Some travel for food, some travel for wine, and some travel for adventure. But in recent years, there’s been a growing trend towards art. Whether that’s to visit famous museums, pay homage to the Meccas of street art, or see and be seen at world-famous events like Miami’s Art Basel or The Venice Biennial, the art-loving traveller can now also find hotels where to be surrounded by artwork.
These are the trendiest stays around the globe with artists-in-residence programs:
The Betsy Hotel – Miami Beach, Florida, USA
A beachfront gem, The Betsy anchors the quiet end of iconic Ocean Drive — and has one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in America as its backyard.
The Betsy’s 130 luxury rooms and suites combine elegant design with the simple beauty of a tropical hideout. Finished with marble bathrooms, luxury furnishings, and walnut floors, as well as delights like artwork from the owner’s collection and your own library. Many offer extra space with balconies overlooking the Art Deco district and the hotel’s Atrium.
A rooftop pool with 360-degree views suspended in mid-air. An orb-shaped skybridge, already being hailed as a groundbreaking piece of Miami Beach public art. A sculptural Poetry Rail honoring local wordsmiths from Langston Hughes to Muhammad Ali. Wondrous discoveries at every turn.
Fogo Island Inn – Canada
Fogo Island Inn sits on an island, off an island, at one of the four corners of the Earth. Every one of 29 one-of-a-kind guest rooms and suites has dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the wildest and most powerful ocean on the planet. A stimulating relief from the numbing uniformity of modern times, the award-winning Inn is built on the principles of sustainability and respect for nature and culture. The Inn is a community asset, and 100% of operating surpluses are reinvested into the community to help secure a sustainable and resilient future for Fogo Island, Newfoundland.
Fogo Island Inn features a contemporary “white cube” art gallery on the first floor. In collaboration with Fogo Island Arts, the gallery showcases the works of selected artists who have completed residencies on Fogo Island through Fogo Island Arts. The goal of the gallery is to provide diverse audiences – local and global – with opportunities to engage with contemporary artworks informed by the specificities of place.
Setouchi Retreat Aonagi – Matsuyama, Japan
Setouchi Retreat Aonagi is a masterwork designed and built by the legendary minimalist architect Tadao Ando. Boasting 7 all-suite rooms, it draws light and air into vast spaces, evoking the infinity of traditional Zen poetics.
This is a place of sublime minimalist luxury, where the unnecessary is stripped away.
Perfectly complementing Ando’s “smooth-as-silk” concrete walls, museum-quality artwork abounds at the hotel. A painting by Frank Stella—one of the leading figures of the postwar minimalist and abstract movements—crowns the hotel’s dining room. Guests also discover a large-scale work by calligrapher/visual artist Rieko Kawabe, whose practice is rooted in Japanese aesthetic traditions.
The Fife Arms – Braemar, UK
Located just 15 km from the Balmoral Castle and the shoulders of the Cairngorms, this former hunting lodge of Queen Victoria reopened in December 2018 after a two-year renovation by famous Swiss gallerists and hotel owners Manuela and Iwan Wirth, and it’s a new chapter that begins at The Fife Arms.
With 46 rooms and suites done in a resolutely Victorian style, The Fife Arms is a hotel with a unique charm. There are over 12,000 pieces of artworks and antiques here, and interior designer Russell Sage, working in collaboration with local historians, ensured that every square centimetre of the hotel evokes the traditions and customs of the Scottish Highlands. Each room has its own decor, and highlights a piece of the hotel’s history and art.
Conservatorium Hotel – Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its glass-enclosed lobby, cosmopolitan rooms and shining Green Globe certification, the Conservatorium Hotel is one of the chicest boltholes this side of Amsterdam.
At the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam, there is music in everything. It’s in the history of the hotel as the Sweelinck Conservatory and it’s in the quirky nods to music everywhere, from the display of violins hanging in the lobby to the Sennheiser headphones in the rooms. There is art here too- classic Dutch paintings reimagined in contemporary configurations to suit the hotel’s “Old Meets New” theme, but what really stands out at the hotel are the exclusive experiences that make for a memorable stay.
Originally built as the Rijkspostspaar bank at the end of the 19th century, the building was conceived by the renowned Dutch architect Daniel Knuttel. It heralded the regeneration of the Museumplein, an area previously derelict.
The Dolder Grand – Zürich, Switzerland
Tucked away next to a forest and overlooking the streets of Zürich, The Dolder Grand is home to an impressive lineup of more than 100 artworks from big-name artists.
The most striking piece is arguably Andy Warhol’s “Big Retrospective Painting”, spanning 11 metres, which takes pride of place above the reception.
A few examples are: Salvador Dali’s “Femmes métamorphosées – Les sept arts,” Fernando Botero’s “Woman with fruit,” and Henry Moore’s “Three-Piece Reclining Figure: Draped.” Other famous names represented at the Dolder Grand include Zaha Hadid and Joan Miró.
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