With world-class museums like the Metropolitan and MoMA as well as entire neighborhoods where you can’t toss a bagel without hitting a gallery, there’s no argument that New York City is the North American epicenter of art and culture.
But you don’t have to join the hordes of art-hungry tourists at the Guggenheim or the Whitney when your hotel has its own carefully curated collection of modern art.
At the Gramercy Park Hotel, a bohemian boutique hotel quite unlike any other in NYC, guests get the rare opportunity to enjoy some of the finest examples of 20th century art in a manner that only the rich and famous usually enjoy: in an intimate, unhurried setting that gives you the time to truly appreciate it. Including pieces by legendary artists Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel, the exhibitions at the Gramercy Park Hotel change periodically, so every time you visit, there’s something new to see.
Located just a few blocks from “Museum Mile” in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the Surrey Hotel gives its guests the opportunity to continue their day of art appreciation even after they return for the night. Featuring works by such famed artists as Chuck Close, whose tapestry of British model Kate Moss is a focal point in the hotel’s lobby, the Surrey Hotel’s impressive collection includes 31 original modern works located throughout the hotel’s private and public spaces. Look for whimsical furnishings by Jimmie Martin, photographs by Jenny Holzer, and etchings by American minimalist sculptor Richard Serra.
Aside from the fact that every room at the St. Regis New York is a work of art unto itself, the historic hotel’s attached bar features a stunning 30-by-8-foot Art Noveau masterpiece by American artist Maxfield Parrish. The mural spans the entire wall behind the bar at King Cole Bar, overlooking the site where New York City’s elite have enjoyed their librations for decades.
Meanwhile at the NU Hotel in Brooklyn, the hotel’s designer sought out art and objects that spoke to the borough’s place as the historical home of many of NYC’s most notable artists. From paintings by Brooklyn-born neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat, to walls adorned with quotations by filmmaker Spike Lee, this unique hotel has taken care to give guests a full taste of Brooklyn’s burgeoning art scene.
At Jumeirah Essex House, an artist-in-residence program keeps the lobby at this luxury Central Park South hotel updated with new works that pay homage to the hotel’s Art Deco history. Over the program’s four years, Jumeirah Essex House’s artist-in-residence program has included painter Mark Innerst, photographer Atta Kim, sculptor Paula Hayes, and filmmakers Eve Sussman and Simon Lee. A permanent exhibition at Jumeirah Essex House features images of Central Park titled “The Heart of Central Park: Images Of Central Park from 1858 to The Present.”
Similarly, the Gershwin Hotel in Midtown Manhattan hosts an artists-in-residence program that offers up-and-comers international exposure via the boho boutique hotel’s coveted common spaces, which also feature original works by Billy Name, Andy Warhol and Michael Lin.
For travelers interested only in the most current of NYC’s culture, the Ace Hotel located near the Theater District features commissioned artworks by local street artists. No two rooms are alike!
So which NYC hotel do you think has the most inspiring collection of art?