The Lone Star State's art scene isn't limited to museums and galleries. Increasingly hotels are using onsite exhibits, collections and programming to attract travelers who crave accommodations that are both aesthetically and experientially satisfying.
The latest property to sate Texas travelers' artistic appetites will be the Hall Arts Hotel, which will open this fall in Dallas.
"We are pleased to announce the upcoming opening of the Hall Arts Hotel in the Dallas Arts District," Hall Group founder and chairman Craig Hall said in a statement. "I strongly believe that art, in all its forms, nourishes the human spirit, and as a long-time patron of the arts in Dallas, I cannot think of a better location for this exciting new boutique hotel."
As part of Dallas' Arts District, one of the largest contiguous urban arts areas in the country, the new hotel will offer 183 guest rooms outfitted with custom built-in furniture, Hall said, in order to "emphasize a central tenet of design -- an environment where everything is purposeful and meant to not intrude on the experience of the spaces."
Also on offer will be two restaurants, a lounge and a terrace with live entertainment, a rooftop pool, more than 6,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 250 people, and an extensive art collection with works by about 50 local and international artists.
"Hall Arts Hotel has inspired exceptional artists from Texas, the U.S. and beyond," said the hotel's curator, Virginia Shore. "Compelling artists, ranging from emerging through established, have embraced the opportunity to create work for the heart of the arts district." She added the commissioned artwork is meant to energize the public areas and heighten guest awareness of the importance of art in humanizing spaces.
Four More Texas Art Hotels
The Hall Arts Hotel won't debut until fall, so art enthusiasts can try one of these four Texas hotels where hospitality and the humanities come together:
• Hilton Anatole, Dallas: Located in the Dallas Design District, this massive 1,606-room property has nine restaurants and bars, an 80,000-square-foot health-and-wellness facility, and more than 600,000 square feet of meeting space. Just as large as its other assets is its famed art collection, which contains more than 1,000 exotic pieces from around the world and is purported to be the largest hotel art collection in the country. Particularly unique is the hotel’s seven-acre sculpture park. To help guests enjoy that and other highlights, the hotel has a special website -- AnatoleArt.com -- dedicated to the collection, and also offers a variety of art-themed activities, such as a walking tour of the hotel’s 100 most iconic pieces, a mile-long art walk for those who want to combine art with fitness, art scavenger hunts for corporate groups and an art-themed dine-around that pairs 15 pieces from the hotel’s collection with food-and-beverage items from the works’ country of origin.
• JW Marriott Houston Downtown, Houston: Occupying the Carter Building, constructed in 1910 by Samuel Fain Carter as Houston's first official skyscraper, this hotel's architecture is a work of art in and of itself. The building isn't the only artwork here, though. Inside, an extensive collection from international and local artists is found in numerous galleries. For those who like to wear such creations, the hotel features a wardrobe collection from designer David Peck, whose Houston-based fashion house created and styled the artistic threads that hotel employees wear throughout the property. The JW, which Marriott describes as "artfully curated," has 328 guest rooms and 16,000 square feet of meeting space.
• The Lancaster Hotel, Houston: Originally opened in 1926 as the Auditorium Hotel, the Lancaster was reopened this past October after a 12-month, multimillion-dollar renovation. Part of Houston’s Theater District, the 93-room property’s amenities include a cardio-fitness room, complimentary car service within downtown Houston, a 60-seat restaurant, a coffee shop and a small meeting room for groups of up to 12 people. The hotel's artistic highlight, however, is its curated collection of more than 200 contemporary works by over 100 international and Texan artists, including the Mark Flood, Terrell James, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Aaron Parazette and Margo Sawyer. The pieces are on display throughout the 12-story property, including in the lobby, guest rooms and restaurant.
• Hotel ZaZa Austin, Austin: When it opens this summer in downtown Austin, this quirky property will become part of a Texas-grown collection of luxury boutique art hotels, two of which are in Dallas and one in Houston. Along with 159 guest rooms, the property will feature 8,500 square feet of meeting space, a spa, a rooftop swimming pool, two lounges and two full-service restaurants. Although full details have not been revealed yet, the hotel also will feature a carefully curated art collection displayed throughout.