To see top-notch art on your next vacation, you don’t need to wait in line at museums or get advance passes to that new exhibit. Luxury hotels are turning their lobbies, hallways and suites into gallery-like spaces, displaying famous artwork as part of the décor. Forbes Travel Guide rounded up 10 hotels with the most impressive art collections around — read on to choose one and add a bit of culture to your next trip.
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. To tour the art at this Singapore hotel, just queue up the podcast that explains the collection — Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Dale Chihuly, David Hockney and Henry Moore are just some of the artists on display. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore houses more than 4,000 pieces of contemporary art, valued at about $4 million. The hotel’s Stella room houses a three-dimensional Moby Dick mural by Frank Stella that guests can use as a backdrop for weddings or events.
2. The Dolder Grand. This Zurich hotel’s artwork consists of more than 100 pieces from the owner’s private collection. You’ll recognize works by Salvador Dali, Camille Pissarro, Henri Martin and Damien Hirst hanging on the walls of the spa, hallways, the restaurant and lobby. The 1899-era building also houses special suites inspired by artists, such as the Carezza suite. It’s fashioned after the work of Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, complete with a curving terrace that runs around the entire suite offering views of the Alps.
3. 21C Museum Hotel. Splashy, vibrant art is displayed throughout this Louisville, Ky. hotel. 21C has its own in-house galleries that feature rotating exhibits, including photographs and installations from emerging and established artists. One of the hotel’s current exhibitions is Aftermath: Witnessing War, Countenancing Compassion, which features international artists such as Steve Mumford, Kara Walker and Miguel Angel Rojas. There’s more art to enjoy at other locations, too — the chain also holds properties in Cincinnati and Bentonville, Ark.
4. ARIA Resort & Casino. As part of Las Vegas’ CityCenter development, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star ARIA hosts plenty of bold works of public art — Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure sits outside the lobby, while an LED installation by Jenny Holzer flashes adages (think “overeating should be criminal”) in the valet area outside the nightclub. Next door in Crystals, CityCenter’s upscale shopping center, a gallery space currently displays Dale Chiluly’s glass works.
5. The Jefferson, Washington, D.C. Located just a short stroll from the White House, The Jefferson’s art collection leans patriotic. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel displays busts of Founding Fathers by Jean-Antoine Houdon, along with portraits and oil paintings depicting events in American history. Check out the 18th-century political cartoons in the lounge and the McKenney Hall American Indian engravings in the hotel’s cabinet meeting rooms.
6. Bellagio. You’re sure to notice the lobby’s jaw-dropping Fiori di Como blown-glass chandelier by artist Dale Chihuly, but that’s just the beginning of Bellagio’s art collection. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Las Vegas hotel has its own gallery, currently displaying 20 paintings by Claude Monet borrowed from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. If you prefer to enjoy a tasting menu with your fine art, visit the hotel’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Picasso restaurant where the dining room is adorned with the painter’s original works.
7. Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. Renovations to the 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca and 16th-century convent that make up the hotel unveiled original frescos that have been restored. Make sure to see the reliefs depicting mythological stories in the lobby — they were painted by Bertoldo di Giovanni (one of Michelangelo’s instructors) in 1555. Frescos and stuccos decorate the suites, which offer modern amenities (flat-screen TVs and outdoor whirlpools) alongside the historic trappings. Don’t miss a walk through the hotel’s 11-acre garden, punctuated by Renaissance-era sculptures.
8. The Joule. This downtown Dallas hotel displays modern art throughout — Andy Warhol’s Electric Chairs hangs over the espresso bar, Richard Phillips’ The Eye Flower oil painting hangs in the lobby and David Levinthal’s Polaroids of Barbie dolls hang in 10th floor hallway leading to the pool. The Adam Tihany-designed Joule also features art created close to home — works from Dallas artists are displayed in the guest rooms and lounge.
9. The St. Regis San Francisco. Sitting next door to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel starts its own art exhibit in the lobby with large scale paintings — the contrasting Love and War, both by Andrew Morrow — and a bronze sculpture by San Francisco artist Stephen De Staebler. A ceramic rose petal installation by Pascale Girardin provides a popular setting for weddings, and metal sculptures by Hans Schule sit in the public spaces.
10. XV Beacon. The art at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel isn’t just saved for the public spaces — the guest rooms are outfitted with one-of-a-kind works from artists including Martha Lloyd, Joe Greene and Ben Freeman. The 1903 Beaux Arts building’s lobby holds the hotel’s Green Dot painting by Jules Olitski. For something older, head to the wine cellar in XV Beacon’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant, Mooo, where you’ll find mosaics that date back to the fourth and fifth century.
Photos Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC, Dolder Grand, 21c Museum Hotels, MGM Resorts International, The Jefferson, Four Seasons, The Joule Dallas, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and XV Beacon