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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.

Your Own Private Island in Belize: Cayo Espanto


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cayo Espanto

Though hardly new— the exclusive private island of Cayo Espanto has been pampering guests since 1998— the ultra-luxe resort has put Ambergris Cay, Belize on the map. Just eight minutes by boat from the town of San Pedro on Ambergris, Cayo Espanto has developed the best kind of environmentally-friendly luxury resort. The five oceanfront villas are sprawling in size and feature personal plunge pools, private docks, al fresco showers, romantic mosquito netting over the beds, and 180 degree wrap-around views of the Caribbean. Here, lucky guests enjoy the ultimate pampered relaxation: spa services are readily available, chefs prepare personalized gourmet fare with the freshest tropical ingredients, and activities include fly-fishing, boating and conching excursions, scuba diving and snorkeling the second largest barrier reef in the world (including the famous Blue Hole), and sailing to deserted beaches for a gourmet picnic. Though Belize is less than two hours from Miami, its sparkling waters are still largely undiscovered. Enjoy your own private island at Cayo Espanto.


Explore Komodo National Park: Expedition from Amanwana Resort, Indonesia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Komodo Expedition

Amanresorts has devised an incredible expedition to explore Komodo National Park, the World Heritage Site in the magical islands of Indonesia, where guests will be escorted by park rangers to view the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Though the 2006 Komodo Expedition is completely sold out, Amanwana is taking reservations for the 2007 expeditions, to take place between May and October 2007.

The seven-night adventure cruise is an island-hopping adventure to some of the world's most pristine marine environments, colorful dive spots, and beautiful beaches. Guests board the Ikan Gurami-- a traditional 27-meter coastal cruiser romantically reminiscent of the spice trade sailing vessels—which consists of luxurious, air-conditioned teak cabins perfect for a few couples or a family. For the last two nights of the expedition, guests enjoy the resort of Amanwana—a luxury tented wilderness hideaway-- and its nature reserve of Moyo Island. From here, explore the jungle's waterfalls and limestone pools, partake in endless water sports, or indulge in a spa treatment. Starting at $14,150 for an Ocean Tent (one couple.) Includes meals and dives.


Mountain Chic: The New Adara Hotel in Whistler, Canada


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Adara Hotel

In January, Whistler welcomed its first designer boutique hotel: Adara. Situated in the heart of North America's no. 1 ski resort, Adara is located just minutes from the gondola stations for Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, and the Village's best restaurants and nightlife. Whistler welcomes this new and stylish alternative: a modern, urban, sophisticated, and most importantly- fun- boutique hotel. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Adara mixes the best of contemporary design with simple, traditional comforts. The 41 guestrooms and suites, showcasing BC's best contemporary design elements from designers like Niels Bendtsen, Brent Comber, and Erich Ginder, feature wood, stone and other natural materials to reflect the surrounding landscape. The guestrooms—distinguished by four distinctive room configurations of minimalist design—feature spa-like bathrooms, plush beds, "floating" fireplaces, and cutting-edge technology, like iPod-compatible clock radios.


The Newly Renovated Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele, Hawaii, Accepting Reservations


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Lanai

Escape to the private Hawaiian island of Lana'i at the new Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, a gracious retreat situated in the island's dramatic central highlands amidst manicured gardens and Hawaii's incredible natural beauty. After an extensive renovation, the resort will reopen on November 15, 2006. Guests enjoy activities such as horseback riding, hiking and world-class golf on two courses, including the new Greg Norman-designed championship course overlooking mountains, lush greens, and cascading waterfalls in awe-inspiring landscapes. Watersports, and a full service spa, are available at the companion resort, Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay, so pampered guests on Lana'i can experience the best of both worlds: highlands and ocean. Savor peaceful tranquility at the pool, surrounded by rolling hills and landscaped gardens, where Four Seasons poolside services include ice water, Evian spritzes, and chilled towels offered by pool attendants. The 901 square foot fitness center is state-of-the-art, with weight room, spa treatment room, and men's and women's lockers. Now taking ressies.


Go Where the Wild Things Are With the Conrad Centennial Singapore


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Centennial Singapore

Excellent location. Panoramic views of the city and bay from the guest rooms. Superb business facilities and health club. Highly personalized service. The Conrad Centennial Singapore has it all... a luxurious respite for both business and leisure travelers in the heart of the city. And for a limited time, the hotel is offering two fun special offers. With the "Night Safari Weekender" and "Zoo Weekender" packages, receive luxury accommodation, buffet breakfast and a choice of admission to either the Singapore Zoological Garden for 2 people or 2 tickets to the Night Safari, where visitors check out an awesome array of nocturnal wildlife. Guests are also hooked up with complimentary tram rides around the zoological gardens or safari park. Rates for the "Zoo Weekender" offer start at $233 per room per night, and the "Night Safari Weekender" starts at $243 per room per night. Valid alid until December 30, 2006, over weekends only (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Two-night minimum stay required.


Roughing it in Luxury at The Resort at Paws Up, Montana


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Resort at Paws Up

The posh canvas tents at The Resort at Paws Up are more akin to a five-star hotel than camping out. And with the resort's superior five-star amenities, this is the way to experience Montana's epic wilderness in style. Opened in June 2005 on 37,000 acres in Blackfoot Valley, just outside of Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice in this slice of heaven: saddle up and go horseback on the hundreds of miles of trails, take your best shot at the sporting clays course, cast a fly with an expert guide with the best kind of Montana fly-fishing experience, or go swimming in the lake, boating, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, or play a round at the nearby championship golf course. This is the ultimate wilderness adventure playground. After a day enjoying the country, return to a sumptuous in-room spa treatment. Soak up the rustic elegance at Tent City, with featherbeds, fine linens, and all the modern conveniences offered at the resort's other luxury vacation homes, overlooking the grandeur of the Montana wilderness. The Resort at Paws Up offers a truly unique western experience.


Land Rover Golf and Drive Package at Quebec’s Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello

Talk about good drives. Eastern Canada's leading destination resort has devised a fun package where golfers experience an off-road adventure through a nature wonderland of over 65,000 acres. Available until October 17, 2006, starting at CDN 415 a night, the package includes daily buffet breakfast, a two-hour Land Rover off-road lesson, and a round of golf for two on a course designed by legendary golf course architect Stanley Thompson. Two night minimum required. Famed for its rustic elegance, Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is an exceptional resort housed in a stunning red cedar log chateau. The gorgeous surroundings inspire countless recreational activities, including golf, hiking, cross-country skiing, wild bear observation, and hunting and fishing expeditions in the wilderness habitat adjacent to the resort. And the luxurious facilities at the Fairmont—including the stunning indoor heated pool--are heaven on earth.


Colonial Hill Towns in Malaysia and the New Cameron Highlands Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cameron Highlands

The newest member of Small Luxury Hotels is situated 200 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur at the highest point on the Malaysian mainland, 1,500 meters above sea level, surrounded by lush, rolling greenery. Cameron Highlands Resort is a luxurious boutique with 56 rooms and suites overlooking the 18-hole golf course. An elegant colonial design, the resort is located in the state of Pahang, where tea plantations and fields of strawberries create the backdrop of breathtaking scenery. The climate here is cool and refreshing, and visitors enjoy golfing, jungle trekking and exploration of the surrounding plantations. The hotel's Spa Village offers exotic treatments with a focus on the healing and restorative properties of tea.


Fly-Fishing Camp for Women at Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amangani

The creme de la creme of ski resorts is also a heavenly escape during the autumn months, surrounded by the majestic wilderness of the Grand Teton mountains. This is fly fishing country, and Amangani has designed a women's only camp for guests to learn the essential techniques of the sport. From October 8-12, 2006, both beginners and experienced anglers will learn how to "read" the water and think like a fish. Classes are small to ensure close interaction with the instructor, and balance instruction and theory with practice in hunting for rising fish in the region's streams, and on one full-day guided fly-fishing float trip on the Snake River. Three days of instruction include rod fees, written materials, breakfast, lunch, and the use of professional equipment. The four-night offer costs $2,995 for single/double occupancy (one participant), and $3,780 double occupancy (two participants).

After a day on the river, return to the unrivaled luxury at Amangani. Soak in the gorgeous outdoor pool, billowing steam on the cool evenings, and gaze at the awesome surrounding peaks of the Grand Teton mountains. Or relax in the spa, ranked as one of the country's best by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. Amangani's setting—perched on a butte overlooking the mountains-- is extraordinary.


Tour de France for Wimps


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cycling in France

Brought to you by Breakaway Adventures, a South Carolina-based tour company specializing in walking and cycling tours in Europe. Discover the delights of the French countryside along the same route as the Tour de France race participants, but at a much more human pace. (Try 86 miles over the course of a nine-day cycling holiday, instead of 115 miles a day.) Enjoy vineyards, cherry orchards, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance squares, and charming villages. Cycle through country lanes, stop for wine-tasting every day, dine at Michelin-recognized restaurants, and stay in exceptional accommodations. The trip begins in Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region of northeastern France, continues to Germany, and then returns to France. The tour costs $1759-$1855 per person, until September 23.

Via Associated Press