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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.

Banyan Tree Ringha, China’s Shangri-La Country

February 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Ringha Named Tatler Hotel of the Year 2007, Banyan Tree Ringha is set in the stunning, mountainous country which inspired the author of Lost Horizon to describe the remote, peaceful paradise of Shangri-La. The rugged landscape is mythical: snow-capped mountains towering over wide, open valleys. Designated the official "Shangri-La" by the Chinese government, this region of Yunnan province is part of Greater Tibet both historically and culturally. Here, 3,200 meters above sea level, Banyan Tree Ringha is a magical resort which reflects the local Tibetan culture. Crafted from traditional Tibetan farmhouses, the 32 spacious lodges and suites feature intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies with awe-inspiring views. Embark on a trek with a local guide through the Tibetan Mountains to crystalline lakes, deep canyons, mystical plateaus, and divine mountain peaks. At the end of the day, return to the heavenly spa and unwind in serene, luxurious comfort.


Silverjet: The First Carbon Neutral Airline

February 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Silverjet That's right. The low-fare luxury airline, which offers exclusive, premium class service between London and Newark, is environmentally friendly. The UK-based carrier builds carbon offsetting into the price of every ticket. This mandatory carbon offset contribution is invested by the airline's climate consultancy partner, The CarbonNeutral Company, to ensure that every tonne of CO2 associated with your flight is matched by one tonne saved through climate friendly projects around the world. Examples of projects supported by Silverjet to neutralize its carbon impact are:

Jamaican energy efficient project- subsidises the cost of energy efficient lightbulbs to encourage use. Benefits to the island include less dependence on depleted oil reserves and less power cuts, which in turn promotes the prime industry- tourism. New Zealand wind farm- one of the few gold standard carbon offset projects worldwide, this provides an alternative to non-sustainable power sources. US methane- methane is 23 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and it leaks from many disused mines. This project captures methane and 'flares' it which converts methane into CO2.

Wow. Now if only the other airlines would follow Silverjet's example.

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Terrapass


What’s Hot: Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Quepos, Costa Rica

February 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gaia Hotel and ReserveCongratulations to Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Costa Rica's luxurious hideaway, for winning a prestigious award from Conde Nast Johansens. The international luxury travel guide recently named Gaia "Most Excellent Hotel" for the entire Central America and Mexico region. This fabulous, eco-friendly hotel deserves some serious props. Nestled in the gorgeous coastal forests near Manuel Antonio National Park, the hotel's beautiful suites feature wrap-around views of the lush tropical surroundings. (You can even appreciate the sensational vistas while soaking in your own Jacuzzi.) This is an exotic setting without compare. Dedicated to the preservation of the pristine nature preserve surrounding the property, Gaia offers sublime luxury and a chic ambience. Conveniences include full-service spa, al fresco dining room, three-tiered infinity-edge pool, gym, restaurant, private butler service, and 24/7 room service.


A New Personal Favorite

February 22, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Grand Regina Alpin Well&Fit Hotel is located at the foot of the famous Eiger and Jungfrau mountains, and is renowned as the winter and summer resort of Grindelwald.

Grand Regina Alpin Hotel

Highlights include - Whirlpool, Sauna, Steam Baths, Beauty Salon, Fitness Center, Massages, solarium with light therapies and oxygen bar, heated indoor and outdoor pools - and that's only in the Alpin Well&Fit Club. Hiking, mountaineering, tennis courts, golf driving range, all winter sports, and an 18-hole golf course are nearby.

But the reason it's a new favorite of mine? It treats each and every guest like royalty - no matter what and no matter which staff member you deal with. Just don't forget to request a "Eiger north face" view room - all of the rooms have mountain views, but the Eiger is definitly the best one - if you can get it.

Check out further details and photos for the Grand Regina >>


Cruise the Nile in Style Aboard the Oberoi Philae

February 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Oberoi PhilaeDiscover the rich history along the Nile aboard the luxurious river cruiser, the Oberoi Philae. The journey begins in Luxor or Aswan and travels through the dynasties that span thousands of years. Travel in the elegant style of an Old World voyage, savoring delicious cuisine (fine china, crystal, and white tablecloths, galore), impeccable service, and excellent recreational facilities. The ambience of the Oberoi Philae is extraordinary: teak paneling, parquet floors, European antiques, and Oriental carpets. All cabins and suites are fully equipped to ensure the comfort of guests, distinguished by rich fabrics, beautifully upholstered furniture, and private balconies with sun loungers to enjoy the view. There's even a Lounge Bar open until the wee hours-- for cocktails and dancing.


Banyan Tree Maldives: Sailing in Style Aboard the Turkish Yacht Velaa

February 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Maldives

As if a stay at the Banyan Tree in the Maldives wasn't magical enough. The resort has organized sailing expeditions aboard the Turkish gulet, a 30-meter double-mast yacht named Velaa. Elegantly appointed, the yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests in comfortable mahogany cabins for one-, two-, and three-night adventures to the best dive spots in the North and South Male Atolls of the Maldives archipelago. With five-star service onboard, gourmet cuisine, daily canapés and drinks, and luxurious cabins equipped with LCD TV screens and DVD players, this isn't exactly roughing it. Soak up the sunshine from the ship's deck, picnic on secluded beaches, explore the wonders of the deep, diving with grey reef sharks, eagle rays, barracuda, stonefish and turtles. After your unforgettable journey, return to the luxury of Banyan Tree Maldives for some more pampering.


Vahine Island, French Polynesia: Escape to Paradise

February 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Vahine IslandThe sky's grey; the weather calls for an ominous-sounding "wintry mix." Now is the time to daydream of sunnier climes, and plan a winter getaway to the tropics. Here's an idea: your own private island in French Polynesia, a little piece of paradise ranked number one on Conde Nast Traveler's "Top 25 Escapes in the World." Vahine Island, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, is a 10-acre wonderland overlooking Bora Bora, about 40 minutes by plane from Papeete International Airport. Overwater bungalows, white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, coconut groves and lush rainforests, secluded coral reefs with a rainbow of tropical fish. This is paradise on earth, chock full of hedonistic delights, and only enhanced by the marvelous French cuisine. It doesn't get much better than Vahine Island. (As if you needed further goading, check out the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.)


Cuckoo for Cocoa Island’s 2 Bed Villa, Maldives

January 31, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

In our ongoing feature of luxury suites at deluxe hotels worldwide, we present to you: Cocoa Island Maldives

2 Bedroom Villa: Located with direct access to the sea, offering maximum privacy

Size: 300 m2

Room description (images after the jump): The 2 bedroom villa has a king size and twin bedded room with private bathroom featuring double vanity unit, WC, island bath, separate walk in shower, outdoor shower and private terrace with access to the water. The full length windows on three sides flood the room with light. Down to the steps is a walkway to a private Bale (covered tiki hut - 2nd image below) for private dining or relaxing. The private sun deck features loungers and a dining table.

Interior Designer: Kathryn Kng

Rates start at US$ 2090 and go up from there ...

Images after the jump

The Cocoa Island Villas:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Sundeck:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Bedroom:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Living Room:

Cocoa Island Villas

More information on Cocoa Island Maldives ...


Ski the Rockies at The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

January 31, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Resort at Paws Up

Experience Montana's magical wilderness in style at The Resort at Paws Up. The 37,000 acres of Blackfoot Valley surrounding the resort are blanketed in snow: a truly marvelous winter wonderland. Partake in cross-country skiing, high adventure snowmobiling, unrivaled downhill skiing, sleigh riding, ice skating, and even dog sledding amidst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. At this luxurious ranch resort, guests enjoy the western vacation of a lifetime. After a day soaking up the grandeur of the Montana wilderness, head to the hotel's tented Spa Town for a sumptuous body treatment or massage. Then enjoy a delicious feast at the restaurant, crafted from the freshest produce. Surround yourself in rustic elegance in your luxurious guestroom (with five star amenities, of course) and gaze out at the fairytale wintry scenery.


Serious Savings at Cayo Espanto, Ambergris Cay, Belize

January 29, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cayo Espanto

This is almost too good to be true. The exclusive private island of Cayo Espanto, located just eight minutes by boat from Ambergris Cay, Belize, has discounted its rates more than 40 percent for five night stays. For a limited time, take advantage of rates starting from $995 per couple, per night (compared to the usual $1,695 per night), including meals and transportation from the San Pedro Airport. The ultra-luxurious Cayo Espanto pampers guests with spa services, private plunge pools, personalized gourmet meals, and 24-hour butler service. From your own oceanfront villa, enjoy 180 degree wrap-around views of the crystal clear Caribbean Sea. Or contemplate the blue deep from your private dock, or al fresco shower. Activities are plentiful: fly-fishing, sailing, boating, conching, and scuba diving and snorkeling the second largest barrier reef in the world. But hurry, you must book this offer by February 14, 2007.

Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"

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Your Own Private Island in Belize: Cayo Espanto