Ayla Choudhery| Travel |Cooking

Cooking, Baking, Philanthropy and Travel

Category: Hospitality Management

Building A World of Art With Hotels

In one of my recent posts, I took a look at how hotel developers are starting to build galleries within the hotels themselves and utilizing the space not just as accommodations but as a place to showcase fine art as well.  To take this a step further, I recently came across an article in The Examiner, which discusses Santa Fe’s hotels and the resurgence of their use of gallery spaces. Many may not be aware of this, but Santa Fe, New Mexico is brimming with fine art.  For one looking to experience the rich cultural offerings in this city, they should head for Canyon Road, a main strip in the city which hosts upwards of 70 galleries that showcase art from across the globe. It is no wonder that with this surplus of art in the city, the nearby hotels are taking notice of its attraction and wanting to feature it in their own locations.

Santa Fe’s hotels are basically galleries in and of themselves. One of the city’s most famous hotels is the, “La Posada Santa Fe Resort & Spa”, which has always been referred to as the “Art Hotel of New Mexico,” now has its own onsite curator. Sara Eyestone is not the only curator in the world, but she is a rare and unique breed amongst many. The Examiner writes that, Eyestone, one of few hotel art curators, is a writer and an artist in her own right. She has been painting her happy, brightly colored works professionally for nearly 50 years and has had over 50 one-woman exhibitions in museums, galleries and libraries. For the past 15 years she has painted almost exclusively on commission for private collections and public spaces.

In 2008, Eyestone was responsible for helping La Posada chose 600 pieces of art by living American artists to grace its walls, and to decide where in the public spaces, including the spa, each piece would go. This curation was done with the help of the hotel engineers. Eyestone even installed each piece where she thought it would work to best to the aesthetic of the hotel. “Everybody has different ideas about what works and what does not work,” she explains. “My goal is to showcase excellent paintings in a creative way that enhances each space.” In an interview with The Examiner, Eyestone said “As an artist myself, I was born with an eye for this. I have seen the work of over 3,000 American artists. So much of it is terrific, and I often say there is much more talent everywhere than there is wall space.”

As more hotels reinvent their spaces to feature art, the travel experience morphs into one where the individual’s “escape” is not only limited to a different geographical location, but also a different mental space influenced by art from all over the world. Travel becomes a veering beyond the physical and mental scope of the individual.

To learn more about art and hotels, visit this post by Examiner


Hotel Branding : How Developers Are Creating Galleries Out of Hotel Spaces

Chris Hemmeter Jr is a an art curator and hotel developer. In 1988, Chris was given $5 million to go and collect art, with the aim of building a public art exhibit for a hotel . Chris, the son of a wealthy developer, was given this money to go forth and collect visual art in the form of photography, paintings, sculptures, all with the aim of filling the Hilton Waikoloa Village hotel. To fulfill this goal, Hemmeter travelled all over the world, making stops in China, Japan, Indonesia, Burma and other areas in the Southeast and pacific. Chris spent the year collecting this art and shipping them in barges to Hawaii. Hemmeter is part of a changing hospitality development culture, which seeks to look beyond what we know to be the luxury hotel experience, providing clients with an added value steeped in culture and art.

Hemmeter’s vision was to create and offer art to public, taking it away from the dividing culture of exclusivity, a common space where art usually finds itself. One of the best parts of this exhibits is it costs the public nothing to view the art.  An artist at the hotel named Ray, commented on the artwork, “ A lot of tourists from different hotels will come and walk around looking at the art.” She continued “ it’s a free cultural experience.”

The result of this collection of art, is the Hilton Waikoloa Village, a hotel unlike any other. Today, the hotel is filled with over 1800 pieces of art, valued at nearly $18 million.

Marcia Ray, the hotel’s art curator said “ I think the collection we have is very, very unusual and valuable, you won’t see this anywhere on the Hawaiian islands.”

In this article, the New York Times examines how the Hilton Waikoloa Village recently introduced a children’s turndown sleep service. The service offers a cultural dimension , where parents can read stories of Pele who is the goddess of the volcanoes and the creator of the Hawaiian islands. The story service offers flashcards, paintings and other visual collateral as complementary features of the service.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village hotel is one hotel making innovative strides to include culture and art into the hotel branding experience. Despite this innovative strategy which is a combination of consumer branding and art engagement, the Waikoloa Village Hotel is not the only giant in the hospitality space making these strides. The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans offers an $8 million collection of original works of British artists. The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas also features a range of Berlin Wall art projects painted by Jurgen Grosse.


With more hotel development aligned with art and culture, we can expect to see more hotels with a strong cultural experience in the future.

To learn more about Hotels developing as art galleries, visit this article by The Street


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