A Lichtenstein in a boutique hotel in Lech, a Warhol in a beach retreat in Thailand and a De Kooning on a luxury yacht to charter in New England - just some of the names featured in these ‘alternative galleries’
Some of the world’s most impressive art collections are no longer found in just museums and galleries. Culture and travel have long gone hand in hand but now you don’t even have to leave your hotel to discover classic and modern masterpieces. From modern art in the Alps to homegrown artisans in the desert, here’s a run down of some of the world’s most surprising hotel art collections.
DOMAINE DE LA BAUME – EXPERIENCE THE FORMER HOME OF ACCLAIMED FRENCH EXPRESSIONIST BERNARD BUFFET
Domaine de la Baume, one of the most picturesque ‘homes’ in the South of France will open for its first full season as a boutique hotel on 18th April 2014. As the former home of the famed Expressionist artist Burnard Buffet, it became a hub for some of the greatest fashion designers, artists and socialites of the 20th Century. A contemporary of both Yves Saint Laurent and Jackie Onassis, Buffet lived at the Domaine de la Baume for the last 20 years of his life until his death 15 years ago in 1999. Each room in the property has been designed by owner Jocelyne Sibuet with the original eighteenth century style of the house remaining prevalent throughout. The style is light, colourful and spacious and each room is named after one of Bernard Buffet’s famous artworks.
HOW: From £370 including breakfast and dinner.
KRISTIANIA, LECH - CONTEMPORARY ART ON THE SLOPES, COURTESY OF MAX COLE, ROY LICHTENSTEIN AND SAM FRANCIS
In a league of its own, the 29-room Kristiania Lech boutique hotel is a ski hotel with a difference. Within its walls lies a treasure trove of famous contemporary works of art collated by the art loving owners, the Schneider family. Kristiania Lech’s collection consists of more than 200 contemporary paintings, sculptures, original prints and tapestries by both emerging and established artists such as Max Cole, Roy Lichtenstein, Max Bill and Sam Francis. The works illuminate some of the most significant movements in contemporary art including Conceptual, Pop Art, Concrete Art, Abstract Expressionism to name a few. This complete dedication to art has even seen the main dining room turned into a gallery that would rival those of major metropolitan cities and impress even the most prestigious collectors. Divided into three sections, a rotating collection of stunning antiquities and original art from contemporary artists including paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and mixed media are showcased, whilst the hotel’s outside entrance is home to an arresting ‘bubble gum’ sculpture created by New York artist Russell Mal, consisting of three sculptural forms made from stacks of concrete blocks, a large portion of which were painted with a yellow Day-Glo paint.
HOW: From £296 per night
HOTEL ARTS BARCELONA – A DESIGN ICON BY FRANK GEHRY, JOSE MANUEL BROTO AND MANOLO VALDES
Designed by the renowned architect Bruce Graham, Hotel Arts Barcelona is framed by the iconic Frank Gehry ‘Fish’ sculpture giving the hotel its status as one of the leading design icons in the city. The extraordinary hotel exterior design of blue glass and exposed steel is complemented inside by an unrivalled collection of contemporary leading Catalan and Spanish artists. Luis Feito, a key figure in Spanish abstract expressionism who founded 'El Paso' the Barcelona based collective of expressionists, exhibits original paintings in the hotel, as does the renowned abstract painter Jose Manuel Broto. Other well-known artists to exhibit include Manolo Valdes, Albert Rafols-Casamada, Xavier Corbero and Perico Pastor. With 28 luxury apartments and the finest views of Barcelona, the two Michelin starred Enoteca restaurant, stylish contemporary rooms and suites and the most sought after beach side location, Hotel Arts Barcelona has maintained its status as the most iconic hotel in the city.
HOW: From £164 B&B.
SNOWBIRD - DE KOONING, STELLA AND LICHTENSTEIN FORM PART OF THIS FLOATING ART GALLERY BASED IN NEW ENGLAND THIS SUMMER
Art lovers looking for a unique experience can charter Snowbird - a super yacht with an exceptional array of world-class modern art including De Kooning, Stella and Lichtenstein. The onboard art collection, meticulously curated by the owner, includes an impressive selection of some of the 20th Century's best examples of modern art. Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Shipboard Girl’ is the highlight of the collection followed by the impressive ‘Ada with sunglasses’ by Alex Katz, which sits in the full beam sky lounge. The printer and printmaker Frank Stella also has two works in the main entrance with Hans Hoffman making a significant appearance in the main deck lounge with four original scenes of St Tropez from 1935. Guests staying in the owners’ stateroom will be joined by one of Kenneth Noland's paintings from his striped series period - a 1967 horizontal acrylic original canvas.
HOW: Snowbird will be available for charter in New England this Summer and the Mediterranean in Winter through Edmiston from £123,553 per week. www.edmiston.com
SILVER SHADOW – AN ART LOVERS DREAM FROM SILVERSEA- FEATURING MARC CHAGALL, PABLO PICASSO AND JOAN MIRO
Silversea Cruises has partnered with Andrew Weiss Gallery in Los Angeles to curate an exclusive collection onboard Silver Shadow. Rami Ron, an expert of 19th and 20th century art and one of the gallery's curators has established the art collection onboard to include Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. As the ships resident art expert, Ron provides personal and group tours of the art onboard the ship as well as Q&A sessions. Ron was born in Israel and immigrated to the USA in 1978 where he worked for a fine art gallery chain in Chicago. After 10 years he became a part owner of one of the most successful print dealers in the world, Merrill Chase Galleries and over 30 years lectured and built collections worldwide for museums, collectors and galleries.
HOW: Voyages start from £2,150.
INIALA BEACH HOUSE – A WARHOL WONDER IN THAILAND
Iniala Beach House (opened in December 2013) is a private residence and a true temple of design, bringing together some of the best creative minds, architects, artists and designers in the world. Some of the art available for sale includes Andy Warhol’s original iconic Muhammad Ali prints; Jakkai Siributr, one of Thailand’s few contemporary artists who uses fabric as a versatile medium and Diana Harjanti a recent graduate of the Indonesia Institute of Art in Yogyakarta, who created Iniala’s large whale sculpture featured in the incredible Penthouse.
HOW: Individual villas and the Iniala Penthouse can be hired from £10,505.
ITC MAURYA, NEW DELHI – A TRUE ART DYNASTY WITH WORKS FROM KRISHEN KHANNA, TYEB MEHTA AND AKBAR PADAMSEE
Built in 1977 and inspired by the Grand Mauryan Empire that ruled India during the 2nd and 3rd Century BC, ITC Maurya is rooted in the ethos of a dynasty that unified ancient India for the very first time. Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Mauryan Empire brought together various hues of nation states, culminating in a royal spectrum of art and culture in northern India. In keeping with the frescoes in these Chaityas, Krishen Khanna, one of India’s most respected artists, created his iconic mural ‘The Great Procession’, within the wooden rafters of the dome at the ITC Maurya Lobby. Other works by internationally acclaimed artists can be seen at every floor level in the main hotel. There are major paintings by luminaries such as Tyeb Mehta, M.F.Husain, Akbar Padamsee, Krishen Khanna, J.Swaminathan, Satish Gujral, Thota Vaikuntham and others who are counted among the list of internationally acclaimed Indian Contemporary artists.
HOW: From £167 B&B
MUSEUM ART HOTEL, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – AN ECLECTIC COLLECTION OF NEW ZEALAND ART
The luxury boutique Museum Art Hotel is located in New Zealand's art capital, Wellington. As its name suggests, guests can enjoy an extensive private collection of contemporary works by New Zealand artists, from paintings and sculptures to an MV Agusta Tamburini motorcycle and a guitar autographed by the Rolling Stones. The hotel was recently refurbished including the recreation of 68 rooms with 'Coco Chanel inspired' interiors, with wall art to add richness and to match the current art design idiom in the rest of the hotel.
HOW: From £98 B&B
HÔTEL MONT-BLANC – VINTAGE DESIGN IN THE HEART OF MEGÉVE
Situated in the heart of the Megève Alpine village, the Hôtel Mont-Blanc remains today as glamorous as ever. The hotel’s reputation has steadily grown since the Fifties, when Megève was at the height of its glory and writers, singers and musicians would come there to trumpet their celebrity. Drawing inspiration from an array of famous guests, the artistic Enfants Terribles Suite pays tribute to regular former guest, French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau; the Sacha Distel Suite celebrates the actor and his ski champion bride who married in Megève in 1963; while the Liaisons Dangereuses Suite is a nod to the film featuring Gerard Philippe, which includes scenes filmed at Hôtel Mont-Blanc in 1952. The elegant Hôtel Mont-Blanc bistro Les Enfants Terribles pays tribute to Jean Cocteau and features his 'mural fresco' on the wall, adding to the restaurant’s avant-garde aesthetic, with more of his dramatic oversized murals seen throughout the lounges,
library and corridors, echoing the poet’s presence throughout the hotel.
HOW: From £240 per night.
ACCLAIMED MAORI ART AND SCULPTURE AT THE LODGE AT THE HILLS, QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND
The Lodge at the Hills opened in March 2014 as part of the internationally acclaimed Hills Golf Course. For art lovers, The Lodge boasts a stunning collection of New Zealand Maori Art as well as contemporary Asian and New Zealand art and sculptures curated by Sir Michael and Lady Christine. This is one of the largest private collections in the world and houses significant sculptures of up to six metres high. Guests are also invited to enjoy the world-renowned private Sculpture Park, part of The Hills golf course with works by New Zealand and international artists including a herd of cast iron horses by English-born artist Max Patte.
HOW: Rates from NZD$2500/£1253 pppn based on two sharing a suite at the exclusive use six-bedroom lodge including all meals produced by a Michelin trained chef; wine and beer; helicopter airport transfers via the Remarkables mountain range and 'extreme golf' on a glacier en route; unlimited golf at the Hills, use of Range Rover Sport and interpretative tour of The Hills Sculpture Park.
ALILA JABAL AKHDAR – LOCAL ART IN THE MOUNTAINS OF OMAN
Alila Jabal Akhdar, due to launch in May 2014, has used a handpicked selection of local artisans to help create and design the first luxury resort in the stunning mountainous Jabal Akhdar region of Oman. Two local famous artists have been commissioned to hand-paint juniper leaves and branches in the bedrooms, spa and dining areas, inspired by the surrounding countryside. In addition to their handcrafted paint works, both artists are avid photographers; with their work featured throughout the resort. The resort is also working with an elderly potter from the famous area of Bahla in Oman, know for its pottery, to create exclusive pieces.
HOW: From £186++ per night
The go-to girl for luxury hotels, Lisa Corcoran knows how to travel in style. Join Lisa on her quest, with a little help from her friends, to seek out those special places which stand apart from the rest.