Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, is home to eight of the city’s museums and continues to expand with now more than 50 galleries, fine-art studios, specialty stores, trendy restaurants and coffeehouses. Its latest development, the ART, a hotel, will open this spring, greeting meeting attendees with a snow-white neon sign that displays the words: “I can feel your smile.”
This sign is just the beginning of the impressive collection that will make up the art experience at the 165-room ART hotel, located next to the Denver Art Museum. The hotel is sure to attract art enthusiasts as the only hotel in the U.S. to contain this caliber of art, making the hotel almost feel like an art gallery or museum in itself. The first four floors of the building contain business offices, and then the fourth level and higher make up the hotel.
Contemporary art will line the walls of the building’s two galleries, enliven meeting rooms, spill into the hotel hallways and even decorate the guest rooms—so much so that art will be weaved throughout the entire guest experience. The Portico Gallery, located on the first floor, will entice passersby to come check out the hotel’s cultural offerings. On the fourth floor, a second gallery will create a decorative lobby experience, with floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in natural light to highlight each artwork.
Leo Villareal, the same artist that designed the San Francisco Bay Bridge light installation, will be installing a permanent installation of lights that will welcome guests to the hotel’s porte cochere. The rest of this motor lobby will have playful sculptures by artists Claes Oldenberg and Coosje Van Bruggen, as well as the “I can feel your smile” sign created by Sol Lewitt, Nancy Rubins and Tracey Emin.
Some examples of artwork in the fourth-floor lobby gallery will include a girl statue holding flowers by Kiki Smith and a giant Edward Ruscha tapestry welcoming guests with the words: “Industrial Strength Sleep.” Additionally, this lobby will contain the Andy Warhol painting, “The American Indian;” a life-size Deborah Butterfield horse, dubbed “Otter;” and a John Baldessari screen print, titled “Eight Soups.”
“The ART is reflective of Denver’s new role as the West’s new epicenter for visionary thinking, synergistically paired with distinctive and exceptionally effective actions,” says David Bodette, general manager of the hotel. “We are proud to represent a new direction for refined experiential living in a city that is re-expressing what it means to be truly alive in our age.”
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s famous words—“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art”—the hotel features 4,100 sf of meeting space. Three modern executive boardrooms offer audiovisual technology that includes data project and video conferencing, and one of the rooms even features a private patio overlooking downtown. More social meetings can take place at the 88-seat Fire restaurant, which will feature a fresh take on New American cuisine, as well as its open-air Terrace Bar. While programming for groups at the hotel is still being finalized, it will entail unique teambuilding activities and group experiences that are inspired by the hotel’s art concept, Bodette adds.
“This new generation in Denver wants authentic handcrafted living,” says Bodette. “We at the ART are focused on delivering an intimate high-touch experience; our sole focus is making a stay that is inspired by a spark from our guest’s imagination and brought to energizing fire by the heart and passion of our colleague’s engagement.”