5 properties that enhance the aesthetic of hotel art


Contemporary collectors and curators Laura Lee Brown and Steven Wilson aimed to create a hotel brand around 21st century art when they founded 21c Museum Hotels in 2006. Art enthusiasts established the first outpost in Louisville, Kentucky, seeking to bring world-class art to tourists and local communities. Since then, the duo have launched seven properties in cities across the South and Midwest, with the Durham location debuting in 2015. The 125-room hotel occupies the historic Downtown Hill Building, a skyscraper 17-story Art Deco designed by renowned architects Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, also the talent behind the Empire State Building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure has been redeveloped to provide over 10,000 square feet of space for rotating and curated exhibitions of global artwork and site-specific conceptual installations like the Duke Riley Mosaic based on cigarettes, titled “It Will Warm You Twice.” In addition to admiring the inspiring artwork dotted throughout the property, guests can dine at Jeff Seizer’s Counting House, a restaurant that combines local Southern cuisine with European techniques, and pamper themselves at the on-site spa. (21c Museum Hotel, $ 161 to $ 710, 111 N. Corcoran St., Durham, NC. 919-956-6700, www.21cmuseumhotels.com/durham)

Legend

QR codes allow people to learn about each work and its respective artist at the Edwin Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Courtesy of Edwin

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein

QR codes allow people to learn about each work and its respective artist at the Edwin Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Courtesy of Edwin
legend arrowLegend

QR codes allow people to learn about each work and its respective artist at the Edwin Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Courtesy of Edwin

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein

Credit: Lauren Rubinstein

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Local art is the star of this downtown Chattanooga waterfront hotel. The Edwin is home to over 75 works of art reflecting the scenic town and the Tennessee River Valley. QR codes provide details about the artwork and the artists. Located next to the pedestrian bridge, the Edwin is within walking distance of museums, the Tennessee Aquarium and the Bluff View Art District, an arts-centric district. This 90-room luxury property offers amenities ranging from Whitebird, a restaurant serving Appalachian-inspired cuisine, and Whiskey Thief, a cocktail bar dedicated to the signature spirit of Tennessee. Ama Spa, named after the Cherokee word for water, is a full-service wellness spa specializing in the indigenous peoples ritual of “going to the water” to nourish, protect and heal. (The Edwin Hotel, $ 191 to $ 331, 102 Walnut St., Chattanooga, Tennessee. 423-713-5900, www.theedwinhotel.com)

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The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, Alabama, is home to the largest art collection in the Kessler Collection with 2,600 square feet of gallery space. Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook

Credit: CHARLES BECK 2015

The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, Alabama, is home to the largest art collection in the Kessler Collection with 2,600 square feet of gallery space.  Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook
legend arrowLegend

The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, Alabama, is home to the largest art collection in the Kessler Collection with 2,600 square feet of gallery space. Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook

Credit: CHARLES BECK 2015

Credit: CHARLES BECK 2015

Birmingham, Alabama

Part of Marriott’s luxury Autograph Collection brand, Kessler Collection hotels are known for their eclectic aesthetics and galleries brimming with curiosities. The Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook is located 5 miles south of the city center, near the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and its namesake art gallery is the largest in the Kessler Collection, with 2,600 square feet of space. exhibition behind the hotel. Contemporary paintings, sculptures and jewelry created by regional and international artists are on display, and all are available for purchase. Open 365 days a year, the gallery regularly adds new works and supports emerging and local talent. Guests looking to improve their culinary game can take a cooking class in the kitchen of the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant, Habitat Feed & Social, or take a wine blending class. The establishment also offers the Poseidon Spa. (Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook, $ 228 to $ 909, 2655 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, Alabama. 205-414-0505, www.kesslercollection.com/bohemian-mountain-brook)

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Contemporary rotating pieces from the Alfond Family Collection, courtesy of Rollins College alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond, and the Rollins Museum of Art, adorn the interior spaces of the Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida. Courtesy of the Rollins Museum of Art / Photo credit Austin Reeves

Credit: Austin Reeves

Contemporary rotating pieces from the Alfond Family Collection, courtesy of Rollins College alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond, and the Rollins Museum of Art, adorn the interior spaces of the Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida.  Courtesy of the Rollins Museum of Art / Photo credit Austin Reeves
legend arrowLegend

Contemporary rotating pieces from the Alfond Family Collection, courtesy of Rollins College alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond, and the Rollins Museum of Art, adorn the interior spaces of the Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida. Courtesy of the Rollins Museum of Art / Photo credit Austin Reeves

Credit: Austin Reeves

Credit: Austin Reeves

Winter park, florida

The Alfond Inn is owned by Rollins College, a private liberal arts school established in 1885, and a rotating collection of contemporary works of art from the Alfond family collection (courtesy of alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond, and the Rollins Museum of Art) adorns the interior spaces. Rollins Museum of Art curator Gisela Carbonell runs weekly art tours at the hostel (currently virtual due to COVID), and self-guided tours are encouraged as well. The hotel has beautiful outdoor spaces including a green courtyard, a magnificent veranda and an elevated swimming pool. Sculptures can be admired in the hotel gardens. Facilities include Hamilton’s Kitchen, which serves traditional Southern cuisine. Currently, the Alfond Inn has 112 rooms and suites, but the hotel is expanding rapidly with 73 additional accommodations expected to be completed in 2023. A spa is also underway. (The Alfond Inn, $ 334 to $ 624, 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park, Florida. 407-998-8090, www.thealfondinn.com)

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