Always curious, always exploring, RED loves to get up close and personal with the world’s most vibrant cities. The cities that make our spirit soar. And when we find a place that ignites us, we’re sure to share the fruits of our travels with you. And, in a few really special places, we go further: setting down roots in the heart of the city. Over the next few months we’ll share our new favorites with you – places where RED will open new hotels in the coming years.

MIAMI

Miami

With a Hispanic heart, a glorious Art Deco beach suburb, and a gritty urban core, Miami’s not like any other US city. It’s exactly like Miami. And we love it.

Why it’s hot right now.

Thrilling nightlife, vibrant street markets and seductive beach bars are thrown into the Miami mix. Miami’s frenetic downtown, its seductive South Beach strip (with its genuinely dazzling display of Art Deco masterpieces) are a million miles away from the plastered-on smiles of Orlando, or the easy-going resorts on the gulf coast. They don’t call it ‘the capital of Latin America’ for nothing – as any excursion will show, this city moves to its own rhythm.

Where to head first.

Miami is, in fact, a hot spot for cutting edge fashion, architecture and design. So much so that the city even has its own ‘Design District’ – centred on Biscayne Boulevard, Wynwood, Little Haiti and the Upper East Side neighborhoods, and this is where any re-evaluation of this complex and contradictory city should begin.

Impressively, for a city in love with cars, it’s a pedestrian-friendly zone, with scrubbed-up historic buildings now home to sharp fashion houses, galleries and coffee joints.

And it’s not all fashion, the district’s also the place to head for performance too – especially between September and November, when it hosts Art on the Move, with artworks infesting public spaces, and site-specific live shows animate the streets.

And then, the world’s most prestigious arts fair, Art Basel, comes to Miami Beach every December to stage North America’s biggest international show – with 269 galleries from 29 countries showcasing works by more than 4,000 artists.

PORTLAND

City (16)

Home to hipster cool, Portland’s not the sort of place to take itself too seriously. The city positively soaks up the good-natured fun of comedy series, Portlandia – and relishes the millennial love it’s getting. Because there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Why it’s hot right now

Shot through with an indie spirit, bike-friendly and compact, and full of quirky surprises, Portland is the kind of city the US thought it had lost. Positively encouraging the artisan and the hand crafted, the thriving shops and galleries of Alberta Arts district, Mississippi Ave, and Hawthorne/Belmont areas are a lesson in what happens when you turn away from the chain store. Its craft beer scene is thriving too – there’s nothing better to lubricate your night out than enjoying a can of Great Notion Brewing’s session ale, watching a local band at Doug Fir Lounge. The Perfect Portland night out.

Where to head first

‘First Thursday’ is a monthly free ‘art walk’ – featuring late night openings, events, food tastings and music in the city’s sleek Pearl District. You can get the latest information at http://www.firstthursdayportland.com, but galleries not to miss include Elizabeth Leach – one of the city’s first to gain national recognition, Leach’s uncanny ability to snag the biggest names show’s no sign of slowing down (417 NW 9th Avenue). Head to PDX Contemporary Art for a touch more edge ( 925 NW Flanders Street) and the new kids on the block, the exciting collective at Hap Gallery, always ready to mix things up and get you out of your comfort zone (916 NW Flanders St). Not to be outdone, other districts have their own take on the event. Look for Last Thursday in the Mississippi district, and First Friday in the SE/Industrial districts.

DUBAI

Dubai

Build it, and they came. Dubai has reshaped the Emirate’s coastline, reseeded the desert and reinvented the city break like no other place on earth. Rising out of the sands of the Arabian peninsula lies an impressive vision of a 21st century city on steroids. And, yes, amid the malls, culture still has a toehold.

Why it’s hot right now

Things are changing in Dubai. For a decade or more, the Emirate seemed hell bent on erasing all sense of culture and history from the map as it breathlessly set about creating a tourist destination that felt more like a Blade Runner film set than a historic Persian Gulf port. All glass and steel skyscrapers, screaming highways and helipads. But now things are more nuanced – the city’s scaled back its building boom (which topped out with the terrific Burj Khalifa – at 828 metres, it’s still the world’s tallest), and is focusing more on culture, quality of life and the human-scale joy of its ‘Garden of Flowers’, its impressive new Opera Hall and the gritty, urban charms of the Al Quoz district.

Where to head first

What strikes you first about Dubai’s Al Quoz district is how low-lying it is. There isn’t a macho skyscraper in sight. Instead, the area’s a mishmash of old warehouses, two-storey industrial units and crumbling old townhouses. And it’s utterly spellbinding – because this is the Dubai you thought had been flattened to make way for another fiberglass reproduction of an old wharf (lined with Armani and Gucci boutiques). As edgy as things get in still-relatively-conservative Dubai, the area’s home to community arts space thejamjar (thejamjardubai.com), cool and kooky designers, arresting gallery spaces and easy-going coffee spots. Head to Alserkal Avenue (http://alserkalavenue.ae/en) and you’ll find a buzzing community of artists and musicians, and always something going on. Still an industrial hinterland, this is what the Meatpacking District felt like before it jumped the shark. So go now.

GLASGOW

Glasgow City Guide Kelvingrove-3

Second city? Glasgow’s having none of it. Yes, pretty Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, but the thrills come thicker and faster in Glasgow – a restless, industrious city where the past resolutely informs the future.

Why it’s hot right now

This once mighty shipbuilding powerhouse struggled to find its way when the rivets stopped being hammered in the dry docks but now, it’s a global, cultural melting pot of fantastic food, thrilling theatre and a year of festivals. And, while that legendary Glaswegian love of a good time that never really went way, the difference is, now, there’s a heck of a lot more places to enjoy yourself. The city’s music scene, for one, is among the best in the United Kingdom.

Where to head first

Save your energy. Your first experience of Glasgow really has to be a night on the town. And, any night, you’re bound to stumble upon your new favorite band. The city’s a UNESCO World City of music for good reason. It positively rattles and hums with basement clubs, jazz bars and spit & sawdust pubs shaking to the sounds of local troubadours and inventive young DJs. But no visit to the city’s nightlife is complete without a trip to the legendary ballroom of dreams, the Barrowland (244 Gallowgate http://www.glasgow-barrowland.com). Immortalized in the Trainspotting films, the ‘barras’ has welcomed everyone from U2 to Depeche Mode, via local heroes Primal Scream. And it’s as vital and vibrant today as it’s ever been. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with who’s on – the sheer energy of the crowd will have you jumping up and down like a devoted fan! Then, next morning, you can buy the back catalogue at Missing Records (247 Argyle Street).



Back to Blog main page