Cultured’s Guide to Global Hotels With Museum-Worthy Art Collections

Art worth talking about tends to be a theme at the world’s most stylish hotels, but only a select few properties go above and beyond with collections that rival the best. Staying at one of these trendsetting establishments may not be a possibility in the current COVID-19 crisis, but you can still discover them by learning more about their art: herein, our global tour.

Shivani Vora

The Winery at Vik Chile.

The Drawing Room at the The Fife Arms, Braemar. Photo by Sim Canetty Clarke.

The Fife Arms, Braemar, Scotland
Set in the village of Braemar, a few miles from Balmoral Castle, The Fife Arms—formerly a 19th century hunting lodge—is owned by Swiss art power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth, co-founders of Hauser & Wirth gallery. Could there be any doubt that the property’s art is less than incredible? A world-class collection, spanning from the 19th century to present day, pops up at every turn, from the hallways to the forty-six guest rooms. Notable works include new commissions from leading international artists such as the oil-on-wall by Argentinian Guillermo Kutica, a large-scale Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture from 1994 and a Francis Picabia watercolor and pencil portrait of an elegant Spanish woman from 1924.

Rosewood Miramar Beach.

Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito, California
With its seaside setting on the gorgeous Southern California coastline and chic, club-like feel, Rosewood Miramar Beach is as glamorous as its art. More than half of the 600 pieces hanging throughout the property were commissioned specifically for the resort and curated with the help of online art gallery The Tappan Collective. The works include archival images showcasing the rich history of the land and property‚—from vintage cars to snapshots of the beach—as well as significant 19th century pieces from the likes of Marc Chagall and Joan Miro. More contemporary works from heavy hitters such as Frank Stella, Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero and American painter and printmaker Christopher Brown. In short, this isn’t a collection you’ll blink and miss.

Hotel Esencia.

Hotel Esencia, Riviera Maya, Mexico
A mainstay for the glamorous set, Riviera Maya’s Hotel Esencia has a collection that rivals its unspoiled ivory sand beach locale. American entrepreneur and owner Kevin Wendle, a longtime art aficionado, has amassed an impressive array of one-off pieces including traditional mid-century furniture like a set of Pierre Jeanneret armless teak chairs and a Serge Mouille metal, aluminum and brass tripod floor lamp. Guests will also see upwards of thirty drawings from the 1950s by celebrated Spanish, Latin American and Mexican artists such as Picasso, Botero and Eduardo Santiere. “Oil paintings spoil in our tropical climate so we stick to displaying drawings,” says Wendle. These days he’s adding to this lineup by investing in sculptures, ceramics and mixed-media works by emerging Mexican artists.

The Silo.

The Silo, Cape Town
Commanding a prime spot on the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, The Silo could qualify as an extension of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which is on the ground floor of the same building as the hotel. In both the twenty-eight rooms and various public spaces, owner Liz Biden shows off her collection of more than 300 pieces of contemporary African art which she has acquired from her travels all over the continent. Works by young, aspiring artists are on display, along with those by international heavyweights such as Cyrus Kabiru and Kudzanai Chiurai of Kenya, as well as Mahau Modisakeng from South Africa. Like the hotel itself, its eclectic contents make a statement.

Vik Chile courtyard.

Vik Chile, Millahue, Chile
Positioned on 11,000 acres of vineyards and valleys and with unobstructed views of the Andes, Vik Chile merges a stunning setting with exceptional art. Designed by visionaries Alex and Carrie Vik, the property’s public spaces and twenty-two suites feature an extensive collection including many site-specific installations by Chilean and international artists. The living room, for example, displays paintings by Roberto Matta, one of the country’s most beloved artists, a diptych from Anselm Kiefer’s iconic “Secret Life of Plants” series and furniture by the renowned American designer Vladimir Kagen. In the guest rooms, The Vik Suite features works by Argentinian Antonio Segui and James Turrell, among others. The Azulejo Suite is home to a Portuguese Azulejo tile mosaic spanning an entire wall and the ceiling, depicting the vineyard, as well as art by Chilean Pablo Montealegre. From the 1930s Axel Revold painting in The Norge Suite that captures his impressions of Norway to the Fornasetti Suite that pays homage to the eponymous designer, the collection seems never to end.

The Connaught, London
The perfect blend of traditional British and modern appeal, The Connaught, in London’s tony Mayfair neighborhood, has art in every corner, from the restaurants to the guest rooms. Julian Opie’s contemporary portraits hang on the walls of the Coburg Bar, for example, while Damien Hirst’s butterflies have a place at the Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. The property’s corridors are lined with black and white photography by Horst P. Horst, and almost every room in the hotel’s new wing contains Josef Albers prints. The Mews, its three-story private townhouse, is a showstopper whose impressive collection includes the painting “Couples” by Louise Bourgeois.

La Mamounia.

La Mamounia, Marrakech
The longtime “it” hotel in Marrakech, the nearly century-old La Mamounia is integral to the city’s art scene and regularly serves as a venue for exhibitions that showcase talent from all over the world. Art is ubiquitous here: there are 80 photos, for one, by amateur photographers and tourists that capture life in Marrakech in the 1930s. The Majorelle Gallery boasts paintings by 20th century French artist Jean Besancenot, illustrating scenes from Asia. Sculptures figure in, too, including a bronze and golden bulldog by Julien Marinetti. In fact, each floor of the property is dedicated to a different artist, such as the Canadian painter Susan Porter and the British photographer Alan Keohane; their works are unique, but they each have a love for Morocco.