SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: My next Maggie Hope novel, MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE, is due to my editor on October 15th — and so I'm been thinking a lot about writing retreats.
(Not only are the Hubby, Kiddo, Miss Edna, and cats Xander and Lola around, but we seem to have taken in another human, at least for a while. He's just twenty-one and was dealt a tough hand in life in general and also recently. And, so, we have another person hanging out with the gang for a while.)
Can you blame me for googling writing retreats? Looking for a room of one's own? A corner of the sky? (Oh, please, I'll settle for a door I can lock....)
What I found in the process of all this daydreaming was that there exist hotels inspired by writers and dedicated to readers. I was amazed by the depth and breadth of what I found. What fun!
The first hotel I discovered is actually in my home town of New York City. It's called The Library Hotel. The concept is amazing —
The Library Hotel concept is inspired by the Dewey Decimal system. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and each of the 60 rooms are uniquely adorned with a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to. Guests are invited to unwind from their urban adventures by enjoying the quiet exploration of over 6,000 books.
So, let's say you'd like to stay on the eighth floor, Literature. Well, you could then choose the Mystery room (or classic literature, fairy tales, or, hmmm, erotic literature room).
You could write in your room, in the extensive library, or on the roof deck. Sigh.... If I could afford it, I'd finish the novel there.
The next book-themed hotel I found is called The Sylvia Beach Hotel ("truly a hotel for book lovers") in Nye, Oregon. They have rooms divided into types: Classics, Bestsellers, and Novels. A mystery buff could choose the Agatha Christie room — which has its own private deck, fireplace, and an ocean front view. Guests can choose from the many Christie books on the shelves and "perhaps find a clue from each mystery hidden somewhere in the room." There's also library/reading area and a restaurant.
And there's also Akwaaba, D.C. I've stayed at the Akwaaba Mansion in Brooklyn, but have yet to stay in the sister hotel in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle. However, I can't wait! The hotel's rooms are themed after African-American writers — and of course I'd pick the Walter Mosley suite.
There's also a "Writer's Retreat" which is basically a really lovely apartment with galley kitchen, two bedrooms, etc. Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Reds and lovely readers, what do you think about these book- and reading-themed hotels? Would you stay? Which room would you choose? If you could create your own themed hotel room, what would be like?