It used to be that a hotel was simply a place to stay to recover from a tiring day of museum-hopping. But a number of hotels offer spectacular indoor gallery space of their own for displaying surprising collections of works that can include everything from old masters to avant-garde sculpture.
Hong Kong's Langham Place hotel owns a collection of more than 1,500 pieces, all created by artists from China and spread throughout the hotel by theme. The lobby is dedicated to sculpture, including Jian Shuo's ironic Red Guard: Going Forward! Making Money! and Yin Hong's Meditation; the seventh and eighth floors are devoted to pieces that convey celebration, such as Exercise by Pei Jing. Free guided 30-minute tours of the collection are available to hotel guests and outside visitors. Then they can satisfy their appetites at one of the hotel's five restaurants, which emphasize using fresh local ingredients in creating masterpieces of European, Cantonese and Japanese cuisine (hongkong.langhamplacehotels .com/en/).
The public art gallery inside the Semiramis Hotel in Athens features such works as the Jeff Koons's sculpture Tulips; VBGDW, a photograph by Vanessa Bee-croft; and Su-En Wong's painting Perky Peach. Located in the leafy neighborhood of Kifisia, just 10 minutes from the hectic crush of downtown Athens, the Semiramis gallery is open to guests all day. The hotel also offers a slate of full-body treatments at the plush spa, and relaxing outdoor dining at its Mediterranean restaurant (semiramisathens.com).
Europe's art'otel chain remains true to its name. With locations in Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden and Budapest—and more branches to come in Cologne, Amsterdam and London—these properties are essentially galleries with sleeping quarters in them. The work of one renowned 20th-century artist is exclusively displayed in the lobby, restaurants and guest rooms of each hotel. Berlin's city-center west location, for instance, holds 221 original works of pop art by Andy Warhol spread throughout the small building, giving each corner a distinctively hip feel. Guests may feel no need ever to venture out to a museum.