FIAC: Contemporary art and luxury hotels—towards a new Eldorado?

At the latest Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) in Paris, I reflected on the importance of contemporary art in Palaces and 5-star hotels. A fervent defender of the French art of welcoming, I am of the belief that contemporary art has always been an integral element of our DNA. Contemporary art is a source of inspiration for reinventing oneself, reinterpreting, and innovating across all domains of the hotel.

The growing presence of contemporary art in luxury hotels is swiftly becoming a source of differentiation between hotels. This artistic renewal is adopting a role in this market and has thus become an attractive factor for a clientele that is constantly in search of surprises, splendor, and sentiment.

Of course, art is not simple decoration. Art is a vector of emotions; art brings out reactions, it calls forth a response, a gesture that is personal and evolving according to one’s mood, one’s way of being. Our senses react on all levels and thus create an experience, a moment of life.

Art thus brings out a response; above all, it must be able to move us. It calls forth a feeling without limits, without a backward glance. Hotels are ideal spaces for giving life to this kind of experience for their clients, given the numerous spaces available for them in which to integrate art: the rooms, hallways, staircases, conference rooms, and the lobby. Each are opportunities to transmit an emotion to the client. Art is also a way to differentiate oneself in hotels and feature a local touch. Often when you travel in different countries where hotels remain somewhat identical, a hotel that features contemporary art delivers a touch of differentiation and personalization for clients. It is also a vector for the hotel’s brand image because the client might take a photo, post it on Instagram or Facebook, and thus communicate the hotel’s image on her social media.

In my opinion, luxury hotels will go much further in several years in the domain of contemporary art. Artists will take possession of a room and transform it into a work of art. The client will thus be able to live out a chance to “sleep inside a work of art” and not just exist in parallel to it, as is the case today.

Street art has also pervaded hotels. In London, there are many hotels that have called on artists in the ‘street art’ movement. Then you have hotels like Cheval Blanc that entrusts to these artists the task of designing works of art for the exterior of the hotel. This is the first image that the client will discover upon arriving at the hotel. Then, he might find other works in his villa. The Park Hyatt group has always placed contemporary art in their rooms, lobbies, and restaurants. The owner of the Hyatt brand has created a wide collection of private and contemporary art through the opening of a foundation. Art truly can be a vector for a hotel’s image.

Luxury hotels are featuring contemporary art more and more and transforming themselves bit by bit into true art galleries where they display the most renowned works. They are also becoming prescribers for artists in their own right; a client who has been moved by a certain artwork will want to discover the artist and perhaps buy the work for himself. This is a trend that is taking place everywhere across the world.

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The GRAY Beirut Hotel – Lobby

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