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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.

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

January 12, 2009
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

October 27, 2008
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

October 3, 2008
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).


Coming Soon: Treehouses and Infinity Pools at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

September 25, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons SeychellesExcuse us as we wax poetic about the turquoise sea, powdery beaches and infinity-edge plunge pools at the newest Four Seasons Resort. (It's cool and overcast today, and we've got our eye on the Indian Ocean's paradise isles: The Seychelles.) Opening on January 19, 2009, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles will unveil tree-house villas perched on a hillside overlooking the lush coastline. Lifted on stilts in the jungle, the villas boast private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and wooden verandahs where you can relax on a daybed and breathe in the air fragrant with cinnamon trees and frangipani blossoms. Yoga on a hilltop plateau, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, massages in an open-air pavilion... This is barefoot luxury at its finest. Pssst. You can get a fourth night free with the resort's special introductory offer.


Around the World in 80 Ways: The Epic $1 Million Journey from Leading Hotels of the World

September 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Aldwych, LondonWe recently spread the word about the incredible deal-- $19.28 room rates!-- offered by Leading Hotels of the World to celebrate its 80th anniversary. And now it's time to highlight another celebratory package from LHW-though this one is a tad more extravagant. Leading Hotels of the World has created an epic voyage, "Around The World in 80 Ways," to pay homage to both the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards, and their own 80th birthday. The price tag for this amazing, glamorous journey? One million dollars.

Traveling in a private jet all the way, you and a companion will see everything in the world worth seeing and do everything in the world worth doing. Best of all, 10 percent of the USD 1 million price will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the global fight against AIDS. So, with that in mind, we invite you to open your hearts and wallets and get ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.


$19.28 Room Rates with Leading Hotels of the World

September 9, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Hotel Hong KongCelebrate the birth year of Leading Hotels of the World, 1928, with an unbelievable promotion. At 8 am EST on October 1, 2008, LHW will "release a limited number of the world's most-coveted hotel rooms at the unprecedented rate of USD 19.28 per night. For 80 minutes only, registered consumers will be able to secure the celebratory USD 19.28 rate." Participating member hotels include the iconic Langham Hong Kong (pictured), the Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, the Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa in Sedona, Arizona, the Hay-Adams in Washington, DC, the Gran Hotel La Florida in Barcelona, and the Villa La Massa in Florence. Pre-register online today!


Special Opening Offer: Grand Mauritian Resort and Spa, Starwood Luxury Collection

September 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Mauritian Resort and SpaCheck out the first Luxury Collection hotel in the Indian Ocean, the Grand Mauritian Resort and Spa, and take advantage of the opening offer from EUR 350 per night that includes daily breakfast, romantic dinner, exclusive amenities, Champagne and more. Plus, if you reserve two nights, you get the third night for free. Experience an enchanting island getaway nestled between a natural marine park and sugar cane fields, perched on a perfect beach on the northwest coast of Mauritius-- just off the eastern coast of Africa. Facilities include two swimming pools, water sports, kids club, and world-class dining venues celebrating indigenous flavors. Long walks on the beach and snorkeling adventures await... Mauritius is celebrated for its stunning landscape and exciting cultural melting pot; it's little wonder Four Seasons is also opening a luxury hotel there in October.


Travel Trends: Voluntourism, and Give-Back Getaways with Ritz-Carlton Hotels

August 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand CaymanVolunteer tourism, a.k.a "voluntourism," is a growing trend in travel, and more and more travelers are jumping on the bandwagon and planning to volunteer during their vacations. Forbes Traveler sums it up nicely:

There comes a point — generally when you're on your third margarita, sunburned over 60 percent of your body and the kids are screaming in the infinity pool — when you start to wonder if there is more to the whole vacation concept than lying on a beach getting toasted. A way of showing thanks for your own good fortunes, perhaps. You want a chance to contribute more to a local economy than buying overpriced trinkets that neither you nor your friends back home really need.

Ritz-Carlton has taken notice. They've created the Give Back Getaways program- to offer guests a chance to give back to the community with half-day local community experiences, working alongside Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen in a Community Footprints humanitarian or environmental project. All profits from the Give Back Getaways programs are donated to the partner organizations. An example is the Blue Iguana Recovery Program at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, led by naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, where guests assist with the breeding program to help a unique species on the brink of extinction.


Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, and Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York

August 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President WilsonForget "Staycations." The uber-rich continue to globe-trot on private jets and bunk down in swanky pads-- like the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, the world's most expensive at a whopping $52,000 a night. Elite Traveler recently released their list of the "101 Top Hotel/Resort Suites of the Year" in the July/August 2008 issue. Runners-up for priciest suite include the $50,000/night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Attica, Greece, and the $21,000/night Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. In the U.S., the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York has a price tag of $30,000 per night, making it the most expensive suite built in the U.S. Next up? The Chairman Suite at the Palazzo in Vegas ($20,000/night) followed by the Empire Suite at the Carlyle in New York and the Grand Suite at the Grand Wailea Resort (both at $15,000/night). For the full breakdown, click here.


10 Year Anniversary Celebration, Plus 3 Nights for the Price of 2, at The Westcliff, Johannesburg

August 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The WestcliffThe place to stay in Johannesburg is The Westcliff, situated in the city's most exclusive residential suburb on a hilltop with cascading, sculpted gardens. Part of the Orient-Express collection of worldwide travel experiences, The Westcliff recently opened some new Botanica Spa Suites, for guests to experience the ultimate in pampering and relaxation-- like the Jet-lag Energizer massage. With the "Be Our Guest" package, you can get three nights for the price of two, including a full English breakfast served in La Belle Terrasse restaurant. Priced from R6,850 in a Luxury Room. Plus, as part of the hotel's 10 Year Anniversary Celebration, The Westcliff will be hosting a Classical Garden Tea Concert at the Summer Terrace on September 14, 2008, where string quartet as well as a flautist and harpist will play classical chamber music, from Bach to The Beatles, while guests chow down on a traditional Afternoon Tea with a sumptuous spread of scones, chocolate éclairs, cakes and tasty fruit tarts, filled croissants and delicate finger sandwiches.