Top 10 Art Inns

A benefit of staying at bed and breakfasts is that each possesses its own unique character. This is especially true when an artist (or pair of artists) fills the role of innkeeper. This month, we’re celebrating ten properties that not only provide guests with a place to unwind but that also highlight fine art and sculptures into the design of their indoor and outdoor spaces. With on-site studio space, many of the inns on this list offer guests the chance to watch artists work and to ask questions about the pieces they’re producing. Make a reservation at one of these bed and breakfasts and allow the creative inspiration in the air to envelope you.

Art House of East Hampton

East Hampton, NY

http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/ny-east-hampton-arthouseofeasthampton.html

Designed and decorated by working artists and proprietors Rosalind Brenner and Michael Cardacino, this bed and breakfast also hosts their studio space and serves as a functional gallery for showcasing their art. (Rosalind is an abstract painter whose output reflects the play between depth and two-dimensionality, while Michael is a multi-media artist who draws inspiration from current events in order to create contemporary artwork in the form of socio-political commentary. )Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood just north of East Hampton, New York, the Art House provides guests a relatively secluded atmosphere primed for the ultimate relaxing retreat away from the main tourist spots. The spacious villa-style property offers four beautifully appointed guest rooms – two rooms with garden views on the ground floor, a master guest suite with a private terrace, and a master spa suite fully outfitted with a steam shower, Jacuzzi hot tub, and separate sauna. Both master suites also have a gas fireplace, perfect for chilly evenings by the beach. Guests have private access to the Clearwater Beach Preserve and Marina on Gardiner’s Bay located one block away where they can bike, swim, fish, and kayak. Those looking to spend their time exclusively on the grounds of the Art House can lounge in the landscaped courtyard garden, cool off in the wading pool or 66-foot lap pool, or soak in the hot tub designed with a waterfall feature. Indoor amenities include a fitness center with weights and exercise machines, a media room with a 50-inch high-definition television and a full library of movies, a game room with a pool table and darts, and a heated infinity pool.

Blackwell Hotel

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Blackwell Hotel

This lavish boutique hotel is located in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, just 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington. Originally built in 1905, the roughly 7,000-square-foot home is Victorian character but has been completely refurbished to give the property a more modern feel while still preserving its ten-foot ceilings, oversized windows, and hardwood floors. The hotel’s owner also runs the Blackwell Gallery, and to promote the talent of local artists, he selects multi-media, multi-genre art pieces from the gallery to place on display in the hotel on rotation. Should the impulse strike, guests with a discerning eye can purchase this art to bring home with them. The inn’s seven posh guest rooms are each individually decorated and equipped with a specialty mattress, luxury bathroom, Keurig coffee brewer, flat-screen television, and iHome docking station. With complimentary wireless internet access throughout, guests can stay connected while relaxing in front of one of the hotel’s three fireplaces, watching a movie in the media room, or playing a game of billiards or shuffleboard. Staying at the Blackwell Hotel puts guests within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, nightlife, park, and the outdoor activities on and near Lake Coeur d’Alene. The city has also become a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts, and avid golfers should leave room in their schedule for a round or two at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, notable for its 14th hole with the world’s only movable floating green.

Cormier's Studio

Penticton, BC, Canada

Cormier's Studio

This luxuriously designed home and art gallery in Penticton, British Columbia is nestled in a hillside overlooking Okanagan Lake. Innkeepers Lawrence and Kena Cormier are world-renowned artists who specialize in creating whimsical, and often functional, art in their on-site metal studio. The Cormiers’ have displayed their artwork throughout the property, from Lawrence’s masterpieces on display out in the sculpture garden to Kena’s mixed-media pieces installed inside the house itself. The bed and breakfast offers three cozy guest suites with all the comforts of home. Sit in front of your fireplace or out on your private patio and enjoy a bottle of local wine. In fact, wine enthusiasts can spend a day or two exploring more than 28 wineries along the scenic Naramata Bench region, all within a 15 minute drive of the inn. Each room also features a fully-equipped studio kitchen complete with a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, and toaster oven, in addition to a contemporary ensuite bathroom with heated tile floors and tumbled travertine. The bathrooms in the Garden Suite and the Courtyard Suite have both a shower and a jetted bathtub, while the bathroom in the Lakeside Suite features a spacious shower with glass walls. Despite feeling as if you’re on a secluded getaway, this bed and breakfast is only a five-minute walk from the beach and a short drive from the restaurants and galleries in downtown Penticton, as well as the multi-use recreational Kettle Valley Rail Trail that’s popular with cyclists.

Degas House Historic Home, Courtyard, and Inn

New Orleans, LA

Degas House Historic Home, Courtyard, and Inn

Located on tree-lined Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, this truly unique bed and breakfast is just 11 blocks from the city’s famous French Quarter. The beautifully restored property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, included in the French National Order of Arts and Letters, and is the only home or studio of Edgar Degas, master of the French Impressionist movement, that is open to the public. Reproductions of the paintings he created while living in the home adorn the walls and add a touch of authenticity to majestic estate. Guests are greeted with complimentary wine upon check-in and are treated to a daily Creole breakfast featuring items like French waffles with fresh fruit, over-sized omelets with choice of fillings, and Bananas Foster Pain Perdu (French toast topped with caramelized bananas). Traditional rooms and larger suites appropriate for families and groups are named for members of the Musson-Degas family and meticulously designed to reflect each of their individual characters. With its romantic elegance, the showpiece of the house is the Estelle Suite, luxuriously decorated with magnificent draperies, a cut-crystal chandelier, and a four-post king-sized bed and equipped with a bathroom featuring a classic Victorian claw-foot bathtub. The period details are balanced with modern amenities such as wireless internet, large-screen televisions, and iPod docking stations in each room and Jacuzzi tubs in three of them. Take full advantage of your stay at the bed and breakfast by taking a guided tour of the Creole neighborhood of New Orleans led by Degas’ great-grandniece or by signing up for painting classes held within the very walls where the artist painted some of his most revered masterpieces.

Gallery 400 Inn & Art Gallery

Silver City, NM

Gallery 400 Inn & Art Gallery

Owners Richard and Amanda Deaton opened Gallery 400 in October 2005 after completing extensive renovations to the interior of the 100-year-old adobe building located on the property. Aided by Amanda’s trained eye as a graphic designer and professional portrait photographer, this quiet space in the heart of the Historic District in Silver City, New Mexico houses a carefully-curated collection of contemporary art created by artists who work in an eclectic blend of styles and media. Also located in Gallery 400 is the Gila House Hotel, a quaint bed and breakfast offering three comfortably-appointed guest rooms that all open up into the gallery spaces. If you find a piece of art that speaks to you, then you can hang it in your room for the duration of your stay to see how you might like it at your own home. All rooms are equipped with high-speed wireless internet access, private bathrooms, a mini-refrigerator, and are outfitted with either a queen- or king-sized Tempur-Pedic bed for the ultimate night’s sleep. The Mogollon Room, the inn’s largest room, can accommodate four people (two adults and two children), so it’s the ideal option for families. In the mornings, guests are given vouchers for breakfast that are good at Vicki’s Eatery, located just up the street from the gallery. After finishing breakfast, guests can explore the shops, museums, and other galleries in this thriving arts community, all within an easy walking distance of the inn.

The Gallery Inn

San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Gallery Inn

This stunning boutique hotel sits high above the North Wall of Old San Juan, pulling in the breezes off the Atlantic Ocean and offering breathtaking views of San Juan Bay. Created with six adjoining townhouses, the sprawling bed and breakfast with its 22 beautifully appointed guest rooms has been the private home of artist (and innkeeper) Jan D'Esopo for over 50 years. The historic inn has many charming architectural details, such as beams made from the gorgeous red wood of the ausubo tree, patios laid down with brick, and sculptured fountains. Stroll through the property's 19 gorgeously landscaped gardens filled with tropical flowers, enclosed by ancient walls, and occupied by exotic birds, making sure to take time to admire the two-waterfall swimming pool constructed in the Sunken Wedding Garden. Each guest room serves as a small art gallery and is uniquely decorated with silk screens, watercolors, sculptures, and paintings all created by Jan and furnished with pressure-relieving Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Tucked in between the guest rooms are five active art studios, where guests can watch sculpture being made, help empty the kiln from the previous day's firing, and even create a painting of their own. The Gallery Inn is close to the city's historic monuments and museums and is the only bed and breakfast in Old San Juan with beachfront facilities; it’s the perfect place to relax, watch the surfers, and sip on a cool, refreshing beverage.

INDEXG B&B

Toronto, ON, Canada

INDEXG B&B

This unique property located in the Queen West Art and Design District in downtown Toronto proves that it's not what's on the outside that counts. The exterior appears unassuming, as the building stood with an abandoned storefront for over ten years, but innkeepers (and sisters) KS and Holly Lee restored the space in 2007. The pair transformed the first floor into an art gallery and souvenir shop and the upper floors into a contemporary bed and breakfast. The five guest rooms are designed with urban living in mind and highlight the minimalist aesthetic of modern design. Each room comfortably accommodates up to two people and is equipped with wireless internet access, a firm mattress (all but one room has a queen-sized bed while the fifth boasts two twin beds), and either a private or an ensuite bathroom. In the morning, guests are invited down to the art gallery to enjoy a continental breakfast featuring a variety of homemade breads, cereal, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and yogurt. Having breakfast in this atmosphere allows guests the opportunity to mingle with one another and to admire the contemporary artwork on display created by local, Canadian, and international artists. INDEXG also invites select artists to maintain their own shop space at the gallery, thereby ensuring a constant refreshing of content and making it one of the most unique finds in the city. After breakfast, explore the restaurants, bars, shops, and other galleries in the neighborhood on foot or take advantage of the conveniently-located public transportation stops and head over to Eaton Centre, Toronto’s premiere shopping destination, or to Queen West to see what’s trendy in the city’s Fashion District.

Quinta dos Bons Cheiros Country Design B&B

Sintra, Portugal

Quinta dos Bons Cheiros Country Design B&B

If you’re looking for a place to slow down and escape from the stresses of the daily grind, then book a stay at this country house located on the edge of a farming village at the back end of Sinatra, a town approximately 20 minutes west of Lisbon and halfway between the mountains and the sea. This particular region of Portugal is renowned for its architectural heritage, as is seen by the many castles dotting the hilltops. Designed by architect (and innkeeper) Elisabeth Arias, this eco-friendly, pale blue bed and breakfast boasts beautifully landscaped grounds and a spacious terrace and sits in a young walled garden of fragrant lavender. The three guest rooms are individually decorated with walls painted in pale shades and adorned with striking pieces of artwork. Each room comes with a fully equipped bathroom stocked with all-natural toiletries and a plush bathroom, as well as a private patio with views of the lush countryside. Begin each morning in the dining room or out on the terrace with a sumptuous breakfast prepared by Elisabeth featuring fresh fruit and homemade baked goods and end each evening with complimentary chocolate truffles accompanied by a glass of Muscat or port wine. After breakfast, choose how you'd like to explore the area -- by bike, horse, or Iberian donkey. Guests can also hike, fish, and spend the day lounging on the beaches of Ericeira and Ribeira de Ilhas located less than seven miles from the property.

Room in Soho Loft

Manhattan, NY

Room in Soho Loft

This artistic space in the heart of Manhattan's trendy Soho neighborhood will forever change the way you think about bed and breakfasts. The innkeepers, French and Canadian artists, live and work in the two beautifully designed, modern lofts located in a renovated, walk-up industrial building that dates back to 1875. In addition to the main art gallery, there are two guest rooms available for rent on the 7th floor. These rooms feature private bathrooms, airy kitchens, spacious living rooms, and unbeatable views of the city. Travelers staying in either of the two guest rooms on the 5th floor will experience more of a shared home environment, sharing the bathroom, kitchen, and living room with each other as well as with Albert, Michelle, and their daughter, who make their home here. The willingness of this family to open their home to visitors will make you feel as if you’re spending time with your own family or close friends rather than a property where you barely interact with fellow guests. As an added bonus, staying at this urban bed and breakfast will put you within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side, and subway stations are close by for anyone looking to explore Manhattan's other neighborhoods or New York City's outer boroughs.

White Porch Inn

Provincetown, MA

White Porch Inn

Conveniently located in the center of Provincetown, Massachusetts, this recently renovated contemporary inn and art hotel is just steps away from the restaurants, shops, and galleries lining Commercial Street, as well as Johnston Street Beach. The bed and breakfast features an integrated art gallery, known as In(n) Art, with pieces created by artists from all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany. It is from this gallery that Tom and innkeeper Dale choose which pieces to hang on display in the property’s common areas and in the guest rooms. Designed with a casual elegance, the nine tastefully decorated accommodations in the Main House and Carriage House fit a “beachy-chic” theme (a term used by many of their guests), drawing on color palettes of whites and earth-tones, and are equipped with pillow-top mattresses, private bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, and audio systems with MP3 connectivity. Many of the guest rooms also include refrigerators, gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi hot tubs, and private porches with views of the Pilgrim Monument, the rooftops of Provincetown, or the scenic waters of Provincetown Harbor. In the morning, head downstairs and enjoy a full European continental breakfast before spending the rest of the day exploring everything the town has to offer. A member of the Distinctive Inns of Provincetown, this bed and breakfast is the perfect choice for travelers looking for a luxurious Cape Code getaway.