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5 U.S. Hotels Utilizing Art to Standout Amongst the Competition

March 23, 2020

Hotels across the country are turning to art and creating gallery-like spaces to stand out in a competitive hospitality market. Read about five of them here. 

Beyond bold interior design, customizable amenity options and recognizable branding, the hospitality industry is seeking new and meaningful ways to attract and retain guests and distinguish themselves in a crowded market. 

The recent opening of 21c Museum Hotels’ Chicago location highlights the growing popularity of the “hotel as art gallery” model by offering a contemporary art museum in combination with a boutique hotel. 

A hotel stay is in itself aspirational (fluffy white robes become acceptable afternoon attire), and at a time when guests are expecting more from their accommodations, incorporating art is an effective way to elevate the hospitality experience, creating bold, integrated spaces.  

Five Noteworthy U.S. Hotels Offering Dynamic Art Experiences 

1. CANVAS Hotel, Dallas  

What if you didn’t even have to leave your hotel to see a hot new art exhibition? If you’re staying at the CANVAS Hotel through April 5, you can experience ARTCRUSH, the hotel’s in-house art show featuring the work of local Dallas artists. The exhibition is the result of the hotel’s partnership with SEMOSMAULDIN and FGIII Fine Art Production and is the first of four group exhibitions planned in a revolving series in 2020.  

Since its grand opening in early 2019, the vibrant, art-centric CANVAS has sought to support Dallas’s arts community, providing a unique platform for local artists to exhibit and promote their work (CANVAS exhibitions are free and open to the general public). Additionally, the hotel’s 76 art-themed rooms and suites are perfect respites for art lovers looking to immerse themselves in both the local culture and meaningful aesthetics.  

2. Kimpton Hotel Born, Denver 

Developed by Continuum Partners, the minds behind Denver’s Union Station renovation, the Kimpton Hotel Born is a space designed to be at the heart of the LoDo (Lower Downtown) neighborhood’s revitalization.

Photo: View of the lobby at the Kimpton Hotel Born. Credit: Cris Molina.

And the hotel knows its art: On display throughout the space, from the lobby to the corridors to the guest rooms, are hundreds of exclusively commissioned original or limited edition works by Denver artists. The hotel’s 700-piece collection was curated by Adam Lerner, the former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and represents a wide diversity of styles and mediums.  

[Related: 3 Iconic Chicago Buildings Show That Adaptive Reuse Strengthens Cities]

3. The International House, New Orleans 

The nation’s largest Banksy is now on view to the public for the first time in nearly a decade at the International House Hotel in New Orleans. The 1,600-pound mural critiquing the narratives around Hurricane Katrina was restored and relocated by International House owner and developer Sean Cummings. 

Housed in a revived Beaux-Arts building, the art-friendly International House is considered a local staple, without over-the-top frills. It is not a luxury hotel by definition—the rooms are minimalist and the amenities basic. What stands out about the space is a powerful sense of locality and a dedication to the spirit of New Orleans. In addition to the pieces of collectible art found throughout the property, the hotel often features local music performances and a cocktail bar with strong regional botany influences.

4. Chambers Hotel, New York 

The Chambers Hotel brings the excitement of the New York art scene directly to their guests. Every floor of the hotel features site-specific installations, and art can be found almost everywhere—from the common areas to the private rooms. The hotel’s 500-piece collection—which features the likes of John Waters and Bob and Roberta Smith—can be found throughout the space. Additionally, guests are granted passes to the nearby Museum of Modern Art when they purchase the special ‘Life is Art’ package.  

5. 21c Museum Hotel, Chicago 

The 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Chicago is the hotel group’s ninth location. Founded by art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c Museum Hotels combine free and public contemporary art exhibitions and projects with world-class dining, amenities and hospitality.  

Photo: Interior view of the 21c Museum Hotel in Chicago. Credit: 21c Museum Hotels.

Steps away from the city’s most renowned art institutions like the Design Museum of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, the urban environment becomes an extension of the boutique hotel chain’s commitment to art-centric experiences. The Chicago location features 297 rooms and a prolific, curated contemporary art collection found in rooms and public spaces throughout the property. The hotel’s inaugural exhibition, the politically-minded “This We Believe,” displays the work of 56 artists and is on view through December 2020.  

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