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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.

Calling All Bachelorettes: Win a Trip to Taiwan!

July 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel TaipeiCelebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2011, Taiwan's in the spotlight. Not only that, faithful Bachelorette viewers will get to check out the country's wonders on the next episode of the show. Ashley Herbert will have all kinds of romantic adventures in Taiwain- from riding scooters through the mist-covered mountains to living it up in luxury at The Regent Taipei. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau sponsored the episode scheduled to air on July 11 in order to promote "Asia's best-kept secret." And they've also joined forces with a few other sponsors for a fabulous giveaway contest: fans of the show can win a 5-day trip for two "to live out their own romantic adventures in Taiwan" including two nights in the TaiPan Elite suite at The Regent Taipei. For more details on"The Bachelorette Ultimate Getaway Sweepstakes," check out the website.

Pictured: The W Hotel in Taipei.


Summer Events in Aspen: 20% Off The St. Regis Resort

July 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Resort AspenThink Aspen is just for the snow-lovin' ski bunnies? Think again. Surrounded by stunning mountainous wilderness, this choice Colorado destination is just as happening in the summer months. The Aspen Music Festival runs for eight weeks (through August 21) with concerts and Shakespeare productions. The Aspen Arts Festival takes place on July 23rd and 24th when Wagner Park morphs into an open-air art gallery with over 175 exhibitors showcasing jewelry, pottery, sculpture, glass, ceramics, paintings and prints. August means the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, an intense seven-stage race which will put cyclists in Aspen on August 24, followed by the 2nd Annual Big Aspen BBQ Block Party on August 27th and 28th. The sister event of New York City's acclaimed barbecue block party (hosted by Danny Meyer's Union Square Events), the extravaganza in Aspen will take place at the base of Aspen Mountain, where some of the country's top pit masters will be serving up mouthwatering barbecue. Hot deal: The St. Regis Resort Aspen is offering 20% off their best available rates for guests in residence during one of these spectacular summer events. Available through September 5, 2011.


A Journey Through Cambodia with Raffles Hotels

July 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles Hotel Royal, Phnom PenhIs a trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia on your bucket list? Do it right with a five-day itinerary offered by Raffles Hotels. Indulge in the fabled luxury of two of Asia's finest historic hotels, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap and Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, while experiencing the country's natural attractions and historic sites, like the magnificent UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Along the way, personal butlers will arrange sightseeing and recreational activities (like Khmer cooking lessons, shopping for local crafts, "honey hunting" eco-tours). The inclusions at each hotel are generous. Check 'em out below:

* Complimentary roundtrip airport transfers by luxury limousine

* Daily buffet breakfast for two in the colonial themed restaurants

* Unlimited internet access and round-the-clock Raffles Butler Service

* One High Tea for two

* Two buffet lunches for two at Café Monivong, Phnom Penh, One buffet lunch for two at Café d’Angkor, Siem Reap

* One four course a la carte fine dining dinner for two [excluding beverages] at Restaurant Le Royal, and at Restaurant Le Grand * One 90 minutes Spa treatment (choice of massage or beauty) per person at Raffles Amrita Spa

* An afternoon tour. Choose from: the Royal Palace, National Museum and Russian Market or S21 and Killing Fields memorial in Phnom Penh; and in Siem Reap: additional Temple visits, Tonle Sap Lake (the largest in Southeast Asia), Honey Hunting, a Jeep tour through the country, or an Elephant Safari

Additionally at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, you'll enjoy a tour of Angkor Thom, a sunrise experience at Angkor Wat, and a culinary class with lunch. Rates for the 5-day journey through Cambodia, excluding taxes and service charges, begin from US$6,300 for two guests.


Night Snorkeling at Jalousie Plantation (Soon To Be Called The Tides Sugar Beach)

June 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jalousie Plantation, Saint LuciaBack in 2008, we got giddy over the news that The Tides brand of chic, high-design hotels was planting a flag on the paradise island of Saint Lucia, "the Caribbean's "it" spot of the moment." The Jalousie Plantation is currently undergoing a $100 million makeover project and will be relaunched as The Tides, Sugar Beach in 2012. (The transformation thus far has included the construction of new luxury villas and a first-class spa.) Nestled in 192 lush acres of rainforest and white sand beaches overlooking the sea, The Jalousie Plantation is the only resort on Saint Lucia to offer night snorkeling- an incredible experience that provides an up close look at the nocturnal wonders in the National Marine Reserve beneath the Anse des Pitons.


A Colossal Resort Experience in LA at Terranea

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Terranea Resort, Los AngelesLos Angeles County has never seen the likes of Terranea. Sprawling across 102 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the 582-room resort has it all: from an award-winning, 9-hole golf course (The Links at Terranea) and a full-service spa to three ocean-view pools and eight restaurants. The resort is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific, just across from Catalina Island, and is the site where dozens of Hollywood movies and TV shows were filmed over the years. Just south of the city but worlds away, the Mediterraean-styled estate offers easy access to the natural beauty of the California coast.

Retreat to Terranea for a well-deserved weekend getaway and take advantage of the "Bed & Breakfast" package which includes daily breakfast for two at Catalina Kitchen and the daily resort fee along with your accommodations. Priced from $330 per night. Terranea is also offering the "Stay More, Save More" package that doles out the savings for stays longer than two nights. Stay 3 nights, for example, and get 30% off. Stay 5 nights and receive 35% off. Stay 7 nights or more and get 40% off plus a $250 resort credit to use on any spa, golf or dining adventures you choose. Book and stay by June 30, 2011. Subject to availability.


Explore Arizona's Red Red Country with Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa

May 31, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sedona Rouge Hotel and SpaThe Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa has a sublime setting amidst the dramatic rock formations in Arizona's Red Rock Country. When you bed down at the Sedona Rouge Hotel, you've got this otherworldly scenery at your doorstop; the monoliths Coffeepot, Cathedral and Thunder Mountain are ripe for exploration. The Sedona Rouge gets great reviews for its plush rooms and friendly service, so why not plan a summer adventure today? The hotel has put together two packages for guests to venture into the desert, guaranteed to be awestruck by the area's natural splendor. (After a day of exploration, the resort's luxury spa awaits...)

With the "Broken Arrow Adventure Package," you get to embark on an exhilarating desert tour provided by Sedona Pink Jeep Tours. You also get a $50 dining credit to be used at Reds Restaurant in addition to two nights accommodation in a Deluxe Sedona guest room. Priced from $650 from June 1- August 31, 2011; subject to availability.

The hotel also offers the "Grand Canyon Experience," including two nights accommodation and a $50 dining credit, where guests travel with Pink Jeep Tours to the Grand Canyon's South Rim, lunch at the famous El Tovar restaurant, and stop at the Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Priced from $830 from June 1- August 31, 2011; subject to availability.


Family Scavenger Hunt in the Caribbean: Island Hopping from Westin St. John

May 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin St. John Resort and VillasPlanning a family reunion? Looking for a fun getaway? The Westin St. John Resort & Villas-- nestled on 47 lush acres facing Great Cruz Bay-- has the goods. Not only does the luxury resort offer plenty of beach activities, tennis, and a spa, but it also organizes "Island Hopping Scavenger Hunts" for families to explore the U.S. and British Virgin Islands (with the help of the onsite Boating Butler). The resort partnered with Magic Moments Luxury Excursions and Nauti Nymph Powerboat Rentals, the largest and best known powerboat rental company in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to create this special experience. Learn about the Virgin Islands' geography and marine wildlife while sailing through the crystal clear sea. And let's not forget the fun of competitive comradery. The “Island Hopping Scavenger Hunt” is available for stays booked now through Dec. 31, 2011, and is subject to availability. Rates are dependent on the number of participants and dates of travel.


Vivanta by Taj: Kashmir Gets a Luxury Resort by the Taj Group

May 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Vivanta by Taj, Jammu and KashmirSome of the most breathtaking scenery in the world can be experienced in the volatile region of Jammu and Kashmir. Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces-- the group behind some of the finest five-star hotels in India-- has decided to take a gamble and launch a stunning new resort called Vivanta by Taj. Tourism is on the rise in the area, and Taj is hoping to generate employment and bolster the local economy, while also introducing a magnificent place to visitors. Perched atop Kralsangri Hill overlooking the famous Tulip Garden, the Dal Lake and the Royal Springs golf course, the 89-room resort features meeting facilities, the Jiva spa, and excellent recreational activities: trout fishing, water skiing, day treks into the snow-capped mountains. Vivanta by Taj is itself a new five-star brand, currently comprised of 19 hotels in India and the Indian Ocean region.


The Ultimate Underwater Suite at Conrad Maldives

May 13, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger

Previously, the luxurious Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was known for offering guests the chance to dine in the world's first all-glass, undersea restaurant. But have you ever wanted to know what it's like to sleep with the fishes, but get to wake up in the morning? Now you can with the Conrad's signature under-water Ithaa Restaurant which is giving guests a chance to spend a night under water in the new "Ithaa Suite."

Conrad Maldives Underwater SuiteCelebrating its fifth anniversary, the restaurant, set approximately 16 feet below the Indian Ocean's surface, offers guests a one-of-a-kind dining experience as thousands of fish swim across the 180-degree-arched glass ceiling. Now, the hotel has worked to turn the restaurant into an exclusive suite for two - talk about a room with a view!

Note Bene: The special suite is available for only one night of a guest's stay and arrangements must be made prior to arrival. Available to only one set of guests at a time, the experience comes with a private Champagne dinner and breakfast in bed.

Other Highlights of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: Private double island resort surrounded by white sand beaches and coral reefs; 50 luxurious water villas, 79 exotic beach villas and 21 fabulous spa water villas with private treatment rooms; Deluxe Beach Villas with private plunge pool and garden; Seaplane arrival. Learn more and make reservations: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island


See "The Big 5" in Cape Town with Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

May 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape TownIt's autumn in South Africa, and the days are filled with brilliant sunshine. The off-season is a great time to visit Cape Town for whale-watching and hiking in beautiful surroundings: with Table Mountain National Park on one side and the Atlantic on the other. Indeed, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa has one of the most majestic settings on earth. The award-winning hotel has devised a special seasonal package for guests to discover the handful of "must-see" attractions in Cape Town, popularly referred to as "The Big 5". Here's what's included in the Cape Town Big Five package:

* Three nights in the luxury accommodation of your choice

* Daily Azure Breakfast for two

* A complimentary drink on arrival

* Plus one choice from this list of Big 5 half day tours, each for two people: Transfer to the Victoria & Alfred waterfront, followed by a trip to Robben Island; Tickets to ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, with a Fynbos Picnic and all transfers; Tour of Stellenbosch Winelands to see some of the country’s most highly regarded vineyards; Tour of mountainous Cape Point with spectacular ocean views on all sides; Tour of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.

Or, instead of a half day tour, you can take a spectacular helicopter flip to the Victoria & Alfred waterfront. Priced from R3133 per room per night (incl. VAT) based on two adults sharing a room. Minimum three-night stay applies. Additional nights are priced at the Best Available Rate. This offer is valid until December 19, 2011.