The start of a new academic year is just around the corner, and we've been feeling nostalgic for libraries. Many hotels claim to have a lending library, but most of the time, you'll find the same selection of mass-market paperbacks in various stages of decomposition. So, we searched through TripAdvisor's hotel inventory for some truly spectacular hotel libraries? Bibliophiles, read on!
If you've ever wanted to experience a weekend as a house guest at a Vanderbilt summer house, visit Elm Court in Lenox, Mass. "The common rooms include a spectacularly adorned library with an eclectic collection of books on every topic imaginable, an all-glass conservatory that overlooks the mountains and a truly awesome, enormous, walk-in fireplace in the foyer where we sat at night drinking wine and toasting marshmallows," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler.
This ultra-modern resort (the Trendiest Hotel in Thailand, according to TrIpAdvisor's 2012 Travelers' Choice Awards) is "a secret treasure amidst the madness" of Koh Samui. Each of its 26 rooms has a Macintosh computer, and travelers love the sumptuous breakfasts, unique red-tiled pool, and the property's extensive library of books and DVDs. One TripAdvisor traveler described it as "a treasury of literature from obscure design books to current paperback novels"; another simply called it, "a gold mine."
"The Study understands its audience ? Yale," wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer. Indeed, if you're in town visiting the university, you can't do much better for comfort or convenience than this boutique-style hotel in the middle of New Haven. The "sedate lobby with deep leather chairs" has a great selection of periodicals and art books, and the rooms have "sharpened #2 pencils instead of the typical pens."
"From the fabulous madhouse that is Soho you ring the brass bell of the discreet doorway to Hazlitt's Hotel and enter a calm and serene Georgian house," wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer. The London hotel's library room boasts an honesty bar: "Take your drinks and note in the book what you have taken and your room name-- wonderful idea."
"The lush gardens, fabulous food, amazing library, friendly people-- everything about it was perfect," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler of this Oaxaca, Mexico, hotel. Another traveler called it "a delightful and renewing place to hold our writing workshop"?so whether you're a reader or a writer, you'll be happy here.
"In a world of time-trials and interruptions, where juggling obligation, commitment and constraint has become the norm, Gladstone's Library offers a haven without distraction; a sandy cove of solitude with no more complicated an agenda than for readers to read and writers to write," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler of this hotel in North Wales. Indeed, another reviewer said he felt guilty reviewing Gladstone's on TripAdvisor, "because as the information sheet I was handed at check-in explains, it is a residential library-- it is not a hotel.'"
"An outstanding boutique hotel, beautifully furnished and with very helpful staff," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler of As Janelas Verdes in Lisbon, Portugal. It also happens to have a lovely library, complete with "a well stocked honesty bar (good value depending on how large you like your measures)."
"Everything is so clean, classy and luxurious that you immediately fall in love with the hotel," wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer who stayed at Hotel Le St-James in Montreal. The hotel's library, located right off the lobby, "is the size of a private, large dining room; very high ceilings; gorgeous fireplace; spectacular selection of books and magazines," wrote another.
If you're a book lover and haven't already seen the major sights in Florence, do yourself a favor and don't stay at Il Salviatino? you'll probably never want to leave the hotel's exquisite library. The food also draws raves ("I will not be surprised when the chef earns a Michelin star," wrote one traveler). And, amazingly, the hotel welcomes kids?even providing organic baby toiletries.
We couldn't do a proper roundup of hotels with great libraries without including The Library Hotel in New York City. Here, each room is based on a different category of the Dewey Decimal System, so you might find yourself in Ancient Languages, Logic, or Romance. The breakfast room is lined with books as well, making it perfect for solo travelers. But consider yourself warned?one traveler lost track of time reading the books in the General Knowledge room and wrote, "I had to force myself to go to bed."