A love for travel usually goes hand-in-hand with an appreciation for art.
Making time to visit a museum or gallery on your travels can be a worthwhile excursion, but there are many luxury hotels that offer their guests a much more immersive experience.
How about waking up to an original Andy Warhol, gazing at a genuine Picasso over dinner, or having a world-class gallery ready to explore at your leisure in the basement? The following 5-star art hotels give guests, along with an ultra-luxurious hotel stay, the chance to experience and learn about art in a new way – by living amongst it.
Whether you’re a fully-fledged art-aficionado or you simply appreciate a pretty picture, pay a visit to one of these luxury hotels and experience some of mankind’s finest artistic creations.
Das Stue, Berlin 9.4
A funky design hotel in Germany’s eclectic capital, Das Stue offers classic luxury with a perfect location in central Berlin. Acclaimed Spanish architect and designer, Patricia Urquiola, has brought her unique expression of opulence and style to the interiors of the hotel, complementing the natural beauty of the property’s leafy Tiergarten address.
The hotel displays a curated selection of their private collection throughout public spaces, such as French artist Quentin Garel’s sculptures of a crocodile’s head in the lobby. Along with an impressive range of photos of movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Dorian Leigh and Marlene Dietrich, guests can marvel at black-and-white works from the likes of Horvat, Edward Steichen and Messrs Helmut Newton.
Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà, Italy 9.1
A modern villa located in the heart of Valpolicella, a few kilometres from the gorgeous Verona, Byblos Art Hotel acts like a permanent exhibition of contemporary art. An ever-changing conglomeration of architecture and paintings from world-famous artists are on display at Byblos, ensuring repeat visits are always a fresh experience.
The hotel also offers 59 beautifully designed rooms, each completely different from the other, where bright colours and designer furnishings complement seventeenth-century marble and world-famous artworks.
MONA Pavilions, Tasmania 9.7
Set within a unique example of contemporary architecture, MONA Pavillions is the edgy luxury hotel that sits alongside MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, Australia’s largest private museum – both owned by eccentric multi-millionaire David Walsh.
Carved into the cliffside on a private peninsula about 15 minutes drive from the city centre of Hobart, the subterranean museum features modern art and rare global antiquities worth millions of pounds. Works include pieces by British artists Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili, US conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, and iconic Australian painter Sidney Nolan.
The Thief, Oslo 9.2
Oslo’s Renzo Piano-designed Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is a stunning example of contemporary architecture. Its glass, wave-like design appears striking in its waterside position on the Oslo fjord. Located right next to the art gallery is The Thief, which showcases borrowed pieces from Astrup Fearnley’s vast collection within its eye-catching public spaces.
Guests at The Thief get free admission to the Astrup Fearnley Museum, whilst the hotel also features a permanent collection of pieces selected by Sune Nordgren, the former director of Norway’s National Museum of Art, which adorn the walls of the hotel’s 118 plush rooms.
Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel, London 9.2
Opening in Mayfair in 1837, Brown’s is a London’s oldest existing hotel. Now part of the Rocco Forte chain of luxury hotels, the iconic Brown’s offers a wealth of artistic adventures thanks to some 190 galleries and dealers in the vicinity.
Guests can also get an exclusive peek into the exciting Mayfair art scene with the hotel’s Saturday Art Tours – hosted by renowned gallery owner, curator and agent, Maeve Doyle – which includes a private tour of four Mayfair galleries and a 3-course lunch with at HIX Mayfair. The tours cost £65 per person.
The Surrey, New York 9.4
Yards from Central Park and the stylish Madison Avenue, and close to Fifth Avenue’s ‘Museum Mile’, where the city’s finest cultural institutions are found, The Surrey is an extravagant art-infused hotel in the heart of the ‘Big Apple’.
The hotel also features its own endearing collection of modern art, including photographs by American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, an interactive video installation by South African artist William Kentridge, and London-based artists Jimmie Karlsson and Martin Nihlman, best known as Jimmie Martin. The centrepiece of the collection is a tapestry of Kate Moss by portrait artist Chuck Close.
The Beaumont Hotel, London 9.9
A stunning and luxurious hotel set on a quiet street in London’s Mayfair, The Beaumont epitomises old-world luxury through its classic five-star service, Art Deco interiors, and lavish rooms and suites. A posh spa and other sleek amenities bring the hotel in line with the times, whilst the extraordinary Antony Gormley-designed sculpture/suite, Room, makes the hotel an art attraction in its own right.
Imaginatively named ‘Room’, the experimental piece of art is three-storeys high, resembles a crouching cuboid figure, and is a hotel suite on the inside and sculpture on the outside. Oh, and it’s bolted to a wing of the hotel exterior.
The Dolder Grand, Zurich 9.3
The Dolder Grand in Switzerland has seen over 110 works of art by history’s most revered and celebrated artists, from Andy Warhol to Salvador Dalí. Upon check in at this luxury Zurich hotel, you’ll struggle to miss the striking ‘Big Retrospective Painting’ by Andy Warhol spanning 11 metres above the reception desk.
Art-hungry guests can then take advantage of an interactive iPad tour that will take you through hotel’s unique collection. Highlights of the collection include Salvador Dalí’s ‘Femmes Metamorphoses’ hanging in the two Michelin star The Restaurant, Sol LeWitt’s ‘Horizontal Brushstrokes’ in the spa, and Henry Moore’s ‘Three-Piece Reclining Figure: Draped’ sculpture in the lobby.
Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Town 9.3
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is set within a 118-year-old landmark at the foot of Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town. As well as being a short stroll from the vibrant Kloof Street, renowned for its bustling markets, restaurants and bars, the five-star hotel is also within walking distance of Cape Town’s ‘Museum Mile’, an avenue where South Africa’s best museums, art galleries and monuments can be found.
A major draw for art lovers to Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel this summer is the appointment of the hotel’s first artist-in-residence. A celebrated portraitist and former Art History lecturer, who was even commissioned for two portraits of Nelson Mandela, Cyril Coetzee will be available to paint guest portraits. Guests will have the opportunity to join a class led by the inimitable Cyril Coetzee.
The Merrion Hotel, Dublin 9.8
One of the finest hotels in Dublin, The Merrion is a timeless hotel that attracts a refined clientele. Comprising four Georgian townhouses, which are each over 200 years old, the hotel offers an elegant sanctuary in the heart of Dublin, minutes from leafy St Stephen’s Square.
You can see the city’s most famous works at the nearby National Gallery, although The Merrion itself is home to one of Ireland’s largest and most significant private collections. Displayed throughout the hotel, with the optional accompaniment of an audio tour, the collection features more than ninety works of 19th & 20th-century art.
As an art lover, travel brings ample opportunity to broaden your knowledge and experience foreign art and culture in a new light. Book a stay at one of these luxury art hotels and take your artistic adventures to the next level.