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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.

The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #17 Tower Club at Lebua

December 15, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #17 spot we have the Tower Club at Lebua located in Bangkok, Thailand.

Quick facts about the Tower Club at Lebua:

- This all-suite hotel has made the list of 101 best suites in the world by Elite Traveler for two consecutive years.

- Housed in one of Bangkok’s most impressive structures, the State Tower, providing guests with dramatic views of the beautiful city of Bangkok.

- Private balconies in each suite located from the 51st to the 59th floor.

- Each guest suite features a separate living area, Bvlgari bath amenities, feather soft beds, and Petrossian amenities in the mini bar.

- Other luxurious amenities include an open air swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a fitness center, a sauna, steam rooms, and massage rooms.

- The Tower Club comes with lounge access where you can enjoy Continental breakfast as well as endless alcoholic drinks and canapés throughout the day.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Tower Club at Lebua.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen

#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

#18 – The Peninsula Chicago


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #18 The Peninsula Chicago

December 14, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #18 Spot we have The Peninsula Chicago, located on the Magnificent Mile, the heart and soul of Chicago.

Quick Facts about the The Peninsula Chicago:

-  Offers 339 rooms and suites that are decorated in a classical yet contemporary style which can be controlled using state-of-the-art interfaces located within the room.

- The Peninsula Spa was rated one of the top ten urban spas in the country, and houses an indoor pool and spa center that spans the top floors of the hotel, offering a breathtaking view of the city

- The Magnificent Mile is the shopping center of Chicago, with such amazing stores as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Co, and numerous other luxury brands.

- Three distinctive restaurants and a bar serve a variety of fine cuisine, including a chocolatier who concocts 25-40 different kinds of confectionary treats a night.

-The hotel offers children's packages that cater to the age of the child and the American Girl store next door.

- With a grand ballroom and six additional meeting spaces totaling over 14,000 sq. ft. of space, The Peninsula is a top-notch space for meetings and galas.

- The Peninsula has received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award and Mobil Five Star awards as well as the Forbes 5-star Award for nearly every year since its opening in 2001.

View photos, read more, and check availability at The Peninsula Chicago >>


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #19 The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

December 13, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #19 spot we have the Fullerton Hotel Singapore located in the heart of Singapore’s art and financial district.

Quick facts about the Fullerton Hotel Singapore:

- This luxury hotel was transformed from the Fullerton Building which was built in 1928.

- Located a 25-minute drive from Singapore Changi Airport, 12 minutes from the Singapore Cruise Centre, and 10 minutes from the Malayan Railway Station.

- Voted the best hotel in Asia in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2006.

- 400 spacious rooms that blend the old and new to provide luxurious accommodations suitable for business and leisure travelers.

- Nine furnished function rooms which can be customized to suit your requirements.

- 25-meter outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Singapore River.

- The presidential suite was formerly the card room of the elite Singapore Club. This 199 square meter suite is furnished with a baby grand piano and has a private elevator for discreet access, and the living and dining room extends out to a spectacular verandah.

- The 8 loft suites, all two-storey duplex suites, line the building and feature French doors leading out to a balcony with a view of the Marina Bay Waterfront.  

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here’s our #20 feature hotel, the St. Regis Resort Aspen.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Carlisle Bay

December 12, 2011
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 Traveller Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveller 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 Carlisle Bay in St. Mary’s, Antigua and Barbuda is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best Hotels for Service. This luxury hotel is set on the south coast of Antigua, on one of the most incredible beaches on the island. The Carlisle Bay is an all-suite hotel with 88 spacious suites ranging from junior to three bedrooms. This resort also has 2 incredible restaurants, nine tennis courts, a pool, a children’s club, an incredible spa, and a screening room showing movies every evening. Aside from incredible luxury, this resort’s staff outnumbers its guests three to one, earning this hotel recognition for outstanding service.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #20 The St. Regis Aspen Resort

December 12, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The St Regis Aspen Resort Guest RoomIn the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests. 

In the #20 Spot we have The St. Regis Aspen Resort located at the base of Aspen Mountain. 

 

Quick Facts about the St. Regis Resort in Aspen:

 - The resort is finishing a $40 million dollar renovation leading up to the 2012 ski season, featuring 20 remodled rooms, renovated meeting and restaurant space, new library, and resurfaced pool, hot tubs, and pool deck amongst other updates.  

 - Located at the base of Aspen Mountain between the gondola and lift 1A, the resort is convenient to Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass ski areas.

- 179 guestrooms and suites, including two 2,000-square-foot presidential suites.

The St Regis Resort Aspen Outdoor Heated Pool- Dog friendly rooms available and includes in-room pet beds, dog walking service and more.

- The Resort offers the St. Regis Signature Butler Service which includes packing and unpacking, laundry service, shoe shines, and many other personal assistant services available 24-hours a day.

- Heated outdoor swimming pool with sundeck and three heated outdoor spas.

- A luxurious 15,000-square-foot resort spa with 15 treatment rooms. Remède offers a complete treatment menu in addition to customized facials and massages. Remède Spa at St. Regis Aspen is the flagship spa of a new global spa brand.

- Rated a United States Leading Ski Resort by World Travel Award.

 

View photos, read more, and check availability at the St. Regis Resort Aspen >>


The World's Best Hotels: Announcing the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011

November 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel-AirLooking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.

New & Noteworthy- The Year's Best New and Reinvented Hotels: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Mondrian Soho in NYC, Hotel Bel-Air & The Redbury in Los Angeles

Grande Dame- Legendary Hotels with Superlative History and Service: The Carlyle in NYC, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel du Russie in Rome, The Savoy in London

Casual Chic- Effortlessly Stylish Hotels with Rustic-Modern Appeal: Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, Bardessono in Napa, The Allison in Oregon

Design- Cutting-Edge Boutique Hotels at All Price Points: Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Jia in Hong Kong

Cavo Tagoo, MykonosLocal Flavor- Go-To Hotels for a Truly Authentic Experience: Fairmont Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Evason Ma'in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan

Clubby Atmosphere- Hip Urban Pied-à-Terres: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, The Liberty in Boston, The Augustine in Prague

Luxurious Retreat- Top Choices for a Complete Escape: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Trusted Brand- World-Class Examples of International Hotel Chains: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, The Peninsula Bangkok


Best of the Best: Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino is the Best Luxury Casino Hotel in 2011

November 2, 2011
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’d like to welcome you to our new blog series, Best of the Best, where we’ll be featuring the best and most luxurious resorts in various categories. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business by the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards, so you can relax and stop worrying about your upcoming trip, knowing that it truly will be the best of the best.

The Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino received the Best Luxury Casino Hotel in 2011 title, and it is located 10 minutes away from the Iguazú Falls National Park, straddling the border of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. This resort has 34 gambling tables for Roulette, Black Jack, and Poker, 200 modern slot machines with progressive prizes, video games, video slot machines, electronic roulette, traditional slot machines, 10 electric terminals of traditional Roulette, and much more. Aside from being the best luxury casino hotel, this resort also offers three multilevel outdoor swimming pools, access to exotic gardens, and the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Don’t forget your lucky socks, and head over to the best luxury casino hotel of 2011.


Frommer's List of Top 10 Destinations for 2012

October 31, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Grey, BeirutNothing whets our appetite for travel more than the annual destination lists by top travel guides. Frommer's recently released their "Top Destinations for 2012" after its editors, authors, and experts spent "months bickering" among themselves. They also reached out to readers to find out their travel plans for the coming year, with Turkey the clear winner at 51% of the vote (Paris, Italy, and Hawaii also got high marks). The USA Today has summarized the list, including explanations about each destination from Frommers.com editorial director David Lytle.

Curacao – This often overlooked Caribbean island has affordable rentals, "as opposed to traditional flop-and-drop all-inclusives."

Chongqing, China – An alternative to the usual Chinese destinations (Beijing, Shanghai), it's a 19th-century town that has undergone rapid modernization, thanks, in part, to its position as the last stop on the Three Gorges river tour.

Fukuoka Japan – This feudal Japanese town on the north shore of Kyushu province is a place to go after you've done Tokyo and Kyoto. Plus, its inclusion on the list is a reminder that not all of Japan was affected by the earthquake.

InterContinental ChongqingBeirut – The city has experienced a renaissance in recent years, as many European travelers know. "It's an urban hotspot full of smartly dressed people who have intelligent conversation," Lytle says.

Ghana – Unlike some other African nations, this country has enjoyed long-time stability. As a former center of the slave trade, it's also on the heritage trail for African Americans.

London's Greenwich neighborhood – Just 20 minutes from Central London, this Thames-side town has undergone a renaissance. And post-Olympics is a good time to visit London, since it's bound to be gussied up for the event, with bargains after the party's over.

Girona, Spain – This Costa Brava town is popular among Brits, but is largely undiscovered by Americans. It's also an easy-to-get-to beach getaway from Barcelona.

Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia – It's a quiet, charming area, perfect for recharging your batteries.

Kansas City, Mo. – Its food and music scenes are lively. It sports a number of really good museums. Plus, it's central locale makes it relatively close to a lot of Americans.

Yucatan Peninsula – There's more to this region than Cancun. Moreover, it's been relatively free of drug-related violence that has touched border towns and the some of the Mexico's western reaches.


Top 10 Spas All Over the World

October 28, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

What do you get when you combine luxury, serenity, and incredibly gifted hands? The best spa resorts, of course! Check out our list of the top 10 luxury spas all over the world, make your reservation for that much needed vacation, and step into a relaxing paradise of mineral baths, facials, saunas, mud masks, massages, and much more.

10. The Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

This peaceful spa is surrounded by forest on the Pacific Ocean, creating the perfect, natural environment with the sound of splashing waves and the smell of the ocean permeating the atmosphere. This spa offers high-quality spa products and its estheticians focus on providing a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

9. Auberge de Soleil, United States

Located in the wine country of San Francisco, this spa is surrounded by private gardens and breathtaking views of Napa Valley. This spa offers the opportunity to partake in relaxing activities for romantic couples or friends of four with access to a private outdoor garden and hot spring. Embrace this spa’s philosophy of nurturing the body and mind while sinking into a peaceful state of relaxation.

 

8. Banyan Tree, Thailand

This one is considered to be one of Asia’s most spectacular spa resorts. All of this resort’s 123 villas have access to their own garden and an open air sunken bathtub, 52 of its villas have their own Jacuzzi, and 46 have their own private swimming pool. For the ultimate getaway, consider one of 13 villas with access to a private pool, Jacuzzi, private steam, and sauna room, and be sure to sign up for this hotel’s renowned ‘Intimate Moments’ partner massage.

7. The Grove, United Kingdom

The Grove is London’s cosmopolitan country estate, and it offers spa treatments that sooth and stimulate all of your senses. This spa prides itself on offering a total caring experience and ensuring that you escape, relax, and re-energize during your stay. Breathe in the tranquility, breath out the stress, and leave with a little more balance in your life.

6. Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa, United States

This spa is located in a private red rock canyon in Sedona, Arizona-- in what is considered to be one of the most sacred healing places on Earth. World class spa therapists create unique and memorable experiences and offer a variety of specially tailored services, aiming to provide a sense of harmony and health.

5. The Setai, United States

This Miami Beach luxury spa embraces ancient traditions and offers a complete experience with access to three private, sparkling swimming pools. This spa is dedicated to absolute privacy and relaxation, and its treatments will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.

4. Four Seasons Hualalai Kona, United States

This exotic, Hawaiian themed spa integrates tropical gardens and exudes serenity. Its complimentary, pre-spa services include access to the lap pool, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, and cold plunges. The treatment massages can be performed outside amidst beautiful nature and bamboo that naturally bring about a sense of calm.

3. Le Sirenuse, Italy

This spa embraces the ancient philosophy of individualized treatments to reach harmony from the inside out.  Be sure to take advantage of their unique treatment options and enjoy various services made especially for your needs.

2. Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay, Indonesia

Inspired by the surrounding ocean, this resort has eight magnificent treatment rooms and offers suites equipped with outdoor soaking tubs. The spa treatments utilize essences of plants, aromas of healing flowers, and herbs and spices, all blended together to create soothing and rejuvenating recipes for an enhanced experience.

1. Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands

Dramatically located on a cliff’s edge, this spa overlooks the resort and the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Channel below. The indigenous botanical resources along with therapeutic practices make for the most relaxing spa experience. The best part, however, is that this spa is willing to accommodate you in their Cliff Spa Suite, in your room, on the beach, or even under the stars!

Try as we might, we just couldn’t pick one favorite, so we encourage you to share your favorite luxury spa experiences with us on Facebook. Is your favorite spa on our list? Let us know! We love hearing from you.


Give the Gift of Intellect from the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue

October 20, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the winter holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your family members and friends. This year, however, we bet you want something different, something special, something extravagant, something over the top. Did we just read your mind? For the luxury seekers, the best gift givers, and the folks who always go above and beyond what is expected, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue may be just for you.

For an intellectual and mind-opening gift, consider the custom library, with its shelves filled with 250 books for $125,000. This atypical gift comes from the publishing house Assouline, and the library can be added anywhere you’d like. From a house to a boat to an airplane, the sky is the limit. This gift includes a full redesign of the space of your choice by adding custom carpets, art objects, and exquisitely framed prints. After the space redesign, 250 contemporary and vintage volumes are added to the beautiful shelves in the genre of your choice. Line the bookshelves with masterpieces from renowned writers, artists, photographers, architects, designers, and culinary and fashion virtuosos. This is a gift that keeps on giving because aside from an incredible library, Neiman Marcus will also donate $2,500 to First Book, a non-profit organization that provides children in need access to new books. For details, call 1-877-9NM-GIFT, or visit neimanmarcus.com

The Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue is for the thoughtful gift-givers, and while it offers truly lavish gifts, about half are under $250, so whatever your price range, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue has something to offer you.  Looking for something a little different?  Consider booking a trip for your family and friends and spending the holidays somewhere exotic, snowy, sunny, or simply somewhere relaxing

(Photo via Neiman Marcus)