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.

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Sandy Lane Hotel


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 Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for rooms. This luxury hotel is located in a mahogany grove overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The Sandy Lane Hotel has 112 luxurious rooms, each with a large private verandah, plasma wide screen television, DVD/CD player, stereo, private bar, personal in-room safe, and a convenient telephone system. With 9 tennis courts, 3 golf courses, and special child programs, this luxury hotel has something for everyone. Traveling with a large group or your extended family? Consider staying in the 5-bedroom villa which is set in its own gardens and has a team of staff ready to serve your every desire.

Check rates, availability, photos and more of the Sandy Lane Hotel here!


Hotel Plaza Athenee Offers Best Sleep in Paris


By: Oksana Balytsky

The Hotel Plaza Athenee is an incredibly romantic and beautiful hotel ideally located between the Avenue des Champs and Elysees and the Eiffel Tower. This luxury hotel features 188 luxurious guest rooms including 43 suites and offers views of the elegant Avenue Montaigne, the west side of the Eiffel Tower, or the courtyard. The Hotel Plaza Athenee takes service to a new level with hotel staff outnumbering guests 3 to 1, giving guests an extremely personal and unforgettable experience. If the location, phenomenal décor, and service aren’t enough to add this to your list of hotels worth visiting, then consider this. The Hotel Plaza Athenee has recently installed a NightCove Sleep Solution in the Art Deco Suites. According to HotelChatter, “the sleep clinic at Hotel-Dieu Hospital developed this device, and it is a unique bedside lamp that helps improve the quality of sleep by bathing guests in selected light wavelengths and sound frequencies that are specially adapted for the physiological needs of sleep. Click on ‘Sleep/Anti-jetlag/Nap’ to stimulate melatonin with a red glow and the hush of waves, then greet the day with a ‘Wakening’ of soft music and blue light similar to early daylight.’

Wow! We’re certainly impressed by this technology and would love to ease the pains of jet lag as quickly as possible. Make your reservations at this, let’s face it, perfect Parisian hotel and stay bright eyed and bushy tailed for the entirety of your stay!


Condé Nast Traveler Platinum Circle 2012: The Dorchester


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 List hotels are undoubtedly some of the best of the best and have the mark of consistency that other hotels can only aspire to.

This week, we're spotlighting The Dorchester in London. Occupying one of the most prestigious locations in all of England overlooking Hyde Park, The Dorchester regularly plays host to the movers and shakers in British high society. And with decor and decorum straight out of the 1930s, but with a bit of contemporary flair, you'll be treated like royalty. Its four restaurants, Alain Ducasse, The Grill, China Tang, and The Promenade, offer a variety of options for the lover of luxury cuisine, and the hotel's 54 suites come in enough varieties to please any refined traveler. And having been remodeled in 2011, it's even fresher and newer than in the first years it won the Conde Nast Awards. So check out The Dorchester today, and you won't be disappointed.


Top 5 Romantic Valentine's Day Hotels: #1 The Point, Saranac Lake


By: Christopher Roney

Valentine's Day is coming up, and, as such, it's time to think about where you'd like to spend the day with that special someone. Whether you're enjoying a cozy night in or an adventure on the town, a night in a luxury hotel can be the perfect gift to the both of you, a chance to escape to another world where no expense will be spared in giving you the night of a lifetime. What follows is just one in a series of our favorite romantic hotels, and, we think, a great place to take him or her this February the 14th.

#1 The Point, Saranac Lake

What's The Point, you ask? While us single folks might attribute such a question to the vague sense of ennui that a romantic holiday instills, for the couples out there, you're clearly wanting to know more about the resort on Saranac Lake that just might be the most tranquil and exclusive hotel you could take your significant figure this weekend.  I use 'hotel' in only the loosest of sense to describe The Point, since the 11-room lodge is what you would imagine renting a 5-star private cabin might be like.  This lakefront lodge in upstate New York has all the serenity of a hushed winter morning where even the birds are afraid to break the silence, and it's personal service is unrivalled anywhere.

Nightly room rates are all-inclusive, so you can enjoy everything they have to offer. Not only that, dining is supervised by 3-star Michelin chef Albert Roux, which affords you a level of attention that even the top restaurants cannot afford to give their patrons.  No children under 18 are allowed on the property and there are no phones and televisons, so you need not worry about anything getting in the way of your perfect evening.  The Point offers the kind of intentional seclusion that is so rare in this connected world, and it is the perfect opportunity to lose yourself in romance.  

The Point is especially attractive to active couples who would enjoy the hiking, fishing, and animal tracking that the Point will happily recommend.  If a few biologists would just take a brief second to get out to The Point, they'd very quickly resolve one of the most hotly contested debates in modern science: nature vs nuture.  At The Point on Saranac lake, you can nurture your relationship by going back to nature, and there's no compromise involved. For my part, The Point is where I would take my hypothetical girlfriend this Valentine's Day.

 


The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Alila Villas Uluwatu


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 Alila Villa Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambience and design. This luxury hotel is located on a cliff top plateau along the southern coast of Bali. The view from this hotel is simply breathtaking, and the entire property aims to fulfill its tradition of offering an experience that is serene, sensual, and pleasantly different. With 84 spacious villas, all with private salt-water pools and ocean-view cabanas, this Alila property goes above and beyond the expected levels of luxury. The rooms have ceilings from bamboo and flat roofs that are insulated with volcanic rocks. Indulge yourself in the spectacular cliff top pool and bar, and take in the beauty that surrounds you everywhere you turn at this incredible hotel.


Hotels with an Edge: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai


By: Oksana Balytsky

In today’s competitive world, everyone needs a way to stand out from the crowd. Luxury hotels certainly are not any different and are always looking for ways to outshine their competitors and attract more visitors. We understand that our travelers look for the best of the best, and we would like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with an Edge. We’ll be highlighting and featuring a few hotels we feel truly stand out and offer their guests more than is expected. Be sure to check in with us to explore various hotels that deserve recognition for their supreme levels of luxury.

Our second featured hotel is the soon-to-be tallest hotel in the world, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is to relinquish its tallest hotel crown and take the seat behind this new property in Dubai. The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has announced that its two towers will stand 1,164 feet tall, and it will offer 1,608 rooms. Unlike other exceptionally tall hotels, this property will be dedicated to hotel operations only. It will offer 9 restaurants, 5 lounges, a 16,000 square foot spa, 24 meeting rooms, private event space, and more.  This hotel is scheduled to open in two phases starting in October, and it will have 804 rooms ready for guests. If you can’t wait until then, check out the other luxurious properties we have in Dubai!

Missed our first feature, the current tallest hotel in the world? Check it out here! Be sure to keep up with our blog series for a little inspiration on where to stay next!

A look into the presidential suite; photo courtesy of HotelChatter


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The One and Only Ocean Club


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 One and Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambience and design. This Versailles inspired luxury hotel is located just 20 miles from the Nassau International Airport and enjoys an entire mile of private beach. Its residential-style villas are perfect for families, and the service is out of this world. This luxury resort has a 3 to 1 staff-guest ratio, and its personal butler service is extended to all guests. The Mandara Spa is in the Balinese style and offers private treatment villas, baths, and gardens. All accommodations feature a private balcony or terrace, and the guest rooms are styled with a classic colonial architecture.

If that isn’t enough to send you packing, consider this: The One and Only Ocean Club was the site at which several scenes of Casino Royale were shot!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa


By: Oksana Balytsky

Hotel Schloss FuschlWe 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 Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa in Salzburg, Austria is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. This luxury hotel is a renovated 15th-century castle that’s located on a peninsula in Lake Fuschl, facing the Alps and surrounded by 30 acres of nature. Its 110 beautiful rooms and suites overlook either the lake or the castle’s incredible park. This luxury hotel has received recognition for its leisure facilities which include opportunities to indulge yourself in the newly built spa, go hiking, biking, swimming, and a whole lot more!

Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa for a serene and relaxing adventure.


Top 5 Romantic Valentine's Day Hotels: #2 Fairmont Chicago


By: Christopher Roney

Valentine's Day is coming up, and, as such, it's time to think about where you'd like to spend the day with that special someone. Whether you're enjoying a cozy night in or an adventure on the town, a night in a luxury hotel can be the perfect gift to the both of you, a chance to escape to another world where no expense will be spared in giving you the night of a lifetime. What follows is just one in a series of our favorite romantic hotels, and, we think, a great place to take him or her this February the 14th. 

#2 Fairmont Chicago

The Fairmont has to get a special nod on this list for the sheer effor they're putting into a singular Valentine's Day experience.  This may just be the most opulent display of romance and affection a person could receive on a day already known for total commitments to love and cutely involved marriage proposals.

They say money can't buy love, but in today's consumer market, it certainly can buy the trappings of it.  Plop down $100,000 for a two-night experience, and you'll be welcomed into cupid's diamond-studded embrace with open arms.  Not only will you be put up in the hotel's presidential suite, it will be ornamented with six doxen roses, included a trail of petals from the foyer to the bed.  Live out the dreams of the marketing departments of diamond companies everywhere as you gift her an 18-karat white diamond and sapphire necklace, showing her that every kiss begins with not one but 18 K's.  And from there, you can enjoy a $10,000 shopping credit which you can spend on a VIP trip to Sak's Fifth Avenue.

Of course, the night could not be complete without a Chef's Table at Aria, the asian and traditional American mainstay of the luxury dining scene in Chicago.  Top that off with a personal butler, breakfast for two in bed, 90-minute in-room massage and "Fairy Tale Moments," which refers, of course, to a candlelit lavender bath with Cristal champagne and strawberries.  If you believing that showing your love to someone means going the extra mile, taking off your shoes, then running a barefoot marathon, then the Fairmont Chicago might be just what you're looking for this Valentine's Day.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel Imperial


By: Christopher Roney

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.

I have a question for the peanut gallery.  Ladies and gentlemen, what could possibly be better than gold?  Turning to the record industry for our answer, there is, of course, only one choice.  Platinum.  And the Gold List's gotten a silvery sheen, and like the American Express you may pay with to get in these places, the platinum club is just for the extra exclusive hotels who are more than just a flash-in-the-pan nouveau riche kind of hotel.  They've proven consistently over the last five years that they're Gold List material, so they've gotten the VIP upgrade.

Today's platinum contender is none other than the Hotel Imperial, one of only two hotels in Vienna to get this distinction, and boy is it something else?  The hypothetical boy, in this case, would have to answer with a resounding, "yes," because the Hotel Imperial does everything right.  Vienna is a city that never quite got past its imperial heritage and still longs for the days of the empire, and the Hotel Imperial harkens back to that era with a purity of character that's unrivalled in other Austrian hotels.  If you're looking for a stay where the Sacher torte is fresh and the after-dinner liquer subtle and full of flavor, then the Hotel Imperial is the one for you.