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.

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.

Fourth Night Free at the Sheraton Addis: African Elegance in Ethiopia

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton AddisOn business in Addis Ababa? Check into the Sheraton Addis, the finest hotel in the Ethiopian capital, and you'll get a fourth night for free (for arrivals Wednesday-Saturday). The first hotel in Africa to join Starwood's Luxury Collection, the Sheraton Addis is situated on a hilltop opposite the National Palace. Business travelers appreciate the professional services (think computer rentals and translation assistance) and the largest conference facilities in Ethiopia. But the leisure amenities are no less grand. Sprawling across the hotel grounds, the Aqva Club boasts massage services, sauna and jacuzzi, outdoor swimming pools with underwater music. Unwind in your deluxe guest room with its fine linens and deluxe bath amenities; personal butler service is available to take care of all manner of requests.

Discover Morocco’s Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel

By: K. Clare Johnson

Dar Ayniwen

Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel in Marrakech takes relaxation to a whole new level. Halfway between a luxury hotel and a family home, the Moroccan property focuses on tranquility, quality and style. Wander in the extensive gardens, swim in the heated swimming pool, or indulge in the traditional hammam (Turkish Bath). A driver is on call to take guests to the center of Marrakech or to one of the nearby golf courses. Then indulge in a meal that fuses fresh ingredients, innovative techniques, and the world of Moroccan gastronomy. Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel has eight suites, so the attention is certain to be personalized and luxurious.

The Auction at La Mamounia: Marrakech Gem Gets Ready for Makeover

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La MamouniaLast week, the legendary Marrakech hotel held an auction to empty its palatian interiors before a long-anticipated redesign by Jacques Garcia. Lucky attendees snagged all kinds of goodies-- from monogrammed tableware to Art Deco furniture. Even the patio's columns were up for bidding. Now that La Mamounia has been emptied, the celebrated designer can work his magic for the hotel's reopening in the fall. La Mamounia has a magical setting in the heart of Marrakech with views of the desert valley and snow-capped peaks of the Atlas mountains. Surrounded by the city's 12th century ramparts, the hotel has 300-year-old gardens tended daily by 40 gardeners.

To the Nines: Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town Celebrates 9/9/2009

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and SpaWe just got word about a cool package being offered by the swanky Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. Perched above the Atlantic and flanked by Table Mountain and The Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, the luxury hotel boasts one of the most dramatic settings on earth. To celebrate the 9th day of the 9th month in 2009, Twelve Apostles is offering a "To the Nines" package for the month of September. Priced from R9,999.00 per person sharing, the three-night stay includes the following:

* Luxury accommodation

* Full English Breakfast daily

* Complimentary early check-in and late departure, dependent on availability

* A bottle of South Africa's best sparkling wine on arrival.

* 5-course dinner in Azure restaurant on two of the three evenings

* A romantic rose petal turndown

* A flight of 9 wines per couple to enjoy with your dinner. (Fresh & Bubbly, Light & Fruity, Richly South African)

* Complimentary movies in the in-house cinema, carefully selected around the theme "9"

* A choice of one of the following spa treatments (per person) in the award-winning Sanctuary Spa: a full body exfoliation, a Moya euphoric milk bath or a 60 minute Swedish massage.

* Complimentary use of the Sanctuary Spa hot jet, cold plunge pools and flotation pools.

* Complimentary scheduled transfer service to Camps Bay and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront between 8 am and 8 pm

Anantara Resorts Say Hello to Morocco

By: K. Clare Johnson

Anantara Resorts Say Hello to MoroccoAnantara Resorts, known for its luxury properties in the Asia-Pacific region (including Anantara Phuket Resort and Spa, pictured), is heading to Africa. The company has announced plans to pair with H Partners, a Morocco-based hospitality investment company, and will open two properties in 2011, with many others planned. Anantara Marrakech Resort & Spa and Anantara Mogador Resort & Spa will both begin construction later this year.

Anantara Marrakech will be constructed within the Atlas Golf Resort on a six-hectare plot. As well as guest rooms and suites in the main building, the resort will feature pool villas that will form part of the hotel with a portion being for sale as residences. Hotel guests will be within 10 minutes of the Djemaa El Fna, the centre of the Marrakech medina and the heart of the labyrinth of alleyways and side streets of this vibrant marketplace. Additionally, guests will have access to the 18-hole Atlas Golf course.

Anantara Mogador will be located in the first phase of an upmarket development adjacent to the historic town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. The resort will include 40 luxuriously appointed guest rooms along with 60 lavish pool villas, both for sale as residences and for rent by the hotel. Tying in elements of local architecture and lush gardens, the resort and spa will evoke a sense of its surroundings and provide guests with unparalleled cultural experiences.

A Free Night and a Chic Picnic in the Park with Sofitel Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Munich BayerpostIt's back. Sofitel Hotels is bringing back the wildly popular "Chic Picnic" offer, so that Sofitel guests worldwide-- whether visiting the Pyramids in Cairo, taking an urban vacay in New York or Chicago, or getting romantic in Rome-- can explore their chosen city and indulge with a sumptuous picnic of local delicacies prepared by the hotel chef. When you book the "Chic Picnic" package, available June 1 - August 31, 2009, you get luxurious accommodations, a guaranteed late check-out, a delicious picnic basket packed to the brim with gastronomic delights (and personalized for each specific city), and-- as an added benefit for those booking before July 5-- a free night for all four-night stays (or two free nights for eight-night stays). At each hotel the staff is on-hand to recommend the perfect spots for guests to enjoy their picnics. So at the stately Sofitel Arc de Triomphe, guests can discover the charms of Paris, either relaxing in the biggest and oldest formal gardens in Paris at the Jardin des Tuileries or unwinding on the lawns at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The Sofitel London St. James is set in the heart of the city, the perfect location to explore London's greatest attractions like the nearby Royal parks: Green Park, St James Park, Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park. The Sofitel Marrakech, designed as a Moorish palace with ochre walls and gorgeous pools, has a prime setting for exploring the city itself-- its gardens, souks, and art-- and the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains beyond. And the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost offers guests the best of Bavaria (beer gardens and majestic castles galore-- including the region's prettiest castle, Nymphenburger Schlosspark, boasting a botanical garden perfect for a picnic).