Five literary hotels
Wild about Wilde? Keen on Camus? Sophie Lam takes a novel approach to a good night's sleep
Saturday 19 July 2008
1. Hotel La Fonda de Taos, Taos
This New Mexican town – once home to a noted Society of Artists – is synonymous with creativity, so it's maybe not surprising to find a hotel linked to DH Lawrence here. Although the English novelist lived on a ranch more than 20 miles away and never set foot in La Fonda, nine of the 13 mildly erotic oil paintings that were seized by police from the Warren Gallery in London now hang at the hotel in a specially created gallery.
Hotel La Fonda de Taos, 108 South Plaza, Taos, New Mexico, US (001 575 758 2211; www.lafondataos.com). Doubles from $164 (£86), room only.
2. Hotel Pont Royal, Paris
Camus, Sartre and Joyce checked into this Left Bank hotel, as has García Márquez. It is a few steps away from the literary elite's haunt, the Café de Flore. Although the wood-panelled rooms and library remain, the modern and luxurious bedrooms bear little resemblance to those that the literati would have been familiar with; nor would they have savoured the delights of Joël Robuchon's on-site restaurant.
Hôtel Pont Royal, 7 rue de Montalembert, Paris (00 33 1 42 84 70 00; www.hotel-pont-royal.com). Doubles from €395 (£304), room only.
3. Sofitel Metropole, Hanoi
Parquet flooring, shuttered windows and low ceiling fans set the tone at this French colonial-style hotel. Graham Greene stayed here in 1951 when he first arrived in Vietnam. More than 50 years later, the cast of The Quiet American frequently dined at the hotel during filming.
Sofitel Metropole, 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hanoi, Vietnam (00 84 4 826 6919; www.sofitel.com). Doubles start at US$248 (£131), room only.
4. The Plaza, New York
Now that The Plaza has finally re-opened, you'll have to be one of the JK Rowlings of this world to purchase one of its $2.5m (£1.25m) apartments or $1.5m hotel suites. This has been a landmark address since its opening a century ago: Truman Capote held his Black and White Ball here in 1966 to celebrate the publication of In Cold Blood.
The Plaza, Fifth Avenue, New York, US (001 212 759 3000; www.fairmont.com/theplaza). Doubles start at $906 (£477), room only.
5. The Cadogan, London
On ritzy Sloane Street, The Cadogan features light, floral decor, damask wallpaper, silk trimmings and afternoon tea served in the drawing room. Yet things weren't always so refined. Lillie Langtry, mistress of the future King Edward VII, would conduct her trysts here. But most notable was the arrest of Oscar Wilde here in 1895.
The Cadogan, 75 Sloane Street, London SW1 (020-7235 7141; www.cadogan.com). Doubles start at £194, room only.
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