Sometimes when traveling, an average hotel can get a little insipid. Should you feel slightly adventures then you should definitely plan a stay in an ‘art hotel’, a property that is designed to inspire and get your creative juices flowing. These hotels don’t just hang paintings on the walls, they make guests feel as if they’re staying in a real life work of art. Every room is a grand work of art where you should expect the unexpected
1. 21C Museum Hotel Louisville, Kentucky
The 21C Museum Hotel holds a creative experience in every room and space, including the bathrooms and sidewalk outside. While the rooms themselves hold unique pieces of art, what’s really special about this property is the fact that it houses North America ‘s first museum dedicated only to collecting and showcasing 21st century contemporary art. On the first floor you will find the actual gallery, while the restaurant and bar also feature a rotation of exhibits. Upon check-in, guests will be given an I-Pod that will give them a guided tour of the hotel’s collection.
2. New Majestic Hotel, Singapore
Singapore is the latest city to unveil a themed hotel, putting the ‘b’ into boutique as it’s never been before. New Majestic Hotel fits the bill, with 30 unique rooms designed by prominent artists and designers. Showcasing a mix of vintage and new furniture, the rooms adhere to different themes from the ‘Hanging Bed Room’ where murals span whole walls through to the incredible Aquarium Room where a glass-encased bathtub sits in the middle of the room The new generation design hotel is all about individuality and intimacy and is more of a Hollywood mansion than mega hotel chain.
3. Arte Luise Kunsthotel, Berlin
The building is actually a piece of art, a residential palais from 1825, which like any other old properties in the former GDR had fallen into disrepair. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, artists camped out in a neoclassical building in the Mitte district of East Berlin until it evolved into a hotel in 1999.
4. Daddy Long Legs Hotel, Cape Town
The designers of Daddy Long Legs had independent, creative backpackers in mind when building the property. Staying here is like being inside an interactive art exhibition, with unique rooms decorated by artists, poets, photographers, musicians, and designers who had free range to do whatever they pleased. The result is a mix of funny, ironic, and adventurous themed hotel rooms. This hotel encourages guests to interact with the decor. The Do Not Disturb room, for instance, has six microphones-including one in the shower-so you can amplify your singing. The neighbors won’t mind: The hotel is above a music store.
5. Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
Each room of this art-centric hotel was designed by a local Toronto artist, with themes as far ranging as an 80s teen pinup fantasy to your great-grany’s parlor. With regular exhibits in the halls of this Victorian-era building, everything feels one of a kind. Each year, for its annual Come Up To My Room event, the Gladstone Hotel temporarily transforms itself into a kind of art-world funhouse. Many parts of the building, but especially the rooms on the second floor, get sublimely strange makeovers by different designers, and visitors are free to wander through. It’s like exploring a series of walk-in dioramas—some lovely, others totally demented.
6. Hotel Fox, Copenhagen
This boutique art hotel launched in 2005 as part of Volkswagen’s campaign for the car of the same name. Twenty-one designers and artists, including London-based collective Container Plus and Danish graphics agency e-types, got together to create 61 rooms in varying degrees of kitsch, camp and cool. Next year Fox is undergoing a makeover but it still offers a quirky and affordable option in the heart of the city. The rooms come in four sizes and (obviously) are all individually designed. Some of our favorites are the blue-and-yellow-checked masterpiece by Miami designers Friendswithyou; the playful expanse of aqua walls crafted by France’s Antoine et Manuel; the stark black-and-white words and statistics from E-Types of Denmark; and France’s Genevieve Gauckler’s graphic space that literally commands guests to “SLEEP!”
7. Au Vieux Panier ,Marseille
Au Vieux Panier itself was a Corsican grocery shop turned explosive art experience. It opened in 2010 and has only five rooms, but each is created by a different artist, and every year they are replaced by new installations from another swathe of designers.
8. Semiramis Hotel, Athens
Colorful does not begin to describe Hotel Semiaramis. Karim Rashid’s bold design paired with pop-art inspired works by the likes of Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, and Michael Bevilacqua, create a kaleidoscope of wonderment and colors. I can imagine Willie Wonka, Jimi Hendrix or Lady Gaga blending in seamlessly here.
9. Le Bellechasse Hotel, Paris
Christian Lacroix has been so busy designing stunning boutique hotels, it’s a wonder that he has had any time for fashion. Inspired by the 19th-century artistic and cultural influences of Paris’ left bank the dreamy Le Bellechasse with 34 rooms grouped into three categories: Discovery, Original and Privilege. Each category denotes its own particular type of artistic flair, together creating what could be considered equal parts museum-quality exhibits and luxurious digs. Ideally situated in the heart of the left bank, between the VIIth aristocratic and the VIth artistic districts, this elegant private hotel is now a real jewel case of “haute couture” where travellers and aesthetes will be able to meet.
10. Byblos Art Hotel, Italy
From the outside, the Byblos Art Hotel could be virtually any elegant manor in the Italian countryside – and indeed, architecturally, the same could be said about the interior. Design junkies, quite obviously, are in heaven here, given the chance to spend time living with what would ordinarily be museum pieces. But for some, the objects may play second fiddle to the setting — not some minimal urban loft space, but a fifteenth-century villa outside Verona, a place where sedate gardens and fountains give way to Baroque interiors, where Venetian chandeliers clash with mid-century Scandinavian furniture and life-size color photo prints.