In celebration of International Book Lover’s Day on August 9th, see below for a curated reading list inspired by tales of travel from around the world..
The Academy Hotel
YTL Hotels’ Academy Hotel, located in London’s West End, is inspired by the rich literary history of its Bloomsbury neighborhood. The hotel’s Library pays homage to the literary and cultural pocket of London, offering guests a peaceful and sophisticated space dedicated to the writings and works of the early 20th-century Bloomsbury Set. This consisted of a famous group of writers, intellectuals and philosophers who once lived and worked in the streets surrounding the property, including Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and E.M. Forster. Just some of the books available to guests at The Academy’s Library are Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, Orlando and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf; The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin; David Copperfield and Pickwick’s Papers by Charles Dickens; and Journey Through a Small Planet by Emanuel Litvinoff. The Academy has also collaborated with a number of modern-day Bloomsbury-basedfigures who have carefully hand-picked a selection of books available at the property.
Hotel Arts Barcelona
In 2015, UNESCO declared Barcelona a City of Literature in UNESCO’s network of Creative Cities, recognizing their work as a dynamic and diversified publishing sector, and the internationally renowned writers who depict the city and its society. Additionally, Barcelona boasts a very active literary life thanks to its readers, institutions, and full calendar of literary events. With one of the richest, most diverse literary heritages, Barcelona welcomes writers and readers from around the world to learn about the creativity and art evoked through published writing and authors. Works of literature influenced by Barcelona include Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell, The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza Garriga, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Cervantes by Don Quixote, and The Time of the Doves by Mercè Rodoreda.
Barcelona contains a host of literary Settings and many novels have vicariously helped their readers to travel. The city can even be even be toured by following settings of certain books written by internationally renowned authors. After busy days of following the footsteps of authors or story settings, guests can unwind at Hotel Arts Barcelona, a luxurious retreat perched on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the heart of the city's Olympic Village area. One of the few hotels that are walking distance to the beach, Hotel Arts Barcelona features two pools, including an infinity pool that seamlessly blends into the sea and a number of onsite restaurants celebrating gourmet Mediterranean cuisine. Hotel Arts Barcelona is also home to the luxurious 43 the Spa, which offers panoramic views of the city and sea. The friendly concierge at the hotel is at the disposal of guests to suggest and arrange literary themed experiences in the hotel and city to create an unforgettable stay.
The Galapagos Islands are known for their crystal-clear waters, year-round warm temperatures and the vast number of endemic species studied by Charles Darwin. Serving as the basis for his studies on natural selection and his book The Origin of Species, the islands are an amazing destination for travelers interested in learning more about evolutionary biology. For guests to experience the islands much like Charles Darwin did in the 1830s, Quasar Expeditions offers seven night trips on their small yachts, the M/V Evolution and M/Y Grace. With rooms for only 16-32 passengers, their focus on small-group travel ensures a more intimate interaction with the wildlife and the ability to explore the islands in depth like Darwin did for his studies and book.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa was originally designed as a luxurious private residential retreat in the 1980s and later was developed into the ultimate boutique hotel destination of choice for some of the world’s most celebrated personalities. The Saxon has always adorned the walls of its guest areas with cases of books covering a variety of topics and include a range of books published by South African writers such as JM Coetzee, Lewis Nkosi and world-famous Wilbur Smith. These books have been enjoyed by guests in the past and quite often find themselves on the remainder of a guests African journey. With the influx of new books being published, the hotel ensures their collection does not only contain the well-known classics, but also new literature. One of the most prized collections of books at the hotel is a selection of books either penned by the honorable late president Nelson Mandela such as Long Walk to Freedom which was edited while he resided at the hotel, or penned by close friends, colleagues and students of the late president. These books take guests on a journey of President Mandela’s life, his struggle against oppression and his rise as leader of the New South Africa. The magnificent suite occupied by the beloved elder statesman was later named the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite in his honor.
Crillon Le Brave
The 1989 best-selling memoir A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle recounts the first year Mayle and his wife spent in the French countryside and the local events and customs they encountered. The couple followed their dreams and moved from their long, gray winters and damp summers in England to the quaint landscape and charm of Southern France they always wished for. The Mayles settled in an old farmhouse at the foot of Luberon mountains and embarked on a new life and beginnings in Provence. A Year in Provence received praise for its honest style, whit and refreshing humor, and later was adapted into a television mini-series. The memoir follows the Mayles new experiences of starting life in a new place and also transforms readers into the the Provençal lifestyle and beauty of the region.
With fields of lavender, hillside olive groves, and bright passageways between historic stone corridors, Provence, France seems like a place that that can only be found in a storybook. The charm of Provence allures travelers via literature, art, photos, videos, and more to explore the dramatic area. For those inspired to visit the region, Hotel Crillon le Brave, a Maisons Pariente property, is the ultimate hideaway for travelers looking for a provincial French experience. The hotel is named after the village and also fully fledged part of it, with the property consisting of various private houses, acquired over time since 1989. Against a backdrop of hypnotically beautiful landscapes sits a wonderful labyrinth of 17th and 18th century buildings, where Crillon le Brave literally merges with the landscape. More than just a picturesque hotel, Crillon le Brave offers guests 16 guest rooms/18 guest suites, a rustic spa, two gourmet restaurants, climbing plant gardens, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a terraced pétanque court, and a friendly concierge to arrange experiences to explore the dramatic region.