Art-obsessed? The following properties offer fun, fascinating and comprehensive art experiences that make every room—and every corner—worth exploring.
Four Seasons relocated its flagship property in 2012 with the opening of a 259-room high-rise in Yorkville. The interior palette of light wood and beige textiles provides a sleek backdrop to more than 1,700 showy art pieces that decorate the hotel, all by Canadians and curated by art consultant James Robertson. The lobby, for instance, houses large-scale wood and porcelain dandelion sculptures, hanging above reception, by Torontonian Alissa Coe. Meanwhile, the 24-hour gym and the 2,787-square-metre spa (the largest in the city, with 17 spacious treatment rooms) are dressed up in a stunning installation of gilded porcelain coral by Quebec artist Pascale Girardin. —C.N.
Concealed from the bustling Le Marais neighbourhood by a façade and courtyard, this stylish 24-room boutique hotel, set in a former convent, presents a modern take on the story of Joséphine Bonaparte—the 18th-century tastemaker and wife of Emperor Napoleon. Franco-American interior designer Bambi Sloan dipped into the archives of textile manufacturer Le Manach for insight into Joséphine’s style. Nods to her passion for roses and her penchant for animal print (the world’s first leopard-skin rug was purportedly a gift to her) are found in the wallpaper, the drapes and the fabric covering accent chairs. The calming mosaic-tiled bathrooms add a contemporary air to the space. There’s no restaurant on site, but guests can mingle in the bar and casually nurse a flute of champagne. —N.M.
Nearby: The Musée Picasso Paris features works by the Spanish painter that are spread throughout 37 rooms of a 17th-century former hotel.
West Hollywood, California
Tucked away on a quiet, leafy side street just south of busy Santa Monica Boulevard, Kimpton La Peer Hotel is the only hotel located in the West Hollywood Design District. Built over the course of three years by L.A.-based architect Gulla Jonsdottir, it’s a place, she says, “where art, music, fashion, poetry, film and architecture intertwine.” The front desk is backed by a 3D topographical map of L.A., and works by area artists, including furnishings, fixtures and neon artwork, continue throughout. Curl up in one of the 105 bright rooms and suites and elevate your stay with a Bath Ritual featuring an essential oil blend created by OleHenriksen Face/Body Spa, or book an in-room updo or blow out with celebrity hairstylist Marco Pelusi. Chill by the hotel’s small heated pool with a cocktail from its oh-so-trendy bar. —T.J.
Nearby: Urth Caffé on Melrose Avenue serves organic coffee and big, healthy breakfasts to celebrities (and others) on one of the best patios in town.
Comprised of four Georgian townhouses, The Merrion offers one of Ireland’s fanciest stays thanks to its classic decor, interior garden and two-Michelin-star restaurant. It’s also home to countless 19th- and 20th-century Irish paintings that make up one of Ireland’s most significant fine art collections. The hotel celebrates this artsy distinction by partnering with a guide from the National Gallery of Ireland to escort guests on tours of the property. Afternoon tea, meanwhile, includes pastries that reflect the on-site art. For example, Pauline Bewick’s Tahitian scene in Path Moorea is represented via lime and white chocolate Chantilly, dark and vanilla chocolate cream and chocolate palm trees. —C.N.
New York City, NY
This months-old crash pad, conveniently located near Grand Central Terminal, was previously a 1920s long-stay hotel for travelling intellectuals, artists and writers. To pay homage to this history, The Renwick has named its 33 suites after famous literary figures, including some who stayed in the building, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck. In addition, the chic, design-forward rooms were injected with artsie flourishes, including do-not-disturb signs shaped like paintbrushes, window blinds hand-painted with the New York skyline and an origami kit that hangs by every desk. The lobby is equally dynamic with creative details, including a jumble of light fixtures and a mixed-media mural by Brooklyn-born artist Gregory Siff. —C.N.
Since its debut in 1927, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia has celebrated the arts and played host to a who’s who of the world’s most celebrated entertainers, such as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. The hotel reopened in 2011 following a restoration that converted its 320 rooms into 156 modern rooms and suites. The spacious accommodations now feature living and sleeping areas, and large, spa-like bathrooms. The public spaces are decorated with artwork from one of the largest, privately-owned collections of Canadian contemporary fine art in North America, including three abstracts by Vancouver artist Alan Wood hanging behind the reception desk. Dip into the 52-foot indoor saltwater lap pool, sip a Hotel Georgia Cocktail in Prohibition Bar or opt for the tasting menu at Hawksworth Restaurant.—D.O.
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