Literary Locations: The Perfect 10

04/08/2014 16:16 | Updated 22 May 2015

As a brand new Paris hotel opens with all the rooms themed by author, we've come over all literary. So, come join us in the library to check out some of the world's best literary locations from Somerset to Shanghai - luxury as standard.

Whether you're a frustrated author yourself or just fancy curling up with a good book, there's certain to be something to inspire you.,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=962575&pid=962574&uts=1291960786

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

With 26 six rooms, the owners of the brand new La Pavillon des Lettres in Paris could hardly theme it on anything apart from letters of the alphabet. So each of the bedrooms in the boutique hotel is named after a writer, poet or playwright whose name starts with each initial letter, from Andersen (Hans Christian) to Zola (Emile).

There are books by each author in the room, in case you fancy a spot of light (or heavy) reading as well as iPads with a mini library in various languages and music playlists. With lines from poems, plays and novels on the walls, it's decorated in the same subtle chic style as its sister hotel, Pavillon de la Reine on Place des Vosges, where Suite de la Reine has Victor Hugo's handwriting reproduced above the bed.

Rooms start from around £250 for a junior suite.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

When he wasn't daydreaming about daffodils or the Lake District, Wordsworth happily holed up looking for inspiration with fellow Romantic poet Coleridge in the pretty Somerset village of Nether Stowey. And at the Grade II listed Georgian Poole House you can still sleep in the twin-bedded 'book room' where they penned their famous works, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, as well as relaxing with a book in the library.

The cottage sleeps 12, so you can choose from double bedrooms in the eaves, looking out over the Quantocks, or two en suite doubles, while the drawing room has space for everyone in front of the huge stone fireplace, which now houses a wood burner.

Prices start from £1,086 for a week's stay, or from £91 per person with Classic Cottages.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

Back in 1929, Noel Coward was struck down with the flu and confined to his room at the art deco Cathay Hotel in Shanghai, where he drafted his script for Private Lives – just over 80 years on, the famous hotel on the riverside Bund, now called the Fairmont Peace Hotel has newly reopened.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

The Jazz Bar, a Shanghai institution since the 1930s is back, along with 270 rooms and seven restaurants and lounges, if you want a champagne cocktail or too or fancy checking out the private cigar lounge. Whether you want to adopt a Noel Coward-style silk dressing gown is entirely up to you.

Prices start from around £245 but check for the current best available rates at

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

Dylan Thomas famously lived and wrote in the Welsh village of Laugharne, in Camarthenshire from 1949 until his death in 1953, and it's thought to have inspired his fictional town in Under Milk Wood. Now you can stay in the poet's home at Sea View, in the centre of Laugharne, which opened its doors to guests in April last year.

You can still look out onto the beautiful views of the estuary, and the sea and castle which inspired some of Thomas' work, or indulge in the award-winning restaurant. Double rooms cost from £65 including full Welsh breakfast.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba for over 20 years, with many of his stories inspired by the island. And the three-star Ambos Mundos was once the author's home, where he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls during the 1930s in room 511, now a museum containing his typewriter and hunting trophies.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

Today the quirky hotel's art deco 1920s design is still intact, and you can step back in time in the hotel's piano bar or look out across the city of Havana from the rooftop restaurant. A seven-night trip costs from £1,029 per person including flights and accommodation from Travelzest's Captivating Cuba.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

Mad, bad and dangerous to know, Lord Byron was the kind of literary star who made today's rock gods look restrained. So if you fancy following in his footsteps (at a safe distance), you can stay at Seaham Hall in County Durham where Byron married Annabella Milbanke in 1815.

Today there's the oriental Serenity Spa if you're feeling over-excited by the great poet's reputation, or lounge around in your luxurious room reading Byron's The Corsair, which sold 10,000 copies in a single day and still holds the record for a book of poetry sold in such a short time. There are five different types of rooms, as well as 18 suites, most with sea views.

Rooms cost from £195.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

The oldest operating hotel in New York City, The Algonquin was designated a literary landmark in 1996 – three Nobel laureates have stayed there, but it's most famous for the daily meetings of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of literary 20-somethings, including Dorothy Parker and writers for Vanity Fair.

The tradition started after the group met in the Rose Room shortly after the First World War, to welcome critic Alexander Woollcott back from his service as a war correspondent – and was so enjoyable, it became a daily event, leading to the founding of The New Yorker Magazine, which is free to guests of the hotel today. The Round Table restaurant still has the original round table, although make sure you book ahead as it's a popular spot with today's New York literati as well.

Rooms start from around £225 per night.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations

The Royal Horseguards hotel on London's Whitehall began life as a collection of high class apartments , which were home to George Bernard Shaw and HG Wells – while Prime Minister William Gladstone laid the foundation stone in the cellar, with The Gladstone Library and its wall-to-wall books named after him in return.

The Perfect 10: Literary Locations


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