By: DAISY SAMPSON
A NEW breed of traveller is emmerging around the world. These people are more concerned about the hotel they stay in than the city or country it is found in.
This may seem a bizarre approach to travel but when you look at the hotels that are being favoured then you can begin to understand the appeal of the Art Hotel.
Traditionally, hotels have hung beautiful art in their foyers, corridors and above the beds, however, this is no longer enough for some hotels. The trend in hotel design currently is for the room itself to be the masterpiece. This is the principle of the Art
Hotel and it is proving popular worldwide.
In an Art Hotel, the interior is created by artists and not conventional designers; this is how they differentiate from boutique hotels. Many artists are given a free reign and the results in the hotels have been breathtaking.
Prices for rooms vary enormously but start from just 25 euros per night. The low prices have meant that us mere mortals
are able to visit these exclusive hotels without the exclusive price tag. The combination of cheap flights, cosmopolitan cities and contemporary hotels is appealing to many travellers, especially those with a smaller budget, and a stay in an Art Hotel completes the package.
The eccentric Winston Hotel in Amsterdam is located on the oldest street in the city and is now owned by an English hotel group. This is a cheap hotel aimed at young international travellers with rooms starting at only 28 euros a night and epitomises the genre of an art hotel.
Although the hotel has some dormitory accommodation this is not just
a place for backpackers and students and is more than suitable for grown ups as well! Visit www.winston.nl for more information.
Further afield, the beautiful Daddy Longlegs Hotel in Cape Town offers a choice of 13 unique rooms at reasonable prices. Every room has been designed by a different artist. There is a room by a graffiti artist with a 3-D ceiling or a Tokyo love room complete with over-sized black and white lotus flower wallpaper. This hotel does not take itself too seriously and exudes a sense of fun, another key characteristic of the Art Hotel. Rooms start at 45 euros per night and can be booked at www.daddylonglegs.co.za
At the other end of the price scale you could stay in the Christian Lacroix designed Hotel du Petit Moulin Paris. Although Lacroix is not considered to be an artist in the most technical sense, his credentials in the world of fashion made him a perfect choice to design an Art Hotel. The hotel screams luxury and opulence but not in a classical way. Rooms are witty and stylish but not overwhelming or uncomfortable. Luxury comes at a price though and rooms begin at 190 euros per night with further details available from their website www.hotelpetitmoulinparis.com. The average price of a room is 260 euros.
If you want to visit an Art Hotel, one of the nearest to the Algarve can be found in the Spanish capital, Madrid. The Hotel Puerta América (www.hotelpuertamerica.com) was created by the renowned architect Jean Nouvel and each floor has been designed by a different artist. Guests are able to indulge their senses over 12 floors as they explore the art that makes up the hotel.
The hotel was constructed in 2005 and has been described as a theme park for interior design. The hotel cost a massive 90 million dollars to build and is loved and loathed in equal measures by travellers and architects alike. Whatever your own opinion of the hotel, it cannot be denied that it is an extremely bold building and makes for an interesting stay at the very least.
So next time you take a city break, try a stay in an Art Hotel. Escape the norm, experience living art and live the life of an eccentric. Well, for the weekend at least!