Just over two years ago, Justin Salisbury’s mother, who ran a small Brighton hotel, suffered an injury that meant she could no longer run her business. Justin, who was 21 at the time, and reading business and finance at University of Leeds, dropped his studies and stepped in. He and his partner Charlie Newey, who had just finished a history of art degree, invited young artists to design the rooms. The rooms have all got quirky names like Dolly Divine or Nautical Tale.
Run by a team of six people – all under 25 – the hotel chain, with hotels also in Brighton and London) operates an innovative concept of using young artists and designers to decorate its hotel for free (although AR does provide room, board and expenses.)
The hotel in Penzance is set inside a Grade II-listed 17th century Georgian manor house. Downstairs, the original small Georgian rooms have been replaced by a stripped-back white exhibition space. Bedrooms are up narrow stairs, each individually decorated in a quirky style down to the bedside lights and tooth mugs: Admiral Benbow has colourful murals of Penzance street scenes; Upcycled has a mushroom-shaped bed and Cubist iconography; An Enchanted Forest has silver flowers and trees.
They serve award-winning breakfasts which are made from locally sourced Cornish produce and served on pretty mismatched crockery in the gallery.
In room four Jo Peel’s illustrated street-scene looks amazing. Judging from the photos, the other rooms at Artist Residence look pretty nice, too. In room seven artist Muju’s cartoon coastal blues looks fabulous and in room five Pinky’s pastel sea, sun and sails is a joy to wake up to.
In the morning you enjoy award winning breakfasts in the café which are served to you on miss-matched crockery, all made from locally sourced Cornish produce. Whilst you wait for it you can wander around the gallery, which features furniture by Nottingham Trent University design student and Plymouth boy Max Philips.
What a great place to stay. Its so good that there are many press articles that rave about it. This is a winning idea and proof we think that people want to be entertained with exciting places to stay. No boring prints or same old same old décor here. Its excitement all the way.