Books Like Hotel Du Lac
From The Shining to Psycho, there's no shortage of horror novels that take place in hotels and motels. There's just something inherently creepy about checking into out-of-the-way establishments for temporary lodging. However, hotels can also be interesting places where people from different walks of life meet and interact. Hotels are often associated with clandestine meetings or exotic locations where people go to escape from whatever is bothering them back home. For example, in the Booker Prize winning novel Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner, a romance author flees to a luxury hotel after her life begins to resemble the plot of one of her books. However, instead of the peace and rest, she expects to find at the hotel, she becomes caught up in the lives of the other guests, who are also casualties and exiles of love. For novels based around hotels that don't involve any horror or paranormal events, check out the following books like Hotel Du Lac.
by Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is set in 1922 with Count Alexander Rostov cast as the protagonist. After being deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel called the Metropol. This leaves Rostov living in an attic room across the street from the Kremlin. However, as some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfolds outside the hotel's doors, Rostov is inside forming bonds with the staff and guests. A Gentleman in Moscow traces the life of Rostov and how he is changed by his more than 30-year stay at the hotel.
by Jamie Ford
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is the debut novel by Jamie Ford. It is the story of Henry Lee, a 44-year old widower who notices a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel. The hotel has been boarded up for years but used to be the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. However, the hotel's new owner discovers the belongings left behind by the Japanese families rounded up and sent to the internment camps during the war. Witnessing this takes Henry back to his youth, where he grew up as the only Asian child at an American elementary school during World War II. During this time, he formed a bond with a Japanese-American student named Keiko Okabe, with who he lost contact after her family was swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps. One of the items discovered in the hotel is a parasol that Henry is convinced belonged to Keiko, and so he begins his search for signs of the Okabe family's belongings in the dusty basement of the hotel.
by Elizabeth Taylor
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is the final and most popular novel by Elizabeth Taylor. Mrs. Pafrey, who has recently been widowed, decides to move to the Claremont Hotel in South Kensington. The hotel is home to other elderly residents, but Mrs. Palfrey ends up befriending an impoverished aspiring novelist who helps her after a fall. As a thank you, she invites him to dinner at the Claremont, where the other residents mistakenly assume he is her grandson who never visits her. Tired of having to make excuses for why her grandson never visits, Mrs. Palfrey becomes drawn into the deception while the writer, named Ludo, uses her as a source for his novel.
by Vicki Baum
Grand Hotel is a 1929 novel by Vicki Baum that uses a hotel located in the center of Berlin as the backdrop for the story. Set during the 1920s, Grand Hotel features the interlocking stories of the different guests at the hotel. From the World War I veteran anxiously awaiting a letter he's been expecting for years to a great ballerina with a fear of aging, the characters all have their own secrets and aspirations. Appearances can also be deceptive, as some characters have motives that make for a few surprises along the way.
by Paul Theroux
Hotel Honolulu by Paul Theroux is narrated by a down-on-his-luck writer who gets a new start in life by becoming the manager of a low-rent hotel. The hotel is just a few blocks from the beach in Waikiki, and the narrator lives in a vacant guest room along with his new Hawaiian wife and young daughter. All manner of honeymooners, vacationers, wanderers, and families check into the hotel, and every guest is in search of something. All of the guests and the staff, owner, and narrator also have their own story to tell, which makes for an interesting and varied novel.
by Ann Benjamin
Room 702 by Ann Benjamin perfectly describes the quote, "if these walls could talk." The setting for this novel is the Winchester Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Its discreet location and luxurious accommodation make it the perfect place for everything from business meetings and weddings to affairs and other important life events. The story is set over the course of one year and is told from the omniscient perspective of the titular room. This gives readers a front-row seat to the drama that unfolds in the suite, as each chapter is the start of a unique story.
by Alan Russell
The Hotel Detective by Alan Russell is a more lighthearted novel set in the posh Hotel California. Assistant Manager, Am Caulfield, is thrust into the role of security director after the abrupt departure of his predecessor. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be any worse as the hotel is home to both a murder-mystery weekend and Bob Johnson convention at the same time. Am is quickly overwhelmed by all the chaos, especially after a contractor leap to his death and two more dead bodies turn up.