Whether offering a continental breakfast, swimming pool, 24 hour room service, or free Wi-Fi, hotels are always competing for visitors. But, hotels are notorious for displaying bland artwork. If I see one more basket of fruit or a flower arrangement in a brown or gold frame in a hotel room, I might go postal.
Consider this, a hotel with built in art galleries. They are popping up around the country and have been the choice for an international savvy and art-obsessed clientele for years.
In Seattle, the Hotel Max offers cozy rooms surrounded by artwork. Max provides the platform for both emerging and established Seattle artists and photographers. There are more than 350 original paintings and photographs found throughout our Seattle hotel in the lobby, guest rooms and corridors.
San Francisco offers the Hotel des Arts. Located in the French Quarter, the hotel showcases contemporary work of local artists. Rooms feature some of the world’s top emerging artists who have painted the rooms with full artistic control.
New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel takes it up a notch or two by displaying famous and recognizable art. Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes painting hangs at the front desk while a Keith Haring is displayed in the Rose Bar.
If you’re traveling overseas and wish to enjoy art where you stay, there are several options:
The Dolder Grand in Zurich Switzerland features original art by Tamara de Lempicka, Sol LeWitt and Salvador Dali.
In Italy, the Four Seasons Hotel’s lobby features 12 bas-reliefs of mythological stories painted by Bertoldo di Giovanni, a teacher of Michelangelo, and dating to 1555.
On August 29th the New York Time ran a piece called “The Hotel as Art Gallery”. Written by metro reporter Diane Cardwell, the article focuses on The James hotel which opened on Sept. 1. It features all the regular amenities, but this high rise luxury hotel also features something a bit unexpected – an art curator.
Unlike hotels that simply display fine art, the James hired young artist, Mathew Jensen to choose original pieces to hang in the guest rooms on all 14 floors. Jensen, a 29 year old photographer has the credentials to undertake this task as his work was recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According the article, Jensen’s job is not that unusual as more and more businesses – not only hotels – are looking to interject a little artistic personality to their blank walls and are hiring curators to add their expert opinions and recommendations.
The reason hotels are becoming increasingly interested in displaying fine and original artwork comes down to competition and the need to stand out, be unique and give patrons an experience.
Directly from the NY Times piece:
“Hoteliers are not only trying to come up with a theme or a style that attracts customers, but they are approaching it in a much more professional and involved way,” said Sean Hennessey, chief executive of Lodging Investment Advisors, a consulting firm in Valhalla, N.Y. “It used to be that you could get away with just slapping something up in the lobby,” he added, “but more and more customers are looking and evaluating it much more closely.”
Read the full story here The New York Times