Arts + Culture

Art Hotels

by Mark Ellwood

RED HEAT

Where: Langham Place Hotel, Hong Kong

The draw: Direct access into China's exploding contemporary art scene

The scene: Speculative collectors from overseas and art-hungry hustlers from the mainland

Picture this: No art market in the world is more superheated than the one in China, with spiraling prices and new creative messiahs anointed weekly. No wonder, then, that the owners of the 42-story Langham Place in Kowloon opted to fill it with more than 1,500 different pieces of contemporary Chinese work. Each section of the hotel has a different theme: The 7th and 8th floors are devoted to sculptures and paintings that reflect celebration; the spa on the 41st floor aims for tranquility with Hong Kong artist Alannala Lau's soothing paintings of blooming chrysanthemums. The caliber of art here outweighs the gimmicky layout: Expect a contemporary who's who, including Jiang Shuo's controversial sculpture Red Guard—Going Forward! Making Money! Its political edge unsettled the Chinese government: The cell phone–toting faceless figures are blindly worshipping capitalism in the way they once worshipped Mao. Art-loving guests who want to brush up on the holdings can use one of the free guides in each room or schedule a 30-minute tour with a staffer. The rooms are standard-issue luxury with flat-screen TVs, marble baths, and Wi-Fi throughout.

Langham Place Hotel
Tel: 852 3552 3388
Doubles from $332

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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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