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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.

A Boutique Critique: Ka'ana Boutique Resort

By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

Belize is one of those countries that doesn't necessarily get a lot of attention, and as far as I can tell, there's no good reason for that.  Shame on you, hypothetical ignorers of Belize. Let me be the first to say that its relative anonymity is in part what makes it such an attractive destination.  So on second thought, keep it up, guys.  I'd rather we keep this our own little secret.  So much of our vacationing attention is spent on beachfront properties with idyllic beaches and crystalline waters that we forget the charms of inland destinations.  Central America is home to some of the lushest rainforests in the world, and Belize is no exception.

Standing just on the edge of this tropical paradise is the Ka'ana Boutique Resort, with an infinity pool nestled within the foliage to give the perfect escape.  Guided mountain biking tours are offered at every level of difficulty, and the nearby caves and waterfalls are perfect destinations for ecological exploration.  And if you'd rather experience it all in a more equestrian manner, the Ka'ana offers that as well.  Return after a day of adventure to your very own Casitas, a standalone cottage that you can call your very own.  In my mind, the Ka'ana Boutique Resort is the perfect rainforest destination.  It's the property is intimate, the surroundings breathtaking, and it even has the largest wine cellar in western Belize.

It's Not Pint-Sized: Ashford Castle

By: Christopher Roney

Before it became one of the most renowned castle hotels in Europe, the Ashford Castle was the home to the Guinness family, to which all of the beer drinkers among us owe a serious debt of gratitude.  I think I need not explain more, for we all know Guinness's enchanting charm.  Built originally in the 13th century, the estate holds over 350 acres of private land and has played host to the rich and famous, including President Reagan and Pierce Brosnan, who married there.  You could end up feeling just as cool as the agent himself while staying in rooms that combine a preserved 13th century style with all of the modern amenities of top-notch hotels.  Resident Chef Stefan Matz offers four unique dining experiences on the property that make innovative use of traditional Irish fare; you'll be stepping into a world where meat and potatoes are anything but meat-and-potatoes.  A dedicated spa featuring the products and philosophy of Yan Ka, meant to help the skin regain its vital balance and energy.  

Alongside the property lies the second-largest Irish lake, the Lough Corrib, whose idyllic shores offer unparalleled views as well as a number of outdoor activities.  Miles of hiking trails are available through the countryside, and a 9-hole golf course, designed by legend Eddie Hackett, features prominently.  Fishing and hunting are available on the grounds, with Lough Corrib offering some of the best in Ireland during May, June, and July.  Not only that, you can enjoy a jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room alongside your beauty treatments, and then refresh in the crisp lake air on any one of three daily lake tours.  The Ashford Castle is truly one of the jewels of Ireland.

The World’s Best Hotels

By: Oksana Balytsky

Big shout out and thank you to all our loyal blog readers! We certainly love bringing you the latest and greatest luxury travel news, and we appreciate hearing from you via phone, email, or our Facebook and Twitter pages. We realize that every traveler begins his/her journey in the research phase; deciding on where to go, and we certainly get a number of inquiries about the best hotels in certain areas, the most romantic hotels, the best hotels for families, the best all-inclusive resorts, and onward. To help you pick the absolute best hotel that fits your needs and criteria, we would like to draw your attention to our ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab. Here you’ll be directed to lists and lists of phenomenal hotels and resorts in various categories. From the best ski resorts to the best spa resorts, we certainly have you covered. Be sure to check out the various lists for a little inspiration on where to travel next! You want the best, and we certainly want to give it to you!

Photo of the Meridian Club in Turks and Caicos, a luxury hotel on our Best Honeymoon Resorts List

Sip, Spit, and Swirl Freely at the Ritz Carlton Santiago

By: Oksana Balytsky

The Ritz Carlton Santiago, a luxurious property perfectly located in the heart of Chile’s capital has its very own wine-tasting room! This 205-room hotel is within walking distance from beautiful boutique shops and restaurants, and it offers a Mediterranean Restaurant and Wine Bar featuring Chile’s most delectable foods and wines. The health club at the Ritz Carlton Santiago features incredible views of the Andes Mountains and city center, and the rooms are decorated in earth tones and gold in a classic décor style. Enjoy the prominent entertainment and adventure that await by taking advantage of the city as well as the outdoor activities such as skiing, surfing, or hiking the Andes Mountains made available. We certainly realize that a priority of visiting Chile is sampling and enjoying the famous wine produced in the area, and the Ritz Carlton Santiago makes it phenomenally easy and enjoyable in its very own wine tasting room. So swish, sip, and swirl all you like in this semi-private tasting room and enjoy the tastes of Chile at the Ritz Carlton Santiago!

Where Sports Illustrated Models Stayed in Australia

By: Oksana Balytsky

The 2012 Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue was shot in the land down under, and we were certainly curious to find out which luxury hotel the models and their team of beauty experts chose as their home away from home. Before heading to the Great Barrier Reef and Palm Cove, the group made a stop in the beautiful capital, Sydney.

According to HotelChatter, the models checked into the Shangri-La Sydney and later into the Shangri-La Hotel the Marina Cairns. The Shangri-La Sydney is ideally located between the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, offering some of the most spectacular views of the harbor. The Shangri-La Hotel the Marina Cairns is centrally located in Cairns, just a 3 minute walk to the Pier shopping center, restaurants, and bars. It has 255 spacious guest rooms and suites, offering breathtaking views of the Marlin Marina, Trinity Bay, rainforest gardens, or the beautiful hotel pool.

Check out these hotels and other luxury properties in Australia to find your perfect fit!


Extraordinary Guest Chef at the St. Regis Aspen Resort

By: Oksana Balytsky

The St. Regis Aspen Resort, nestled within the mountains in Aspen, Colorado is the perfect place to experience the best of every season. Visit in the winter for some of the best skiing opportunities, or visit in the summer to participate in great summer sports activities and the arts.

This luxury hotel will host Chef Duangporn Songvisavia (Bo) and Chef Dylan Jones from the renowned Herland Thai Restaurant Bo.Lan in Bangkok, Thailand. The chefs will prepare Thai infused cuisine from February 14th – 19th during Apres teas and dinner. During Apres tea, guests can choose from a menu of small plates, and for dinner, guests are treated to a unique pre-fixe menu carefully put together to ensure a well-balanced meal. The dinner menu will feature Thai salad, chili relish, a stir-fried dish, curry, and soup. Holding true to Bo.Lan’s ‘slow food’ philosophy, the foods will feature locally sourced ingredients and produce. The Apres tea menu will be served from from 3 – 6pm in the Shadow Mountain Lounge, and dinner will be served every evening 6 – 10pm in The Restaurant.

Enjoy authentic Thai cuisine without needing to leave the United States! Make your reservations at the St. Regis Aspen Resort and send your taste buds on an adventure!

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa

By: Oksana Balytsky

Hotel Schloss FuschlWe 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.

The May Fair Hotel has Availability for London Olympics!

By: Oksana Balytsky

The majority of luxury hotels in London have been sold out for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but a few have luckily been able to release some rooms back into the system! Check out the following 5-star hotel that currently has availability for various dates ranging from July 27th – August 12th. Be sure to make your reservations as soon as possible; these availabilities won’t last long!

The May Fair Hotel has between 5 to 10 of each room type available. These rooms are subject to 20% Government Tax, and there is a minimum of 3 nights stay required. These are full prepay rates that are non-cancellable.

The May Fair Hotel is a luxury 5-star hotel centrally located in the most fashionable area of Mayfair. It is a 1 minute walk to the Green Park Tube Station and a 3 minute walk to Piccadilly Circus. All of the rooms are a generous size with the standard king room starting at 350 square feet, making the May Fair Hotel’s rooms some of the largest in London. A few key features of this hotel are that it offers complimentary wireless internet access, a private theater, and a luxurious spa.

The May Fair Hotel currently has the following room types available:


King Superior

Twin Superior

King Deluxe

Family Room with 2 Queen Beds

Studio Suite

Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation. Make your reservations today to ensure that you’ll be in the heart of the action for the 2012 Summer Olympics!

B(eyond) Africa: Red Carnation from London to Cape Town

By: Christopher Roney

The Red Carnation Hotel collection is widely regarded as one of the best international collections of independent and boutique hotels.  From the currently hotly-contested 41 Hotel to the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, expect to see big things from these hotels this year.  The Twelve Apostles is opening up their newly redesigned spa alongside a series of deluxe beauty products fashioned from African plant extracts such as avocado butter and Ximenia kernel oil.  Look forward to being treated with crystal-infused body oils or a fynbos sugar scrub or other highlights of the B|Africa series at any of Red Carnation's African locations, from the Twelve Apostles to Bushman's Kloof or Durban's The Oyster Box.  The Oyster Box was itself named the Best Luxury Wellness Spa South Africa at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2011.  Capped by an iconic lighthouse and heaping helpings of colonial charm, the Oyster Box is one of South Africa's very best luxury hotels.  

As for the Twelve Apostles, you can enjoy its 55 rooms and 14 suites in any of four secluded wings, connected by open walkways and featuring gorgeous mountain and sea views.  Rooms especially for the business traveler help pull you away from the astounding vistas by offering special lighting in a generous work space and, as it almost goes without saying these days, high speed internet access.  Regardless of what brings you to Cape Town, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is certainly a great place to stay.  And you keep on the lookout for more from Red Carnation Hotels; I know I'm excited to see what they come up with next.

Sydney Festival 2012

By: Oksana Balytsky

The Sydney Festival 2012 is going on until January 29th, and it is surely a festival you don't want to miss! It will host about 80 events featuring over 1,000 entertainers from all over the world, and the performances will include dance, music, theatre, visual arts, cross media, and forums.

The Sydney Festival 2012 is expected to attract more than 1 million visitors and uses more than 25 venues across the city including the University of Sydney, the Sydney Opera House, and various other locations. With so many events and performances going on, there is bound to be something for everyone. Be sure to check out the 23 luxury hotels in Sydney and book your stay to experience the excitement going on in Australia right now!

For more information about the various events, visit