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10 must-visit boutique hotels for art lovers

Get your culture fix at these art-inspired hotels this World Art Day and beyond…

Art has the power to inspire and unite audiences around the world – a welcome creative connection which brightens times of darkness, particularly during recent conflicts and crises. So, 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 thought-provoking, eye-pleasing pieces for both the traditional and modern aesthete.

1. Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, Mykonos – Greece

Mykonos Riviera Hotel

Just before the pandemic, the Daktilidis family commissioned world-renowned sculptress Venia Dimitrakopoulou (pictured below) to create a bespoke piece for Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, a twinkling, triangular sculpture which was only recently installed at the waterfront retreat. The artist spent some time at the hotel observing how the setting changes over the course of the day and according to the light, creating her piece from inox, a durable material frequently used in boats for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, but also provide the desired mirror-like effect, alongside etalbond, a high tech material which lends itself well to innovative architectural design.

Elxis Art Installation

Elxis Art Installation – meaning ‘attraction’ in Greek – is inspired by the cerulean hues and golden sunsets of Mykonos, as well as the element of water and its reflections in the bustling marina below the hotel. Cleverly referencing the hotel’s logo, the three-piece sculpture consists of a series of sail-like triangles that run across the corridor, with three of them ending, as if magnetised, on a high wall that is visible from afar – drawing travellers in from the waters on their Greek island journey like a shimmering siren.

2. Altstadt Vienna, Vienna – Austria

Altstadt Vienna

Altstadt Vienna

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.

3. Castello di Reschio, Umbria – Italy

Castello di Reschio

Nic Fiddian-Green

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.

4. Aristide Hotel, Syros – Greece

Aristide Hotel

Aristide Hotel

Hotly anticipated Aristide Hotel is a new eco art hotel on the lesser-known Cycladic island of Syros. The plastic-free property is housed within a beautifully restored neoclassical mansion in the historical centre of Hermoupolis, with a dedicated art gallery which hosts regular exhibitions of resident artists. The owners’ eclectic permanent collection in the common spaces and bedrooms is heavily skewed towards portraiture and figurative art, which includes works by Christy Lee Rogers, Igor Skaletsky, and Riccardo Vecchio. If you’re creatively inclined, the hotel’s residency programme – where you can stay in luxury while making use of the artist’s workshop – might pique your interest.

5. Can Ferrereta, Mallorca – Spain

Can Ferrereta

Can Ferrereta

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.

6. Hotel Amparo, San Miguel de Allende – Mexico

Hotel Amparo

Hotel Amparo

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. The Tower Hotel Nagoya, Nagoya – Japan

The Tower Hotel Nagoya

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. Guests are also perfectly placed to explore the Tokugawa Art Museum, which houses over 10,000 artefacts collected and inherited by many generations of the Lords of Owari.

8. Domaine des Etangs, Massignac – 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.

Domaine des Etangs

Temporary exhibitions are showcased there, organised by renowned curators, such as “La Lumière des Mondes” in 2019, co-curated with the late Ingrid Pux. The celestial works of Argentinian contemporary artist Tomás Saraceno are currently on display under the exhibition Du sol au soleil until October 2022. 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 on hand to talk guests through the various artworks throughout the estate on guided art and nature tours.

9. The Battery, San Francisco – USA

The Battery

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.

10. Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà, Verona – Italy

Byblos Art Hotel

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 this vibrant villa 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.