London is recovering its pulse little by little after the harsh restrictions they have faced in their particular fight with the coronavirus. Pubs and shops have reopened this week after three months of closure, but the shock suffered still has many of their businesses on the ropes, especially those related to tourism and travel.
As in Barcelona, many hotels remain closed, including the mythical Hotel Cadogan, a 5-star hotel located in Knightsbridge and owned by the rich Cadogan family since 1887. That Oscar Wilde made him famous after barricading himself in one of their rooms so as not to be arrested for his homosexual behavior, a total crime in those days, gave the exclusive establishment a fame that still endures.
That connection with literature permeates its environments, and endowed with a careful library, the boutique hotel has so far prided itself on guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. Who will inhabit it, in these days of close closure?
It had barely been reopened for a few months, after some improvement and expansion works of the facilities, when the pandemic broke out. Your exquisite Victorian-scented library must gather dust and loneliness.
Hotels and literature or books have made great alliances that are catastrophe-proof. The tiny bookstore of the Casa Bonay hotel, on Gran Via, also closed its doors in the pandemic and Blackie Books still keeps it closed, if it does not make an exception for Sant Jordi.
And although in these parts there are no large libraries in the hotels, they have been the ideal setting for meetings of journalists with writers, book presentations and even parties. Does anyone remember the holidays?
A library to sleep
For virus-proof symbiosis, the one at the Gladstone Library, near Chester, UK. Library built in a Victorian building since 1895, surrounded by gardens and a cemetery, with hundreds of thousands of volumes and loan service to use, the administrators enabled part of their rooms as bedrooms and also opened a restaurant to serve guests.
The pandemic also forced the Gladstone Library to close its doors, but thanks to a collection – friends of the library-hotel can donate money through the shelf covid recovery initiative,a kind of “adopt a shelf”, they are in a position to reopen on September 1.
With a certain purely British humor, his guard, Peter Francis, congratulated himself for taking advantage of this long closure to do minor works and, among them, to fix a gap in the reception that had caused more than one stumble and also to update his fire alarm, It was very outdated, which is welcome in a large wooden building that creaks under the steps.
Olga Merino’s hotel
The Cadogan Hotel may throb with impatience for its future reopening, but its soul continues to receive visitors at the Cadogan of the writer Olga Merino , an imaginary hotel but in the image and likeness of the one that rises near Sloane Street.
Literary characters frequent it and take us to a world without COVID, where we can dream, and reading is a source of sensations that return humanity to us as we understood it and now we forget in a mental fog. It is the Cadogan hotel that will never close its doors to us and that is still there, proof of various epidemics.