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.

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

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

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.

Luxury Hotels for the 2012 Olympics in London

By: Oksana Balytsky

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London will take place July 27th – August 12th, and while that seems like a ways away, fans are already making their arrangements to ensure they get to experience the thrill first hand. Don’t get left out of the fun and make your reservation at any of the 95 luxury hotels in London!

A few incredible luxury hotels in London are the Egerton House Hotel, the 41 Hotel, and the Milestone Hotel and Apartments. The Egerton House Hotel is located in the heart of Knightsbridge, and it’s a luxurious boutique with only 30 unique rooms. The 41 Hotel is a discreet, beautiful hotel overlooking the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and it takes pride in offering an outstanding level of personal services. The Milestone Hotel and Apartments overlooks Kensington Palace, and every room is uniquely decorated with luxurious furnishings, fully equipped to fulfill the needs of every traveler.

Most Creative Christmas Tree at Raffles Grand Hotel D’Ankor

By: Oksana Balytsky

The Raffles Grand Hotel D’Ankor is a luxury hotel in Cambodia, and this holiday season, it has a beautifully colorful Christmas tree with silk decorations. Eric Raisina, an internationally acclaimed designer is the mastermind behind this work of art, using the lotus flower as his inspiration for the design. The red and white flowers are all sewn out of Cambodian silk and represent “the cycle of the lotus bloom from bud to blossom and finally withering.” Aside from a beautiful, unique Christmas tree, this luxury hotel will also be having a poolside New Year’s Eve gala complete with a firework display.

The Raffles Grand Hotel D’Ankor is the perfect hotel for those seeking adventure and the good life. The resort’s 60,000 square meter gardens provide an incredible frontage to the hotel. Explore the temples, enjoy the varied and exotic culinary delights, and unwind at the Raffle Amrita Spa. Be sure to see the incredible Christmas tree and the beauty of Cambodia for yourself before the start of the new year!

Photo via HotelChatter

The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #15 The Mount Nelson Hotel

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 #15 spot we have the Mount Nelson Hotel, set at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Quick facts about the Mount Nelson Hotel:

- The most iconic luxury hotel situated within a beautiful garden estate in the heart of Cape Town.

- Located in an urban sanctuary with a romantic heritage, distinctive style, and a commitment to excellent service.

- Small meeting rooms which can accommodate 15, 45, and 60 people.

- Nine acres of enclosed gardens, babysitting services, and various child-friendly tours.

- Located in the midst of wine country, providing guests with ample opportunities to partake in wine tours.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Mount Nelson Hotel.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here is our #16 featured hotel, the Auberge du Soleil.

Availability in Costa Rica for Winter Holidays

By: Oksana Balytsky

Escaping the cold and checking into a luxury beach resort seems to be quite popular amongst our travelers, so we’re making it a bit easier for you to plan your getaway by hi-lighting the hotels with availability at popular spots.

A popular destination this year is Costa Rica. With activities ranging from zip lining, white water rafting, lounging on the beach, and relaxing in the hot springs, it’s no wonder folks are drawn to this country. The 5 star hotels that currently have availability during the last week of December are the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa and the Marriott Los Suenos Resort. The only 4 star hotel with availability is  the Radisson Europa Hotel. Be sure to make your travel plans and reservations before these hotels sell out!

A Heli-Skiing Adventure in the Swiss Alps with Badrutt's Palace Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutt's Palace HotelAdrenaline-loving ski hounds looking for adventure should head over to Europe to brave the snow-covered pistes in the Alps. (Tip for travelers: the dollar-euro exchange rate hasn't looked this good in years.) Head to St. Moritz in Switzerland, long considered the birthplace of alpine tourism, to experience the "Holy Grail" of classic downhill skiing-- with 200 miles of groomed runs in four large skiing areas. Book a stay at Badrutt's Palace Hotel-- known for its glam après-ski scene and exceptional facilities-- and you'll be living large in the lap of luxury. The hotel has organized a fabulous “Heli Adventure” package with a helicopter guide through the white peaks to let passionate skiers make their own tracks in untouched snow. In addition to the exclusive helicopter trip, this package includes a three-night stay with half board and a ski pass for the whole region, as well as a classic relaxation massage to help soothe tired muscles. The package starts at CHF 2,140 (approx $2,338 US) per person for a double room.

Friday Photos: Wouldn't You Rather Be at West Bay Club, Turks and Caicos?

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

West Bay Club

Jill's vacationing in Morroco; John's lounging in the Virgin Islands; Janet's plotting a jaunt to Paris; what about you? Here's a little travel inspiration as the week winds down and we start dreaming of seductive destinations. The Turks and Caicos have the Caribbean charm, white sandy beaches, and turquoise sea that's key for an island vacay, but most importantly: getting there is a breeze. Providenciales International Airport is easily reached from the major East Coast cities (just one hour from Miami; three hours from NYC). Voted the "top beach destination in the world" on TripAdvisor, the tiny island of Providenciales is home to The West Bay Club, where 47 sumptuous, sea-facing suites await you... Launch a Hobie Cat for a sailing adventure or simply kick back by the pool (it's a stunner!). After a tough day soaking up the tropical sun, head to the spa for a massage. It's a tough life at The West Bay Club.

West Bay Club

Exclusive Perks Offered for Five Star Alliance Travelers at the Maroma Resort and Spa

By: Oksana Balytsky

It’s definitely the little things that set good hotels apart from great ones. We at Five Star Alliance understand that an enjoyable stay at a luxury hotel not only depends on the extravagance of a room, but rather the personal touches and the service you receive. That’s why Five Star Alliance is thrilled to make your trip extraordinary by offering exclusive perks at select hotels for Five Star Alliance travelers.

The Maroma Resort and Spa in Mexico is offering extra amenities for a variety of rooms. Check out the ‘Five Star Alliance’ packages and make a reservation for a variety of rooms ranging in size and luxury for two to eight occupants to receive additional perks. All of the ‘Five Star Alliance’ packages offer an upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability), welcome drink upon arrival, full a la carte menus for 2 each morning, one snorkeling trip per person to the second largest reef, and wake up morning coffee service in room. This resort is set beside a white, sandy beach where you can spend days lounging by the calm ocean, diving in mysterious underwater caves, or going on a shopping spree. This resort has it all, and now it has even more to offer!



Peak Season Savings in the Caribbean at Nisbet Plantation on Nevis

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nisbit Plantation Beach Club, NevisThaw out this winter with a warm-weather getaway to a top-rated resort on Nevis. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club-- an intimate hideaway with 36 cottage-style accommodations dotted among 30 palm-filled acres-- is offering high-season savings this January with a 6th night free, daily breakfast, dinner for two, and roundtrip airport transfers. Situated on a pristine white sand shore, Nisbet Plantation is the Caribbean's only historic plantation inn on the beach. A number of amenities are included (like wifi, flip digital video cameras to capture vacation memories, and kayaks and snorkel gear to explore the coral reefs offshore).

The "January Thaw" offer is available from January 3- January 31, 2012 and includes: * A free night on a six-night stay in a spacious cottage-style accommodation for two * Full daily breakfast served ocean side at Coconuts * Daily afternoon tea * Nightly three-course gourmet dinner at the AAA Four Diamond-rated Great House, c. 1778 * Airport transfers from Nevis (NEV) or sister island St. Kitts (SKB).

Package rates begin at $3,350 per couple and are subject to a service charge and government tax. The offer is not combinable with other promotions.