Art&Style Luxury

Discovering The St. Regis Venice

The most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets

A source of inspiration for Monet in the early 1900s, renewed in 2019 with an architectural tribute to Carlo Scarpa, and thanks to collaborations with the most relevant contemporary artists, from Julian Opie to Ai Weiwei, The St. Regis Venice confirms itself as one of the most beautiful art hotels in the world.

A vocation, that for the artistic avant-garde, which comes from afar, as if it were written in its romantic destiny from the beginning. In fact, The St. Regis Venice was born in 1895, the year the first Biennale Arte was founded, with the name of Gran Hotel Britannia. It immediately became a point of reference for the greatest artists of the time, from Monet to Turner, who painted some great masterpieces from its terraces overlooking Punta della Dogana and Basilica della Salute.

A bond sanctioned in 2019, the year of completion of the majestic restoration of the famous 5-star luxury hotel which saw the restyling of its 130 rooms, 39 suites, restaurant, two bars, and common areas in the name of the highest manufacturing arts of the “Splendid Venice”, between architectural lines inspired by Carlo Scarpa, the greatest Venetian architect, and decorations of fine craftsmanship, in particular artistic Murano glass and precious fabrics.

The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets
The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets

The St. Regis Venice is a point of reference for contemporary art, where not only our guests can feel at home, but also the artists themselves who live and inhabit it as a creative atelier for site-specific works.

(Rafael Montalvo, The St. Regis Venice Marketing Director)

The ideal setting to host “art within art”, giving life to a single, exciting installation that blurs the boundaries between hospitality and immersive cultural experience. Indeed, The St. Regis Venice has signed a series of projects with important curators, galleries, and leading artists on the international contemporary art scene, to offer its guests and visitors the thrill of staying in a real art gallery.

The year 2022 saw the birth of the collaboration with the German curator Gisela Winkelhofer, founder of Edition artCo, who selected some important works that can now be admired inside The St. Regis Venice. Starting with the spectacular Venice Runners 2022, four metal sculptures almost three meters high that can also be admired from the Grand Canal. Installed on the hotel’s magnificent terrace, they were created by Londoner Julian Opie, famous for his elegant silhouettes including the portrait of the four members of the Blur band on the cover of their album “The Best of Blur”, now part of the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.

The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets

The ideal stroll through The St. Regis “art gallery” begins once you arrive at the water gate of the hotel. From here you enter the Long Gallery where, on both sides, we find the Burning Falls sculptures by the Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen who reinterprets the classic busts of the Roman emperors from the Uffizi Galleries in Florence in Carrara marble and Murano glass.

The work is part of the Glasstress project, by Berengo Studio, a point of reference in the Lagoon for the excellence of hand-blown artistic glass applied to contemporary art.

The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets
The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets

Continuing along the corridor, we find another sculpture: it is Paar Säule by Gregor Hildebrandt, a German artist known for the works of art created with cassette tapes and analogic musical material, a column made up of records, pressed and remodeled, found in Berlin markets.

Just opposite, in the Gran Salone, guests are welcomed by the gigantic White Chandelier by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in homage to the 1600 years of Venice, in collaboration with Berengo Studio. On the sides of the room, the chandelier is framed by the marvelous silk canvases by the French Olivier Masmonteil, dedicated to as many masterpieces by Tintoretto.

The St. Regis Venice, the most glamorous Contemporary Art Hotel in Venice — Veneto Secrets

To conclude our art walk, we end up in the temporary exhibitions area which houses the optical installations by Esther Stocker, an Italian artist based in Vienna, who loves to create suggestive geometric optical illusions in aluminum.

These are just some of the works of art that embellish every corner of the hotel, including all the rooms and suites, protagonists of the many events dedicated to the world of contemporary art organized by the hotel to make their guests’ stay even more special, whether for a holiday, a drink at the Arts Bar or a special evening dedicated to Art and Beauty.

The Secret

Looking more closely, there are many details of the works of art that will take you by surprise. Like the symbols that are hidden in the work of Ai Weiwei, only apparently a “normal” chandelier in Ca’ Rezzonico style. In fact, among its branches, the artist hid touches of “contemporary ferocity” such as a pair of handcuffs, crabs and even a hand that raises a finger in protest.

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