Vacations inspired by famous novels

Why not get inspired to book your next vacation from a famous book? In honour of National Read a Book Day on September 6, we rounded up five of our favourite vacation destinations inspired by famous novels. From Pulitzer Prize-winning works to blockbuster-film-inspiring stories, these iconic novels are sure to spark some inspiration for your next tropical getaway.

House overloooking a river surrounded by lush tropical forest
The James Bond series by Ian Fleming – Jamaica

The iconic James Bond series by Ian Fleming was written entirely from the author’s sprawling estate of GoldenEye, located outside of Ocho Rios in Jamaica. While Fleming was born and raised in London, he fell in love with the island while on a British Naval Intelligence mission in the 1940s and moved to Jamaica permanently shortly thereafter. One of the most famous James Bond novels, Dr. No, takes place in Jamaica when 007 is sent to investigate the disappearance of fellow MI6 agents. The movie adaptation of the novel starring Sean Connery even filmed at legendary Dunn’s River Falls!

Where to stay: Experience the island’s natural beauty that inspired Fleming’s work when you stay at the adults only Riu Reggae in Montego Bay. Surrounded by lush gardens, you can kick back and relax by the pristine beach while sipping on a martini – shaken, not stirred.

Catamaran cruising along the coast of Cayo Largo at sunset
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – Cayo Largo, Cuba

Oftentimes when people think of the Caribbean’s history, they think of tales of pirates, treasure maps and ‘X marks the spot’. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the most popular novels written about pirates in the Caribbean and tells the story of a group of sailors in search of pirate treasure. While the location of Treasure Island is never specified, it’s rumoured that Isla de la Juventud (also known as Isla de Tesoros or “Treasure Island”) in Cuba served as inspiration for the book’s tropical island setting; in addition to providing inspiration for Neverland in Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

Where to stay: You can hunt for hidden treasure at Bella Isla Resort on the nearby island of Cayo Largo. The resort is also an ideal location for underwater explorers, with amazing snorkelling and diving sites at nearby Playa Sirena with a shuttle service from the resort to the beach (at an extra cost).

Suspension foot bridge leading through the tree tops of the Costa Rican jungle
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – Costa Rica

The famous novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton tells the story of the fictional island of Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica. The science fiction novel follows the story of a failed attempt at a theme park with cloned dinosaurs, which now run rampant on the island. The popular story eventually went on to be adapted into several blockbuster films, the originals being directed by Steven Spielberg! While you can’t visit Isla Nublar on your Costa Rican getaway, you can explore Tortuga Island just off the shores of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Where to stay: Vacation Like a Star™ at the entertainment-themed Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica on your Costa Rican getaway. This resort offers plenty of opportunities for exploring Costa Rica with its exclusive PH Experiences, although you probably won’t see dinosaurs you will discover lots of exotic wildlife and enjoy exciting experiences like ziplining through the rainforest.

Inside a classic American car with Havana's historic buildings in the background
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – Havana, Cuba

This list wouldn’t be complete without one of great American novelist Ernest Hemingway’s works! The Nobel Prize-winning author loved Havana and even called the island home for more than 20 years. His time in Cuba inspired one of his greatest works, The Old Man and the Sea, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which follows a Cuban fisherman off the coast of Havana. You can follow in Hemingway’s footsteps on a walking tour of Havana where you’ll visit his favourite old haunts including the bar El Floridita and his room at Ambos Mundos Hotel.

Where to stay: You can stay just a 20-minute drive from the historic streets of Old Havana at Blau Arenal Habana Beach, one of the city’s few all inclusive resorts. Soak up the sun by the sprawling pool with sipping on refreshing mojitos from the poolside bar – one of Hemingway’s favourite cocktails.

Aerial view of a picturesque bay with boats docked on shore in Tobago
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – Tobago

Celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe started the trend of books about castaways on desert islands like The Swiss Family Robinson. The novel follows Crusoe, a castaway who spends almost 30 years on a small desert island by Tobago, and his adventures on the island. The book is even said to have inspired the popular Tom Hanks film, Cast Away! You can explore the exotic tropical destination of Tobago where the novel is set and venture to one of the area’s numerous offshore islands, Little Tobago, on a Sunwing Experiences excursion.

Where to stay: You’ll feel like you’re on your own desert island when you stay at Starfish Tobago Resort, surrounded by a sparkling beach on one side and lush hills on the other. Head to the beachside restaurant to sample fresh seafood and authentic Tobago dishes before retiring to your room with breathtaking ocean views.

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