Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sun October 09 2016

The Power of a Good Old-Fashioned Book: Hotels with Great Reading Rooms

Features & Advice | Charu Suri | May 24, 2016

The Power of a Good Old-Fashioned Book: Hotels with Great Reading Rooms

Photo courtesy of Rosewood Inn at the Anasazi

Despite rising Internet advertising rates and the growing popularity of e-readers, there is a rare breed of hotels that truly understand  the power of a good old-fashioned book.

Here are some hotels that are celebrating the art of a good read, from all corners of the globe.  

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Light pours into the library at this beautiful property, which has intimate spaces for guests. The library features hand-carved doors, and the walls are wrapped around with hundreds of books ranging from the classics to modern books detailing New Mexico’s rich history and ancient culture. Add to the mix some cozy chairs and plush pillows, and you have yourself an ideal setting for the bibliophile.

READ MORE: The Top 5 Public Libraries Worth Exploring on Vacation

What’s unique about this reading room is a lovely collection provided by a local non-profit called Radius, which publishes beautiful work celebrating the arts and cultures.

Library Hotel, New York City

By day, the 14th-floor rooftop of the literary-themed hotel houses the Writer’s Den & Poetry Garden, which doubles as a relaxing oasis with views of Madison Avenue. Guests can cozy up by the always-lit fireplace or turn pages unhurriedly in the redolent greenhouse.

There are hundreds of books to suit your every literary mood, and better still, complimentary teas, coffees, cappuccinos, cookies and fruits. A continental breakfast buffet is also served at the Reading Room, and evening receptions come with Prosecco and cheeses.

Hotel Montefiore, Tel Aviv

This Tel Aviv pioneering boutique hotel, which is centrally located just steps away from Rothschild Boulevard, was a former private residence, and it does everything to make you feel very much at home.

Only 12 rooms with dark woods and high ceilings are available for discerning guests, but each of them serves as a well-appointed reading room, with a  floor-to-ceiling library of books in multiple languages.

Plush mahogany chairs act as reading nooks in corners of the restaurant, which also features an extensive collection of Taschen books (vintage and new) alongside a wonderfully worn edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's “The Great Gatsby” cheek-to-cheek with novels in multiple languages. This means you can read exchanges between Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan in Spanish, Israeli, French and more.

The High Line Hotel, New York City

A former Theological Seminary right below the famed High Line, this Chelsea hotel has stocked its guestrooms and suites with books sourced from the estate of a Cold War-era psychic, Ingo Swann, who lived on the Lower East Side and who used to spy on the Russians in Moscow for the CIA during the 1960s. Oddly enough, his brilliance did not stop at espionage but evidently extended into astronomy, since he discovered the rings around Jupiter.

Guests still discover hand-written notes in books, which adds to the thrill of a good read.

Winvian Farm, Connecticut

This Relais & Chateaux property on 113 acres of Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills has 18 luxuriously appointed cottages and a suite that was converted from a farmhouse built in the 1700s. Think: beautifully woven rugs, roaring fireplaces and calming corners with plenty of magazines and books.

There is a specific Library Cottage for bibliophiles, with built-in bookcases and great reads.

The Study at Yale, Connecticut

It’s hard to believe that a boutique hotel exists at the heart of an Ivy League campus but it does, and this one, with 124 chic rooms, has floor-to-ceiling bookcases with books originally curated and assembled by the Strand Book Store in New York.

READ MORE: Book Your Trip Now: 6 Extraordinary Libraries Around the World

Over the years, the collection has transformed as guests, including many notable authors and visitors to Yale, have added books of their own to the shelves, and past events have featured authors such as Jodi Picoult and David Baldacci. There’s nothing static about these books: guests of the hotel are encouraged to read the books and even take them to their rooms, causing the exact collection and placement of literature throughout the hotel to be ever-changing. 

The library was designed by KPMB, an architecture firm based out of Toronto, in partnership with interior designer Jill Greaves. 


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