Five of the Best Hotels for Art-lovers

The beaches and festivals of the summer are long behind us. And where better to spend a wet winter's afternoon than in an art gallery?


Town Hall Hotel, London

Out in the East End of London, Singapore hotelier Loh Lik Peng’s Town Hall Hotel is, in many respects, a work of art in itself. The interiors are meticulously put together, there are installation-like dentists’ chairs in the corridors while Nuno Mendes’ Viajante restaurant elevates food to a sort of gastro-art level.

Outside, whichever direction you head in, it’s almost impossible not to bump into some ultra-cool little arts space or other: Resistance Gallery and Vegas Gallery are just on the other side of the road (on Poyser Street), while Between Bridges (223 Cambridge Heath Road), The Approach Gallery (47 Approach Road), Transition Gallery and MOT (8 Andrews Road) are all nearby, and Vyner Street is home to a whole host of little galleries. To cap off a weekend of arting it up out east, White Cube Hoxton Square and Whitechapel Gallery are also not far away.


Read our full review of The Town Hall Hotel

Post-gallery watering hotel? Bistrotheque (23-27 Wadeson Street). As good a spot for lunch (accompanied by a pianist on weekends) as it is for dinner and one of London’s best cabaret shows, or simply a quick early evening drink downstairs to start a night out.

Soho House, New York City

For style-savvy art-lovers in New York, there’s a problem: most of the big public art galleries and museums in the city are clustered around midtown and the Upper East Side. And most of the best places to stay are midtown and downwards. What to do? Trade them in for the small private galleries that litter Chelsea from West 20th through to West 29th Street, and stay at Soho House New York while you’re about it. The likes of the Gagosian Art Gallery and the Andrea Rosen Gallery (West 24th Street) and the Matthew Marks Gallery and The Sonnabend (on West 22nd), are all just down a stroll down 9th Avenue away from the hotel, while if you fancy stretching your legs a bit there’s always the MoMa.


Read our full review of Soho House New York

Post-gallery watering hole? Fedora (239 West 4th Street). It’s a little way out of the way down in the West Village, but Gabe Stulman’s (the restaurateur behind Joseph Leonard, and Jeffrey's) new speakeasy-style bar is the perfect place for an early evening coffee and a madeleine (a house special). Or you could always just go for one of the well-mixed cocktails and be done with it…

Continentale, Florence

There may be slightly nearer hotels to Florence’s big-name art galleries (Gallery Hotel Art springs to mind), but the walk from the Continentale to the Accademia and the Uffizi is all of about five minutes. And if the round-the-block queues are a little off-putting? Luckily, Florence is also a pocket-sized city, which means you can pass on Michelango’s David and make for the Bargello instead, where you can admire works from Donatello, Cellini and Gemito without being surrounded by anything like the same number of people.

Read our full review of Continentale

Post-gallery watering hole? Libreria Cafe La Cite (Borgo San Frediano 20r). This Oltrarno institution is just across the river from Continentale. Part café, part bookshop, part art centre, they have regular jazz nights, poetry readings and even tango classes in the evenings.

Casa Camper, Barcelona

You can quite literally roll out of bed at Casa Camper and into the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. And not only is Casa Camper round the corner from one of Barcelona’s most avant-garde art spaces, but it’s got a few aesthetic tricks up its own sleeve, too: there are bold splashes of red, white and black throughout, while the interior patio has a rather nifty wall of plants to admire.

Read our full review of Casa Camper Barcelona

Post-gallery watering hole? Dos Palillos, Casa Camper’s Asian-Spanish fusion tapas bar, is as good a place to go as any in El Raval. Try the chicken chicharrones – they’re delicious.

Hotel du Petit Moulin, Paris

The Paris art scene moves quickly. And the painfully cool can become the painfully uncool in the blink of an eye. The Marais, though, is still a reliable bet for a bit of culture vulturing. Right in the heart of the 3rd arrondissement, there aren’t many more artsily-inclined, fashion-forward hotels in Paris than Christian Lacroix’ Hotel du Petit Moulin. It’s just around the corner from Rue Charlot, home to Galerie Chantal Crousel, Galerie Frederic Giroux and the Passage de Retz, while Galerie Michel Rein and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin (42 and 76 rue de Turenne, respectively) are both well worth a visit. For something a little more formal, but only a little less avant-garde, the Musee Picasso is about a five-minute saunter from the hotel, while the Centre Pompidou is around 10 minutes away.

Read our full review of Hotel du Petit Moulin

Post-gallery watering hole? La Perle (78, rue Vieille-du-Temple). Yes, this may be the place where the John Galliano incident took place, and yes it may not, on the surface of it, be much to write home about style-wise. But it’s a friendly and inviting little neighbourhood joint that’s full to the gunnels with fashion and design folk at all times, and for people-watching, it’s simply second-to-none.

Like our pick of the best hotels for art-lovers, but looking for something a bit more retail-orientated? Check out our pick of the best hotels for a shopping break. Or see our full collection of places to stay.

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