The Art Of Travel - Chic And Arty Hotels in Australia

The Art Of Travel - Where Art, travel and photography come together to offer a unique hotel experience.

I've teamed up with Stacey Blake, a well known travel blog writer to tell you more about how art is impacting hotels around Australia. My personal favourite is the Henry James Art Hotel in Tasmania. It really is an awesome experience, very contemporary, yet the heritage of the building itself is very much preserved. Read on for more fantastic art hotels and travel photography competitions.......

The Art Of Travel - A luxurious bedroom with round bed and drop ceiling

With the annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest being launched for 2013 recently, it’s evident that art, photography and travel go irrevocably hand in hand. In its 25th year, the contest invites photographers from around the world to submit their best photos in one of the following four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. Believed to be the longest-running travel photo  contest in the world, National Geographic Traveler magazine Editor in Chief, Keith Bellows, says that “the pictures increasingly reflect a more sophisticated way of seeing and interpreting the world.”

Indeed, a traveller’s fondness for using their trips to both experience and understand the world may be paralleled in a commonly shared love for, and interpretation of, art and photography. The art of Travel! These similarities may be seen in the rise of designer hotels around the world that are incorporating extensive art collections into their design as a drawcard, talking point and method of heightening the whole hotel stay experience.

In Australia, this growing trend is evidenced in a variety of luxury boutique hotels around the country. Catering to the growing market of local and international travellers who are searching for peak experiences and unique memories to take home, this additional cultural element is helping many hotels to build a name for themselves in the often fickle luxury market.

To whet your wanderlust, here is a taste of some of the boutique Aussie brands positioning themselves in the art of travel hotel arena:

 In Tasmania, the Henry James Art Hotel — which made it onto Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List for 2012 — is located on Hobart’s waterfront and is Australia’s first dedicated “art hotel.” Named after a late 19th century jam magnate, the site in which it is located dates back to 1804, and according to the hotel’s website, it has been created to “present itself as a fusion of art, heritage, tradition and nature.” Art is presented as a key part of the hotel’s function and aesthetic, and its public areas serve as exhibition space for around 300 artworks for guests to enjoy. With strong connections to the local Tasmanian School of Art, the hotel’s collection includes paintings, sculptures and installations by Tasmanian artists, with many artworks available to purchase. Each bedroom has also been decorated with multiple works of art, creating an individual feel to the rooms and a sense of exploration for guests as they check in.

Lovers of Melbourne, the “culture capital” of Australia, will no doubt be drawn to The Art Series Hotels. Each hotel in the collection — so far there are three, with another set to open in 2014 — has a unique look and feel and takes its design inspiration from one of Australia’s artistic greats. For The Olsen, for example, creators worked with the legendary Dr John Olsen to create its lyrical aesthetic. The Cullen involved a partnership with controversially inclined modern artist Adam Cullen; while The Blackman celebrates the distinctive and haunting work of famed artist Charles Blackman. Each hotel features original artworks throughout the building, and artist prints adorn every wall in the individual suites. The hotels have essentially become galleries of each artist’s work, and they offer a fascinating appeal for any traveller looking for artful holiday accommodation in Victoria.

In South Australia, Adelaide’s distinctive Clarion Hotel Soho has been designed with the aim of evoking the eclectic, arty vibe of London’s Soho district. The hotel showcases emerging South Australian artists with its extensive, ever-changing art collection exhibited throughout the hotel, plus each guest room also features an original artwork that is available for sale. This ultra-modern hotel was included on Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2012 Best Hotels list, and for guests looking for even more culture in the day, both the South Australian Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia are only a block away.

If you’re thinking of entering the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, then perhaps a creative way to find some inspiration while also enjoying your travels is to check into a cool, arty, boutique hotel. Beyond Australia, the art hotel concept has also spread to dozens of popular tourist destinations across the globe (including Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Denmark) so there is no shortage of artful hotel choices for you to experience the art of travel.


About the Author: Stacey Blake is a guest blogger and lifestyle writer. She loves to keep up to date with the latest news and events in areas as diverse as business, travel, finance, health and well-being.

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