Attracting a cultured guest, our edit of the must-visit hotels for art lovers sees covetable collections take centre stage.
From suave city stays with private art vaults located in the hotel car park to a French country inn brimming with works by Léger, Scully and Baldaccini, these museum-like stays will take your next getaway to new (creative) heights.
The Packing Edit
The Fife Arms, Braemar, Scotland
Situated in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands, this five-star hotel is as sensational a UK hideaway as you’re likely to find. The creative brainchild of Iwan and Manuela Wirth, the Swiss gallerists behind Hauser & Wirth, The Fife Arms features over 16,000 antiques and 12,000 works of art, ranging from Pablo Picasso to Gerhard Richter. Located in the historic Scottish village of Braemar, the hotel is framed by dramatic mountain ranges and an idyllic landscape – meaning a variety of activities from fishing, to foraging and golfing are readily available to guests. If you only have time for one extracurricular over the course of your stay, make it a special art tour of the hotel’s top 20 pieces (including works by Martin Creed and and Lucien Freud).
Villa La Coste, Aix-en-Provence, France
Designed in harmony with its verdant surroundings, Villa La Coste promises a cutting-edge stay for art lovers. Shaped by the pencils and brushes of some of the brightest minds in art and architecture – think Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, Norman Foster, Damien Hirst and Louise Bourgeois – this artists enclave is squirrelled away near Aix-en-Provence. With a national-gallery’s worth of artwork and 600 acres of art-filled grounds, there’s no such thing as bad room here – even the hotel’s entry-level suites have Tracey Emin etchings, Luberon Valley views and bathrooms with expansive marble bathtubs. Adventurous types can opt for the Jean Prouvé mid-20th-century cabin in the woods, where you eat and sleep in what’s now deemed a work of art.
The Beaumont, London, UK
As you approach The Beaumont you’ll notice a cubic structure at odds with the rest of building’s facade. The stainless-steel Cubist figure of a man clutching his knees towers over the Beaumont’s entrance is the work of artist Antony Gormley, titled ROOM. Contemporary art fans – you really can’t get more up close to a Gormley work than this. A 10-metre-by-4-metre bedroom that art-loving guests can check into for an evening of zen. Enter through black curtains to a dark, wood-panelled room and embrace the “sculptured darkness” for an evening at The Beaumont. The bed is fitted with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets that nod to a peaceful night sleep in a tranquil space that’s loaded with artsy kudos. One to pencil in for 2021, when the hotel reopens.
La Colombe D'Or, Saint Paul de Vence, France
Many French artists retreated south during World War One, taking up residence along the Cote d’Azur. Among them, Fernand Léger, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse. Relative unknowns at the time (with the exclusion of Matisse perhaps), they offered their works in exchange for bed and board at La Colombe D’Or (who’s owner had a particular interest in the arts). The result: a museum’s worth of art – note the César Baldaccini’s oversized thumb sculpture which greets you on entry and the Fernand Léger mosaic on the wall out the outdoor dining space. A mobile, be Irish artist Sean Scully, is the latest edition to an impressive art collection which has continued to grow.
The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa
British designer Thomas Heatherwick and hoteliers Liz and Phil Biden spearheaded the creation of The Silo – Cape Town’s most expensive hotel. Located six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in Africa (the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world), the hotel is a fun, fanciful and creative destination plotted along the pedestrianised V&A Waterfront and docklands. For art enthusiasts, it’s a must stay. The Vault – The Silo Hotel’s private art gallery – on level P3 (you’ll enter through the car park), further sweetens the deal. Showcasing both up-and-coming and established artists, if you see something you fancy, let the concierge know and they’ll slide a price list under your bedroom door.
The Rosewood, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
On the Kowloon waterfront, the Rosewood Hong Kong shines bright, oozing with glamorous grandeur. With jaw-dropping views of the harbour, it takes something pretty fabulous to turn our attention elsewhere. To that end, the Rosewood more than delivers, with an in-house art collection including: a XXL Henry Moore sculpture that greets visitors at the top of the hotel’s cobblestoned driveway; a life-size elephant by Indian artist Bharti Kerr (located near the flower shop, just off the lobby); and abstract paintings by American artist Joe Bradley are located near the elevators. The hotel is also home to the aptly named Butterfly Brasserie, an eatery adorned with Damien Hirst’s signature winged creations.
Brown's Hotel, London
Surrounded by some 190 galleries and dealers, Brown’s Hotel is the perfect launching-off point for art lovers. Art aficionados keen to immerse themselves in Mayfair’s vibrant scene will be eager to book a stay at this creative haven. Guests can sign up for one Brown’s Art Walks – the next of which are planned for 7th November and 5th December 2020 – hosted by renowned curator, BBC Art Correspondent and gallery owner Maeve Doyle. You’ll unearth Mayfair’s hidden gallery gems before returning to Brown’s for a welcome glass of Champagne followed by a three-course lunch with a glass of the Sommelier’s choice wine.
Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà, Italy
Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà is a beacon of joy and whimsy – and boasts some rather impressive contemporary art works too. The grand, Venetian-style villa situated in Verona is an OTT oasis best enjoyed by those whose love of colour knows no bounds. Behind its classical facade, guests will encounter ultra-modern finishes, courtesy of architect and designer, Alessandro Mendini. Each of the villa’s 58 bedrooms are individually decorated – we’re talking vivid palettes, colourful fabrics, and zany furnishings – but if you think your bedroom is stylistically akin to a Picasso painting, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The hotel’s main spaces are amongst the most wowing. Works by Marc Quinn, Damien Hurst, Anish Kapoor, and Vanessa Beecroft can be found throughout; take yourself of a mini treasure hunt to explore the museum-worthy collection housed here.