Some of today’s most exciting hotels function as live-in galleries, exhibiting commissioned and acquired installations and sculptural pieces by major contemporary artists. While their works run the gamut, many evoke a futurist vision of space-age forms, neon deities, and artifacts from the beyond.
At the very tip of the heel of Italy in gorgeous, sun-bleached Puglia, an opulent 150-year-old palazzo, rich with history and cultural resonance, has been reimagined as a sophisticated art house and next-wave accommodation.
It was after dark when we reached Tbilisi, the city a pour of shadow streaming past the windows of the car that carried us from the airport. Down Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main drag, building façades appeared like specters in flashes of streetlight: curving Renaissance Revival fronts, the domed and striped neo-Moorish edifice of the czarist-era Georgian National Opera Theater, rows of plane trees bending to an arch.
On my first morning at Eremito, I woke up with the sunrise and listened to the silence until my ears began to ring. Was my brain rebelling against the quiet? No, I decided: it was the sound of my own listening—a sound I had not heard in a very long time.
The time is far behind us when travelers settled for indistinguishably luxurious chain accommodations. These days, it seems everyone wants to talk about local hubs providing locally sourced products and services.