Top Art-Centric Hotels in Miami

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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

From world-class Miami Art Week to artsy neighborhoods like Wynwood and the Miami Design District, Miami has made a name for itself in the art world. Hotels are also placing a major focus on the arts. Many new and historic hotels have been designed by renowned architects and feature museum-quality works. From permanent art installations to rotating exhibits, onsite art galleries and outstanding music offerings, these top art-centric hotels in Miami offer a culturally enriching place to lay your head.

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Sagamore Miami Beach

Known as “The Art Hotel,” Sagamore Hotel has a long-standing reputation for its dedication to the arts. It’s one of the few hotels in the world with a year-round art program that changes every season, featuring an extensive mix of art from greats like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to Miami-based artists. The hotel hosts art talks and offers the unique opportunity to meet artists. Its dynamic cultural programming ranges from concerts to lectures. It’s also the only hotel in Miami Beach with a resident art advisor, Sebastien Laboureau, who curates all the art and programming and makes himself available to guests for an informative docent-like tour of the hotel. One of the best times to visit is during Miami Art Week, when the hotel hosts the annual Sagamore Brunch where celebs and art lovers from all over the world converge to chat about the fairs’ best in show.


    The iconic Delano hotel not only boasts groundbreaking designs by famous French designer Philippe Starck, but also touts an array of museum-worthy pieces strategically placed throughout the Alice-in-Wonderland-like lobby. Each piece has a specific meaning or history behind it.  Have a seat on the most photographed piece of furniture at Delano, an oversized pastel-pink couch designed by Starck, or play a round of pool on the vintage Victorian billiards table that’s remained in the exact same spot since it was purchased in 1995. Look for the five black-lacquer “Moor Chairs,” designed in 1954 by Piero Fornasetti, that sit around a half-moon table. At first glance, it seems as if the ladies are actually sitting in the lobby, but it’s a visual joke. Also standing tall in the lobby is Salvador Dali’s “Leda Throne,” a gold chair dressed like a woman. Probably the most popular spot on the property for photo shoots, or to sip a cocktail with your feet in the water, is with the table and chairs that were originally in Le Jardin St. Payl in Paris and now swim in Delano’s iconic pool.

      Faena Hotel Miami Beach

      For a fantasy-driven dive into the arts, it doesn’t get more epic than Faena Hotel Miami Beach, developed by Argentine real estate developer Alan Faena. Awe-inspiring pieces are everywhere you look. The most recognizable artwork on the whimsical property is Damien Hirst’s “Gone But Not Forgotten,” a gilded skeleton of a woolly mammoth majestically displayed in a glass box in the garden — it’s breathtaking to see the ocean glistening behind it. For more of Hirst’s work, dine at modern-Asian restaurant Pao by Paul Qui to stare at a towering golden unicorn sculpture, “Golden Myth,” situated in the middle of the restaurant. Wander into the Living Room to catch two grand chandeliers named “Storms” by Alberto Garutti —  they flicker every time lightning strikes the Pampas in Argentina. For an interactive experience, book an evening at Faena Theater, where there is always a rotating lineup of performances ranging from sultry cabaret shows to big-name concerts.

        The Betsy – South Beach

        The Betsy – South Beach, a beachside oasis in the middle of bustling South Beach, offers a strong calendar of art and cultural events for guests and locals. Cozy up in the lobby for nightly free jazz concerts by world-recognized musicians or ask for a tour to learn more about the rotating exhibits of visual arts and photography throughout the hotel. Something really unique — the hotel boasts Miami’s only Writer’s Room, a working studio space for visiting writers and artists. There are also two permanent public art displays that debuted when the existing Betsy Hotel merged with the historic Carlton Hotel on Collins Avenue. Venture midway to Española Way at 14th Place and peek into the restored alleyway to peep “The Betsy Orb,” a large orb-shaped structure that exquisitely connects the two historic properties. The Betsy’s Poetry Rail is an installation of poetry — etched into metal by water jets — by 13 poets who have contributed to Miami literature like Langston Hughes, Donald Justice and Muhammad Ali.

          W South Beach

          Modern stunner W South Beach is home to more than just lively nightlife and trendy restaurants. The hotel also houses a multi-million dollar contemporary art collection with pieces by iconic artists like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and more. The W’s support for the local arts also extends across the street to its neighbor, The Bass, Miami Beach’s contemporary art museum, with an exclusive partnership that includes special amenities like an upscale picnic at its adjacent sculpture garden. Hotel guests have the chance to experience VIP access to Creativity Center programs for all ages, exhibition openings, guided tours and more.

            The Setai

            Luxury and art go hand-in-hand at The Setai, a Zen-hotel rich in architectural history. The sleek hotel is housed in a restored 1936 landmark building designed by renowned architect Henry Hohauser. within the historic Art Deco District. It oozes an Art Deco-Asian style. If one design element expresses the concept of Art Deco fusion, it would be the lobby’s gray antique bricks that were transported from Shanghai, which at one time had the largest array of Art Deco buildings in the world. Guests will be wowed by original paintings by Shanghai artist Christian de Laubadère, who paints on paper and canvas using lead pencils, smoke and charcoal as well as printed and embroidered fabric selected from China and France. The hotel also puts an emphasis on the art of music at Jaya restaurant’s elaborate Sunday Jazz Brunch.

              Loews Miami Beach Hotel

              At Loews Miami Beach Hotel, a hotel tower was designed as an homage to Art Deco with a stunning cupola that’s now synonymous with South Beach. A recent $50 million revamp included adding a curated collection of permanent art pieces that ranges from murals to sculptures and even designer headboards in rooms. The works of Sarah Raskey, a Chicago-based visual artist, and Derek Gores, a Melbourne, Florida artist known for collage-art, are woven throughout the hotel. The first thing guests will notice is Raskey’s sparkling art piece behind the reception desk called “Stardust,” comprised of minerals, precious stones, crystals, geodes and more. It’s like a fabulous piece of earthy jewelry on the wall. You’ll also find her work in the artfully designed carpeting in guestroom hallways and the guestroom headboards and murals, which are aptly called “Halo.” For gallery-like collections, head to the second and third floor meeting spaces for more than 40 pieces of multi-medium works showcasing many local artists. If music is your art of choice, spend an evening at Bar Collins, the lobby restaurant and lounge, for live music every Friday through Sunday. Expect a rotating mix of local musicians who belt out everything from Latin tunes to playing moving music on an electric violin and DJs pumping out dance music.

                Kimpton EPIC Miami

                In Downtown Miami, Kimpton EPIC Miami has bragging rights to its own international art gallery on property. Located directly outside the front doors is Avant Gallery, where art lovers can immerse themselves in a contemporary world of sculptures, paintings and photography. Expect to experience an eclectic group of artists including Alejandro Vigilante, Alec Monopoly, Gavin Rain, Nathan Sawaya and Guy Le Baube. The gallery was founded in Miami Beach in 2007, and while it operates out of four locations (two in Miami), this Downtown Miami location is their flagship and includes stunning LaMuse, where you can gather for artfully inspired dishes as well as with coffee and teas.

                  Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Brickell/Downtown

                  Also in the heart of Miami’s Brickell Financial District, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Brickell/Downtown will surprise guests with its exquisite collection of original art by 12 different artists and a small art gallery on the ground level. View one of Jeffrey Zachmann’s one-of-a-kind sculptural machines, a towering flower sculpture by Emilio Robba and thought-provoking paintings by Gregory Scott and Deborah Starbuck. Roam the sixth floor to gaze at Art Deco photographs and make a stop on each floor where inspiring murals make a statement at the elevator landing areas.

                  All these places are sure to offer an enriching stay in Miami, or even replace a day at the museum for locals.

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