Luxury Hotels Woo Guests With Fine Art

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Art collectors looking for new ways to show their acquisitions are bringing museum-quality acquisitions to luxury hotels.

At some hotels, the works of artists Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel hang over beds and fireplaces. At others, visitors pay to view paintings in private areas where security guards make sure the art doesn't slip away with the toiletries.

Here are some hotels that offer art as an amenity:

Original paintings and sculptures adorn Encore's Botero Bar.

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York: This collaboration between hotelier Ian Schrager and Schnabel has been one of the chicest addresses in New York since it opened in 2006. The lobby showcases works by Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The hotel's larger collection includes modern masterpieces by Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Andy Warhol.

Guest rooms feature black-and-white prints by Magnum Photos, the agency founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Larger suites display one-of-a-kind installations that can be explained by the hotel's curator.

Ace Hotels: This laid-back boutique chain has sites in New York; Seattle; Palm Springs, Calif.; and Portland, Ore. They offer an eco-friendly aesthetic of recycled furnishings and the communal tone of an artist's bohemia with cafeteria-style dining.

The hotel chain is displaying a mural of graffiti-sticker prints by Bronx-based artist Michael Anderson at its New York location. The offbeat mosaic brings charm to the formerly minimalist design of these stylish and affordable hotels.

In Palm Springs, the hotel's top-level guest room features original art from the Ryan McGinley Levi's campaign.

Sagamore Hotel, Miami: This icon of South Beach offers one of the best collections of modern art and video installations available to the public. The white, Art Deco-style building houses the treasures of owners Cricket and Marty Taplin inside its lobby and first floor. Guests can check out one of the largest, permanent video installations in the U.S. near the pool.

Most of the Sagamore's pieces were purchased from galleries or at auctions instead of the artists directly. The collection includes a rare set of leather chairs by Richard Artschwager and mixed-media pieces by Jose Bedia, Gavin Perry, Flip Schulke and Jacqueline Humphries. During Art Basel Miami Beach, the annual art show, the hotel is ground zero for parties. Last year's opening night fete featured a sand installation by Olaf Breuning.

Wynn Las Vegas: Hotelier Steve Wynn, who helped revive luxury in Sin City, has also been a pioneer in hotel art. He debuted his $100 million collection during his tenure at the Bellagio. Works by Cezanne, Gauguin, Manet, Matisse, van Gogh, Rembrandt and Renoir could be found in a gallery just past the Dale Chihuly-designed glass lobby. Picasso's "Le Reve," once reportedly valued at $139 million, was among the pieces on display.

The collection followed him to his new Wynn Las Vegas down the strip, but high art seems to have lost its place in the neon capital. Last year, Wynn's gallery closed to the public. However, the trained eye can find parts of the collection scattered around the property. Fernando Botero's paintings and sculptures, for example, have their own lounge at the Encore at Wynn.

Wynn's hasn't been the only high-profile gallery to reconsider its Vegas public residency. Last year, Guggenheim Hermitage Museum shuttered its Rem Koolhaas-designed space at the Venetian after eight years of lackluster interest.

-- Reported by Michael Martin of JetSetReport.com in Los Angeles.

Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.

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