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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.

Art of Ethiopia at the Sheraton Addis

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton AddisThe Sheraton Addis, A Luxury Collection Hotel, will be hosting the third annual Art of Ethiopia 2010 from August 21- 24. The finest hotel in the Ethiopian capital, the Sheraton Addis sits on a hilltop opposite the National Palace overlooking the city. The free exhibition will showcase nearly 400 works of art from 40 of Ethiopia's leading established artists (and exciting new talent) in the Lalibela Grand Ballroom. Long a patron of Ethiopian art, the hotel also boasts a permanent art collection featuring local artists. In fact, sales of the exhibition catalogue-- prepared by the hotel-- will go to the Sheraton Addis Art Endowment Fund to support art initiatives in Ethiopia.

Booking a stay in Addis Ababa? The hotel is currently running some enticing special offers-- including a package that doles out a fourth night free and a family package that gives 50% off the second room and free meals for the kids.

Pezula Resort, South Africa: The Choice of the French Team for the FIFA World Cup

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa, South AfricaA world-class spa? Check. Gourmet eats? Check. A magnificent setting on the coastline of the Western Cape? The Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa has jaw-dropping views of the Indian Ocean, the Knysna Lagoon, and the Outeniqua Mountains from its 1,000-hectare estate. The French soccer team certainly doesn't compromise when it comes to luxury digs for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. The 1998 champions may be struggling a bit on the field this year, but they're still planning to enjoy the Word Cup challenge (and Pezula's renowned hospitality) while in South Africa this summer. What else will they find at this sparkling resort? A slew of on-site activities to enjoy during their down-time, like tennis, championship golf, hiking through indigenous forest, canoeing along the Noetzie River to a beautiful secluded beach, even an animal "touch farm." And the 78 suites? They're equipped with private balconies or patios, log fireplaces and sumptuous en-suite bathrooms. If les bleus are victorious, they can party at the Champagne & Whisky Bar.

Restaurants in Cape Town for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One&Only Cape Town HotelHeading to South Africa for the sports event of the year? You snagged a room at some prime lodgings in Cape Town (lucky you!), but you may be looking for a few places to grub while in town. You fear there are scant pickings, as summed up in a recent Wall Street Journal article:

People come to Cape Town for its fine beaches and waterfront—they have since the 1600s, when the Dutch established it as a watering stopover for ships trading with the East. They come for the sports: The city will hold eight World Cup matches this June. They come for the history, to see Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent most of his imprisonment. But few visitors come for the food.

Never fear, the article ultimately affirms our faith in the Cape Town dining scene, describing a "spurt of high-caliber restaurants" that has transformed the culinary landscape. Here's a few that are highly recommended:


maze at the One&Only Hotel (yep, this is one of Gordon Ramsay's babies)

Bizerca Bistro


The Grand Cafe & Beach

South Africa on the World Stage: Stay in Luxury (and Get Free Hotel Nights)

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and SpaSouth Africa is the place to be this summer. Topping the list of 2010's hot destinations, South Africa is prepping for the sports event of the year: the 2010 FIFA World Cup which will run from June 11- July 11, 2010. Eager to get your game on? There's still room at the inn at some of the country's finest hotels, including the family-run Red Carnation Collection. In fact, swank hotels like The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, and The Oyster Box are pulling out all the stops to make sure visitors get the most out of their South African getaway. With the "Stay Longer" promotion, you'll get an extra night on the house on all stays between four and seven nights-- a savings up to R4,428! Valid until September 30, 2010, "Stay Longer" is sadly not available on stays between June 11 - July 11, 2010. But you can still take advantage of this offer to extend your stay and discover a rich and diverse destination. Twelve Apostles has an incredible setting overlooking the mountains and Atlantic in Cape Town, while Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is located in a spectacular Natural Heritage Site in the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape, and the recently renovated Oyster Box-- named to the Condé Nast Traveler Hot List 2010-- is located in Umhlanga Rocks near Durban.

The World’s Hottest New Hotels: Travel + Leisure’s New “It List 2010″

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoIt's our favorite time of year. Travel + Leisure has released their "It List 2010" of the 45 best new hotels in the world. The mag's esteemed editors have hand-picked the year's most exciting hotel debuts, to be revealed in the June issue which hits newsstands this month. What's especially cool to see: ten of the properties have room rates of less than $300 per night. Can't wait til May 21st to see the list? We've got the skinny:


Andaz Wall Street+ Bardessono, Yountville, California

+ St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

+ Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

+ Andaz Wall Street, New York, New York*

+ Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York

+ Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

+ Waldorf Astoria, Park City, Utah


+ Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla

+ Gansevoort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

+ W Santiago, Santiago, Chile*

+ Tcherassi Hotel & Spa, Cartagena, Colombia

+ Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

+ Hotel Boca Chica, Acapulco, Mexico*

+ Las Alcobas, Mexico City, Mexico


+ Lime Wood, Hampshire, England*

+ Dean Street Townhouse, London, England*

+ InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, Paris, France

+ La Réserve Ramatuelle, Ramatuelle, France

+ Heidelberg Suites, Heidelberg, Germany

+ Il Salviatino, Fiesole, Italy

+ Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy

+ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy

+ Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy

+ Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

+ Hotel Consolaciόn, Teruel, Spain*

+ Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey*


+ Amanfayun, Hangzhou, China

+ Upper House, Hong Kong, China

+ Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai, China*

+ PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai, China

+ Serai Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India

+ Raas, Jodhpur, India*

+ Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

+ Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay, Philippines

+ Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

+ Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand*

+ Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand


+ Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

+ Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa, Ma’in, Jordan

+ Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon

+ Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles

+ One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Taj Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

+ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Lithgow, Australia

*Property has starting room rates of $300/night, double, or less.

We List the World’s Best Restaurants

By: Ruthanne Terrero

The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010 is the result of an extensive poll of the world’s most celebrated chefs, renowned food critics, leading restaurateurs and well-traveled gourmands – collectively known as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy...

1. Noma, Denmark

+45 3296 3297

2. El Bulli, Spain

+ 34 972 150 457

3. The Fat Duck, UK

+44 (0) 1628 580 333

4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain

+34 972 22 21 57

5. Mugaritz, Spain

+34 943 522 455


6. Osteria Francescana, Italy

+39 (0)59 210 118

7. Alinea, USA

+1 312-867-0110

8. Daniel, USA

+1 212 288 0033

9. Arzak, Spain

+34 943 78456

10. Per Se, United States

+1212 823 9335

11. Le Chateaubriand, France

+33 (0)1 43574595

12. La Colombe, South Africa

+ 27 (0) 21 794 2390

13. Pierre Gagnaire, France

+ 33 01 58 36 12 50

14. Hotel de Ville Switzerland

+41 21 634 0505

15. Le Bernardin, USA

+1 212 554 1515

16. L’Astrance, France

+33 1 40 50 84 40

17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium

+32 (0) 9 383 5848

18. D.O.M., Brazil

+55 11 3088 0761

19. Oud Sluis, Holland

+31 (0) 117-461269

20. Le Calandre, Italy

+39 049 630303

21. Steirereck, Austria

+43 (1) 713 31 68 restaurant

22. Vendome, Germany

+49 (0) 22 04 42 1941

23. Chez Dominique, Finland

+ 358 9 612 7393

24. Les Créations de Narisawa, Japan

+81 (3) 5785 0799

25. Mathias Dahlgren, Sweden

+46 (0) 8 679 35 84

26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, USA

+1 212 254-3500

27. Quay, Australia

+ 61 (2) 9251 5600

28. Iggy’s, Singapore

+65 6732 2234

29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France

+33 1 42 225656

30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland

+41 81 632 10 80

31. Le Quartier Francais, South Africa

+27 21 876 2151

32. The French Laundry, USA

+1 707 944 2380

33. Martin Berasategui, Spain

+34 943 366 471

34. Aqua, Germany

+49 5361 606056

35. Combal Zero, Italy

+39 011 9565225

36. Dal Pescatore, Italy

+39 (0)37 672 3001

37. De Librije, Netherlands

+31 (0)38 4212083

38. Tetsuya’s, Australia

+61 (2)9267 2900

39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore

+65 6338 8585

40. Il Canto, Italy

+39 (0)577 28 81 80

41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee,  France

+33 1 53 67 66 65

42. Oaxen Krog, Sweden

+46 8 8 551 531 05

43. St John, UK

+44 020 7251 0848

44. La Maison Troisgros, France

+33 4 77 71 66 97

45. wd~50, USA

+1 212 477 2900

46. Biko, Mexico

+52 55 5282 0722

47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Germany

+49 7442 4926

48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan

+81 3 3423 8006

49. Hibiscus, UK

+44 020 7629 2999

50. Eleven Madison Park, USA

+1 212 889 090

The World’s Top Hotel Bars

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Artesian Bar, The Langham, LondonWho doesn't love hotel bars? These days they've become destinations in their own right. And present some of the finest opportunities for savoring the local nightlife-- from Tokyo's New York Bar (showcased in the film Lost in Translation) to London's chic Artesian Bar at The Langham (beautifully designed by David Collins Studio). A recent "Top 10" list in Bon Appetit touches on one of our favorite subjects. The magazine picks just 10 spots "offering memorable combinations of sublime cocktails, lovely views, and storied pasts." On the list? Lobby Bar at Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Bar Dos Descasados at Hotel Santa Teresa in Rio, M Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Coburg Bar at The Connaught in London, Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris, The Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Budapest, Hassler Bar at Hotel Hassler Roma, New York Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, O2 Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow and Bascule Whisky, Wine & Cocktail Bar at Cape Grace in Cape Town. For the full article, click here.

The World’s Hottest Hotels: Where to Stay Now

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangiriConde Nast Traveler has released their annual Hot List 2010 "of the newest and most innovative hotels worldwide" and a quick browse is guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Best of all: 42 hotels that made the cut have rooms costing under $250 a night. We were pleased to see a few of our faves make the list. In North America, for example: the Capella Pedregal, Crosby Street Hotel, The Allison, St. Regis Mexico City, Amangiri, The Jefferson, The Betsy, The Elysian, W South Beach, and Viceroy Snowmass...

Room Availability at Luxury Hotels for the South Africa World Cup

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cape Grace Hotel, Cape TownHeading to Cape Town for the 2010 World Cup? Still haven't booked your accommodations? High-end hotels are filling up fast, but we've got the scoop on what's still available. Though Cape Grace Hotel is reportedly 90 percent booked, there are still a few rooms up for the taking. Situated on its own private quay in the heart of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Grace offers 121 newly refashioned guest rooms and a spa with sweeping views of Table Mountain. You can also still nab a room at the five-star Table Bay Hotel on the V & A Waterfront. (Availability is limited; try 7 free rooms as of last week.) Our last recommendation? The swanky new Taj Cape Town located in the downtown area. But act fast, these rooms will be gone in a flash. Related Articles: Now Open in South Africa: The Taj Hotel Cape Town

Top 10 Lists: Family-Friendly Luxury Hotels and Resorts

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

ice skating at Hotel Plaza Athenee

From mini ice-skating rinks (pictured) to cookies & milk in the evenings, luxury hotels definitely get creative when taking care of their pint-sized guests. The world's finest hotels go to extraordinary lengths in the pampering department- whether their clients are 8 or 80 years old. A recent article in Forbes highlights some of the top family-friendly luxury hotels in the world. Who made the cut? The Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris, The Athenaeum in London, the Porto Elounda De Luxe Resort in Crete, the Commune by the Great Wall outside Beijing, Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel, Caneel Bay in St. John, The Ritz-Carlton Cancun, the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Four Seasons Resort Bali, One & Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, Cape Grace in Cape Town, and The Oriental in Bangkok. We'd add Le Meurice to the list (for their Parisian treasure hunt), and Loews Hotels across the U.S. for their innovative kids programs (think dive-in movies in the summer months). Any hotels you'd recommend as note-worthy? Who'd we miss?