The famous French writer Jean-Paul Sartre used to say, “an empty bag is the heaviest baggage.” This is how travel should be intended, as a unique experience that allows your luggage to be full of beautiful memories when you go home, rather than decoration that is destined to gather dust on a shelf. When you travel, sooner or later, you will stay at a hotel. So many hours spent online looking for the best one, a million tabs open, and in the end, the one chosen by the majority of the group is the winner. Having a comfortable, beautiful hotel is increasingly important for travelers, and if the place happens to have an art collection that can rival the ones of the best museums in town, then bingo! Imagine bad weather, the kind of day when it never stops raining: no problem, you can have a look at the art inside your hotel. Of course, we are talking about 5-star hotels here, and their incredible standard. From Rome, to Oslo, through the Caribbean, here are the places to go to spend some time surrounded by art.
Walled Off Hotel, Palestine
We might say that this hotel, entirely designed by the great British artist Banksy, is a real political message. Located on the border between Palestine and Israel, you will find one of the world’s most challenging views, on the Gaza wall, and a lot of his artwork there. If you book one specific room, “Banksy’s room”, you will sleep beside one of his most controversial artworks, showing a Palestinian and an Israeli engaging in a pillow fight.
The Thief, Oslo, Norway
On top of a breathtaking view, a futuristic spa and thrilling suites, this design hotel also hosts great artwork. Since it is located right next to the Astrup Fearnley contemporary art museum, the hotel had the chance to borrow some of the museum’s art, to be shown in some of the hotel’s most important areas. All the rooms host a valuable piece, too.
Villa Amistà – Byblos Art Hotel, Verona, Italy
This hotel is housed within a beautiful Venetian 16th century villa. Byblos Hotel’s art collection is very rich. To mention just a few, they have 17th century frescoes, shown alongside modern design pieces, as well as work by Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rebecca Beecroft and Marina Abramovich. The corridors are pastel-colored, as are the most important rooms of the hotel. An all-Italian gem, most definitely.
The Dolder Grand, Zurich, Switzerland
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to one of those places that looks like the stuff of dreams. It has a marvelous view on the Swiss Alps and on Zurich lake, but the interiors of the hotel are the really wonderful part. It owns some major contemporary artwork by Mirò, Tinguely, Botero, Pomodoro, Murakami and Andy Warhol, as well as installations by Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid. It left us completely speechless.
The Eden Rock Art Gallery, St. Barts
Located in a wonderful strategic location, just a few meters away from the azure waters of the Caribbean, this residence hosts some exceptional exhibitions. Over the next few months, you will be able to see “Salvador Dalí – Sculpture Collection” and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, while over the past few years, they hosted work by Terry Richardson, and showcased a private collection by Yves Saint Laurent.
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Rome, Italy
The inhabitants of the Eternal City are proud of it, and anyone who has been here will have a hard time forgetting it. This hotel dominates Rome from the top, and its art collection is invaluably precious. Thanks to the owners, true fine art lovers and connoisseurs, you will be able to admire astounding artwork from pretty much any time in history, each more beautiful than the last. A few examples? A painting by Tiepolo in the lobby, and Andy Warhol’s famous dollar sequence. Trust us, you will see so much beauty it will make you dizzy.
Hotel Continental, Oslo, Norway
This stunning hostel hosts a bar that not only prepares delicious cocktails, it also owns one of the most extensive private collections of artwork by one of the most controversial Norwegian artists, Edvard Munch. We are so amazed we might SCREAM 😉