Hotels with He(art)

Henry Moore may have said that “to be an artist is to believe in art”. While we may not all be born with artistic talent, there’s no reason why we...


Le Royal Monceau, Paris
Just a stone’s throw away from the Arc de Triomphe and set along the elegance of Paris’ Avenue Hoche is Le Royal Monceau – a former grand dame that has been recently remodelled as one of the city’s chic-est places to check in to by none other than Philippe Starck. Art, culture and quintessentially quirky Starck touches (like a silver lobster in the water closet) make Le Royal Monceau the only place to stay if comfort and creativity rock your boat.

Glass and mirrors feature big time here and the hotel even has its own art gallery on site. If mama and papa need a little moi time at The Spa My Blend by Clarins, Le Royal Monceau’s renowned pampering haven, just arrange with the dedicated art concierge to get Junior to do an art workshop.

Meanwhile, art is everywhere in the beautiful space; from the thousands upon thousands of shells that adorn the walls of Il Carpaccio, Paris’ only Michelin-starred Italian restaurant, to a Stéphane Calais artwork on the ceiling of its other restaurant, Le Cuisine, as well as a giant teapot in which one may sit on the terrace, inspired by Alice in Wonderland and crafted by Joana Vasconcelos.

And not content with a mere slip of a hotel shop, Le Royal Monceau’s is wonderful enough to rival an art museum’s, with a plethora of things to spend your Euros on; including lobster-print plates by Jeff Koons, thumping volumes of books on art, music and photography, Keith Haring paintboxes, a humidor painted and signed by Wang Guangyi, limited edition pieces by Yayoi Kusama and even one-off works of art by local French artists.  J’adore? Mais oui.



QT Sydney, Sydney
Set within the heritage-listed Gowings department store and State Theatre, QT Sydney captures the drama of theatre and retail fashion in its edgy and contemporary design style. The hotel has long been admired by art aficionados for its ingeniously curated collection of artwork and design pieces and it’s fast cementing its place on the Sydney art scene with frequent collaborations with local art museums. Nods to the special past of the building is seen through the design where, for example, the original glass (complete with cracks) is retained in the restaurant. The 200 guest rooms range in size from 36 to 42 sq m, with some 12 different room styles – most equipped with a signature bathtub and oversized shower. The historic building is also an architectural jewel with eclectic elements of Gothic, Italian and Art Deco design on the top floors and vast and open layout of big windows, high ceilings, wide corridors, sandstone cladding and gargoyles that grace the facade on the lower floors. The interior is a spectrum of elements that coalesce, featuring antique and vintage motifs of luxury travel, dramatic LED art walls framed by restored Art Deco and baroque details, next to show-stopping spotlights and ornate gilt display cases throughout the hotel. Stepping into the lobby, you’re bound to feel your creative juices flowing, perhaps enough to inspire your own artwork!



Iniala Beach House, Natai Beach, Phuket
Established in December 2013, the Iniala Beach House has since garnered a reputation as one of the hottest holiday destinations for discerning beach-goers around the world. Comprised of three villas and a luxurious penthouse with a beachfront view of the spotless Natai Beach and the pristine waters of the Andaman Sea, the Iniala Beach House can be booked on a per villa basis or in its utter entirety for private functions.

Each villa, and individual room for that matter, was personally conceived by world-famous designers and studios which count the Campana Brothers, Joseph Walsh and Mark Brazier-Jones among them. From the traditional Villa Siam inspired by Thai culture and Buddhism; to the contemporary Villa Bianca which combines Spanish A-cero interiors with famous Russian iconography; and the Collector’s Villa, a compendium of modern design and architecture with its jungle-inspired cinema and glittering mother-of-pearl walls; it’s safe to say that there’s something for every art connoisseur to appreciate.

Last but not least is the Penthouse, a culmination of the collaboration between Iniala’s founder, Mark Weingard, and its Chief Design Director, Graham Lamb. Designed to indulge all the senses, the Penthouse offers a surreal desert-like landscape where furniture rises from the rich buttery carpeting like majestic sand dunes, with the bathing area merging into the floor space to give the impression that one is dwelling amidst a serene oasis.

In total, the Iniala Beach House offers over 40 bespoke art pieces, and just in case that wasn’t enough to bring out your inner artist, there’s also an on-site Art Gallery which houses work by both international and local artists.



The Thief, Oslo
Hearts and minds are stolen by the brilliant showcase of contemporary European architecture at The Thief. Located next to Scandinavia’s most exciting new art museum, the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, The Thief overlooks the canals of Tjuvholmen and the Oslofjord, with most of its 119 bespoke French-balconied rooms offering brilliant waterfront views. Art and innovation is levelled up in collaboration with the Astrup Fearnley Museum, where art pieces that complement the design of each room are meticulously selected by famed curator Sune Nordgren.

Practically a museum in its own right, inspiring new pieces from Norwegian rising stars are featured based on a yearly selection as part of The Thief’s collaboration with DogA (the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture). As a result, “The List of The Thief” has been established as an important institution and showcase for young, talented Norwegian designers. The hotel definitely oozes coolness with interactive TVs in each room offering “art on demand”, themed maps such as Oslo Escape Routes taking you on a curated tour of art, design and architecture and the hotel’s boat that will take you around the fjords all summer long.

Determined to offer a truly special experience, guests are provided a treasure hunt map, explaining the art throughout the hotel. For those able to locate the unique piece in the collection, a special gift awaits them in the Astrup Fearnley Museum shop.  Now, who says thieves are all bad?



Tribe Hotel, Nairobi
Truly for connoisseurs of the unusual, Tribe Hotel captures the African spirit in a non-conformist building of atypical angles and unrivalled appreciation for tribal crafts. Some 900 hand-sculpted artefacts from all over Africa of carefully crafted gourds, figurines, and artwork stare back from tables, walls, and crannies around the hotel, providing unexpected moments of beauty and giving the hotel a distinctive, African voice.

Encapsulating Nairobi’s African spirit while celebrating creativity, fashion, art, and design, Tribe Hotel is the first high-end boutique hotel to have opened in the city in some 30 years. Working with Les Harbottle of design firm Plan One, Tribe owner and all-around visionary Shamim Ehsani managed to incorporate illuminated pendants and table lamps, throwing layers of light across the public spaces. And at the outdoor pool, wrapped by gardens and waterfalls, diners can eat on floating “islands” warmed by the Kenyan sun. Spread across three wings in the heart of Nairobi’s diplomatic district, a soaring sunlit atrium links the Tribe’s 137 guest rooms and suites. Inside, cool granite and stretches of dark Indian slate temper earthy combinations of cumin, sandstone, and brown-sugar hues.

Architect Mehraz Ehsani continues this balance by using authentic Kenyan materials in the public spaces. These include the Kaya Spa, which takes its inspiration from the country’s sacred forests; the well-stocked library; the rooftop bar; and the heated pool, surrounded by waterfalls and gardens.



Humble House, Taipei
A new beacon in the Xinyi district, the glass and aluminium façade of Humble House Taipei stands out from the crowd not only through its towering 24 floors, but also because of its unusual windows. Thanks to their shape and blue-grey shimmer, the floor-to-ceiling windows resemble diamonds when seen from a distance and is where guests can enjoy one of the best views in the city. There’s even a rare inner-city perk – a lush sixth-floor garden, where guests can soak in the sprawling views while enjoying cocktails at The Terrace lounge.

Located on the top floors of a “Diamond-rated Green Building”, the 235-room Humble House Taipei is deceptively simple in design; the architecture serves as a backdrop for over 600 exquisitely integrated works of art selected and commissioned by acclaimed art curator Ellie Lai. The calm, muted tones of the hotel designed by world-renowned hospitality design company, Hirsch Bedner Associates, set the stage for the incredible art on display in every space.

Let life be beautiful like summer flowers: the sensual trope of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore serves as an inspiration for the highly immersive visual experience at Humble House Taipei with the vast collection of paintings, illustrations, installations, and sculptures from Poland, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, and beyond. In this magnificent hotel, art truly interacts with guests while speaking to them and touching their hearts.


Aman Tokyo - Garden Reception

Aman Tokyo, Tokyo
Gracefully perched atop the six uppermost floors of the 200m-tall Otemachi Tower, the latest gem in the Aman empire is pure serenity; carved out of clean lines, soaring ceilings and a minimalistic, muted palette – all hallmarks of the Zen path and philosophy. Yet, unusually for an Aman, instead of a far-flung outpost in an exotic land, Aman Tokyo lies at the very heart of one of the world’s greatest and densest cities. It is within this precious space, just blocks from frenetic Tokyo Station, that Aman weaves its unique brand of magic. Taking its name from the Sanskrit word for ‘peace’, Aman Tokyo exudes tranquillity, offering a select group the chance to withdraw….but, of course, in subtle style. Here, the design brief may, initially, appear to be fiercely minimalist but the beauty is in, as expected, the details. Great value is placed on space and it is perhaps in its atrium that one’s breath is most easily taken away. Here, the heart of the soaring, light-filled space is pierced by a burst of colour, in the form of seasonal flowers, crafted by ikebana sensei Seiho Okudaira. But, also tucked away, some discreetly, some less so, are works of art by local masters, including Rieko Hidaka, whose monochromatic Distance from the Sky VI, lights up one wall brilliantly. Interestingly, while staying at Aman Tokyo, one should also look out for exceedingly delicate works of art on clay walls created and crafted by the artisan plasterer Syuhei Hasado of Shokuninsha Shuhei-gumi fame, which are as unique as they are innovative.

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