Hotels are safe and comfortable accommodation, found in almost every part of the globe. From the kind of traveler they serve to the types of marketing strategies they develop and observe, the face and motivations of the hotel industry have definitely changed–and is continuously changing.
From its basic principle and mission: to serve as a home in every city for the citizens of the world, many, if not all, hotels are stepping up their game, developing not only their facilities and services but also how they can reach a bigger audience and impact them on a greater scale.
Art Tourism or Hospitality Art is one of the most common and effective approaches hotels strive to do and perfect. 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. Intrigue and curiosity is one method of driving people to your property’s doorstep. At the same time, magnificent, jaw dropping collections are also the talk of the town.
More and more hotels from anywhere in the globe have been investing millions in acquiring good art for their guests. There is a growing number of hotels all over the world who compete with the leading art galleries in acquiring art works, that essentially will attract more guests. Some even convert their property to an exhibit, hosting programs that hone the interest of people art—in any of its forms. Some hotels are investing millions in art, becoming what experts may call “de facto galleries”. But does it make a difference to guests?
Do hotel guests really care or notice if their hotel has good art? The answer is yes, they do and they love it.
Artworks are not merely used in the hotel lobby as decorations. They are not simply blank space fillers, which interior decorators put just for the sake of it. As new breeds of tourists and travelers dominate the jet setter and globetrotter demographics, a different level of art perception and appreciation is being developed and employed.
Artworks are a great way to stimulate the hotel guests’ minds. Since art can be viewed through different lenses and perspectives, they can stir conversation as well. Thought-provoking art is a great way to make guests feel something about the artworks, as well as your brand as a hotel.
Moreover, art becomes allowing guests to travel far without leaving the hotel. A lot of paintings, sculptures and other art forms displayed inside a property allows guests who are in time constraints to know more about their location or country, by showcasing history, tradition, famous people and historical events through art.
Guests who can’t squeeze in a time to visit local art galleries and museums can have a good look and experience of the local’s art through a hotel which houses a good amount of artworks.
Not only that, artworks sometimes make hotel guests stay. “It’s hard to walk by art and not look at it. I’m much more motivated by the location and the quality of the rooms,” frequent traveler, Nick Winter told CNN. “When I do find myself staying somewhere with a thought-provoking painting or installation, it stops me in my tracks. I wouldn’t choose a hotel for the art, but I would certainly remember my stay if the art was amazing.” And then it makes you really look at it and wonder—who made it, why did the artist make it? What are the reasons behind this painting?
“Some guests come only for the art and my services,” says Domoina de Brantes, art concierge at Raffles’ Le Royal Monceau in Paris. “We have a huge collection of more than 300 pieces, revolving exhibitions of photography, plus I recommend a specific cultural event to guests every day,” she shares during an interview with CNN Travel. “They want to be kept informed of the latest exhibitions and art events, so I get enquiries from them every day and also reach out to them with an art newsletter.”
More than anything, art can make guests feel the connection to the hotel, its people, and other guests. You don’t need language to understand it. That is one thing about art displayed in a hotel, in a foreign country with language barriers. Aside from it being a conversation starter, art has its own unique way of bringing people together—even if they don’t speak the same language.
This is because art appeals to the emotions. It can affect greatly compared to words. Looking at artworks can make you experience a roller coaster of emotions—longing, empathy, anger, lust, disgust, connection, happiness.
Art says things that words just can’t say. Art shows things that words can’t say: How a sunset really looked 300 years ago, how people dressed 1,000 years ago, and how they carried their bodies; how an anonymous woman might have felt about an anonymous man or anonymous child in a strange land. What pain looks like. What heartache looks like. What desire looks like. What love looks like. What the world did look like and what it could look like.
In the end, travel should be intended, as a unique experience that allows your luggage to be full of beautiful memories when you go home. It is the best souvenir you get to collect in your mind, rather than some material things that dust and will break down after years.
Hotel art offers more than just being merely decorations on empty spaces and blank walls. It gets people together because of the connection it creates—which don’t need words nor common language. It appeals to the emotions, which, at the end of the day, the core of every guest traveling either for work or leisure.