Hotels have really come a long way in the amenity department—business centers? More like wellness programs, bespoke cocktail programs, on-premise cars to borrow, and even personal butlers. But the biggest hotel amenity that has been on the rise? Art. And we’re not talking about Ikea prints. We’re talking full-on galleries, with many also having artist-in-residency programs to promote the appreciation of art and the appreciation of the city the hotel resides in. Here, a look at some of the best places in the U.S. to visit to get cultured without even leaving the place.
21c Museum Hotels (Bentonville, Cincinatti, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Des Moines)
Started in Louisville and now with sister hotels in the Midwest and South, 21c Museum Hotels are just that–art museums. Featuring rotating contemporary galleries and site-specific instillations, the museums also feature regular cultural programming at each location that speaks to the history and essence of the city.
Hotel 50 Bowery (New York City)
The hotel, located in Chinatown, celebrates the neighborhood with an on-site gallery run by the Museum of Chinese in America, as well as artwork curated by Exhibition A, a project founded by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and gallery owner Bill Powers to bring top contemporary artists to boutique properties. At Hotel 50 Bowery, expect the art to evoke the energy of downtown.
The Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas)
While not quite a gallery, the huge resort has had a focus on contemporary and digital art and celebrates it in a myriad of ways, including rotating contemporary art on display throughout its premises, and Art-o-Mat machines which dispenses original artwork by more than 400 artists.
The Vendue (Charleston)
The Charleston hotel describes itself as “the first and only hotel in Charleston dedicated to the arts.” Featuring two to three art exhibitions a year, with all art curated by an on-premise Art Director, as well as an artist-in-residency program, where the artist works in the working studio located in the lobby and hosts guests during the Manager’s Reception, where you can chat and see him or her create works of art.
The Pfister Hotel (Milwaukee)
The historic hotel, which opened in 1893 in downtown Milwaukee, has always been on the cutting edge–the Pfister Hotel was the first hotel to have air conditioning and a thermostat in every room and the first hotel to use electricity. And clearly, the tradition hasn’t wavered. It’s had an artist-in-residency program for the past decade, and boasts an artist studio in the hotel lobby, as well as an expansive Victorian art collection, which is cited as the largest of its kind in any hotel in the world. It’s truly an experience.