1. Hitel, Xiamen, China
With its pastel hues and wide spaces, this boutique stay looks more like an art gallery than a hotel. This is intentional as the owners want to bring contemporary art and interior design to their guests. Within this 26-room hotel, most of the fittings and furnishings – from lamps to sofas – are designed by local creatives. The walls in the communal areas are adorned with photography and artwork from emerging artists from China and around the world while the spacious, comfortable rooms exude a Wes Anderson vibe with clean, symmetrical lines. Oversized windows and neon lights add to a sense of surrealism. Located within a former industrial space turned creative complex, this chic hotel is within walking distance of restaurants and boutiques.
2. The Fantauzzo, Brisbane, Australia
Part of the Art Series hotel group, this newly-opened hotel sits within the recently refurbished Howard Smith Wharves. Drawing inspiration from the acclaimed Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, the six-storey space is decorated with his distinctive portraitures of icons like Indian movie star Amitabh Bachchan and the late Heath Ledger as well as intricate paintings of Indigenous desert artists and landscapes. The hotel features over 500 of Fantauzzo’s works, including five originals in the reception area alone. Even the building itself is a work of art – the hotel’s geometric façade in hues of green, grey and beige is a reflection of the surrounding cliffs, while the interiors feature earthy materials like wild vegetation and natural rock and timber. Guests can also look forward to signature art experiences like art tours, in-room art channels and art libraries.
3. The Andhra Art & Craft Hotel, Visakhapatnam, India
Opened in January 2019, this heritage hotel – which sits on the same property as the popular Palm Beach Hotel – showcases the traditional arts and crafts of Andhra Pradesh. The 24-room hotel features 70 sculptures and 50 installations created by over 30 native artisans. Divided into four wings, each wing pays tribute to – and is named after – a different art form.
The Budithi wing showcases brass-work from a village of the same name, famed for producing intricately-crafted figurines of Hindu gods. Each room is dressed up to look like the interiors of a Hindu temple – from wardrobes with brass bells to mini brass prayer bowls. In the Kalamkari wing, it celebrates the eponymous hand-painted textiles through subtle design elements: a painted cloth encasing the wardrobe handles or fitted beneath a glass panel in the bathroom.
The Etikoppaka wing gets its name from a nearby village, known for creating handmade wooden toys painted with natural dyes, and these designs are subtly incorporated in the wooden headboards. Over at Tholu Bommalata, which is Telugu for shadow puppet theatre, you won’t find actual puppets. Instead, you’ll find embossed characters on a canvas painting or colourful glass elements on the mirrors.
This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine