By Mark Chesnut
The theft of a $250,000 Rembrandt drawing from The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey in August helped to make travelers more aware that hotels are more than a place to rest your head; they can also be a great place to appreciate original artwork. Here are a few great places — including Florida hotels, New York hotels and Hawaii hotels — where travelers can get a healthy serving of artistic inspiration.
ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa, located at the northern tip of Miami Beach, exhibits more than 400 privately commissioned works of art from new, emerging and established American and foreign talent. Major artists including Guy Dill, Ed Moses, Darren Waterson, and Richard Deutsh comprise the collection, which is valued at more than $3.5 million.
The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf-Astoria Resort, claims to house the largest and most valuable art collection in all of the Hawaiian Islands. Guided art tours are offered to highlight the more than 81 works on exhibit, by artists of international stature including Fernando Botero and Fennand Leger, with regional artists such as Dale Chihuly, Dale Zarrella and Gustavo Torrres.
New York hotels
Among the Big Apple hotels that feature original art are The James, which has its own curator focused on creating interesting exhibits, and the value-priced Pod Hotel, which features the urban artwork of Brooklyn native J.M. Rizzi throughout the property, to enhance the hotel’s unique, mass transit-inspired design.
Washington D.C. hotels
At the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC, Artist Zhong-Yang Huang was commissioned to do an interpretation of his piece, “Above the Forbidden City,” that depicts the Last Empress of China swinging over Beijing, China. This work of the Empress over Washington, D.C., titled “Above Washington, D.C.,” enhancing the hotels blending of Eastern and Western cultures and philosophies.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on business and leisure travel to Latin America.