Do you go on holiday with a full suitcase of books (or at least a jam-packed ebook reader)? Is the best part of any vacation the delicious downtime to work your way through the pile that's been teetering on your nightstand? Do you spend all year looking forward to that stack of carefully curated beach reads? If so, a stay at a book-themed hotel might be the perfect treat. 

From decor that references your favorite literary worlds to full shelves that preclude the need to weigh your suitcase down to kinship with celebrated authors, these hotels each have something a little different to offer ardent readers. One thing's for sure, though – if you agreed with Simon Van Booy when he said "I sleep better knowing there are libraries," just think how you'll feel when you've slept in a library.

This article was first published February 2020 and updated January 2021

The Literary Man, Obidos, Portugal

One of the hotel's cosy common spaces © The Literary Man

Bibliophiles can find everything they want between the walls of this hotel. The communal areas are filled with books displayed from floor to ceiling under warm lighting (all up for grabs for guests), with plenty of comfy seats and a fire to curl up next to in the colder weather. The former convent is also home to an acclaimed restaurant, wine cellar and a specialist gin bar. It’s not just the hotel that boosts the tiny town’s literary reputation. It’s already a UNESCO City of Literature and there are 14 bookstores to share with the mere 3,100 inhabitants while there. 

Continue the story: Obidos also hosts Folio, an international literary festival every October.

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L’Hotel, Paris

It's easy to see why Oscar Wilde felt at home at L'Hotel

One of the smallest five-star hotels in the French capital, it’s most famous for being the last home of Oscar Wilde, from 1898 to his death two years later. What was then a simple pension house has been sumptuously redecorated in a style that would delight Wilde and his opulent taste. The Oscar Wilde Suite is the room where he died and is a favourite today with celebrity guests. Filled with his photos, framed letters (including a request to Mr Wilde to settle his bill) and decorated with emerald peacocks, it has a private terrace to wile away the lazy hours with a witty book. Wilde isn’t the only creative hero to be attracted to this Left Bank hotel; Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jim Morrison and Serge Gainsbourg have all passed through the doors. 

Continue the story: A 15-minute walk will take you right past Notre Dame Cathedral to the world’s most famous bookstore; Shakespeare and Company

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Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, Wales

The library promises to be a haven of quiet © Melissa Cross

Not strictly a hotel in the traditional sense but rather a “residential library” with a simple B&B attached. Guests have full access to the stacks and peaceful silence of the reading rooms until 10pm with ample comfy armchairs and desks to hide away in. There are 150,000 books to leaf through and, with no TV in your room to distract you, you’ll have no excuse not to get stuck in. If you’ve got literary aspirations yourself, this might be the place for you; more than 300 books have been worked on or inspired by time spent there, including Sarah Perry’s ‘The Essex Serpent’ and Dan Richards ‘Climbing Days. Famous names Alan Bennett and A S Byatt are known to have spent time here.

Continue the story: Let the bucolic British countryside inspire you with a ramble through the nearby Hawarden Castle.

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Library Hotel, New York City

A celebration of the library, each of the ten floors of the hotel is named after a major category of the Dewey Decimal system including literature, social sciences, philosophy, languages and history. Even more delightfully, all rooms have an individual theme based on a sub-section (biography, fairy tales, zoology and ethics just to name a few), with corresponding artwork and up to 150 books on the topic. Email in advance if you’d like to request a particular theme. As well as a 24 hour reading room, there are indoor and outdoor terraces (named the Poetry Garden and Writer’s Den respectively) to bring your borrowed reads.

Continue the story: Located just one block from the New York Public Library which you can explore on your own time alone or with a free guided tour. 

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Ambassade Hotel, Amsterdam

The hotel's 'library bar' boasts its very own librarian © Ambassade Hotel

A unique canal-side hotel in the centre of the Dutch capital, the Ambassade sprawls through ten 17th century mansions, each with a different facade. With long-standing relationships to many Dutch publishers, this is the traditional accommodation for many authors when they come to the city, with literary luminaries like Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie and Umberto Eco all staying here. There is now a tradition where authors sign a copy of their book which goes into the care of the resident librarian who curates a 5,000 strong collection.

Continue the story: Oudemanhuispoort’s daily second-hand book market is a mere ten minute walk away.

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Sylvia Beach Hotel, Newport, Oregon

Sunset over the beach and the Pacific ocean in Newport, a town along the 101 highway along the coast in Oregon, USA

Named for the founder of Paris’ Shakespeare & Co, this beachfront hotel promises to be a haven from distractions, with no TV, wi-fi or telephones to interrupt your precious reading time. Each of their 21 rooms is decorated individually in honour of different authors, including J.K. Rowling, Virginia Woolfe, Tolkien and Dr Suess. Its creative decor has earned its place on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and its beachfront, huge library and reading area promise ample space for contemplation. 

Continue the story: The hotel also plays host to regular fiction workshops. 

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The Library Hotel, Koh Samui, Thailand

The sleek library overlooks a pool © The Library Hotel

If calm surroundings produce a calm mind, this sleek hotel will relax many a bookworm. Set on the lush Chaweng Beach, browse some 1,400 books before toddling out to the striking red swimming pool and enjoying the sound of the waves in the background. The accommodation continues the bookish concept with suites like the Bookmark, the Editor and the Writer.

Continue the story: Can't find anything you like on the shelves? There are two branches of Bookazine nearby where you can stock up on reads to bring back to the pool. They also have a large selection of books on Thailand.

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Radisson Sonya Hotel, St. Petersburg, Russia

Dostoevsky's ‘Crime and Punishment’ may not seem like the most welcoming theme for a hotel, but the result in this Radisson are subtle, bookish motifs throughout the design. Each bedroom features an artwork either inspired by some element of the classic novel, or one which the literary giant himself loved. 

Continue the story: The Dostoevsky Museum is just 2 kilometres away where you can visit the writer’s final residence, including the study he wrote 'The Brothers Karamazov' in.

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