LOOK EAST: THE RISE OF ASIA’S ART HOTELS
As the Western world wakes up to the importance of Asian art and the immense talent in the continent, local hoteliers have realised there is a gap in the market for art travelers who are looking to stay somewhere with creative flair. And with Hong Kong welcoming Art Basel and Shanghai and Beijing becoming two of the art world’s most important hubs, these discerning tourists will be increasing exponentially in years to come. Because while visiting endless galleries is all well and good, is there anything more relaxing than knowing a trip to the hotel lobby is a cultural experience in itself?
THE UPPER HOUSE, HONG KONG
Original art is what sets Upper House apart from all the other luxury hotels in Hong Kong. With minimalist walls and muted colouring, it is the artworks that elevate this hotel to the visually stimulating spot it is today. The various spectacular sculptures were chosen to complement Andre Fu’s concept of serenity and include pieces in sandstone, ceramics, marble and bronze by renowned sculptors such as Cynthia Sah and Man Fung Yi.
THE PALACE HOTEL, TOKYO
This serene hotel in the heart of one of the most frenetic cities in Asia is undoubtedly a haven – largely thanks to the wonderful collection of Japanese and Chinese artwork they have on display. All 720 paintings and sculptures have been picked according to the concept of “Inheritance and Innovation” and include pieces by Chinese artist Miao Tong and the legendary Takeharu Nakabayash.
THE XVA ART HOTEL, DUBAI
This beautifully quintessentially Arabic hotel is in fact an extension of the renowned XVA Gallery — it doesn’t get much more arty than that. Specialising in contemporary Arabian art, the XVA Art Hotel attracts connoisseurs from around the region, both to view the meticulously chosen artwork and to have lunch in the much-loved courtyard.
Melissa Twigg is a freelance journalist writing about art, fashion, people, travel and the environment, specialising in Asia and Africa. She previously worked for Hong Kong Tatler as features editor and then as managing editor for regional titles, and currently freelances for publications such as The South China Morning Post, The Sunday Times and The Business of Fashion.