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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.

Travel to Thailand: A Combo with Phulay Bay in Krabi and Tower Club at lebua, Bangkok

August 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Phulay Bay, A Ritz Carlton ReserveGet a taste of the best of Thailand with an exciting new four night package created by Bangkok's Tower Club at lebua in partnership with Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. You'll experience the exhilaration of Bangkok as well as the pristine beaches of Krabi. Start your adventure with a two night stay in a luxurious one-bedroom Tower Club Riverview suite at Tower Club at lebua, Bangkok, the all-suite hotel recently featured in The Hangover Part II. The swank hotel has some fantastic restos like Sirocco, the world's highest open-air restaurant. Included in the package: an innovative three course chef’s menu at the Mezzaluna, private round trip limousine airport transfers and romantic sunset Champagne at the famous Sky Bar with breathtaking views of the city of Bangkok. You'll then head over to Phulay Bay – a hidden retreat known for top-notch personalized service in an unforgettable setting. The package price is THB 56,450.


Celebrate Mexican Independence Day at Grand Velas Resorts

August 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Velas, Riviera MayaGrand Velas Resorts in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya are going all out to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day on September 16. Think complimentary tequila aromatherapy massages, authentic Mexican meals and thrilling adventures to teach guests more about Mexico’s vibrant culture and history. What we're most excited about: the ‘Mayan Encounter’ tour that takes adrenaline hounds zip lining through the Mayan jungle and to the top of the Yucatan’s tallest pyramid. Available from September 12-18. The Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit outside Puerto Vallarta is offering guests a third night free, a 25-minute ‘Viva Mexico’ massage, an authentic Mexican dinner complete with mariachi band, and 30% off a round of golf at Vista Vallarta & Marina Vallarta courses. Rates start at $320 USD per person per night in double occupancy in Master or Parlor Ocean View Suite. Children are $87 per child per night.

Sister property Grand Velas Riviera Maya is welcoming guests with the Mayan Heritage Experience which includes a free suite upgrade, the above-mentioned Mayan Encounter tour, and a taste of authentic Mayan fare prepared by local Mayan women. Back at the resort, guests can experience Mexican Independence at Frida Restaurant with a special menu that pays tribute to some of Mexico City’s Grand Velas Riviera Nayaritgastronomy from the past 40 years. Rates for the Mayan Heritage Experience start at $330 per person per night in double occupancy in the Zen Grand Suite. Children up to 12 years old stay free when sharing the suite with their parents and children 13 to 16 years receive a 50% discount in the Ambassador, Ambassador Pool & Grand Class suites.

Note that Grand Velas Resort’s all-inclusive rate includes luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, nightly entertainment and more. Minimum of three nights applies to both packages.


Adventure in Morocco: Fly by Helicoper to Essaouira from the Royal Mansour

August 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal Mansour MarrakechLeave it to the Royal Mansour, the opulent Marrakech resort owned by the King of Morocco, to organize the ultimate adventure to the oceanfront city of Essaouira. Long considered one of the best anchorages of the Moroccan coast, Essaouira is an ancient port once settled by the Carthaginians, Romans, and then Portuguese. It's a marvelous mixmash of archeological treasures-- its medina is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site-- in a beautiful setting. The Royal Mansour Marrakech, home to a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, will fly you by helicopter to Essaouira where you'll be driven to the town of Ounagha for a wine tasting at "Val d’Argan," a French-owned winery. To cap off a dazzling day, you'll be served an extravagant lobster dinner under a Bedouin tent on the beach at Sidi Kaouki.


Island Hop in Thailand with Anantara Resorts

August 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rasananda Phangan Island ResortWhy settle for one idyllic Thai island when you can experience the best of two? Embark on an indulgent and diverse getaway to the Gulf of Thailand to get a taste of the red-hot nightlife on Koh Samui and the relaxing beaches of Koh Phangan (the isle famous for its full moon parties). Anantara Resorts is whisking you away with a special offer called the "Two Island Experience." Divide your time between Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa, a hideaway near bustling Chaweng, with the dreamy seclusion of a private pool suite or villa at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort. With breakfast, sea and land transfers all included, this special package invites you to linger longer and soak up tranquil island life. Rates from THB 17,700 with three nights at each resort.


Hawaiian Holidays: 3rd Night Free at Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele

August 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at KoeleIt's hard to believe that summer is nearly over, and it's almost back-to-school time for the kids. But before stocking up on backpacks and school supplies, why not pack up the family for one last summer adventure? The Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele is offering a special value for parents looking to linger longer for less in Hawai'i. Nestled within the lush central highlands of the private Hawaiian island of Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele is the ideal getaway for families. Tee off on the 18-hole putting course – a cross between miniature golf and a real putting challenge - or visit Lana'i Pine Sporting Clays and Archery Range for an afternoon of archery and clay shooting. Go horseback riding through Koele’s picturesque upcountry and learn about the island’s history.

The "Stay Longer" promotion means a complimentary third night when you book two consecutive nights at the resort. What's more, Four Seasons offers free meals for its youngest guests, welcome amenities for children, and Kids For All Seasons programming for children five to 12. There's also a Surf Shack Teen Center featuring video game stations, a pool table and lounge area for those aged 13-17 at Manele Bay. Rates for the package start at $295 and are valid on new bookings only. Three night minimum stay required; subject to availability.


Climb a 14er with a Little Help from Aspen's Hotel Jerome

August 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel JeromeAdrenaline junkies, take note. Aspen's historic Hotel Jerome has teamed up with Aspen Expeditions to give you an experience of a lifetime. Always dreamed of reaching the summit of a 14er? Now you can with the hotel's "Stay, Play & Climb" package, a three-day experience that combines luxury accommodations with a climbing adventure on a technical 14,000' peak. Starting at $715 per person, the package includes three nights of lodging at Hotel Jerome, one privately guided climb of a 14,000' peak outside Aspen, CO, and a Marmot Driclime jacket per person. Blackout dates may apply. Offer valid for new reservations only.

Another special offer for adrenaline hounds: The "Blazing Adventure" package includes free adventure excursions, plus a daily $50 breakfast credit, when you reserve a stay through October 2, 2011. Book a stay of one to four nights for two people and get a free rafting, hiking, biking, four-wheel-drive or other outing per person. As The Washington Post points out, the best rates are for four-night stays at $333 per night double, down from $459. And the tours are valued at $99 each. Add $66 per night in fees and taxes.


Hayman Island Resort Celebrates Reopening with Special Offer

August 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hayman Island ResortAustralia's Hayman Island-- oft described as one of the most stunning resorts in the world-- was severely damaged by cyclones earlier this year, and had to close for repairs. Now it's back, and better than ever. The five-month renovation, explains The Sydney Morning Herald, "touched almost every aspect of the Great Barrier Reef resort, starting with a 16-hectare garden landscape created by horticulturalist and TV star Jamie Durie." A new botanical garden centerpiece showcases 33,000 new plants and 327 new species; the landscaping alone cost A$4 million.

Hayman Island ResortLucky guests who check in now will experience a top-to-bottom refurbishment. And when you book the "Hayman Reopening Offer," you'll score an A$400 Resort Voucher to enjoy during your stay. This reopening offer is basically the "Hayman Escape" package which includes twin share accommodation and daily beachfront breakfast at Azure, along with the bonus resort voucher. Hayman Escape packages start from A$885 per person for 3 nights, and are available for sale until August 31, 2011 for travel from October 1, 2011- June 30, 2012. Valid for new bookings only, and subject to availability.


Snorkeling the Lagoon Sanctuary at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

August 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort Bora BoraThe Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora isn't just about plush, over-water bungalows. Sure, they've got those, perched on stilts over the turquoise lagoon, some even equipped with private pools. It's a spectacular snorkeling location with over 100 colorful species in the Lagoon including the octopus, eagle ray, lizardfish, Picasso trumpetfish, soldierfish, firefish, unicorn fish, spotted pufferfish, parrotfish, peacock damselfish, clownfish and butterfly fish. But more than that, the Lagoon Sanctuary is also a research facility for studying and protecting the marine eco-system. Directed by marine biologist Oliver Martin, the Lagoon Sanctuary offers activities for guests of all ages, including snorkelling, coral grafting discovery, discussions on Polynesian ecology, fish and octopus feeding and more. The Lagoon Sanctuary is maintained in partnership with the Pacific Eco-World Initiative, a non-profit organization committed to learning more about the changing marine environment and working to conserve it.


Horsing Around in the Wild West at Teton Mountain Lodge And Spa

July 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Teton Mountain Lodge and SpaSaddle up! The Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa is inviting guests to horse around this summer outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming. From rodeos to trail riding, your family will get an unforgettable taste of the Wild West in true cowboy style. Here's what's included in the "Horsing Around" package:

*Three nights accommodation in a guest room with separate beds for parents and two kids

*Two hours of private guided horseback trail riding with Teton Village Trail Rides

*Two "Color in Western" backpacks with disposable camera and photo album for the kids

*Dinner for 4 at the Bar T-5 Chuckwagon

*Four tickets to the Jackson Hole Rodeo

From $342 per night; available through September 30, 2011.


Mancation in Whistler at the Pan Pacific Mountainside

July 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Whistler MountainsideGet the guys together for some golf and biking and revelrous good times. The Pan Pacific Mountainside-- the luxurious four-season resort located at the base of the gondolas in Whistler Village-- has put together a swell Man-cation package for male bonding in the spectacular Coast Mountain Range. Bike on some 350+ kilometers of trails, go golfing at the Whistler Golf Club, hang poolside with views of the action in the Bike Park, or just kick back over a pint at Dubh Linn Gate Pub. Available until November 23, 2011, the package is priced from $699 CDN in a Two Bedroom Suite Valley View (maximum 6 people) and includes:

* Two nights’ accommodation in a spacious suite

* One Day Valley Trail Bike rental per person from Salomon Store on Lobby level

* A $200 Credit for the Whistler Golf Club

*Dinner in Dubh Linn Gate one night -includes choice of entree and a pint from Whistler's best beer selection

* Complimentary Valet Parking for one vehicle

Subject to availability, black-out dates may apply.