Your Next Chapter
There’s no doubt that a Belmond escape is better than fiction. But for those who can’t resist the allure of the written word, we’ve collected some of our favourite books to skip to the top of your reading list. Savor each one, paired with their perfect reading spot.
By Daniel Hayden
WHITE NIGHTS by Fyodor Dostoevsky
White Nights is a literary treat dripping in classical romance. It’s a light and tender short story in comparison to Dostoevsky’s famed epics. It follows the inner dialogue of a young man managing his own restlessness, relationships and vivid imagination. Dostoevsky sets his tale against the backdrop of St Petersburg’s ethereal summer beauty.
Best read at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg. This iconic hotel on Nevsky Prospekt is an ideal place to feel the pulse of the city’s past. For the most ardent Dostoevsky devotee, opt to stay in the historic suite named for the Russian writer.
EIGHT FEET IN THE ANDES by Dervla Murphy
Set off on an unforgettable journey through Peru’s Sacred Valley with the sharp-witted, no-nonsense Dervla Murphy. With her 9-year-old daughter and mule Juana in tow, this rip-roaring account of a woman’s pioneering spirit is sure to inspire your own adventure.
Best read at Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado in Peru. This haven of serenity is surrounded by the towering Andes and set to the soundtrack of the rumbling Urubamba River. At this off-the-grid escape, breathe in the beauty of the Sacred Valley just as Dervla would have done.
W.B. YEATS (80TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION) edited by Seamus Heaney
In a land famed for its romance and lyricism, it’s high praise indeed to be dubbed Ireland’s greatest poet. Yeats’ magical weaving of words and imagery is wholly irresistible. This special anniversary edition, curated by Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney, inspires readers to be “more resolutely and abundantly alive.”
Best read aboard Belmond Grand Hibernian, on a luxury train journey through Ireland. Travelling by rail is the perfect way to experience the rugged beauty and boundless grace of the Emerald Isle. In Yeats’ own words, “dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
ITALIAN JOURNEY by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Part diary, part reminiscence, Italian Journey tracks Goethe’s two-year jaunt to the land where the lemon trees grow. The holiday became a personal quest, filled with artistic enrichment and spawning one of the most inspiring books about travel. “Although I am still the same,” the intellectual decided, “I believe I have changed to the bones.”
Best read at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Sicily. Goethe arrived in Taormina after almost two months exploring Sicily and was still enraptured by the seaside town. The same sense of wonder can be captured from the hotel’s Literary Terrace, boasting some of the best views of Etna and beyond.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST & OTHER PLAYS by Oscar Wilde
tury London and one of history’s most iconic socialites. Through this collection of plays he uses his privileged insider position to critique the city’s high society. All with boundless charm, razor wit and a resounding sense of hilarity.
Best read at Belmond Cadogan Hotel in London, the new beating heart and social hub of creative Chelsea. Nowhere else weaves together storied past and glittering present with such style.
RITUALS FOR EVERY DAY by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips
Struggling to find your little moments of calm lately? Sisters Nadia and Katia are on hand to help you regain your mental balance, in a way that’s both accessible and practical. The series of rituals offer advice for every part of life—from a fresh start in the morning to dealing with goodbyes.
Best read at Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla. This dazzling Caribbean resort should be top priority for those looking to escape their everyday stresses.
A SHADOW FALLS: IN THE HEART OF JAVA by Andrew Beatty
In this captivating travel memoir, Beatty takes us on his journey to the core of Balinese culture. He penned the novel while living in an East Java village for two years. Through a series of beautifully painted vignettes he explores the island’s diversity, mysticism, openheartedness and sensuality. All while grappling with the struggles of modernism.
Best read at Belmond Jimbaran Puri in Bali. Hemmed between emerald jungle and sapphire sea, this is the ultimate retreat to step back and slip into the Balinese way of life.
AURA by Carlos Fuentes
A contemporary classic from a famed Mexican writer, Aura follows Felipe Montero as he is pulled into a strange domestic job in Mexico City. What follows is a dream-like narrative that blends present and future; the irresistible draw of fate against the beautiful free-spirited life of the city.
Best read at Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende. This collection of idyllic casas spread throughout the city inspired Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. There is no finer place to live out your own Mexican fairytale.