Do Hotels Need Art Consultants?

We often hear or read about the importance of art consultants for art collectors and other businesses, but do hotels need art consultants too? Since the boom of the Hospitality Tourism trend in hotels all over the world, various hotels—from luxury to budget types have been acquiring the most popular and sought after art pieces made by world renowned artists, or commissioning the works of local artists to showcase their history and branding.

Gone are the days when artworks are merely fillers of a blank wall. Today, the hospitality industry has been actively acquiring and collecting different kinds of art as a marketing strategy, a symbol of brand and a step towards innovation.

Aside from that, art is also one of the newest ways hotels generate greater revenue, as it attracts a new breed of hotel guests. Milllenials—or the youth of today who dominate the traveling demographics are known to travel to experience new things, from the walls of their chosen hotels to the outside.  Studies find out that more than comfy rooms and prime locations, “aesthetically pleasing design is clearly something that Millennials want in all environments,” and that includes hotels that house art works.

Indeed, art is one of the hotel industry’s newest marketing strategies. Hotels with interesting art displays, thought-provoking pieces and controversial works will always be talked about. But, what is the role of art consultants in this field?

There are two main reasons why hotels need their help: their expertise and their connections. Backed up by their extensive knowledge of art history and its paradigms, they know the art scene best, especially from the hyperlocal to the global market level. Imagine having no idea about art—what’s beneficial for your hotel’s branding and the real value of art pieces, after all, hoteliers can be clueless what to buy and put up in their hotels and not.

Art consultants are people or a business entity that has the knowledge, expertise and experience in the art arena about art work in its various forms and media and the proper placement, and acquiring of such art.  Having art consultants guide budding hoteliers or hospitality industry’s household names is greatly beneficial not only in ensuring that business get the best in the art world at the right price, but also to guarantee that this strategy will work. After all, no matter how great an artwork is, if it’s not placed in the right location, guests will never notice it and the whole art as a marketing strategy fails as a whole.

Having to work with art consultants would be beneficial for hotel owners because they provide guidance in every step of your art collecting journey and endeavor. They could help in decision-making, figuring out the type of art you’re interested in and the type that you need, be it: for aesthetic, decorative, or financial.

Through their connections, art consultants can also give you backstage passes for gallery openings, all access passes to artists’ studios, and updates on sales and open houses, which can be a beneficial move for your art tourism marketing plan.

Through art consultants, you will always be first to be in the know and updated in the art world. Art consultants are expected to be in the know of upcoming trends and promising artists that would be the next big thing. They usually participate in gallery tours and stay up-to-date with openings. An art consultant or advisor works daily with exhibit organizers and artists to stay current.

It’s much easier to rely on an art consultant to stay informed about new artists and styles, especially if you’re balancing a demanding career with a busy personal life.

At the same time, acquiring the services of an art consultant would mean that your style and preferences will always matter, without compromising your hotel’s brand and identity. In fact, they are there to amplify it even more. Art consultants do not adopt a personal style or preference. Their job is to mirror your wants for your art collection. This would ensure that what you like and what you believe in will really translate with the pieces you will acquire.

It is guaranteed that art consultants will always be there to help you. The world of art is intimidating because just like everything else, problems occur. If you have an art consultant by your side, you will not face challenges alone. They can offer fresh perspectives and suggest more solution after all.

Art consultants will also be marketing specialists for your collection, given their background, their knowledge of your preferences, they will represent you correctly.

In the end, having art consultants for your hotel business would bring nothing but benefits

 

When did art collection in Luxury Hotels start to become a trend?

Hospitality Art, or when hotels are becoming more like art galleries with accommodations, is one of the fast-rising trends in today’s hotelier industry. From its initial purpose of being mere decorations and space fillers, art pieces have become marketing tools to draw more attention and encourage more guests than ever.

True enough, many drastic changes have happened since the first motel in San Luis Obispo, California opened in 1925. As more and more luxury, boutique and budget hotels all around the world go by the trend and started to house and collect art works, travelers and frequent hotel goers wonder: when did this trend start?

Alex Toledano, a Paris-based art consultant whose clients include Ritz-Carlton hotels, says: “Hotels, especially hotel owners, recognize that the hotel he represents have been spending a decent amount on art for many years without it doing anything special for their property. They’ve realized that the money could be used not only to tell an interesting narrative about their properties but also to make them more memorable.”

Long before art was used as a marketing strategy, it it was utilized by hotel owners for function and added justification to their ‘luxury’ status. Brand Strategist Jean-Noël Kapferer published a paper in 1997 in which presented the semiotics of the word “luxury” as “Luxury defines beauty; it is art applied to functional items,” which emphasize that luxury products as an art form brings more psychological satisfaction, like esteem on the owner, than functional utility.

It is a bold statement piece and one that reflects a trend among top hotels worldwide to fill their spaces with original art. They are acquiring paintings and sculptures that would not disgrace a public gallery and which, even if you can’t afford to stay there, you can see free of charge or for the price of a coffee in the bar.

Macau has even commissioned a Cultural Affairs Bureau, with a Cultural Events Department dedicated to (according to its head) “luring tourists in with top-notch art”.

As time pass by and more trends shaped the industry, luxurious experiences are tantamount to every guest’s ‘hope and dreams’, as Michman and Mazze phrased it. According to their publication, it is an attempt to reach self-actualization and self-fulfillment through greater knowledge, appreciation of beauty, spiritual sophistication, peace, art, culture and aesthetics.

This notion further made art and hospitality subjective, as guests from different parts of the globe have different ethnical belonging, culture of origin, educational background and personal experience.

Hence, hotels saw this as a chance to showcase and derive the luxury experience brought in by art, to showcasing local artist talent, culture and identity. It’s only when you remember how definitively “un-local” and bland luxury hotels used to be that you realize how much has changed, Mark Jones, an editor and travel-writer from The Independent expressed.

Taiwan’s Mandarin Oriental marketing executive Michael Hobson, says the company wants to offer a “contemporary and definitively local experience at our properties”.

“Now, hotels are willing to take more of a risk. That is what is making art in hotels exciting right now. Our clients are asking for a diversity of art that we wouldn’t have expected a couple of years ago,” Toledano notes.

He adds that hotels now have the “desire to ask more of the artwork to make their property unique, rather than resembling many others.”

Some hotels want to establish a sense of place through their art, though not necessarily through local artists. The art they choose to acquire and display depict their culture and traditions through paintings of events, materials and national symbols.

Jeremy King, a hotel owner in Mayfair, London says owners who prefer investing in original art is exposed to the danger of “using the art to attract attention, rather than to enhance the experience. You find that a lot of it becomes too narcissistic, as opposed to harmonious for the clients’ experience.”

In the end, Jones notes that it is probably “the evolving taste of the super-rich, in turn driven by the Saatchi effect, where work that once seemed so alien suddenly became covetable and marketable. It could be the bohemian influence of boutique hotels. Or maybe the displaying of art is simply an easy, and relatively cheap, way to add some much needed interest and personality to your public spaces. Maybe parents will now start encouraging their kids to give up the law degree and head to art college instead. The supply of patrons has never been healthier.”