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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.

Heroes in a Half-Shell: Banyan Tree Resorts Saves Turtles


By: Christopher Roney

It's always great when a hotel gives back to the habitat that it draws so much from. Banyan Tree Resorts are paying homage to the beautiful and endangered sea turtle with an awareness campaign around the dwindling habitat for these gentle sea creatures.  Felly the Turtle is leading the charge, and while his knitted form might not be particularly seaworthy, it should definitely help his aquatic brethren.  Banyan tree is honoring the coming of Earth Day in under two weeks and doing their part to preserve the habitats that luxury travelers depend upon so much for their enjoyment.  I'll add my voice to the crowd saying that we really appreciate when hotels recognize that they are a part of a habitat and a community and giving back is a wonderful thing. 

Banyan Tree has resorts all over southeastern Asia and Mexico, and you can learn more about their diverse and luxurious properties here.


Win Free Nights at the Carlyle or the 41 Hotel!


By: Oksana Balytsky

In case you missed your first chance to be entered to win 3 free nights at the 41 Hotel in London or 2 free nights at the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York City, then fear not, because we have a new promotion going on just for you! Simply sign up for our free monthly newsletter, the Informed Traveler, by April 15th, 2012 to automatically be entered to win. The Informed Traveler features articles on the finest luxury hotels worldwide, special offers, and the latest luxury travel news. You love staying at luxury hotels, and we love writing about them, so sign up today and receive the inside scoop on luxury travel, and be entered to win 2 free nights at the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel or 3 free nights at the 41 Hotel! Click here for more details about this promotion, and click here to sign up for the Informed Traveler!  Be sure to check out our Facebook page to view images of both hotels and much more!

Terms and conditions: The prize is subject to availability and the winner may choose either hotel as the prize. (No being selfish here, you gotta pick just one!) No purchase necessary. Contest is open to participants who are at least 18 years old at time of entry. Flights and travel visas are not included, and the prize is based on double occupancy (leave your entourage at home). The prize at the Carlyle entitles the bearer to 1 complimentary Deluxe Room (including tax) for 2 people for 2 nights. All other expenses (food, beverages, service charges) will be charged to the holder’s account. This prize expires on July 31, 2012 and is subject to availability. The Carlyle certificate may be used from July 1, 2012 to July 31, 2012. The prize at the 41 Hotel entitles the bearer to 1 complimentary King Bed Room, including full English breakfast. All other expenses (food, beverages, service charges) to be settled upon departure. The prize is valid until June 30, 2012, and some blackout dates may apply. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Competition closing date is April 15, 2012. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours from notification to respond or the prize will be forfeit. Maybe void in certain locations.


World’s Best City Center Hotels


By: Oksana Balytsky

We’ve covered how to utilize the Five Star Alliance website to its fullest potential (in case you missed that post or would like a refresher, you can access it here), but we’d like to take that a step further and highlight specific aspects of the website to ensure that you get as much out of us as you can. Check in with us for tips on how to find the absolute perfect hotel for your romantic getaway, family vacation, or business trip!

Today we’ll be exploring the ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab a bit further, diving into how to find the best hotel based on a specific city center. Simply click on the ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab, scroll down to the section titled ‘Recommended Luxury Hotels by Category,’ and scan down the list to find the one titled ‘World’s Best City Center Hotels.’ Click on this link, and get ready to find numerous hotels in various cities sorted into various categories that will help you with the decision process. Hoping to explore the best Upper East Side New York City hotels or luxury hotels on the National Mall in Washington, DC, or the best Sydney Harbor hotels? We have all of those lists and many more all easily sorted to make your trip planning experience that much easier and more enjoyable.


The Traveler's Compendium: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die


By: Christopher Roney

Bucket lists.  We've probably all got one, and I can't get over my slightly morbid fascination of the idea of making the list of the things you'd like to live framed around dying.  Maybe it's that the finitude of life creates a sweet sense of urgency that makes experience all the more poignant.  But I'm not here to philosophize; I leave that to the well-bearded among us.  I'm here to tell you about the second edition of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die with the much more uplifting subtitle: A Traveler's Life List.

A coffeetable book if there ever was one, 1,000 Places lays out some of the most unique and gorgeous places the world has to offer. And one of the things about the luxury hotel industry is that we've done a pretty good job of making sure that most of these places have the accommodations for you to experience them.  Heading to the Amalfi Coast? Why not stay at the Palazzo Sasso, which has a breathtaking view of the ocean stretching out from its feet, 350 meters below.  Or perhaps you're interested in Paris.  The Plaza Athenee or Hotel de Crillon have you covered.  It's really quite incredible when you step back to think how easy it is to experience the unique gems this blue-green sphere has to offer.  So pick up your copy of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and pick out your next vacation destination.  We have certainly have some suggestions for you.


Incredible Spring Break Options for Adults


By: Oksana Balytsky

March and April mark the months during which colleges across the U.S. have their spring breaks, but who says you can’t have an incredible spring break now that you’re an adult in the working world? We certainly think that everyone deserves an incredible vacation, and we’ve put together a list of our top 3 luxury hotels perfect for a spring break escape.

JW Marriot Cancun Resort

This luxury hotel is located on the eastern most tip of the Yucatan in Cancun, Mexico. It is one of the most beautiful hotel options in the area, offering 448 exquisitely decorated guest rooms featuring private balconies with stunning views of the clear blue water and sandy beach. The JW Marriot Cancun Resort has an incredible 35,000 square foot, Mayan inspired spa which is rated one of the top spas in Mexico. Take advantage of the snorkeling, shopping, fine dining, and adventure that await you at this incredible resort.

Hilton Bentley

For those hoping to stay on the mainland of the United States, the Hilton Bentley is the perfect option. Located in Miami Beach, Florida, this luxury hotel is an all-suite, world famous beachfront paradise. It’s ideally located a few steps from fine dining options, high end shopping, and the area’s renowned nightlife scene. Its studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and penthouse suites all have been beautifully designed and feature Italian marble floors, stainless steel kitchens and kitchenettes, and incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach.

Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk

For those searching for a luau and lei-filled spring break, we encourage you to check out the Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is located just steps from the white sand beaches, lively entertainment, exclusive boutiques, and phenomenal restaurants. It soars 38 stories high and features 462 incredible guest rooms and suites offering breathtaking views of the Pacific.


How to Use the Five Star Alliance Site to its Fullest Potential


By: Oksana Balytsky

We get a number of inquiries about rates, availability, and amenities, and we thought it would be an excellent idea to quickly run through how our site works so you can gather all of the information you need to make your luxury hotel reservation!

To start, Five Star Alliance is a luxury online travel agency serving over 3,000 of the world’s finest hotels. We are not directly associated with, nor owners of any of the hotels on our site, so it’s easy to compare various properties at the same time without a biased slant. The information available on our site is exactly what our agents see. You’re certainly encouraged and quite able to look up the various details important to you and make your reservation through us on your own! We encourage you to read below to gain familiarity and confidence on using our website to its fullest potential.

If you're just exploring options and not sure where exactly you’d like to go, then we encourage you to click on the ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab and explore our list of the top ski resorts, top spa resorts, top honeymoon hotels, most romantic hotels, and much more. If you are set on visiting a specific area like the Caribbean or Europe but not quite sure on the specifics, then click on the ‘Find a Hotel’ tab and enter the region you’ll be visiting and click ‘Go’ to view hotels in various cities in that region. If you are pretty set on visiting a specific island or city, then we suggest simply typing it into the search bar and clicking that city or island link to compare the various hotels in that area. Once you are on the appropriate page, ready to compare your options, simply enter your dates of travel and click ‘Go.’ You’ll easily be able to scan the list of the hotels and view their availability and rates. Once you find a hotel that interests you, click on the hotel name to view its location, highlights and amenities. If everything fits and that is the hotel you choose, simply click ‘Go’ and explore the various room types available. Select the option that best fits your needs, fill out the booking form with your personal information, and voila! Your reservation will automatically be confirmed and you’ll soon be on your way to an incredible luxury hotel!

Photo of Wheatleigh in Lenox, Massachusetts


The World’s Best Hotels


By: Oksana Balytsky

Big shout out and thank you to all our loyal blog readers! We certainly love bringing you the latest and greatest luxury travel news, and we appreciate hearing from you via phone, email, or our Facebook and Twitter pages. We realize that every traveler begins his/her journey in the research phase; deciding on where to go, and we certainly get a number of inquiries about the best hotels in certain areas, the most romantic hotels, the best hotels for families, the best all-inclusive resorts, and onward. To help you pick the absolute best hotel that fits your needs and criteria, we would like to draw your attention to our ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab. Here you’ll be directed to lists and lists of phenomenal hotels and resorts in various categories. From the best ski resorts to the best spa resorts, we certainly have you covered. Be sure to check out the various lists for a little inspiration on where to travel next! You want the best, and we certainly want to give it to you!

Photo of the Meridian Club in Turks and Caicos, a luxury hotel on our Best Honeymoon Resorts List


Stuck in a Snow Storm: Extend your Stay with Five Star Alliance


By: Oksana Balytsky

Traveling during the snowy, winter months can be extremely unpredictable. We understand that the weather is a powerful force causing flight delays and therefore last minute travel and accommodation changes. Whether you’re hoping to extend your stay at your current hotel or find a new hotel last minute, we at Five Star Alliance will do everything we can to help you find a hotel that has availability and that fits your needs.

With the Midwest currently experiencing heavy snowfall, here are a few of our favorite luxury hotels in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis that have availability for the rest of the week.

Chicago: Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, The Peninsula Chicago, The James Chicago Hotel, Public Chicago

Detroit: The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport, The Henry Autograph Collection, The Townsend Hotel

Milwaukee: Inn on Woodlake, The American Club, InterContinental Milwaukee, The Pfister Hotel Downtown

Minneapolis: W Hotel Minneapolis The Foshay, The Marquette Hotel Minneapolis


Five Star Alliance Free Nights Stay Giveaway!


By: Oksana Balytsky

We are extremely excited to offer a Five Star Alliance Giveaway! We are always looking for ways to give back to our loyal clients, and we couldn’t think of a better way to say ‘thank you’ then by giving away free nights at a few of our favorite luxury hotels. Simply ‘like’ Five Star Alliance on Facebook before March 1st and automatically be entered to win. To make it a bit more of a challenge, we’ve decided to try to hit 5,000 likes by March 1st, 2012, and the sooner we hit that target, the sooner we’ll pick our lucky winner. And the perks of getting involved with Five Star Alliance on Facebook and Twitter certainly won’t end with this contest. We will be offering special offers and promotions, more giveaways, advice from our expert agents, the latest luxury travel news, and much more!

The winner will have the option to choose either 2 free nights at The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York City or 3 free nights at the 41 Hotel in London. The Carlyle prize will entitle the winner and 1 guest to 1 complimentary Deluxe Room for 2 nights. The prize expires on July 31st, 2012, and it is subject to availability. It may be used between January 1, 2012 to April 30, 2012 and July 1, 2012 to July 31, 2012. Please be aware that the expiration date regrettably cannot be extended. All other expenses (food, beverages, service charges) to be settled upon departure. Other terms and conditions may apply. The 41 Hotel prize will entitle the winner and 1 guest to a 3 night stay in a luxurious King Bedded Room, including full English Breakfast. (Any additional charges to be settled on departure). The voucher is valid until June 30th 2012, it’s subject to availability, and some black-out dates may apply. Other terms and conditions may apply. For further contest details, please click here.

To view hotel photos, descriptions, availability, and more, we encourage you to visit the following sites!

Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel >>

The 41 Hotel >>


Romantic Hotels Perfect for Valentine’s Day


By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of the usual dinner and chocolates, consider doing something a little more extravagant and exciting this Valentine’s Day, like planning a surprise getaway to an extremely romantic, luxury hotel! Here are a few of our favorite romantic spots, perfect for a weekend away for you and your loved one.

La Casa Que Canta in Playa la Ropa, Mexico

This hotel appeared in the film When a Man Loves a Woman, and it’s beautifully perched on a cliff surrounded by the sea. The resort features 2 of the most elegant swimming pools, and the freshwater infinity pool is located on a promontory overlooking Zihuatanejo Bay. This hotel offers 10 pool suites, 11 grand suites, and 3 terrace suites facing the ocean, all inspired by the loveliness of Mexican art. Privacy, elegance, and superb hospitality are of the most importance at this luxury resort, ensuring an extremely romantic and peaceful escape.

Auberge Du Soleil in Napa Valley, California

Perfect hotel to soak up the sun, sip a glass of California wine, and enjoy a beautiful California day. The Auberge Du Soleil is terraced down the hillside with breathtaking views of Napa Valley. All of the accommodations feature Mediterranean-inspired décor, and certain guest rooms feature private outdoor terraces for dining and relaxing. This luxury hotel began as a restaurant 25 years ago, and it has remained a culinary vision today. Be sure to visit for a truly amazing and romantic experience.

Halekulani in Honolulu, Hawaii

Halekulani has been welcoming visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. This luxury hotel has earned a reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service, and splendid cuisine. Take a swim in the heated fresh water pool overlooking Waikiki Beach, which has a stunning mosaic of an orchid, comprised of 1.2 million pieces of imported African glass tiles, explore each of Halekulani’s award winning restaurants, and walk to the beautiful beach to watch the romantic sunset.

Check out our list of the top most romantic hotels in the world, or search romantic hotels by city!