Downton Abbey on Airbnb
Two “Downton Abbey” fans will get the chance to live like a Crawley for a night when Highclere Castle, the main filming location for the Emmy Award-winning drama, lists on Airbnb. As a promotion for the new film “Downton Abbey,” the estate in Hampshire, England, is opening its doors to two guests for a one-night stay on Nov. 26. George Herbert, the Eighth Earl of Carnavon, and his wife, Countess Fiona, will invite the guests for cocktails in the saloon, followed by dinner in the state dining room. Then they’ll receive coffee in the library before retiring to one of the principal bedrooms, with views of the rolling hills. In the morning, the guests will receive a private tour of the castle grounds. Booking will open on Oct. 1 at 6 a.m. Central Standard Time and will cost 150 pounds ($186.40). It will be first come, first served, so ... good luck. During the summer months, the castle opens its doors to about 1,200 visitors per day, starting at 16 pounds.
Hong Kong tourism down
Hong Kong’s tourism industry is being dealt a severe blow by protests in the city, which are now in their 15th week. According to new reports from news organizations, tourist arrivals to the city plummeted by almost 40% in August from one year earlier. That’s the most significant year-on-year decline since May 2003, when the SARS epidemic was affecting Hong Kong. Hotel occupancy rates in some areas fell by more than half in August, Financial Secretary Paul Chan wrote, bringing room rates down by 40% to 70%.
Stay at the North Pole
Finnish travel company Luxury Action is set to open a movable hotel at the North Pole that offers a rare and eco-conscious experience for the adventurous traveler who can swing the roughly $100,000 price tag for up to five nights’ stay. The North Pole Igloos are slated to welcome their first guests in 2020 and will operate yearly every April. Guests will stay in one of 10 heated, glass-walled igloos at night, where they can gaze at the stars, and probably the Northern Lights, through glass ceilings. During the day, travelers will sightsee around a glacier, meet indigenous people and arctic scientists, and hopefully catch sightings of seals, polar bears, arctic birds and other wildlife. Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist with the Earth Science and Observation Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said travelers in April can expect “dim and twilight-y” daylight hours at the North Pole, and temperatures ranging from minus-20 to minus-40 F. “It’s not for the fainthearted,” Scambos said.
New plan for Las Vegas site
MGM Resorts has revealed plans to transform the Las Vegas Village nearly two years after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on Oct. 1, 2017. The company will develop the site into parking space as well as a new community and athletic center. The community center would host sporting events such as practices for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces and high school basketball tournaments, along with other community events. The center will also feature a dedicated space to remember the victims of the shooting. “We know that for many, the Village property will forever be linked to the tragic loss of life that took place there on Oct. 1,” the company said in a statement. “As the second anniversary nears, we remain committed to being part of the community effort to continue healing and moving forward.”