2022 Top 25 Historic Hotels Worldwide Most Magnificent Art Collections Announced
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#art–Historic Hotels Worldwide is known for its members’ grand architecture, colorful gardens, elegant hospitality, and romantic settings, and their luxury amenities are often enhanced with museum-quality art collections. Many of the hotels highlighted here exhibit the most magnificent art collections found at historic hotels, and many are committed to supporting art movements and diversity in art. Hotels of Historic Hotels Worldwide view their art collections as an expression of their hospitality and community values, many collecting with the aim of supporting local or national heritage preservation and local artists. Above all, this is art that is meant to be enjoyed by all who visit. These art collections can be viewed and experienced in furniture, paintings, sculpture, augmented reality, textiles, tablets, fountains, and even some hotel buildings that are considered stand-alone works of art. From Berlin to Guadalajara to Montreal, Historic Hotels Worldwide lodgings offer guests opportunities to experience a variety of original artwork, from the works of Dutch masters and graffiti artists to Mexican muralists and Pop Art disrupters. These historic hotels are truly museums where you can stay the night.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski (1131) Venice, Italy
The San Clemente Palace Kempinski is set on the exclusive island of San Clemente in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon. The original structure of the hotel dates to the 12th century and today, it is one of Italy’s most enchanting getaways. Inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2016, San Clemente Palace Kempinski is an active supporter of the art world and artists. The palace interiors blend cool contemporary and dramatic Renaissance styles, with lofty six-meter ceilings, and intricate details like Terrazzo flooring and Murano chandeliers, while annual art installations appear across the estate throughout the year, especially near the famous Venice Biennale. In recent years, San Clemente Island hosted many world-renowned contemporary artworks by leading artists such as Igor Mitoraj, Tony Cragg, Sylvie Fleury, Gregor Hildebrandt, Carole A. Feuerman, Joana Vasconcelos, Shan Shan Sheng, and Julian Opie. Since San Clemente Island’s location is close to the main event spaces of the Biennale, the hotel becomes an ideal location for artists, guests, and art admirers. The permanent collection of San Clemente Palace Kempinski includes artwork from hotel owners’ collections, select pieces bought from former exhibitions, and gifted works. The palace’s corridors display art produced by emerging artists to support their craft. Temporary exhibitions can typically be viewed in the lobby, church, and in the gardens. From Summer through Fall 2022, the hotel is hosting Venetian glass artist Lino Tagliapietra’s solo exhibition, “ALTAR EGO,” curated by Koen Vanmechelen at the San Clemente Church. Also on display at the palace this season is artwork by Korean artists Cha Eunmi, Hye Rim Li, Hyong Nam Ahn, Lee Seung Hee, Jinwong Chan, and Sun K. Kwak, brought together in collaboration with Waterfall Mansion & Gallery. Both exhibitions are open through November 7, 2022. Guests and visitors can request a private tour of the island’s art and the estate from the concierge.
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (1493) Tazacorte, La Palma, Spain
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo is a fabulous historic destination in Tazacorte, on the western end of La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands. Founded in the late-15th century, the estate was the oldest sugar estate on the island of La Palma. The Hotel emerged from a meticulous 2010 restoration of the estate and its main house, Casa Principal of Tazacorte. Hotel Hacienda de Abajo was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2021 and, in the same year, was awarded the Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence “Historic Hotels Worldwide Best in Europe” award. Built in the seventeenth century by Pedro José de Sotomayor Topete y Massieu, Casa Principal of Tazacorte stayed in the family for centuries. Today, Hotel Hacienda de Abajo reflects the history of the Sotomayor Topete family and their devotion to arts and culture. The noble families that resided in the grand home imported art to adorn their halls from all over the globe, as the island was a major hub for sea trade. Tapestries, furniture, paintings, gilded mirrors, and delicate Chinese porcelain traveled from every corner of the world to decorate Casa Principal of Tazacorte. Today, over 1,300 works of art are part of Hacienda de Abajo’s collection, comprised of the estate’s historic art collection and new acquisitions. Guests may catch a glimpse of French and Flemish tapestries of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; delight in an art gallery with European and American paintings, some dating to the 15th century, as well as porcelain pieces and Chinese statues from the Tang, Ming, and Qing dynasties, religious European carvings from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and more. This art collection is the largest contribution of art heritage to the island of La Palma since the 17th century. The result is that Hotel Hacienda de Abajo is an unconventional museum, one with an elegant but comfortable atmosphere. Tours of the estate, art collection, and grounds are available upon request.
Hotel Maximilian’s (1495) Augsburg, Germany
Constructed between the 14th and 17th centuries, the earliest known record of Hotel Maximilian’s–and its art–dates to the Late Middle Ages. The hotel, which was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2019, grew to local fame when a group of Abyssinian monks arrived in the city during the winter of 1495, and only the innkeeper of Hotel Maximilian’s offered them shelter. When the monks left the following Spring, their portraits were painted on a board placed just outside the inn. Today, the hotel’s art collection includes over 300 individual works, created by artists including Franz Friedrich, Sophanias De Derichs, Anton Degele, and Ehrgott Bernhard Bendel. The collection includes 19th and 20th-century works, but most are paintings that date to the 17th and 18th centuries. Among them are the following significant works:
- Hase, or “Hare,” by Jan Baptist Weenix. This painting depicts a hunting scene, and hangs in the hotel’s largest suite, the presidential suite Paganini.
- Tierszene, an animal scene by Adrian van Oolen. This impressive work is two canvases, hung across from each other in the lobby library.
- Landanweisung der salzburger Siedler, or “Land Instruction of the Salzburg Settlers,”a painting by an unknown artist that depicts the displaced settlers being assigned land in North America.
- Knabenbildnis des J.J. Köpf, a portrait of J.J. Köpf as a young man by Sophanias De Derichs. This painting depicts the young Köpf in a Hungarian uniform.
- Italienisches Stillleben, or “Italian Still Life,” that depicts fruit, and can be found in the hotel restaurant, maximilian°s.
The Hotel Maximilian’s art collection has grown over the years as new hotel directors, all with an interest in art and the collection’s history, have selected new pieces for the collection. Guests can admire the art throughout the hotel, including in guestrooms, corridors, lobby, the restaurant maximilian°s, the Gourmet Restaurant Sartory, and in Bar 3M. Upon request, Hotel Maximilian’s can provide private, guided tours of the art collection.
Bernini Palace Hotel (1500) Florence, Italy
The historic Bernini Palace Hotel is located in a 15th-century palace in the heart of Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The palace was once owned by the powerful Pera family, financiers known for their investments throughout Europe. The famous artwork of the hotel, which was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2015, was installed in the 19th century, and depicts the unification of Italy. In the mid-19th century, the Palace was an elegant hotel, and Florence was the new capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-1871). The hotel was just a short walk from the newly unified kingdom’s parliament, and so the hotel’s owner changed its name to the Columbia Parlamento Hotel, making it popular with incoming members of parliament. Many guests stayed at the hotel while working, and others met at the palace for informal discussions. Among the many artistic treasures of Bernini Palace Hotel is a large, frescoed hall on the first floor with portraits of the protagonists of the Italian unification. Around 1880, an unknown artist or artists painted a series of frescoes on the walls of the hall, depicting important figures in the unification of Italy. The series was never completed, as guests can plainly see that there are 20 empty frames visible along the walls. Look out for grotesque motifs, which include winged harpies emerging from a variety of bizarrely-colored flowers, as well as leering masks, expressive heads suspended in the void, and dragons with tattered wings. The former Hall of the Italian Parliament today is a grand breakfast room for guests and is also available to rent for private events. The marvelous, frescoed portraits allow guests to enjoy their meal while being immersed in history.
Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel (1573) Cusco, Peru
Built in a rustic mansion that dates to the 16th century, the Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is a brilliant time capsule of Peru’s storied past. The hotel houses more than 300 pieces of art, including oil paintings on canvas from the Cusco School, as well as sculptures crafted during the country’s Colonial period, beautifully crafted Colonial furniture, and fine silverware. Many of the Colonial pieces at the hotel were inspired by Catholicism, and depict Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the saints, and the Angelic Host. These works are displayed throughout the hotel, to inspire guests to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage and fascinating past. In addition to these pieces of art, the Hotel offers guests access to its record collection on a beautiful and antique gramophone made by the Talking Machine Co., patented in the U.S. The hotel is a fabulous choice for cultural travelers to this ancient city, both for its artwork and its proximity to the region’s most significant historic and cultural landmarks. The city of Cusco was founded during the 1100s by the Killke people, and was absorbed by the Incan Empire nearly a century later. The Inca ruled Cusco before Spain arrived and transformed the city into a Colonial outpost in 1533. The most historic parts of the hotel were established soon afterwards, as the lavish residence of colonizer Don Domingo de Artaza, one of Cusco’s earliest Spanish mayors. The hotel’s art reflects its centuries-long history. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, in 2012, Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide. The hotel provides a self-guided tour upon request for guests interested in learning more about the hotel’s history and its art.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam (1578) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam possesses a rich history that dates to the 1500s and has been a Historic Hotels Worldwide member since 2018. This storied hotel is a perfect place for art lovers, with its rich history and original works of art by illustrious Dutch painters and sculptors. Artists such as Hildo Krop, Chris Lebau, Willem Penaat, Joseph Mendes de Costa, John Raedecker, Karel Appel, and Johan Thorn Prikker have all created beautiful art pieces that are displayed at the hotel. The Princenhof building at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam even participated in the evolution of art in Amsterdam. In 1949, the renowned artist, Karel Appel, was asked to paint a mural for the canteen in Amsterdam’s city hall. This painting can still be admired at the entrance to the hotel’s Oriole Garden Bistro and Bridges restaurant. His style was vastly different from that of artist Chris Lebeau, who painted the room-filling mural in the hotel’s stunning Marriage Chamber. While the new artistic work was not well-received at that time, both murals are considered invaluable art treasures of the city today. Hotel guests can discover the extensive collection of artwork during the daily historical tour at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. In the Summer of 2020, the hotel initiated an Artists in Residence project, in collaboration with writer and journalist Ivo Weyel. The project aims to support the art world in the midst of, and in the wake of, the COVID-19 pandemic, which put many artists out of work. The Artists in Residence project encompasses artists from many different disciplines, from painters to poets, and from jewelry designers to photographers. The project will result in a coffee table book, and original pieces will be exhibited at the hotel, and some will be put up for auction to raise funds for art charities.
DOM Hotel (1600) Rome, Italy
Located in the heart of Papal Rome, the historic DOM Hotel is in a 17th-century aristocratic palazzo on Via Giulia, one of the city’s most historic and iconic streets. Via Giulia was once home to numerous gardens and many prominent artists, including Raffaello, Benvenuto Cellini, and later, Francesco Borromini. Today, the DOM Hotel–which was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2019–displays its rich heritage through its preserved architecture and historical displays. Even its name is an homage to its past: “DOM” stands for “Deo Optimo Maximo” (“to the greatest god”), a Latin inscription found on the adjoining church next door. The hotel’s art collection can be explored throughout the hotel’s guestrooms and shared spaces. Inside DOM Hotel, guests and visitors discover spaces adorned with refined decor, handcrafted furnishings, international works of art, and original elements of the historic building. Restored and renovated for contemporary comfort, original structural components, such as the exposed brick walls and coffered wooden beam ceilings, were wisely preserved and serve as a natural backdrop to the hotel’s art and furnishings. Among them are an eclectic collection of original photographs, including those of Man Ray and Bert Stern, and three original Andy Warhol silkscreens from the “Ladies and Gentlemen” series. Also displayed are blocks of marble with ancient religious inscriptions dating back to the Renaissance, which were acquired from the church of Santa Lucia del Gonfalone. The guestrooms and suites at DOM Hotel are curated with original furnishings handcrafted by Italian master artisans and international works of art. The suites include vases crafted in Belgium, artistic photographs, and original paintings by emerging Columbian artists.
Pulitzer Amsterdam (1600s) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Throughout Pulitzer Amsterdam’s illustrious history, the hotel has collected antiques, furniture, artwork, and books to create a one-of-a-kind experience. A member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2015, the hotel carefully crafts its suites with special pieces from Pulitzer Amsterdam’s art, music, and antique collections. Each one is unique. For example, the Art Collector’s Suite is an art lover’s dream, evoking the feeling of spending the night in a private gallery. The most renowned piece from the hotel’s collection, Hals Brunch by Thierry Bruet, resides in this suite, as this six-meter-long painting was commissioned and painted specifically for the Pulitzer Amsterdam. It bears a striking similarity to Leonardo De Vinci’s The Last Supper at a distance, but upon closer inspection, guests can find this version’s quirky modern touches. The Antique Collector’s Suite creates a perfect retreat for curious travelers to immerse themselves in the history of the former canal houses that make up the hotel complex, where the furniture, artwork, and objects all hold a connection to the past, and create an ambiance of past eras that stretches back centuries. The Music Collector’s Suite is perfect for those who love to collect musical experiences and melodies. Best played on the suite’s vintage record player, guests can enjoy Pulitzer Amsterdam’s impressive collection of LP records ranging from soul, classical, or rock and roll, while surrounded by musical instruments and curated records. These are just a few of the artfully curated themed suites available to book at Pulitzer Amsterdam. Art lovers can also book the hotel’s Paint like a Dutch Master package to learn about the techniques used by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, and Van Gogh, through a private painting workshop.
Hacienda de Los Santos (1685) Alamos, Sonora, Mexico
The family-owned and operated Hacienda de Los Santos is a historic resort composed of three renovated and restored Colonial-style mansions, as well as one sugar mill that dates to the 17th century, where beautiful religious art and custom design can be found at every turn. The art of Hacienda de Los Santos today is a collection of works, especially religious art, that were all selected, uncovered, or created for the resort by the hotel’s owners, the Swickard family. In the early years of the resort’s renovations, religious art was found throughout the estate’s historic buildings and grounds. Today, much of that collection is on display within the Chapel of the Saints. At the chapel, a Baroque altar was designed and created in recent years by Mexico’s expert woodcarver and artist, Augustin Parra of Tlaquepaque, Jalisco. The three large bells were cast by Mexico’s only fourth-generation bell makers. The art collection of figures, retablos, and ex-votos on display in the chapel includes a carved figure of Saint Anne, which is the collection’s oldest single figure, dating back to the 16th century and authenticated. Many of the carved religious figures on display came from other churches in Spain, Mexico, and Guatemala, passed from the churches into private hands long ago, and later placed into Hacienda de Los Santos’ collection. The resort also exhibits a 17th-century French hymnal, written in Latin. Each of its individual pages were handwritten and illustrated by a monk. A large oil painting of the Lady of Guadalupe is also featured at the resort. This painting was first installed in a church in Southern Colorado in 1849. The chapel is open to guests. There are guided tours daily at 2:00 p.m. for a small fee. This marvelous destination resides within the charming town of Alamos, a designated National Monument of Mexico. Hacienda de Los Santos was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2015 and was honored in 2021 as the winner of the Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence award for Best Historic Hotels Worldwide Hotel in the Americas.
Utne Hotel (1722) Hardanger, Norway
One of the most historic hotels in Norway and surrounded by the mountaintops of the magnificent Hardangerfjord, the iconic Utne Hotel opened its doors to guests in 1722 and was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2012. With its intricate decorative details and vast collection of antique treasures, visiting this historic hotel today is like walking into a living history book. Along with its own impressive collection of historic Norwegian art and interior detail–including the remarkable painted wood cupboards and wall panels of its formal dining room–Utne Hotel supports local artists through its Kunstannekset, or Art Annex. The Art Annex, which includes guestrooms, emerged when the Utne Hotel invited local Hardanger artists to decorate a guestroom in the Annex. The artists chose the colors and styles for the rooms that harmonize with their art. The choices resulted in assorted color themes for the rooms, each characterized by quite different artistic expressions. Some guestrooms feature graphics, collages, and oil and acrylic paintings. It is an active gallery exhibit, and some of the art displayed may be for sale. The art is done justice, says one Utne Hotel-featured artist Judith de Haan, when guests live with the art during their visit and experience it through night and day. Other featured artists include Solfrid Aksnes, Åse Berit Skeie Ulltang, Wim van den Toorn, Ingunn van Etten, and Johild Mæland. These artists are all a part of the local artists forum, Harding Puls.
The Mozart Prague (1770) Prague, Czech Republic
Originally constructed in 1770 as the private residence of Count Pachta, The Mozart Prague is a family-owned boutique hotel located in the most historic district of Prague. It was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2021. Retaining majestic glamour with ornate décor, crystal chandeliers, and ceiling frescoes, The Mozart Prague holds a unique reputation as an artistic haven. While the Pachta family enjoyed private performances by the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giacomo Casanova, and Wilhelm Richard Wagner, today’s guests are similarly enchanted by an art collection of over 150 international art pieces featured throughout the palace, including Ignaz Franz Platzer’s original baroque sculptures, Pavel Roucka’s contemporary art, Maurizio Toffoletti’s magnificent marble statue, and a splendid collection of frescoes. In the Jiraskuv Wing of The Mozart Prague, there is a series of maps and etchings on display that portray Prague, historic Bohemia, and local landscapes. The most historic piece is a map by Hartmann Schedel from 1493. Two statues by Ignaz Franz Platzer, a baroque sculptor who worked, like Mozart, for royalty during the 1700s and was also a Free Mason, are highlighted in the collection. Like other historic Prague buildings, the palace is full of subtle references to Free Masonry. Guests can enjoy the art throughout the hotel and in the guestrooms, where authentic beauty and history shine through original works.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (1780) Bagac, Bataan, Philippines
Las Casa Filipinas de Acuzar is a resort that is a work of both historic and modern art, and a story of Filipino heritage told through art. Inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2017 and home to Jose Acuzar’s collection of heritage houses, the resort offers historic lodgings restored by a team of artisans and craftsmen. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar are beautifully appointed guest houses at this award-winning beach resort. For guests, the resort offers a series of arts and crafts workshops, where visitors can learn more about the different mediums of art created at the resort. Along with hands-on workshops, the resort offers a signature Heritage Walking Tour, an hour-long guided tour across the villages and ancestral houses within the resort, and an immersive tour of the resort’s workshops, that offers guests a front-row seat to seeing artists and craftspeople creating new pieces. Of special interest for visitors who appreciate art is the Hotel de Oriente. An iconic structure within the resort, Hotel de Oriente’s majestic and striking features are due to the intricacy of its woodwork seen throughout the walls, floors, and ceilings of the structure. A tour is not complete without a visit to this majestic place. In addition to providing luxurious experiences for travelers, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar’s Bellas Artes Projects foundation invests in local and international artists. The foundation provides a platform for experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration through artist residencies. Internationally acclaimed for its commitment to service as well as art, the resort was honored with the Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence award for Best Historic Hotels Worldwide Hotel in Asia/Pacific in 2021.
Raffles Europejski, Warsaw (1857) Warsaw, Poland
Designed in the Neoclassical style by Italian-Polish architect Enrico Marconi, Raffles Europejski Warsaw was intended to be the most extravagant hotel in the Russian Empire when it opened in Warsaw in 1857.
MEDIA: Katherine Orr
Historic Hotels of America │ Historic Hotels Worldwide
Manager, Marketing Communications