It’s time to pull down the tacky pastel prints because Canada’s redesigned art hotels are bringing out the funk in full colour.
Swans Suite Hotel, Victoria, BC
The first thing I notice is the Toni Onley watercolour on the wall. Moody landscape, muted colours. Now I’m getting excited. Three floors of art, and I haven’t even checked in to my room yet. Room 307: Jack Shadbolt’s Morning Epiphany, an abstract; and in the Penthouse suite, a 3.6-m (12-ft) custom totem carving by Roy Henry Vickers. No wonder the Swans Suite Hotel is known as Victoria, BC’s “Art Hotel.”
Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON
Sink into the Toronto arts scene at the Gladstone Hotel. All 37 guest rooms have been designed by local artists. Room 404 celebrates the awesomeness of Canadiana with warm cedar panelling and a window that glows above CN rail lines. The sultry “Parlour of Twilight” room has tin ceilings, Venetian blinds and enchanting film-noir effects. Sexy! Local artists also exhibit their work here.
Hôtel Opus, Montréal, QC
Every artist needs a muse. And Montréal’s hipster haven, otherwise known as Hôtel Opus Montréal, has five of them. The rooms and suites are based on five fictional characters. Book an intimate, stylish suite inspired by the Manolo-wearing fashionista “Susan,” euro-chic “Pierre” or the London party-boy musician “Billy.”
Drake Hotel, Toronto, ON
High tech meets high art in the Drake Hotel’s upscale “Crash Pads” and “Dens.” The groove is eclectic cool with custom-designed furniture and wallpaper, pieces handcrafted by local artists. Free spirits love the plywood dining room walls covered in felt Rorschach inkblots. Look closer, what do you see? A great place to catch indie music and nibble on raw sushi.
Artisan Inn, Trinity, NL
Maybe it’s the rock-strewn shoreline or the misty air. But artists everywhere are drawn to the Artisan Inn on the shores of Fisher Cove in Trinity Harbour. Local artisans such as Stephen O'Driscoll and Mike Paterson handcrafted many of the inn’s furnishings. Trinity’s raw beauty was backdrop for the film (based on E. Annie Proulx’s book) “The Shipping News” starring Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore and Dame Judy Dench.
Listel Hotel, Vancouver, BC
Is it a museum or a hotel? Both. The Listel Hotel in Vancouver has an entire museum floor dedicated to Northwest Coast art. See original works by artists at the forefront of the international scene right from your Gallery Floor room. Feel like a movie star yet? You will. Works by Otto Rogers and Jean Pierre Cassigneul adorn the Artist Series Suites with décor from Italian Modern to French Provincial.
Black dress and goatee, of course, are always optional.