Saturday 24 January 2015


Just outside Verona, surrounded by the vineyards of Valpolicella 

is a hotel which from the outside appears a gracious, classical Venetian villa

with landscaped gardens, a marble fountain and traditionally designed pool.

And although there are some startling, unexpected features

and a foretaste of eye-popping, intense colour

still, none of it quite prepares you for what you see when you walk in the front door.

At the Byblos Art Hotel every public space and bedroom suite is filled with an extraordinary permanent collection of contemporary art and design.

The work of Italian architect and designer Alessandro Mendini (see here and here)

it's a fabulous eclectic design mix of iconic 20th century furniture design and works by contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Cindy Sherman and many others, against a backdrop of 17th century Venetian architecture.

Your head is constantly turning in this place, craning, noticing not just the big startling visuals in a riot of colours, but the small unexpected details that surprise you everywhere you look

psychedelic trompe l'oeil passage leading to bedrooms

the conference room is tamer, calmer, but beautifully designed in Byblos's signature intense orange

Dali's lips meet Keith Haring's dogs

a winking, talking, disembodied head keeps guests company in the dining room 

blinking electric sculpture on the stairway down to the spa

If contemporary art and design are your thing this place is heaven, and even if not, it is definitely one of the most unusual and memorable hotel experiences you're likely to have. I totally loved it.


  1. What a place, Karen! Your photographs really showcase all the art, the gardens, the colors...the everything!

    I wonder if the actual hotel bedrooms do offer a bit of calm.

    Your posts are always so fascinating, taking me to places I doubt I'll ever see in person. Many thanks. xo

  2. very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.

  3. Loving the pics!!


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