Best Art Hotels: Immersive Art Experience Hotels Around the World
Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà. Courtesy Small Luxury Hotels of the World/Ydo Sol In the
In the relentless quest for fresh travel experiences, discerning globetrotters have grown to expect more than just a comfortable bed and a view. The hotels that truly resonate with seasoned jet-setters are those that offer an immersive journey; a narrative that extends far beyond the plush accommodations and service that are now prerequisites for luxury travel.
Among these, one under-appreciated aspect of the hotel experience that stands out is the art. In a move that nudges the boundaries of hospitality, hotels are turning into canvases for artistic expression, essentially doubling as living art galleries. The guest’s journey meanders from curated lobbies to rooms where the walls are not mere partitions, but also exhibition spaces, with art collections that quietly grace the corridors, rooms and lobbies of these properties.
As locations become familiar and high thread-count sheets lose their novelty, art, with its timeless ability to captivate, lingers, inviting a deeper exploration of the space. These are not just areas of respite; they are expertly curated museums, their corridors echoing with the stories of artists, both local and international. It’s more than a mere marriage of art and hospitality, but a metamorphosis where one is indistinguishable from the other, creating an immersive cultural experience that transforms the familiar contours of a hotel stay into an extraordinary narrative of discovery.
Here, see eight properties around the world that aim to make an indelible imprint on the traveler’s psyche, forever changing the way we perceive a hotel stay.
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Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà seamlessly merges contemporary artistic flair with classic charm in the Italian countryside. Occupying a grand 15th-century Venetian-style villa, this hotel offers an impressive tableau of 20th-century design objects and modern art. The late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini masterfully juxtaposed ultra-modern aesthetics against the villa’s historic backdrop, creating an immersive experience for guests. Each of the 58 rooms is individually adorned with vibrant fabrics, original artworks and eclectic furnishings, offering a polychromatic reverie. Works by artists such as Marc Quinn, Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor form the hotel’s visual narrative, against a backdrop of Baroque interiors, Venetian chandeliers and mid-century Scandinavian furniture.
Considered Australia’s first art hotel, this Hobart property sits inside the circa-1820s IXL Jam Factory, melding industrial heritage with contemporary luxury. The original architectural elements—sandstone walls, exposed-beam ceilings, spiral staircases and vintage fireplaces—harmonize with modern amenities and a design ethos that embraces the unconventional. The Henry Jones Art Hotel also operates as a dynamic art gallery, attracting international visitors seeking to participate in a living art experience during their travels. From the in-house Art Mob collection that showcases ethically sourced First Nations art, to the rotating exhibitions by artists-in-residence, art is an omnipresent force within the hotel.
The Dolder Grand sits upon a perch on a verdant hillside in Zurich. The hotel, built in the late 19th century under architect Jacques Gros, has undergone numerous transformations, the most recent in 2008, under Foster + Partners. The renovation spawned the new Golf Wing and Spa Wing, adorned the building with intricate aluminum facades and expanded the room count to 175. Even with all these features, it is the hotel’s art collection that truly sets it apart: Over 100 pieces of museum-worthy pieces by Salvador Dali, Ferdinand Hodler and Zaha Hadid punctuate the hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms, while Andy Warhol’s 36-foot-long “Big Retrospective Painting” reigns supreme in the reception area, a silent guardian of the hotel’s cultural gravitas. Today, the hotel caters to a broad tapestry of visitors, from business travelers to leisure explorers.
Santa Monica, California
Wedged between the sun-kissed shoreline of Santa Monica and the thrum of the Third Street Promenade, the Georgian Hotel punctuates the cityscape with its cerulean-hued Art Deco façade, a relic of 1930s glamour. This historic refuge, once a secret gathering space for Hollywood’s Golden Age glitterati, has recently been reimagined by BLVD Hospitality and design firm Fettle. The thoughtful transformation of the property’s 84 guest rooms and suites has imbued the hotel with a patina of contemporary comfort, without sacrificing any of the nostalgic allure. The public spaces have also been revitalized, with ocean-facing dining terraces, parlor-style lobby bar and two restaurants that exude an inviting warmth, beckoning guests to sit down and enjoy. The library is singularly captivating; it’s a meticulously curated homage to California’s female literary vanguards such as Joan Didion and Eve Babitz, courtesy of Arcana Books’ Lee Kaplan. The echo of Santa Monica’s cultural renaissance is most obvious, however, inside the off-lobby Gallery 33, which debuted with an evocative exhibition by actress Sharon Stone, “Shedding, a Prelude” in April 2023, and will continue with a yearlong series of shows headlined by global talent and local Los Angeles artists like Bre Smith.
Away from Ibiza’s coastal bacchanalia sits Cas Gasi, a boutique hotel and agriturismo, a destination often whispered about among celebrity clientele. This 1880s finca has been tenderly reimagined as a tranquil sanctuary thanks to the current owners, Margaret Von Korff and Luis Trigueros. Each of the 21 rooms reflects their personal tastes, with a medley of antique, modern and classical styles enhanced by exceptional art and eclectic decor. The pervasive luxury extends to tactile comforts, too: high-end linens, feather pillows and premium beauty products lend a subtle air of decadence to the hotel. The art collection is a thoughtful curation of works by local and foreign artists, including Vicente Calbet, Lula Martins, Mario Monti and Toni Pomar. The hotel’s on-site boutique, which features original items sourced by Victoria Durrer-Gasse, adds another layer to Cas Gasi’s cultural allure, with each piece acting as a tangible memory from Durrer-Gasse’s travels, or handcrafted by her network of women in Asian and African countries.
In Atlanta’s booming Midtown district, the Kimpton Shane Hotel rises as a modern paean to the city’s dynamic art scene. Since its unveiling in 2022, the sleek, glass-swathed property has offered guests a panorama of the Southern metropolis’ vibrant heartbeat. The interiors, curated by art consultancy firm Soho Myriad, are a visual symphony of local artwork; among them are the intricate thread and tulle piece “He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not” by Kate Burke, as well as a Trish Andersen’s tufted fiber work. Further enriching the aesthetic experience is Venezuelan-born Adela Pons’ vibrant contribution, the “Heart of the Arts,” unveiled at the property’s grand opening. The 11 x 17 mural captures the city’s pulsating art scene through the organic motifs of growing vines and flowers, symbolizing Atlanta’s ceaseless evolution and growth.
In the heart of Naples’ Vergini district sits Atelier Inès Arts & Suites, a boutique guesthouse-style property that was once home to famed Neapolitan sculptor and artist Annibale Oste. Today, it stands as a unique hospitality concept conceived by the next generation of the Oste family: Oste’s son, jewelry designer Vincenzo, and his artist wife, Inès Silami. The couple has designed a honey-toned haven for art lovers, where even the smallest ornamental accents and decor are custom-made by Vincenzo in his ground-floor alchemy lab. Each of the spacious guest rooms is furnished entirely with Oste-produced works, including headboards, wardrobes, and light fixtures, many of which were previously showcased in leading museums and galleries around the world.
San Francisco, California
From The Battery’s bespoke bedrooms to its intimate bars, every nook within this hotel is meticulously adorned with creations by artists and photographers. Guests are invited to delve into a private exploration of the collection, or synchronize their stay with one of the hotel’s frequent exhibitions. Through Battery Powered, a membership program, guests are also privy to a network of groundbreaking organizations and philanthropic initiatives, like Living Art: Apexer-Benefit. Beyond The Battery’s walls, the surrounding neighborhood brims with cultural gems. The iconic City Lights bookstore offers literary enrichment, while Pier 24 Photography showcases refined photographs. Contemporary art finds a home at Et Al, and the International Art Museum of America boasts an expansive collection of varied artistic disciplines.