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10 Places Where You Can Hang With Your Favorite Authors

Get lit(erature).

The book industry has been on an upswing, to the tune of $29.3 billion in 2021 in the US alone. By 2026, experts believe the global publishing market will reach $105.27 billion in sales. This is great news for book lovers, who now have a staggering number of options in every genre from YA to self-help. 

Until recently, combining your literary leanings with a vacation meant plucking a best-seller from the racks of the airport newsstand or tucking the next hot beach read in your carry-on. But now you can take a cruise or vacation at a hotel or resort that features programming like author talks, readings, meet-and-greets, workshops, and even tours that highlight locations from their work.

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The Ben

WHERE: West Palm Beach, Florida

Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, The Ben is a boutique hotel patterned after the famous Ben Trovato Estate, built by author Byrd Spilman Dewey, a late-1800s publishing pioneer. In keeping with Dewey’s legacy, the hotel has collaborated with events company Levenger on the Book Stack Book Club, a six-times-per-year immersive experience.

The series features in-person author Q&As, meet-and-greets with photo ops, and raconteur-led culinary and cocktail pairings, with a menu by celebrity chef Marc Rosen. Each guest is sent a book in advance, which they can have signed by the author—from New York Times best-sellers to indie authors—on-premise.

A portion of the proceeds from the Book Stack Book Club go to the American Red Cross of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. Levenger hopes to expand its program throughout the United States.

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River House at Odette’s

WHERE: New Hope, Pennsylvania

One of Bucks County’s newest luxury hotels, River House at Odette’s is a 38-room repurposing of Chez Odette, a cabaret house founded by French-born actor and singer Odette Myrtil—who was so popular in the 1960s, residents mounted a campaign to elect her mayor. River House recently launched the year-round Author Series, in partnership with Doylestown Bookshop.

The series features meet-and-greets, book signings, and private readings with best-selling authors like Lynn Steger Strong and Jill Santopolo. For each book, the hotel bar creates a literary-inspired cocktail—such as Sally’s Secret, a play on the classic Sidecar that honors the protagonist of The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz.  

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Miraval Resort & Spa

WHERE: Tucson, Arizona; Austin, Texas; Lenox, Massachusetts

Luxury retreat Miraval Resort & Spa is putting its own spin on the literary vacation trend with a Thought Leader series. The program, which is available at all three Miraval locations and is open to both guests and staff, includes meet-and-greets, book signing, and select workshops led by the likes of Huma Abedin, Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, and Jennifer Pastiloff.

The goal, says Miraval, is to “inspire and rejuvenate guests by tackling a host of mental wellness, inclusivity, and empathy topics.” Be prepared to dig deep, cultivate mindfulness, and return home with a new perspective.

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Avalon Waterways European River Cruise Storyteller Series

WHERE: Multiple European locations

Ever wanted to get swept away on the Daube River with Outlander author Diana Gabaldon? Talk style along the Seine with Sex and the City scribe Candace Bushnell? Learn to craft vibrant scenery—with a dash of satire—with Christopher Moore of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff fame.

Avalon Waterways pairs literary legends with legendary landscapes. Cruises generally last from 6 to 8 days, on smaller ships with beautifully appointed cabins. Most have floor-to-ceiling windows and open-air balconies—all the better for contemplating the beautiful surroundings and superb company.

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The Retreat at Elcot Park

WHERE: West Berkshire, England

Since its debut last year, The Retreat at Elcot Park—located in a scenic 18th-century English country house with 55 elegantly appointed rooms—has been a hub of activity and events. In time for World Book Day this month, the hotel launched Author Suppers.

Each month, guests share a three-course meal and stories with writers in a range of genres, from fiction to politics, nature, and history. The slate of scribes is eclectic, from Gill Hornby, author of the soon-to-get-the-TV-treatment Godmersham Park, to former Boris Johnson aide Cleo Watson, writer of Whips. Attendees receive a signed copy of the month’s featured book.

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International House

WHERE: New Orleans, Louisiana

From the Big Easy’s original boutique hotel comes this unique two-day August celebration of the life and work of Charles Bukowski, “America’s most outsider writer in America’s most outsider city”—a connection that left an indelible mark on the 20th-century literary canon.

Each year, highly regarded poets, writers, and filmmakers and their fans gather at International House to honor the man, the myth, and the legend, who died in 1994. Past attendees and presenters have included Hollywood director Taylor Hackford, poet and memoirist Neeli Cherkovski, and supermodel, author, and avowed Bukowskiphile Paulina Porizkova. This year’s programming is still under wraps, but past years have featured screenings of the documentary Unleashing Bukowski, roundtable discussions, visual art inspired by the poet, and readings of his work.

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Lake Austin Spa Resort

WHERE: Austin, Texas

Casual luxe Lake Austin Spa Resort, on the postcard-pretty shores of Lake Austin, offers rotating Author Chats with best-selling and up-and-coming writers. As part of the resort’s Fireside Book Chat Series, guests can listen to talks by authors, and ask questions about their work. Recent presenters have included Amanda Eyre Ward, author of several tomes, including Sleep Toward Heaven and How to Be Lost, and Edgar-winning novelist Meg Gardiner, creator of the newly released The Dark Corners of the Night.

During their stay, travelers can borrow from the on-premise lending library, and catch up on reading in the resort’s many book nooks and lakeside hammocks.

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Lolo Pass

WHERE: Portland, Oregon

 “Anything can and will happen” at Lolo Pass, a convivial, youthful, and budget-friendly accommodation where guests are invited to monthly mixers for area screenwriters, who meet to talk shop, view short films, and offer feedback. Or fire up your laptop and join the weekly “Shut Up and Write” group, where any writer, from beginner to professional, can come together for coffee, discussion, and quiet writing time.

The hotel hosts other storytelling-related events, including live comedy. Visitors are also invited to head up to the rooftop bar for drinks, a meal, and some quality time with their Kindle.

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Canoe Place Inn & Cottages

WHERE: Hampton Bays, New York

At the confluence of two picturesque bays, in the beautifully refurbished historic Canoe Place Inn & Cottages, you can take part in the Front Row author-chat series. From talk show hosts to historians, shoe designers to social advocates, the program brings in a wide range of contemporary authors like Renee and Matt Owen, founders of Blue Man Group, and Jason Flom from the Innocence Project.

Take part in interactive live talks, storytelling, and film screenings curated to encourage discovery and build community. Look for special programming like March’s “A Zibby Retreat,” a weekend of camaraderie, yoga, and workshops with author and podcaster Zibby Owens, plus five writer friends.

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One Aldwych

WHERE: London, England

For their ongoing series The Curators, Covent Garden hotel One Aldwych has assembled local authors to share the wonder of discovery. For example, historian and broadcaster Dr. Matthew Green, author of London: A Travel Guide Through Time, takes visitors on a tour of the city, through cobbled alleys and harried thoroughfares, into lesser-known coffeehouses and wine bars. Meanwhile, author and blogger Milly Kenny-Ryder, of Thoroughly Modern Milly, leads a two-hour walking tour of the hidden favorites of Covent Garden, including a French bakery that pays homage to Asian treats, a handmade stationery shop, and a farm fromagerie.