Photo credit: Xavier Dachez
Hôtel de Glace, Canada
Though not always a literary hotel, this year the famed ice hotel — a castle made of ice and snow that is rebuilt every winter and opened for guests — has a “Journey to the Center of Winter” theme, inspired by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. We’d say sleeping in a block of ice is marginally more inviting than sleeping in the center of the earth, but we get the drift.
Inn BoonsBoro, Frederick, Maryland
Prolific romance novelist Nora Roberts opened this hotel in 2009, and true to her trade, each of its eight rooms are inspired by famous literary couples “who found their happy endings” — from Jane and Rochester to Titania and Oberon to Wesley and Buttercup (!). Each room comes with a copy of the book in question, and everything from the decor to the toiletries are inspired by the couple and the era in which their story is set. And just to make it all the more literary, Roberts has published a trilogy of novels inspired by her own literary-inspired inn. That’s pretty meta for a romance novel.
Photo credit: tea_austen
The Sylvia Beach Hotel, Nye Beach, Oregon
As hotel’s website cheerily warns every visitor, “When you walk up our garden path to the front door the old building will give you a big hug or spit you out, depending on what really matters to you!” Named after the American-born proprietor of the famed Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Company, this hotel is serious about its reading habits — there are no TVs, radios, or telephones in the rooms and no wi-fi. The rooms are split up into Classics, Best Sellers, and Novels (Classics being the most expensive), and are all themed to specific authors — Collete, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, even JK Rowling and Dr. Seuss. Add that to the library wing, and you’re likely to get some reading done here.
Photo credit: Charles Hosea/Katherine Rose
The Roi des Belges, London, UK
This installation/hotel is sort of incredible — a project of Artangel and Living Architecture, the organization started by Alain de Botton, this one room, two person boat shaped (also called A Room for London) sits a rooftop above the Thames. And if all that rust looks familiar to you, it might be because the boat is inspired by (and named after) the steamer Joseph Conrad helmed in the Congo, and later immortalized in Heart of Darkness. Just watch out for arrows.
The Hobbit Motel, Woodlyn Park in Waitomo, New Zealand
But of course — the world’s first hobbit hotel, so you can live like Bilbo and Frodo, if only for a few nights. Magic rings are (we imagine) not included.
Radisson Sonya Hotel, St. Petersburg, Russia
The decor of this swank hotel is informed and inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which is not a book we’d ever peg for a hotel theme, but there you go. In a common guest room, you might find a copy of Rafael’s Sistine Madonna, a painting Dostoyevsky was obsessed with and mentions frequently in his novels, a desk modeled after the writer’s own, and plenty of traditionally Russian patterns and colors. If you spring for the suite, you may just get a Raskolnikovian vision of Napoleon, as well.
The Library Hotel, New York City
Though it’s not inspired by any one book, we love the concept of this hotel, whose tagline is “a thought provoking experience.” The library’s collection of books (and of rooms, mind you) is organized by the Dewey Decimal system. Each floor has a different theme — Language, Literature, History, Philosophy — and each room on that floor is its own topic within that theme. So room 500.004 is Botany, and room 500.003 is Zoology (also worth noting: room 500.005 is Dinosaurs). For anyone who ever dreamed of sleeping in the library, this hotel is for you.
Le Pavillon des Lettres, Paris, France
Each of the 26 rooms at Le Pavillon des Lettres has been assigned a letter of the alphabet, and honors a writer whose last name begins with that letter (from A for Andersen, Hans Christian to Z for Zola, Emile), featuring quotations from his or her work beautifully stenciled on the walls. Plus, each room comes with an iPad loaded with reading material, for all the modern lovers of literature.
Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy
Okay, so the Maison Moschino isn’t strictly a literary hotel, but its rooms and interiors are based on fairy tales, including Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood — so that’s good enough for us. Especially considering how gorgeous they are — all clouds and slightly ominous elegance. A good night’s sleep for anyone who dreams in stories.
Hemingway Hotels and Resorts
Now, don’t get too excited — these don’t technically exist yet. But last spring, Hemingway Ltd., a corporation owned by the estate and family of Ernest Hemingway, announced a licensing agreement for Hemingway Hotels and Resorts to build hotels and resorts based on the life and “lifestyle” of the legendary author. So far details are scant, but the hotels do describe themselves as offering “the same code of professional conduct by which Hemingway’s greatest heroes lived their lives.” Does this mean bullfighting for everyone? Or just lots of khaki and alcohol? We can’t wait to find out, and we’re hoping against hope it won’t be as cheesy as we fear.