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.

Singita Adds New Digs to Tanzania Offerings


By: Mackenzie Allison

Singita Adds New Digs to Tanzania Offerings

Any traveler familiar with South Africa probably knows the name Singita -- South Africa's premier safari brand. What you might not know is that the company is also causing buzz in another popular African destination, Tanzania. The East African country is home to the 350,000-acre Singita Grumeti Reserves, which is taking on several new developments. What to Expect: The reserve, on the Western corridor of the Serengeti, will soon boast three new suites-- each with their own swimming pool-- at Singita Grumeti's flagship Sasakwa lodge. At Singita Faru Faru lodge, a two-bedroom unit-- with a private pool, as well as two new suites are under construction and are due for completion next month. For extra space, the two-bedroom unit and the two new suites can be booked as a "lodge with a lodge." Not to be left out, plans are also being finalized to increase the number of luxury tents at Singita's Sabora Tented Camp, the third lodge in Grumeti Reserves.

All the Pretty Horses

On the activities side, stables are also being added at Faru Faru to facilitate the introduction of Singita's first overnight horseback safaris, which equestrian enthusiasts can experience in mid 2009. Not at all a petting-zoo-like experience, Singita is offering a four-day, three-night horseback safari for experienced riders.


Four Seasons Resort Seychelles Opens


By: Mackenzie Allison

Seychelles Villa. Photo by Paul ThuysbaertFour Seasons has added to its already extensive list of offerings with the addition of Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. On the Map: The resort in Seychelles, just north of Madagascar, on the main island of Mahé, is positioned on the beach of Petite Anse. I can't wait to check out one of the resort's treehouse villas. These unique digs, along with the suites, rest on stilts and are surrounded by coconut, mango, cinnamon and jackfruit trees. Other nice perks: All villas include infinity-edge plunge pools, open-air showers, glass-walled bathrooms and private outdoor living space, which offer up picture-perfect views of the Indian Ocean. Other top picks include the Four Seasons Private Residences. The rest of the resort doesn't seem too shabby either (think restaurants and lounges; a spa; outdoor swimming pool, which combines four pools in one; a water sports pavilion offering snorkeling, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and boat tours; a fitness center; library; art gallery and Kids for All Seasons Program).


Luxury for Less on an African Safari in Botswana and South Africa: 3 Nights Free with Orient-Express


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Orient Express African SafariLuxury travel experts Orient Express Hotels Trains & Cruises know a thing or two about once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Like their hotels, Orient-Express safaris offer highly personalized, professional service on the trip of a lifetime. We just got wind of an extraordinary deal: Travel on a six-night safari before February 28 and get three nights free at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Priced from $5,490 per person, the "Luxury for Less" package includes travel to three different camps, where you can encounter the real Africa while still enjoying all the creature comforts in the Hemingway-inspired air-conditioned tents.

Orient Express African safari, light aircraftThe journey will begin at the Khwai River Lodge, overlooking the floodplains and beyond into the Moremi Wildlife Reserve-- renowned for its high concentrations of large mammals. Next you'll be flown by light aircraft to Savute Elephant Camp, known as the elephant capital of the world. Eagle Island Camp, set on an island overlooking a lagoon in the Okavango Delta, is the last camp. You'll be treated to a 45-minute helicopter safari on the trip there. This pristine wetland ecosystem is situated in the heart of the Kalahari Desert. At the journey's end, you'll be whisked away for some pampering in Cape Town at the five-star Mount Nelson Hotel, set at the foot of Table Mountain. Your three complimentary nights includes breakfast. When you book this all-inclusive package, you'll also get airport transfers and your very own guidebook and travel wallet.


Ksar Char-Bagh in Marrakech: The World’s Coolest Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ksar Char-BaghFew destinations can beat exotic Marrakech for its opulence (gorgeous palace hotels!), excitement (a stroll through the sultry souk!), and setting (lush gardens of jasmine and orange blossoms set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains). Morocco is definitely on the traveler's radar screen these days, and there's little wonder why. Marrakech is home to a slew of new hotels, but one of the most dazzling in the world is the Ksar Char-Bagh, a marble palace inspired by 14th century Moorish architecture marked by pools and running water throughout the sprawling property. There are tennis courts and heated pools on-site. The library boasts an impressive 1,000 volumes.


Buzzworthy: One and Only Resort Cape Town Opens in April


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cape Town, South AfricaFans of One & Only Resorts, the collection of ultra-luxury properties in enchanting settings around the globe, will be thrilled to learn about One & Only's debut in Cape Town. Slated to open in April 2009, the chic One & Only Cape Town will be situated on the Victoria & Albert Waterfront facing glorious Table Mountain. The official website claims it will "set a new standard of luxury in South Africa creating an oasis of style amidst the vibrant playground of one of the world's most fascinating cities." Of the 150 guest rooms, the largest in Cape Town, rumor has it that two suites will have their own ensuite spa treatment rooms. The Times of London describes the place thusly:

Sol Kerzner, a man who likes to throw a party you can see from space, is opening another of his One&Only hotels on Cape Town's Waterfront in May. Like his latest project, the Atlantis, in Dubai, this will be an excess-all-areas extravaganza — rooms large enough to land a plane in, and not only the first Nobu restaurant in Africa, but also the first Gordon Ramsay.

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Celebrity Honeymoon Watch!

The Atlantis Resort Complex Opens on Dubai's Man-made Palm Island


Celebrity Honeymoon Watch!


By: K. Clare Johnson

Where in the world are Fergie and Josh? Atlantis The Palm The celebrity couple, who married in a star-studded affair earlier in the month, embarked on a honeymoon to destinations unknown. But news reports have spotted the Black-Eyed Peas gone solo singer Fergie (aka Stacey Peterson) and her new hubby actor Josh Duhamel (late of NBC's Casino) in the Maldives at One and Only Kanuhura Resort. Of course, they have also been spotted at Dubai's Atlantis the Palm. No matter where they are, one thing is for sure. They have great taste in luxury hotels.


50 Percent Off Weekend Breaks at Conrad Hotels in Europe and Africa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mount Juliet Conrad2009 is turning out to be a boon for travelers as the tourism industry counters against the drop in consumer spending with some of the best deals we've seen. The big decline in hotel and airline bookings means there are some great travel opportunities out there, and if you have the money to spend now-- if you've been dreaming of that dream vacation-- now's the time to do it. Here's another example of hotels slashing prices: Conrad has announced a special offer where you'll get 50 percent off weekend breaks until the end of August. You must book by January 31, 2009. Participating hotels include the luxurious Conrad Brussels (boasting the most spacious guest rooms in the city), Conrad Cairo (a sophisticated property right on the River Nile), Conrad Dublin (smack dab in the city center), Conrad Istanbul (featuring stunning views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus), and Mount Juliet Conrad (Ireland's grand sporting estate). You'll also get some additional perks: breakfast, late checkout until 6 p.m., and double Hilton HHonors Base points (for stays until April 6th).


Catch the Early Bird Special at Cape Town’s Hotel Le Vendome


By: K. Clare Johnson

Early Bird specials aren't just for seniors at Florida seafood chain restaurants. Luxury South African property Hotel Le Vendome has gotten into the early bird game. Hotel Le Vendome As part of their early bird package running from January 12-March 31, 2009, guests will get a nest-full of treats for their timeliness. The package, which starts from R 2,464, includes a deal where you can "stay 7, pay 5" or "stay 4, pay 3 nights." It also includes complimentary shuttle to Waterfront, City Centre, and Camps Bay beaches every hour on the hour, complimentary use of the business center situated on the first floor, complimentary gym voucher and transport to the closest Virgin Active, complimentary guest parking facility, complimentary ADSL internet connection in all bedrooms, and a complimentary room upgrade to next available room type, subject to availability. Airport transfers can be arranged for an additional fee. We think this early bird special sounds much better than getting a worm.


Kids Fun in the Sun in South Africa at the Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

12 Apostles Hotel and SpaThere are few settings as remarkable as this. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa stands at the very edge of the world, gazing out at breeching whales and playful dolphins in the rolling Atlantic. Table Mountain looms on the coast, just minutes from Cape Town. Now is the perfect time to visit the Southern Hemisphere, and the Twelve Apostles makes it fun for both kids and parents with the "Kids Fun in the Sun" package. The hotel's motto is "No request is too large, no detail too small"-- and this applies to the kids as well. Fancy a bowl of freshly-cooked popcorn while you settle in to the private 16-seater theater? No sweat. With this package, you'll enjoy a luxurious one-bedroom suite facing the sea for four days (three nights) and full English breakfast each day for the whole family. It's easy to roam free on the surrounding beaches, or explore Cape Town with the guide prepared by the hotel. You can also enjoy tickets to the Aquarium at the Waterfront. While Mom and Dad luxuriate in the Sanctuary Spa (voted best spa resort in Africa) and check out the hydrotherapy pools and flotation tank, the kids will be entertained by a professional baby-sitter (3 hours of babysitting is included in the package). The kids will get goodie packs, free in-room movies, plus a basket of toys to play with. Mom will get a survival kit. For a family of four, the package is priced at 5,735 South African Rands ($510 per night).


Luxury Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa at Ngala Private Game Reserve


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ngala Private Game ReserveYou've heard about the incredible safaris in Kruger National Park, the largest wildlife sanctuary in South Africa and home to some of the most diverse wildlife in all of Africa, where herds wander freely across the savanna plains and riverbeds. This is where you can experience Big Five Game viewing, and see some elephants, buffalo, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, hippos, even feline hunters including lions and cheetahs. Stay at the safari lodges at the Ngala Private Game Reserve, the first private safari reserve to be incorporated in Kruger National Park. You can indulge in an extraordinary wildlife safari experience with world-class accommodations in the African bush. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Ngala consists of two properties: the Ngala Lodge (20 thatched chalets overlooking a waterhole) and Ngala Tented Safari Camp (six luxurious, romantic tented suites with ensuite bathrooms and outdoor showers).