Plus online rail booking made easy, zipwire fever in Vegas, new east African visa and STA’s Epic Gaming Adventure
LA’s Koreatown isn’t on many visitors’ to-do lists. But a plug from Anthony Bourdain on his Parts Unknown TV series has fuelled interest in the area, which claims to have the highest concentration of bars and restaurants in the US. Now it’s getting a hotel, too. The Line is a funky base from which to explore the area’s culinary treats (think Korean tacos and top banchan), and is handily located for Hollywood and downtown.
• thelinehotel.com, doubles from $240 per night
Snowball fights might be fun – but in Japan they are taken very seriously. Yukigassen (“snow battle”) is a cross between dodgeball and capture the flag, using snowballs. It has spread to Scandinavia, Alaska and – strangely – Australia, and the championships are being held in Jasper, Canada, this month. It’s not too late to round up six friends and enter a team …
• $280 for a team of seven, 23-24 Nov, jasper.travel
Know someone who deserves a holiday but can’t afford one? Nominate them to the Landmark Trust, which is giving away 50 short breaks in its properties, including a villa in Italy and lighthouse cottage on Lundy island. Applications are welcomed from low-income families, carers, the bereaved, volunteers, charitable workers and educational groups.
A brilliant new service from rail-booking website Loco2.com is making it easier to travel by train to thousands of European destinations. Instead of booking separate tickets with each country’s rail operator, you can enter your local station and your destination and the site will work out which trains you need and book them, all in one transaction. There are no booking fees, so it is no more expensive than doing all the hard work yourself.
• Launches 12 Nov. To preview the service, sign up now at loco2.com
Kenya (pictured), Uganda and Rwanda are launching a joint east African tourist visa, allowing travellers to cross borders more easily and tour companies to offer multi-destination trips. The visa will be available from 1 January for $100 (£62) – the three visas currently cost $150. Neighbouring Tanzania and Burundi have an open invitation to join the scheme, but have so far declined.
Carlton Towers, a 17th-century stately home in Yorkshire, is opening for weekend breaks for the first time. The estate, which includes 16 bedrooms, three state rooms and 200 acres of parkland, was previously only available to rent in its entirety.
• 24-26 Jan or 21-23 Feb, £120pp pn including, breakfast, champagne and canapés and two three-course dinners. For more information or to book, please call 01405 861 662, carltontowers.co.uk
Las Vegas is in the grip of zipwire fever. The VooDoo Zipline (voodoozipline.com) opens this month, connecting two towers at the Rio Casino – one 50 floors high, the other 20. It will be followed by SlotZilla (vegas.com), a 128ft-high slot machine on Fremont Street with a zoomline and zipline. MGM Resorts is also planning to install a zipwire between the Luxor and Excalibur hotels. Vertigo sufferers: steer clear.
Affordable ski weekends are growing in popularity, says tour operator Powder White. As a result, it has added fully catered short breaks in Les Arcs, Chamonix and Avoriaz to its roster. A three-night stay in a one-bed apartment at La Ginabelle in Chamonix, with access to pools, sauna and jacuzzi, costs from €114pp, excluding flights.
• powderwhite.com but call 020 8877 8888 to book this deal
STA Travel has devised a novel way to lure gamers from their screens. Its Epic Gaming Adventure is a £5,500 one-month romp around locations featured in Call of Duty (New York), Tomb Raider (Ko Tapu, Thailand) and Grand Theft Auto (Edinburgh), and includes the chance to see pros battle at the world’s first e-sports gaming venue in Seoul.