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20 must-visit boutique hotels for art lovers

Get your culture fix at these art-inspired hotels, where museum-like masterpieces meet gallery-style suites

Ever wanted to spend the night in an art gallery? If you’re the type to make a beeline for the latest exhibitions whenever you travel, why not surround yourself with art during your stay. Whether it’s waking up to artworks from a private family collection, emerging local artists or renowned names, these creatively styled hotels are dripping in eye-pleasing pieces for both the traditional and modern aesthete.

1. Altstadt Vienna, Austria

An eclectic boutique hotel jam-packed with modern art, Altstadt Vienna is housed in a 19th-century townhouse in Vienna’s historic and artistic quarter. Spread across five floors, contemporary works of art by the likes of Gilbert & George and Andy Warhol decorate the walls throughout the light-filled rooms and suites, each individually styled through partnerships with various artists. The latest addition is the Helmuts Art Suite in collaboration with Helmuts Art Club, which displays colourful vintage photograph inspired works by Viennese artist, Francis Ruyter. The two color components divide the suite vertically into two halves, taking over the entire interior and contrasting beautifully with Ruyter’s pastel palette.

2. Hôtel Lou Pinet, France

Continuing the longstanding history of artists inspired by the South of France from Matisse to Picasso, the Pariente family called upon architect, interior decorator and designer, Charles Zana to put together a soulful, vintage vibe for their French Riviera home-from-home. Natural textures such as linen, wood and stone, have been blended with contemporary cane effects and graphic prints at Hôtel Lou Pinet to recreate the retro glamour of Saint-Tropez in the sixties. Pretty plates by symbolist and ceramist Jean Lurçat greet guests on arrival, displayed at reception in all their fauvist, cubist, and surrealist influenced glory. Meanwhile, you can sip cocktails while spotting a painting by Frédéric Heurlier Cimolai in the hotel bar, whose random frames and dreamy shapes are drawn using the ancestral technique of Tempera. Outside, the gardens are dotted with installations by Tony Cragg, a sculptor whose work revolves around the fragmentation and recomposition of forms.

3. The Battery, San Francisco

A destination for art-lovers from its bedrooms to the bars, The Battery’s walls are adorned with works from notable artists and photographers. Take a closer look with a private tour of the collection, or arrange your stay during one of the club’s frequent exhibitions which showcase the very best of contemporary art. Battery Powered members are given exclusive access to an extensive community of trailblazing organisations and creative projects, including charity auctions such as Living Art: Apexer-Benefit. Abstract street artist Apexer, also known as Ricardo Richey, created a custom piece for auction benefitting Battery Powered and the fall theme, Recovery & Resilience, which addressed the immediate needs of Bay Area families hardest hit by the pandemic.

4. Art Paradiso Hotel, South Korea

At Art Paradiso, your suite becomes your own private art gallery. European style permeates the walls of this art-filled urban retreat in South Korea’s dynamic Incheon, where low-level lighting and clean ceiling design create an art gallery ambience throughout the 58 rooms. The ‘art-tainment’ atmosphere comes to life in over 500 on-property art installations, and extends to the Paradise Art Space which acts as a complimentary gallery space for guests.

5. Galleria Vik Milano, Italy

This boldly designed boutique hotel taps into Milan’s creative spirit, turning bedroom walls into canvases and corridors into exhibition spaces. Each room and suite at Galleria Vik Milano bears the hallmark of a renowned artist, from Giuseppe Gonella and Pino Pinelli, to Felipe Cardena and Shinya Sakurai – meaning no two spaces (or stays) are the same. Living up to its name in both senses of the word ‘galleria,’ as a cultural destination housed within Italy’s oldest active shopping centre, and as an exhibition space in its own right, hand-painted murals, striking sculptures, and a vibrant palette paint a vivid picture at this part-hotel, part-gallery.

6. Hotel Amparo, Mexico

Hotel Amparo’s walls, like its residents, are well-travelled and cultured. Turn-of-the-century Spanish tradition flirts with modern art and brazen textiles, hushed alcoves and artisan textiles —a smart, edgy sort of elegant space which plays host to experiential workshops, including arts and crafts classes with San Miguel’s local creatives. Hanging proudly above an original concrete fireplace is an oil painting of Porfirio Díaz, one of Mexico’s longest-serving presidents, not so subtly signalling that you are indeed in the Presidential Suite.

7. New Jingli Hotel, China

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into a European palace when entering the palatial, marbled lobby of Romanesque columns at New Jingli Hotel. The recently opened gallery located on the fourth floor of this classical-meets-contemporary hotel exhibits more than forty oil paintings from the late Renaissance to the Neoclassical period, covering a wide range of styles and spanning several periods, handpicked by the owner at international auction houses.

8. Can Ferrereta, Mallorca

A beautifully converted 17th-century grand house in one of Mallorca’s least-discovered areas, Can Ferrereta still wears its heritage proudly on its sleeve with exposed beams and stone walls nodding to its rustic roots. And on these walls you’ll find a a pared-back art collection carefully curated by the Soldevila Ferrer family, with works from well-regarded contemporary Spanish artists including Jaume Plensa, Joan Miró, Guillem Nadal and Bárbara Vidal. Cleverly integrated throughout the minimalist interiors are timeless pieces designed under commission by local artisans, and designer furniture by major names such as Piero Lissoni, Piet Boon, Hans J. Wegner, Michael Anastassiades and GamFratesi.

9. Kristiania Lech, Austria

Celebrating the heritage, history, and culture of Austria with its Private Summer Edition 2021 pop-up, Kristiania Lech has converted a selection of suites into private galleries that celebrate its outstanding artists in residence, and placed several creative surprises throughout the exquisitely decorated hotel in the Arlberg mountains. The art and culture project focuses on supporting the local community, bespoke art, music and dance performances, with opportunities to meet and mingle with the artists in person. Think “artsy Sommerfrische” – Banksy meets Frank Sinatra and Empress Sisi for a soul searching hiking tour in the breathtaking alpine setting of Lech.

10. Castello di Reschio, Italy

Baron De Lis enjoys a moment of glorious reflection as Nic Fiddian-Green perfects his profile for the “Etruscan Horse” in the Reschio stables. Credit @reschio

A meticulously designed thousand-year-old castle on the Umbrian-Tuscan border, Castello di Reschio is Renaissance painting worthy with its centuries-old stone and cypress trees wreathed in mist. The former tobacco factory has been reimagined into an industrial-chic creative centre of sky-high ceilings and stylish spaces for Count Benedikt Bolza and his B.B. For Reschio team, who source rare furniture and oil paintings from Italy’s best below-the-radar antiques markets, available to view and purchase from the Reschio Dealership at the Tabaccaia. This is also where the castle hosts rolling art exhibitions, which have included the world-famous equine works by Nic Fiddian-Green as seen scattered throughout the 1,500-hectare estate, and Lindy Guinness’s aristo-bohemian studies.

11. Casas del XVI, Dominican Republic

The Casa Alfarera workshop is composed of a team of Dominican potters and artisans who have been in the trade for over twenty years. Photographs by Victor Stonem.

Amidst the architectural treasure trove of Santo Domingo’s UNESCO-listed Zona Colonial, a colourful cluster of thoughtfully renovated 16th-century houses is welcoming guests into individually decorated suites jam-packed with local works of art and ancient Dominican artefacts. Casas del XVI is closely connected to the city’s brimming network of contemporary artists, offering curated guided gallery tours, creative workshops, and meet and greets with some of the leading local creatives, including Ysabela Molini, ceramicist and founder of stoneware studio Casa Alfarera which sources all its raw materials from the island.

12. The Mist Hot Spring Hotel, China

Taking its name from the natural steam that rises around it, The Mist Hot Spring Hotel seems to float above the landscape. The beauty of the hot spring steam itself inspired the futuristic-meets-natural interior design, where architecturally-scaled site-specific installations exploring natural phenomenon relating to mist and water have been placed throughout the hotel. These visually impactful installations are not merely decorations, but inseparably integrated into the hotel’s architectural identity and interior space.

13. The Norman Tel Aviv, Israel

The Norman Tel Aviv comprises two splendid 1920s residences, both of which have been painstakingly renovated by architect Yoav Messer to preserve the original buildings in harmony with the neighbourhood’s distinct tradition of eclectic, modern, and Bauhaus buildings. The Norman Art Collection features works in a host of media – painting, sculpture, print, photography, and textile – by leading contemporary Israeli artists with international reputations such as Miriam Cabbesa, Sigalit Landau, Irit Azoulay, Carmel Ilan, Moshe Gershuni and Tsibi Geva, together with emerging artists such as Shir Moran, Liat Livni and Orit Fuchs. The artworks themselves not only stand alone as pieces of significant note but also reflect and embody the many archaeological layers of the buildings as the central theme to the collection.

Along with a monthly cultural event in the hotel’s Library Bar, there is even an art concierge service which helps guests interested in purchasing from the collection as well as offering a special kind of exposure to the Tel Aviv art scene through lectures by the featured artists and personalised art tours to galleries and artists’ studios within the hotel’s vicinity.

14. Schlosshotel Kronberg, Germany

A fairytale castle laden with history, Schlosshotel Kronberg was built in 1893 and was home to Empress Victoria Friedrich, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria. Today, guests stay here surrounded by many of the empress’ original antiques and paintings, including works by Rubens, Titian and Gainsborough. The impressive collection from the private estate of the mother of the last Kaiser conveys the authentic ambience of a castle from imperial times.

15. Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà, Italy

Bursting with contemporary works of art by world-famous artists, Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà is a grand, classic Venetian-style villa sitting in a beautifully manicured five-acre garden in Verona. Inside, ultra modern design by renowned architect and designer, Alessandro Mendini, stands out in stark contrast to the historic building. Each one of the 58 rooms in Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà is individually decorated and masterfully styled with the use of vividly bright coloured fabrics and furnishings as well as original paintings. Astounding pieces of contemporary art in dizzying colours found are throughout the hotel and include works by Marc Quinn, Damien Hurst, Anish Kapoor and Vanessa Beecroft.

16. The Tower Hotel Nagoya, Japan

Part TV-tower-turned-hotel, part art gallery, The Tower Hotel Nagoya shines a light on Tokai artists. It plays a vibrant part in city culture, displaying works by regional creatives and using traditional craftsmanship to connect its interiors to Tokai, then and now. Look out for works by the hotel’s ‘collaborators’, including Hiroshi Sugito, Shin Morikita and Tomoyuki Washio.

17. Domaine des Etangs, France

Drawing inspiration from its wildly beautiful natural setting deep in the Charente countryside, Domaine des Etangs is a meticulously restored retreat in a 1,000-hectare landscape of woodland and waterways. A stone’s throw from the château and the Longère, La Laiterie is a sturdy 18th century building rooted in the farming estate. Originally used to shelter animals and the dairy, it is a legacy of stone and wood which today houses the art space and the exhibitions of the Domaine. Temporary exhibitions are showcased there, organised by renowned curators, such as “La Lumière des Mondes” in 2019, co-curated with the late Ingrid Pux. In 2020, Daniel Moquay, president of the Yves Klein Archives, and Philippe Siauve, appropriated the space and showcased “Yves Klein, Elements and Colours”. La Laiterie also houses the Garance Primat Collection, a universalist collection comprising works of art, books, antiques, and rare minerals. The Domaine’s cultural mediator is also on hand to talk guests through the various artworks throughout the estate on guided art and nature tours.

18. Éclat Hotels, China

Modern, light and wonderfully spacious, Hotel Éclat Beijing boasts an incredible collection of fine works throughout its guestrooms and public areas – more than 100 pieces, including original sculptures and paintings from legendary artists like Salvador Dali, Pierre Matter, Zhang Guolang, Chen Wen Ling, Andy Warhol, Gao Xiao Wu, Zou Liang and many more give this urban retreat a modern, museum feel. One-of-a-kind pieces from these artists can also be found in sister property Hotel Éclat Taipei.

19. Praia Art Resort, Italy

Praia Art Resort is part of a beautiful Calabrian canvas, entirely created by local Crotone artisans using natural raw materials from the Ionian Coast such as wood, rock, clay and iron. Inside, each space is crafted from local rustic materials, bringing a sense of the outside world in. Think bare wood and terracotta, exposed brick and mosaic tiles, most of which have been hand carved or painted at the resort’s on-site carpentry and ceramics workshops.

20. Hôtel du Petit Moulin, France

An historic 17th-century building with an original baker’s shopfront, Hôtel du Petit Moulin is a truly unique residence with flamboyant interiors designed by haute-couture legend Christian Lacroix. Reflecting the history, art and culture of this area of Paris, the decoration is both lavish and evocative. From brightly coloured sixties furniture in the bar, and plush textiles, leather sofas and highly decorative walls in the lounge to green corridors with polka-dot carpeting that lead to Baroque, Rococo and Couture designed rooms, it is a fascinating journey through the artistic expertise of Lacroix, all within walking distance of the Picasso Museum.