Upon my arrival in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, I was met by the Corporate Cab driver. After he picked up my luggage, he said, " You are going to The Museum Hotel?" I said that was correct. He then asked, " Have you been there before?" I said I hadn't. He then said, " Well, you will have in interesting time with all that ART."
It was the way he said ART that made me ask, " What do you mean?"
" Well' he said as we drove, " It is a unusual collection. Not ART as usually defined by many people. You'll see what I mean. Like, for example, he has a MOTORCYCLE in the lobby!"
Oh well, I thought, should I tell the Corporate Cab driver about a young entrepreneur I interviewed last year who had a 1950s Porsche lifted onto the mantelpiece of his new condo because he so enjoyed the clean lines of this great work of art? No, I figured I would just remain circumspect, and contemplate the hotel's history.
The Museum Hotel, owned by Chris Parkin, is one of the top ten art hotels in the world, according to Yahoo. It lies near the harbor in Wellington, NZ, and is across the street from the world renowned Te Papa Museum, dedicated to the history, art, and life of the Maori people. But the Museum Hotel was named prior to the Te Papa Museum being built. It was, in fact on the exact spot that the Te Papa was built. In 1993-4, Chris had the Museum Hotel MOVED across the street, a major engineering project, so the Te Papa could be built where it is today. But, where it was and where it is now, The Museum Hotel is a living repository for Chris's evolving and growing art collection.
Gallery: The Museum Hotel, New Zealand