by Kaylee Hultgren | June 01, 2008

There was a time when the art found on hotel walls, subtle and soothing,
was meant to blend seamlessly into its surroundings, rather than deliberately draw the attention of guests. But that aesthetic is swiftly becoming a thing of the past. Connoisseur hoteliers now hone their properties’ collections and take great pride in the unique and priceless pieces they’ve amassed. Indeed, one might say that the following art galleries offer the added distinction of overnight accommodations.

Ritz-Carlton, South BeachRitz-Carlton, South Beach

During an early-2000s revamp of this vintage 1950s property, part-owner Diana Lowenstein commissioned more than 40 artists to produce works such as the etching “Jeroglifico” (pictured), by Antonio Tapies, to grace the walls. The 375-room hotel also offers a 10,200-square-foot ballroom, 10 meeting rooms and a 16,000-square-foot spa. (786) 276-4000;


Gallery One - A Doubletree Guest Suites HotelGallery One - A Doubletree
Guest Suites Hotel
Fort Lauderdale

Since January 2007, following a $25 million propertywide renovation and name change, the 231-suite Gallery One has offered a lobby that doubles as a revolving art gallery. To keep things fresh, management welcomes a new exhibition every few months, and “meet the artist” events are scheduled regularly. Receptions for up to 75 attendees can be held among the collections; pictured, “The Heart of the Matter,” by Linda Prud’Homme. Also available are a 3,800-square-foot ballroom and 3,000 square feet of waterfront event space. (954) 565-3800;


21C Museum Hotel21c Museum Hotel
Louisville, Ky.

At 21c, developer Steve Wilson and wife Laura Lee Brown display their $10 million art collection, along with works chosen by guest curators. Adorning the lobby and parts of the 9,000-square-foot gallery are multimedia installations such as “Text Rain” (pictured), by Camille Utterback and Romy Achituv. This piece is created with video projections of falling letters, while shadows of participants’ figures appear to direct where the letters land, sometimes forming words. A total of 9,000 square feet of meeting space, including seven meeting rooms and four private dining rooms at the acclaimed restaurant Proof on Main, accommodate groups of up to 500. (502) 217-6300;