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Here’s Why and How to Banish Bad Hotel Art For Good

hotel lobby art

Hotel lobby art tends to get a bad rap. Traditionally, it’s been seen as anything from generic to tacky. Guests might see it and remark that it’s merely being used to avoid the scenario of blank walls; beyond that, these pieces don’t tend to have a lot of artistic merit. In fact, one well-known motel chain, Super 8, launched a tongue-in-cheek, pop-up art show to give away some of its most enduring — and arguably, its most confusing — hotel art. The reason they wanted to draw so much attention to the event? Super 8 decided to overhaul its entire art program in locations all across the country. Now, the motel chain looks far more streamlined and high-end than the former wall art would have guests believe.

Super 8 figured out what many of the world’s most revered boutique hotels have already known for some time: by making art the focus, rather than an afterthought, you can attract guests in new ways and keep them coming back. For that reason, you need to make it your mission to banish so-called “bad” art in your hotel and replace it with pieces that support your brand and are truly appealing to travelers.

What Makes Hotel Art “Bad”

It’s hard to agree on what constitutes “bad” art, as artistic expression and consumption are so personal. What appeals to one viewer may be abhorrent to another. But in their quest to find universally appealing art pieces, many hotels have made the mistake of using pieces so generic that they are boring, uninspiring, and outdated. When art doesn’t have a clear point of view and is so focused on being unoffensive, it can veer off into the bad hotel lobby art category. Although nature scenes may be calming, poorly done paintings of wildlife won’t set your hotel apart (or if it does, it won’t be in a positive way). Ultimately, art that doesn’t tell an interesting story or have a distinct voice could very well fall into this category. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the artist lacks talent or that there aren’t people who will enjoy this art style; it simply means that it’s not actually adding anything to your existing hotel lobby design ideas or the aesthetic of your rooms.

How an Artistic Approach Can Improve Hotel Perception

Because turn-key art services are relatively affordable in terms of construction budgets (they represent only 1-2% overall), some hoteliers believe that they can wait until the last minute to incorporate hotel lobby art. But that’s a critical mistake that can cause you to choose generic or tacky pieces that really don’t belong. Instead, taking an artistic approach to the entire design of your hotel from the very beginning will allow you to support your brand messaging and attract guests who want a unique and visually stimulating hotel experience.

That doesn’t mean that you have to purchase expensive originals to grace every wall, either. Your art consultant can assist you in obtaining high-quality reproductions that can easily fit in your budget but provide far more visual appeal than you would obtain with an older style of hotel art. In that way, you can be inspired by the approach that some of the world’s most stimulating art hotels take but you can scale that approach to work for your particular business.

Of course, selecting the right kind of hotel lobby art is… well, an art in itself. That’s why working with an art advisor will be of huge benefit to your organization. When you entrust an industry expert to select the kind of art that will create the desired feel for your hotel, you can focus your efforts on other areas and still achieve your goals. To learn more about how we can help you in this endeavor, please contact us today.