Hotels Exhibiting Art

By Shira Wolfe

Today, high-class works of art are no longer just confined to museum and gallery spaces. More and more, we find art in other spaces, creating a dialogue with people’s living surroundings. This list introduces 10 innovative hotels worldwide that provide guests, visitors, and art lovers with a show stopping collection of art and design. From suites to bathrooms, from gardens to lobbies – exhibitions have never been this personal.   

Art’otel (Amsterdam)

In Amsterdam’s Art’otel, art and life are seamlessly fused by weaving the iconic artistic work of Atelier van Lieshout throughout the hotel’s design. Atelier van Lieshout is the studio founded by visionary Dutch sculptor Joep van Lieshout in 1995. Van Lieshout’s works of art, which move between sculpture, architecture, and design, deal with themes such as systems, power, autarky, life, sex, death, utopias and dystopias. On top of this, Art’otel features the 300-square-metre 5&33 gallery and exhibition space, which hosts a monthly cultural program, showcasing the art of established and emerging artists. To top it all off, each of the 107 guestrooms has its own unique piece of art.

Website: Art’otel

Gladstone Hotel (Toronto)

The Gladstone Hotel, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto, calls itself “an art gallery that never sleeps.” Their gallery spaces, which stretch from top to bottom of all four floors of the hotel, are open to the public every day. The Gladstone’s focus is on Toronto’s local cultural scene. Originally built in 1889, Hotel President Christina Zeidler used urban activist Jane Jacobs’ motto to shape the concept of the Gladstone: “New ideas must use old buildings.” The hotel boasts permanent and temporary exhibitions, an artist-residency, and countless exhibition spaces. Then there are the rooms: 37 artist-designed hotel rooms, each one totally different from the next. Even the stairwells and public bathrooms are used as exhibition spaces so everyone in the hotel is living and breathing art, wherever they go.

Website: Gladstone Hotel

The James Hotel (New York City, US)

An homage to Soho, the neighbourhood where The James Hotel is located in NYC, the hotel features art works of established as well as up-and-coming artists, both local and international. Every space in the hotel is carefully curated by Art Curator Matthew Jensen and his selected partners. The first piece that meets your eye as you enter the hotel is the installation _QWERTY5_ by Sarah Frost. Custom-created for The James Hotel, countless computer keys cover a wall of the foyer. Korean artist Sun K. Kwak was asked to create a custom piece for the elevator. Each of the hotel’s 14 corridors features the works of one particular artist. Once in the room, guests get to enjoy the nature-inspired privacy screens by award-winning Dutch artist Nynke Sybrandy.

Website: The James Hotel

Hotel Arts (Barcelona)

At the foot of Barcelona’s Hotel Arts stands Frank Gehry’s iconic golden sculpture El Peix. The sculpture is almost like a canopy for the gardens and pools of Hotel Arts. Every room and every hallway in the hotel features an original work of art by contemporary Spanish artists, most of them local Catalan artists. Outside, visitors can enjoy the outdoor works by New York-based Spanish artist Manolo Valdés, while inside, the impressive sculpture by Jaime Tressera and two oil paintings by Ràfols-Casamada are some of the showstoppers.

Website: Hotel Arts Barcelona

The Exhibitionist Hotel (London)

The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington is a beautifully restored 18th century townhouse, which has individually designed suites and eight gallery spaces featuring contemporary art. Every month, the hotel’s public spaces are taken over by the best up-and-coming artists showcasing their work, with each corridor featuring a specific artist. Exhibitions at The Exhibitionist Hotel have included Felix Baundenbacher’s digital art, Matt Hass’ hyper realistic documentary photography, and NASA’s original vintage photographs from the first Apollo mission moon landings.

Website: The Exhibitionist Hotel

Le Royal Monceau Raffles (Paris)

Designed by Philippe Starck, this contemporary Parisian palace hotel has it all: an exhibition space, art bookstore, art concierge, and rooms and suites decorated with fine-art photography. Guests will find art in the garden and all the public spaces, for which international artists were commissioned to create pieces. The restaurant’s ceiling is decorated with Stephanie Calais’ FRESQUE MURALS, and Russian artist Nikolay Polissky created the Salle de Trophées on the first landing: an installation of 15 life-size wooden elk and deer. The hotel’s large collection of fine-art photography includes works by the likes of Simon Chaput, Koichiro Doi, Guy Le Querrec, Lucien Hervé, Rune Guneriussen, Thierry Dreyfus, Harry Gruyaert, and Marie Maillard.

Website: La Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

Rome Cavalieri Hotel (Rome)

Rome Cavalieri Hotel boasts one of the world’s most impressive private art collections. The art collection of Angelo Guido Terruzzi, the owner of the Rome Cavaliere, is estimated at around $700 million. From 16th century relics to French antiques, Beauvais Tapestries, contemporary sculptures, and Warhols; a visit to the hotel is a feast for any art lover’s eyes. After all, it’s not every day that you come across the Old Masters in your hotel’s public spaces.

Website: Rome Cavalieri Hotel

Le Méridien Vienna (Vienna)

At Le Méridien Vienna, art is everywhere. In the public spaces and in the guest rooms and suites, works by emerging artists from Austria are on display. The hotel’s ARTIST SPACE provides an exhibition space for young artists, while artists have created Art Experience Suites, art objects in which guests can stay. The following works of art were created especially for Le Méridien Vienna, and are on permanent display: Skulpturale Pörtrats von Romy Schneider und Oskar Werner by Ilse Haider, and Fotoarbeiten by Matthias Herrmann.

Website: Le Meridien Vienna

Le Negresco (Nice)

Le Negresco hotel in Nice, with its pink dome designed by Gustave Eiffel himself, has an impressive art collection of over 6000 pieces, including works of art by Moretti, Dalì, and Niki de Saint-Phalle. The hotel prides itself in its mix of historic and contemporary art, and each room and suite is inspired by some of the most remarkable French art periods. The hotel’s Versailles Lounge is graced by a portrait of Louis XIV, identical to those on display at Versailles and the Louvre.

Website: Hotel Negresc0

Jumeirah Himalayas Shanghai Hotel (Shanghai)

The Jumeirah Himalayas Shanghai Hotel is the first hotel in China to offer a Lobby Art Tour, giving guests an insight into the local cultures, people, and ideas through art. Impressive works of art by influential Chinese artists from various periods such as Chen Yifei – Portrait of President Mao, Pan Tianshou -Amitayus Buddha, Xie Zhiliu – Snowy Waves and Green Mountains, Ren Bonian – Human Figures (four screens), and Qi Baishi – Portrait of Lee with Iron Crutch, are on display in the lobby.

Website: The Jumeirah Himalayas Shanghai Hotel

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