Hotel libraries were invented for the kind of weather we’re seeing this winter. Traveling to New York or D.C. right in time for a thunder storm? Forget slipping on icy sidewalks to a million social/business cocktails, instead, check yourself into a hotel with book nooks, and claim the nicest armchair in the room. Skype into all your meetings at these nine hotels that offer cozy corners for reading, working or just keeping warm. You’ll soon be asking, “Polar vortex, who?”
Salamander Resort & Spa, Washington D.C.
Opened in summer 2013, the Salamander Resort & Spa 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.
Trump SoHo, New York
In partnership with art book publisher TASCHEN, Trump SoHo's 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.
The Charles Hotel, Boston
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 by its setting. 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.
The Library Hotel, New York
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 elementary school for many of you. This was back in the pre-Internet days when 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 to get answers.
The Study at Yale, Connecticut
Intellectual pursuits are always en vogue in New Haven, Connecticut, home to one of North America’s top universities since the early 18th century. Even if you don’t feel like burying your nose in a book while at The Study of Yale or reading a great American novel, once you step into their book nook, you may be whistling a different tune. The place is filled with wonderful literature and art including a Yale Authors display that is a lobby centerpiece and the Lobby Café brews up good, strong Illy coffee 24-hours a day.
The Jefferson, Washington D.C.
Aficionados of early American history have a lot of fun exploring this hotel in 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 the namesake himself.
The Sebastian, Vail
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.
Boca Beach Club, Florida
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 Red Fish Blue Fish, The Lorax (NOT as voiced by Danny DeVito) and the immortal Cat in the Hat.
Casa Palopo, Guatemala
And here’s a last one to spark your interest (or Spring Break bookings). There are books, magazines and all sorts of reading matter in the Lending Library of the tiny jewel Casa Palopo, even if half your time is spent staring outside at the San Pedro volcano. Also, while the occasional spring rain might send guests indoors for a few hours, this Central American highland never sees extreme cold.
Lena Katz is the author of the Travel Temptations series (SIP, SUN, SNOW), published by Globe Pequot Press in 2009. Lena is also a travel expert for Celebrations/1800FLOWERS and WEtv (online and on-air). She contributes to the South China Morning Post and ABC News online. Lena is a former Orbitz Travel blogger and former columnist for the LA Times. She's been published in Brides Magazine, Robb Rep...(Read More)