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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.

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Alila Villas Uluwatu

February 9, 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 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

February 9, 2012
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

February 8, 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 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

February 6, 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 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

February 3, 2012
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

February 2, 2012
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.  


Hotels with an Incredible View!: Thailand

February 1, 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  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 second feature is the Peninsula Bangkok. It’s located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and it is one of Bangkok’s finest hotels. It is a stunning, 39-story hotel offering incredible panoramic views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River from every one of its luxurious guest rooms and suites. This luxury hotel is within easy access of the shopping and business districts as well as near the Bangkok Sky Train and 35 minutes from Don Muang International Airport. The Peninsula Bangkok has an incredible 3-tiered swimming pool, a fitness center, and a beauty salon offering a variety of massages and treatments.

You can view our first featured hotel with a view, the Marina Bay Sands Singapore here. Be sure to keep up with our blog series to discover various luxury hotels all over the world with the best views!


Hotels with an Edge: The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

January 31, 2012
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 newest 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 first featured hotel is the tallest hotel in the world, the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. This luxury hotel dominates the sky at 490 meters, 1575 feet high, and it’s located on the top floors of the International Commerce Centre. Take in unrivaled views of the Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island from the 102nd to the 118th floor. The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong has 321 luxurious rooms, all offering a spectacular view of the city and harbor. This hotel also has 6 restaurants starting on the 102nd floor including a lobby lounge, tea lounge, and alfresco rooftop bar.

Make your reservations at this breathtaking hotel today, and be sure to keep up with our blog series for a little inspiration on where to stay next!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Alila Villas Uluwatu

January 30, 2012
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.

Featured prominently on the Gold List for ambiance and design, the Alila Villas Uluwatu is everything you could hope for in an secluded all-villa property.  On the very edge of sheer limestone cliffs that overlook the Balinese ocean below, the views from the outdoor pool and gardens seem to look over the edge of the world itself.  Sky and sea meet in an endless ocean of blue that is only ever disrupted by the prismatic diffusion of the sun's rays as it falls below the skyline.  And as darkness drapes itself over the edge of the cliffs, cradling Uluwatu in its embrace, simply step inside to the Sunset Cabana for a nightcap or something more substantial. Its holistic design is minimalistic but never spartan, tranquil but never vacant.  The Alila Villas Uluwatu truly deserves its place on the Conde Nast Gold List for most ambient and well-designed hotels of 2012.


Top 5 Romantic Valentine's Day Hotels: #3 Hotel Plaza Athenee

January 27, 2012
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.

#3 The Hotel Plaza Athenee

For a city like Paris, its romantic image the stuff of fairy tales, it is almost impossible to pick our favorite romantic hotel.  Whether an iconic mainstay of the cityscape or a small boutique hotel tucked away in a charming neighborhood, each jewel in the Parisian crown has its sparkle. So instead of evaluating by some arbitrary metric, like roses/sqm or candles of candlelight, I just thought to myself, "Where would I take my girlfriend if I found myself in Paris just a few weeks from now?"  And once I stopped troubling myself with the details, the answer came quickly:  The Hotel Plaza Athenee. It's everything you could desire for your romantic evening, a dream of a hotel within a dream of a city. And for the girl of your dreams, how could you ask for anything less? 

Whether you're staying in the Eiffel Signature Exclusive Suite with a view onto the tower itself or a cozy room tucked away for perfect privacy, the Hotel Plaza Athenee promises to make a night you'll forget in the moment but remember forever. And with staff members outnumbering rooms nearly 3 to 1, you'll be sure that every detail is inch-perfect.

To set the evening off right, simply go downstairs to experience the cuisine world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse. The lightest brush of your lips against the bouquet of flavors in each of his dishes will create a never-before experienced synesthesia, a fusion of light and color emanating from your taste buds.  Savor each bite as time itself begins to slow to a rest. And when you pair your meal with a bottle of the finest French wine, well, I don't even have to tell you.

It's a rare hotel indeed that I can recommend without reservation, but I guarantee that the Hotel Plaza Athenee will give you the Valentine's day experience you didn't even know you were looking for.