The Creative’s Guide to the Best Gallery-Worthy Art Hotels

shila hotel

Photo by Pia Riverola


May 10, 2021

With rotating collections and hand-made furnishings, the best art hotels offer an immersive experience into local culture—without needing to leave your lodging.


The Johri

Designed by Naina Shah

A 19th-century limestone building known as Lal Haveli is tucked in Jaipur, India’s famed jewelry district in the “Old Walled City”—a UNESCO World Heritage site. The owner preserved the building’s columns and arches, while New York-based designer Naina Shah captures The Johri’s legacy with local artisan objects and hand-made furniture and textiles from Rajasthan artists. Five suites, each named after gemstones, use traditional Rajasthani colors: The manak (Hindi for “ruby”) suite’s dusty pink walls reference Jaipur’s nickname, the Pink City. “Living, feeling, and breathing Jaipur is the fundamental experience we are trying to create,” Naina says.


Downtown LA Proper

Designed by Kelly Wearstler

Downtown LA Proper restores a 1920s California Renaissance Revival landmark into a cozy destination hotel in Los Angeles. Designer Kelly Wearstler adds Mexican, French, and Moroccan influences to the building’s rich history and decorates the 148-room hotel with vintage furniture, local artwork, and more than 100 kinds of hand-painted, custom-fabricated tiles. A wooden sculpture from Chris Hebert Design Group and clay side table by Victoria Morris complement the room’s earth-toned color palette. The various pillows, throws, and rugs play with texture and pattern to create a rugged yet contemporary aesthetic, Kelly says.


Hotel La Bionda

Designed by Quintana Partners Studio

In the coastal town of Begur, Spain, La Bionda transforms a 17th-century private home into a boutique hotel. Owner Carla Lloveras collaborated with Benito Escat Velez and Pol Castells Segarra of Quintana Partners Studio for the design, which tells the story of a woman who housed influential women from all over the world in La Bionda in the 1930s. The eight rooms—each named after one of these women—combine colors and textures to reflect their namesakes. Terra-cotta ceilings, custom-made furnishings, and antiques help La Bionda capture the home’s illustrious past and joyous spirit to make an intimate haven for visitors.


NoMad London

Designed by Roman and Williams

This 19th-century Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station was revitalized into NoMad London, a 91-room hotel. Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of interior design studio Roman and Williams drew inspiration from the building’s artistic and cultural connections in London and New York. Former jail cells became guest rooms, and the art collection, curated by Paris design studio be-poles, celebrates the influence of post-war American art and the European avant-garde. Robin and Stephen say there’s nothing more satisfying than taking a building that was intense “and breaking it free and giving it a future.”


Shila Hotel

Designed by Anna Bonnet

Shila means “character” in Sanskrit. With vintage fabrics, original terrazzo floors, and modern Greek art, this neoclassical hotel in Athens is true to its name. Designer Anna Bonnet and cofounders Shai Antebi and Eftihia Stefanidi combine bygone and contemporary design to take visitors into an otherworldly realm of elegance and serenity. Natural marble, stone, and wood create a comforting aesthetic while the lounge’s eclectic piano, rustic walls, and oriental rugs evoke the feeling of an art collector’s home. Shila’s art collection, featuring Greek and international artists, continues into the six suites for a romantic and whimsical ambience.


Equinox Hudson Yards

Designed by Aaron Richter and Rockwell Group

The 14-story limestone and glass skyscraper designed by SOM overlooks Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel in Manhattan’s West Side. In the entrance, a black stone floor meets an undulating wall of stainless steel. Zaha Hadid Design sofas decorate the lobby while Rockwell Group designed the 212 suites with blackout shades, COCO-MAT natural fiber mattresses, Scandinavian-style duvets, and Vetrina stone baths by Lusso Stone. The indoor-outdoor Electric Lemon restaurant, also designed by Rockwell Group, features a polished stone bar, low-slung furniture, and a walnut-clad fireplace to complement the space’s warm monochromatic palette.


A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 06 with the headline “Gallery-Worthy Respite.” Subscribe today.