To celebrate World Book Day, we have browsed the new Spring 2015 guides to 11 cities, which just launched on Friday, to bring you five places to find books, including three excellent hotels with libraries. Happy reading.
NEW YORK – The Morgan Library & Museum (pictured)
For a more intriguing look into the Manhattan of yesteryear than you’ll find at the nearby Empire State, check out this meticulously restored 1906 library in the McKim Building, originally the private study and library of Pierpont Morgan, one of the original, super-wealthy, Gotham-based Masters of the Universe. The original ceiling murals by Henry Siddons Mowbray and 16th-century tapestry are spectacular. www.themorgan.org/McKim
BARCELONA – The Serras
Spanish designer Eva Martinez reinterpreted the city’s iconic pressed concrete tiles in black and white to create contemporary interiors that will get design fans going, but the Serra is far from po-faced. Splashy mustard-yellow soft furnishings, free-standing pebble-shaped baths in the rooms, a well-stocked library-cum-bar and modern Mediterranean cooking by Michelin-starred Marc Gascons keeps it fresh and interesting. Favourite room: a bright and airy Junior Suite Sea View, where your tub looks straight over the port. www.hoteltheserrasbarcelona.com.
BERLIN – DORMERO Hotel Berlin Ku’damm
Formerly the Brandenburger Hof and one of West Berlin’s plushest and most intimate hotels, this venue mixes up classic architectural motifs such as stucco ceilings and Doric columns with modern sculptures and Bauhaus furnishings. There’s a library, cigar lounge and piano bar and the Die Quadriga restaurant serves Michelin-starred molecular cuisine. The 58 guest rooms and 14 suites come with high ceilings and balconies facing the garden or the street. Favourite room: the rooms between the first and fourth floor have extra-high ceilings at nearly four metres. For added luxury, plump for a top-floor maisonette. www.brandenburger-hof.com.
SYDNEY – The Hughenden Boutique Hotel
Black marble fireplaces, old artworks and Victorian furniture combine to give this charming hotel in trendy Woollahra a warm, autumnal feel. When it’s raining the library is a lovely spot to sit and read a book, while a sunny morning should be spent on the private terrace enjoying your free breakfast. Centennial Park is minutes away and the award-winning Vincent restaurant is great for dinner. Favourite room: 19 is a Cosy room (the most cost-effective) with a private balcony and lovely outlook. Room 23 is very spacious with an original black marble fireplace. www.thehughenden.com.au.
PARIS – LAST WORD
Spring means the arrival of outdoor brocantes and vide-greniers all around town at weekends. At brocantes, professional dealers might be selling furniture, industrial design, vintage clothes, watches and jewellery or old prints and postcards. Vide-grenier literally means ‘attic clearance’ and these are more local affairs where residents sell off belongings, so there’s lots of junk but often a good source of inexpensive books and toys.