SINGAPORE’S Ritz-Carlton Millenia, above, is guarded by unlikely sentinels: two life-size fiberglass statues of Chairman Mao made by prominent Chinese sculptor Zhu Wei.
They offer a glimpse of the vast collection of pop art housed inside this sprawling Kevin Roche–designed hotel, including museum-grade works by luminaries like David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Henry Moore and dozens of others. The Ritz-Carlton hired California-based curator Elizabeth Weiner to amass the art, and the result is a collection that now numbers 4,200 pieces, with an estimated value of $5 million.
As guests pass Zhu’s fiberglass statues and enter the lobby, they’re greeted by Cornucopia, Frank Stella’s tangle of winding planks that was cra ed by French boat builders and suspended from the hotel’s ceiling. The lobby and mezzanine are dominated by surprising pieces, like Dale Chihuly’s kaleidoscopic glass creation Sunrise and colorful canvases by Rainer Gross, Hockney and Indonesian painter Nyoman Gunarsa. Outside, the seven-acre gardens are lined with even more pieces. Imagine MoMA in NYC, then imagine you’re having a swim in its pool and spending the night.
St. Paul-de-Vence, France
A quaint countryside inn is home to a world-class art collection.
This boutique property in Provence can’t help but be charming. It’s an old farmhouse that’s been operating as a café and hotel since the 1920s, the type of place where sun-dappled outdoor tables under fig trees beckon to travelers hungry for Provençal cuisine. But unlike the many other charming hotels in the French countryside, the Colombe d’Or also has a museum’s worth of original art by the likes of Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder and Joan Miró, who were all guests in the 1950s and many of whom paid for their stay with the pieces they created. The collection is large enough for the hotel to actually keep artwork in rotation, and new works are continually added, so keep an eye on what the guy at the table next to you is sketching on his napkin.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the Polaroids.
As soon as you walk in to The James, you’re greeted by _QWERTY5_, an installation by Sarah Frost made of recycled keyboard keys. You’ll find another large-scale original piece that climbs the glass elevator with you, and each floor has a collection of works by a different artist. Who needs the Met?
Different artists decorated every floor of this hotel.
This bank turned ultra-luxe hotel is owned by oil man Tim Headington, who wanted his property to have a top-notch art collection. He teamed up with curator John Runyon and acquired Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair and David Levinthal’s large-scale Polaroids of swimsuited Barbies, which complement pieces on loan from Headington’s personal collection.