Travelling is a marvellous thing, yet many of us bookworms are sometimes a little reluctant to leave our literary companions behind in their shelves: novum publishing has got your back, as we found five inspiring bookish places to stay for a night or two!
Whether you are a wandering soul or not, if you are reading this blog, you most definitely are a bookish soul!
As the majority of us booklovers do have to step outside every now and again and leave our cozy confines- and our books – behind to face the world, we have to get especially creative when planning a trip. But staying at just any hotel will not do for a real bookworm: nothing to make a place feel like home than a filled bookshelf, after all! If your standards match ours, check out novum publishing’s top picks for hotels that will make any bookworm’s dreams come true:
1. Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Wales
If the picturesque Scotland never appeared on your travelling radar before, it definitely should have by now – since our article about the best travelling destinations in the UK, the latest! Booklovers of all ages and literary bents really are bound to get their fix on Scottish soil, regardless of their opinion about the Harry Potter novels. The teeny tiny village of Hawarden, which is located in Flintshire, Wales, offers a special gem of a hotel for everyone with a love for books. There, you have the opportunity to spend a night or two in Gladstone’s Library, a historic residential library that boasts an impressive collection of tomes collected by its namesake and one of the UK’s most famous prime ministers, William Gladstone. Gladstone, who had served no less than a record four term as head of her majesty’s government, used to live and reside in nearby Hawarden Castle after his retirement from government service. The famous bibliophile was a veritable literary connaisseur and amassed more than 30,000 books in his lifetime. He housed his collection in a building which he back then envisioned as becoming a refuge for booklovers where they could someday not just read and study, but sleep and break their fast as well. After Gladstone passed away in 1898, the residents of Hawarden raised funds to build a permanent home for his massive collection and make his dream a reality. As soon as in 1902, Gladstone’s library opened to the public as a national memorial to its namesake. Gladstone’s library is comprised of 26 guest rooms and an onsite cafe that offers dinner to its guests and visitors as well as, of course, an extensive library that today is home to more than 250,000 titles. The library is open to the public until 5 p.m. and to its guests until 10 p.m.
2. Wonderland House in Brighton (England)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fall down the rabbit hole like Alice did in the all-time favourite Alice in Wonderland? Well, now you can get a taste of Wonderland, and to get there you only have to book a trip to the UK’s seaside. The seaside resort town of Brighton houses a gem of a hotel that is sure to enchant any avid reader: Wonderland House! You do not have to be fond of tea parties and white rabbits to enjoy a stay there. The cozy, six-bedroom hotel in Brighton celebrates the famous Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland all year round. Very fitting indeed, we say, as Caroll himself spent many a summer in the well-known town which picturesque surroundings are said to having been a great influence and inspiration to the imaginative writer. As befits a hotel named after one of the most magical novels of all time, each and every guest room is lovingly furnished in great detail with all sorts of whimsical items. The decor is, of course, a clear reference to Alice—with clocks, mirrors, teacups and kettles galore! And to ensure that they really cannot be outdone in Alice-styled home decor, Wonderland House is sporting a Mad Hatter-themed kitchen complete with a black-and-white checkerboard floor and all the fixings for a mad crush of a tea party!
3.) The Georgian House / London
A short five-minute walk from Victoria coach station in Pimlico, an up-and coming area in London, the Georgian House has made a name for itself as a place of pilgrimage for many a Harry Potter-fan. The family-run bed and breakfast is a sweet little boutique hotel that is styled pleasingly in a mix of old and new. Amongst portraits, fireplaces and carriage clocks, a bookcase is, suitably, where the magic happens in this little bookish hotel. The bookcase is in fact a trompe l’oeil that leads to another world: behind it, there is a secret door that leads to the wizard chambers of the Georgian House! This special treat for any Harry Potter fan is admirably built, as the owners made every effort to recreate castle-like quarters to adequately house the magical chambers. In addition to the fifty-seven rooms that the hotel has to offer, the Harry Potter-themed part of the hotel contains four rooms that are divided in two Wizard and two Enchanted Chambers. These chambers are decorated close to detail, what with four-poster beds complete with soft furnishings in Gryffindor colour schemes, hanging tapestries that sport the house’s banner, ornamental owls, giblets and a fancy toilet styled after the Victorian era that would not be complete without a “Ministry of Magic – this way” sign! And if that still is not enough to get into a perfectly magical mood, surely the complete collection of Harry Potter books and DVDs to lend out will do the trick for total immersion!
4.) The Library Hotel in New York City (USA)
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The Big Apple is known to set new standards for nearly everything, and the benchmark of any literary lover will be more than met when checking in to New York City’s Library Hotel. Modeled loosely after the infamous and majestic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the renowned flagship of the New York Public Library that is situated only a short distance away in Midtown Manhattan, the Library Hotel is quite something to look at. Home to more than 6.000 books, which are distributed throughout private rooms and public areas, the hotel caters to every taste in literature. Each of the Library Hotel’s 10 guest floors is inspired by one of the categories of the library classification system du jour’s major categories, the Dewey Decimal System. Out of its 10 major categories— arts & recreation, philosophy, religion, math and science, technology, and so forth, the individual hotel rooms are decorated to reflect genres or topics within these groups. Guests are invited to sleep in rooms styled after zoology, mythology, astronomy, and yes, even in erotic literature-themed suites. As reading is hungry business, in a moment of literary respite, guests are invited to spend some quality time at the rooftop watering hole and the Writer’s Den & Poetry Garden, which by night turns into the cozy Bookmarks Lounge and serves a variety of tasty drinks and cocktails, which are, of course, as well suitably literary-themed.
5.) The Book and Bed in Tokyo
Booklovers crossing the big ocean to visit Asia should be aware that there is more to Japan that just temples, Samurai, Geishas, Hello Kitty and divine sushi. Technologically advanced as Nippon may be, they love their books just as much as we do. So much so, in fact, that the capital, Tokyo, is home to a very special place to stay for any bookish traveller. The Book and Bed is a hostel that is both impressive as it is honest about what it has to offer: the self-described “accommodation bookshop” went viral with a video on insider and is all about the experience. American or European hotel standards are far from being met in terms of comfort, as the establishment itself admits: “The perfect setting for a good night’s sleep is something you will not find here. There are no comfortable mattresses, fluffy pillows nor lightweight and warm down duvets”. Private washrooms and bathrooms are also not included in the offer, but then again, that is not what the Book and Bed is aiming to achieve, as their priorities are differently set: “What we do offer is an experience while reading a book (or comic book). An experience shared by everyone at least once — the blissful ‘instant of falling asleep.’ It is already 2 a.m. but you think just a little more… with heavy drooping eyelids you continue reading only to realize you have fallen asleep… Dozing off obliviously during your treasured pasttime is the finest ‘moment of sleep,’ don’t you agree?”
So, dearest readers, these are our inspiring five bookish hotels. Are you, much like us, already planning your next getaway and could draw some inspiration from our article? Have you already been to one of these hotels or have you found a bookish place we have not even considered yet? We definitely would love to hear from you in the comments below!