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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

It's Business Time: Fairmont Singapore Best Business Hotel in Singapore

March 28, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

There's a very interesting split in the travel industry between business and leisure travelers. And if you're one of the business types, you know well that you're on the road constantly and the things that matter to you, travel convenience, efficiency, and connectivity, are almost the opposite of what a leisure traveler might want. If the word 'secluded' ever appeared in a hotel description, you'd cross it off the list immediately. So I'm here to use some adjectives you might appreciate hearing in describing some of the world's best business hotels. Today? Singapore.

In real estate, it's all about three things: location, location, location. For the business traveler, it's much the same, and the good folks at Fairmont kept that in mind with the Fairmont Singapore. The hotel is located at the crossroads of Singapore's major business, cultural, and shopping districts.  A staggering 70,000 square feet of meeting space means that you can host an event of just about any size in the hotel's wonderfully furnished top-of-the-line meeting rooms.  The main ballroom itself can host up to 3200 people, and there's another auxiliary room that can hold up to 1,000. After you're done with business, relax and unwind, or treat your guests, at the Willow Stream Spa, one of the largest in the city, ensuring that you can find exactly what you're looking for.  And with 769 rooms and suites, all of the executives can stay on-site; there's no having to worry about booking additional rooms and coordinating transportation to other hotels. The Fairmont Singapore is a business center in the center of business for Southeast Asia. 


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Fairmont Banff Springs

March 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Fairmont Banff Springs is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. This luxury hotel is a unique blend of opulence and seclusion, a symbol of the Rocky Mountain beauty for over a century. It is styled after a Scottish castle, and it offers breath-taking views, an incredible golf course, unrivaled skiing, and a phenomenal European-style spa. Its location in the wilderness provides guests with an incredible escape to a beautiful land full of luxury and wonder.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Fairmont Banff Springs here!


Go in My Stead: The Umstead Hotel and Spa

March 27, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Spas are a funny thing. It's actually amazing to think that we live in a world full of all the modern luxuries, and yet we have to pay to escape to a simpler, more relaxed experience.  The spa is just that, too, quintessentially an escape, retreating inward to recharge the mind and the body during a moment's respite from the bustle of modern life. But, the fact remains, many of us are in desparate need of that retreat, and if you're looking to get away from everything, there's no better destination than the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC. 

The hotel itself is gorgeous, was built in 2007, and features 228 oversized luxury guest rooms with all the modern amenities: flat screen TVs, Rivolta Italian linens, and many with balconies overlooking the natural flora.  World-class dining and a great respect for the local culture accent the property, with local artists featuring prominently and the down-home hospitality a guarantee.  

The real crowning jewel of the hotel is the spa.  The two-story building adjacent to the property offers ten treatment rooms where you can find the perfect personalized relaxation technique to wash the stress out of your body.  A meditation courtyard, whirlpools, and a steam room offer alternative ways to rejuvenate and recharge and the naturally lit interior spaces soothe the eyes as much as they do your soul.  The Umstead Hotel & Spa really is a wonderful place ot slough off your East Coast woes and embrace the healing powers of a day all to yourself.


Condé Nast Traveler Platinum Circle 2012: Swissotel the Bosphorus

March 26, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

We've been spotlighting a list of Conde Nast's award-winning Gold List Hotels for 2012, and each one is amazing in its own right. In a clear case of never enough of a good thing, Conde Nast has yet an additional level to their awards, the meta-prestigious Platinum Circle Hotels, distinguished for being consistent Gold List winners for the last five years. Perhaps it could have been more aptly named the Conde Nast Award for Continued Excellence in the Having of Conde Nast Awards, but that's probably just my jealousy talking. It takes a certain level of cachet to be able to recognize someone for being recognized by you, and the Conde Nast Awards carry that weight. Regardless, the Platinum Circle hotels are undoubtedly some of the best of the best and have the mark of consistency that other hotels can only aspire to.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

Today, the hotel on showcase the Swissotel the Bosphorus in Istanbul.  Turkey's capital is a place of so much history that you can barely take a step for fear of crunching some historic relic of civilizations past and present.  And to explore such a storied city, you need a storied location. The Bosphorus has unparalleled views of the old city and the Bosphorus from its perch on a wooded hilltop.  Sixteen restaurants, bars, and lounges provide every possible permutation of fine dining you could hope for, and you can look forward to relaxing in their heated indoor and outdoor pools. Modern amenities meet turkish tradition in a hotel with both a traditional Turkish wellness center and perfect connectivity.  Swissotel the Bosphorus is everything you'd want on the Mediterranean coast, packaged up nicely just waiting for your visit.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Wickaninnish Inn

March 23, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Canada is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. This luxury hotel is located on Vancouver Island’s beautiful west coast, on a rocky promontory, surrounded by ocean on three sides. Each of its 46 guest rooms and suites provide ocean and beach views, soaking tubs, fireplaces, and private balconies. This beautiful boutique hotel offers a mix of sandy beaches and old growth forests, providing its guests with almost too many things to do! Take advantage of the fishing, whale watching, golfing, hiking, scuba diving, shopping, and a whole lot more. This is a year-round resort where you can witness a beautiful snowfall, a hot summer day, and everything in between. Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Wickaninnish Inn for a scenic and exciting escape from the norm.


Hotels with an Incredible View! Athens, Greece

March 22, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that an incredible view is of utmost importance to luxury travelers. After a day of exploring a new city, there’s nothing more enjoyable then returning to your luxurious accommodations and taking in the miraculous view before calling it a day. For others, there simply is no time to enjoy everything a city has to offer, and the only exploration one has time for is to take in the view from the hotel. We’d like to introduce you to our new blog series, which will be featuring incredible hotels with incredible views! Whatever your travel reasons or however much time you have to enjoy your trip, we hope you leave thinking wow what a view!

Our feature hotel is King George Palace in Athens, Greece. It has been distinguished as the best hotel in Greece and it has been called home by Kings, Presidents, and travelers since the 1930s. This unique boutique hotel has 102 rooms and 22 suites, each gracefully designed with classical and modern concepts in mind. King George Palace is located on Constitution Square, within steps from of the Greek Parliament and near the historical city center. The most stunning feature of this hotel is certainly the views it offers. Some of the rooms offer breathtaking views of the Acropolis, and the rooftop restaurant, the Tudor features remarkable views of the Acropolis and the city of Athens. Check out this phenomenal hotel and get to have your breath taken away!

Be sure to keep up with our blog series to discover various luxury hotels all over the world with the best views!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel de la Paix

March 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Hotel de la Paix, Cambodia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambiance and design. This luxurious boutique hotel features 107 spacious rooms including 9 duplex spa suites with private terraces and soaking tubs, and 5 courtyard suites with private garden terraces. Perfectly located in the heart of Siem Riep, the Hotel de la Paix is within walking distance from the nightlife and exciting markets. What sets this hotel apart is its architecture and design. The internationally renowned designer, Bill Bensley incorporates Kmer elements into the structure and design of the rooms, giving the hotel a modern and royal feel.

Explore photos and availability of this incredible hotel here!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Mena House Oberoi

March 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Mena House Oberoi in Cairo, Egypt is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. This luxury hotel is phenomenally located in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is surrounded by 40 acres of beautiful gardens, and it is only 700 meters from the Pyramid of Cheops. This hotel was built in 1869 and has been drawing visitors in to experience the traditional and modern aspects of Cairo. The Mena House Oberoi is furnished with original art and antiques resembling a royal residence set among palms and jasmine. Be sure to check out the Mena House Oberoi and visit this luxurious oasis set in the most phenomenal spot!


What Wine Goes Best with your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

March 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

You read the title correctly. Today we’re not exploring what wine compliments Alaskan Salmon or risotto; we’re bringing you recommendations of which wine goes best with various Girl Scout Cookies. Kris Margerum, the wine director at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley has gone through the vast 17,000 bottle wine cellar to suggest the absolute best wine-cookie pairings. Check out the pairings below and enjoy the adult, edgy rendition of Girl Scout Cookies.

Savannah Smiles go best with a 2010 Dr. Loosen ‘Bernaksteler Lay’ Riesling-Kabinett. As stated by Kris Margerum and reported on HotelChatter, ““The lemon notes and powder sugar create an amazing match with this off-dry, high- acid white wine.”

Trefoils-Old Fashioned Shortbread go best with the 2007 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine. "The creamy richness of the shortbread is balanced by the fresh lively notes of the Sparkling Wine." 

Dosidos-Peanut Butter Cremes go best with a 2009 Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Zweigelt. "The light bodied and fruity Zweigelt paired with the Do-Si-Dos brings home the flavors of peanut butter & jelly."

Samoas go best with a Graham’s 20-Year Tawny Port. "The coconut is an ideal blend with the oak-aged port, while the Noval Vintage Ruby Reserve Port is rich enough to match the chocolate and mint flavors of the popular Thin Mints." 

Tagalongs-Peanut Butter Patties go best with Rare Wine Company’s “Imperial-Old Reserve” Malmsey Maderia, “Nothing goes better with sweet Maderias than chocolate and nuts.”

We certainly encourage you to explore the room types, rates, and photos of the Auberge du Soleil here! Make your reservations today and get ready for an incredible time in phenomenal wine country, cookies and all!

This article originally appeared in HotelChatter.


The Traveler's Compendium: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

March 9, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Bucket lists.  We've probably all got one, and I can't get over my slightly morbid fascination of the idea of making the list of the things you'd like to live framed around dying.  Maybe it's that the finitude of life creates a sweet sense of urgency that makes experience all the more poignant.  But I'm not here to philosophize; I leave that to the well-bearded among us.  I'm here to tell you about the second edition of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die with the much more uplifting subtitle: A Traveler's Life List.

A coffeetable book if there ever was one, 1,000 Places lays out some of the most unique and gorgeous places the world has to offer. And one of the things about the luxury hotel industry is that we've done a pretty good job of making sure that most of these places have the accommodations for you to experience them.  Heading to the Amalfi Coast? Why not stay at the Palazzo Sasso, which has a breathtaking view of the ocean stretching out from its feet, 350 meters below.  Or perhaps you're interested in Paris.  The Plaza Athenee or Hotel de Crillon have you covered.  It's really quite incredible when you step back to think how easy it is to experience the unique gems this blue-green sphere has to offer.  So pick up your copy of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and pick out your next vacation destination.  We have certainly have some suggestions for you.