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.

Discovering the Kingdom of Bhutan at Uma Paro Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Uma Paro Resort, Bhutan Now is the time to visit the magical kingdom of Bhutan. For centuries closed to outsiders, the country has slowly opened its doors to visitors in recent years. Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Himalaya, Bhutan is a wonderland of pristine landscapes, colorful architecture, and beautiful, enduring cultural traditions. A year of celebration is coming up for Bhutan: the new King will be crowned in Spring 2008 and the coronation of the fifth Dragon King promises to be a grand, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Join in the revelry while staying at Uma Paro, the 29-room five-star boutique opened by COMO Hotels and Resorts in fall 2004. Surrounded by a wild and dramatic topography-- terraced hills, towering, snow-capped peaks, orchard-lined rivers-- Uma Paro is a retreat rich in luxurious comforts, where guests find themselves inspired by the cultural riches of Bhutan.


Caribbean Pirate Adventure at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jumby Bay Make like Johnny Depp and celebrate the outlaw life with the whole family at Jumby Bay. The exclusive resort-- nestled two miles off the coast of Antigua on a picture-perfect private island-- has devised a fantastic adventure of treasure hunts, pirate movies, and pancake parties for a luxe family-fun getaway. Set amidst a paradise of palms and tropical flowers, Jumby Bay is a secluded hideaway accessible only by boat, known worldwide for its world-class amenities and service. Embrace your inner buccaneer with the Pirate Adventure Package, which includes seven nights luxury accommodations in an Oceanview Suite, all meals, the Burger Mania menu (gourmet speciality burgers for lunch), Pirate Movie Night under the stars, Caribbean Beach Party, Private Island Treasure Hunt, Sunday Pancake Party where kids can make their own pancakes, Sorbet from the "Sorbet Butler" who roams the beach with complimentary refreshments, and Turtle Watching on Pasture Bay Beach. Adults will enjoy the sunset cocktail cruise, Nanny Service for six hours, and choice of two 50-minute massages or tennis lessons. Most activities are complimentary: bicycles, tennis, pool, fitness center, croquet, and non-motorized watersports. Rates for the Pirate Adventure Package at Jumby Bay start at $950 per night, for two adults and one child under age 12 sharing a room (additional rates apply for a fourth person). Available through October 31, 2007.


Jewel in the Jungle: Tides Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides Riviera Maya Hidden in the tropical forest on the white sands of the Riviera Maya, the Tides is a 30-villa property that epitomizes barefoot luxury. Located just outside Playa del Carmen, this seaside refuge has been touted as "a sexy, eco-conscious hideaway in the jungle" by Travel and Leisure magazine. Taste the award-winning "Yucatecan Cuisine," take a yoga class overlooking coastal splendor, discover nearby ancient Mayan cities, frolic on the seven miles of white sand beach. Here in paradise, the Tides provides unique services and facilities: Temazcal, the stunning Maya-style sauna right on the beach, a "tropical butler" to deliver iced face towels poolside, and a "dine anywhere, anytime" policy. Leave your cell phones behind (they're not allowed here!) and get ready for some serious relaxation, both in your palapa-roofed villa (decorated with sophisticated simplicity) and the full-service holistic spa. If you book the Barefoot Luxury package, you can enjoy four nights at the Tides Riviera Maya along with a private Mayan cooking class or Tequila and Ceviche tasting. Priced at $2,740, includes a departure amenity.


Summer Resort Credit at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Maldives Since its reopening at the end of 2006, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa has generated quite a buzz. (In a setting this magical-- private coral island surrounded by the turquoise sea-- it's no wonder visitors are swooning.) The resort's palm-thatched pavilions and bungalows rise above the water, or line the white sand, and boast private plunge pools, over-water decks, and outdoor showers. From the infinity edge pool, one of the largest in the Maldives, you can take in the memorable sunsets, when the sky is painted in brilliant shades of color. Aboard the resort's yacht, The Explorer, you can cruise untouched atolls and discover some of the best scuba diving spots in the world. Until September 30, 2007, book a four-night stay and you'll receive a $250 resort credit for use in the fabulous spa and restaurants.


Adventure in Style at Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Matakauri Lodge Get lost in luxury at New Zealand's Matakauri Lodge, just a short distance from the alpine wonderland of Queenstown, the "Adventure Capital of the World." Nestled on the shores of Wakatipu Lake, this luxury lodge is a serene retreat with world-class facilities, including the Spa Pavilion with sauna, hot tub, and two therapy rooms, where guests indulge in an exclusive program of tailor made Holistic therapies with organic products. Adventure-seeking explorers can go bungy jumping, white-water rafting, heli-skiing in the Remarkables mountain range, or jet-boating. Exciting thrills abound. But for those pining for a more restful holiday, there's wine tasting at the local vineyards, strolls through historic Arrowtown, and shopping and dining in Queenstown.


Terelj Hotel and Spa: Mongolia Gets a Five Star Destination Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Terelj Hotel and Spa, Mongolia That's right. The wide, open spaces of Mongolia, birthplace of Genghis Khaan, the "great unifier," are getting a luxury edition. Located just 50 kilometers north of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Terelj Hotel and Spa is situated on the border of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, nestled beneath some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world: spectacular valleys with eroded rock formations, pine-covered mountains and grasslands carpeted with perennial wildflowers and edelweiss. Scheduled for a soft opening in October 2007, the hotel is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, to boot. Originally built as a summer camp for the Soviets, the resort is reminiscent of an 18th century country palace. A mélange of traditional and contemporary elements, the hotel will be adorned with paintings and sculptures commissioned by Mongolian artists. Discerning travelers will appreciate the comfortable facilities: 52 luxurious suites, a selection of restaurants, a pool pavilion, spa, conference facilities, and a wedding garden. A highlight will be the overnight excursions to the Terelj Camp where guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and cuisine.

Photo Via MSNBC


Judy Krupp Yoga Retreat at Uma Ubud, Bali


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Yoga Retreat at Uma Ubud From September 9-15, 2007, Judy Krupp will be hosting a five-day Yoga retreat for all levels at Uma Ubud, the five-star Bali resort dedicated to spiritual well-being. Expect an holistic, cultural adventure at Uma Ubud, highlighted by Asian-inspired therapies and local, organic cuisine. With Judy's Yoga Retreat, five hours of daily practice are complemented by Uma Ubud's substantial wellness facilities and activities program. Currently based at The Yoga Room in Sydney, Judy has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, and frequently runs workshops within Australia and internationally. Prices start from $2,160 (single) or $1,760 (double). Enjoy six nights accommodation in a Terrace or Garden Room, five hours of daily instruction, private return airport transfers, daily brunch on yoga days, and welcome and farewell dinner.


Next Stop: Eagles Palace, Halkidiki, Greece


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eagles Palace Beneath the shadow of mythical Mount Athos in northern Greece, next to the deep blue sea, Eagles Palace commands a premier seaside position near the ancient town of Ouranpolis. Set in lush gardens, the five-star hotel offers luxurious rooms, suites, or self-contained bungalows with private pools. Terraces look out over the secluded private beach of golden sand and the clear water of the Sigiticos Gulf. Facilities include the indulgent spa, three dining options, swimming pools, tennis court, water sports and the diving center. The hotel has distinguished itself with its outstanding projects for sustainable development and responsible tourism and was awarded the 2007 Caring Award from Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Well-integrated into the local community, the hotel has sponsored myriad projects: guests can dine in local homes, fishing trips are organized with the region's fisherman, beach clean-up days and environmental projects inform both guests and the local community about important issues.


What’s Hot: Vigilius Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Vigilius Mountain Resort Situated in Italy's South Tyrol region, wedged between the Alps and the Dolomites just 30 miles from the Austrain border, Vigilius Mountain Resort is a contemporary design hotel only accessible by cable car. At 1,500 meters above everyday life, Vigilius is an exciting and exclusive haven. Constructed with local materials of larch wood, glass, and a grass roof, the design is minimalist and modern, but blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. It was named to Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List in 2004, but this "luxury playground for adults" still gets lots of buzz. There's a screening room, two excellent restaurants, cutting-edge spa, and swimming pool with stunning panoramic views. Not to mention the wealth of activities right out your back door-- from hiking, skiing, and paragliding to wine-tasting and village-hopping.


Four Seasons Tented Camp: Elephant Adoption in the Golden Triangle, Thailand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Elephants at Four Seasons Tented Camp, Thailand When Four Seasons opened its luxury camp in Thailand's Golden Triangle, it launched a new travel trend for adventure-seekers to "rough it" without denying the creature comforts. Five-star tents, like tree houses, are outfitted with teak wood floors, hand-hammered copper tubs, outdoor rain showers, and sundecks with day beds. Guests discover the mysteries of the Golden Triangle-- the region wedged between northern Thailand, Burma and Laos-- on three or four-night adventures: elephant-trekking through the tropical jungle, hiking mountain trails, venturing out on river excursions down the mighty Mekong, discovering the cultures of the hill tribes. But perhaps the best part of the experience is the elephant rescue program. The six elephants at the Four Seasons Golden Triangle were rescued from city streets and now play an important role at the camp. Guests have the opportunity to help by making donations to the elephant adoption program.