Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Some people feel the same about travel. So why not combine the two by considering a stay at one of these chic art-centric hotels across the United States, where there is as much care and consideration around the hotel artwork and design features as there is around the top-notch service and accommodations.
21c Museum Hotel (Louisville, Kentucky)
Ever wanted to stay overnight in a contemporary art museum? Now you can. A large golden replica of Michelangelo’s David, twice the size of the original, welcomes you to this 91-room boutique hotel. Initially founded by an art-collecting couple as a way to preserve and revitalize downtown Louisville, the 21c Museum Hotel embodies the belief that art can be a vital part of daily life and can spark new energy and ideas.
For a fully immersive art experience, book a night in the Asleep in the Cyclone installation. Inspired by “Drop City,” a counter-culture art community from the 1960s, and constructed with reclaimed barn wood, custom textiles, and original artwork, the true focal point of the space is the multicolor ceiling sculpture, reminiscent of a vibrant, stained-glass geodesic dome.
The on-site galleries at 21c are open for your enjoyment every day and exhibitions rotate, so no two visits are alike. Extending beyond the hotel artwork, the adjoining Proof on Main restaurant prides itself on culinary artistry and boasts its own collection of contemporary art and site-specific installations. The 21c Museum Hotel concept was so well received, it has expanded to seven unique locations in the U.S.
Hotel Max (Seattle, Washington)
If you’re even the slightest bit creatively inclined, you’ll appreciate Hotel Max, which has received rave reviews from publications and patrons alike. The Max was designed with the belief that art shouldn’t blend into the background and has taken care to accentuate the photographs, paintings, collages, and sculptures of numerous styles and attitudes that adorn all aspects of the hotel. Andy Warhol’s unmistakable Campbell’s Soup Can I – Vegetable contrasts with the dark lobby walls, in stunning juxtaposition to Ivan Navaro’s Revolution #2, a sculpture composed of stacked drums.
Each floor has common-area space dedicated to a different local photographer, and larger-than-life images cover the guest-room doors. Head to the fifth floor to see Charles Peterson’s photographic documentation of the Seattle grunge-era music scene, featuring images of Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
When you’ve exhausted Hotel Max’s collection, Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Seattle Art Museum, and Frye Art Museum are all at your fingertips.
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