Arts + Culture

Art Hotels

by Mark Ellwood


Where: Soho Hotel, London

The draw: Media-heavy hub showcasing the owners' eclectic personal collection

The scene: TV and movie types taking a meeting

Picture this: In the U.K., artists are often treated like rock stars, and the Soho is where they're most likely to come home to roost. The lobby is dominated by a jet-black, ten-foot-tall cat, a typically bulbous sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The bizarre installation's a hint of the art-crazy environment the owners, Kit and Tim Kemp, have created in the heart of central London's media district. Their private collection is scattered throughout the place, including every one of the 91 rooms. One of Kit's favorites is Memories in the House, by Martin Firrell, a series of abstract statements scrawled on the walls of the public spaces and various guest rooms. (Best of luck with sagacious bons mots such as "Our desires do not age. The sudden leaping up of feeling, as a flame leaps up…mounts up.") A showier Kemp pick is Alexander Hollweg's restaurant mural, depicting cars motoring among foliage. The decor throughout is characteristic Kemp: a whimsical take on English country house (overstuffed sofas, Chesterfield chairs) paired with brazen splashes of color (orange Lucite furniture, acid-hued walls). It's a look for which the art—such as the pretty-in-pink pastiche here, with a canvas by Sandra Blow—is perfectly suited.

Soho Hotel
Tel: 800 553 6674
Doubles from $500

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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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