It's the perfect location for an art-centric hotel — in the middle of Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District. The district is home to eight of the city's museums, including Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center, the Clyfford Still Museum and the Kirkland Museum of Decorative & Fine Art, slated to move into its new building in 2017.
That's a nice juxtaposition for The ART Hotel, which currently has works by Still and Kirkland both hanging in its public spaces. If guests are inspired by these pieces, they can simply head out the hotel door and take a short stroll to the museums in which these two artists star.
In fact, the hotel's exemplary collection of modern art includes works by many well-known names. But you don't have to know the art or artists to appreciate that this is a different kind of hotel.
The 165-room boutique property is both intimate and interactive. The placement of the art encourages guests to pay attention to it — to walk around it, pose with it, inspect it up close, smile at it, question it.
At the fourth-floor welcome gallery, it's hard to say: Is this a hotel or a museum? Several major pieces are set in this space, all very different.
There's Otter by Deborah Butterfield, a large horse in cast bronze with patina. Singer by Kiki Smith is a woman in bronze holding a bright bouquet of flowers. And Nancy Rubins' Collage, giclee print on archival paper, seems to nearly burst from its two-dimensional confines.
Waiting for an elevator here is enrichment for the soul, and that's exactly what curator Dianne Vanderlip intended.
"Surrounded by the city’s most iconic cultural and architectural landmarks, The ART Hotel enjoys a privileged location in Denver’s Golden Triangle," says Vanderlip. "We seek to add another layer to this rich environment by presenting a curated collection of original works of art that celebrate the creative spirit of 20th- and 21st-century artists from around the world."
Artistry happens in the restaurant, too. FIRE — helmed by Executive Chef Chris Jakubiec, who was formerly executive chef at Washington, D.C.'s only Forbes Five Star restaurant, Plume — serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with options for vegetarians, children and meat-lovers.
A combined restaurant, lounge and inviting terrace space, FIRE offers innovative cuisine and creative cocktails against a backdrop of contemporary design and works by notable artists.
"The art on view was chosen to provide our guests with unique and unexpected opportunities to enjoy works of art in a luxurious and sophisticated yet casual environment. Certain works, such as Leo Villareal’s magical work in the porte cochere and Larry Bell’s installation of Light Knots in the restaurant FIRE were commissioned especially for The ART," Vanderlip adds.
Each stylish guest room is also curated with hand-selected art that enhances the clean, cheerful, contemporary design.
"Playful, serious, advanced and traditional, we hope everyone will find his or her own favorite work," says Vanderlip.
And while the hotel has plenty to keep guests engaged for hours, it did open with a package that encourages art beyond its walls. The Color Your Own Museum package includes a day exploring Denver with tickets for Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum or History Colorado Center, whichever guests choose.
At The ART, art and life imitate one another and become one.
For more information, visit TheArtHotel.com.
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