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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

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.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: BLUE Sydney

January 26, 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 BLUE Sydney, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. It is a contemporary boutique hotel located on the historical wharf right on Sydney Harbor, providing guests with access to the latest entertainment and best dining options. Its 100 luxurious rooms feature the latest concepts in accommodations to provide travelers of all types with lavish comfort. The BLUE Sydney is perfectly situated 15 minutes from Sydney Airport and next to the Royal Botanical Gardens.  It's also a 10 minute walk from the business and shopping districts, as well as the Sydney Opera House. Talk about an incredible location! Be sure to make reservations at the BLUE Sydney and be in on all the exciting happenings in Australia!


Top 5 Romantic Valentine's Day Hotels: #4 Gramercy Park

January 23, 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.

#4 Gramercy Park

Gramercy, as well as being what you show me every time I'm not called out for missing a comma, is a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Manhattan with an artsy soul and vivid decor. In selecting hotels for this list, we tried to capture the soul of the city.  Just as the Bauer Il Palazzo makes you feel Venice, Gramercy Park Hotel feels like New York. It's love and passion with attitude, the kind that stands outside your window with a boombox or fights an escaped lion for your affection. From the front door onwards, you'll be greeted with the joie de vivre of the New York  well known by romantic comedies. The best food, the best art, the best wine; New York wants to be the best in the world, and the Gramercy Park will show their best effort to give you your romantic New York fantasy.

The lobby itself plays host to an art exhibit featuring the likes of Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Julian Schnabel, among many others.  Its 184 rooms and suites are decorated in a vivid Renaissance color palette, and hand-tufted rugs, mahogany cabinets, and velvet drapery complete the extravagant scene.  Big tubs and dark room are just what the doctor ordered for an intimate evening in.

If you're looking to head out, the candlelit Rose and Jade Bars downstairs are reservation only after 10pm, so you'll be guaranteed a more private experience.  And if you'd prefer the more intimate feel of a private club to the edgier downstairs bars, the Gramercy Terrace 17 stories above the city combines the finest of London clubs with the vibrancy of a Viennese coffeehouse.  

So if this Valentine's Day you're looking to declare your love clearly and boldly, show him or her the best of the New York nightlife.  Gramercy Park is vibrant, vigorous, and passionate, and staying there would be a night you wouldn't soon forget.


Hotels with an Incredible View!: Singapore

January 23, 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 than returning to your luxurious accommodations and taking in the miraculous view before calling it a day. For others, there simply is not enough time in a day 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 first feature is the Marina Bay Sands Singapore. It’s located in the heart of Singapore along the Marina Bay Waterfront. This luxury hotel is the leading destination for business and leisure travelers visiting Asia. Its 2,561 rooms and suites have a classic luxury design, and the hotel has a museum, an incredible shopping mall, world-renown restaurants, a casino, and an outdoor event plaza. The rooftop Sands SkyPark is perched atop the hotel, 200 meters above the city, featuring exclusive restaurants, an infinity pool, an observation deck, and an unbeatable 360 degree view of the Singapore skyline.

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

Photo via Hotel Chatter


Top 5 Romantic Valentine's Day Hotels: #5 Bauer Il Palazzo

January 20, 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. 

No list of romantic hotels would be complete without an entry from perhaps the most romantic city in the world (although Paris would certainly like to dispute that fact).  The Bauer Il Palazzo is everything you'd imagine from Venice's most intimate boutique hotel.  Overlooking the Grand Canal and just steps from St. Mark's, the Palazzo is the perfect staging point to explore the winding streets and canals.  

Its 76 rooms and suites make liberal use of the finest in Venetian workmanship, including iconic Murano glass chandeliers.  A word of advice:  If you're looking to pick up a piece of this truly unique artwork, it's worth a trip on the ferry to the island of Murano itself, where the glass is made behind the very shop from which you're purchasing it.  When you're ready for a waterfront meal, make sure to return to the Palazzo's very own Settimo Cielo, where you can enjoy views as stunning as the fresh Italian cuisine.  The Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure Award-winning Bauer Il Palazzo represents the pinnacle of the opulent Venetian lifestyle, and there is, in my opinion, no better way to see one of the most romantic and cultured cities in the world.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Saffire Freycinet

January 20, 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 Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best hotels for rooms. This luxury hotel is located on the curve of sandy coastline that joins Tasmania to the Peninsula in Freycinet National Park. This luxury hotel overlooks the Great Oyster Bay, and it provides guests with 5-star accommodations unlike any other. The Saffire is dedicated to providing exceptional service, quality, and an unforgettable experience. This is a boutique hotel with just 20 incredibly luxurious suites that are packed with every amenity and feature you could imagine. From a full fridge to an iPod preloaded with your favorite music, this hotel certainly has it all. Get ready for an incredible adventure, and be open to the hotel’s powerful vibes and calming personality that will bring you to a deep level of rest and relaxation.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Four Seasons Sydney

January 12, 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 Four Seasons Sydney is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel is stunningly situated overlooking the Sydney Harbour in the Rocks district, located a short walk from the shopping and business areas of Sydney. The Four Seasons Sydney is a classic luxury hotel, offering an impressive 531 rooms including 121 suites, quietly secluded in the tower on the 6th through 34th floors. Even though this is a large luxury hotel, the staff is extremely attentive and willing to go the extra step to ensure your stay is memorably pleasurable. Be sure to take advantage of the incredible service to take in everything Sydney has to offer!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

January 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 Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in Lithgow, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This hotel is Australia’s most environmentally responsible tourist destination, and it’s set amidst the striking scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains. This resort has its own private conservation and natural reserve, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for a serene location. This boutique resort has 40 free-standing suites, each with its own private pool and terrace. Aside from privacy and tranquility, the Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa also offers a Timeless spa, world class dining with an emphasis on organic produce, and truly exemplary service. The hotel staff will happily assist you in any way they can, from organizing a horseback ride to planning a wildlife safari, this hotel has truly earned its best for service recognition.


Romantic Hotels Perfect for Valentine’s Day

January 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of the usual dinner and chocolates, consider doing something a little more extravagant and exciting this Valentine’s Day, like planning a surprise getaway to an extremely romantic, luxury hotel! Here are a few of our favorite romantic spots, perfect for a weekend away for you and your loved one.

La Casa Que Canta in Playa la Ropa, Mexico

This hotel appeared in the film When a Man Loves a Woman, and it’s beautifully perched on a cliff surrounded by the sea. The resort features 2 of the most elegant swimming pools, and the freshwater infinity pool is located on a promontory overlooking Zihuatanejo Bay. This hotel offers 10 pool suites, 11 grand suites, and 3 terrace suites facing the ocean, all inspired by the loveliness of Mexican art. Privacy, elegance, and superb hospitality are of the most importance at this luxury resort, ensuring an extremely romantic and peaceful escape.

Auberge Du Soleil in Napa Valley, California

Perfect hotel to soak up the sun, sip a glass of California wine, and enjoy a beautiful California day. The Auberge Du Soleil is terraced down the hillside with breathtaking views of Napa Valley. All of the accommodations feature Mediterranean-inspired décor, and certain guest rooms feature private outdoor terraces for dining and relaxing. This luxury hotel began as a restaurant 25 years ago, and it has remained a culinary vision today. Be sure to visit for a truly amazing and romantic experience.

Halekulani in Honolulu, Hawaii

Halekulani has been welcoming visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. This luxury hotel has earned a reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service, and splendid cuisine. Take a swim in the heated fresh water pool overlooking Waikiki Beach, which has a stunning mosaic of an orchid, comprised of 1.2 million pieces of imported African glass tiles, explore each of Halekulani’s award winning restaurants, and walk to the beautiful beach to watch the romantic sunset.

Check out our list of the top most romantic hotels in the world, or search romantic hotels by city!