Whether you are a devoted book lover or trained wordsmith, you know that writing is no easy feat. For some, wielding their pens comes naturally, but for many, everything from the setting to the time of day plays a huge factor in completing a great piece of literature. These eight places from around the globe have found a way to intersect all that you’ll need to write or simply wrap up that Toni Morrison book you started.
An authentic literary love story is what brought this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star southern Vermont retreat into inception. As the story goes, the only way Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis was ever going to win journalist Dorothy Thompson’s hand in marriage was if he bought her this quaint 1795-era farm in Vermont. After he made the $10,000 purchase, they created works and hosted parties with political and literary figures for the next three decades. Since the early 1990s, Twin Farms has been a place where guests could escape for a secluded, yet inspired vacation. The Log Cabin, tucked in a pine forest and complete with a rope hammock, soaking tub and river-rock fireplace, is where the next great romance novel is waiting to be written.
Trump SoHo New York
The Big Apple is congested with so many attractions that downtime in New York City is almost unheard of. On those rare instances when you do become exhausted by the crowds in Times Square, head to this Four-Star hotel for a warm nook and novel. Trump SoHo’s rooms are the definition of glam, but nestled on the mezzanine level is The Library, a subdued lounge with views overlooking buzzing streets and shelves displaying a collection of art and design books from Taschen. Flip through fashion history hardcovers from these shelves, open something from your own laptop bag or hop on the C Train for a seven-minute trip to the New York Public Library. Pair a bestseller with a bourbon cocktail from the on-site Mr. Jones lounge for a perfect final chapter to the day.
Galleria Park Hotel
More than 100 years ago, before this hotel was known as the haven for business travelers it is today, it was the Occidental Hotel, one of the few luxury properties in northern California during that period. Before it was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, it served as the temporary residence of Treasure Island helmer Robert Louis Stevenson and was so admired by Mark Twain that he wrote about the place in Roughing It. The Occidental Hotel attracted scribes and intellectuals of all sorts because the now-ceased weekly literary magazine The Golden Era was headquartered there. Today, Galleria Park still hums along to a literary lover’s beat by offering complimentary daily newspaper, free Wi-Fi and an ergonomic workspace for the journalist on deadline or tourist in need of jotting down some directions.
The Betsy – South Beach
If your ideal work escape includes sea and sand, a trip to South Florida might help cure your writing woes. At this Four-Star enclave on the famed South Beach strip, you can find the only Writer’s Room in Miami, where visiting wordsmiths are offered a space to create and share their works with others. Designed as a way to pay homage to writer’s rooms of the pre-war era, the space has welcomed more than 200 working authors since it opened in 2012. Any creative (novelist, composer, poet, etc.) who’s nearing the completion of his work is encouraged to apply for a chance to have a working studio and participate in community programs, all while receiving a luxury hotel experience.
The Heathman Hotel
A stay at this Four-Star Portland hotel is reserved for the reader who delves into a good story, fully escaping into the author’s symbolism and themes. The Heathman, one of the most sustainable hotels in Oregon, does its part in the recycling of great prose by having a lending library with one of the largest quantities of autographed works. Visit between Monday and Thursday for social library gatherings with complimentary wine that are hosted by the in-house literary curator. When you nab the Books By Your Bedside package, you not only receive a book written and signed by an author who has stayed at the property, you also score a personal tour of the cataloged library, literary bookmarks, a professional travel reading light, overnight borrowing privileges and more.
Villa Spalletti Trivelli
Escaping your usual surroundings to find the inspiration necessary to ink a riveting tale is not uncommon for writers. Key West was Ernest Hemingway’s go-to spot. Why can’t Italy be yours? In the heart of Rome lies this classic hotel. Aside from its historic roots and contemporary accommodations, the stunning property features the Spalletti Trivelli family library, a collection of works so vast and valuable that it’s been recognized and protected by the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture. Surrounded by old world antiques, this cozy space features a boiserie that stores rare titles from Germany, the Middle East and other corners of the map. If you still find yourself with writer’s block, stroll through the Eternal City and allow its beauty to motivate your next masterpiece.
The St. Regis New York
Bibliophile and hotel founder John Jacob Astor IV opened his personal book collection — a bona fide library with its own librarian — on the second floor of the Five-Star St. Regis New York to guests, a perk that he thought would make them feel more at home. The 3,000-plus books have remained there for more than a century. Read from the collection with the Astor Digital Library, curated leather-bound Kindles loaded with tomes like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Oliver Twist. Still dying to peruse the shelves of the real-life library books? The concierge team can make it happen for hotel guests.
There’s something nice about consuming a great paperback at the park or in the privacy of your own home. But have you ever imagined how it might feel interpreting the text near a lush rainforest with views of volcanoes just across the ocean? The Library at Antigua’s Carlisle Bay not only offers a collection of beach reads curated by consultant Philip Blackwell, but also complimentary Wi-Fi, computers and printers. The room has a groovy feel, with optic lighting that changes colors throughout the evening. After a day of paddleboarding, hiking or staring off into the horizon, get lost here with your Kindle.
The Stafford London
Despite being a hop, skip and a minicab away from the bustling London streets, this Four-Star charmer is the perfect address for catching up with your favorite author. This past summer, The Stafford introduced monthly literary tea events that provided guests with chances to interact with modern authors; nosh on tea, coffee and cakes; and get their books signed. On November 15, historian Ian Kelly shared the secrets of collaborating with Vivienne Westwood to pen her eponymous 2014 memoir.