Library Hotel — Photo courtesy of Library Hotel Collection
With the release of the live action version of Beauty and the Beast, all eyes are on Belle, with her "dreamy, far-off look and her nose stuck in a book."
New Belle, Emma Watson, is as much of a bookworm as her fictional character. The founder of feminist book club, Our Shared Self, and book fairy on the London Underground, she is a big fan of anything bookish.
If you can relate to the pure joy on Belle's face when the Beast shares his massive castle library with her, you will fall in love with these hotel libraries.
Library Hotel | New York
Library Hotel, New York — Photo courtesy of Library Hotel Collection
Inspired by the Dewey Decimal System, every floor of this literary hotel honors a specific category, with each of the 60 rooms uniquely focused on one topic in that category. If you’re a book lover, you will want to experience every one of them.
The Reading Room, located on the second floor and available to guests 24 hours a day, is one of Manhattan’s hidden gems. It features hundreds of books, great city views and a selection of complimentary snacks. You can also head to the 14th floor rooftop to read by the fireplace or in the greenhouse of the Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden.
The hotel’s 6,000 books should keep you busy enough, but you still may want to treat yourself to the Guilty Pleasure Package which comes with a foot of books hand-selected especially for you.
The Literary Man Obidos Hotel | Obidos, Portugal
The Literary Man Obidos Hotel — Photo courtesy of The Literary Man Obidos Hotel
This 30-room hotel in the charming medieval town of Obidos – which was recently named a UNESCO Literary City – boasts the largest hotel library in the world. With more than 50,000 books, it’s a bibliophile’s dream.
Books fill every nook and cranny, and there’s a genre for everyone. You can borrow books, buy them and, when you finish reading, donate them. And, yes, most of them are in English. It’s a good thing the town is so small because you will probably want to spend more time in the hotel than sightseeing.
The Library at The Heathman Hotel | Portland, Ore.
The Heathman Hotel Library — Photo courtesy of The Heathman Hotel
With more than 2,700 signed volumes available exclusively for hotel guests, The Heathman Hotel in Portland is home to one of the largest autographed libraries in the world. Its collection includes signed editions from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. Poet Laureates and a former United States President, all of whom have stayed at the hotel.
Staff members are happy to recommend and check out books for you to take back to your room, but you’ll likely settle into one of the library’s plush armchairs, where you can read beneath the skylight. Open 24 hours a day, the library is located on the hotel’s mezzanine level, overlooking the Tea Court lounge.
The Library at Cotton House Hotel | Barcelona
The Library at Cotton House, Barcelona — Photo courtesy of Cotton House Hotel
The former headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation in the 19th century and, a century later, the Cotton Producers Guild, it’s no wonder every feature of this five-star hotel feels tailor-made to guests’ needs – including its lovely library.
Located in one of the rooms that members of the Cotton Producers Guild used for meetings and as a social club, it is a respite from bustling Barcelona. Browse the bookshelves and find a comfy spot to take in the attention to detail which is built into the fabric of the room itself.
The Library at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi | Santa Fe
The Library at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi — Photo courtesy of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
Flooded with natural sunlight and the coziness of a roaring kiva fireplace, the Library at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is a quiet, intimate space for guests of this luxury boutique hotel. Enter through beautiful hand-carved wooden doors, and discover walls covered in hundreds of books, including a selection about New Mexico’s rich history and ancient culture.
The Library recently added a new collection from Radius Books, a Santa Fe-based non-profit publishing house that produces stunning books celebrating the arts.
The Library at Island Shangri-La | Hong Kong
The Library at Island Shangri-La — Photo courtesy of Island Shangri-La
Towering 39 floors above the city, the two-story Library commands a breathtaking vista of the Hong Kong skyline. The interior view is just as spectacular, with crystal chandeliers creating a grand and elegant ambiance, perfect for getting lost in a book.
The Library carries an eclectic selection of titles ranging from special interest books to encyclopedias. You can borrow items to enjoy in your guestroom or in the library itself. You can also reserve this unique venue for private functions.
The Library at The Betsy South Beach | Miami Beach, Fla.
The Library at The Betsy South Beach — Photo courtesy of The Betsy-South Beach
The latest addition to The Betsy’s new Art Deco wing, the library was conceived to reflect a traditional library design. It provides a curated collection of books along with a contemplative and comfortable space for hotel guests 24 hours a day.
To celebrate the new library, the hotel leaves special bookmarks on guest beds nightly. Made of recycled paper and wildflower seeds, the bookmarks are embedded with poems by Hyam Plutzik, an American poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist who happens to be the late father of The Betsy owner, Jonathan Plutzik.
Sacajawea Library at Hotel Jackson | Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Sacajawea Library at Hotel Jackson — Photo courtesy of Hotel Jackson
Combining rustic elements with a contemporary western design, the Sacajawea Library at the Hotel Jackson was inspired by the works of award-winning local author and educator, Kenneth Thomasma, who wrote the Amazing Indian Children series.
Appropriately billed as “an oasis within an oasis,” the library features an extensive selection of reading materials as well as a gas fireplace, high-speed Wi-Fi access and a large, flat-screen TV. You can even enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, wine, beer and small plates while you turn the pages of a western classic.
Duc de Morny Library at La Réserve | Paris
Duc de Mornay Library at La Reserve Paris — Photo courtesy of La Reserve Paris
Tucked away in a Haussman-style mansion in Paris’ eighth arrondissement, this luxurious library welcomes you to sit and read, dine, sip afternoon tea or enjoy the honor bar. The walls are lined with antique books from the 19th century and there is an original marble fireplace that sets the perfect mood.
The library is reserved exclusively for guests during the day, but at night turns into a jazz bar that is open to the public.
The Libraries on Viking Ocean Cruises
Wintergarden library on the Viking Sea — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark
Topping my personal bucket list is a world cruise on Viking Ocean Cruises, where I would spend 141 days reading my way around the globe and through the ship’s vast collection of books.
On our last cruise, I found a set of my favorite grey-covered Persephone books in the Wintergarden library and some beautiful coffee table art books poolside. I picked up obscure poetry for my husband in the Living Room, and spent hours learning about our destinations in the collections that line the shelves of the Explorer’s Lounge.
By the last day, our stateroom looked like a library itself. The only thing that could have made us happier than the bookmarks our stateroom attendant placed in every book we borrowed was more days at sea to enjoy them all.