Les Vacances — 3 Hotels for Art Lovers

Restorative time away from the city no longer means leaving the cultural scene behind. Art destinations are ruralising, and as a result, some of the best new restaurants and exhibitions are happening outside of their requisite urban hubs. We present three brilliant hotel experiences from across the UK, for an artful and enriching escape.


Fort Road Hotel

An easy train journey from Victoria Station takes you to this new grown-up Margate bolthole. The Fort Road Hotel began life as a boarding house in 1820, a sensitive renovation earlier this year has transformed the space into fourteen luxurious bedrooms with a Danish feel. The impressive bar serves serious drinks and comes decorated with diverse art pieces including Tracey Emin's neon masterpieces. The paired-back restaurant by chef Daisy Cecil looks to writers including Jane Grigson and Elizabeth David for menu inspiration, serving British seasonal food with a Mediterranean influence.

Outside, the hotel overlooks the notable Turner Contemporary, inside, there is a clear appreciation for mixed and well-crafted materials, from Kvadrat linen to herringbone terracotta floors. The hotel's considered curation descends from its creatively astute founders; artist and author Tom Gidley and Frieze co-founder Matthew Slotover. The staff are as well-sourced as the art, and the service is discreet and friendly, enhancing a relaxing weekend away.

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The Fife Arms

Art is central to The Fife Arms experience, co-founders Iwan and Manuela Wirth (of the acclaimed Hauser & Wirth gallery) thoughtfully integrated thousands upon thousands of antique and specially commissioned artworks throughout the hotel — you'll encounter them in your room, along the corridors and even at breakfast. There are always artists in residence, and new special commissions to view.

The building itself is a Braemar landmark, just 15 minutes from Balmoral, this historic 18th Century hotel was originally designed by architect Marshall Mackenzie with a wonderfully opulent interior. The garden is an extension of the house, a graceful outdoor space that overlooks the mountains and the River Clunie. Don't leave without visiting the shop; family rooms are available, and it's worth casting your eye over the enticing event calendar when planning your trip.

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Durslade Farmhouse

Another Hauser & Wirth conception, this time flanked by their gallery in Bruton, Somerset — Dursdale Farmhouse is part of a series of Grade II listed farm buildings that date back from as early as 1760. Argentinian architect Luis Laplace reimagined the space into a characterful and bold residence which includes unique artworks from Hauser & Wirth’s artists including a specially commissioned painted mural in the dining room by Guillermo Kuitca. A few steps away Roth Bar and Grill are available to cater your stay including breakfast and dinner. There is also an on-site farm shop, open 7 days a week that supports the farmers, makers and growers in the community. The rooms and living spaces are otherworldly, and there are some fabulous local places to visit from The Newt In Somerset to the independent shops of Frome.

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