When it comes to hospitality in Asia, luxury properties don’t spare any cost in making their hotels decadent and give guests an edge over their other worldwide competitors. These hotels are decorated with art—both historic, and bespoke—which can also come in the form of furniture designs and architecture. Art in décor not only adds to the property’s aesthetic but also offers a deeper meaning of the hospitality brand and what it wishes to display. Here are some of the hotels that manage to do so beautifully. By Shalini Passi
1. Chao Hotel Sanlitun, China
Chao Hotel is housed in an impressive rectangular, sleek, and geometrical building. The hotel is not only dedicated about offering great hospitality to their guests but is also known for curating eclectic experiences through their art space. The hotel houses an art and performance gallery that routinely displays a wide array of lifestyle and fashion pieces for their guests to peruse. They also feature artist residencies, design workshops, and a personally curated art exhibition. It even has a large amphitheatre that is used by photographers all over the globe to display their work, for performers to hold recitals and public performances.
2. Art Paradiso, Paradise City, South Korea
This hotel-cum-resort in South Korea’s Incheon region is truly a paradise for art lovers. Designed keeping in mind contemporary European aesthetics, one can see luxury oozing from the sleek marble floors and mirrors making up an important part of the design conceptualisation. Each hotel suite can be considered as the guest’s personal art gallery. Some of the famous works of art displayed at this hotel are Gazing Ball (Farnese Hercules) by Jeff Koons; Aurous Cyanide by Damien Hirst; Issu du feu by Lee Bae; and charcoal with rubber bands and Proust chair by Alessandro Mendini.
3. BnA Hotel – Koenji, Japan
This Kyoto-based hotel—whose motto is ‘Stay in an Art Piece, Support an Artist’—is everything an art lover could need. The hotel’s goal is to support upcoming artists and providing guests with a unique experience to indulge in the country’s underground art scene. Each room here is a symbol of architects, woodworkers and textile designers coming together to create a masterpiece. The hotel also holds exhibitions and art performances at a dedicated gallery backroom.
4. JOALI Maldives, Maldives
Considered the epitome of luxury owing to the presence of endless beaches, villas overlooking the water, and mouthwatering cuisines, JOALI Maldives is also a popular art retreat. It has a separate studio and gallery that holds art exhibitions and invites performers. Manta Ray Tree House by South African artist and designer Porky Hefer and a display of sculptures by Misha Kahn and art collective Ardmore are some of the noteworthy artworks here.
5. The Langham, Hong Kong
Based in an upscale part of Hong Kong, Langham Place is known for displaying over 1500 pieces of art on its premises. Each artwork here is handpicked and curated by gallerist Angela Li who believes in bringing the contemporary and avant-garde art scene to the fore while also showcasing authentic Chinese art. Jiang Shuo, Wang Guangyi, ink master Wu Guanzhong, and avant-garde artists like Yue Minjun and Xin Haizhou are some names featured here.
6. XVA Art Hotel, United Arab Emirates
It is situated in a majlis-style building with motifs, wind towers and three open courtyards. The hotel has been decorated in a minimalist Arabian style, with the hotel itself being a part of the XVA Gallery—one of the foremost contemporary art galleries in the city. The courtyard café here is a prime location for the city’s creative minds to meet and interact with each other.
7. New Majestic Hotel, Singapore
Each room of this hotel is decorated individualistically but in collaboration with different artists and designers. The display itself is quite eclectic. Famous artists like pop artist Justin Lee who juxtaposes Asian and western motifs; Heleston Chew; Safaruddin Abdul Hamid (aka Dyn); Miguel Chew; Lee Meiling and more are some of the names that find a home here.
8. Rosewood Hong Kong, Hong Kong
The space is decadent with art that has been carefully chosen to represent its core being: luxury, and rich history. On entering the hotel, British artist Henry Moore’s midcentury bronze sculpture of a reclining figure greets guests. Next, Indian artist Bharti Kerr’s life-size elephant makes you introspect. The hotel also features Damien Hirst’s signature winged creatures on its walls. By the elevators, you can find American Joe Bradley’s colourful abstract paintings and Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh’s whimsical illustrations in guest rooms.
Shalini Passi, the founder of Shalini Passi Art Foundation and MASH, will be curating one such list from all across the world. Stay tuned as the artist, art and design collector, philanthropist, and fashion patron takes you on a cultural escapade every week.
Feature Image Credits: Saiesha Gupta for Shalini Passi