their visit.

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12. MACq 01, Tasmania, Australia

If physical books are less important to you than the experience of a great story, head to Hobart, Tasmania in Australia where you’ll find the boutique MACq 01, which bills itself as a “storytelling hotel.”

The best luxury hotel for bibliophiles: The MACq 01 Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania. Courtesy Photo.

The real-world historical characters of Tasmania informed the concept and design of the property, and the intention is to engage every sense to bring these stories to life. The 114 rooms each feature a story of a real Tasmanian: warriors, convicts forced to live there, and those who walk its streets today. The hotel’s motto is “Every story needs a start. Your chapter awaits.” 

13. The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Massachusetts

What better place than a college town for a hotel with its own library? The Charles Hotel in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts is just steps away from Harvard University. It’s bustling lobby features comfy armchairs and hundreds of books that are available for reading while you’re a hotel guest.

luxury hotel for bibliophiles

The best luxury hotel for bibliophiles: The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Courtesy Photo.

The decor of the common areas and the guest rooms reflects the property’s academic setting in witty ways. And if you’re inclined to the literary, you’ll also find fantastic bookstores throughout Harvard Square.

14. Wayfarer DTLA, Los Angeles

The Wayfarer Downtown LA opened in late 2019, promising a community-centric space located in the heart of the historic Broadway Corridor. 

The best literary boutique hotels in the world: The Wayfarer Downtown LA. Courtesy Photo.

In addition to the Gaslighter Social Club; The Kitchen, which is fully equipped for guest use; the Rooftop Bar; and Lilly Rose, the underground parlor bar, the property has a library with only books that are set in Los Angeles or written by an LA native.

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15. The Heathman, Portland, Oregon

Portland is home to Wordstock, a huge literary festival. And Powell’s Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world. So it comes as no surprise that one of the best luxury literary hotels in the world also calls the city home.

 The Heathman in Portland, Oregon has a library with more than 3,000 volumes. Built in 1927, the Heathman Hotel touts one of the few cataloged lending hotel libraries in the United States.

best luxury literary hotels in the world

The best luxury literary hotels in the world: The Heathman Portland. Courtesy Photo.

The hotel’s 3,000 volumes are displayed in custom-made cases in the Mezzanine Library. The collection includes signed editions from seven Nobel Prize winners, 14 Pulitzer winners, five U.S. Poet Laureates and two former U.S. Presidents. Every Monday through Thursday,  there’s a Happy Hour when the hotel’s librarian pours complimentary wine and opens the library cabinets for guests to enjoy.

16. Hotel Emma, San Antonio

The Hotel Emma in San Antonio is located at a site that was once a 19th century brewhouse. Now it’s a 146-room riverfront hotel, with chic decor from New York-based design firm Roman and Williams.  

best luxury literary hotels in the world

best luxury literary hotels in the world: Hotel Emma San Antonio Texas. Courtesy Photo.

The hotel owners acquired the 3,700-volume library of Sherry Kafka Wagner, a San Antonio icon, novelist, historian, Harvard Fellow, and cultural anthropologist. Housed in a vaulted room with club chairs and serene lighting, guests can check out books using the library’s vintage card system.

The property’s website features this quote from Oscar Wilde: “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” Amen to that.

17. La Réserve, Paris

Located in the tony eighth arrondissement of Paris, La Reserve exudes old elegance even though the property is barely five years old. It’s the smallest of the current officially-designed 25 palace hotels in the City of Lights, and while it is furnished with antique decor, the amenities are state-of-the-art. 

The best luxury hotel library in the world

The best luxury hotel library in the world: La Reserve Paris. Courtesy Photo.

The hotel library includes an impressive selection of over 3,000 antique books, and is the site of poetry readings and guest speaker events on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings.

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18. The NoMad Hotel, New York City

One of the hottest properties in Manhattan, the NoMad is full of sass and personality. And its a perfect luxury hotel for a book lover. Among it many marvels is a fully curated, two-level library which is connected by an original spiral staircase imported from the South of France.

The best luxury hotel library in the world

The best luxury hotel library in the world: The NoMad New York. Courtesy Photo.

And unlike many libraries, in this one you can actually eat and drink as well as read. Guests are invited to lounge on custom-made furnishings and enjoy light fare, coffee, tea, wine, and cocktails. 

19. The Standard, London

The Standard Hotel in London is located in the former Camden Town Hall Annex in King’s Cross. The 1974 Brutalist building has been fully renovated and is now home to a swanky hotel with 266 rooms in 42 unique styles, including terraced suites with outdoor bathtubs.

The best luxury hotel library in the world

The best luxury hotel library in the world: the Standard London Library Lounge. Courtesy Photo.

Once home to the Camden Council Library, the hotel’s Library Lounge is open 27/7 for hotel guests. The space is a book-filled haven organized into categories including order and chaos, science and religion and adult relationships

20. The University Arms, Cambridge, England

The University Arms,  a 192-room Autograph Collection hotel, started life as a couching inn in 1834. It reopened in 2018 after a 4-year renovation. The artwork is a carefully curated collection with a deep sense of place: vintage maps, prints of iconic Cambridge landmarks, and portraits of famous Cambridge academics.

The best luxury hotel library in the world

The best luxury hotel library in the world: the University Arms, Cambridge, England. Courtesy Photo.

However, the show-stopper is the library, which is complete with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with titles curated by London bookstore Heywood Hill. The sound-track in the public washrooms is the voice of  Alan Bennett reading from The Wind in the Willows. It doesn’t get any more civilized than that.

21. The Library Hotel, Koh Samui, Thailand

This minimalist-chic hotel exudes the literary vibe that its name suggests. Accommodations include villas with names like The Writer and The Editor. And a library stocked with glossy coffee table books.

The Library Hotel, Koh Samui, Thailand. Courtesy Photo.

The Best Luxury Hotels in the World for Book Lovers

There’s a book nook in a wonderful hotel waiting for you somewhere out there. Let your wanderlust fuel your search for it. Good luck! And happy reading.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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