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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.

Luxury Hotels in Bermuda and the Caribbean with December Availability!

By: Oksana Balytsky

The winter holidays are just around the corner, but if you haven’t had a chance to make your travel plans just yet, then keep reading to discover which hotels still have availability in late December!

Escaping the snow and lounging on the beach sounds pretty appealing, making Bermuda and the Caribbean an extremely popular getaway during the holiday season for our luxury travelers. Many hotels are booked solid, but there are still a few left with availability in late December. Be sure to make your reservations soon; these availabilities won’t last long!

Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino in Palm Beach, Aruba

The Reefs in Southampton, Bermuda

                                                                                    Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Hamilton, Bermuda

                                                                                    Fairmont Southampton in Southampton, Bermuda

                                                                                    Pompano Beach Club in Southampton, Bermuda

                                                                                    Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

                                                                                    Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

                                                                                    Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza in San Juan, Puerto Rico

                                                                                    El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

                                                                                    Marigot Bay Hotel in Marigot, St. Lucia, West Indies

Nothing Cheap About It: Cheap Sally's Top Amazing Hotel and Spa Destinations

By: Christopher Roney

It's not every day that an infographic so awesome comes around.  Over at Cheap Sally, an online discount site, their travel experts have aggregated a list of some of the wildest hotel and vacation sites in the US, and it features some of our favorite US properties.  For the whole list, check out the infographic below, but I'd like to highlight some of our favorites.

Long at the top of our list of the Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the world, The Point at Saranac Lake, NY, is so exclusive, you aren't told where exactly on the pristine Adirondack lake it is until you've confirmed your reservation.  Complete with a 3-star Michelin chef and only 11 rooms on the property, you are guaranteed to experience a personalized, secluded stay in one of the world's most elite properties.

In terms of crazy spa treatments, it's hard to top the over 250-gallon Evian bath only available in the penthouse suite of the Hotel Victor on Miami Beach.  This spa treatment costs only slightly less than the suite itself and features a bath of pure Evian water sprinkled with rose petals.

But if you're like me and you like your baths with a little more kick to them, then the Kenwood Inn and Spa vinotherapy treatment is just what you're looking for:  Bathe in wine and grape seed extract to soak your skin in the antioxidant polyphenol which powerfully slows the aging of skin.  You'll come out looking and feeling younger than even a couple glasses of the same wine would make you feel.

There's a just a few of the wonderful and crazy hotels and spas located around the US, and you can some more great examples below.  Make sure to check out Five Star Alliance to book these great destinations or if you're looking for a deal or digital coupon for any of over 11,000 retailers, Cheap Sally is your girl.  

Click for full image.


Infographic courtesy of Cheap Sally

Home, I Have No Home: NYT Examines the Hotel Lifestyle

By: Christopher Roney

Recently the hotel lifestyle got quite the shout-out in the New York Times. Guy Trebay offers an insightful look at the experience of being a frequent traveler and the allure of luxury hotels as well as the simple charm of a roadside motel. It’s part story of a lifetime of travel and part examination of the the at-home feeling of otherness we all feel as strangers temporarily filling up an empty space with our lives. The transience of a hotel room, coupled with the fake familiarity of its wait staff is both welcoming and fleeting, like a summer romance. He gives special mention of a few hotels with which he’s shared the remarkable journey: Claridge’s, Halekulani, the various Raffles hotels, the Grand Hotel d’Angkor. It’s certainly well worth a read – he understands well the mind of the restless traveler, at home in impermanence, on the vacation that is so beautiful precisely because it is stepping out of your life.

New Mondrian Hotel to Open in London

By: Oksana Balytsky

The sixth Mondrian Hotel will be coming to the South Bank of the London Thames River in 2014. This hotel is expected to have 100 more rooms than the Mondrian in New York, and it will be the first Mondrian hotel in Europe. This swanky hotel will reportedly have a restaurant, a ground floor bar, and a rooftop bar. This hotel is expected to bring a new excitement to the already exciting city of London, so keep an eye out for its grand opening in 2014!

Don’t want to wait until 2014? Then we encourage you to check out a few other Mondrian properties including the Mondrian Soho in New York City, the Mondrian South Beach in Miami Beach, and the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood.

Luxury Resorts on the Slopes in the U.S. with Availability in December

By: Oksana Balytsky

We’re pretty excited about ski season, and apparently so are our luxury travelers! A number of hotels are solidly booked for the end of December, but there are still incredible hotels with availability. Be sure to make your arrangements pronto, and you’ll be swishing down the mountain before you know it!

The St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah is located in a private, gated community, and it stands upon the beautifully covered slopes of the Wasatch Mountains. The Snake River Lodge and Spa in Teton Village, Wyoming is located slope-side at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City, Utah is located within the mountainside village of the Canyons, and this all-suite property offers room options for families with easy slope access. The Four Seasons Resort Vail in Vail, Colorado is located high in the Colorado Rockies, and it is consistently ranked among the world’s top ski destinations. The Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colorado offers a unique experience at the base of Aspen Mountain. Last but certainly not least, the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, California, is nestled at the base of Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Looking to go outside the United States and ski new terrain? Then check out our list of the top ski resorts all over the world!

Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

Missoni Fashion and Décor at the Four Seasons Maui

By: Oksana Balytsky

The 22 Knots Boutique in the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea recently partnered with Missoni to offer its full line of Italian décor as well as apparel to the beautiful city of Maui. Lee Ann Sauter, the CEO and Founder of Seaside Luxe states that “the Missoni collection is one we know our customer won’t want to leave the island without.” Two Missoni-inspired Cabanas have been added to the Serenity Pool, providing favorite beach accessories, pillows, blankets, and furnishings. 22 Knots Boutique will have Missoni’s latest collection of swimsuits, skirts, shorts, and accessories perfect for fashionable travelers.

Aside from incredible fashion options at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, Missoni also has two luxurious, 5-star resorts in the United Kingdom and Kuwait. Both of these resorts embrace the Missoni Way of making the world more beautiful and comfortable. The rooms and suites at the Missoni Hotel Edinburgh have a dynamic color scheme, unique patterns, and elegantly apply signature Missoni design notes. All of the rooms and suites at the Hotel Missoni Kuwait have stunning views overlooking the Arabian Gulf Road. The Missoni properties, style, and décor embrace elegance and warmth, and we encourage you to experience what these properties have to offer!

Loews Hotels Prolonging the Thanksgiving Feast

By: Oksana Balytsky

If you, like us, wish that the incredible Thanksgiving feast could last longer than one day, then be sure to check out the following luxury hotels that have embraced the concept of leftovers. The Loews Hotels will offer a turkey sandwich menu addition all week long, and these properties can be found all over the U.S. and Canada. These hotels have found a way to embrace both the Thanksgiving tradition of turkey and a bit of creativity to offer creations such as turkey sushi rolls at the Loews Lake Las Vegas, a Cuban-style sandwich at the Loews Miami Beach, and a trio of sliders with gravy and mustard-cranberry mayonnaise at the Loews Regency in New York. Post-Thanksgiving travels not in the plan this year? Then check out Loews’ Facebook page for a full collection of their recipes and photos of each incredible dish!

Top 10 Spas All Over the World

By: Oksana Balytsky

What do you get when you combine luxury, serenity, and incredibly gifted hands? The best spa resorts, of course! Check out our list of the top 10 luxury spas all over the world, make your reservation for that much needed vacation, and step into a relaxing paradise of mineral baths, facials, saunas, mud masks, massages, and much more.

10. The Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

This peaceful spa is surrounded by forest on the Pacific Ocean, creating the perfect, natural environment with the sound of splashing waves and the smell of the ocean permeating the atmosphere. This spa offers high-quality spa products and its estheticians focus on providing a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

9. Auberge de Soleil, United States

Located in the wine country of San Francisco, this spa is surrounded by private gardens and breathtaking views of Napa Valley. This spa offers the opportunity to partake in relaxing activities for romantic couples or friends of four with access to a private outdoor garden and hot spring. Embrace this spa’s philosophy of nurturing the body and mind while sinking into a peaceful state of relaxation.


8. Banyan Tree, Thailand

This one is considered to be one of Asia’s most spectacular spa resorts. All of this resort’s 123 villas have access to their own garden and an open air sunken bathtub, 52 of its villas have their own Jacuzzi, and 46 have their own private swimming pool. For the ultimate getaway, consider one of 13 villas with access to a private pool, Jacuzzi, private steam, and sauna room, and be sure to sign up for this hotel’s renowned ‘Intimate Moments’ partner massage.

7. The Grove, United Kingdom

The Grove is London’s cosmopolitan country estate, and it offers spa treatments that sooth and stimulate all of your senses. This spa prides itself on offering a total caring experience and ensuring that you escape, relax, and re-energize during your stay. Breathe in the tranquility, breath out the stress, and leave with a little more balance in your life.

6. Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa, United States

This spa is located in a private red rock canyon in Sedona, Arizona-- in what is considered to be one of the most sacred healing places on Earth. World class spa therapists create unique and memorable experiences and offer a variety of specially tailored services, aiming to provide a sense of harmony and health.

5. The Setai, United States

This Miami Beach luxury spa embraces ancient traditions and offers a complete experience with access to three private, sparkling swimming pools. This spa is dedicated to absolute privacy and relaxation, and its treatments will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.

4. Four Seasons Hualalai Kona, United States

This exotic, Hawaiian themed spa integrates tropical gardens and exudes serenity. Its complimentary, pre-spa services include access to the lap pool, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, and cold plunges. The treatment massages can be performed outside amidst beautiful nature and bamboo that naturally bring about a sense of calm.

3. Le Sirenuse, Italy

This spa embraces the ancient philosophy of individualized treatments to reach harmony from the inside out.  Be sure to take advantage of their unique treatment options and enjoy various services made especially for your needs.

2. Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay, Indonesia

Inspired by the surrounding ocean, this resort has eight magnificent treatment rooms and offers suites equipped with outdoor soaking tubs. The spa treatments utilize essences of plants, aromas of healing flowers, and herbs and spices, all blended together to create soothing and rejuvenating recipes for an enhanced experience.

1. Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands

Dramatically located on a cliff’s edge, this spa overlooks the resort and the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Channel below. The indigenous botanical resources along with therapeutic practices make for the most relaxing spa experience. The best part, however, is that this spa is willing to accommodate you in their Cliff Spa Suite, in your room, on the beach, or even under the stars!

Try as we might, we just couldn’t pick one favorite, so we encourage you to share your favorite luxury spa experiences with us on Facebook. Is your favorite spa on our list? Let us know! We love hearing from you.

How to Choose the Best Luxury Hotel when Traveling with Kids

By: Oksana Balytsky

It’s a common misconception that traveling with kids means you cannot stay in 5-star, luxury hotels. While it is true that the industry standard is double occupancy, many luxury hotels are willing to make adjustments and modifications to best accommodate you and your travel companions. In order to choose the best room(s) at the best rate(s), we’ve come up with 5 tips to help you plan your next travel excursion, and ensure an enjoyable trip with kids.

#1: Provide the hotel with details including the number of kids traveling with you as well as their ages. This is to make sure the hotel is prepared for your arrival and has time to make the necessary adjustments to your room. Providing this information will also ensure that the appropriate adjustments are made, and that a crib is not added for the 13-year-old teenager traveling with you.

#2: Many hotels will be able to provide extra bedding for one child, but it is unlikely that they will be able to provide bedding for two or more children in one room. If you’re traveling with another adult and two or more kids, consider booking a suite, but be sure to double check with the hotel to find out how many people the suite sleeps, and make your travel plans from there.

#3: If you are traveling with children that are older, and the hotel of your choice does not have suites that suit your needs, consider reserving 2 rooms and requesting that they be adjacent, adjoining, or connecting rooms.

#4: If you are traveling with children that are younger and two adults, we advise that you book two rooms, request that they be adjacent, adjoining, or connecting rooms, and have one adult stay in each room.

#5: Be flexible, open, and willing to take advice and make adjustments as need be. Please be aware that all requests are simply requests only, and cannot be guaranteed until confirmed with the hotel.

We hope these tips ease the stress of planning your next trip with kids, and we wish you happy travels and a truly memorable experience!

Conrad Celebrates 25 Years by Giving You Hotel Credits

By: Five Star Alliance

Conrad Rangali Island MaldivesHilton's Conrad brand of luxury hotels has been around for a quarter century. And to celebrate that milestone, they're giving away hotel credits to guests who check into their hotels around the world- from Indianapolis to the Maldives (pictured)- this fall. So whether you're craving chocolate in Brussels, doing business in Tokyo, or shopping Chicago's Magnificent Mile, choose Conrad and you'll get a nice little birthday present. Simply book the "Conrad 25th Anniversary Promotion" rate for stays through November 30th, 2011, and receive a $25 hotel credit for each night of your stay.