One of the great pleasures of travelling is having a bit of leisure time and great literature at hand. Even the smallest library can tell volumes about the style and character of a person or a luxury hotel.
Karl Lagerfeld had an extensive collection of over 300,000 books, one of the largest personal libraries in the world: his favourite Neitzche, Spinoza, Didion, Homer, Borges and many others.
In 2015, he explained: “I only collect books; there is no room left for something else. If you go to my house, I’ll have you walk around the books.” The Sybaritic Single amassed much less, maybe only a few thousand between his three houses. It doesn’t mean that he reads less though: instead, he pays particular attention to the books he comes across during his travels.
The Library Hotel in New York keeps 6,000 books spanning 10 guest-room floors. Each floor is home to a different category: from languages to philosophy, history and the arts – guests can choose accommodation based on their interests. Amsterdam’s Ambassade Hotel got a library which maintains the historic XVII century feel with dark brown shelves and Empire-style chairs. Many acclaimed writers have stayed there and the 3,000-book collection includes quite a few signed works. The Edwardian in Manchester is a fabulous destination for luxury-oriented readers with its entire library created by Assouline.
The Sybaritic Single’s other favourites are the Raffles Singapore and One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai: their libraries are smaller but what eclectic selections they’ve got!
Yet the world’s highest library belongs to Marriott, at 230.9m above ground level on the 60th floor of JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai. With more than 2,000 books, the collection comprises both English and Chinese classic and contemporary works.
And even higher than that is the VistaJet private fleet with curated flying wall-wide libraries by Heywood Hill, a Royal Warrant bookshop in Mayfair. Oh, what a pleasure – and a true luxury – it is to have the time to read, like the Sybaritic Single does today in the serene private library of The Chedi Al Bait in Sharjah.