Top 5 Destinations for Art and Design lovers to in April
If you’re planning to travel in April, you’d better be making hotel and restaurant reservations now. Milan will see a massive influx of architects and designers for the Salone del Mobile, and we’ve got the lowdown on where to stay—and where to escape the crowds for a post-event break. Boston will be abuzz with a design week of its own, drawing travelers to the East Coast. Three major art fairs will take place as well: SP-Arte in São Paulo, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary, Art Monte-Carlo on the glitzy Côte d’Azur, and Art Beijing in China’s capital, which is a hotbed of contemporary art right now. No matter where you go, we’ve got tips on the best places to stay and things to do when you arrive.
Heading to Milan for the Salone del Mobile (April 9–14)? The Mandarin Oriental has launched a new Da Vinci–themed private tour that takes guests to see The Last Supper in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie before visiting the Da Vinci vineyard and Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, where you can see the artist’s Codex Atlanticus. If you can tack on a few days post-fair, might we suggest a little weekend jaunt to Piedmont? The world-famous wine region is just an hour away, and you can recover from Salone madness at the charming Relais San Maurizio, a Relais & Châteaux hotel in a former monastery with a Michelin-starred restaurant. A couple of days in the picturesque Langhe Hills and you might just be ready to toss your return ticket in the trash.
SP-Arte, the annual art fair held at the Oscar Niemeyer Bienal Pavilion in São Paulo’s famous Ibirapuera Park, will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year. It boasts the largest number of exhibitors of any art fair in South America and has a dedicated design sector that’s a platform for contemporary designers. If you go, book a room at the Hotel Unique, a design masterpiece by renowned Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake that’s known for its boatlike shape and its chic rooftop bar. In your spare time, be sure to visit the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, designed by midcentury architect Lina Bo Bardi, who devised a clever way to display all the paintings in the center of the room instead of on the walls.
Boston Design Week technically kicks off on March 27, but the festivities will continue through April 7. The sixth edition of this annual festival promises to be the most diverse one yet, with events including graphic design, interior design, architecture, historic preservation, fashion, and more. We recommend staying at XV Beacon, an intimate bolthole in posh Beacon Hill. Don’t miss the “Botticelli: Heroines + Heroes” exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, housed in Gardner’s Gilded Age mansion.
The sister fair to Art Genève, Art Monte-Carlo draws dealers and collectors to the glittering shores of the Côte d’Azur. This year, it will take place April 26–28, and the Pavilion of Arts and Design will join the fair, adding a design element to the art-focused events. Of course, Monaco has long attracted the rich and famous, and its hotel of choice is ready for its close-up once again. The glamorous Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, completed its top-to-toe renovation in December 2018.
China’s art scene is hot, and April is the time to discover it. Art Beijing will take