5 hotels give a new meaning to design with intentional art

As destination trips and local experiences continue growing in popularity, meeting planners often confront the question of how to keep delivering meaningful, memorable experiences that stand out from the rest. One answer is local art. When we say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” we mean that art inspires empathy.

Viewing and discussing a piece of art offers visitors the chance to learn in engaging ways and consider a perspective different from their own. These five hotels feature thoughtfully commissioned art that elevates innovative local artists and inspires guests to authentically learn about the location they are visiting.

Hotel Zena, Washington, D.C.

Over 100 pieces of artwork centering female empowerment decorate the public spaces of cultural hub Hotel Zena. Each piece features a QR code where guests can learn more. On the property’s facade, a mural created by D.C.-based muralist MISS CHELOVE depicts two warrior women standing as safeguards for the sanctity of the empowering environment inside.

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21c Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Contemporary art is integrated into every space of each 21c hotel. Museum exhibitions within the hotel feature both permanent commissioned artwork from around the world, as well as loaned artwork showcasing artists local to each 21c location. The curators display work that explores timely topics and sparks global perspectives and insightful connections between guests.

The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana

Each guest room, restaurant and event space is decorated with a unique commissioned piece of art in this engrossing boutique hotel. Philanthropist, activist and one of the first U.S. self-made woman millionaires, Madam CJ Walker, founder of an Indianapolis-based African American hair care empire, is depicted in a portrait—made entirely of her own hair combs.

Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

A custom collection of classic and contemporary art features over 60 multimedia arts, most of whom are Native Hawaiians or Hawaii residents. This art preserves the history of Kona Village and represents the culture of Ka’ūpūlehu; it also looks toward the future being crafted by a new generation of Hawaiian artists.

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La Posada de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Known as “the art hotel of Santa Fe,” La Posada embodies a rich history of artists and art lovers from its first days as an art colony before any other art galleries in Santa Fe. Today, with The Gallery Collection, La Posada displays and sells art by talented artists from Sante Fe and the surrounding Southwest.

This article appears in the September 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.