7 amazing hotel libraries every bookworm should visit

  • amazing hotel libraries

Sometimes, the best room at a hotel isn’t a commodious suite or a welcoming bar — it’s the library. Not just for bibliophiles, the hotel libraries at the following seven luxury properties define their destination, serving as the cultural and intellectual heart of each hotel in which they reside. Keep reading to discover our favourite hotel hideways to while away the day with a tipple and a tome.

 

 

 

 

1. The Jefferson Hotel

US

When Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his extensive collection of books — the largest in the United States at the time — to the US Congress in 1814, he created the Library of Congress as we know it today. In honour of that avid book buff, D.C’s The Jefferson hotel equipped its Monticello-inspired Book Room with scores of leather-bound volumes. Guests of the hotel can sip Madeira in front of the roaring fire while flipping through tomes that cover such favoured Jefferson topics as wine and travel. For those who prefer contemporary literature, the library also houses publications penned — and signed — by celebrity authors such as Martha Stewart and Bill Gates.

The Jefferson
1200 16th St NW
Washington DC 20036
US
Tel: +1 202 448 2300

2. Ballyfin Demesne

Ireland

At Ballyfin Demesne — the no-expense-spared Georgian-estate resort in County Laois, Ireland — guests discover an old-world library befitting of the property’s timeless sophistication. Replete with a secret door and a fireplace, the elegant space features Irish antiquarian masterpieces in original built-in mahogany bookcases. Here, guests can peruse subjects from art to genealogy in the comfort of plush Edwardian-style armchairs and sofas while sipping an afternoon whiskey. Don’t miss the 16th-century New Testament, printed in Greek and created in Geneva.

Ballyfin Demesne
County Laois
Tel: +353 57 875 5866

3. La Reserve Hotel and Spa

France

With a wine cellar, a manicured courtyard and a swanky smoking lounge, La Reserve exudes all the grandeur one would expect of an Avenue Montaigne landmark. But the Haussmann-era mansion – located just blocks from the Champs-Elysees – most evokes the heyday of Parisian chic with its Duc de Morny Library, cocooned in silk damask walls and anchored by herringbone floors. The sultry space is a splendid spot to sip tea and flip through pages of iconic first editions by the likes of Voltaire, Honore de Balzac and Victor Hugo.

La Reserve Hotel and Spa
42 avenue Gabriel
75008 Paris
France
Tel: +33 1 58 36 60 60

4. St. Regis New York

US

St. Regis New York in Midtown, founded in 1904 by John Jacob Astor IV, is steeped in New York City legend. From its famous guests to its signature Bloody Mary, the hotel embodies the halcyon days of Manhattan sophistication. The property’s second-floor Astor Library originally served as Astor’s personal apartment; today, the space houses Astor’s collection of more than 3,000 titles, which he personally commissioned from Schribner & Sons. Among the highlights are one-of-a-kind prints of works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe.

St. Regis New York
Two East 55th Street
Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10022
US
Tel: +1 212 753 4500

5. Hotel Emma

US

San Antonio’s undisputed grand dame, Hotel Emma features a one-of-a-kind library. The two-tiered haven in the centuries-old Riverwalk landmark is stocked with 3,700 volumes, all of which were donated by the author Sherry Kafka Wagner. The books reflect the novelist’s eclectic interests and infinite curiosity for life, displaying titles by everyone from William Faulkner to Mark Twain. Likewise, the library’s design displays Hotel Emma’s own eclectic style, blending Old West elan with of-the-moment details.

Hotel Emma
136 E. Grayson
San Antonio
Texas 78215
US
Tel: +1 210 448 8300

6. Segera Retreat, Kenya

Jochen Zeitz, former Chairman of the Board at Puma, pays homage to his beloved Africa with the artistic Segera Retreat, set on an acacia-mottled cattle ranch in Kenya’s wildlife-rich Laikipia Plateau. With stand-alone villas dispersed among the savannah, the eclectic art- and artefact-filled resort’s ultimate tribute to the bush can be found in the Explorer Lounge library. The thatch-roof retreat features a magnificent collection of manuscripts, diary entries and unpublished letters by explorers and adventurers like Ernest Hemingway, Karen Blixen, and David Livingstone.

Segera Retreat
Laikipia
Nanyuki Town
Nanyuki Municipality 10400
Kenya
Tel: +254 704 483037

7. The Temple House

China

Old and new fuse at the design-savvy Temple House hotel in Chengdu, China. Intended to be a practical resource for travellers from far and wide, the Temple House’s library contains books that showcase the destination (long considered to be the gateway between China and Tibet). The ever-evolving book collection — curated by Phillip Blackwell of London’s the Ultimate Library — includes more than 2,500 titles (half in English, half in Chinese) that cover a panoply of subjects, from Sichuan cuisine to regional history and ancient art, all gathered to enrich guests during their adventures.

The Temple House
81 Bitieshi Street
Jinjiang District
Chengdu
China 610021
Tel: +86 28 6636 9999

Share on

Published 25th August 2017
×