Last year Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn paid over US$28 million for a life-size sculpture of Popeye created by artist Jeff Koons. The shimmering, somewhat psychedelic, six-foot statue described by Sotherby’s as being, “rendered in mirror-polished stainless steel and finished in kaleidoscopic glazes,” complete with can of spinach now welcomes guests to the Wynn Hotel. There are a host of others around the globe home to further extraordinary works of art. Verve takes a look at some of the best…
Gramercy Park Hotel, New York
In the heart of the Big Apple, Gramercy Park Hotel, adorned with custom-created furnishings and a rotating collection of 20th century art, offers a contemporary take on the classic New York hotel. Among those to have graced its walls include masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Enoc Perez. The lodging’s rooftop terrace and Manhattan’s only private park also affords some rather stunning views.
Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
The hotel itself could be described as an artwork, a design from the mind of Pritzker prize-winning architect Kevin Roche setto the stunning back drop of Marina Bay and Singapore’s iconic skyline. Inside the five-star facility awaits a contemporary art collection — 4,200 pieces strong. Works by the likes of Frank Stella, David Hockney and Henry Moore can be explored courtesy of a complimentary self-guided iPod tour. The art is worth a cool US$4 million.
Gallery Art Hotel, Florence
This luxurious lodging set in a quiet courtyard in the heart of Florence is a popular hangout for local artists and fashionistas. Plush materials such as cashmere, linen, Asian woods and Tuscan stones grace the rooms, which overlook Arno River. Designed by Florentine architect Michele Bonan, the hotel hosts regular art and photography exhibitions, past contributors including David Lachapelle, Steven Klein and Lise Sarfati.
Dolder Grand, Zurich
The incredible Dolder Grand, established in 1899, then reopened in 2008 with a Norman Foster-designed extension, is home to quite possibly Europe’s finest European hotel-housed art collection, with over 100 pieces from masters such as Marc Quinn, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. Rooms, corridors and courtyards are awash with museum-quality works all overlooking Lake Zurich and surrounded by luscious Swiss forests.
This private island off the coast of the pacific coast of Panama is owned by French philanthropist, businessman and art collector Jean Pigozzi. Ten years and millions of dollars in the making, the mountaintop lodging affords guests the opportunity to enjoy the works of Damien Hirst, George Lilanga, Koofi Kouakou and more. The eclectic mix sees the likes of African art sit alongside expensive movie props, Murano glasswork and restless neon LEDs.
The Surrey, New York
Just a short stroll from the Met and Guggenheim rests the Surrey Hotel and a US$30 million art collection with works by figures such as Jenny Holzer, Richard Serra and Cecily Brown. Thirty-one pieces are scattered throughout the building, whose interior was designed by Lauren Rotter, including a floor-to-ceiling tapestry of Kate Moss by Chuck Close greeting guests in the foyer.
Hotel Eclat, Beijing
This luxury Beijing hotel is home to China’s largest private collection of Salvador’s Dali’s works. In total, guestrooms and public areas are home to more than 100 pieces of museum-quality contemporary art, sculptures and paintings by the likes of Andy Warhol, Pierre Matter and Chen Wen Ling.
St Regis, Singapore
Automotive artworks await outside the Singapore’s St Regis hotel in the form of
a fleet of chauffeur-driven Bentley’s (used for customer transfers) while inside sits one of Asia’s finest private collections. The 70-piece-strong collection, valued at S$10 million, includes paintings by Picasso, Che Zhan and a Fernando Botero sculpture. The hotelier’s wife spent six years amassing the masterpieces before the 2007 opening.
Museum Art Hotel, Wellington
Owner Chris Parkin is an avid art collector and former director of Te Papa and inaugural Trustee of the Affordable Arts Trust. Among the 100-plus-strong pieces which grace his hotel’s walls are works by a wealth of New Zealand talent such
as Anne Munz, Gretchen Albrecht and Stephen Martyn Welch, along with the odd limited edition MV Augusta motorcycle, Chris’s other lifelong passion.
Words: Jamie Christian Desplaces