Imagine a hotel filled with beautiful artwork, furniture, antiques and accessories. Each room designed by a different artist and offering a unique experience for each guest. Now what if all those things, everything you see, was for sale? Such a place exists, this is the art museum / art gallery experience offered at the Hotel Miramare in Cagliari, the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia.
Housed in a late 19th century palazzo mansion, the museum hotel makes a great home base when you’re exploring the Sardinian city. It’s filled with a wonderfully-curated collection of antiques and unique objects d’art.
The Museum Hotel
Presenting a new category of accommodation, the museum hotel, also known as the art hotel. I spent a few days at the Hotel Miramare and really enjoyed myself. Everywhere you look, there was something interesting to see. Just walking down the hallway to my room was like visiting an art gallery. When you need to relax, the hotel has a compact internal garden / atrium with a wide range of plants and flowers.
The concept goes beyond just showcasing and selling art, artists are invited to pay for their stay with art. The hotel has a program called “Payable in Art” and artists are invited to apply for a visit. In exchange for their artwork, artists can get free accommodations.
I had one of the hotel’s deluxe rooms, named for a Sardinian historical figure named Guglielmo di Massa. The highlight was an amazing art installation on the ceiling called “The Green Side of the Hotel” by Matteo Ambu. It was a three dimensional piece of artwork that covered the entire ceiling with objects, all painted a light green color. The room, which is billed as being great for insomniacs, has endless things to look at on the ceiling as you lie in bed. There are telephones, computers, musical instruments, kitchen appliances, books and other objects, all painted a uniform green color and mounted to the ceiling like a futuristic cityscape. It’s also an interesting commentary on society as all the objects are discarded and / or obsolete.
The art hotel doesn’t have a restaurant but they do have an ornate breakfast room where a sensational fresh breakfast is served each morning. The breakfast is included in most room rates. Specialities include local meats, fresh juices and freshly baked pastries.
The location is perfect as well. The Hotel Miramare is perfectly situated for exploring Cagliari. It faces the port and the water, on Via Roma, one of the city’s main shopping streets. It’s easy to walk to explore other parts of the city like the Bastione Saint Remy and the historic castello district.