Nestled along the central Oregon coast, on Nye Beach in the town of Newport, rests a 21-room inn for world-weary travelers and journeymen looking to relax and read. And could there be a greater milieu for curling up with a book than with the Pacific Ocean at your doorstep? While this tranquil setting may sound like an ideal escape from the noisy world—a silent respite, if you will—it is, in fact, almost always accentuated with lively conversation. This is the Sylvia Beach Hotel.
Named after the American woman who opened Shakespeare and Company, the Left Bank bookshop in Paris, France, which became a second home to ex-pat writers, the literary concept is kept alive within the Sylvia Beach Hotel by Goody Cable, who co-founded the inn more than 30 years ago.
Every room is different, some cozy and homespun; others, elaborately decorated. But all possess an appropriately charming theme reflective of famous authors. The Emily Dickinson room features lace curtains and Victorian furnishings; the John Steinbeck room boasts an expressive ‘Grapes of Wrath’ mural on the wall—and every suite includes the complete literary works of the author for which it is named (the only room that is unavailable to rent is the W. Somerset Maugham room, which belongs to Cable).
As you can imagine, typical topics of conversation that permeate the library tend to revolve around literature, but also travel, history, and the occasional word association game, an ice breaker between strangers. Not only that, but the mood in the hotels’ common areas is also warm and inviting—and features hot spiced wine every evening. The guests, much like the staff, are usually candid storytellers and are happy to engage with neighboring hotel guests and residents. Reasonable rates, an opulent dining room, and exceptionally beautiful grounds.
No TVs. No Wi-Fi. Just books, stored in a well-stocked library. Sounds like heaven, right?