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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.

Great Honeymoons: Sandy Lane in Barbados, Royal Livingstone in Zambia, Waldorf=Astoria in NY

February 23, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

Sandy LaneAt Sandy Lane in Barbados be sure to secure a stay in one of the Dolphin Suites for lovebirds; since they offer a separate living area and kitchenette. However, for more space, and bragging rights to boot, the 7,300-square-foot Villa can't be beat. The Digs: This prime pick has its own private entrance and his-and-hers bathrooms, complete with their own dressing rooms; unmatched ocean views present newlyweds with a pretty backdrop while you prepare for a romantic night out on the town. For a cozy night spent in, the Villa also features a private pool with an oversized Jacuzzi. Romantic Touch: The veranda, off the main living room, leads to a gazebo, where you can toast your new union with a private dinner. The resident chef can cater to every whim.

If you are all about the view, we hear that the Seahouse, Turtle and Dolphin wings all lend themselves to postcard-perfect views of the ocean or an awe-inspiring Caribbean sunset. Pampering should be a top priority regardless of the vacation type. Couples can enjoy the Signature Sandy Lane Romance Ritual, which just so happens to be a couples' massage, in the property's 11-treatment-room spa.

For romantic dinners, Bajan Blue, part of the property's recently-unveiled culinary program, features indoor and outdoor dining and a beach bar with sea views. Bajan Blue also includes a wine bar, great for post-dinner drinks. For an ultra-luxurious, off-site dining experience, try The Cliff  with its perched setting and modern cuisine.

For a more exotic take on the honeymoon experience, try The Royal Livingstone Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zambia. All standard rooms offer a balcony or terrace, which have views of the lawn leading down to the Zambezi River, as well as butler service. If you want to celebrate your nuptials with a little more luxury, the three standard suites have a separate living room, and the Presidential Suite is about double the size of a standard room. Presidential Perks: This top suite also has a telescope—perfect for viewing the majestic African landscape—a patio with a table that seats nine, a Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a private veranda. Numbers to Know: We hear that room Nos. 5079 and 5080 have the best views of the sunset, pool, river and the mist off of the falls.

The property's peak period is from February to June, and it encourages bookings to be made as far in advance as possible. For pampering, the property's spa includes treatments on the riverbank at the Zambezi or in the garden gazebo. Top Treatment: Try a traditional Zambian massage, which uses warm towels to relax and soothe the muscles, before beginning a Swedish massage. Adventurous couples can earn bragging rights with friends by taking in a meal at Royal Livingstone's restaurant, where we hear the signature dish is Crocodile Curry. For a luxurious dining experience, dine while riding The Royal Livingstone Express, a recently restored train that glides along Zambia's old railway through the countryside.

If you would rather enjoy a romantic escape with the fast pace of a metropolitan city as the backdrop, look no further than the venerable Waldorf=Astoria in New York. There are several room types that will cater to your every whim; however, the top picks are the Presidential Suite and Royal Suite. We hear that every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover has stayed in these quarters, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The View: Waldorf=Astoria Luxury Suites are spacious corner suites that overlook tony Park Avenue. For expansive views to the eastern part of the city, as well as the Chrysler Building, opt for the Grand and Premier Suites, which are situated in the upper corners of the Waldorf Tower. Another good option is the 42H Suite, which has a living room, dining room and master bedroom.

For the utmost indulgence, head to the Waldorf's spa, which uses products by Guerlain. The most popular treatment is The Waldorf Impériale, a two-hour experience that combines a facial with massage. We hear that Brianne Polack, who specializes in Swedish, deep tissue, pre- and post-natal massages, reflexology and lymphatic drainage, garners the most requests. Foodies can look forward to an evening at either The Bull and Bear Steakhouse or Oscar's American Brasserie. The property also offers open-kitchen dinners in the Waldorf kitchen.


Singita Vacation Part of Oscar Goodie Bag

February 20, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

Not every thespian that attends the 81st Academy Awards ceremony this year will walk away with an Oscar. The 21 lucky nominees in the best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director categories will, however, leave Hollywood's Kodak Theatre with a four-night stay at any one of Singita Game Reserves African safari lodges in Tanzania, South Africa or Zimbabwe. A partnership between the luxe lodgings and Premier Tours, this exclusive vacation, which is part of the nominees' gift baskets, will feature guided safaris, spa treatments and more. Make sure to check out the Academy Awards, which air Sunday, February 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET


Luxury for Less: Abercrombie and Kent Auctions Off Exclusive Luxury Travel Tours

February 18, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Abercrombie and KentYou can save big on Thursday, February 19 starting at 9 am CST when world-renowned luxury travel operator, Abercrombie & Kent, begins auctioning off its "Once in a Lifetime Journeys." Prices will drop every 30 minutes until they reach a final savings of 60 percent off the original price. The offer will expire at 3 pm CST, and departures are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't miss your chance to experience "the vacation of your dreams... at a once-in-lifetime price!" Journeys are listed below:

Abercrombie and Kent safariOnce in a Lifetime Botswana & Zambia: An Independent Itinerary

Witness the drama of predator and prey — along with one of nature's most glorious spectacles, Victoria Falls — on an independent journey through Southern Africa.

Once in a Lifetime Egypt: An Independent Itinerary

Explore the remnants of one of the world’s greatest civilizations on this independent journey in Egypt. View the Pyramids and the Sphinx, see the treasures of Tutankhamun and savor the unique atmosphere of the Nile on a luxurious four-night river cruise.

Once in a Lifetime Kenya: An Independent Itinerary

Enjoy peerless hospitality and unrivaled wildlife viewing in the land of the Maasai on this independent journey.

Once in a Lifetime Spain: An Independent Itinerary

From the days of Muslim influence to the golden age of empire, Spain's past lives on in its incredible monuments and works of art. Experience centuries of history with private expert guides on this incredible independent journey through Spain.

Once in a Lifetime Voyage to Melanesia

This 'Clipper Odyssey' cruise explores the recent past while celebrating long-held native traditions still practiced today. Visit the sites of epic battles that helped secure victory for the Allies in World War II; delight in a traditional Fijian welcome on the island of Yasawa-i-Rara; and witness the Rom Dance, one of the South Pacific's most famous celebrations. Offer valid for cabin category 5 reservations.

Via Paradizo


Singita Adds New Digs to Tanzania Offerings

February 11, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

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

February 10, 2009
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

January 28, 2009
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

January 20, 2009
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

January 19, 2009
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.

Related Articles:

Celebrity Honeymoon Watch!

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


Celebrity Honeymoon Watch!

January 16, 2009
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

January 15, 2009
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).