These hotels are true works of art | #BehindTheBrand

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art’otel has revealed its vibrant new brand identity on the opening of the first London location at Battersea Power Station. Partnering with brand experience design agency Household, it is taking the brand on to the next chapter through a new brand vision, identity and experience.

Originally created by a collection of avid art collectors and entrepreneurs in the early nineties, owned by PPHE hotel group, art’otel is an arts and premium lifestyle hotel devoted to creating and presenting original work. Unlike hotels with décor art, art’otel invites guest to create art, interact and immerse themselves with art, not just to view.

Household worked with PPHE on the brand position and rebrand by challenging traditional perceptions of what a hotel is and should be and how its guests can get involved.

Positioned as an arts and lifestyle brand, the call to action created was to ‘Be bold. Be creative. Be Original’. The new brand covers both online, digital and physical touchpoints with everything from the website to the key cards playing their part in telling the new brand story.

Each art’otel location has a Signature Artist who informs the design of the interiors and the art on display. For Battersea, it has partnered with award-winning Spanish designer Jaime Hayon.

As part of the rebrand project, Household developed a localised concept for the brand, taking inspiration from Hayon’s designs throughout the hotel, and applied it to key guest collateral, like tote bags, notebooks, key cards and room signs.

To learn more, we spoke to Matt Michaluk, Executive Creative Director at Household.

What was the brief for the rebrand?


art’otel was originally setup by a group of art collectors as spaces to house their collections. But despite the huge opportunity to disrupt the world of hotels and hospitality, the proposition had never evolved to its full potential.

We were briefed to create the positioning that would redefine what art’otel is. We were to develop a new expression for how the brand shows up in the world, and new experiences that would shape the brand’s relationship with guests. 

At the heart of this was an ambition to premiumise the brand – moving them into a more ‘upper upscale’ space, broadening their role to more of a lifestyle brand, and enabling them to enter new markets and show up in new locations. 

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

Our work began by building a deep understanding of existing, and future, guests. We identified three core audience types and the key mindsets that defined their travel preferences. 

The most obvious yet most powerful insights were that ‘no one wants to be a tourist’ and that ‘art brings people together’.

Describe the purpose of the brand and its target audience


We redefined the art’otel around the simple purpose of ‘bringing art to life’. This paired with the proposition of ‘why just stay when you can create’ gave us the foundations to a truly differentiating hotel brand. 

What was your thinking behind the rebranding solution?

Our key provocation for the work was that ‘art isn’t what we hang on walls – it’s about the perspectives and experiences that it creates’.

Our key strategy to action this was the introduction of ’signature artists’ at each hotel location. By allowing an artist to totally curate the hotel design we could shape a narrative and experience that would connect the guests to each unique locale. 

Did you learn anything new during the project?


The key to successful localisation is about empowering local internal teams and communities to take the brand and run with it – giving them the tools and education to confidently and correctly give it life.

What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?

Our key challenging in bringing this vision to life was creating a globally consistent brand that could localise so dramatically. The signature artists were able to really shape the aesthetic and mood of each hotel, but we also had to ensure through a range of fixed assets and experiences that the masterbrand created the connection for every guest.

What kit/tools/software were used to create it?


As part of our innovation and futures pipeline, we created a VR prototype experience where guests were able to preview and artistically curate their room ahead of their visit. This was just one of a number of pieces of work where we are identifying and defining the future of hospitality and the hotel category with art’otel.

What details are you most proud of any why?

Seeing the launch of the Battersea Power Station Art’otel is our proudest moment. It’s the best example yet of the new brand really coming to life. Not only is the signature artist, Jamie Hayon, in full force here, but the hotel has also been fundamental in the cultural reimagining of this new London district. 

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?


I am confident that art’otel has created a new benchmark in the world of hotels and hospitality. Why would you want to stay in a conventional room when you could stay somewhere immersed in unique, localised art?

The concept provides a totally new perspective for travellers to enjoy international cities. It’s a brand that will keep evolving to be as dynamic as the locations they contribute to. 

Credit list for the work

Jaime Hayon – London Battersea Signature Artist

Atelier Van Lieshout – Amsterdam Signature Artist

SEO – Cologne Signature Artist

Donald Sultan – Budapest Signature Artist


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