posits writer Olivia Laing. It’s no wonder that we seek art in all kinds of moods—joyous, sad, lonely, rebellious, or uncertain. To truly experience the transformative powers of art, we recommend sleeping, eating, and relaxing amidst some world-class works. Here are eight hotels where creative expression comes in many forms.
The Bold Type
Following in the footsteps of Patras’ cultural heritage—the historic Apollo Theater was built in 1872 here and the Roman Conservatory is still used today for musical and theatrical events—The Bold Type Hotel, as its name suggests, is making a strong foray into becoming a new creative hub in this ancient Greek city. To that end, the hotel has invited a new generation of Greek artists to work and experiment within its spaces, including street artist Dimitris Ntokos, whose work is inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphics; Anastasia Papaleonida, whose experimentation with dots and lines can be found on the hotel’s exterior; and Marilia Kolibiri, who uses household items to question the relationship between man and object.
Le Collatéral in Arles in the South of France is much more than a hotel with four rooms set in the meditative silence of a transformed cathedral. It is a work of art that should be experienced. While the pieces scattered over the public and private rooms come from all over, many local artists and galleries are showcased in Le Collatéral, such as Reeve Schumacher’s textile sculpture made of stranded matters found on the Rhone riverbank or Delphine Denereaz’s tapestry made of recycled materials that recall an antique theater. Owner Philippe Schiepan, whose light installations give the hotel spaces a cinematic quality, recently collaborated with Louis Vuitton and French photographer and filmmaker Sarah Moon to present a new Cities on Earth.
Teaming up with Tappan Collective, a California-based company reinventing the approach to discovering and collecting global contemporary art, Proper Hotel & Residencies recently hosted two artists-in-residency programs at their properties. Los Angeles-based artist Marleigh Culver was moved by the open spaces, amazing lighting, and lovely objects that surrounded her at Hotel June. The resulting Matisse-inspired gestural floral paintings celebrate the joyousness of this West L.A. hotspot. At Austin Proper Hotel, photographer Danny Lane explored the Texas environment and captured architectural details within the hotel through color-driven, cinematic images shot on 35mm film.
Set in the heart of El Paso, just a short distance from the U.S./Mexico border, Stanton House is an art-rich design gem with a collection of original prints, paintings, and sculptures that include works from both accomplished and up-and-coming Mexican, European, and local artists. Highlights here include Damien Hirst’s Butterfly collection, muralist El Mac’s Aerosol, and Paola Rascón’s Cholo series questioning the cholo community identity. Rascón’s larger oil on canvas in the lobby utilizes its impressive size, dramatic lighting, and the theatrical gesturing of the Baroque portrait style to draw your attention. As hotel Original Miguel Fernandez notes,
No strangers to the draw of upcycling—the hotel’s tissue boxes utilize residual leather from an apparel factory in the neighborhood, for example—Trunk Hotel provides a place where earth-friendly efforts are not forced or obligatory but rather a hint to incorporate them into your lifestyle through art and experiences. Recently the property’s lounge was the stage for an installation of discarded beach sandals that were upcycled by eight artists, including Ayaka Fukano, Mayumi Yamase, and Saka Matsushita for Think (OCEAN), addressing the issue of ocean pollution. The exhibition also included a one-day workshop to customize flip-flops. Proceeds from the sale were used for beach cleanup and environmental education activities through Surfrider Foundation Japan, an association that works to protect the coastal environment in Japan.
Okcs Retreat Setouchi Aonagi
Minimalism abounds at Okcs Retreat Setouchi Aonagi, both in the architecture by legendary architect Tadao Ando and in the works on display at the hotel. The dining room at this converted art museum looks out at a stunning waterfall and fountain that Ando designed as a work of art in its own right, and complements a piece by the leading post-war American minimalist abstract painter Frank Stella. Guests also discover a large-scale work by calligrapher/visual artist Rieko Kawabe, whose practice is rooted in Japanese aesthetic traditions. Then there’s Yutaka Ono, whose evocative landscape pieces have a soothing meditative quality.
With a 2,500 square-meter exhibition space that changes shows every four months, Kazerne celebrates the impact of art and design by immersing guests in an environment where they eat, drink, meet, and sleep surrounded by recent works of world-class talent. In collaboration with Van Abbemuseum, the hotel showcased New Melancholy by world renowned trends forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort. The exhibition combines artworks from the museum with design objects that Edelkoort has collected during her career. Together, they reflect on what might be called the current emotional state of the world.
A place for free spirits, Hotel Arena, in Amsterdam’s idyllic Oosterpark, is a place that’s always been open to initiatives with good ideas that contribute to the culture of the city. For its second edition of Core, on display at the hotel until October 20, photographers Anna Witkowska, Brett Meredith, Elisabeth Schelvis, and Kaj Venhuizen reunited to explore the concept of emergence. Peppered throughout Arena’s corridors, their visuals interconnect humanity’s relationship with time, space, and nature.