The Christmas season is well and truly upon us and with the cold weather and incessant chaos shopping, there comes an understandable desire to hibernate. It has been proven that dipping into a good book is one of the best ways to retreat from festive stress, so this December we thought we’d share our favourite hotel library hideaways.

These brilliant book collections were curated by the team at Ultimate Library to inspire warmth, soul and connection – three things that we believe should be celebrated during the Christmas period. With a glass of mulled wine or a mug of hot chocolate in hand, these snug libraries are ideal for passing a few hours in during the festive season.

1. Ham Yard Hotel, London

ham yard hotel main library with colourful books
Ham Yard Hotel Library, Soho

Although this hotel may be located in the heart of Soho, you are immediately greeted with a serene and warm atmosphere when you step through the doors. The eclectic and luxurious interiors designed by owner, Kit Kemp, are completely mesmerising. Not only does it feel like every detail has been thought through exquisitely, it also feels like a home from home.

armchair in london hotel with colourful books

Whilst the chic and elegant library may feel a million miles away from bustling London outside, browsing the mixed and various collection will certainly offer excellent insights into the history and culture of Ham Yard’s location . This really is a haven in the heart of the city, and the combination of the colourful book covers and low, gold lighting makes this an attraction for the literature lovers of London to visit during the festive season.

2. Congham Hall, Norfolk

library in norfolk with curated books and cosy seating
Congham Hall Library, Norfolk

There’s no place like Norfolk! This privately-owned Georgian manor house is nestled in the Norfolk countryside, just a short journey from the sandy shores of the North Norfolk coast. Congham Hall is the epitome of British luxury, with an extensive spa for rest and relaxation and a gorgeous log fire to curl up in front of with an excellent book.

library in norfolk with curated books

For this thoughtful hotel, we were asked to curate a main library as well as providing illustrated books for communal areas, books for rooms and also a children’s library. All of the titles were chosen to reflect the community culture in the local area, but also to add a distinctive charm and homeliness. The green décor of the main library feels as though it was made for the festive period, and this is the ultimate retreat from the madness of Christmas shopping!

3. The Tamburlaine, Cambridge

library in cambridge with vintage leather books
The Tamburlaine Library, Cambridge

The Tamburlaine is one of the biggest hotels in Cambridge and can be found in the heart of the vibrant city centre. Renowned for its literary prowess, Cambridge was the perfect location for luxury library curation. This hotel blends rich history with a distinctly fresh and modern feel.

leather bound books in library in cambridge

The lobby is overlooked by the library, which was decorated with antiquarian titles to make the space authentic and cosy. As the building is so full of character, the books were matched to this brief and chosen specifically for their leather cladding. The aged-leather adds warm light to the space, making it the perfect spot to relax with loved ones after some sightseeing in the city.

4. Four Seasons, Hampshire

library in hampshire with classic literary titles
Four Seasons Library, Hampshire

Located just outside of London, this visually striking Georgian manor house blends heritage and legacy with a modern approach to hospitality and is the perfect space to escape the city. Welcoming families and dogs, this country retreat has a laidback and friendly atmosphere. As well as a library, it offers a fully equipped spa and 500 acres of land to stroll, run or ride through.

Shelf of curated books for library in Hampshire

The main library was curated with this atmosphere in mind and we used a collection of both classic and contemporary reading titles on a range of themes, such as history, art, food, wine and film. As well as making sure the content reflected the atmosphere, we also worked closely with the interior designer to ensure that the books complemented the look and feel of the room. In addition to the reading titles, a few illustrated books were displayed around the sofa, to add tactility. The perfect spot to put your feet up and get lost in a classic.

5. Another Place, The Lake District

cosy sofa area in hotel in the lake district
Another Place Hotel Library, The Lake District
Photo: Luke Hayes

This hotel spans 18 acres of National Park – something which is reflected in the both the décor and ambiance of Another Place. This space is all about making the most of spending time with family and friends by having fun, eating good food and letting go. The hotel hosts a Christmas ‘house party’ every year where guests are invited to stay from 23rd December to enjoy relaxing seasonal treats such as hot chocolate, dinner spreads with all the trimmings, mulled wine, fir trees, and with some luck, snow on the fells!

soft furnishings and grey sofa with reading books in the lake district

For this library, regional specific content was hugely important which meant that Wordsworth and Coleridge were essential additions. Titles that focused on the wildlife and walks in the area to educate and entertain the guests were also popular. This spacious and homely space is the ideal refuge from the wintery winds and the soft furnishings offer comfort for contemplating the quiet solitude of the mountains.