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Museum-quality works enrich the guest experience

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-06 11:25

Museum-quality works enrich the guest experience

As hotels now take on the task of representing a property owner's personal taste and meeting the aesthetic expectations of guests, some have become worthy equals of museums in both the quality and quantity of artwork on display

One of the latest examples is the Hotel Eclat Beijing that opened on March 1 at Parkview Green, a steel-and-glass pyramid reminiscent of Ieoh Ming Pei's design at the Louvre in Paris.

The small luxury hotel has about 100 artworks ranging from sculpture to oil paintings and installations. More than a dozen adorn its lounge, making it an art gallery in its own right.

Among the works is The Madonna of Port Lligat by legendary Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali.

This wax sculpture, along with Christ of St. John of the Cross, is the best known of Dali's religious works.

It is one of seven Dali works at the hotel, with others displayed on various floors, says Cheng Lin, the hotel's public relations manager.

Next to the sculpture is a print said to be worth more than 40 million yuan ($6.49 million).

Created in 1983 by US pop artist Andy Warhol, it depicts a giant panda that sits quietly on the ground, bending its legs.

Bearing Warhol's signature style, the panda has a realistic image but at the same time seems a little bit cold, aloof and emotionless, suggesting a sense of strangeness and alienation that people in the Western world might feel for the distant Oriental country.

Other floors are also decorated with museum-quality artwork.

Walking along the corridor on the 17th floor, guests will find Wang Guofeng's photographs featuring socialist countries with the latest subject being the North Korea. In their rooms, they might find Gao Xiaowu's sculptures sitting comfortably on the balconies.

While the Eclat has a museum-quality collection, the Regent Beijing has gone further by establishing a museum that is free of charge to its guests.

Museum-quality works enrich the guest experience

Hitting the right spot

The 10,000 square meter museum is said to house the largest collection of red sandalwood furniture in the world, even more than the Forbidden City.

The museum has a collection of 2,000 pieces of traditional Chinese furniture and woodcarvings made of red sandalwood and other rare and precious woods. More than 1,000 are on display, including about 200 artworks of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The most impressive exhibits are models of traditional Chinese buildings, including the Corner Tower of the Forbidden City.

Weighing over six tons and made entirely of red sandalwood, the model took more than 100 artists over three years to complete. The roof is made of 4,600 interlocking wood pieces and no nails or glue have been used.

Other highlights include a 400-year-old canopied bed with 100 birds carved into it and a cabinet engraved with 1,000 Chinese characters made of mother of pearl.