Stay of the Art!
If you’ve ever wondered what spending the night in a museum might feel like, I imagine The Art hotel is about as close to that experience as it gets. Located in the Golden Triangle district of downtown Denver—right in the adjacent “negative space” of the Denver Art Museum, this Four Diamond, LVX Preferred, luxury boutique hotel boasts a large collection of contemporary art from a who’s who list of reputable artists. Similar to what one might expect from a traditional art gallery, the modern architectural structure with its clean white walls and neutral building materials, serves as a complimentary backdrop for the featured collection. Color pops everywhere in this environment as light pours into the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious common areas and well-positioned guests rooms and suites. Not to be outshined by the paintings, sculptures and video installations, the competent and accommodating staff goes above and beyond in upholding the principles of fine hospitality.
The immersive communion with art happens almost immediately as you pull into the hotel’s entryway. An installation created specifically for The Art by LED light extraordinaire Leo Villareal entitled “Threshold” showcases approximately 22,000 lights in a 300-foot grid on the ceiling of the hotel’s carport. The lights twinkle continuously throughout the day and night in various patterns that never repeat—illuminating the lobby’s Portico gallery from the outside in (W magazine). Former curator of the Denver Art Museum Dianne Vanderlip is responsible for assembling the hotel’s entire art collection. Wanting to evoke the spirit of Colorado, Vanderlip commissioned a variety of artists including John Baldessari, Sol Lewitt, and Frank Gehry, to make contributions to the hotel inspired by the region (W magazine). Each floor of the 9- story structure is dedicated to a different artist’s work and even inside the elevators, a rotating video installation entertainingly distracts guests as they ride up and down. Currently on view in the elevator is my favorite video installation by William Wegman highlighting the expressions of his grey Weimaraners in surreal moving portraits (Wallpaper magazine).
Fire is the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant serving new American cuisine. The restaurant has a comfortable lounge and bar area as well as a main dining room that overlooks downtown Denver. Light fixtures designed by acclaimed sculptor Larry Bell hang between the bar and the main dinning area, while in a private dinning room off to the side, Joel Otterson’s beautiful, Baccarat-esque chandelier composed from vintage pressed-glass and cut-crystal goblets the colors of fire, dangles from the ceiling. A daily happy hour with specials on handcrafted cocktails and popular bites convenes on a sizable roof top terrace with stringed-lights and fire pits. On weekend mornings, that same terrace holds yoga classes for hotel guests and locals.
We lodged in the Mountain View guest room, which came equipped with a standard king size bed with fine linens, a flat screen TV, refrigerator, Illy espresso/coffee machine and Gilchrist & Soames, London Collection bath products.
The bathroom was roomy with a makeup niche, decorative Italian marble finishes and a rain showerhead in the glass-enclosed shower. Although the room was nice and had everything we possibly could need, it did feel a little pedestrian compared to the level of imaginative detail found in other corners of the hotel. Perhaps a Capital or Mountain View suite provides that extra bit of elevated flare. With that said, nothing could top the remarkably scenic view from our window. From our 9th floor vantage we could see the entire scope of downtown Denver and beyond.
Despite the deference given to the modern art gracing its walls, The Art’s architect Guadalupe Cant of Davis Partnership Architects skillfully designed the building to not compete with Denver’s intrinsic natural beauty. From the mirrored glass on the sides of the hotel that reflect the surrounding buildings of downtown Denver, to the sweeping panoramic views our 9th floor guest room provided, it was clear that rustic and contemporary aesthetics were meant to commingle.
My partner and I traveled to Denver for a wedding not knowing that our hotel would end up being such an artistic gem. For more on what we did and what we ate while visiting Denver, be sure to check out next weeks Wanderlust post.