NOVEL-GAZERS Which came first…the movie or the book?

June 18, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Forget visiting the locations of movies and join the new craze of ‘novel-gazing’ – people visiting the setting of books – as identified by HotelClub (, leading online accommodation specialist.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Pride and Prejudice, Brokeback Mountain, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Constant Gardener, The Da Vinci Code – all past and present movies that have been adapted from books whose great plots and characters have captured the imagination of millions of readers. But how often is it that having read a book, readers are disappointed when they see someone else’s vision? ‘Novel-gazers’ have the luxury of being able to transport their own imagination to the setting of books that have inspired them to travel for a more authentic experience.

Chloe Lim, Director of Global Marketing at HotelClub comments: “Many of the greatest movies started out as books so it’s no surprise that people are wanting to visit these places whilst their own imagination and mental pictures from the book remains top of mind. With such a vast range of destinations accessible to us now - there are an ever increasing number of sources from where we gain our inspiration to travel - and both books and films play a huge part in this decision. HotelClub offers hotels in over 102 countries; so no matter how obscure the book, it’s likely that we can offer accommodation nearby. In addition, our Member Dollars scheme enables customers to earn money off their next hotel booking each time a book inspires them to travel!”

Check out some of the most popular locations for ‘novel gazing’ as identified by HotelClub (

Carcasonne, France (Labyrinth - Kate Mosse)
Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth portrays a girl living in the Carcasonne area of France in two different eras, yet following the same trail – that of the Holy Grail. The book explores the Grail legends in the South of France including the Medieval Castle and labyrinth on the floor of the Cathedral, both in Carcasonne, the Chateux de Foix and the Sabarthes Mountains in the Pyrenees. offers B&B accommodation at the three-star Mercure Porte De La Cite, located at the doors of the medieval city in Carcasonne, from $207 per room per night.

Pompeii (Pompeii - Robert Harris)
Set in the Bay of Naples, in the days prior to the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, Pompeii tells its story through the eyes of a young engineer, an adolescent girl, a corrupt millionaire and an elderly scientist. Vividly depicting life in Roman times, the book provides a context, and offers a fascinating insight into the ruins of Pompeii to offer visitors a more three-dimensional picture of life before, and during, the disaster. offers accommodation in a standard double room at the four-star Britannique Hotel, overlooking the Bay of Naples, from $182 per room per night.

India (The Glass Palace – Amitav Ghosh)
Beginning in 1885, with the British invasion of Mandalay and the capture of the Burmese king and queen, The Glass Palace follows three generations of a family over the ensuing 100 years to modern-day India, Malaysia and Burma (Myanmar). Illustrating life in colonial central and Southeast Asia The Glass Palace evocatively describes the upheaval and transition that took place in this part of the world over the last century through personal stories. offers accommodation in a standard double room with breakfast included at the four-star Mandalay Hill Resort in Myanmar, which has views over the Royal Palace where the story begins, from $78 per room per night.

Ile de Re, France (Merde Actually – Stephen Clarke)
The sequel to A Year in the Merde, Merde Actually continues to follow Paul West on his mission to set up the ultimate Parisienne English tea room. Despite hilarious ups and downs, Paul does find the time to travel to the Ile de Re, a 30km island on France’s west coast, where the beaches, bicycling and local restaurants recreate an idyllic picture of a proper timeless French summer destination. offers three-star accommodation at the Pierre & Vacances Le Palais Des Gouverneurs Residence, the former Governor’s Palace, from $202 per person per night.

Morocco/Egypt – (The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho)
The Alchemist tells a fable through the eyes of Santiago, a boy who follows a Ulysses-like journey of exploration, symbolically searching for a hidden treasure located near the pyramids in Egypt. His journey takes him from Spain, to Morocco and across the Sahara to Egypt where he finds the real treasure - self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. offers accommodation in a standard room with breakfast included at the five-star Mena House Oberoi in Giza from $172 per room per night from which magnificent views of the pyramids can be enjoyed.

Rome (Angels and Demons - Dan Brown)
With the Da Vinci Code released in the UK this summer, it is only a matter of time before its prequel gets the Hollywood treatment too. Novel-gazers travelling to Rome can criss-cross the capital’s landmarks in much the same way as Robert Langdon follows the trail of the Illuminati – these are locations that film-makers will surely have to recreate elsewhere! offers accommodation in a standard double room including buffet breakfast at the four-star Grand Hotel Palazzo Carpegna, just moments from the Vatican City, from $241 per room per night.

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About HotelClub
HotelClub ( is a global accommodation specialist website offering hotel bookings for up to 12 months in advance. It offers users the choice of over 21,000 hotels - at savings of up to 60% - in 102 countries and 2,500 cities worldwide. HotelClub is available in nine languages – Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. HotelClub is operated by Flairview Travel Proprietary Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cendant Corporation’s (NYSE: CD) Travel Distribution Services Division, is one of the world’s largest and most geographically diverse collections of travel brands and distribution businesses.