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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.

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?"

Related Articles:

Your Own Private Island in Belize: Cayo Espanto


Amanbagh’s Shanti Experience: Explore Rajasthan, India

January 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanbagh

Named the "Best Resort" in Travel and Leisure's Second Annual Design Awards (2006), Amanbagh is set within a walled oasis, high in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, India. A contemporary sanctuary, Amanbagh embraces the history of Rajasthan's dramatic frontier with echoes of the region's Moghul architecture. This is the perfect spot to experience firsthand the traditions and culture of mythical Rajasthan. Operated by the world's top luxury hotel group (according to Zagat, anyway), Amanbagh is as opulent and plush as to be expected of Amanresorts's luxury boutique hotels worldwide. Nestled within a lush oasis of palm, eucalyptus and fruit trees, Amanbagh is an architectural delight of domed cupolas, inner courtyards, and fountains, designed in pink marble and sandstone. The resort boasts 24 haveli suites and 16 pool pavilions, a 33 meter swimming pool, 12 meter wading pool, lounge, roof terrace, library, gym, boutique, gallery, and two excellent restaurants. Guests enjoy Yoga sessions and spa treatments including massages, scrubs, facials and healing Ayurvedic remedies. Nearby activities include trekking, boating, horse riding, camel safaris, and cultural tours by jeep to traditional villages, forts, temples and Moghul ruins scattered throughout the surrounding hills and valleys. Experience Amanbagh's mystical aura with a three-night Shanti Experience, which includes elegant accommodations in a haveli suite, a complimentary Indian head or foot massage, and a half-day excursion to the Aravalli Hills. The Shanti Experience starts at $1,440 for a Courtyard Haveli Suite; valid until April 30, 2008. Three night minimum stay required.


Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains: Sir Richard Branson’s Euro-Chic Morocco

January 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kasbah Tamadot

Perched high in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, just 45 minutes from Marrakech, Virgin's latest retreat is the ultimate luxury hideaway. The sumptuous Kasbah Tamadot boasts one of the most dramatic views on earth: soaring mountain peaks above hillside Berber villages and the river valley beneath. The grounds are meticulously landscaped with rose, fruit, and cactus plants, enhanced by courtyards, terraces, and the gorgeous infinity pool. There is a spa, gym, hammam, tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, and acclaimed restaurant with sweeping views. The accommodations are nothing short of magnificent: each room is individually designed with terracotta tiles, patterned rugs, antique doors, and hand painted furniture. The three-bedroom master suite, called "The Studio," is situated away from the main building in its own private haven beyond the rose garden. It is rich in architectural detail, with all the luxurious contemporary conveniences. The lower level has two spacious bedrooms (one with a private pool). There is another bedroom on the upper level with an expansive roof terrace.


Buzzworthy: Villa Camilla, Azuero Peninsula, Panama

January 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa Camilla

Renowned French architect Gilles Saint-Gilles has transformed his bold vision into sublime reality with the beautiful Villa Camilla, which opened on Panama's idyllic Pacific coast in December 2005. "I want to live a refined lifestyle that doesn't compromise my childrens' future,” so says the architect, who has created a luxurious, exclusive retreat in harmony with the spectacular natural surroundings of lush green hills and sparkling Pacific. With a team of European craftsmen, Gilles built on-site workshops to train local artisans who have designed virtually every component of the guesthouse and private homes on-site: teak doors and shutters, bamboo ceilings, terra cotta brick floors, Chiriqui stone walls, and parquet floors patterned from purpleheart wood mixed with French oak wine caskets-- the ultimate mix of the Old World and New. This attention to detail has also been focused on the natural environment, as Gilles' team has restored the Tropical Dry Forest eco-system that originally existed in the province, providing wildlife habitat for the future. Villa Camilla (and its aesthetically magnificent guest rooms) is just one aspect of this elegant oceanside community; it is possible to purchase one of 71 lots and Saint-Gilles will custom-design the home to build on it.


Luxury Eco-Tourism: The Fairmont Green Partnership and World Heritage Alliance

December 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Mayakoba

These days (and it's about time), it's become trendy for hotels to go green. But Fairmont's been at it since 1990. With its award-winning Green Partnership program, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts have led the pack in their dedication to protecting the environment and minimizing the impact of hotel operations. Each of Fairmont's luxury hotels focuses on waste management, water and energy conservation, habitat protection, and community outreach. Fairmont is all about developing sustainable practices for the hospitality industry.

In 2005 Fairmont introduced Eco-Innovations, hotel-based environmental initiatives that encourage partnerships, learning, and guest experiences while addressing a universal environmental issue in a way that hits close to home. For example, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu-- located within a World Biosphere Reserve-- has created the Adopt-A-Beluga Program, to help the threatened St. Lawrence Estuary beluga population.

Recently, Fairmont created a partnership with the World Heritage Alliance, a joint initiative of the United Nations Foundation and Expedia, to promote conservation, sustainable tourism, and economic development for communities located in and around World Heritage sites. This is really good news for threatened sites like Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples. Leading the new partnership will be the Fairmont Mayakoba, a luxurious, eco-friendly resort located on Mexico's Mayan Riviera, which will work with an award-winning local tourism network from the nearby Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. This reserve comprises 1.3 million acres of tropical ecosystems and is home to 23 different archaeological sites of pre-Columbian Mayan culture. Guests of Fairmont Mayakoba will experience this marvelous World Heritage Site with tours that guarantee minimal environmental impact. Sustainable tourism is the way to ensure that sites are protected for the enjoyment of all travelers now and in the future.