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The power of art in hospitality
Margarida Caldeira
6th July 2023

Everyone involved in the Portuguese hospitality world is familiar with the iconic Ritz Hotel.

It is the most famous hotel brand in the world, a byword for luxury, elegance and sophistication.

It is also famous for its art.

From the low reliefs by Almada Negreiros to the tapestries from Portalegre, it is the art that has endured and regardless of the passing decades, art remains an integral and celebrated part of the Ritz's interior architecture.

Art is such a critical aspect of interior design, particularly in hotels, adding not just aesthetic appeal but playing a key role in enhancing the overall ambiance and contributing to creating the best possible guest experience.

As designers we understand that first impressions count, and art can create that wow moment for guests as they walk into the lobby, evoking immediate emotions and captivating the guest’s attention.

It is an important tool for expressing a hotel’s brand and creating – or reinforcing – its identity. Carefully selected artworks that align with the hotel’s theme, values and target audience can create a unique atmosphere while also communicating the hotel’s personality, allowing guests to connect with the brand on a deeper level.

The Moxy Oriente Hotel in Lisbon has a bold and contemporary design, both inside and out, in which urban art plays a fundamental role.

The interior design approach is focused toward the gen Z and millennial generation with large-scale and vibrant murals, such as those by Portuguese artist AkaCorleone, each creating a unique and dynamic environment that has helped the hotel become one of the hotspots in this district of Lisbon.

It’s important to note that it is not only established and well-known artists who are creating great pieces - working with and celebrating homegrown artists and supporting the local arts community not only enriches the hotel’s aesthetic but also contributes to the sustainability and development of the arts scene, creating a virtuous circle that benefits everybody.

The Renaissance Porto Lapa Hotel, which was launched in the spring of 2023, also deserves notable recognition for achieving a perfect symbiosis between the various spaces and art pieces. The Renaissance brand of Marriott is a brand in which art plays a fundamental role and is an integral part of the brand's guidelines.

It was fascinating to be able to choose original artworks by international and Portuguese artists including Pedrita Studio, Isabel Mello, a unique piece by Clemens Behr, and two art installations, among others, by Manuel Caldeira.

The art curation is developed using various artistic styles and techniques, notably ceramics, and through featuring contemporary pieces that allow for a reinvention of this distinctly Portuguese art form.

Through the curation of appropriate pieces, we were able to achieve that all-important sense of place with art that reflects local culture and heritage, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the cultural fabric of the place and to develop a richer appreciation for the location they are visiting.

Fundamentally, it all comes down to creating the very best guest experience. Hotels are an escape, a place where people want to leave their daily routine behind and to be enthralled, enchanted and hopefully enriched – and art can play a powerful part in achieving all these things.