The Big Six: Art hotels


Au Vieux Panier, Marseille

This unassuming townhouse in the Panier district hides five mad-cap rooms that function as part B&B, part blank canvas. A new batch of artists is drafted in each year to paint the spaces afresh. The current collection includes Fusion by Philippe Baudelocque, inspired by the stars; Panic Room, by graffiti artist, Tilt; Purgatory Palace by the graphic duo Mass Confusion, using visual references from Dada to Art Deco.

Au Vieux Panier, 13 Rue du Panier, Marseille, France (00 33 6 32 19 90 05; Doubles start at €90, including breakfast.

South Place Hotel, London

This hotel opens near Liverpool Street station on Monday. Each of the 80 rooms features modern artwork by London creatives. The interiors are by Conran + Partners, bedlinen is by Josephine Home and the chairs are by Finland's Eero Saarinen. South Place brandishes its credentials with an annual competition for recent MA graduates of London art schools. The work of ceramicist Zemer Peled, this year's winner, is on display.

South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London EC2M 2AF (020-3503 0000; Doubles from £176, room only.

The Swatch Art Peace, Shanghai

This multi-use hub opened last year in Pudong as a collaboration between the Swiss watchmakers and China's Jing Jiang Hotels group. It invites artists to live free for up to six months so long as they leave a trace. Evidence of their work is found in The Residence (seven suites on the fourth floor), in Shook! (a swanky restaurant), and in two onsite galleries. There's also a roof terrace.

The Swatch Art Peace, 23 East Nanjing Rd, Bund 19, Shanghai, China (00 86 21 2329 8500; Doubles start at RMB5,172 (£516), including breakfast.

Le Royal Monceau Raffles, Paris

Exquisitely designed by Philippe Starck as a modern palace hotel, Le Royal Monceau dazzles with its attention to detail. Rooms, which are conceived as (luxurious) artist's studios, feature Forties-inspired décor and fine-art photography. An Art Concierge provides a weekly diary of Paris's must-see art events. Elsewhere in the hotel, there's a life-size installation of wooden deer and elk, an exhibition space and art bookshop.

Le Royal Monceau, 37 Avenue Hoche, Paris, France (00 33 1 42 99 88 00; Doubles start at €680, room only.

The Cullen, Melbourne

The Cullen was the first of three Art Series Hotels to open in Melbourne. Each takes its name from a different Australian artist: the enfant terrible of the grunge scene, Adam Cullen, inspired the Prahran outpost; The Olsen, based on abstract muralist, John, opened in South Yarra in 2010; Blackman in the same year, named after figurative painter Charles, on St Kilda Road. A fourth, this time in Adelaide, is due in September 2013 – inspired by Aboriginal artist, Tommy Watson.

The Cullen, 164 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (00 61 3 00 120 345; Doubles from A$239 (£159), room only.

The Gladstone, Toronto

Each of the 37 rooms at The Gladstone was designed by a different local artist: the "Canadiana", which leads to a kitsch, whimsical woodland; the sculptural "Offset" with reflective surfaces and angular beams; and "Echame Flores" – all smokey colours and vintage Victoriana – that harks back to the building's heritage as Toronto's first hotel in 1889, when it served the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Scattered elsewhere are The Café, Melody Bar and three galleries.

The Gladstone, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto, Canada (001 416 531 4635; Doubles start at C$187 (£125), room only.