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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.

Around the World in 80 Ways: The Epic $1 Million Journey from Leading Hotels of the World

September 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Aldwych, LondonWe recently spread the word about the incredible deal-- $19.28 room rates!-- offered by Leading Hotels of the World to celebrate its 80th anniversary. And now it's time to highlight another celebratory package from LHW-though this one is a tad more extravagant. Leading Hotels of the World has created an epic voyage, "Around The World in 80 Ways," to pay homage to both the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards, and their own 80th birthday. The price tag for this amazing, glamorous journey? One million dollars.

Traveling in a private jet all the way, you and a companion will see everything in the world worth seeing and do everything in the world worth doing. Best of all, 10 percent of the USD 1 million price will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the global fight against AIDS. So, with that in mind, we invite you to open your hearts and wallets and get ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.


$19.28 Room Rates with Leading Hotels of the World

September 9, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Hotel Hong KongCelebrate the birth year of Leading Hotels of the World, 1928, with an unbelievable promotion. At 8 am EST on October 1, 2008, LHW will "release a limited number of the world's most-coveted hotel rooms at the unprecedented rate of USD 19.28 per night. For 80 minutes only, registered consumers will be able to secure the celebratory USD 19.28 rate." Participating member hotels include the iconic Langham Hong Kong (pictured), the Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, the Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa in Sedona, Arizona, the Hay-Adams in Washington, DC, the Gran Hotel La Florida in Barcelona, and the Villa La Massa in Florence. Pre-register online today!


Special Opening Offer: Grand Mauritian Resort and Spa, Starwood Luxury Collection

September 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Mauritian Resort and SpaCheck out the first Luxury Collection hotel in the Indian Ocean, the Grand Mauritian Resort and Spa, and take advantage of the opening offer from EUR 350 per night that includes daily breakfast, romantic dinner, exclusive amenities, Champagne and more. Plus, if you reserve two nights, you get the third night for free. Experience an enchanting island getaway nestled between a natural marine park and sugar cane fields, perched on a perfect beach on the northwest coast of Mauritius-- just off the eastern coast of Africa. Facilities include two swimming pools, water sports, kids club, and world-class dining venues celebrating indigenous flavors. Long walks on the beach and snorkeling adventures await... Mauritius is celebrated for its stunning landscape and exciting cultural melting pot; it's little wonder Four Seasons is also opening a luxury hotel there in October.


Travel Trends: Voluntourism, and Give-Back Getaways with Ritz-Carlton Hotels

August 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand CaymanVolunteer tourism, a.k.a "voluntourism," is a growing trend in travel, and more and more travelers are jumping on the bandwagon and planning to volunteer during their vacations. Forbes Traveler sums it up nicely:

There comes a point — generally when you're on your third margarita, sunburned over 60 percent of your body and the kids are screaming in the infinity pool — when you start to wonder if there is more to the whole vacation concept than lying on a beach getting toasted. A way of showing thanks for your own good fortunes, perhaps. You want a chance to contribute more to a local economy than buying overpriced trinkets that neither you nor your friends back home really need.

Ritz-Carlton has taken notice. They've created the Give Back Getaways program- to offer guests a chance to give back to the community with half-day local community experiences, working alongside Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen in a Community Footprints humanitarian or environmental project. All profits from the Give Back Getaways programs are donated to the partner organizations. An example is the Blue Iguana Recovery Program at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, led by naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, where guests assist with the breeding program to help a unique species on the brink of extinction.


Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, and Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York

August 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President WilsonForget "Staycations." The uber-rich continue to globe-trot on private jets and bunk down in swanky pads-- like the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, the world's most expensive at a whopping $52,000 a night. Elite Traveler recently released their list of the "101 Top Hotel/Resort Suites of the Year" in the July/August 2008 issue. Runners-up for priciest suite include the $50,000/night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Attica, Greece, and the $21,000/night Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. In the U.S., the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York has a price tag of $30,000 per night, making it the most expensive suite built in the U.S. Next up? The Chairman Suite at the Palazzo in Vegas ($20,000/night) followed by the Empire Suite at the Carlyle in New York and the Grand Suite at the Grand Wailea Resort (both at $15,000/night). For the full breakdown, click here.


10 Year Anniversary Celebration, Plus 3 Nights for the Price of 2, at The Westcliff, Johannesburg

August 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The WestcliffThe place to stay in Johannesburg is The Westcliff, situated in the city's most exclusive residential suburb on a hilltop with cascading, sculpted gardens. Part of the Orient-Express collection of worldwide travel experiences, The Westcliff recently opened some new Botanica Spa Suites, for guests to experience the ultimate in pampering and relaxation-- like the Jet-lag Energizer massage. With the "Be Our Guest" package, you can get three nights for the price of two, including a full English breakfast served in La Belle Terrasse restaurant. Priced from R6,850 in a Luxury Room. Plus, as part of the hotel's 10 Year Anniversary Celebration, The Westcliff will be hosting a Classical Garden Tea Concert at the Summer Terrace on September 14, 2008, where string quartet as well as a flautist and harpist will play classical chamber music, from Bach to The Beatles, while guests chow down on a traditional Afternoon Tea with a sumptuous spread of scones, chocolate éclairs, cakes and tasty fruit tarts, filled croissants and delicate finger sandwiches.


The Royal Treatment in Marrakech at L Mansion

July 1, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

L Mansion MarrakechLooking for an opulent, exotic getaway? Though Morocco is very much a travel hot spot these days, L Mansion is off-the-beaten path: 15 minutes outside Marrakech nestled at the base of the Atlas Mountains in a gorgeous park of citrus and olive trees, fragrant with rose, jasmine and orange blossoms. With only seven suites and one 2-bedroom villa, L Mansion offers the utmost in privacy and attentive service. You'll find a hotel fit for a king; the country's best craftsmen created an exquisite palace modeled after the Alhambra in Andalusia, distinguished by zellige mosaics, hand-painted wainscoting, and intricate tile work. Travelers on TripAdvisor can't stop raving about the personal welcome and genuinely warm Moroccan hospitality at L Mansion.


Buzzworthy: Four Seasons Opens Resort on Mauritius

June 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons MauritiusEast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, you'll find an island paradise fringed by the green Bambou mountains and impossibly blue waters. Here on Mauritius, Four Seasons is opening a new resort with an Ernie Els golf course and over-water spa. Nestled in a wilderness preserve, this private sanctuary is the essence of romance, with 123 spacious villas and residences with seamless indoor-outdoor living, plunge pools, and inspiring views in all directions. In fact, the Lagoon Pool Villas and Presidential Suite are located on a private, 11-acre island, Ile aux Chats! But this resort won't be limited to couples seeking romance. There is an extensive children's program at the Hobbit Club, so your kids will be occupied (and having a blast) while you relax on the serene lagoon beaches or indulge with a Mauritian lomi lomi massage at the spa, hovering over the waters of the lagoon. Now confirming reservations for arrival from October 1, 2008.


Summer Oasis in Marrakech: Room Upgrades at Amanjena

June 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmanjenaMorocco has moved onto travelers' radar screens recently, and Marrakech is one of the year's hottest destinations. With its alluring souks, mystical gardens, ancient buildings, and heart-stopping views of the High Atlas Mountains, the fabled city makes for an exciting (and exotic) getaway. The place to stay is Amanjena, the ultra-luxury property from Amanresorts set in an oasis of palm and olive trees. Decorated with Berber carpets and the most sumptuous of furnishings, the 32 rose-colored pavilions have outdoor soaking tubs and private courtyards. There's a gorgeous swimming pool, tennis courts, a gym, spa, and two hammams. It doesn't get much better than this. That is-- unless you snag a deal like this one. From June 15- September 15, 2008, bookings of five nights or more in a Pavilion Bassin at Amanjena will be upgraded to a Pavilion Piscine (with private pool). The Pavilion Bassin goes for $1,000 a night, and the Pavilion Piscine for $1,600-- so this upgrade means some serious savings at Amanjena.


What’s Hot: Onguma Tented and Plains Camp, Namibia

June 2, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Onguma Tented Camp, NamibiaLong before Namibia made headlines as the secret hideaway for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the country was a favorite for in-the-know travelers. The dramatic landscapes, including the red-dune Namib desert, are luring more and more folks to southern Africa, who are delighted by the incredible design hotels on offer. Case in point: the new Onguma Plains Camp, which has been getting a lot of press as one of the hottest hotels of the year. There are only 13 rooms in this fort-like hotel, all with private viewing decks over looking Etosha National Park. The rugged setting of the private 50,000 acre game reserve will take your breath away. To quote the Travel + Leisure "It List":

While the design of most southern African lodges skews toward either safari chic or super-Modernist (Singita), Onguma takes the bush lodge in a bold new direction. All carved antique doors, billowy curtains, and reflecting pools, it's as if a casbah were relocated to the continent's south. The main lodge features brushed-metal sconces, Middle Eastern lanterns, and long mirrors in distressed wooden frames. Two of each guest room's walls are made of canvas; they can be opened to reveal a mesh window that makes the plains look like an Impressionist painting. At night, the resort requires that you zip yourself snugly into your room (which can feel claustrophobic). But it's a safety precaution, since lions roam nearby.