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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.

Family Values at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town

By: Daniel L. Moses

Mount NelsonSouth Africa is a country on the rise, and Cape Town is the crown jewel in the nascent country's accelerated march to economic loftiness. But while business opportunities abound, there is far more to Cape Town than its ripe investor's landscape. In fact with a picturesque coastline full of white-sand beaches, a collection of the continent's finest museums, and even the amusing enticements of the Table Mountain theme park, Cape Town is fast becoming a destination for families. The Mount Nelson Hotel , an award-winning resort set amidst all of Cape Town's enjoyment, is offering a package deal that makes booking your next family vacation a cinch. With accommodation for you and your spouse plus your little ones, full English breakfast, a kids room service menu option, 4 hours of babysitting service, and 4 tickets to Table Mountain, that's a deal that has the whole family in mind. With prices starting at 4,280 Rand per night, it's also a great value. Follow Five Star Alliance on Twitter!

The Sea Shimmers at the Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort in Morocco

By: Daniel L. Moses

Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

The blue waters of the sea shimmer in the afternoon sun, as you stand staring out at the waves. The white sand is soft and inviting, radiating the warmth of the sun under your bare feet. The resort hotel behind you is a picture perfect escape from the outside world filled with delicate luxury and incredible service. Your opportunities for relaxation and/or indulgence are endless: golf, tennis, watersports, the spa, French haute cuisine. It would be understandable if you thought you were standing on the Cote D'Azur in southern France, but when you think back to the sensual colors, sounds, and smells from the vibrant market town you visited you remember that you are in Agadir, Morocco, and staying at the resplendent Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort. The inviting resort, in this most inviting of settings, brings Africa and the Middle East to the shores of the sea, a captivating combination that has drawn visitors for centuries. The Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort is a true oasis on the sea.

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A Whale of a Deal: An Excursion with the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town

By: Daniel L. Moses

Mount Nelson HotelThere are very few hotels that encourage the outburst, "It's a fluke!", but the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, is one of the proud few. That fluke, bursting out of the water and identified by your excited eruption and outstretched arm, is the tail fin of one of earth's most magnificent creatures, the great whale that resides in the roiling waters off the coast of southern Africa. The Mount Nelson Hotel, long amongst the leaders in whale-watching excursions from Africa's most cosmopolitan of cities, is offering a package deal that will entice both return travelers and those new to the southern seas. Packages include accommodation, buffet breakfast, personalized tours with all transfers, boat trip and lunch on board, not to mention the continued excellence of Cape Town's renowned Mount Nelson Hotel. With prices starting at only 6,000 Rand per night for this exciting adventure, the luxury property is certainly no fluke.

Morocco on My Mind: Beaching It at the Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

Got a case of the Mondays? Fuggedaboutit. Here are some pix that will have you "cubicle dreamin'" about some sultry beaches in a land far, far away. The Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort is a bastion of luxury on the sand in Morocco's lush Palm Bay. Facing the ocean, the resort channels the Kasbah look in its exotic-looking architecture (fountains and riads aplenty). At this year-round resort, you can soak up the sun, get wet with some water sports, play golf and tennis, and get pampered in the spa.

Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

Kids Spa Menu at Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mount Nelson HotelHot Chocolate Mousse Wrap, Balancing Facials and Anti-Stress Back Treatments for teens... It even gets better than that. Little ones under the age of 12 can get pampered with the Lavender and Aloe Cinderella Facial and Sparkle Mini Manicure at the Librisa Spa at Cape Town's Mount Nelson Hotel. The Orient-Express property has debuted a Kids Spa Menu, along with treatments for teens. While parents luxuriate in the sparkling spa, housed in three original late Victorian buildings, their kids can also partake in the fun. They'll get special Kiddies Spa Treats, too. We recently reported on this growing trend at luxury hotels and Cape Town's fine urban sanctuary gets props for innovative spa treatments.

Safari in the City: InterContinental Nairobi Frames Lions Against the City Skyline

By: Daniel L. Moses

Nairobi, KenyaNairobi, Kenya is the first major world city to boast its own National Park and game reserve. But Nairobi National Park isn't the only draw of this city of more than 1.5 million residents. With the East African Community creating a free trade zone amongst its member nations, Nairobi is as practical for the business traveler as it is for the safari trekker. Located in the middle of all this activity, is Nairobi's own InterContinental Hotel. Newly renovated in 2007, the long time pillar amongst Nairobi’s lodgings is now taking its place among the elite hotels on the continent. The multi-lingual staff is known for their attention to detail, and delicately cares for the nearly 400 rooms. And for that trip to the Nairobi National Park, they can take care of that too, on arrival or in advance. They might not guarantee a sighting of the elusive black rhino, but they can certainly guarantee a relaxing, comfortable experience throughout. Check out the InterContinental Nairobi's luxury safari packages when booking your African vacation.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Expands into Angola with the InterContinental Luanda

By: Daniel L. Moses

Africa hotelWith a location along the pristine South Atlantic Coast of western Africa, Luanda, the capital of the former Portuguese colony of Angola, is brimming with Old World architecture and culture in a setting that’s decidedly African in temperament. The slow pace of life and temperate climate (the average temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit) may remind some of the islands, yet the emerging business district in central Luanda will likely bring to mind the bustle of Wall Street. Luanda is booming. The opening of the InterContinental chain's newest hotel is timed perfectly to coincide with the rising tide of Luanda's fortunes. The palatial new property is scheduled to open in late 2009 in the leafy Miramar district, home to most of the country’s foreign embassies as well as many of its finest restaurants. With 389 rooms, three restaurants, two bars, an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a fully equipped gym, and more than 1000 square meters of space between its boardrooms and ballrooms, the InterContinental Luanda is certainly primed to take advantage of all that Luanda's future is offering, and then some.

New in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park: The Bilila Lodge Kempinski

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Bilila Lodge KempinskiA new luxury lodge has opened its doors in Serengeti National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, with the President of Tanzania presiding at the official opening ceremony. With an infinity pool overlooking an active waterhole with the plains as a backdrop, the Bilila Lodge Kempinski promises an indulgent experience surrounded by the wonders of the African Bush. The Independent (UK) reports:

The hotel is, without caveats, a five-star experience despite the remote location. That means hot showers, air-conditioning, food and drink to cater to western tastes, super-attentive service and spotless hygiene. The tech facilities (24/7 WiFi for iPhone and crackberry addicts, and dozens of satellite TV channels) are slick enough to be disorienting. It's Africa, Jim – but not as many of us know it.

The hotel's 74 guest rooms are richly decorated with African artwork; some offer private teak decks for game viewing. An array of spa treatments are available at the on-site Anantara spa. Take advantage of a special introductory offer where you can "Stay 3, Pay 2." Available until September 30, 2009.

Travel + Leisure Announces World’s Best Hotels Survey Winners

By: K. Clare Johnson



Bushmans Kloof


Travel + Leisure has just announced the winners of its World’s Best Hotels 2009 survey, and no surprise, many of the top hotels named can be found on Five Star Alliance. In top fifteen alone, favorites include South Africa's Bushmans Kloof (pictured), Singita Sabi Sand , and Twelve Apostles; Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia, India's Oberoi Vanyavilas and Oberoi Udaivilas; Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, Tanzania's Kirawira Camp, and America's own Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. Congrats to all the winners!

Under African Skies: Workshops at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Retreat

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bushmans KloofWe've been known to get lyrical about Bushmans Kloof, the luxurious wilderness retreat in South Africa where you can dine in a natural sandstone amphitheater overlooking erosion-carved cliffs and ravines (pictured). Surrounded by the stunning scenery of a Natural Heritage Site, this ecological oasis offers a unique experience in the outdoors. We just got word about three new packages for the fall season that allow guests to explore the wilderness with dedicated workshops. Try your hand at photography with two leading South African photographers at the "Art of Seeing" photographic workshop, available in late August, or learn about the area's 755 indigenous plant species on field excursions with a member of the Botanical Society. Lastly, the "Stargazing Under Cederberg Skies" package gives lessons with a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.