Artwork strewn throughout hotels has earned a rather unsavory yet well-deserved reputation for being flavorless. Visions of cookie cutter, mass produced landscapes pulled from the picture frame section of your local Walmart tend to come to mind when thinking of the Motel 6 galleries of the world. Fortunately, there has been bit of a renaissance decor period multiplying across an increasing number of hotel properties around the globe. A sense of pride has been taken in curating more meaningful and eye-catching wall adornments. Here in the Sun Valley area, we’ve been fortunate enough to have lodging proprietors that dedicated bringing new meaning to the “room with a view” phrase. From local artists to recognizable 20th century masters, the accommodations in the Valley have original artwork hanging in their lobbies, rooms and unexpected places. Ranging from luxurious to quaint and modern to down home, here are a few highlights that offer inspirational views inside.
Sun Valley Lodge
As you pull through the porte-cochère at the iconic Sun Valley Lodge the areas history looms over you. In 1933, the luxurious Sun Valley Resort was completed, and the legendary doors were opened to star studded attention. Dotted throughout the Lodge and the Inn, you will find paintings, photographs, sculptures and lithographs. Modern and traditional, figurative and abstract; the collection is a mix of local and international artists. A favorite of visitors are the images in the hallway just beyond the reception desk offering guests a glimpse at Sun Valley’s history. Over 200 photographs chronicling the resort’s history, famous, influential and recognizable faces that have visited the area’s mountain tops and hangouts.
The recently renovated space at the north end of downtown Ketchum is the spot for a quintessential in-town experience. Curating local art creates a familiar vibe and character in the Hotel Ketchum. Works by local artists Rudi Broschofsky, Molly Snee, creator of the 40 foot mural on the exterior on the hotel’s north side, Charlotte Baker, Andy McCabe, and Jack Weekes adorn the walls of the lobby, The Hangout, and all spaces in between.
Hot Water Inn
Part hostel, hotel and long-term lodging, the Hot Water Inn is one of Ketchum’s newest and unique accommodations. Located at the base of Warm Springs Village at Bald Mountain, the Hot Water Inn has a chill scene and eclectic art collection. You can sit comfortably amongst photographs of inspired Idaho scenes and prints from Kevin Fitzpatrick and Due West Press. Within you will find a mix of posters – featuring images of local legends, Steve McQueen and Bobbie Burns -–alongside digitally rendered photographs by Bruce Mourey and contemporary abstract paintings. Holding art nights, musical guests and open mic, it offers a local cultural experience. “It’s beneficial to support and create a community space where visitors can connect with the community”, said proprietor and innkeeper Mark Oliver, and supporting all arts is a part of that.”
Knob Hill Inn
The Knob Hill Inn is a boutique hotel that is both modern and warm will make you feel special the moment you walk in, greeted by a photograph of the iconic Sun Valley Barn in the elegant reception area. “It’s important that the public gets to see it (art) – exposure to art is a critical part of life,” said Gary Lipton, who has contributed to the hotel’s art collection. Curating a warm space that adds to the elevated milieu are artworks that include familiar Idaho scenes by local photographers and painters as well as international superstars such as Annie Leibovitz, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein.
The Limelight Hotel is Ketchum’s newest hotel offers a modern and comfortable stay. For the art lover they offer a comprehensive collection of contemporary art. Curated by the owners of the hotel, the Crown family, is a thoughtful theme on topography; where in each piece expresses the connections we make with our environment. Perhaps the largest collection in the valley the hotel exhibits 23 prominent works with recognized names such as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Anne Appleby and Robert Rauschenberg, to name a few.
Visitors to the valley have many choices and the hotels in town cater to many tastes. Sun Valley is known for its breathtaking beauty but inside can be just as inspiring.