An effective antidote to hotel fatigue, staying in an art hotel is a miniature journey in itself. Promoting deep engagement between guest and environment, the art hotel can reignite the spirit of discovery, inspire escapism and be culturally edifying all at the same time. Offering just as much comfort as creativity, these 10 Asian art hotels pay homage to a variety of artists and styles, many literally providing a canvas for local contemporary talent.
1. Guilin HOMA Chateau
Karst mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the angular rooftop of HOMA, surrounded by lakes, flower beds and sculptures. The hotel and art park – dubbed ‘Yuzi (Fool’s) Paradise’ by its founder Rhy Chang Tsao – provides guests plenty of visual stimulation, pitting stunning natural scenery against the artificial shapes of contemporary sculpture. Rooms come in a variety of styles, filled with objets d’art and all modern amenities. Art courses are offered including, from Chinese calligraphy to pottery.
2. Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, Makati
As the name suggests, this recently-opened hotel is Picasso-themed, with rooms named – and styled – after various stages of Picasso’s life (Madrid, Barcelona, Montparnasse etc). Rooms are designed with a ‘frame’ motif a frame to highlight cetain room features, while floor-to-ceiling windows frame Makati city views. The property also features found objects, murals, pictures and an in-house gallery that hosts a rotating schedule of contemporary exhibitions by Filipino artists.
3. Palais de Chine, Taipei
Equipped for business, the neo-classic Palais de Chine melds artistic form with function. Modern and antique sculptures and paintings decorate the common areas, while rooms have a 1930s nouveau flavor, featuring French imported furniture and artworks. The hotel has various spaces for meetings, weddings and events, and in-room includes an ‘e-butler’ service, mood lighting, luxe marble bathrooms and the latest AV equipment to answer guests’ practical needs.
4. Grace Beijing
Formerly Yi House, the Grace Beijing retains all its predecessor’s arty affiliations, positioned as it is in Beijing’s 798 Art District. Artist studios provide glimpses of courtyard graffiti, while larger rooms feature bespoke photography, drawings and paintings. For more art, guests are within striking distance of neighboring galleries and museums.
5. JIA Boutique Hotel, Hong Kong
Outfitted by the godfather of design hotels, Philippe Starck, JIA is your quintessential hip inner city hotel. Bare in places, elaborate in others, the property’s 55 rooms are decorated in a mix of modern and traditional, local and international. Compact in-room spaces, dissected by white curtains, are filled with Starck furniture and mod-cons.
6. The New Majestic, Singapore
This converted shophouse in Singapore’s Chinatown offers 30 boutique rooms, each featuring art installations by a different local artist. Ultra modern spaces come in a variety of styles and lay-outs, some rooms with gardens, some with loft beds and some with twin tubs. In-room facilities are top of the line: Bose stereos, Ploh linen, Kiehl’s toiletries and Nespresso coffee machine. The ‘Space Project’ brings a collection of contemporary local artwork into the lobby.
7. Mystic Place, Bangkok
Every room in this kitsch B&B near Bangkok’s Chatuchak market has a different theme. Ranging in square footage, mood and featured medium, there are 36 wildly different rooms to choose from – a forest, a Chinese tea room, a fashion house’s fitting room. One room, equipped with paintbrushes, invites guests to add their own artistic contribution to the wall, while others inspire with murals, embroidery, jewelry, photography – even empty rice bags. Some rooms offer private gardens or a petite rooftop terrace.
8. Langham Place, Mongkok
Billing itself as the ‘new home’ for Chinese contemporary art, Langham Place focuses on local artists, with more than 60 per cent of its collection by Hong Kong talent. From sculpture (two huge ‘red guards’ greet guests in the lobby) to oil paintings, the art here is designed to provoke as well as decorate.
9. Zobon Art Hotel, Zhuhai
This accolade-winning green hotel on Middle Lover’s Road offers artwork in every guest room, plus a writing/drawing desk facing picture windows with ocean views to inspire creativity in traveling artists. Works of art also feature throughout common spaces. It’s close to the ferry port, and convenient for wannabe Bohemians on their way to/from Hong Kong or Macau.
Contemporary local and international art is on display in this Da’an hotel. Apart from being more than competently wired for business travelers, guests can have their left brain massaged as well, with paintings and sculptures throughout the lobby and restaurants. A second Eclat hotel is scheduled to open in Beijing’s Parkview Green multi-venue complex.