The perfect hotel for starving artists

The perfect hotel for starving artists

A Swedish hotel is now accepting your works of staggering genius in lieu of actual payment
All this, in exchange for that fingerpainting that might not sell on Etsy.

Calling all wannabe artists who can’t afford to travel. We may have found a cool new home for your artwork.

Since the beginning of June, art has become an accepted form of currency at 

The Clarion Hotel Stockholm. Its "Room for Art" policy allows creative guests to pay for their stay with an original, signed work of art.

Although there are a few not-unexpected caveats regarding reservations, cancellations, availability and annual limits ("this offer is valid based on maximum two persons occupancy per double room, one night per stay. Offer can be taken advantage of maximum two times per person, per calendar year.") there isn't any disappointing catch.

"It’s all really very simple: an artwork -- a room -- one night,” states their official website. 

Hotel representative Tess Mattisson said that it's all for a simple cause.

"It’s to celebrate the establishments like the Chelsea Hotel in New York City which over the years have encouraged struggling as well as established artists -- but also to invite international artists to experience Sweden and Stockholm,” said Mattisson. 

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The legacy

The inspiration for the new policy comes from the personal nostalgia of general manager Marcus Majewski, whose artist father paid with art for a room at the legendary Chelsea Hotel in the 1970s. 

chelsea hotel Guests' artworks used to be the main focus of the Chelsea Hotel in New York.
The Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street was a thriving port of call (and in some cases, a place of permanent residence) for artists during its prime from the 1960s to the 1980s.

"To see my dad’s pieces hang next to famous artists at the Chelsea Hotel really made an impact on me," said Majeweski.

Under new management, however, the iconic New York hotel is being renovated and “de-arted” amid protests to preserve its quirky art history, but the Clarion hopes to further the room-for-art legacy.

"I thought it was obvious that we at Clarion Hotel Stockholm should do something about this. After all, we are already a significant art hotel," said Majewski.

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To promote art appreciation, the hotel frequently collaborates with artists and musicians to host art gallery showings and performances.

They also have an in-house art consultant who gives personal art tours upon request. 

The hotel management said that around 50 guests have paid for their lodging with art and so far, it's been a huge success.

"Last week we had an artist who actually cried tears of happiness in our lobby," said Mattisson. "We're just glad that we're able to do what we can support some of the struggling artists out there."

The Clarion Hotel Stockholm looks incongruously smart and trim for a hotel that's supposed to house struggling artists.

Mattisson said that the hotel has not planned anything for the submitted pieces yet. 

"It depends on how many artworks we get," he said. "What we do for now is store them in a safe place.


There's no end date for the "Room for Art" offer. The hotel hopes to make this a “permanent offer towards artists."

But what if the art is bad? Really, really bad?

"We don’t judge the art. At all," said Mattisson. "We provide service and accommodation -- that’s what we do best. You don’t have to be an established artist -- you can be an upcoming artistic talent as well. If you provide us with an art work –- we’ll provide you with a room."

Artworks must be signed by the artist, and are limited to A4 format which must be submitted upon arrival with a Room for Art form available via the hotel'swebsite.

Ringvägen 98, Box 20025, 104 60 Stockholm; +46 8 462 10 00;; unless you're Tracey Emin or somesuch, rooms start at US$125 per night.

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Max Kim writes for CNNGo. He is sedentary if he can help it. 

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