The luxury UK hotels with seriously impressive art collections

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Answering the calls from creatives to curate art-led escapes, passionate collectors and gallerists have transformed average hotels into boutique boltholes where what’s hanging on the walls and furnishing the space is as important as the five-star service. Spanning the length of the country, from Scotland to Cornwall, check in to these unique hotels with incredible art collections for a stay guaranteed to inspire. 

The Fife Arms, Scotland

Since the 19th century, The Fife Arms has been at the heart of Braemar, the Aberdeenshire town famous for the annual Braemar Gathering (the most famous Highland games in Scotland), which draws visitors from around the world. Deep in the Cairngorms National Park, this Victorian coaching inn has been reimagined for the 21st century by its new owners, Hauser and Wirth gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth. Since it reopened in 2018, guests have been invited to enjoy its 46 bedrooms and suites, restaurant overlooking the rushing River Clunie, spa and much-loved village bar. 

Given the Wirth’s decades-long dedication to modern and contemporary art, it’s unsurprising that art is central to The Fife Arms experience. More than 14,000 works have been thoughtfully integrated into every room, corridor and corner, with large-scale site-specific commissions by internationally-renowned artists – Zhang Enli, Guillermo Kuitca, Subodh Gupta, and Bharti Kher – among them. In the main entrance hall, for example, guests are greeted by a three-metre-high mahogany and pine chimneypiece carved by 19th-century artist Gerrard Robinson, featuring depictions of various scenes from the work of Scottish lyricist and poet Robert Burns. Other notable Scottish works include numerous paintings by Archibald Thornburn, one of Scotland’s finest wildlife painters, and a canvas by Dundee artist John Maclauchlan Milne, who exhibited alongside the Scottish Colourists.

From £581 per night, visit

No.42 by Guesthouse, Margate

Perfectly situated in the UK’s trendiest seaside town, No.42 by Guesthouse Margate is the newest hotel on the block, having opened just last month. The 21-bedroom hotel incorporates playful interior quirks throughout, such as bedrooms equipped with Crosley record players and vinyl collections carefully curated by local record store Ghost Papa, a set of special postcards designed by local artists at The Margate School, and a corridor pantry housed in a handsome vintage ticket booth and stocked with sweet and savoury snacks. Inspired by the character of the town, and in keeping the original Victorian columns at the centre of the hotel, No. 42 features a neutral, soft colour palette alongside eye-catching wall murals, printed wallpapers and striking stained-glass windows. 

Last month saw the new hotel welcome renowned artist Tracey Emin for the first Margate Art Prize. Shining a light on the booming creative scene that’s going from strength to strength in Margate, the Art Prize encourages more artists to flock to the town to show their work, with pieces by the 11 winners to be exhibited at the hotel too.

From £155 per night, visit

Chapel House, Penzance

This boutique bolthole in the heart of Cornwall’s Penzance doesn’t skimp on the small touches, despite its size. Featuring six bedrooms and two suites, Chapel House is owned by passionate art collector Susan Stuart, who has decorated the Georgian property in sea-blue hues, clean white furnishings and plenty of artworks to accentuate the hotel’s characterful bay windows and original floorboards. 

Enter via a hallway peppered with a plethora of artworks, including modern pieces from local artist Kate Jmo whose seascapes and textured canvases light up the walls around the house. Bright and exciting paintings by Phil Ward grace the kitchen walls and, on the landing, Tom Leaper’s Diving Gannet sculpture stands in the Georgian window, silhouetted against the backdrop of Mounts Bay. Chapel House has also partnered with Newlyn School of Art in Newquay to showcase works from local artists and pupils; each time the artwork changes the hotel hosts a viewing evening for guests and artists to enjoy. Time your stay accordingly. 

From £200 per night, visit

Heckfield Place, Hampshire

Dating back to the 1760s, this elegant Georgian family home was lovingly restored by designer Ben Thompson who was inspired by the estate’s 438 acres of Hampshire countryside and its historical legacy. The 38 rooms and six suites feature calming sage walls, original fire pits and a 400-strong collection of art, showcasing some of Britain’s most renowned artists from the last 150 years while adding touches of character and history throughout. 

There are a number of notable works dotted around the grand house but perhaps the greatest piece is The Works of Elsbeth Juda, which you’ll find hanging above the main stairway. This striking display of photographs is by eponymous artist Elsbeth Juda, a British photographer noted for her pioneering fashion photographs and whose subjects included artists Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and high-profile figures such as Winston Churchill. Elsewhere, discover Jane Austin in Beige + Hat – an oil painting by artist Wilfred Gabriel DeGlehn – casually overlooking the Drawing Room and adjacent to All My Loving, an oversized graphic piece by David Spiller famous for his vivid, bold images inspired by the Pop Art scene of the 1960s. Want to learn more? Book one of the hotel’s art tours during your stay to discover the history behind the works. 

From £550 per night, visit

Ham Yard Hotel, Soho

For those looking for an artistic staycation, allow us to point you in the direction of Ham Yard Hotel in Soho. As one of five London outposts by Firmdale Hotels, Ham Yard Hotel is the interior brainchild of British designer Kit Kemp, and you’ll notice her signature artistic flair inspired equally by her travels and English roots across 91 bedrooms. The three-acre site, a desolate space following the Second World War, has been revived to include the hotel and an ‘urban village’ with an array of independent boutiques. These include handcrafted resin homeware by Dinosaur Designs and Reem Gallery: a space founded by art dealer Zaid Alexander Badda in 2014 to exhibit a diverse range of contemporary and street art, from the emerging to the established. 

Following on from that artistic thread, the hotel itself is a feast for the eyes. Featuring works from Chelsea College of Arts alumni Hermione Skye-O’Hea and established artist Conrad Shawcross, each piece has been carefully selected to seamlessly work alongside Kemp’s award-winning interiors. Fancy taking a peek inside? Head to the website to discover a series of short films where Kit and her daughter Willow take viewers on a journey through some of the most inspiring pieces from their personally curated art collection.

From £538 per night, visit

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