Art hotels are famed for brilliantly blurring the lines between galleries and accommodation.
With private art collections and unique displays set throughout, these art hotels are far more than simply being a place to rest your head. They’re an attraction in themselves and offer a unique opportunity to see (and sleep in!) some of the world’s greatest art.
With that said, we’ve put together a list of 13 of the best art hotels around the world.
1. The Silo, Cape Town
Overlooking Cape Town’s iconic Victoria and Albert waterfront, the luxury Silo Hotel is a standout feature.
Despite its somewhat industrial-style exterior, the hotel is an explosion of colour, pattern, and breathtaking art once you step inside.
In the basement, there’s a private art gallery, The Vault, designed by hotel owner and avid art enthusiast, Liz Biden. The Vault hosts two exhibitions for upcoming African artists each year and is home to some of Africa’s most talented contemporary artists.
The hotel also sits just six floors up from the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in Africa. The largest museum of contemporary African art in the world, it’s said to rival the Tate Modern in London and MMA in New York City.
2. The Fife Arms, Scottish Highlands
Nestled in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands, The Fife Arms is a five-star hotel that was opened in 1856 by two passionate contemporary gallerists.
Home to over 16,000 antiques and 12,000 creative works – with artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Gerhard Richter – art remains central to the Fife Arms experience. In fact, you can find intriguing works of art with stories to tell pretty much everywhere you turn.
A Lucien Freud portrait hangs proudly in the lobby, Picasso fills the wall space in the drawing room – and the drawing room ceiling is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour by Chinese artist Zhang Enli.
All of this paired with the dramatic surrounding landscape of the Scottish Highlands, the Fife Arms makes for a very special getaway.
3. Villa Copenhagen, Copenhagen
The newest destination on this list, Villa Copenhagen, was one of Europe’s most-anticipated hotel openings of 2020.
While the hotel’s street entrance is fairly unassuming, it’s a different story once you step inside. Villa’s ethos is all about merging style with sustainability and guests are welcomed as such from the get-go.
An astounding glass ceiling covers the glamorous lobby area, which is complete with olive trees and sculptures by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. And the hotel’s ‘Earth Suite’ – championed the ‘greenest luxury suite in the world’ – is made entirely from sustainable materials.
Villa Copenhagen also houses the city’s largest private art collection throughout its interior, with walls decorated by the impressive works of artists like Olafur Eliasson and Per Kirkeby.
4. The Rosewood, Hong Kong
Practically every inch of the Tony Chi-designed Rosewood Hotel in Hong Kong oozes glamour.
While the dreamy hotel rooms – which boast marble bathrooms and idyllic views of the harbour’s clear blue waters – make it tempting to relax here your entire stay, the hotel’s impressive art collection is a must-see.
The incredible show of art begins from the exterior as guests are welcomed by a giant Henry Moore sculptural masterpiece, which sits on the hotel’s driveway. Then, stepping inside, Indian artist Bharti Kerr’s life-sized elephant makes its statement alongside striking abstract works from American artist, Joe Bradley.
The Rosewood’s aptly named restaurant, The Butterfly Room, is decorated in Damien Hirst’s signature butterfly art. And every single guest room features one of Chinese artist William Low’s spirited oil paintings, depicting daily life in Hong Kong.
5. Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
Originally built in 1889, Gladstone Hotel is Toronto’s most-loved art hotel. It served as a popular retreat for artists and other creatives for years – many of whom used to stay overnight after performances at the nearby Massey Hall.
While the hotel’s original Victorian floors plans and interior architecture have been well-preserved, the 37 guest rooms have each undergone a series of impressive redecoration. Each designed by a separate artist, every single room offers a completely different experience.
For example, Room 405: Parlour of Twilight is fitted with shimmering fabrics, neon lighting, and 1940’s inspired furniture. Meanwhile, in Room 403: Surreal Gourmet, guests can rest their heads on marshmallow pillows and hang their clothes in the Froot Loops closet. And Room 304: Faux Naturelle has been transformed into a wooded retreat.
This unique opportunity to sleep inside different works of art really means that no two stays at The Gladstone Hotel will ever be the same!
The hotel also hosts over 45 art exhibitions a year and has three dedicated gallery spaces to explore.
6. La Colombe d’Or, South of France
La Colombe d’Or is a 25-room boutique hotel in the south of France – and it has a fascinating history that makes it markedly different from any other hotel on this list.
In 1920, a local farmer called Paul Roux opened a cafe-bar with three guest rooms in the small village of Saint Paul. During World War II, painters and other creatives sought refuge in the area,including at La Colombe d’Or.
Paying for their accommodation with paintings, this was the beginning of what would become an exceptional collection of works by iconic artists like Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Leger, and Chagall.
What’s even more extraordinary is the casualness with which this fine art is hung all over a simple rustic country inn – in the bedrooms, the restaurant, and so on. But for many people, it’s the hotel’s understated charm which draws them in in the first place.
7. Azulik, Tulum
Set within the trees on Tulum’s inspiring coastline, Azulik is both a luxury hotel and sculptural masterpiece.
Essentially a treehouse connected by a winding network of handmade wooden walkways, the hotel’s design is work of art itself and offers a glimpse into the mastery of Tulum’s talented craftsmen. Intentionally built around the trees, the rooms are surrounded by tropical plants and you’ll feel as though you’re sleeping in the jungle itself.
A small art gallery is located within the hotel. However, the nearby contemporary art museum, SFER IK is funded by Azulik and hosts various exhibitions and workshops which are well worth a visit too.
8. The Conrad Hotel, Downtown New York City
The Conrad Hotel in Downtown New York City is the product of a complete redesign of a 1980’s 15-story building.
With art as its focal point, The Conrad Hotel hosts world-class artwork. In the hotel’s lobby, the striking purple and blue Sol LeWitt painting, ‘Loopy Doopy’, which covers 13 stories is difficult to miss. This impressive artistic feat alone required 100 gallons of paint and 3,000 hours to complete.
Also featured are 2,000 other works of art, displayed throughout the hotel suites and public areas. The Conrad also hosts rotating art exhibits in partnership with the Public Art Fund.
9. Rome Cavalieri, Rome
Rome Cavalieri by Waldorf Astoria is one of Rome’s most luxurious hotels. And with its mesmerizing collection of paintings, rare tapestries, fine sculptures, and French period furniture, it’s something of a museum too.
Artists featured throughout the hotel range from traditional to contemporary – including Henri Vollet, Nicolas Tournier, Ennio Morlotti, Andy Warhol, and Victor Brauner.
Three of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s most famous masterpieces also sit in the hotel’s main lobby; while bedroom suites are decorated with fine furnishing. Guests can relax on original Karl Lagerfeld sofas here.
Perched atop Monte Mario, Rome Cavalieri offers one of the best views of Rome – with uninterrupted views of some of the city’s most famous sights.
10. The Beaumont, London
Inspired by a combination of 1920s glitz, glam, and Art-Deco-style interiors, London Mayfair’s The Beaumont, boasts a unique sense of elegance and nostalgia.
Known for its immaculate service and polished interiors, The Beaumont is home to a showstopping collection of new and vintage furniture, rare books, and over 1,500 pieces of original artwork.
On the left side of the hotel’s exterior, you’ll notice a three-storey high Lego-like figure. Created by Turner Prize-winner Antony Gormley, this commissioned piece of public artwork serves as an exclusive hotel suite called ‘ROOM’. The inhabitable sculpture is intended as a space to enjoy meditative peace and stillness.
11. Le Negresco, Nice
The 110-year-old Le Negresco Hotel is the most iconic sight along Nice’s seafront. And, as one of France’s National Historic Monuments, it’s any art history buff’s dream.
Each one of the hotel’s rooms and suites is finely decorated with period furniture spanning five centuries of French history – from the time of King Louis XVIII to the emerging contemporaries of today.
Le Negresco has also served as a filming location for over 30 films, so, for many, it’s a celebration of the performing arts too. As such, a number of prominent names, from Herni Matisse and The Beatles to Queen Elizabeth II, have filled the hotel’s guest book over the years.
When you’re not immersing yourself in its art and culture, this idyllic hotel is an ideal place to soak up the peaceful aromas of the sea, enjoy Michelin-star food, and relax on the nearby beach.
12. The Wauwinet Hotel, Massachusetts
The Wauwinet Hotel has been welcoming guests since the late 1800s and is a must-see for anyone visiting Nantucket and the surrounding areas.
Set between two of the island’s private beaches, this secluded hotel offers peace, tranquil, award-winning dining, and unrivaled sunset views. And, home to an impressive 120-piece art collection, it’s a terrific choice for art lovers too.
The collection has a central focus on Nantucket’s most-loved natural attractions, with captivating paintings of ships, island scenes, and other natural wonders lining the walls. Though original works by artists like Picasso and Calder can also be found.
One particular highlight – a painting designed to appear like an antique rug – covers the lobby floor.
13. 21c Museum Hotels, various locations throughout America
Founded by two contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson – whose mission was to share contemporary art with the public – 21c Museum Hotels are designed to push the boundaries between museum and hotel.
Starting as a single property, 21c Museum Hotels are now located in eight different cities throughout America, from Arkansas and Oklahoma to Kentucky and Tennessee.
Each boutique hotel and restaurant is designed to double as a contemporary art museum and guests can enjoy rotating exhibitions, thought-provoking installations, and plenty of culture.
If you love art and travel, an overnight stay at some of the world’s best art hotels is one of the best and most unique ways to combine your passions. From Copenhagen to Cape Town and London to Hong Kong, these hotels will take you on an adventure you’re not soon likely to forget.
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