April 4, 2014 7:18 pm

Shortcuts: Walking holidays in Nepal, Australia’s Hayman Island, Shangri-La news app

The Sailung Valley, Nepal

Australia In 1947, when the Australian aviation entrepreneur Reg Ansett bought Hayman Island, subsequently the setting of the TV series Barrier Reef, his ambition was to make it the most luxurious resort in Australia. It’s fair to say he succeeded, even if the hotel that stands here today isn’t quite the one he built. On July 1, it reopens after a wholesale refurbishment by One & Only, which last year assumed management of the 294-hectare island, the most northerly of the Whitsundays. It has reduced the room count from 209 to 160, brought in DBI Design to decorate them, added a new spa and children’s club, renewed the expansive pool (said to be the size of seven Olympic ones) and added a new one that’s off-limits to children. Doubles cost from A$750 (about £415) per night. hayman.oneandonlyresorts.com

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Nepal Inntravel has launched a programme of privately guided (ie non-group) village-to-village walking holidays through the Sailung Valley, a comparatively unfrequented area east of Kathmandu that it describes as “a world away from the Everest base camp tourist trail”. The itinerary involves four to five hours’ trekking each day (your bags are transported ahead, so you walk unencumbered), afternoons at leisure and accommodation in locally run guesthouses (not, it stresses, home stays), as well as one night in a tented camp just below Sailung peak (altitude 3,146m). Ten nights’ bed and breakfast starts at £1,860pp based on two sharing. inntravel.co.uk

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St Andrews Two decades after the launch of the brand, Hotel du Vin has opened its 15th restaurant with rooms. The new St Andrews property, which opened last week, has 22 of them, equipped with Nespresso machines, Miller Harris toiletries and free WiFi. Overlooking West Sands beach, it’s a short walk from the clubhouse and, indeed, first tee of the venerable Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Doubles from £105. hotelduvin.com

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Hong Kong Shangri-La Hotels, which opens its 82nd hotel (this time in Lhasa, Tibet) on April 17, is to stop providing guests with complimentary print editions of newspapers. Instead the Hong Kong-based group has joined forces with PressReader, an app that allows you to download editions of more than 2,000 local and regional papers in 60 languages on to smartphones or tablets, to which it is offering guests unlimited access. In keeping with its ethos as a brand that has never charged for WiFi, the service is included in the room rate. shangri-la.com

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London Built for the 2012 Olympics, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, reopens to the public this weekend. At 114.5m, it is the tallest sculpture in the UK and, on a clear day, you should be able to see 20 miles across the capital from its 80m-high viewing platform. Adult tickets are £15, children £7. arcelormittalorbit.com

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