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Plenty of hotels are upping the ante in terms of in-house art collections -- think the Basquiats, Botero and Warhols decorating the walls of New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel -- but how would you like to sleep inside an actual museum? We’re not talking about a Night at the Museum-style slumber party, but a place where the hotel rooms form part of the museum itself.
The concrete, minimalist Tadao Ando-designed Hotel Benesse House, located on the tiny Japanese island of Naoshima, is a combined museum/hotel that is the centerpiece of the Benesse Corporation's art facilities on this fishing community turned 'art island.'
Around twenty years ago, Naoshima, which was facing an aging population, declining birthrate and disappearing industry, caught the attention of the art-loving billionaire chairman of the Benesse Corporation, Soichiro Fukutake. Fukutake’s donations opened art galleries and installations (including the museum/hotel in 1992) that helped to revitalize the island’s economy by turning it into a contemporary art center. Naoshima, along with the surrounding islands of the Japanese Inland Sea, is currently hosting the Setouchi Art Triennal, an international art festival that takes place over three cycles every three years (the current cycle runs from July 20th through September 1st).
Aside from its rooftop offering far-stretching views of the city, one of the most distinctive features of Foster-designed ME London is the giant marble pyramid that houses reception, shooting up from the first floor towards its glass pinnacle inside Radio bar up top. Already a regular backdrop for video projections of star-filled galaxies and floating jellyfish, the hotel is taking things a step further during its street art exhibition ‘The Outside In’, running until August 4. We stopped by for a preview last week.
Five international graffiti writers and street artists (BRK, Christiaan Nagel, Thierry Noir, RUN and Zomby – for those who are well-versed in this particular genre) are displaying their work throughout the hotel’s public spaces, including projection onto the 30-metre high white marble walls. If you’re keen to unleash the inner street artist in you, now is also your chance with a dedicated hotel package.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Openings / Singapore Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel Art / Design Hotels / → All Tags
On our last spin through the Lion City, we took you inside the trendy Wanderlust Hotel (see: the Typewriter Suite). Now, along comes a brand new boutique hotel in the city's Kampong Glam district with a whole new set of goodies to ogle over.
The place is known as the Clover Hotel, and it's located off the Bugis stop on the MRT, just under a mile east of the Wanderlust Hotel—and right around the corner from Arab Street, where tourists like to go eat kebab and buy silk.
Though the lobby is bright and modern-feeling, the decor is all out of a museum: everywhere you look, there are suitcase typewriters, Singer sewing machines, an old gramophone, a rotary telephone, and even a wooden bullock cart loaded with canvas sacks.
This is old-world Singapore done up as a chic boutique hotel, and we loved it.
The next time you find yourself at a Hard Rock Hotel or Casino or Cafe, take a moment to look around and enjoy the TVs and digital signs. Seriously.
That's because Hard Rock has partnered with moving image exhibitor Microcinema International to create mesmerizing digital moving image art that is synchronized with the popular hits playing in the hotels (or cafes) from classic rock jams to today's latest
Bieberpop hit or the latest in EDM. It's kind of similar to the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas that are synchronzied with classical music, except instead of shooting water canons, you see trippy digital art keeping the beat on the TVs and other digital signs.
“As a forerunner in the curation and distribution of moving image arts, Microcinema is the perfect partner for Hard Rock International,” said John Kirkpatrick, head of music and artist relations at Hard Rock International. “Microcinema’s ability to understand our customer base and aesthetic approach produced impressive results and we look forward to continually evolving the relationship between music and visual arts together.”
Here are a few snapshots taken from a Hard Rock Cafe. Just imagine your favorite Rihanna track as you flip through the gallery, or better yet, the new Daft Punk album. #sogood.
All photos courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels
A hallway mural at The Milford New York
The re-designed rooms at The Milford New York (formerly the Milford Plaza) have been finished for almost a year—and their new look is bright, colorful, and very fresh. But one of our favorite parts of the re-design can actually be found in the hallways.
In an attempt to show tourists that there's more to NYC than just the Empire State and Central Park, each floor has been assigned a different neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, with vivid depictions of picturesque spots in places like the West Village, or the Lower East Side.
What's so cool about the images, though, is how life-life they are. Above is a hallway mural depicting Balthazar Bakery, a well-loved spot in Soho, which when we first saw it, we thought we were staring into a time-space vortex that opened a portal from Times Square to Prince Street. It was as if we could walk right in and grab a baguette!
Hotel Art / Hotel Art Galleries / Hotel Artists / James Hotels / Raffles Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Yotels / Andaz Hotels / → All Tags
Remember the old days where hotel art usually consisted of a bland landscape painting that was reproduced a hundred times over and hung in the same spot in every guest room? Thankfully, over the past few years, hotels have been paying close attention to the artworks they hang in their rooms and public spaces--choosing original art instead and even better, works from local artists instead of some mass-produced Van Gogh imitation.
But in the past month or so, we've noticed some hotels that are stepping it up even further when it comes to the art on display. Giant murals, entire galleries, and even live-in artists are among the trends we've begun to see.
For us, it's moreso about the overall vibe and decor of the hotel than it is about temporary art promotions and exhibits, although we do acknowledge that the latter can certainly contribute to the former. The personality of a property is as much of a selling point as, say, the hotel's location or the quality of its food, so it's no surprise hotels are quick to market their artistic aspects. Below, we've provided a roundup of what's happening this spring and summer at a variety of properties.
HotelChatter Reviews / Europe Hotels / Budapest Hotels / Hotel Art / Art Hotels / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
While researching hotels in the Hungarian capital this past January, we came across the usual brands (InterContinental, Four Seasons, Autograph Collection). But amidst all the grand palaces and five-star spas, there was one small boutique hotel we simply couldn't pass over: the Casati Budapest Hotel.
The 25-room hotel is housed in an 18th century building in the center of the city, right near the Opera metro stop, making it perfect for tourists. In fact, the address is so central that, after arriving from the airport via taxi on our first night, we did most of our sightseeing on foot directly from the hotel.
But location and a cool name aren't all this hotel has to offer. You see, the rooms here are divided into four different themes, ranging from Classic to Cool to Natural to Heaven. Naturally, we chose 'Cool.'
When we first uploaded the above photo into our story, we worried that it was upside down*; then we realized it actually didn't matter because disoriented, confused, and slightly dizzy is exactly how you're supposed to feel at Bar Oppenheimer, a new pop-up bar that debuted this week inside Hôtel Americano.
Bar Oppenheimer is located in the basement of the hotel via a narrow cement staircase behind the hostess stand in the lobby. There's no sign, no big door with a velvet rope, not even a hint of the bar's presence anywhere in the hotel.
(However, that may be a good thing because when you eventually find it—as we did, after five minutes spent aimlessly wandering down hallways and opening emergency exit doors—you feel like you've stumbled into a secret room that no one else in the hotel knows about.)
The truth is that lots of people in New York know about this place. It was designed by Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger, who felt a desire to recreate his neighborhood bar in Germany, also called Bar Oppenheimer, in the basement of a Manhattan boutique hotel. Cool, right?
For more photos of the triply black-and-white striped bar, read on!
We've been in some hotels that take their art very seriously and some that prefer to make the design as minimalist as possible. But recently, we came across some cool framed art hanging in the lobby of our hotel using different variations of their room-keys to create a larger, more interesting object d'art. If this isn't reason enough to open your eyes when rushing from the front desk, to the elevators, to your room, we don't know what is.
Upon check-in, the hotel gives you a randomly selected card with very little knowledge that it's part of the larger picture in four different series. Once we saw the other cards, we were immediately envious of the other keys, but didn't have the guts to ask for a cooler one; you're not supposed to keep them, remember! It did give us the idea that it would make for a fun Guess The Hotel entry.
See if you can figure out where we were from the clues below. If you think you know, take a guess in the comments section and we will reveal the hotel's identity next week.
Here are your hints...ready go!
· The hotel is mix of East and West, considering the brand and location.
· It is one of few major international hotels in the city as well as one of the tallest buildings in the city's 'skyline'.
· The city itself is considered one of UNESCO's 'Creative Cities' which fits well with their use of key card art.
· With a perfect proximity to the local Night Bazaar, there is most certainly nothing bizarre about the warm service and iconic smiles you get here.
After a questionable example earlier this week, we feel the need to cleanse our palate with something a little more refined in the hotel art category. Luckily, we came across the perfect example recently at the equally refined Four Seasons Bangkok.
Enter the airy lobby and walk straight ahead to the grand staircase in front of you, behind which you’ll find a stunning mural commissioned especially for the hotel. Hand-painted on Thai silk, it depicts in extraordinary detail the ascent of the Chakri Dynasty to the throne of Thailand.
Occasionally, we come across some questionable hotel art that makes us wonder if the idea is actually to ward off guests rather than lure them in. That's how we felt after spotting this "dangling turd" feature inside a new hotel lobby bar. We stuck around just long enough to take this photo, and luckily managed to get out without one of them dropping on our head.
But rather than just come out and say it, we thought it would be more fun for you to Guess The Hotel!
You know the drill: take a close look at the photo, read our hints (below), and see if anything rings a bell. Then, when you think you've figured out the hotel, jot down your answer in the comments below. (And sorry, no life lines.)
Your hints are as follows..
· This is a brand new hotel, located in a major city, and it only started taking reservations this month.
· Prior to its opening, we had previously examined some quirky design features in the guest rooms.
· Though this hotel is run by a major chain, the feel is more boutique-y.
· The bar (where this photo was taken) shares the lobby floor with a South American-influenced restaurant. One could also go so far as to say this is a place where people unite.
Ever feel like glamping would just be sooo much cooler if your tent was completely see-through? Well, a France-based company called BubbleTree has gone ahead and designed one. It's called a "Bubble", and it's made of clear vinyl that allows plenty of sunshine (or, in other cases, nosy neighbors) to filter through.
To acquaint Chinese customers with the product, RocketNews reports that BubbleTree installed one of their bubbles on a street corner in Chengdu last weekend. And to make things really realistic, there was even a young girl living inside it for two days, going about her business like reading an iPad and reclining on the bed.
Unsurprisingly, the stunt worked: the bubble hotel sparked the interest of hundreds of passersby (and just as many iPhone cameras).
Inside, the girl sprawled out in her fully-furnished, 100% see-through hotel room (bed, table, dresser, armchair, ottoman all included) and showed the world how wonderful it was to be seen by…the world.
Kinda makes you think twice about the expression "killer view", doesn't it?