Guest Hotels Launch World's First Arts Club Hotel

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The latest innovation in hotels is revealed today with the announcement of the world's first arts club hotel.

Guest Hotels

I believe we are the only group of hotels in the world to give guests automatic membership of a club that brings the best of London's contemporary arts scene to their door.

Under the plans, the hotel collection Guest Hotels will turn its five hotels into stages for emerging talent from London's creative arts scene.

At the centre of the idea lies a members club for guests enabling them to enjoy leading-edge contemporary arts events within the hotels where they are staying and exclusive access to events in London.

"Until now, hotels have used art as decoration. We are reversing that concept by allowing artists to use our hotels as their showcase, says entrepreneur Johnny Sandelson, chairman of Guest Hotels and founder of the innovative hotel investment company GuestInvest*.
"I believe we are the only group of hotels in the world to give guests automatic membership of a club that brings the best of London's contemporary arts scene to their door."

The Concierge Club will be open to both guests and non-residents and will offer a diverse programme of cultural events ranging from cabaret and indie music through to back-stage passes to some of the hottest celebrity events in London.

The first 1000 members will be considered as founders and will be rewarded with a free night in one of the hotels within Guest Hotels' collection.

To further strengthen this commitment to the arts, Guest Hotels' has established a network of partners including renowned arts institutions such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Tate to give members privileged access to their ongoing exhibitions and shows.

Sandelson has hired an impressive team to bring his idea to fruition. Iram Quraishi leaves London's famous Institute of Contemporary Arts to curate the arts club. Management of the five hotels - which includes the iconic Blakes in Kensington - will fall to Caroline King who joins from the private members club Home House.

Internationally acclaimed restaurateur Oliver Peyton takes charge of the bars and restaurants, whilst founder of The Design Museum, Stephen Bayley joins as style director.

Barry Ryan, the fashion photographer is head of visual imagery and will serve as the group's photographer-in-residence.

The first two arts club hotels will open this summer in Bayswater. The Jones is a 176-bed listed building which Guest Hotels has restored to its former Edwardian baroque glory.

Nearby Nest has been recently converted from a row of stucco-fronted terraced houses to an elegant 157 bed hotel.

Simultaneously, the already established Blakes Hotel and Guesthouse West will join the arts club hotel initiative hosting their own arts programmes.

Early next year, the group will open The Chiswell in the City offering a further 200 rooms.

The arts club hotel concept has received wide support from the creative industries and arts communities.

The ICA has also given its support to the scheme and is becoming an official partner to Guest Hotels.

"We are delighted to be working with Guest Hotels on a new collaboration, which aims to present the very best of cultural London and offer a unique insight into the minds and practice of some of the incredible creative talent working in this city" said Ekow Eshun, Artistic Director of the ICA.

*GuestInvest was launched in November 2003 as the UK's first buy-to-let hotel company. The concept allows investors to buy their own fully maintained room in a central London hotel, stay there for up to 52 nights a year for free, and receive 50 per cent of the room's income, which is let out by the hotel on their behalf throughout the year.

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Suzie Barrett
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