Sleeping in a fine museum

Derby Hotels Collection in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris and London all have original pieces of art on display, even in the bedrooms. Their aim is for the guests to experience art, culture and luxury whilst staying with them. As hotel competition heats up in major cities, is art the secret to enchant the customer in?

Jordi Clos, developer and Chairman of Derby Hotels Collection, drives this all forward with his personal love of hotels, art, culture and his home city, Barcelona. With each hotel embracing its own identity according to its history and location, they all house an historical art collection – in essence making them small museums.

The quality of food in hotel restaurants has reached the highest of levels and is no longer considered just another arm of the overall business. Today it plays an essential role in ensuring a successful guest stay. Service, for those who still invest heavily in leadership and development can also bring further rewards. Combined, a strong food and service ethos provides a culture which should make experiences memorable and therefore creates that all important repeat customer. DHC offers a gastronomic experience marked by Michelin star restaurants and chefs like CEBO and Glass Mar. To truly then reach the next level of a quality experience it naturally falls onto the other factors of – architecture, interior design, art – but alongside ambience, feeling and sense.

This is what Jordi Clos has recognised with his collection of hotels that unify art, luxury and culture. Known as a collector, a scholar and a sponsor of art and culture, he is joined by Joaquim Clos, general director and head of the Derby Hotels Collection cuisine

“They are all unique hotels because in all of them we include original pieces of art from Egyptian Pharaonic period, pre-Columbian, Papua New Guinea cultures or Ming Dinasty to Buddist and Hindu Art and more contemporary. The overall concept is a collection of unique and original hotels, combining art, luxury and culture. Each hotel houses an original art collection, making it a small museum of inestimable artistic value.” - Joaquim Clos.

Identity is the single most important part of the hotels in the group. Each has been designed with collaboration from a range of architects and the focus has been towards unique materials, from sculptures and paintings to marble in the bathrooms and the wood used for the tables.

The small museums in their properties includes Egyptian or original art but also roman mosaics or engravings from Napoleon’s time. Interestingly the style is a blend of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and contemporary art. All very different but mixed to create these unique identities.

At the Urban Hotel in Madrid more than one hundred pieces have been acquired through auctions and expeditions, guests will discover a Papua New Guinea Museum Room. Whereas in London at The Caesar Hotel, there’s a collection of more than 250 Roman mosaics.

Art can play the most powerful of roles and impact emotional wellbeing as well as create feelings which are often hard to describe in words. It has the ability to inspire and transport the viewer. Derby Hotels Collection have recognised this by not asking what art is but what art does.

As the world continues to increase in speed and modern life appears to become even more busy, hotels and their artwork can make a positive difference. It can enlighten the darkness and almost have a therapeutic effect. Yes, it’s a great story for a hotel to tell but the experience of the art provides a welcomed physical and emotional break from the norm. A real and rewarding chance to view past worlds.