Artists like to exhibit their work in 5-star hotels – they’re usually spacious and well-lit, host an affluent clientele, and are experts at catering to the public. Hotel owners also like to invest in artwork, and their lobby displays can constitute an eye-catching and intriguing welcome for guests the moment they step through the doors. Here are a few luxury hotels that create a visual feast for their guests:
Alma Resort, Cam Ranh. Alma ushers talented artists on to its grounds to craft portraits of guests and teach painting classes, as well as hosts artists-in-residence programs in a bid to make art “more accessible” to travellers. The 30-hectare resort welcomes local artists to create individual and family portraits of guests, who choose between a black and white or full colour portrait to take home as a memento of their holiday. Artists including painters Bui Van Quang, Ngo Dang Hiep and Le Huynh, who are renowned for their paintings depicting the daily lives of Vietnamese people through use of the country’s rich and vivid colors, also impart tips on how to paint during classes for children and adults at the resort’s Art Workshop space. As part of Alma’s artists-in-residence programs, artists interact with guests and create artwork before their eyes and showcase their works at the Alma Lounge.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Guests are invited to experience the hotel’s storied past in the “Path of History” tour, offered twice daily at 5pm and 6pm. Led by a hotel historian, the tour includes a look at classic artifacts from the Metropole Hanoi, including photographs of famous guests (such as Charlie Chaplin and US President Bill Clinton, among others), as well as items like vintage room keys from the hotel that date back more than 100 years. For many, the highlight of the tour is a visit to the hotel’s bomb shelter, which protected famous visitors like Joan Baez and Jane Fonda from air raids during the US-Vietnam War. The bunker was closed and sealed after the war, before being rediscovered during the renovation of the Bamboo Bar in 2011.
Azerai La Residence, Hue. In Vietnam’s former imperial capital, the 122-room Azerai La Residence, Hue this year is marking the 90th anniversary of the original mansion at the heart of the hotel. The historic property, part of Adrian Zecha’s Azerai Resorts portfolio, is also home to its own art gallery featuring paintings of all 13 emperors from the Nguyen Dynasty, which ruled Hue during its period as the country’s imperial capital from 1802 to 1945. The gallery is believed to be the only place in Vietnam where portraits of all 13 emperors can be viewed in one place. Hue is a city that is steeped in history, and Azerai La Residence, Hue is located just across the Perfume River from many of the area’s most popular historic attractions, including the Hue Citadel and the city’s iconic flagpole.
Laguna Lang Co, Vietnam
A commitment to Vietnamese arts is strong at Laguna Lang Co, the Southeast Asian nation’s most far-reaching integrated resort. Throughout the rooms and the public areas at the project’s award-winning hotels — Banyan Tree Lang Co and Angsana Lang Co — guests will find images by photographers depicting local life in Central Vietnam as well as artworks inspired by the area. In addition to these, the resort has not one but two galleries dedicated to showcasing the arts and crafts of the area. At Banyan Tree Gallery browsers will find everything from traditional Vietnamese crafts and furnishings to objets d’art and ethnic apparel. At Angsana Gallery, meanwhile, the range of arty artefacts spans locally-crafted baskets and lanterns as well as handcrafted ceramic burners.