Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

A World Food Marathon at the Andaz Liverpool Street London

April 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Andaz Liverpool Street London is getting hyped and ready for the 2012 Olympics with a World Food Marathon! We can’t think of a better way to welcome fans from all over the world than with international dishes to give folks a taste of something new or a dish to make them feel welcome and right at home. From July 2nd to the 27th, each of Andaz’s restaurants will create a different international dish, drawing inspiration from the staff members’ native countries. The 26 phenomenal dishes will lead up to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, and each staff member worked with the chef to ensure that the recipe was correctly recreated. A few dishes to look forward to include a spicy pork from Korea, golabki from Poland, and Mango Pavlova from Australia. If you plan to be in town for the Olympics, definitely add a visit to the Andaz Liverpool Street London hotel to the list of things to do for a unique and exciting culinary experience!


Super Luxury Awaits at the Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

April 24, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is set on the shore of the Andaman Sea, and it is a hideaway 54 villa boutique hotel that takes luxury to a new level. The Phulay Bay offers its guests the best of all worlds, with stunning views of the towering limestone karsts, sandy beaches, and a national forest with hidden waterfalls. The Phulay Bay is all about enlivening the senses and providing guests with an enriching experience. Prepare to be stimulated by the resort’s own scent, signature drink, traditional Thai music, and stunning scenery both inside the suites and around the resort. Its phenomenal villas offer stunning ocean views, private plunge pools, walk-in closets, cathedral-like bathrooms, and sheltered outdoor baths and showers set among indigenous flora allowing guests to detach from the world. What sets this hotel apart is its exemplary customer service. From arranging a meditation class in a local monastery to elephant trekking to a remote picnic spot, the staff at the Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is willing to assist you in all of your arrangements to make your visit to Thailand simply unforgettable!


A Woodland Wonderland: Trout Point Nova Scotia

April 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a particular soft spot for hotel lodges. Maybe it's my Appalachian heritage or my simple love for all things naturey, but there's a certain charm to a hotel that has but 8 rooms and whose greatest attractions are the wonders that surround it. Traveling there, you feel a natural heartbeat that's stronger and more primal than a city's. For a brief while, you're a part of an ecosystem rather than a society, and that's a wonderful feeling.

The Trout Point Lodge, by virtue of being located in the incredibly diverse region of Nova Scotia, manages to straddle two of these ecosystems, giving you the opportunity to explore both the natural woodland and the nearby sea. Whale watching, sea kayaking, and trails aplenty will greet you upon arrival. In East Kemptville, which is preferable to its far less tidy neighbor, West Scruffytown, you can enjoy the maritime cuisine that the region is famous for. The fresh seafood at Trout Point rivals that found anywhere in the world. Stay in one of their Fireplace Junior Suites to make use of a handcrafted granite fireplace and outdoor porch overlooking the nearby river. The Trout Point Lodge is the wilderness escape we're all dreaming of while stuck at our desks on a lovely spring afternoon.


Big Things Afoot at the Miraval Resort & Spa

April 10, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa is already a wonderful location for a southwestern retreat. In the rugged heart of Arizona, Miraval is the perfect combination of luxury with the outdoors. The Catalina mountains are the perfect backdrop to horseback riding trip through the Sonoran desert. Voted the #1 Resort and Spa by Zagat Survey and readers of Conde Nast, the adult resort couples moments of reflection and relaxation in their award-winning spa with the adventure of the outdoors.  Four outdoor pools, one reserved specifically for Aqua Zen treatments, are the perfect place to wash away the heat of the desert sun.  I have a soft spot for the hard things in life, and there's something about the Miraval Resort and Spa that makes you feel alive. It might be the mixture of adventure and relaxation or the exotic desert beauty, I'm not really sure.  But the feeling of vitality is there in every activity, and it's a glorious feeling indeed.

Not only that, the Miraval is unveiling a new spa in the month of May that will be a wonderful upgrade to the already amazing options, and they're also unveiling new villas on the property.  The Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa was already on our radar, but now the blip is growing brighter and beeping faster and faster and, oh my, it's coming right for us! Take evasive action! 


Hotels with a History: Keswick Hall at Monticello

April 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

This landmark estate is framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers 600 acres in the heart of Keswick, Virginia. No other place combines the equestrian lifestyle, wine making, and American history together quite like this luxury hotel. Keswick Hall is a beautiful mansion surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and home to horse races, hunts, and vineyards. It has its very own Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course and a lavish spa. Enjoy the plethora of activities available on site or nearby including swimming, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, winery tours, with the list going on and on! Located a short drive from Washington DC, make your reservations for a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle and learn the true meaning of rest and relaxation at the Keswick Hall at Monticello!


Experience the Festival of Flowers at the Grand Bohemian Hotel

April 4, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Grand Bohemian Hotel brings boutique comfort to the beautiful town of Asheville, North Carolina. This welcoming, Tudor-style hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village and it’s set among the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel between April 7th and May 20th to take part in the Festival of Flowers. The gardens of the Biltmore Estate come alive with thousands of azaleas, tulips, and other flowers reaching full bloom! The Festival of Flowers is an annual event featuring live music and complimentary garden seminars. Experience the best of spring from the luxurious and art-filled setting of the Grand Bohemian Hotel where exceptional service and gourmet cuisine come together.


Shangri-La Hotel Beijing Participates in Earth Hour Yet Again!

March 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

According to Earthhour.org, 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries turned off their lights for Earth Hour in 2011, sending an impacting message to spark action on climate change. The Shangri-La Hotel Beijing is a proud participant in conserving energy for Earth Hour for the last three years, making 2012 its fourth consecutive participation year! Earth Hour is a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and we’re thrilled to see luxury hotels playing their part in conserving energy!

Tomorrow, March 31st, between 8:00pm and 10:00pm, the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing will stop the turnstiles and escalators, and dim or turn off the lights in public areas, restaurants and bars, shops, guestroom corridors, house areas, and back activity areas. Additionally, this luxury hotel will host an Earth Hour Party at Cloud Nine Bar, serving complimentary cocktails to guests of the hotel who support Earth Day and have turned off the lights in their rooms. According to Christopher Chia, the area general manager of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, “at the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing, environmental protection, energy conservation and the reduction of waste emissions are integral components of our corporate social responsibilities. We hope that our involvement in this event will enhance staff and guest awareness of the need to protect our environment for future generations.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Be sure to check out the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing for Earth Day as well as for your future travels, knowing that you are supporting a hotel that supports our environment!


Love the Hunger Games? Then Be Sure to Visit Asheville!

March 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The big hit movie the Hunger Games was filmed in Asheville, North Carolina, and this southern town is certainly drawing in quite the crowd because of it! The town of Asheville has two 5-star hotels properties and one 4-star hotel. Read on below to explore these luxury hotel options and choose the one that is most suitable for you and your Hunger Games needs!

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa

This is one of the most popular hotels on our site, and it is one of the South’s best loved resorts. It offers beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it overlooks the city of Asheville. The property has a 40,000 square foot spa, a restored golf course, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, child programs, and much more.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville Autograph Collection

This boutique hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village, and it’s set among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Its 104 rooms and suites have personal touches including stone flooring and custom bedding. This hotel has a fine dining restaurant, spa, lounge, and art gallery all easily accessible and readily available. Experience the elegance of the Old World at this charming and rustic boutique hotel.

Biltmore Village Inn

This 4-star hotel is located on top of Reed Hill, above Biltmore Village. It offers a 360 degree view of the mountains and overlooks the Village and Swannanoa River Valley. This charming, small boutique hotel only has 7 rooms in 2 buildings, so you can expect an extremely personal stay.

Explore these hotel options and be sure to visit the beautiful town of Asheville to get an even more personal connection to the Hunger Games!


Sustained Joy: Thanyamundra Organic Resort

March 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I'm an unashamed environmentalist.  I like not being baked like a biscuit by the sun and also not having hurricanes all up on the Gulf stream. So when I hear about a resort that takes natural sustainability and turns it into a luxury activity for rejuvenating the mind, body and soul, it's the perfect hotel for me.  I knew there was a solution to how I could both have nice things and support a growing organic movement, and that solution is the Thanyamundra Organic Resort.  It's the quintessential quiet retreat on an organic farm in Suratthani, Thailand, and the views of the rice paddies and fruit groves are breathtaking and reinvigorating.  With just 7 suites and 2 rooms on the property, you're guaranteed to have a secluded, tailored experience that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the urban lifestyle.  We could all use a few more private moments in our lives, and this is five-star luxury that makes you proud. I love the concept, and I love the execution of the Thanyamundra Organic Resort.


It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Washington, DC

March 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is approaching full bloom here in Washington, DC, and we simply cannot wait for all of the events and activities in store. In 1912, 3,000 cherry blossom trees were given as gifts to Washington, DC from Tokyo, Japan. A century later, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is gearing up for its upcoming festivities, celebrating international companionship and the beauty of nature. This is the 100th anniversary of the cherry blossoms, and the District of Columbia is certainly going all out with its events. Be sure to make your luxury hotel reservations and take part in all of the excitement in our nation’s capital!

The National Cherry Blossom Festival goes from March 20th – April 27th, 2012. A few must-check-out events include the Blossom Kite Festival on March 31st, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 7th, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 14th, and Jazz at the Jefferson on April 19th. For more information on these events, visit the official National Cherry Blossom Festival Events page.

For accommodations, we encourage you to explore the 37 luxury hotels we have in the Washington, DC area. If you’re hoping to be located on or near the National Mall and in the heart of all the action, be sure to take advantage of and explore the list of options available to you here!

Photo courtesy of the NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org