For art lovers, staying somewhere where extraordinary paintings adorn the walls, exceptional murals make a splash or sculptures are displayed throughout the property is equivalent to visiting a museum. Upscale Living magazine found 10 hotels where the art speaks for itself.
Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
Delaire Graff Estate is a world-class art destination in the Stellenbosch Valley. As a prominent collector of South African art, each piece that adorns the walls and gardens has been personally handpicked by Laurence Graff from a much-treasured personal portfolio. The collection features works by artists such as Anton Smit, Deborah Bell, Dylan Lewis, Lionel Smit, Cecil Skotnes, Kendell Geers, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi and William Kentridge.
Frequently named as one of the world’s top art collectors, Laurence Graff began his impressive collection by acquiring classic Impressionist paintings – one of the first works purchased was a small Renoir in the late 1970s.
In the Owner’s Villa, a personally curated gallery space includes celebrated African works from Laurence Graff’s private collection. From South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Mali and the DRC, the pieces displayed throughout the 660-square meter villa are a pan-African convocation of vibrancy and poignancy.
Intricately crafted, the sculptural collection boasts clay works by Madoda Fani, ceramics by Chuma Maweni and the arresting figures of Conrad Botes. The restrained color palette of the sculptures is juxtaposed with bursts of color from canvas, textiles and photographic works.
Embraced within the profundity of this African-centric collection are intriguing artists from various international hubs of creativity including Paris, Los Angeles, and New York. Celebrated American filmmaker and artist, Julian Schnabel, is under the spotlight in the dining area with the monumental piece, In Love with the Obvious, and you are invited to bask in the surreal energy of Kenny Scharf ’s, Vivagua.
Hotel Esencia, Xpu-Ha, Mexico
Art meets the beach at this chic, aristocratic bolthole, located just 50 minutes from Cancun and 30 from Tulum, full of character, charm, and heritage. Set along the ivory sands of the Riviera Maya, Hotel Esencia was originally built as the private hideaway home of an Italian duchess on what is considered the most beautiful beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
The much-loved boutique retreat is located on a private 50-acre estate surrounded by lush Mayan jungle. Famous Xpu-Ha beach (pronounced ‘shpooo-ha’ by those in the know) is hailed as being the finest stretch in the region, and one of the most protected and untouched white sand beaches in Mexico. Under the ownership of American entrepreneur, Kevin Wendle, and still fresh from a major refurbishment, Hotel Esencia is the perfect blend of European and local influences.
Since taking over, Wendle has reimagined the hotel to accentuate its natural beauty and add a one-off collection of art and antiques, including traditional mid-century furnishings and authentic 1950s works of art by celebrated Spanish, Latin American and Mexican artists – including Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, and Eduardo Santiere. There are Pierre Jeanneret chairs, lamps by Serge Mouille and Pierre Guariche, and a table by world-renowned architect and designer Charlotte Perriand.
Combining the modern and traditional, the original design template was done by C.S. Valentin, who also designed an entire collection of original furniture and rugs exclusively for the hotel. Today, the hotel’s Creative Director, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez continues to travel across Mexico to carefully source special items from around the country for the hotel.
Perry Lane Hotel, Savannah, GA
A visionary hotel that is redefining the traditional Savannah hospitality experience, Perry Lane Hotel offers well-traveled guests a refreshed take on luxury in Savannah, Georgia. A member of the esteemed Marriott Luxury Collection, Perry Lane Hotel boasts 167 elegant guest rooms, including 12 luxurious suites, each an intimate representation of the beautiful city and its many stories.
Perry Lane Hotel showcases unique and gorgeous artwork reflective of the hotel’s personality – eclectic, worldly, idiosyncratic and brimming with sophistication, wit, and intrigue. The collection found throughout the hotel is revolved around a single collector, the hotel’s muse Adelaide Harcourt.
Adelaide, the descendant of a long line of financiers with a penchant for collecting, has lived most of her life in Savannah, yet traveled the globe from New York to Paris to Istanbul. Adelaide is drawn to images of dancers, especially in black-and-white photography, showcasing the exquisite lines of the human form in motion. She also loves ornate patterns and vibrant color, epitomized by exotic birds and their intricately patterned and colored feathers.
Along with Adelaide’s art collection found in the boutique hotel, artwork created by the best young Savannah artists also decorate the hotel’s walls and truly brings the perfect “local” element to the hotel.
For the guest room artwork, the habits of individual collectors helped to establish Adelaide’s collecting patterns and develop thematic concepts. As the only living member of the Harcourt family, Adelaide treasures keepsakes such as family letters, performance programs, and travel souvenirs. The guest rooms provide an intimate glimpse into Adelaide’s history.
Domaine Des Etangs, Massignac, France
Launched on 24 May 2019, and running until 15 December 2019, Domaine de Etangs is hosting an exclusive new art exhibition in their La Laiterie: La Lumière des Mondes (The Light of the World). Hervé Mikaeloff, advisor and curator for Louis Vuitton and Ingrid Pux curated the exhibition alongside the owner of the Domaine Garance Primat, celebrating “the connection between nature and people and how light helps to reveal it”.
Through a varied selection of 30 pieces by 25 international artists from across the creative spectrum, La Lumière des Mondes is the second group exhibition to be displayed at La Laiterie at Domaine des Etangs.
The exhibition includes sculptures and drawings by the likes of Louise Bourgeois, best known for her large-scale sculptures, and Annette Messager, renowned for her work on the French Pavillion, while German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer’s book takes visitors on a journey through the representation of universal and ancestral knowledge.
Additionally, works by Turner Prize Winner Anish Kapoor, Angel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley and contemporary American artist Sam Falls explore alchemy, humans and the earth and celebrates the plant and mineral world. Visitors of the exhibition will also experience masterpieces by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse alongside the additional artists: Jean-Marie Appriou, Miquel Barceló, Jean Dubuffet, Jeremy Demester, Witjiti George, Romuald Hazoumè, Wang Keping, Bharti Kher, Anselm Kiefer, John Mawurndjul, Kris Martin, Annette Messager, Vik Muniz, Tomas Saraceno, Wangechi Mutu, Giuseppe Penone, Niki de Saint Phalle, Kiki Smith and Pascale Marthine Tayou.
Provenance Hotels, Seattle, Washington & Palm Springs, California
Provenance Hotels are in a gallery frame of mind with art taking center stage at every hotel. These properties are for the creatively inclined, where art photography and music are paired with an exceptional restaurant, playful amenities, and plenty of attitudes, to create a one-of-a-kind hotel experience.
Hotel Max in downtown Seattle’s destination where commissioned works from innovative artists adorn every floor of the hotel – photographs, paintings, collages, and sculptures – reflecting a myriad of voices and attitudes. In the lobby, guests will find Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can I – Vegetable (F&S48). There is an Ed Ruscha there, too – it’s called “Gallo.” And, Ivan Navarro’s “Revolution #2” – a sculpture that uses light and the suggestion of sound in the form of stacked drum heads to evoke the revolutionary spirit of his native Chile.
Villa Royale is home to an original, commissioned collection of more than 50 large-format oil paintings, which were painted on site in the year prior to the hotel’s opening by Juan Antonio Casas, Lou Kregal and Sara Radovanovich. These artists lived and painted at the property for weeks at a time, separately and together, channeling the history and vibe of Palm Springs in their eclectic body of works featuring desert landscapes, classic cars, and icons of popular culture, film, and music.
At Hotel Theodore, the guestrooms feature photography and patent drawings curated in collaboration with the Museum of History & Industry from their collection to highlight Seattle innovators whose ideas revolutionized daily life in Seattle and around the world. On the 15 guestroom floor elevator landings, custom-built museum-quality cases house artifacts from Seattle’s industrial history.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski, Venice, Italy
San Clemente Palace Kempinski, the exclusive luxury resort on its own private island in the Venice lagoon, located eight minutes from the bustling St. Mark’s Square, recently launched two new exhibits in honor of the 58th Venice Biennale with sculptures by English artist Tony Cragg and Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Cragg’s nature-inspired collection has four sculptures on display with three in the main garden (Caught Dreaming, Runner and We) and his work Pair in the hotel lobby.
In a new exhibit curated by Nina Moaddel titled What are you hiding? May you find what you are looking for, Joana Vasconcelos blends the 58th Venice Biennale’s theme, May you live in interesting times, with Portuguese pop culture, reinterpreting contemporary art. One of the three fascinating pieces of Vasconcelos that San Clemente Palace is showcasing includes I’ll be Your Mirror #1 (2019), a giant Venetian carnival mask made of mirrors, which has previously been exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum Bilboa. Viewers can look through the mask from any angle without ever losing sight of their own reflection.
Also featured in the gardens is (Betty Boop PA), Vasconcelos’ most iconic work and part of the artist’s famous shoe series. The high-heeled shoe is crafted out of saucepans and questions the meaning of the word ‘feminine’ in today’s world.
Vasconcelos first became known internationally after her participation in the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005; and in 2012, she became the first woman (and the youngest artist) to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles.
Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Mallorca, Spain
Sant Francesc Hotel Singular is situated in the heart of the historic center of Palma, Mallorca. Not only is it the perfect base for a city-break or romantic weekend away, but the hotel is also home to an exceptional collection of contemporary art, elegantly displayed throughout the hotel. The five-star, boutique hotel is set within a former Mallorcan mansion, built in 1860, which was lovingly restored in 2015 with meticulous attention to detail, respecting and exposing many of its original features, such as beams, stone floors, wooden coffered ceilings, frescoes, and murals.
The Neoclassical gem dates back to 1860 and boasts features characteristic of the magnificent mansions of Mallorca; large entrance doors, arches, a grand staircase, a paved inner courtyard, a well, stables and a watchtower with its dovecote.
The design strikes the perfect balance between old and new whilst showcasing local and international artists throughout the hotel. Following the renovation work, the well was converted into a gym, the tower into a very special guest suite and the stables into the Quadrat Restaurant.
The art journey begins at check-in with a masterpiece displayed at the reception desk – a painting created exclusively for the hotel by Spanish artist Josep Maria Riera I Aragó. Josep’s work can be seen in renowned museums around the world such as the Vincent Van Gogh foundations, the Museum of Modern Art in Luxembourg and many more. As visitors make their way through the hotel and into the lobby they will encounter the work of Spanish painter and sculptor Guillem Nadal.
The Merrion, Dublin, Ireland
More than ninety works come together to form The Merrion Hotel’s private art collection, considered one of the largest and most significant private collections of 19th and 20th-century art in Ireland. The Merrion has on display artworks from major Irish artists, including Martin Mooney, Paul Henry, Nathaniel Hone, Mainie Jellet (the pioneering Irish abstract painter), Sir John Lavery, Lois Le Brocquy, William Leech, Daniel Maclise and Jack B. Yeats (considered Ireland’s greatest painter).
The hotel offers guests its own Art Tour, an in-depth audio guide to twenty paintings in the hotel’s collection, with exclusive, complimentary access to hotel patrons. Guests can also try The Merrion’s afternoon Art Tea, the most lavish afternoon tea in Dublin. Treat yourself to a slice of 19th or 20th-century art served on fine china with miniature sweet creations by the work of J.B. Yeats, William Scott, Louis Le Brocquy and others, inspired by the artworks on display throughout the hotel.
The gracious surroundings of The Merrion’s Drawing Rooms are the perfect place to relax for an afternoon with a selection of delectable treats, accompanied by teas and coffees selected by our in-house tea masters and barista while browsing through a complimentary copy of The Merrion art collection catalog. Art Tea is served at 1:00pm, 1.30pm, 4:00pm and 4.30pm daily.
Celebrating The Merrion’s 21st anniversary, the hotel launched a new biennial Contemporary Art Prize called “The Merrion Plinth”. As dedicated supporters of visual art, The Merrion aims to support living artists by sponsoring this prize that honors outstanding talent.
The Surrey, New York, NY
While located just steps away from New York City’s finest cultural institutions, The Surrey, an iconic luxury hotel located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is a popular art destination in its own right. The Relais & Chateaux property is home to an intimate collection of modern art, providing additional ways for guests and locals to engage and interact with art while on the property.
The impressive collection includes special pieces by established names, including two photographs, You Are My Own and But the Myth of Love, by American conceptual artist, Jenny Holzer. In a hidden niche between the lobby and the bar is an interactive video piece by South African artist, William Kentridge.
London-based artists, Jimmie Karlsson, and Martin Nihlman, best known as Jimmie Martin, were commissioned by Rottet Studio to custom design playful residential furnishings such as an ornate armoire and a customized chaise lounge.
The linchpin of the collection is a tapestry of fashion icon Kate Moss by portrait artist Chuck Close, which takes center stage in the hotel’s lobby. Close has created portraits from countless media, most notably his work has been included tapestry, a classical and difficult medium possessing Close’s signature tension between abstracted units and a legible, unified surface.
Acclaimed interior designer Lauren Rottet felt that this piece was a great focal point for the lobby, almost drawing guests down the hall. While Chuck Clark has done quite a few celebrity pieces similar, Rottet believes this piece is not about Kate Moss herself, but about how Close perceives her and the overall image.
The Westbury, Dublin, Ireland
The Westbury, The Doyle Collection’s flagship hotel, is home to one of Ireland’s most extensive and impressive private art collections and works can be spotted throughout the hotel’s public areas and suites. The hotel has now launched a new Art Trail package, in partnership with the Irish Arts Review to celebrate the collection in the hotel as well as the city of Dublin.
The Irish Arts Review has worked alongside Neal Doherty, the Westbury’s art curator and author of book Statues and Sculptures of Dublin City to create the trail that showcases the very best of Dublin’s art scene.
The trail spans 100 years of art history from John Lavery’s 1912 oil painting Miss Haslam located in TheWestbury’s Gallery to Conor Harrington’s Dead Meat mural from 2012 on Merrion Row. Dublin has more than 250 pieces of public art and the bespoke art trail has been designed to tell the story behind some of the most fascinating sculptures, inspiring street-art and magnificent galleries.
Guests who book The Suite Experience: Art Trail package will enjoy an overnight stay in one of The Westbury’s sumptuous suites surrounded by fine art from The Doyle Collection’s private collection and an indulgent Irish breakfast the following morning. Also included is a private guided tour of the Art Trail with the hotel’s curator, Neal Doherty. During the 90-minute tour, Neal Doherty can tailor the trail to the tastes and interests of the guests and will share the fascinating stories and secrets of Dublin’s quirky artists and their work.