Mentioned below are Australian establishments that can offer a lot more than your average
accommodation option. The philosophy “hotel is art” has been taken to heart by these places. They are
a haven for art lovers – although they may not love all these hotels. However, at least one of them can
have what art enthusiasts are looking for.
1. The Art Series – a serious collection
The number of Victorian-based boutique hotels is growing and people getting attracted to this type of
hotels, not just for its art and exhibition showcases but also because of their hip inner-city location. The Olsen (South
Yarra), The Cullen Melbourne (Prahan), The Larwill (Parkville), The Blackman (St. Kilda Road), The
Schaller Studio Bendigo, and the new kid on the Adelaide block, The Watson in Walkerville were all
named after contemporary artists from Australia whose works beautify the walls. They also offer hands-
on experience as well as offer tours and art utensils for individuals who wish to put brush on canvas.
You may ask which Art Series is for you? Well, as the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
The art styles and its architecture are vastly different, ranging from grungy pieces by Archibald prize
winner Adame Cullen in Prahan to the exuberant works of Aboriginal artist Tommy Watson (Adelaide). A
few years back, we sampled the Cullen’s penthouse and that was pretty amazing, as far as rooms go.
Due to open in Brisbane in June 2016 is The Johnson, named after Michael Johnson, which is next in the
2. Henry Jones Art Hotel – the living gallery
Do you want an extravagant contradiction? A living, breathing gallery of modern-day artworks hanging
in a 19th Century post-industrial space? Then Henry Jones is the one for you. There are numerous works
marking the stone walls and huge wooden beams of the common areas. The masterpieces also
intimately hang inside each of the 56 rooms. Several works of art crates by both emerging and established
Tasmanian artists are up for grabs, catalogued online and at reception. The deeply personal Bedtime
Stories: Siesta (on paper) by Katy Woodroffe is highlighted and the building’s original windows and the
scene across the harbour to Mount Wellington is artful in itself.
3. MONA Pavilions, Hobart – strange stays indeed
MONA is Australia’s most exceptional modern art gallery and yes, you can definitely stay here. Beside
MONA is the largest privately funded museum in the country. There are eight private pavilions to choose
from and they all overlook the River Derwent. Each private pavilion showcases private works from the
MONA collection in addition to artists such as Arthur Boyd and Brett Whitely. The rooms are
interspersed with serious collectable accessories, like Philippe Starck designed lamps, Ross Lovegrove’s
Supernatural chairs, and plenty of bespoke Tassie furniture. Another MONA talking point is the exterior
steel and aluminum design of the pavilions.
4. Halcyon House Cabarita Beach, NSW – the art of the hang
In this blue-and-white themed masterpiece of reinvention through excellent worker productivity, it is as much about the precision of display as
it is about the art itself. The seaside boutique hotel Halcyon House has 21 rooms and is filled with carefully selected images – some of which have been shot in flea markets. The art is distinct – ranging
from old Australian art to seascapes in oils and water colors – yet; they are consistently arranged artfully
in what has become known as the “Halcyon Hang”. The furnishings and wallpaper are breathtaking – the
corralling of multiple elements, overarching design (overseen by designer Anna Spiro), and the eye for
detail are magnificent. For enthusiasts, the blue and white tiling is a highlight.
5. Majestic Minima – the minimalist helper
With the small desk, king-size bed, compact bathroom, and balcony, this budget-friendly hipster from
Adelaide is fairly low key, as far as room amenities go. You’ll be surprised, though, that every compact
room happens to be an outstandingly brilliant canvas. The rooms are art-themed with a variety of
murals the size of the entire wall. There are artworks depicting abstract, cartoons, and stencil art all
achieved by diverse South Australian artists. The disparate themes include the controversial “Evolution”
room which portrays a God-like image and a giant monkey interacting and another theme called
“Psychedelic Seeds of Life”. You can randomly book a room or browse the artwork and book the room
you prefer. Another thing that adds dimension to the experience is the cute bed cushions by Gretel Girl.
6. Hotel Hotel, Canberra – urban collaboration
When you enter the lobby of this hotel, not only will you recognize the seriousness of its sales management process steps you’ll see a vast area full of stacked re-purposed timber,
contrasting the lustrously polished building beneath it. The rooms aim to reflect Australian aesthetic; thus,
the walls are rendered with natural clay and the windows are hardwood. Each room has original
modern-day Australia artworks with vintage sofas which have been reupholstered and restored. 56
different artists, makers, and designers collaborated in creating the artwork in this hotel. Aside from
this, the hotel houses an art collection inspired by Marion Mahoney Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin.
Hotel Hotels endures in the Nishi building, offering an oasis of magnificent artworks on Canberra’s low-
7. Tryp Fortitude Valley, Brisbane – street art goes indoors
What was once the meeting place of the Brisbane chapter of a mysterious and secret international
society called the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, now houses Tryp Fortitude Valley Hotel. In the
present day, the place offers guests with an immersive experience and is wall-to-wall with street art
produced by the likes of Numskull, Fintan Magee, Rone, and Beastman. A custom-made glass basin
doodled in graffiti is featured in the queen room and sitting as a backdrop to the king courtyard room is
a gigantic, vibrant mural that bears a resemblance to a wild combination of Bansky and Damien Hirst.
One thing’s for sure, Tryp will never be guilty of lacking color.
8. The Westin, Melbourne – 5-star gallery
Take a map and explore some of the poignant and inspiring artworks that are displayed on the walls of
Westin Melbourne. Australia’s best contemporary artists have an extensive collection of works in the
hotel’s common areas. John Buckley, a highly regarded curator, wanted to match the hotel’s
atmosphere and aesthetic with the art. To accomplish this, he has worked with the hotel’s interior
designer. Works by John Young and Imants Tillers are what enthusiasts are keeping an eye out for as
well as limited-edition prints by photographic artists Susan Hewitt and Christopher Koller. The Paris
Opera has specially ordered a series of haunting works created by Bill Henson. His works are highlighted
throughout the ground floor.