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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: 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!


A Luxury Traveler’s Bucket List: Prague, Czech Republic

January 4, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions and managed to stop going to the gym or taking those cooking classes come February. This year, make a commitment to a simpler, more fulfilling resolution: travel more. Take in what the world has to offer, and do it in style. Be sure to keep up with our new blog series where we’ll be featuring an incredible destination everyone should visit in his/her lifetime. Consider this list a tool to give you a few ideas and inspiration on exciting places to go, where to stay, and what to see!

Our first feature destination today is Prague, Czech Republic.

About Prague:

Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic has a rich history and culture running through its narrow, cobblestone streets. Prague is a city of resilience, persevering through floods, fires, and invasions, making it extremely unique and captivating. This city’s breathtaking churches, Gothic-style architecture, the castle, and the Charles Bridge all make this one of the most incredible cities in Europe.

Must-See Attractions:

The most famous landmark is the Prague Castle, which is the largest castle complex in the world. It is open daily and is home to the Czech Crown Jewels. Witness the changing of the guard at the top of every hour and opt in for a guided tour to take in the history and beauty of the castle. Another must-see attraction is the Charles Bridge, which is the oldest bridge in Prague. Both ends of the bridge are reinforced by towers, and the entrance gate is beautifully adorned with Gothic sculptures.  For other must-see attractions, we encourage you to explore the list of the Top 10 Prague Monuments, put together by PragueWelcome.com

Local Cuisine:

Be sure to try the pork or beef dumplings called ‘Knedliky,’ fried cheese, and their onion and garlic soup. And of course, be sure to try traditional, Czech beer as well!

Luxurious Accommodations:

Prague has 26 luxurious hotels. A few worth checking out are the Augustine and the Boscolo Carlo IV. The Augstine has been created from several buildings, including the 13th century Augustinian St. Thomas Monastery. The hotel’s beautiful rooms all have stunning views of the courtyards, the monastery chapel, or Prague Castle. The Boscolo Carlo IV is another incredible hotel, and it offers unique amenities such as a Cigar Bar and an indoor pool with a striking Mosaic floor. This hotel encompasses a magical blend of the past and future in its architectural design and room décor.

Have you been to Prague? Where did you stay? We encourage you to get involved and tell us about your excursions on our Facebook or Twitter page!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Cape Lodge Western Australia

January 3, 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 Cape Lodge Western Australia in Yallingup, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for food. This luxury hotel is one of Australia’s finest small luxury hotels located 3 hours south of Perth. It is located on its own vineyard and is in an area surrounded by beautiful forests and incredible beaches. There are 22 secluded rooms and suites as well as a Private Residence which sits on its own private 3 acres. The acclaimed Cape Lodge Lakeside Restaurant features a 14,000 bottle cellar stocked with premium aged Margaret River wines. Be sure to check out this luxurious, secluded hotel, and get ready to rock your taste-buds with amazing Australian cuisine paired with the perfect wine.