BRUSHES WITH GENIUS
Glorious hotels in the world’s art capitals, from New York to Rome
LE MEURICE PARIS
Recently refurbished by the acclaimed French designer Philippe Starck, Le Meurice sits in the heart of Paris, just a short stroll from the Musée du Louvre, whose prestigious collection includes the Venus de Milo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The hotel was a favourite of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí who, during one of his many stays, is rumoured to have ordered a flock of sheep to his room so he could shoot them (luckily the gun had blank bullets). Observant guests will notice the surrealist tributes to Dalí in the corridors, including a swan chair and a lamp with drawers, and his eponymous restaurant, which serves delicious French cuisine in a dreamlike setting. lucy halfhead
Le Meurice (www.dorchestercollect ion.com), from about £790 a room a night.
PARK HYATT MILAN
From the Park Hyatt’s prime position you can admire the spectacular Duomo while sitting on your suite’s terrace, or gaze down on the bustling Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II while sipping an Aperol spritz at the hotel’s Dehors bar. It is the perfect base for immersing yourself in the city’s rich heritage – don’t miss Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, the Raphaels and Titians at the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Triennale art space. In addition, there is a thriving modern-art scene, in part thanks to the nearby Prada Foundation, which is dedicated to contemporary exhibitions, as well as architecture, cinema and philosophy projects, and has a bar curated by the film director Wes Anderson. ella phillips Park Hyatt Milan (www.milan.park.hyatt.com), from about £625 a room a night.
THE JAMES SOHO NEW YORK
The James SoHo is a boutique hotel that cleverly combines its own minimalist aesthetic with the creations of local and international artists. Guests are invited on an inspiring visual journey: be sure to take in Aaron Wexler’s striking modernist collages displayed on the fifth floor, and Sun K Kwak’s painting outside the glass elevator. SoHo’s spirited art scene lies just beyond the hotel’s vibrant exterior, which is itself covered in colourful murals by the artist Paul Wackers. After you have woken up with morning yoga by the rooftop pool, the charming doorman can flag down a yellow taxi to take you to the Museum of Modern Art. There you can view pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Claude Monet and Frida Kahlo. claudia rowan The James SoHo (www.jameshotels.com), from about £180 a room a night.
THE PRINCIPAL LONDON
Just six months after opening in a Grade II-listed building in Bloomsbury, decorated in distinctive thé au lait terracotta, the Principal London has established itself as a luxurious lair from which to explore the capital’s art galleries, including Tate Modern and White Cube. Mosaic floors and quartzite pillars form the magnificent lobby, while you’ll find soothing taupe and vanilla tones and cloud-like four-poster beds in the 334 rooms, some with views over leafy Russell Square. Gastronomes are spoilt for choice; there’s the millennial-pink Neptune, which serves boatfresh seafood and the best cheesecake in town; a dazzling, tree-filled Palm Court for afternoon tea; and unlimited bowls of Twiglets in the bar, Fitz’s, where you can sip excellent cocktails under a giant disco ball. lh The Principal (www.phcompany.com), from about £225 a room a night.
HOTEL EDEN ROME
Located a stone’s throw from the Piazza di Spagna and surrounded by the picturesque Villa Borghese gardens, Hotel Eden certainly lives up to its name. Close by, you’ll find the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, which contains Italy’s largest assembly of contemporary paintings and sculptures, and the 17th-century Palazzo Barberini, an exquisite example of baroque architecture that is also the home of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. When you have finished admiring the works of Raphael, Caravaggio and Holbein, return to the sumptuous Eden and relax with a massage at the idyllic spa or dine with panoramic views of Rome at the hotel’s splendid restaurant, La Terrazza. cr
Hotel Eden (www.dorchestercollection.com), from about £600 a room a night.