A new addition to London’s small-hotel scene, Artist Residence brings its quirky formula of contemporary art and a warm, homey ambience to the British capital. The youngest sister of another two hotels located in Brighton and Penzance, Cornwall, Artist Residence London opened during 2014 in a mid-19th-century listed building in Pimlico which was renovated over the course of a whole year and decorated by its two young owners, hoteliers Justin Salisbury (27) and Charlotte Newey (28). Following an “eclectic luxury” approach that combines vintage design with contemporary art, Charlotte and Justin have filled the hotel with original art prints and vintage objects sourced in galleries and antique shops across the UK and Europe (particularly The Old Cinema store in Chiswick, London). The result is a very personal, inviting space that skillfully mixes contrasting elements with surprising results.
The concept of the very first Artist Residence hotel was born in 2008, when Justin suddenly had to take over the family business which was a small guest house in Brighton. In order to attract more visitors, he invited local artists to decorate the rooms in exchange for accommodation (which is how the hotel got its name). Three years later, he and Charlotte jumped at an opportunity to acquire a derelict house in Penzance, and transformed it into the group’s second hotel, again inviting artists to decorate the rooms. It is these collaborations with so many creative individuals and the care that has gone into their refurbishment that make all three Artist Residence hotels absolutely brim with youthful energy.
As Charlotte explains: “With each building we understand that is important for them to act as a local neighbourhood hub for food, drink, gatherings and entertaining, as well as reflecting the context of the local area in terms of design. For example, London feels more understated and ‘polished’ to reflect the Pimlico area, whereas Brighton is pretty eccentric and wild, reflecting the bohemian Brightonian way. On the other hand, Cornwall feels more like a relaxing sea-side bolt hole.”
The new Artist Residence in London is also home to the must-visit restaurant named 64 Degrees, which is already popular with locals and is gradually becoming a destination spot, thanks to its striking interior and unusual concept. A collaboration between Artist Residence and Chef Michael Bremner (creator of 64 Degrees Brighton, an acclaimed restaurant in itself), the restaurant offers a daily changing conceptual menu simply divided into meat, fish and veg, prepared behind a long bar-like counter in front of diners. Meanwhile, in the hotel’s basement, the New York-inspired 64 Below bar serves unusual and experimental cocktails, prepared by resident mixologists Ali Bell and Max Curzon-Price.
The creative decor, playful character and contemporary art form a great part of what makes staying in an Artist Residence hotel such a fun, inspiring and uplifting experience. For co-owner Charlotte, being a small hotel chain is what actually makes Artist Residence Group stand out: “We are a small team and really put an emphasis on everyone being like ‘family’. This means we can go that extra mile for our guests. We are not perfect but we have big hearts and truly want to make our guests’ stay remarkable!”
Photo courtesy of Artist Residence Group
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