Sunday, November 12, 2006
The Hotel of Modern Art, aka the HoMA, is quite possibly the strangest hotel I’ve ever encountered. Located in the Southwestern part of China, half way between Guilin and Yangshou, the hotel is absolutely in the middle of nowhere. The hotel grounds themselves are huge and house about a dozen buildings, all with individual purposes and all with modern architectural styles. The hotel is a self proclaimed “artist residence” and caters to the artistically inclined through such amenities as art and jewelry making lessons.
The pet project of a Taiwanese billionaire, the HoMA was built with the intention of leaving his mark on the world. The most interesting aspect of the hotel though, was its expansive statue garden, which covers the entire estate. The hotel is home to dozens of different kinds of statues, ranging from busts of people to a giant pair of shoes. The statues scattered about the grounds give it an eerie feeling, especially at night. Music also plays all around the outside grounds, and inside the hotel, including guest rooms, all day long. Combined with the strange statues, and the fact that the hotel was almost empty with the exception of our group and maybe 4 other guests that we saw, the hotel is, for lack of better words, pretty creepy!
The HoMA is quite peaceful however, and is definitely a good getaway from the city if you are looking to disconnect from the fast paced life of Shanghai. Our hotel room had a beautiful view of a hillside, and was a welcome retreat from looking out the window at the dilapidated buildings I usually see in the morning. I definitely recommend visiting the HoMA for a little relaxation- and also to experience this eccentric hotel!