Even in the most exclusive of hotels, there is a telltale giveaway which can indicate that that hotel is part of a conglomerate of luxury holdings; the artwork. Though the sheets may boast the highest thread count and the restaurant may be fêted, the artwork is often a cookie-cutter repeat of the very same large-scale abstract pieces hanging in sister hotels around the world. Check into a room on one floor or another, and you’re likely to see the very same works ad nauseum.
In recent years, luxury hoteliers have taken pains to ensure that while they may hold innumerable holdings worldwide, each will be decorated as an individual property. The Vancouver-based Farmboy Fine Arts firm have been hired by Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Wynn, MGM Las Vegas, Fairmont and Four Seasons to oversee the selection and acquisition of those hotels’ fine art collections. According to founder Todd Towers, “we’ve probably done over 1,700 hotels in the last 12 years.”
Towers believes that these luxury hotels are reassessing the importance of the collections at their properties for a number of reasons. “One, they [hoteliers] understand their guests have become much more global; and second, since the financial markets are a little funky right now, if they can develop a collection that is an asset, it can have not just a visual aspect but also an investment aspect.”
At the W Hotel on Lexington in New York, Farmboy Fine Arts designed the collections in the hotel’s exclusive WOW suites. Building on an atmosphere which would shelter guests from the chaos of the city, the firm populated the suites with high-end contemporary collectors pieces. Meanwhile at the famous Eden Roc Hotel in Miami, which was a favorite among heavyweights like Elizabeth Taylor and Humphrey Bogart since it opened in 1956, Farmboy Fine Arts embraced that Hollywood glamour in its art revamp. The firm provided stunning contemporary artwork to breathe new life into the guestrooms, suites and common areas.
As guests become increasingly savvy and snap-happy, a recognizable collection of fine art is sure to become the distinguishing feature for luxury hotels.
Above, the WOW Suite at the W Hotel on Lexington in New York, artwork by Farmboy Fine Arts, is shown.