5 Hotels With Serious Art Collections (So You Can Skip the Museum)

5 Hotels With Serious Art Collections (So You Can Skip the Museum)

Jet lagged? Get your culture fix without leaving the building.

By Karen Gardiner

If you like your luxury retreat with a side of culture — or you're just too jet lagged to hit the museum circuit — you're in luck. These days, hotels around the world are continually working to one-up each other with ever more impressive artworks. And the result? A whole slate of luxury lodging options with formidable collections and programming. Here's where to find them, from New York to Norway.

1. The Quin, New York City

One of NYC’s hottest hotel openings of the last few years, The Quin, honors its artistic legacy (Georgia O’Keefe and Marc Chagall both stayed in the building’s previous incarnation) with thoughtful art programming. The hotel’s permanent collection includes pieces by legendary Parisian stencilist, Blek le Rat, as well as Wulf Von Treu, the so-called “German Basquiat,” and Irish painter Patrick Graham. The hotel also hosts a rotating artist in residence position, currently occupied by famed British street artist Nick Walker.

2. Benesse House, Naoshima, Japan

Photo: Karen Gardiner

Benesse House on the tiny Japanese island of Naoshima will be a hot booking later this year as the island prepares to host the Setouchi Trienniale international art festival. The hotel, built into the side of a hill and designed by famed architect Tadao Ando, doubles as a museum that houses both temporary and permanent site-specific exhibits. Guests are free to wander the museum’s galleries even after hours and have exclusive access to a six-seat monorail that runs up to the building’s oval-shaped hotel annex.

3. 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, KY

The expanding boutique hotel brand 21c Museum Hotels has properties across the southern and Midwestern United States. Founded by contemporary art collectors, each combines art spaces with stylish accommodations, featuring rotating exhibitions and site-specific installations. At the brand's Louisville, Kentucky property, one room even does double duty as an art installation: “Asleep in the Cyclone,” created by artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe.

4. The Thief, Oslo, Norway

Located in the trendy Tjuvholmen district, overlooking Oslo fjord, The Thief is directly opposite the acclaimed, Renzo Piano-designed Astrup Fearnley contemporary art museum and Tjuvholmen sculpture park, which features public artworks by Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, and Anthony Gormley. The Thief's own ever-changing art collection, displayed in rooms and the lobby, includes works by the likes of Jeff Koons and Sir Peter Blake. If you are feeling very adventurous, book the eye-catching Apparatjik Suite, complete with disco balls, pixel-patterned blankets and a roof-mounted projector showing the video art of Apparatjik, a supergroup made up of members of A-Ha and Coldplay.

5. Nautilus, Miami FL

Home to Art Basel, one of the biggest arts events on the calendar, Miami recently got a new art-focused hotel when the oceanfront Nautilus opened last year. The hotel features a gallery wall for rotating art exhibitions curated in partnership with Los Angeles-based Depart Foundation. The first exhibition, Wonderwheel, will run through December, occupying the length of the lobby perimeter wall, featuring videos, paintings, sculptures and installation works by international artists, including Petra Cortright, Marc Horowitz, Grear Patterson, and Gabriele De Santis.

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