UK Tate has launched its own range of art-themed holidays to destinations from Cornwall to California. The trips will be led by art experts, many of whom are curators or consultants for Tate, and often the itineraries will be linked to exhibitions at Tate’s galleries. Guests will be invited to attend private views and lectures ahead of the start of their holiday. The first departure, beginning on May 18, is a four-day visit to artists’ studios in and around St Ives, led by a curator of the Cornish town’s branch of Tate. In June, James Rondeau, curator of the Art Institute of Chicago, will guide a six-night trip to Chicago with a pop art and architecture theme. The tours are run in conjunction with the Ulimate Travel Company.
Guyana Now that “classic” challenges such as climbing Kilimanjaro and trekking the Inca Trail are undertaken by thousands each year, tour operators are reporting growing demand for ever more original and extreme adventures. Last year the London- and New York-based operator Black Tomato launched Epic Tomato, an offshoot offering more serious tailor-made expeditions. These have proved popular, so in June it will launch a range of even more hardcore trips, comprising a series of “world firsts”, which include tackling paths and rivers never previously travelled by outsiders. The first expedition involves abseiling down rocks beside the 251m-high Kaieteur Falls in the Guyanan jungle, then attempting to become what the company says are the first people to access the caves behind the waterfall, where thousands of swallows are thought to nest. Afterwards the group will be extracted by helicopter and taken to camp on the top of Mount Roraima in Venezuela before attempting more “firsts”. The 10-day trip costs from £24,969 per person.
US Guests checking in at the 463-room Conrad New York, which opened in Battery Park City last week, are met with a dramatic sight. The hotel’s enormous atrium is dominated by a vast blue and purple painting by the late conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, which rises 13 floors above the reception desk. The work, “Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple)”, measures 100ft by 80ft and required 100 gallons of paint to complete. Contemporary art is a key focus at the hotel, with 2,000 other pieces displayed round the building, including work by Elizabeth Peyton, Sara Sosnowy and Imi Knoebel. Other highlights include a rooftop bar with views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Hudson river. Doubles cost from $249.
Peru Many visitors to Cuzco spend the first few days struggling to cope with the effects of its 3,400m altitude. But a new hotel from the Orient-Express group offers a solution – oxygenated bedrooms. The 55-room Palacio Nazarenas is housed in a former convent dating from the 16th century, set behind the city’s main square, and is due to open on June 15 after a three-year restoration. As well as extra oxygen, the hotel offers what managers say is Cuzco’s first outdoor heated swimming pool.
Finland After the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida and Peppa Pig World in Hampshire, families are used to theme parks based on films and cartoons. But this summer will bring the opening of the first theme park devoted to an iPhone app. Since its launch in December 2009, Angry Birds has been downloaded 600m times and fans of the addictive game are rumoured to include David Cameron. Angry Birds Land will be part of the Sarkanniemi Adventure Park near Tampere. Rovio, the Finnish media company behind the app, says this will be the first of several such parks around the world.