Get Cozy in These Hotel Nooks

PHOTO: A cat napping on books.
Courtesy Library Hotel

Hotel libraries were invented for the kind of weather we’re seeing this winter. Traveling to New York or D.C. just in time for thundersnow? Forget slipping on icy sidewalks en route to a million social/business cocktails. Instead, check yourself into a hotel with a cozy book nook, and claim the nicest armchair as your own. Skype into all your meetings, and let the polar vortex pass overhead.

Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Va.

Opened in summer 2013, the Salamander is styled as a Virginia wine country hotel. Unlike California wine country, this wine region sees four distinct seasons, and the hotel wards off snowy weather with a crackling fire and winter warmers in the reading room. It’s a comfy space for reading, playing board games or – obviously – drinking local wines.

PHOTO: Library at Trump SoHo, New York.
Courtesy Trump SoHo New York
Library at Trump SoHo, New York City

In partnership with art book publisher TASCHEN, this sleek city-center library has only a small collection of titles, but each one is a glossy, coffee-table tome. Guests can browse through 100+ art, architecture and design books or borrow a Kindle from the front desk and read the latest Random House title, available through the Digital Downtime program.

PHOTO: The Charles.
Courtesy The Charles Hotel
The Charles, Cambridge, Mass.

It’s not the most gussied-up nook, but as the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Or in this case, a book collection. With personally signed biographies from—ahem—former guests such as David Mamet and Hillary Clinton, this library is an integral component of the hotel’s tagline, “The Smart Place to Stay.” If the chairs aren’t cozy enough to suit, you’re welcome to take a book up to your room.

PHOTO: The Writers Den in The Library Hotel, Manhattan, New York.
Courtesy Library Hotel
The Writers Den in The Library Hotel, New York City

In America’s most aggressively trendsetting, fashion-conscious city (that would be the Big Apple, of course), finding a hotel themed after the Dewey Decimal system is like traveling across time and space, back to when you were an elementary schooler in the pre-Internet days and the school library was a mysterious repository of All the Information in the World. If you’re too young to know about pre-Internet days, don’t worry: The Library Hotel won’t make you use the card catalogue.

PHOTO: The Study at Yale, New Haven, Conn.
Courtesy The Study at Yale
The Study at Yale, New Haven, Conn.

Intellectual pursuits are always en vogue in New Haven – home of one of North America’s top universities since the early 18th century. If you don’t feel like burying your nose in a book – or finally starting your own Great American Novel -- when you walk into The Study, you’re immune to peer pressure. The place is filled with books and art; the Yale Authors display is a lobby centerpiece; and the Lobby Café brews up good, strong Illy coffee 24 hours a day.

PHOTO: The Jefferson, Washington.
Courtesy of The Jefferson
The Jefferson, Washington D.C.

Aficionados of early American history have a lot of fun exploring this hotel homage to Thomas Jefferson. It has hidden nooks and historic books, Beaux Arts design and Monticello inspirations. Frequented by wealthy and influential travelers for more than five decades, the Jefferson has a number of signed editions written by famous former guests, as well as original documents signed by Thomas Jefferson.

PHOTO: The Sebastian, Vail, Colo.
Photo courtesy The Sebastian-Vale
The Sebastian, Vail, Colo.

A boutique sweet spot in a high-mountain ski village, this hotel is “ski-in, ski-out,” but knows that on blustery winter days, guests might prefer “stay in, stay warm.” In addition to its club-style library, it has a tapas bar, an art gallery and a luxury spa.

PHOTO: Random House Kids Library, Boca Raton, Fla.
Courtesy Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf-Astoria Resort
Random House Kids’ Library, Boca Raton, Fla.

For all the East Coasters who weekend in South Florida and struggle to entertain the little ones on rainy days, here’s a tip: Make sure you stay at Boca Beach Club. And when the rain comes, take them straight to the Dr. Seuss-inspired Random House children’s library in the resort. Pretty much all the great titles are there, so get those kiddies thoroughly indoctrinated in "One Fish Two Fish," "The Lorax" (NOT as voiced by Danny DeVito) and the immortal "Cat in the Hat."

PHOTO: Casa Palopo, Guatemala.
Courtesy Casa Palopo
Casa Palopo, Guatemala

And here’s a last one to spark your daydreams (or Spring Break bookings): There are books, magazines and all sorts of reading matter in the Lending Library of the tiny jewel Casa Palopo, but if guests want to spend all day daydreaming in view of the San Pedro volcano, that’s totally understandable. Also, while the occasional spring rain might send guests indoors for a few hours, this Central American highland never sees extreme cold.

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