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Art Hotels

by Ami Kealoha
on 01 December 2006

One-upping the generic prints that often hang inoffensively in hotel rooms and lobbies, more and more hotels add work by big name contemporary artists to their lists of amenities. These three destinations feature art by less flashy names, which makes them a good place to discover new artists and the presentation—graffiti-style murals that cover the walls of a room and doors with photographic overlays—makes for an experience that's more immersive than an average hotel, or museum for that matter.

Hotel Max
At the Hotel Max in downtown Seattle you'll find all the modern amenities such as flat screen televisions, wifi and luxurious toiletries. But from the moment you are handed your room key card featuring the reproduction of a striking work of contemporary art, you'll start to notice the differences.

Remembering your room has never been easier because each door is emblazoned with a photograph that fits with the theme of the floor. (Pictured above right) On the rock and roll floor, a photo of a local grunge artist might canvas your door or on the sculpture floor your door features the photo of a marble figure. Photographers include John Armstrong, Roniq Baranten and Charles Peterson.

Inside each room are out-of-the-ordinary amenities such as a pillow menu, a spirituality menu offering various religious texts and a sushi menu. All rooms showcase the art of local Pacific Northwest artists with original paintings. The hotel has 350 works of original art in both public spaces and rooms, by over 30 local artists. Artists on view include Junko Yamamoto, Jay Backstrand and Pam Baker and are also featured in a book put out by the hotel called Maximalism: Art at the Hotel Max Double occupancy starts at $239.

by Amy Sherman


Hotel des Arts
The Hotel des Arts in San Francisco has taken all those soulless hotel traits and turned them on their head. In this hotel it’s not about the executive suite, the room service or the enormous en suite bathrooms, it’s about the art, like Copenhagen's Hotel Fox, painted directly on the walls.

Situated bang in the center of town, a stone’s throw away from the entrance to China Town, the Hotel des Arts is all about being in the city. So there are no classic black and white prints, we’re talking psychedelic, multicoloured, vibrant and energetic mural art splashed across the walls of each room. Local and international artists were each given one room to express themselves and the results range from edgy graffiti styles through darkly mystic to downright funky and abstract. And the work continues gradually, so far about 35 of the 50 hotel rooms have been painted. The fact that the low prices allow for almost any kind of traveller to stay there is in keeping with the idea that this is about promoting young experimental artists who are connected youth and street culture. You don’t want to just spend the night here you want to hang out here and go and knock on everyone’s doors to see what their rooms look like! If you are a San Francisco local then you should pass by their Women’s Art Festival on Thursday 7 December 2006, from 5:30-10pm that aids La Casa de Las Madres, San Francisco's oldest and largest organization dedicated to providing services to victims of domestic violence.

by Leonora Oppenheim


The Henry Jones Art Hotel
The Henry Jones Art Hotel, Australia's first and only dedicated art hotel, is located on Tasmania's Hobart waterfront. Henry Jones, the Hotel's namesake, was an entrepreneur from humble beginnings whose jam business became largest private company in the world during the late 1800s.

A row of historic warehouses which housed the jam factory have been transformed by award-winning architects Morris Nunn and Associates into a spectacular first class hotel complete with suites, foyers, bars, restaurants and an atrium. The Henry Jones Art Hotel features over 250 original artworks by both established and emerging Tasmanian Artists. The works exhibited are available for sale at the Hotel and can also be viewed and purchased directly from the Henry Jones Gallery Online Catalogue. The Hotel embraces the legacy of trade between the Australia and Asia in its decor in the Peking, Calcutta and Oriental Suites, and the original character of the warehouses, such as the exposed brick and natural stone of the Art Installation Suite which overlooks the beautiful atrium allowing glimpses of former factory. The Deluxe Spa Suites combine original walls with stone and timber trusses with ultra modern bathrooms featuring a Kohler elliptical double spa as well as the standard flat screen TV, DVD player and high speed internet connection. Standard suites with atrium views start at $260AU with harbor view suites starting at $320AU and deluxe suites starting at $330AU.

by Letizia Rossi

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