Arts + Culture

Art Hotels

by Mark Ellwood

ARTISTS RUN AMOK

Where: Gladstone, Toronto

The draw: Custom-designed rooms with an arty twist

The scene: Boho and buzzy: amateur artists and gigging bands

Picture this: A local architect-and-developer rescued the Gladstone, a grand old Victorian pile, from flophouse hell five years ago. Management wanted it to keep it distinct from the post-Starck cookie-cutter design hotels cropping up all over, so an open call inviting local creative types to renovate its rooms. The newly art-obsessed Gladstone debuted in late 2005, its 37 rooms completely transformed. While white bedding, flat-screen TVs, and DVD players are standard, the rest of the fittings are designer-specific. Standouts include room 404, the Canadiana, with its antler chandelier, felt curtains, and bookcase crammed with Canuck authors, and bubblegum-pink Teen Queen 305, its walls plastered with Tiger Beat–worthy posters of '70s and '80s-era blow-dried teen idols (all that feathered hair!). To keep the arty energy flowing, the Art Bar hosts life drawing classes every Wednesday, and the Melody Bar has a stage for up-and-coming bands to play during cocktail hour.

Gladstone Hotel
Tel: 416 531 4635
Doubles from $150

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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