Art and hospitality are deeply intertwined when it comes to America. Every other luxury hotel is decorated with evocative art pieces that are often painstakingly curated to ensure no duplication of themes takes place. Hotels also keep updating their art and art galleries. Few have opened their doors to the public—with some organising annual international art exhibitions as well—hence blurring the lines between a museum and a hotel. Here are some of the most beautiful art hotels in North America. By Shalini Passi
1. Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans, USA
With graceful wrought-iron balconies and distinct music prevailing in the air, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that New Orleans is a work of art in itself. To have the Windsor Court Hotel adorning classic English elegance along with 17th to 20th-century paintings, sculptures, tapestries and furnishings is an art lover’s dream come true. Located in one of the most popular districts of the region, the collection at these hotels includes originals by Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds and Jacob Huysman. A guided art tour is available on its official website as well.
2. Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, USA
The mile-long museum walkway here showcases a curation of more than 1,800 artworks, each reflecting the cultures of Asia and Oceania. An aptly named Buddha Point along the way—where a marble statue of the spiritual teacher sits—will take you to a state of complete zen. In the hotel itself, artists such as John Zerunge Young, Hiroshi Tagami, and Michael Powell find a space. Creator of the life-size bronze statue, Iolani Luahine, the legendary hula dancer, by Kim Duffett is exhibited here as well.
3. The Phoenician, Arizona, USA
French tapestries from the 17th and 18th century as well as sculptures by National Medal of Arts award winner, Allan Houser make up for the diverse art collection at The Phoenician. Cavallo by Ferruccio Ferrazzi—originally believed to be on display at a Cathedral in Florence—is another notable painting here. This Arizonian property also offers a complimentary, self-guided audio tour during which guests, local residents, and other visitors can gaze at around 12 items from collections in the main lobby.
4. Hotel Arts, Alberta, Canada
Displaying a mix of paintings and sculptures by artists like Tim Okamura, Richard Halliday and Bruce Pashak, Hotel Arts celebrates contemporary arts. As per Hotel Arts’ Director of Business Development, Fraser Abbott, the hotel’s intention is to create a different character and feel, and their art collection facilities this. Thought-provoking art finds a home here. For those who wish to learn more, the front desk at the property has a booklet on display that elaborates on all the artworks present.
5. The Heathman Hotel, Oregon, USA
A span of 30 years went into the making of the art collection at The Heathman Hotel. Today, guests can see more than 250 original paintings, pictures, and paper-based arts spread throughout the premises. A walk up the grand staircase here takes guests to two original Italian landscapes by Baroque artist, Claude Lorraine. The ever-growing collection, however, is just the tip of the iceberg as the collection has been expanding regularly for decades now.
6. The Alexander, Indianapolis, USA
The first-ever hotel in partnership with an art museum, namely Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Alexander has more than 40 original artworks on display. Some of the more favourite pieces includes one made entirely using hair combs—a depiction of Hoosier Madam CJ Walker whose beauty business turned her into the first self-made female millionaire. Another piece featuring birds made using old vinyl records is another loved artwork too.
7. The Vendue, Charleston’s Art Hotel (Historic District), South Carolina, USA
The region’s only art-dedicated hotel, The Vendue offers a relaxed, immersive and playfulness to its guests. Open to public viewing, the hotel’s gallery features two to three exhibits every year under art director Emily Rigsby’s supervision. Rigsby also conducts art tours of the 300-plus permanent art collections in the hotel. Tours aside, The Vendue organises three international exhibitions annually and an artist-in-residence programme.
Shalini Passi, the founder of Shalini Passi Art Foundation and MASH, will be curating one such list from all across the world. Stay tuned as the artist, art and design collector, philanthropist, and fashion patron takes you on a cultural escapade every week.
Feature Image Credits: Saiesha Gupta for Shalini Passi