From cheap motels to isolated inns, hotels have long provided writers with both story setting inspiration and a place to hide away. Following the news that the Grand Hôtel des Bains — Thomas Mann’s residence on the Lido and the backdrop for his novella Death in Venice — will close its doors to be converted into luxury apartments, we decided to find out which other literary residences have outlived the authors they inspired. Although the historical ties advertised by iconic abodes range from confirmed affiliation to apocryphal anecdote, these storied hotels are at least worth checking out — and, geography permitting, checking into.
One of only three US hotels designated an official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association (The Plaza and The Algonquin being the other two), Hotel Monteleone was and is the center for Southern literary elite. William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams both described it as their favorite hotel, Truman Capote claimed he was born there (turns out his mother just lived there while she was pregnant), and writers from Ernest Hemingway and Eudora Welty to John Grisham and Stephen Ambrose have shacked up at the French Quarter hotel.
Literary cameos: “Night Before Battle” (Ernest Hemingway); A Curtain of Green (Eudora Welty); The Rose Tattoo (Tennessee Williams); A Piece of My Heart (Richard Ford)