European Hotels for Art Lovers
Sleep with some great art
Many hotels advertise their proximity to great art institutions for those seeking a cultural getaway. What could be nicer than a stroll to a renowned art gallery; spend the day browsing great artworks and then strolling back for a delicious dinner and glass of wine (or two). Personally I always love staying at the Hotel du Louvre when in Paris (and when my budget can manage it). It's a typical, classic Parisian hotel a short stroll from the Louvre and near the metro station so easy to get to by public transport and no need for a taxi.
But I have also been fortunate enough to stay in some other hotels in Europe which feature original art by renowned artists actually within their own walls, either in their public areas or, in many cases, in the guestrooms. This puts a whole new spin on a cultural getaway - being able to appreciate great art while relaxing over a drink or meal - or even while lazing in bed.
From modern city centre hotels to small countryside B&B's, these are all places where you can experience something out of the ordinary. After all who could turn down the opportunity to sleep in the same room as an original Andy Warhol!
So here are some of my favourite "Art Hotels" in Europe
The Art'otel Berlin City Centre West has a permanent exhibition of over 200 signed prints and original works of art by Andy Warhol, no less. Originals by the pop art genius hang in all of the rooms giving an overview of the stages of Warhol's artistic development. So if you stay more than once try and get a different room each time. Pop art may not be everyone's idea of great art but it does have a place of importance in the art world so it's a great chance to get up close to the works of a renowned artist
Hotel des Academies et des Arts, Paris
A boutique hotel in the Latin Quarter is always an appealing prospect but when semi-abstract figures by the French artist Jerome Mesnager adorn the walls it becomes even more appealing. This urban/street artist is best known for his striking depictions of "white bodies". A great choice for a romantic break and when your budget won't stretch to some of the larger, better-known Paris hotels.
Different perspectives on art in the UK
One Aldwych, London
Over 400 pieces of contemporary art and sculpture can be found at this hotel right in the centre of London between the delights of Covent Garden and the river. It's also within walking distance of many great theatres and just around the corner from the Royal Opera House. At least one original painting hangs in each guest room so you will definitely get the chance to laze in bed and gaze at a great artwork. The collection includes work by rising stars such as Emily Young and Justine Smith as well as work by established artists such as Richard Walker.
Broomhill Art Hotel, Barnstaple, Devon
Something very different if you feel like a quiet time away from the big city bustle Broomhill's Sculpture Park in Devon displays one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary art and sculpture in the South West of England. It has an amzing collection of 300 bronzes and stone sculptures by over 60 different sculptors - all sited in the 10 acres of garden. It's a truly delightful place to stroll for a relaxing afternoon.
There is also an art gallery inside if the weather is bad, an organic restaurant serving delicious food and six B&B rooms.
Gallery Hotel Art, Florence
Right near the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, all year round this hotel's public areas, including the Bar and Restaurant, host exhibitions of photography and contemporary art. So you can enjoy art right in your own hotel but also be close enough to walk to the Uffizi and visit other sites nearby such as Florence Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio and, of course, the Ponte Vecchio. Memorable holidays are made in Florence...
Hotel Estela, Sitges, Barcelona
Nine rooms at this port-side hotel have been transformed by a group of contemporary artists who include Josep Maria Subirachs, who has played a major part in completing the magnificent facade of Antoni Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona. You can buy prints of sketches that Subirachs made prior to carving his sculptures on the facade in the gift shop.