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Art Pharmacy were engaged by developers Billbergia to develop a high level art strategy for a new hotel at 88 Walker Street.

14.07.22 | Art Pharmacy, Artist

The Role of Art in the New Hotel Experience

Ideas

Hotels are no longer just places to sleep.

The most successful hotels nowadays differentiate themselves through a place-centric cultural strategy, and a thoughtfully curated collection of art, both in hotel rooms and in public areas.

After almost three years of periodic lockdowns, the prospect of travel has finally become a reality. Interestingly, travel restrictions have brought on a new fascination with the hyper-local personalities of regions, and tourists are placing more meaning on the experience of travel.

With the rise of boutique hotels and quirky AirBnBs, a new culture trend has emerged - travel-deprived tourists now want unforgettable cultural experiences from hotels that can instil them with excitement and a unique sense of the place they are visiting.

There are strong arguments for the way hotel art strategies and collections can strengthen placemaking, facilitate meaningful experiences and contribute to overall staff and customer wellbeing.

Art Pharmacy sourced artworks for the newly opened The Westin Brisbane.

Art Pharmacy worked with French luxury hotel brand, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, in 2017 to invigorate the guest rooms of Sofitel Darling Harbour in Sydney.

In August 2018, Art Pharmacy created an art strategy document for Marriott Group (International) for decision-makers within their global team.

Art Pharmacy worked as art curators for the W Hotel in Darling Harbour, with the goal to convey the personality of Sydney to out-of-town visitors through art.

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Art as Brand Identity

Art can create a memorable first impression upon the customer - it can be the first communicator of the hotel’s image, and depending on curation this could imprint comfort, luxury, elegance, eclecticism or personality.

When incorporated into a business strategy, it can generate an ongoing relationship with valued customers and their connections.

When art is incorporated seamlessly as an experience, it undeniably creates a more meaningful and memorable experience for guests.

Here are some effective incorporations of local art in Australian hotels

Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour's rooms have vibrant red, yellow and blue murals by local artist Jasper Knight.

The hotel group Art Series has a number of hotels across Australian dedicated to major Australian artists. Pictured is "Larwill" in Parkville, VIC titled after David Larwill.

The hotel group Art Series has a number of hotels across Australian dedicated to major Australian artists. Pictured is "Chen" in Box Hill, VIC titled after Zhong Chen.

The hotel group Art Series has a number of hotels across Australian dedicated to major Australian artists. Pictured is "Cullen" in Prahran, VIC titled after Adam Cullen.

The hotel group Art Series has a number of hotels across Australian dedicated to major Australian artists. Pictured is "Olsen" in South Yarra, VIC titled after John Olsen.

The Pavilions at the Museum of Old and New Art are all named after a major Australian artist. Pictured is 'Arthur' named after Arthur Boyd.

The Pavilions at the Museum of Old and New Art are all named after a major Australian artist. Pictured is 'Sidney' named after Sidney Nolan.

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Art as Placemaking

The past few years have seen popularisation of terms such as ‘staycation’ (a holiday in one’s own country or city) and ‘bizcation’ (extending a business trip for a few days for leisure).

When a customer selects a hotel, they are looking for an experience, whether it’s to experience the local culture, explore the region as a tourist or even just to escape the banality of the everyday.

In this case, art should connect the hotel to the local community, speak to histories and highlight key locations - for example, by selecting hyper-local artists, hoteliers can bring local art and culture straight to the guest.

Art as Wellbeing

Work environments immersed in art have been proven to boost productivity, strengthen overall staff sentiment and facilitate creative thinking.

Now more than ever, it is crucial for hoteliers to distinguish their establishment culturally and provide customers with more than just a bed for the night.

Here are some effective incorporations of art in international hotels

The lobby of Citizen M, New York features a gallery of cultural artefacts from Disney figurines to Jeff Koon's 'Balloon Dogs' to replica guitars and retro signage.

The Conrad in New York has a striking blue and purple Sol LeWitt painting, 'Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple),' that rises 13 stories high.

'Draw' by Antony Gormley at The Thief in Oslo, Norway.

Timothy Paul Myers’s 'Alizarin' on display in the lobby of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Rome Cavalieri by Waldorf Astoria has a collection of masters' paintings, rare tapestries, French period furniture, and fine sculptures. Artists include Henri Vollet, Ennio Morlotti, Nicolas Tournier, Andy Warhol, and Victor Brauner.

Every floor of Manhattan's Chambers Hotel is marked by a specific installation with work by artists such as Sheila Pepe, John Waters, and Bob and Roberta Smith.

'Marble Head' by Jaume Plensa at Stockholm’s At Six.

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Art in the New Hotel Experience

Hotels are beginning to understand the importance of using art as an experiential component instead of just a part of their interior design.

A guest’s memorable stay generates much more than revenue - it creates loyalty, which leads to repeat visits, generous reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, and boosts the hotel’s reputation in an oversaturated industry.

An investment in the arts is an investment in the new hotel experience.

At Art Pharmacy, we work with local artists and organisations to thoughtfully curate collections that spark inspiration and promote wellbeing. We emphasise the art narrative to visually convey the culture and identity of the organisation, and to facilitate effective placemaking.

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