Posted on: October 01, 2013
Posted by: Brigitte Diem-Guy, VP Sales & Marketing, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
Traditionally, most hotel art has been a consistent display of bad, boring or vying for the Ugliest-Hotel- Artwork-Ever award. I resigned myself to the conclusion that hotel companies buy these “masterpieces” to fill space or hide some flaws in the walls or to simply test my aesthetic sense.
I am sure in many instances the more interesting frames are also worth more than what is actually in it. However if you ever think of taking that nice frame as a souvenir (paying the hotel for it of course!), and leaving the ugly print behind you will probably be surprised to find that these “masterpieces” are better secured than the Mona Lisa Painting in the Louvre.
However, finally, things seem to look up and they are changing for the better. Hotel rooms are no longer just a place to shower, sleep and ignore whatever hangs on the wall and hotel public spaces are becoming de facto galleries and museums.
Hotels in London, Las Vegas, Singapore and New York are investing millions in art and in Europe a small group of avid art collectors and entrepreneurs started a small chain of contemporary hotels that blend unique architectural style with art-inspired interiors. Some hotels even have their own curator who runs art tours for guests. In some cases, if you like that photograph over your bed, they give you the option to purchase a copy.
But why are hotels suddenly obsessed with art and interesting photography? Do travelers really care and choose hotels for what hangs in frames on the walls?
I believe that carefully chosen art makes a stay at a hotel more interesting, fun and adds energy to a property. Although the motivation to stay at a certain hotel are most likely location and quality of rooms and service, interesting art makes a stay and the experience more memorable. It can also give a cultural lift on a business trip which may not allow time for a gallery or museum outing.
Recently, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts has undertaken large renovation and new build projects. Interesting art, photography and custom-made sculptures by local artists have become part of the identity of the new or fully renovated hotels and integrate into the architecture, design and concept.
The design team carefully selects pieces by local artists and photographers that tell a story and bring elements of the property location inside and in the process root the hotel in its surroundings. The art story including image, description and artist’s biography on selected pieces is featured digitally on the interactive reader boards placed in the lobby.
Personally I think it’s wonderful to see contemporary art installed in places where you least expect it – including in hotels.
How about you? Do you care if your hotel has great art and interesting photography? What is the most wonderful or weirdest artwork you ever saw in a hotel? Please send us your comments!