Five of the Best: Art Destinations

As Frieze ends, check out the other big players on the international art scene

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BILBAO

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Madrid and Barcelona might be the more obvious choices for a Spanish weekend away, but when it comes to art, Bilbao knocks spots off the competition. Go for the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum (whose permanent collection include works by Richard Serra and Anselm Kiefer), the Fine Arts Museum and the Bilbao Art District which is bursting with brilliant sculpture, out-there architecture and great art galleries. Bed down for the night at Hotel Miró, a converted music school turned hotel with interiors by fashion designer Antonio Miró. Its in-house collection of art and photography is set against a minimalist, monochrome backdrop. Alameda Mazarredo, 77; 00 34 94 661 18 80; mirohotelbilbao.com; @HotelMiro

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MIAMI

Art Basel is one of the most important events on the international art calendar - and every December for the past 12 years it has been held on Miami Beach. There’s also the Miami Design District, the Wynwood Art District and the Art Deco landmark buildings, all of which play a part in this colourful, vibrant city. There are the serious, world-class private collections too, such as the Rubell Family Collection and the de la Cruz Collection, both of which you can visit, and plenty of art hotels to choose from to stay in. Our votes goes to the James Royal Palm on South Beach, whose curated art collection includes photographs by LA hipster Alex Prager and the late Slim Aarons. 1545 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 001 305 604 5700; jameshotels.com/Miami; @JamesHotels

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PARIS

Romance, fashion and art - you’ll find all three in Paris. From the just-opened Azzedine Alaia retrospective at the Galliera Museum to the upcoming Paris Photo fair at the Grand Palais, the French capital city is always a hot ticket when it comes to museums and art galleries. Of course, the permanent collections at museums such as the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre and the Musee d’Orsay are also high on any cultural hit list. Just remember to pre-book tickets or you’ll be queuing for hours. Stay at hip Mama Shelter in the 20th arrondisement, where quirky art and design touches include quotes on the walls and ceiling and cartoon mask lights by the bed. 109 rue de Bagnolet, 75020 Paris, 00 33 1 43 48 48 48; mamashelter.com; @MamaShelter_P

NEW YORK

If you were to make a list of some of the most well-known museums and art galleries in the world, the chances are a fair few of them would be in New York. MOMA, The Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art.... it goes on. It’s impossible to get round them all in one visit (unless you’re planning to stay for a really long time) so pick one or two and see them properly - it just means you’ll have to do a return trip to see the rest. Base yourself at perfectly located hotel The Surrey which has nine museums within walking distance, plus art of its own (we love the tapestry of Kate Moss by photographer Chuck Close in the lobby). 20 East 76th Street, New York, 001 212 288 3700; thesurrey.com; @SurreyHotelNYC

BAKU

Ok, so it might not technically be a big player on the art scene yet but Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is definitely one to watch. This is a place reinventing itself, with designer boutiques, cool cocktail bars and contemporary art, and lots of money to make it all happen. Alongside the Baku Museum of Modern Art and traditional galleries, there have also been recent exhibitions by the big London auction houses and the opening of a new outpost of the Gazelli Art House dedicated to international art (it’s run in conjunction with the London space of the same name). Stay at the Four Seasons Baku, a spa hotel a few minutes’ walk away from great galleries such as Yarat! Contemporary Art Space and its sister venue, Yay! in the old city. 1 Neftchilar Avenue, AZ1095 Baku, 00 994 12 404 2425; fourseasons.com/baku; @FSBaku

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