10 Hotels With Museum-Worthy Art Collections
Hotels around the world are upping their art game, whether that means priceless antiques, the hottest contemporary artists or professional audio-guided tours.
Photo By: Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Photo By: The Silo Hotel
Photo By: The Dolder Grand
Photo By: Hilton Waikoloa Village
Photo By: The Opposite House
Photo By: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Photo By: Country Club Lima Hotel
Photo By: Fairmont Hamilton Princess Beach Club
Photo By: 21c Museum Hotels
Photo By: The Merrion Hotel
Faena Hotel Miami Beach
The Faena District, a mixed-use cultural district from Argentinian developer Alan Faena, has helped to reinvent Miami’s Mid-Beach section from an overlooked part of town to a major hot spot. And the lavish Faena Hotel Miami Beach plays a prominent role in the neighborhood art scene. The grand lobby sets the tone, featuring eight floor-to-ceiling murals painted by Argentinian artist Juan Gatti. It’s said that events from Faena’s life inspired the whimsical scenes. Another showstopper is Damien Hirst’s "Gone but not Forgotten" in the garden area (pictured), displaying the skeletal remains of a wooly mammoth that Hirst plated in 24-karat gold and entombed in a glass box, through which you can see the turquoise ocean just beyond. There’s another Damien Hirst, "Golden Myth," inside the Pao by Paul Qui restaurant. Both pieces are on indefinite loan. Though not at the hotel, just across the street in front of Faena House is Jeff Koons’ "Coloring Book."
The Silo Hotel, South Africa
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town made international headlines when it opened in September 2017, in part for being Africa’s first major museum in more than 100 years. But it’s equally newsworthy for containing the world’s largest collection of contemporary African art. The new five-star The Silo Hotel is just above the museum — both of which are located in a converted grain silo — and contains its own impressive assortment of artwork from contemporary South African artists, both emerging and established. Cyrus Kabiru, Mohau Modisakeng and Nandipha Mntambo are among the names you’ll find throughout the 28 rooms on the property. The Silo Hotel also houses a private gallery in the basement, fittingly called The Vault, where it will exhibit both new and well-known African artists twice a year. It also benefits the hotel since The Silo will build up its collection by keeping one piece from each exhibit.
The Dolder Grand, Switzerland
The Dolder Grand has cemented its reputation for housing world-class art thanks to more than 100 pieces by art-world heavyweights. Andy Warhol’s "Big Retrospective Painting" (pictured) dominates the lobby, although you’ll have to search for other masterpieces. Just ask the front desk for an art iPad, which will direct you to 124 pieces by 90 artists. For example, Salvador Dali’s "Femmes métamorphosées — Les sept arts" graces The Restaurant’s entrance, while Fernando Botero’s "Woman with Fruit" hangs out on the spa terrace. The guide will also lead you to art by Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring.
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Hilton Waikoloa Village’s 62-acre property boasts about 5,000 works of art, technically making it the largest art museum on the Big Island. Of note are the 1,800 pieces from Oceanic, Asian and Western cultures along the mile-long Museum Walkway, which alone are worth about $15 million. Guests can take a self-guided tour of collection highlights, among them ceremonial headdresses from the Vanuatu Islands, a 19th-century bronze sculpture of Vishnu (a Hindu deity), Han dynasty pottery and contemporary Hawaiian paintings. Elsewhere, is a 10-foot-tall Buddha sculpture from the Tang dynasty, found at the hotel’s northern end — or just ask for directions to Buddha Point.
The Opposite House, China
The five-star Opposite House in Beijing is notable for containing two Li Xiaofeng sculptures that were made with blue-and-white porcelain dating back to the Qing and Ming dynasties. But The Opposite House also draws attention for its rotating art installations that are spearheaded by the Red Gate Gallery, a highly-regarded contemporary art gallery in Beijing. The current exhibition, through April 19, involves a King Kong-sized gibbon monkey suspended from the hotel’s exterior, created by Australian artist Lisa Roet. Called "Skywalker," the installation is part of a month-long environmental program in connection with the grassroots Earth Hour movement.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The art featured at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is as over-the-top as the hotel (and Vegas) itself. The first thing that guests notice is the large-scale digital art installation in the lobby, involving eight columns that soar 15-feet high and reflect everything from bold abstract patterns to modern floral designs. The digital installations, which are a partnership with the Art Production Fund, continue throughout, from the casino to the rooms. Guests will also find six Art-o-mats® on the premises, which are converted cigarette vending machines that sell original art instead of cigarettes. Then there’s the giant installation in Starbucks from French artist Georges Rousse. The colorful sphere appears out of alignment unless it’s viewed from a specific angle. The Cosmopolitan also displays Roy Lichtenstein’s "Red Apple," John Chamberlain’s "Seawater #27," plus hundreds more contemporary art pieces by a plethora of artists, both known and less so. Street art also prevails, with Shepard Fairey among the contributors.
Country Club Lima Hotel, Peru
The high-end Country Club Lima Hotel houses an impressive number of pieces from colonial Peru — more than 300 in fact, and all on permanent loan from the Pedro de Osma Museum in Lima. The collection, once belonging to Pedro de Osma Gildemeister, spans the 16th through 19th centuries and encompasses Spanish and Inca furniture and paintings. The works are spread throughout the property, from the 83 rooms to the lobby. On top of that, the Country Club Lima will host exhibitions in May and July 2018 in conjunction with the Pedro de Osma Museum. The events will focus on Peruvian pieces inspired by colonial Peru.
Fairmont Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Bermuda
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess & Beach Club displays more than 60 museum-worthy pieces throughout the property, making you think you stumbled into a gallery. The hotel introduced the public art program as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2016 and runs guided tours every Saturday at 10 a.m. and by appointment. You don’t need a tour to view the collection, however. Banksy ("Girl with Balloon"), Andy Warhol ("Queen Elizabeth II, Reigning Queens"), Jeff Koons ("Monkey Blue") and Damien Hirst ("Cineole"), decorate the lobby, while Ai Weiwei’s "Divina Proportione" sculpture is just outside the lobby. There’s also a Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture in the courtyard, and Tom Sachs’ famous "Miffy" piece outside of Marcus’ restaurant. Around every turn you’ll also find works by KAWS (pictured), Roy Lichtenstein, Takashi Murakami, Jasper Johns, Mr. Brainwash, Nelson Mandela and many others.
21c Museum Hotels, Nationwide
As the name implies, the 21c Museum Hotel chain distinguishes itself for being both a boutique hotel and contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibits. Different from most hotels, the art is free to the public and accessible 24/7. Collections vary based on the hotel, with locations in Bentonville, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Durham, North Carolina Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville and Oklahoma City. Commonalities include exhibitions featuring a mix of established and emerging artists including Chuck Close, Jose Toirac and Kehinde Wiley, who recently rocketed to the next level for his official portrait of former president Barack Obama that now hangs in Washington D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery. Current and upcoming exhibitions encompass "The Future is Female" in Cincinnati, "A Global Gathering" in Lexington and "Pop Stars! Popular Culture and Contemporary Art" in Oklahoma City.
The Merrion Hotel, Dublin
The posh Merrion Hotel is directly across the way from the National Gallery of Ireland, but guests don’t even have to cross the street to view some of the same artists. The hotel houses an extensive collection of distinguished Irish artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, including J.B. Yeats, William Scott and Louis le Brocquy. Since there are more than 90 pieces at the hotel, The Merrion provides an audio guide from Acoustiguide — the same company that created the guides for the Louvre in Paris and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The recently added art tour covers 20 works and is free for hotel guests.