Beyond our standard expectations, of a great hotel – well-appointed accommodations, refined service, great location and a knowledgeable concierge some of the world’s top hotels are looking to further heighten their client’s travel experiences by doubling as exhibition spaces or becoming art installations in themselves.
We hand pickd some of the greatest art spaces available globally hotels – indeed some of these hotels are a cultural destination in themselves, so a stay in them has the virtuous and rewarding benefits of visiting an art gallery – giving you time to relax, have a coffee and people watch whilst you enjoy great art.
DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE – South Africa
A jewel in the captivating Stellenbosch, Delaire Graﬀ Estate encapsulates the essence of Graﬀ Diamonds under the ownership of Laurence Graﬀ OBE and oﬀers a peaceful retreat overlooking the vineyards of the South African paradise.
Discreetly nestled between the mountains, the estate’s unrivalled beauty is paralleled with the sublime service and alluring design. Innovative Dutch architecture embraces African styling, and authentic artefacts add personality to the enchanted lodges reﬁning the natural serenity of the destination.
An awakening of the senses, the Estate features two of the Cape’s ﬁnest restaurants alongside a holistic spa and luxury boutiques including the African ﬂagship of Graﬀ Diamonds onsite. Graﬀ Delaire Estate’s Asian-inﬂuenced Indochine restaurant evokes Haute gastronomy into an art form and appeases a menu curated by Head Chef Virgil Kahn with a South African twist
One is immersed into the world of Graﬀ by the Estate’s treasured works of art personally handpicked by Laurence Graﬀ himself from his own portfolio, pieces embodying the spirit of the Estate adorn the wall. Key examples include the Swallows in Flight installation by Lionel Smit and André Stead set on the terrace of Indochine and the tribal photography of Stephane Graﬀ.
Other wonders in the prominent collection include the works of sculptors Anton Smit and Dylan Lewis, oil on canvas paintings by Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi and a stone carving by Nicolas Moreton.
THE BEAUMONT MAYFAIR – London
Set against the vibrant backdrop of London’s Mayfair, The Beaumont is the ﬁrst hotel by acclaimed restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King and is situated in a distinctive architecturally protected 1926 building featuring the United Kingdom’s finest Art Deco aestheticism.
The façade of the hotel is overlooked by the magniﬁcent ‘ROOM’ by Antony Gormley, a three-storey sculpture of the artist’s body acting as an architectural extension of the hotel. Housing an intimate one-bedroom suite, the exterior of the structure consists of welded plates crafted from stainless steel left untouched as they came from the mill.
Evoking the charm of the hotel, antiques and original artworks from the early 1900’s and 1950’s adorn the public areas and bedrooms of The Beaumont. A series of black and white photographs portrayed on the walls of the bedrooms and the hotel’s American Bar pay homage to the old-school glamour of the 1920’s. Key icons in the creative ﬁelds of cinema, music and design are depicted throughout the hotel adding a depth of agelessness. The Colony Grill acts as a centrepiece for The Beaumont serving a menu of American Classics in a luxurious setting inspired by the traditional grill rooms found in New York and London. Ambiguity is reﬂected in the artwork of the grill by San Francisco-based artist John Mattos commissioned by the hotel to produce two strands of the work for The Colony Grill.
The ﬁrst of the works are large murals showing American sporting scenes at legendary venues; key examples include Spring Board Diving in New York and Powerboat Racing at Lake Tahoe-Nevada. The second is a series of 48 black & white cartoons of great proﬁles from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s – Katherine Hepburn, Sherman Billingsley and Thomas Mann to name a few.
MONA PAVILLIONS – Australia
Founded by philanthropist and collector David Walsh, the Museum of Old and New Art, otherwise known as Mona opened in 2011 and stands as Australia’s largest private museum. Articulating an art-focused lifestyle aesthetic, the museum is home to eight design-led pavilions each named after an inﬂuential Australian artist and architect and featuring either one or two bedrooms complete with antiques, ancient coins and designer furniture.
Oﬀering access to Mona as well as the use of an extensive gym, sauna and heated inﬁnity lap pool, the pavilions designed in association with the Antarctica Group each encompass a painting by its namesake artist and have been designed by the architect by which the rooms also take part of their name.
Mona’s permanent exhibition, Monaism is dedicated to a selection curated by David Walsh with the works on display changing frequently, some of the prime pieces on display include Erwin Wurm’s Fat Car and Sternefall by Anselm Kiefer. Alongside the permanent collection, the museum hosts a series of other exhibitions and events moderated for Mona. Hound in the Hunt, an ongoing experiment sees well-established painters recreate the legendary works of Johannes Vermeer, Caravaggio and Willem Heda from live models and life-sized scenery on the museum ﬂoor.
The ﬁrst of its kind, Mona is also playing host to the Museum of Everything, the ﬁrst non-proﬁt institution paying homage to the advancement of artisans beyond the cultural mainstream. The unique concept sees nearly 2,000 artworks by more than 100 artists in a capsule dating as far back as 1800 to the present day.
A collection of art in all kinds of form ranging from ceramics, sculptures, drawings and paintings, the works are produced by individuals who do not create for markets or museums presenting art in its purest form.
FAENA BUENOS AIRES – Argentina
As soon as you walk into the long hallway with a red rug and black horsehair bench, you know you’ve entered Faena’s fantastical world. Spectacular, contemporary and stylish, the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires is extraordinary. The utilitarian façade of the seven-story brick building, a turn-of-the-20th-century grain warehouse, belies the imaginative interiors created by Philippe Starck. Flourishes include unicorn heads on the walls, velvet curtains, crimson-upholstered chairs and crystal chandeliers. There is no reception desk; new arrivals are greeted by an “experience manager” who serves as a personal concierge throughout your stay. The rooms, many with city and Río de la Plata views, have lapacho-wood floors and arabasceto marble bathrooms. The outdoor pool is one of BA’s prime see-and-be seen spots. A sexy vibe imbues the sultry Library Lounge and El Cabaret, which host nightly tango performances.
“Red like passion, gold, black. It’s purely the incarnation of the spirit of Argentina“, says Philippe Starck about Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires. The Faena opened to much fanfare among fashionistas in 2004, with its Philippe Starck design and handsome owner Alan Faena. The hotel, built into El Porteño, a 1902 grain silo, feels like a resort within the city. In public spaces, decayed Edwardian elegance meets country kitsch – thin metal sheeting, peeling paint, and unicorn wall ornaments. Oversized rooms have white Empire-style furnishings and cut-glass mirrors reminiscent of colonial Mexico, and each has a home entertainment centre.
Alan Faena has had many careers, but his life has been dedicated to the pursuit of beauty and creativity. In the mid-1980s, he established Via Vai, a fashion label and boutique in Buenos Aires. The label prospered, branching out to Brazil, Italy, France and Chile. The success of the label allowed Alan to move to his next project, partnering with Philippe Starck to create the Faena Hotel in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, and the Faena Arts Center. These two projects combined Alan’s passion for art, creativity and design to create stunning spaces for open-minded globetrotters.
ROYAL MONCEAU RAFFLES PARIS – France
Embodying the Parisian savoir-faire et je ne sais quoi spirit, Le Royal Monceau Raﬄes is a representation of desirable elegance. Reimagined by the legendary Philippe Starck, the hotel brings together a collection of cultural pulsations in a timeless 19th-century building oozing with period features against contemporary styling.
Opened in 1928, the hotel’s 265 rooms and collection of Privé suites each oﬀer individual character and architectural brilliance with an art-focused concept. Following on the reopening of the hotel in 2010, Le Royal Monceau Raﬄes Paris is emancipated from hotel stereotypes by its elaborate cultural policy and extensive art oﬀering centred around the hotel’s in-house exhibition space, the Art District. Acting as a hub for all the artistic happenings of the hotel, Art district is overseen by Le Royal Monceau Raﬄes Paris’ Art Concierge under the direction of cultural mediator Julie Eugène in a world ﬁrst oﬀering of a service dedicated to organising bespoke tours and private views of Paris’ undisputed art collections alongside overseeing the hotel’s bookstore La Librairie des Arts.
Home to some of the most magniﬁcent photographic works in the city and in France, the private art collection of the hotel conveys the investment put into the rooms and suites. A curation of works by world-renowned artists such as Koichiro Doi,
Guy le Querrec and Thierry Dreyfuss, some of the cherished pieces include a view of the hotel by Jean-François Rauzier hanging in Suite 341 and the Salle des Trophées by Russian artist Nikolay Polissky on the ﬁrst landing of the hotel.
BYBLOS ART HOTEL VERONA – Italy
Taking a privileged location in the heart of Valpolicella in Italy, The Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà encompasses artistic design, fashion and hospitality in a regal expression of modern art. A celebration of Venetian style, the ﬁfteenth-century villa has been meticulously restored under the direction of renowned architect and designer Alessandro Mendini and now oﬀers a journey for all the senses in picturesque surroundings.
The art-orientated hotel owned by the family of the Byblos fashion empire is dedicated to the extraordinary works of art by some of the world’s famed artists and sculptors. Featuring intricately designed guest rooms, the hotel is also best known for its in-house spa, Espace Byblos, signature restaurant, Atelier and reﬁned bar, Peter’s Bar each taking guests on a voyage of discovery through art and escapism.
Reﬂecting the design-led ethos the hotel, three ﬁgurative styles have been intertwined with the aesthetics of each room. A moderated choice of furniture in a colour code borrowed from the Byblos prêt-à-porter collections has been carefully selected to enliven the building with inspiration from paintings reminiscent of the Veneto region.
Alongside this, furnishing and objects of desire have been added to build an inspirited collection in each room. This is ﬁnished with the addition of contemporary artworks modernising the character of the hotel; works include art by Anish Kapoor, Cindy Sherman and Damien Hirst.
Captivating the essence of the iconic fashion label, other touches lent from the archives include the works of Mimmo Rotella who has created a wall collage in one of the three dining rooms from shredded advertisements of the brand.
A hotel come museum, the space is a tribute to the colourful and vivacious designs of the art displayed paying homage the origins of the Byblos label.
THE DOLDER GRAND – Zurich, Switzerland
The Dolder Grand sits amidst the breathtaking scenery of Zurich in Switzerland and encapsulates Swiss living bordering the city scene and contrasting height of the Alps in a unique hedonistic environment.
The decadent hotel features 175 elegantly designed rooms and hotels and underwent the addition of architectural accoutrements between 2004 and 2008 under the lead of London-based Foster + Partners. The hotel deﬁes an enriched way of life and is best known for its well-distinguished collection of more than 100 works of art.
Originally opened in 1899, The Dolder Grand has seen the addition of two new wings since its renovation and reopening – The Spa Wing spanning over 4,000 square metres and The Golf Wing. As part of the revamp, prestigious artworks from iconic artisans now grace the public areas and rooms of the hotel.
Perhaps the most distinctive is the legendary Big Retrospective Painting by Andy Warhol which takes pride of place above the reception.
Guests at the hotel are invited to explore the collection via an iPad application which guides users through the artworks in the communal wings of the iconic building.
The state-of-the-art spa welcomes spa guests with Le Monde by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely while Salvador Dali’s Femmes métamorphosées–Les sept arts acts a focal point for diners as they approach the two Michelin starred restaurant. With a prominent guestbook of ﬁlm stars, musicians and politicians over the years, The Dolder Grand carries a history of stories to tell as it continues the latest chapter in its journey of iconography.
THE THIEF HOTEL – Oslo, Norway
A modern renaissance of art and architecture, The Thief, is an avant-garde design-driven hotel featuring an enviable art collection and stylishly designed rooms. Situated on the infamous Tjulvholmen is best known for being overrun by robbers and whores back in the 18th century, the hotel is named after this reputation and now stands well positioned in what has become Oslo’s and one of Norway’s new cultural centre.
Rare and highly sought after works of art handpicked by the hotel’s own curator, Sune Nordgren adorn the walls in an eclectic mix of pieces by established names and others by new emerging talents.
The hotel’s Thief Art program has seen the hotel establish a partnership with the Astrup Fearnley Museum allowing The Thief to borrow signal works from the museum’s collection and display them in prominent places at the hotel.
Conveying its artistic theme through expressionism, the suites are decorated with original collages by Sir Peter Blake and Sir Peter’s ‘Found Art’, a series of prints produced for The Thief based on old postcards of Norwegian icons.
Furnished to the exacting speciﬁcation of The Thief’s culturalism, each of the 116 rooms at the hotel is tastefully characterised by furnishings by Tom Dixon, Boca do Lobo and Jacco Maris alongside pieces by Norwegian designers.
A cosmopolitan ﬂair is reﬂected through the contrasting tones of the rooms, and the hotel’s interior designer Anemone Wille Våge has mixed warm and cool shades of marine-inspired colours in a voguish conﬂation contemporising the ambience throughout.
To find out more about The Arts Hotels and book your luxury holiday, get in touch with one of our expert travel agents at Berkeley Travel by calling 0207 099 0777.