Using artwork to differentiate your property is a topic worth exploring as there are several other angles at play besides just the direct impact on the guest experience. Yes, art heightens the ambiance for visitors, but have you considered the impact that such installations will have on locals as well as on your own staff?

Starting with the latter, imagine what your own home would feel like if you didn’t have a few paintings or sculptures throughout your space. Certainly, it would feel clinical and would dampen your mood. The same applies for a hotel. If your team sees that you take pride in your place of work then they will be more likely to follow in stride. If your hotel feels unique to the staff who live and breathe the space, then they too will come to see it as an exceptional work environment and be more motivated as a result.

As for locals, if you gain a reputation as an artistic haven, then they’ll wonder by, ambling through your public areas just to catch a glimpse and possibly grab a coffee or cocktail afterwards. With your community reputation growing, this will pay off via word of mouth that will attract locals as well as more out-of-towners who catch wind.

But how do you start? For beginners, less is more; it’s better to have a few paintings around with good lighting than it is to have posters smacked against every possible wall. Moreover, you don’t have to only think in terms of the traditional viewpoint of art equals acrylic on canvas. Installations also have a tremendous impact. Digital and interactive art are on rise, with screens doubling as both elaborate surfaces for artists to display whatever they want, in addition to all the possibilities for motion capture and camera integrations. Lastly, consider your exterior, both in terms of its lighting, which can be arranged to form a moving pattern or image as well as such vibrant pieces as outdoor neon sculptures, giving your hotel a whole new look at nighttime.

If you’re having difficulties getting buy-in from ownership – it is a capital expenditure after all – then remind them that art doubles as an investment when purchased wisely. To help allay their trepidation, work with a curator or art consultant to not only reassure investors but to also develop the overall theme of all acquired pieces and get you a discount.

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One of the world’s most published writer in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the principal of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited, a Toronto-based consulting practice. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry is also on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes four books Are You an Ostrich or a Llama? (2012), Llamas Rule (2013), Hotel Llama (2015) and The Llama is Inn (2017). You can reach Larry at to discuss hotel business challenges or to book speaking engagements.


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