Bhutan Keen runners are being offered the chance to take part in a pioneering high-speed expedition through the Bhutanese Himalayas. Blue Poppy Tours, a specialist hiking and cultural tour operator to Bhutan, is collaborating with Tour de Trails, an Australia-based organiser of running adventures, to arrange the first group running trip on the Laya Gasa trail in the rugged north of the country. A group of up to 10 runners plus guides will attempt the 170km route, which rises to an altitude of more than 5,000m and connects villages that are up to 50km from the nearest road, in eight days. Accommodation is in tents, but afterwards runners will recuperate in a five-star hotel. The two-week trip in November costs $11,550.
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London The Goring, the family-owned Belgravia hotel where the Duchess of Cambridge stayed on the eve of her wedding to Prince William, has reopened after a major refurbishment. The renovation has been carried out gradually over a decade while the hotel remained open, but it finally closed in January so that the front hall could be completed — the first closure in its 105-year history. Designers to work on the project include David Linley, the Queen’s nephew, Nina Campbell and Tim Gosling. The new front hall has been designed by Russell Sage and features hand-painted bespoke wallpaper showing typically English parkland but inhabited by exotic animals. “Imagine if the animals of London Zoo had escaped into Hyde Park,” says Sage.
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New Orleans Viking Cruises, the fast-growing luxury cruise line that operates on rivers in Europe and Asia, is to launch in the US in 2017. With New Orleans as its home base, it will operate cruises up the Mississippi to Memphis, St Louis and St Paul, using new ships accommodating about 300 passengers. The state of Louisiana offered $4.5m in grants to encourage Viking to come to the city.
Photograph: Chris Ord
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