Resorts Are Working with Local Graffiti Artists and Muralists
Resorts have been doing more to bring local culture inside their accomodations, weaving more of the unique elements of their locations into the guest experience while supporting local artists and their communities. Here are some of the LGBTQ+ friendly hotels who are unveiling gorgeous murals from local street artists.
Fort Lauderdale’s newest hotel, Hyatt Centric Las Olas pays homage to South Florida’s iconic boating and beach culture with design touches inspired by the ocean and life on the water. The property recently contracted Miami-based contemporary artist Danny Doya to paint strikingly vibrant wall murals that depict female figures as sirens of the sea, creating a colorful backdrop on the hotel’s 8th floor pool deck. The property is just a few minutes from the Flagler Art & Technology (FAT) Village — a haven for local artists where old warehouses have been converted into galleries and studios that host exhibitions and offer art classes. The property partners with local institutions to encourage guests to experience the area’s incredible art & culture, including the NSU Museum, which is hosting an exhibit with leading fashion designer Anna Sui this winter. The son of Colombian immigrants, Doya learned to draw at age 5 and eventually saw his paintings being tattooed on people all over the world. His unique aesthetic attempts to create harmony between the figurative and the abstract.
Pineapple Pop Art in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s most beloved beachfront resort, Caribe Hilton is also the birthplace of the original Piña Colada recipe. One of the resort’s bartenders created the recipe in 1954 and more than 35 years later, the government awarded the hotel a certificate declaring the Piña Colada the official drink of Puerto Rico. Paying homage to its claim to fame, the property worked with Puerto Rican-born artist David Zaya to commission a mural that depicts eye-popping pineapples on a background of pink, yellow and purple — hues inspired by the vibrant colors found throughout the cobblestone streets of nearby Old San Juan. Zaya’s work has been featured in local art festivals such as Santurce Art Tour and Los Muros Hablan and has participated in numerous exhibitions at the Museo de Arte de Caguas in Puerto Rico. His pineapple mural is one of guests' favorite spots to snap pics on property…complete with having an ice-cold Piña Colada in hand, of course.
Lions, Tigers and Whales…Oh, Mexico!
Located in Mexico’s coveted Riviera Nayarit, W Punta de Mita has a design and decor inspired by the area’s local surf culture and indigenous influences. The resort’s artwork is just as bold as the pulsating DJ beats you’ll hear coming from the pool on weekends. Mexican graffiti artist Nacho Bernal is responsible for a series of wall murals the can be found throughout the property depicting some of the area's most notable wildlife. From a multi-colored cheetah that leads guests down to the beach to a pod of whales that grace the walls of the resort’s signature E-Wow suite (they migrate to the region every winter) with elements that represent traditional tribal art techniques, these can’t-miss murals are the perfect touch for a stay in the area’s chicest beach resort. Bernal’s artwork is strongly rooted in his pre-hispanic heritage and can be seen in murals throughout Queretaro, Mexico City, Puebla, Obregon, Guadalajara, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun.
Painting Change in Guatemala
The lakefront village of Santa Catarina Palopó on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, is undergoing a colorful transformation through the Pintando Santa Catarina Palopó Project, which is designed to foster change from the outside in by transforming the town’s homes and buildings with vibrant murals and patterns representative of the local Mayan Kaqchikel heritage. By instilling a sense of pride among its locals, the project inspires them to become productive members of their community, while drawing in more tourism and improving the quality of life there. As a founding partner of the project, luxury boutique hotel Casa Palopó encourages this philanthropic journey by coordinating all the logistics for guests to paint alongside the locals and adopt a house by making a donation toward the cause. Gearing up for it's post Covid opening, the hotel owners commissioned the lead painters of the project, Edgar Cocolajay and Romario Tax, to create a mural on an exterior wall of the hotel's three-bedroom villa, celebrating the unique colors and symbols of the traditional indiginous garments worn through the town, along with a three dimensional clay pot that forms part of the art installation. Both Edgar and Romario were street graffiti artists around town before they were hired by the Pintando project as painters, creating an avenue for their art to change the lives.