News Ticker

Try before you buy: How is art rental transforming hotels?

A bespoke art collection can define the aesthetics of a luxury hotel. Anthony Gormley’s ‘ROOM’ at London’s Beaumont Hotel is a classic example. The room inhabits a large abstract sculpture by Gormley, which dominates the front entrance to the hotel. The eye catching and unique piece not only serves to invigorate the surrounding area, but it also provides a truly unique experience to hotel guests. The installation is a standout example of the possibilities of what can be achieved through art.

The impact of the pandemic and the rise of other disruptive models has made the importance of hotels emphasising their luxury edge paramount. A curated art collection is one way that hotels can demonstrate to visitors what makes them so attractive, particularly if that collection features special commissions and unique pieces for the hotel designed in collaboration with artists.

Juxtaposition of pieces

ROOM might be the headline act in at The Beaumont, but on a smaller scale there are many impactful ways to bring luxury to hotels.  At the storied Belmond Splendido Mare in Portofino, juxtaposition is used throughout the hotel’s high value collection.  One example is displaying large paintings alongside intimate vintage photography, which also creates a sense of contemporary vs archival.

This juxtaposition of mediums and sizes can also be effective in creating combinations, with standout pieces combined with subtler, smaller works.  Another way is mixing figurative and narrative-based paintings against abstract artworks to create the feeling of a collection amassed over time.

The key is reflecting the surroundings, clientele, and values of the hotel, all while being bold enough to differentiate what you are doing from your competitors.

Drawing inspiration from surroundings

Within the luxury hotel market, the use of a deftly curated art collection not only adds depth to the space but provides an opportunity to draw inspiration and reflect the local surroundings. Using the local area as a guide can invoke a unique blend of pieces.

For example, hotels located in natural, green environments could draw on this and host a range of artworks with a biophilic theme. Biophilic pieces use textures, materials and styles that will enable guests to embrace the positive health and environmental benefits of a stronger connection with nature.

In a hotel located in a more urban or city-centre location, inspiration can be drawn in a different manner. Towns and cities often have rich artistic communities, and supporting local artists is a powerful way to connect the space to the community. One trend we are seeing more of is the use of local mural and installation artists. Working with artists who are engrossed in the local area results in a distinctive community feel to the artwork that is created. A great example is the Great Northern Hotel, which has a pin and thread artwork referencing the local area and wrapping the expanse of the central staircase.

Intention behind the art

An art collection can foster a strong sense of community, while celebrating diversity in creativity.

A hotel is often a key feature of the local area, and thus a collection that features a community of local artists will resonate more with local people, and with the aesthetic of the hotel and the region.

People are increasingly invested in what is happening in societal and political spheres, and guests are no longer interested in beauty alone, but also in the story behind an artwork, and its relevance to what is happening around the world.

Championing creatives from a range of backgrounds and artists that tackle some more difficult questions allows for the hotel and their guests to benefit from distinctive art from a diverse pool of talent. A sense of community is a powerful draw for a hotel. It is an often-intangible theme, but one which can be encapsulated by championing diversity in displayed artwork.

Katie Terres is COO of International Art Agency, ARTIQ. To find out more about building your own art collection, please visit: