BnA Alter Museum — Kyoto, Japan
Many modern urban hotels like to boast of their connection with the art community but few, we wager, can hold a candle to Kyoto’s newly minted BnA Alter Museum.
Located within a few minutes walk of fabled Gion, Karawamachi and the Kamo river, the 10-storey building hides a kaleidoscopic fantasy within its relatively nondescript narrow white façade .
A vertical wing, rising up the building’s entire 10-storey height, is taken up by four art galleries (collectively named SCG) with the museum shop, café and lounge that looks like the result of a one-night stand between the Jetsons and Takeshi Murakami, and a bar staking the ground floor.
Meanwhile, 31 bedrooms occupy the third to tenth storeys. We use the word ‘bedroom’ loosely because each is literally a permanent exhibition by 15 Japanese artists who collectively have created an extraordinarily eclectic mix of interior designs, some of which feature charged swirls of colours and three-dimensional installations that seem to pour out of the ceiling. A particular treat is that some of the rooms look directly into the SCG art galleries.
If calmness is key to your sleep, we suggest booking the all-white serenity of the Daito Manabe-designed room or the Brutalist-inspired D_R_M room by the vocalist, EYE. §