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Arts + Lifestyle

Travel Ideas Inspired By Literature: Where Will Your Next Novel Take You?

This World Book Day, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite reads whether romance, wellness or history. Here, we share the places they’re inspiring us to visit, from Paris to Rajasthan, Cyprus to Japan.

Literature allows us to travel in many ways, both physically and in our imaginations, through new authors, new places, and new styles of living. Where will your next novel take you?


If you loved One Day by David Nicholls stay at The Kimpton in Edinburgh

This one-of-a-kind tale of two lovers begins in the historic buildings of Edinburgh, where Emma and Dexter meet on the eve of their college graduation. Find a similar fervour in the intimately narrow streets of Scotland’s capital while staying at The Kimpton in Charlotte Square, a beautiful property built from seven interconnected Georgian townhouses. All that’s left to find is a budding romance…


If you loved Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin stay at Sinner in Paris, France

A place where passionate affairs and romance-filled nights are not reserved for literature only, Paris is where love in all its forms can be found. Welcome the early hours of the morning, like Baldwin’s characters David and Giovanni frequently do, in the hotel’s candlelit bar – perhaps in one of the private rooms hidden behind draping, velvet curtains – before venturing through the red-lit corridors and up to an intimate suite where the romantic mood is continued. If you’re really feeling the inspiration, try the hotel’s unique experiential package called ‘Transformation’ where you’ll be disguised as someone else for the night.


If you loved A Room With A View by E.M. Forster stay at the Four Seasons Firenze in Italy

For sweeping, hazy vistas over an Italian skyline so beautiful that they only seem possible in a Renaissance painting (until you set eyes on them yourself), stay at the opulent Four Seasons Firenze. Here, arched entrances and windows perfectly frame the picturesque Duomo di Firenze to the trickling sound of water fountains and birdsong in the hotel’s vast gardens in the background. Because, like Lucy Honeychurch, the novel’s protagonist so simply puts it, “don’t you agree that, on one’s first visit to Florence, one must have a room with a view.”


If you loved Women by Mihail Sebastian stay at The Chedi Andermatt in The Swiss Alps

The Chedi, Switzerland

This well-loved modern classic by Romanian author Mihail Sebastian explores the complexities of love through the eyes of his young protagonist while on holiday in the Alps. For similar feelings of tranquility and romance while in the isolating surrounds of nature try The Chedi Andermatt, tucked away in a perpetually-photogenic Swiss Alpine alcove. Ideal for cosy nights in, each suite offers Hästens beds and heated floors in the bathrooms but opt for the Furka suite, a lavish private residence with its own private spa for a truly luxe and private affair.


If you loved Sleep by Nick Littlehales stay at The Longevity Hotel in Portugal’s Algarve

Longevity Hotel, Algarve, Portugal

Sleep coach Nick Littlehales unpacks his expert knowledge in his book aptly titled Sleep – from how to find a sleep cycle that suits your body and lifestyle, to why sleep struggles occur. Thankfully, due to the rise in sleep tourism, you won’t need to be bed bound to partake in this education, and in fact, learning to sleep better has never looked prettier. Because sleep is so crucial to maintaining our overall wellbeing, the Longevity Hotel in Portugal offers a weekend-long programme to redesign your sleep, from mental fatigue to bodily stresses. What to pack? A suitcase full of your comfiest loungewear will do just fine.


If you loved Breath by James Nestor stay at Santani Wellness Resort in Kandy, Sri Lanka

We all do it without even thinking about it, but perhaps not as well as we could. In James Nestor’s book Breath, the science journalist travels the world to research a whole range of practices, rituals, and exercises around breathing. At Santani Wellness Resort in Kandy, Sri Lanka you can learn and experience some of these practices for yourself. Isolated on a hill overlooking old tea plantations with uninterrupted views of the natural surrounds, here you’ll find a yoga pavilion where expert-led classes help you reset and reenergise your body from the inside out with breath work and meditation.


If you loved Strange Weather In Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami stay at Janu in Tokyo, Japan

Hiromi Kawakami pens a poignant and introspecting musing on life and relationships in a bustling capital city with her popular 2001 novel in which Omachi Tsukiko (a woman in her late 30s) meets one of her former high school teachers. Large cities can often feel the most isolating, however, overlooking the Azabudai Hills, Janu Tokyo is set to open in spring this year and is said to become the new hangout for artists and residents alike. With beautiful restaurants, bars and a large wellness centre there are plenty of spots where you’re bound to run into new and old acquaintances alike.


If you loved Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion stay at the Palihouse in Santa Monica, California

Throughout her long career and prestigious portfolio of books, Joan Didion has shaped American fiction. Her 1970s ‘instant classic’ Play It As It Lays considers the interior and exterior life of a former actress living in California, Maria Wyeth, to discuss psychological turmoil, pregnancies and divorce, and is still widely popular today. For the grandeur of the European-influenced, old-Hollywood style stay at Palihouse where slow days spent under the Californian sun are prioritised with the poolside cabanas and large courtyard.


If you loved The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi stay at Anopura in the Aravalli Mountains, India

Image credit @emmapeijnenburg

Set in 1950s post-independence India, Lakshmi escapes personal hardship to become a prolific and skilled henna artist in Jaipur. The novel celebrates the ancient art of henna and those who persevere the trade by practising it. An hour from Jaipur, in the Aravalli Mountains, lies Anopura where the traditional crafts of Rajasthan, including block printing and pottery workshops are maintained and taught by local women amongst peaceful lemon groves. You’ll also find delicious farm-to-table food here as well as local wellness practices including 3,000 years of holistic healing.


If you loved Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier stay at the Pulitzer in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Eloquently narrating life in 17th century Netherlands, Tracey Chevalier’s novel portrays a 16-year-old maid who works at the house of painter Johannes Vermeer. Where better to indulge in a page-turner than in Pulitzer’s very own Book Collector’s Suite, complete with a private library overlooking the famous canal.


If you loved The Island Of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak stay at Parkland, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Limassol, Cyprus

Set in both the 1970s and the 2010s, Turkish writer Elif Shafak’s novel explores the impact of Cyprus’ divided state and complex history on two lovers. Perfect for those looking to broaden their history knowledge under the winter (or anytime of the year) sun, Parkland Resort & Spa is located close to the ancient city of Amathus which dates back to 1100BC and where politics, culture and society is traced through local archaeological discovery.


If you loved Circe by Madeline Miller stay at Monument Hotel in Athens, Greece

Narrating Greek history through a female lens, Madeline Miller’s Circe brings a unique and visceral look into ancient mythology. This retelling of Ancient Greece is one that you can allow yourself to imagine while relaxing in the neoclassic mansion, Monument, Athens. The luxury boutique hotel, built in 1881 by famous architect, Ernst Ziller, offers a sleek interpretation of classic Greek architecture and living with a 24-hour concierge service, a wellness spa, and a stunning rooftop overlooking the historic city.


If you loved The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame stay at Fowey Hall in Cornwall

For a similar awe and wonder to the magical tale of the childhood classic The Wind in the Willows, a stay at the expansive Fowey Hall, where families are put first, is sure to be an inspiring one. In fact, the 60-roomed property formed Kenneth Grahame’s inspiration for Toad Hall with its historic architecture and grand feel. A place where the magic happens, the Manor tailors all aspects of a stay to children, from the junior options at the spa and the Ofsted-registered kids’ club to the Four Bears Den and the 5PM children’s tea time. Overlooking the Fowey Estuary, the hall is a short walk from the village of Fowey where fishing and farms await.


If you loved The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister stay at Dihgali Resort in the Maldives

This children’s picture book is still as fondly read and remembered as when it was first published in 1992, finding itself on bookshelves in children’s rooms across the world. If your children are inspired by the glittering scales of the fish in this book we recommend staying at the family friendly resort Dihgali located on the remote Raa Atoll in the Maldives. Watersports champion the itinerary at this luxury island stay with a PADI-certified dive school offering trips to the colourful coral reefs (training classes are available), where fish swim in rainbow-like shoals.

Lead image credit: Saint Laurent Babylon Book Store, Paris

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