Travel Writer. Essayist. Cultural Observer. Imagemaker.

Donna Wheeler has been a guidebook author, features writer, commissioning editor and restaurant and hotel reviewer for Lonely Planet, Hardie Grant Travel, My Art Guides, National Geographic Traveler,, the Telegraph UK, inflight magazines and others. In previous lives a painter and a poet, Donna seeks out nuance and complexity of every destination, and conjures place by teasing out layers of identity and history, appealing to the senses and drawing on her deep knowledge of art, music and architecture.

She is driven to write by the notion that there are stories that need to be told, and voices that long to be heard. Her work is engaged with the margins and interstices of cities, fluid border territories, cultural hybridity, social history, beauty and the abject, the generative and power of creative, revolutionary lives and the solace of nature. Influences are many but include WG Sebald, Kathy Acker, Joan Didion, Annie Ernaux, Joseph Brodsky, Yves Bonnefoy and the New Narrative movement.

She has authored three titles for Hardie Grant Travel’s Precinct series and is currently working on two hybrid auto-fiction travel memoir works. Intense World Theory is a close study of her ten most beloved cities, it is also a meta-fictional document of the internal journeys that travel often inspires, while Every Hotel explores the liminal space of the hotel, and all that the hotel – as an idea and as an actual location – offers: shelter, escape, estrangement, transgression, union, intimacy, introspection, fantasy stagset and focus.

The development of Every Hotel is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Create NSW


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Unless otherwise specified, all images copyright © Donna Wheeler; copyright for guides and articles belongs to various publishers and reuse or reposting is subject to individual agreement.