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Destinations That Captivated Literary Greats

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By Sophie Humphrey on 15th December 2022

The Sybarite has compiled a list of the greatest destinations that have inspired literary greats, in the hope that they will inspire you as well.

For many, travel is an integral part of life, offering a chance to escape the mundane and seek out new adventures.

Reading, too, can serve as a wonderful source of inspiration; stoking our imaginations and allowing us to envision experiences beyond the scope of everyday life.

Here at The Sybarite, we're passionate about connecting interests in arts and culture with tangible experiences that one can cherish and remember for all time.

Below, we explore some of the greatest destinations that have inspired literary masters, from the hotels and resorts where they stayed to the cities and landscapes that inspired their work.

Whether you're a lover of literature or simply looking for some travel inspiration, these destinations are sure to captivate and inspire you.

They offer a unique opportunity to explore the history and culture of some of the world's most famous and influential literary figures. From the luxurious hotels of Paris and London to the picturesque island of Crete, these locations have inspired many great works of literature and provide a glimpse into the lives and experiences of some of the greatest writers of all time.

James Joyce’s hideaway: Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, Paris

The Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain hotel in Paris, France, was home to Irish writer James Joyce during the final days of his writing of Ulysses, published in 1920. The hotel has a rich history, dating back to 1642 when Louis XIII granted permission to Jean Tambonneau, President of the Chambre des Comptes, to build a noble home on the site.

Since then, the hotel has undergone numerous changes and has served as a temporary home to many artists and creative minds, such as French singer Léo Ferré in his early years and Frédéric Ozanam, Founder of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Located in the wealthy Left Bank neighbourhood of Fabourg Saint-Germain, the hotel is surrounded by luxury hotels and a rich history. The neighbourhood was known for its French nobility in the 18th century, and it is this history that can be felt in the newly-renovated boutique hotel.

The hotel offers a mix of classic and modern elements, including a spa, gym, and pool, as well as a range of rooms, from the soft Classic rooms to the historical James Joyce Suite.

Dining at the Les Parisiens restaurant and enjoying unique cocktails at the James Joyce Bar is the perfect way to relax and feel inspired.

For £300 per night, you can experience the lavish Parisian lifestyle of a literary great, with breakfast included. Book your stay online.

The London Hideaway Frequented by Oscar Wilde: The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel

The Cadogan hotel in Chelsea, west London, is well-known for its luxury and exclusivity, and has long been a favourite of the rich and famous. One of its most famous occupants was poet Oscar Wilde, who was famously arrested in room 118 for his scandalous affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, the son of the Marques of Queensbury.

It is believed that Douglas's father threatened Wilde and called him a sodomite, to which Wilde responded by trying to have the Marques charged with libel. After the unsuccessful trial, Wilde was arrested at the Cadogan hotel on April 6, 1895 for gross indecency, and he was eventually convicted and sentenced to two years of hard labour.

On a lighter note, Wilde's arrest inspired its own literary work in 1930, the poem The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at The Cadogan Hotel, by poet John Betjeman.

These days, the hotel maintains its luxurious and exclusive atmosphere, being located near London's posh Knightsbridge shopping and retail district. With 54 rooms to choose from, including junior rooms, speciality suites, and regular rooms, you can tailor your experience to your liking at the Cadogan. Prices range depending on the room and can be steep, with the Royal Suite costing £5,000 per night.

However, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy your stay at the Cadogan. You can practice your swing at the Cadogan Place Gardens tennis courts, work out in the fitness suite, or indulge in European cuisine at the LaLee restaurant. Or, if you prefer, you can enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea in the Maison Lounge. Whatever your preferences, there is something for everyone at the Cadogan.

Prices and more information are available to view at Belmond.

The Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa of Crete, The Intriguing Island That Inspired a Bestseller

The Cayo Exclusive Resort and Spa, located in the village of Plaka on the northeast coast of Crete, was the inspiration for author Victoria Hislop's novel, The Island. The novel's plot centres around a young woman named Alexis Fielding who travels to the island of Spinalonga, off the coast of Crete, to uncover her family's history and discover dark secrets along the way.

The resort is bright and airy, designed by Italian designer Gian Paolo Venier and featuring traditional Grecian and Cretan decor that will leave visitors in awe. From the resort, you can see the entire island of Plaka Beach, and you can take a dip in the crystal clear waters if you wish.

Alternatively, you can relax in one of the hotel's two pools, or explore the Stone Beach by Cayo for sun, sea, and cocktails or meze. If you don't feel like making the trip back to the resort, you can take advantage of the direct beach shuttle transfers, available from 10am to 7pm each day.

Families with children will find plenty to do at the Cayo Resort, and eagle-eyed kids may even recognise Plaka Beach as the setting for one of Hislop's other novels, Maria's Island. The resort offers a range of room options, including suites, villas, duplexes, and rooms, to suit your needs. Most rooms offer stunning sea views, and prices start at £210 per room per night, including breakfast.

To see the rooms for yourself, visit the Cayo Resort website.

Whether you're a fan of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, or Victoria Hislop, these destinations offer something for everyone with an interest in literature and history.

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