Bookworms as invested in the art of travel as they are in the location of a great book and where that story is read can pick a spot beyond the beach or pool to dive into a location as poetic as the words they ponder. Orient Express Hotels makes this particularly easy and worthwhile. Authors from James Michener to Agatha Christie to Alexander McCall Smith have all used popular property locations as backdrops and even characters in their own right. And the nooks and crannies abound in these properties as coveted locations to read.
Travels in North America
The Hotel: Gardens of The Inn at Perry Cabin
Guests at this waterfront gem in St. Michaels, Maryland can delve deep into the wondrous world they are reading about at the awe-inspiring gardens that were designed, planted and nurtured by Joanne Effinger, locally known as the “Queen of Green.” Of special note among the property’s 200-year-old gardens is the Formal Boxwood Tea Garden, inspired from formal English gardens and framed by plum trees. www.perrycabin.com
Suggested book: Spanning over 300 years, James Michener’s Chesapeake follows the lives and fortunes of four families who both shaped and were shaped by the Eastern Shore.
The Hotel: Mirador at Maroma Resort & Spa
Located on a quiet beachfront setting on the Riviera Maya, Maroma Resort & Spa is a dreamy, fiction-like oasis. A picturesque spot on the highest peak of the hotel offers a 360-degree view of the tranquil Caribbean Sea. www.maromahotel.com
Suggested book: The Ancient Maya by Robert J. Sharer with Loa P. Traxler traces the evolution of Maya civilization.
The hotel: Fugetsu-An teahouse gardens at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Following an inspirational journey to Japan in the early 1990s, culinary writer Raymond Blanc – also the visionary creator of the property – worked with landscape designer Robert Ketchell to create a tranquil Japanese tea garden. This aesthetic retreat, blends Buddhist, Taoist and Shinto influences and features an exquisite teahouse that becomes a picturesque home for reading enthusiasts. www.manoir.com
Suggested book: Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc is all about bringing Gallic passion into the home kitchen.
The hotel: Mezzanine Café at Grand Hotel Europe
Culture hounds and culinary followers will discover layers of history (130 years’ worth, to be exact) at Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Russia. The rich aromas of custom-made chocolates, manufactured at the hotel’s own chocolate factory using extremely rare cocoa beans, blend seamlessly with the flavorful world of books. Filled with natural light and live harp music in the background, the Mezzanine Café is a delightful reading spot. www.grandhoteleurope.com
Suggested book: Masterpieces of the Hermitage showcases the world-famous museum’s most stunning exhibits.
Travels in South America
The hotel: The Terrace of Itaipu Restaurant at Hotel das Cataratas
As the only hotel located within Iguassu National Park, Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil offers an unrivalled location just a short stroll from the sensational Iguassu Falls. Guests can take a break from hiking, rappelling and rafting through the falls for a refreshing al fresco meal at Itaipu Restaurant presenting views of the verdant hotel grounds and the falls beyond. www.hoteldascataratas.com
Suggested book: Humorous, lusty and full of intrigue, Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado is an entertaining panorama of small town Brazilian life.
The hotel: Private Corner Terrace of the Nazarenas Suite at Palacio Nazarenas:
Opened in June, Palacio Nazarenas is an urban retreat, housed in a former convent in the center of Cusco, Peru. Guests can delve into their reading on the private corner terrace of the Nazarenas Suite, overlooking fantastic views of Nazarenas Square and the mountains beyond. The hotel’s elegant Nazarenas Suite is the only one of its kind and features an original, handcrafted ceiling and Peruvian travertine marble décor. www.palacionazarenas.com
Suggested book: Turn Right at Machu Picchu is a humorous account of author Mark Adams’ journey in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham, the man credited for rediscovering the lost city.
The hotel: The luxury tent at Khwai River Lodge
Guests don’t need to look very far to find a place to cozy up with a book at Khwai River Lodge in Botswana. The camp’s newly refurbished tents come complete with expansive sliding glass doors for private, quiet spaces. Guests can catch up on their reading while still enjoying the unhindered view of Botswana’s wild animals and the sunsets over the savannah in the Moremi Game Reserve. www.khwairiverlodge.com
Suggested book: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith follows the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the first female private detective in Botswana.
The hotel: Napasai’s Oceanfront Pool Residences
Set amidst a grove of cashew trees, Napasai is a true island hideaway on the north coast of Koh Samui in Thailand. Guests of the property’s luxe Oceanfront Pool Residences can stretch out and enjoy a good book while dangling their feet in their private seaside pool overlooking the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Thailand. www.napasai.com
Suggested book: Alex Garland’s The Beach, made famous by the subsequent Leonardo DiCaprio movie, takes place on an island not far from Koh Samui.