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10 Top-Shelf Hotel Libraries
  • Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

    Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

  • As Janelas Verdes

    As Janelas Verdes, Lisbon

  • Casa Antucura

    Casa Antucura, Mendoza

  • Hôtel Montalembert

    Hôtel Montalembert, Paris

  • Château Mcely Mcely

    Château Mcely Mcely, Czech Republic

  • Hôtel Thoumieux

    Hôtel Thoumieux, Paris

  • Hudson

    Hudson, New York

  • Palacio Nazarenas

    Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco

  • Taj Falaknuma Palace

    Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

  • Il Salviatino

    Il Salviatino, Florence

May, 2013

Whether you could spend all day with your nose in a book or just want some conversation pieces to accompany a cocktail, these hotel libraries all get top marks.

1.

As Janelas Verdes
Lisbon, Portugal — Formerly the home of the Portuguese novelist Eça de Queirós, this eighteenth-century mansion has all the character you’d expect of an old-fashioned literary residence — most of all in the wood-paneled library which is filled with musty old books, maps and antique objets d’art to pick through.
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2.

Casa Antucura
Mendoza, Argentina — For a tiny hotel past the end of the road in the Argentine wine country, Casa Antucura has quite a library — eight thousand books (that’s a thousand for each suite) lining the walls of the skylit second story, with sunny nooks below for reading by the fireplace or gazing at the vineyards just outside.
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3.

Hôtel Montalembert
Paris, France — Salon Gallimard, the small library at this Twenties Beaux-Arts hotel, is named for the publishing house next door, and it’s no stretch to imagine some literary deals have been inked in its cozy fireside armchairs over the years.
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4.

Hôtel Thoumieux
Paris, France — Granted, you won’t get much reading done, but make a reservation for the tasting menu in chef Jean-François Piège’s personal library at Hôtel Thoumieux and you’ll have plenty to devour.
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5.

Château Mcely
Mcely, Czech Republic — Tucked away in the tower of this three-hundred-year-old château in the St. George Forest, the library at Mcely houses an interesting collection of eighteenth-century scientific instruments, while the twenty-three rooms come with writing desks that hearken back to the days when Rilke came to visit.
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6.

Hudson
New York, New York — Recently the library bar has become something of a New York hotel specialty, and the one at the Hudson is a standout. Styled after an old English drawing room, it’s got an enormous fireplace, an antique billiards table and classic leather sofas and wing chairs.
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7.

Palacio Nazarenas
Cusco, Peru — One wonders if a hotelier can pull a weed in Cusco without unearthing a precious artifact. The library at Palacio Nazarenas, housed in the gallery above the building’s former chapel, showcases the archeological finds that resulted from their meticulous restoration of the centuries-old palace and convent.
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8.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Amsterdam, Netherlands — The Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht doesn’t just have a library; the whole building was a library, an enormous city branch before Marcel Wanders turned it into a whimsical maximalist wonderland with graphic décor inspired by historic books about Amsterdam.
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9.

Taj Falaknuma Palace
Hyderabad, India — Modeled after the one in Windsor Castle, the library at Taj Falaknuma Palace holds a truly impressive six-thousand-book collection, with books in English, Persian and Urdu, precious manuscripts and rare antique volumes of the Koran. And the room itself lives up to the reading material, its mahogany and ebony ceiling engraved with the initials of the prime minister who built the palace in 1884.
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10.

Il Salviatino
Florence, Italy — The designers behind Il Salviatino, a fifteenth-century Renaissance palazzo overlooking Florence, have a knack for era-hopping, but the wood-paneled library — with its rich leather sofas, its fine collection of rare leather-bound books and the afternoon light slanting in from a high window — feels utterly timeless.
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