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10 Hotels Around the World with Museum-Quality Art

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10 Hotels Around the World with Museum-Quality Art
There are plenty of storied hotels in the world, but there aren’t nearly as many hotels that tell a story. The ones that do it best tell their tales through art. The right in-hotel gallery can tell you a centuries-long history of a city, the beliefs and desires of its modern residents, and how we got from one to the other. As one of the main points of access to the surrounding cities for visitors from around the world, hotels are uniquely positioned to disclose the truths of their regions—from thriving local art scenes to a neighborhood penchant for internationally acclaimed masters. These 10 retreats with museum-quality art collections prove you don’t always need to go out to get into the local culture.

Courtesy of Hotel B
By Sarah Purkrabek, AFAR Contributor
Photo by Nhuri Bashir/Hamilton Princess Bermuda
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    Hamilton Princess Bermuda

    Take a stroll through the hallways of the Hamilton Princess Bermuda, and you’ll be greeted by more than just the island’s tropical-themed décor. The Hamilton Princess is decked out in pop and modern art created by some of the genres’ best artists, including Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, and Damien Hurst. From human-height, wooden honeycomb sculptures (Untitled [Divina Proportione], Ai Weiwei) to pencil sketches from Nelson Mandela’s Struggle Series, the Hamilton Princess’s collection is memorable enough to tear you away from the island’s pink-sand beaches.
    Photo by Nhuri Bashir/Hamilton Princess Bermuda
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    The Conrad New York
    New York, New York

    The Conrad New York, like so many great art museums, is home to a vast permanent collection—there are over 2,000 post–World War II pieces scattered throughout the building’s public spaces and suites, as well as rotating art exhibitions in the lobby. But unlike a great art museum, you can actually spend the night here, sleeping under an Elizabeth Peyton-made portrait of Prince William in your guest suite or sipping a “Topsy Turvy” (a combination of vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry, and citrus named after one of the hotel’s most famous art pieces) under Sol LeWitt’s 80,000-square-foot Loopy Doopy painting in the Atrio Bar.
    Courtesy of Conrad New York
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    Gallery Hotel Art
    Florence, Italy

    The ground floor of Florence’s Gallery Hotel Art (a member of the Lungarno Hotel Collection) could easily be mistaken for a Brooklyn art gallery. In sharp contrast to the city’s other hotels, Gallery Hotel Art turns away from Renaissance art in favor of contemporary paintings, installations, and photography. Right now, the cast of rotating exhibitions has two new additions: “Forever,” an exhibition featuring 16 of pop art–legend Andy Warhol’s most iconic works; and “Freedom,” a colorful installation of Vespas outside of and clinging to the hotel’s exterior walls, ideated by emerging artist Simone D’Auria. “Forever” and “Freedom” will be on display through the end of the year.
    Courtesy of Gallery Hotel Art
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    Hotel Éclat
    Beijing, China

    Here’s something you wouldn’t expect to find in China’s busting capital of Beijing: the world’s second-largest collection of work by surrealist master Salvador Dalí. The impressive collection is housed in the Hotel Éclat, which is also known for its sizeable assortment of modern Chinese artwork from the likes of sculptor Liu Ruowang and printmaker Shen Jingdong.
    Courtesy of Hotel Éclat
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    Komaneka at Monkey Forest
    Ubud, Bali

    The hotel brand Komaneka was born from art museums. The founder’s father, Pandé Wayan Suteja Neka, is the owner of Bali’s Neka Art Museum, and the Komaneka at Monkey Forest hotel actually started life as a fine art gallery specializing in high-end Balinese and Indonesian art. The property only grew into a hotel after visitors began asking to stay in the on-site artist residences. Throughout the hotel, you’ll see traditional craftsmanship in the wooden objects and furniture made by local artisans. If you want a deeper look into the region’s artistic vision, just head to the on-site Komaneka Gallery, which is still one of world’s most respected collections of Indonesian art.
    Courtesy of Komaneka at Monkey Forest
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    Larwill Studio
    Melbourne, Australia

    Each of Australia’s seven Art Series Hotel Group’s properties is named after the artist whose works are showcased inside. Melbourne’s Larwill Studio, for example, focuses on all things David Larwill, the Australian expressionist painter known for his bright colors and playful vibe. You’ll find inspiration from Larwill and from specific pieces of his work in every corner of the property, from the doors of the hotel’s courtesy cars to the decked-out conference rooms. For a different artistic flavor, try one of the other hotels in the collection, located in other Melbourne neighborhoods, as well as Victoria, Adelaide, and Brisbane.
    Courtesy of Art Series Hotel Larwill Studio
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    21c Nashville
    Nashville, Tennessee

    One of the 21c Museum Hotel brand’s newer properties, the 21c Nashville is located in the most creative sector of the city, near the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music Row. It adds to the neighborhood’s artistic vibe with its own creative space, a 10,500-square-foot art gallery, open for free to the public and featuring rotating exhibitions by contemporary artists. Through the rest of this year and into 2018, visitors can expect to see the mesmerizing sculptures of Beth Cavener Stichter in “Menagerie,” as well as the interplay between reality and illusion in the multi-artist “Truth or Dare: A Reality Show.”
    Courtesy of 21c Nashville
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    Hotel B
    Lima, Peru

    Lima’s first art hotel, Hotel B, has a lot in common with its neighborhood, which is known for its art galleries. When Hotel B opened in 2013, its public spaces and 17 guest rooms became a fresh venue for Peruvian and South American art. The hotel is also linked directly to the Lucia de la Puente Gallery, a vital hub for Lima’s emerging art scene. To further their art education, guests of the hotel can get private viewings.
    Courtesy of Hotel B
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    Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Get a crash course in Middle Eastern art at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai, which displays over 480 works of art from around the region. Each piece is part of a larger story about the history of the Middle East and, especially, the history of Dubai. In fact, even before the hotel was opened, part of the its mission has been to provide a new perspective on art from the region. No medium is off limits: You’ll find paintings, sculptures, and even videos by prominent and emerging artists, including Harim Al Karim and Rokni Haerizadeh, carefully planted throughout the property.
    Courtesy of Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
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    Ellerman House
    Cape Town, South Africa

    Before the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the Ellerman House was arguably the most impressive African art museum in Cape Town—quite a feat, considering the Ellerman is first and foremost a luxury hotel. But the hotel deals just as much in the history of African paintings and sculptures as it does in posh amenities. You can browse for hours and still not see everything—the collection spans over two centuries, from a view of 1800s Cape Town through the eyes of Thomas Bowler to the city’s modern spirit in pieces by Lionel Smith. If that seems daunting, don’t worry; you’ll have the hotel’s art guide Talita with you every step of the way.
    Courtesy of Ellerman House
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    What’s Next . . .
    Courtesy of Four Seasons Napa