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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.

Summer in Paris: The Barbie and Hot Wheels Rooms at Hotel Plaza Athénée

April 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Barbie Room, Hotel Plaza Athenee

It's back. A little girl's fantasy come true: a pink bedroom decked out with Barbie furniture, heart-patterned curtains, accessories, and all kinds of fun wall art. Last summer the Hôtel Plaza Athénée got dolled up for their pint-sized guests, and this year they're rolling out the limited-time fantasy rooms again for the month of August. And this time there's a Hot Wheels-themed room, too, equipped with a car-shaped bed, flame-motif mirrors, and a Hot Wheels race track with all kinds of surprises. Little princesses can choose between two Barbie styles: "Modern Princess" or "Fashion Icon" (for the slighter older crowd). Start planning your summer vacation and get a special offer for a room or suite of your own connecting with the Barbie Room or Hot Wheels Room at Hôtel Plaza Athénée: Deluxe Parental Room from €1700; Deluxe Parental Suite from €2800, with continental breakfast for children and parents included. Offer valid August 2-30, 2011. Barbie and Hot Wheels Rooms not suitable for children under 3 or teenagers over 16.


Celebrate Earth Day with an Eco-Massage at Kimpton Hotels (Just $50 More!)

April 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Argonaut, San FranciscoEarth Day is just around the corner (April 22) and to celebrate, Kimpton Hotels is launching EarthCare Week in 23 cities nationwide-- designed to inspire you with eco-events, amenities, earth-friendly cuisine, and more. On the menu at Kimpton restaurants? Organic dishes, showcasing local flavors specific to each Kimpton hotel location, paired with biodynamic and organic wines. You'll also find pop-up Eco Art exhibits, as Kimpton has partnered with local artists to create gorgeous artwork made from recycled materials. Here's another fun way to celebrate Earth Day: Kimpton's Pedometer Contest! Grab a pedometer from hotel reception, pound the pavement, and rack up steps to win prizes. (Pets welcome!) Kimpton's EarthCare Week runs from April 15- April 22, 2011. Take advantage of a special offer at Kimpton Hotels and get a 50-minute in-room Eco-Massage for just $50 more during EarthCare Week, valid until April 30, 2011 at participating Kimpton Hotels including the Hotel Solamar in San Diego; Hotel Monaco, Hotel Palomar, The Argonaut, and Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco; 70 Park Avenue and Eventi in New York; Hotel Palomar Philadelphia; Morrison House in Alexandria, VA; Hotel Vintage Park in Seattle; Nine Zero Hotel in Boston and Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA.


Boca Raton Resort Takes the Cake with a Giant, 600-Pound Iced Hotel Replica

April 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Boca Raton Resort, Giant Hotel CakeIt only took Pastry Artist Stephen Day 110 hours to create a a 600-pound hotel replica from hundreds of pounds of sugar, flour, egg, chocolate, butter cream and royal icing. (Don't worry, he wasn't alone in his efforts. Day has a very capable patisserie team!) Check out the video to see the cake version of a La Quinta hotel take shape in time-lapse fashion. Why did the Boca Resort pastry team go to such lengths? La Quinta was celebrating a corporate milestone with a recent event at the Boca Resort. And what a way to celebrate. Looks like the Boca Raton Resort & Club may just take the cake in staging memorable corporate meetings.

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Dreamy Honeymoon Destinations: Scrub Island Resort Gets Top Honors

April 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Scrub Island Resort, BVIYou saw it on the TODAY Show, and now you're wondering: Where the heck is Scrub Island? The tropical island retreat has been open for a little over a year and it's garnering accolades left and right. And a quick peek at the photos helps you understand why. The first private resort built in the British Virgin Islands in over 15 years, Scrub Island is a seven-minute boat ride away from the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) on Beef Island, which itself is a 35-minute flight from San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico. You'll find three private beaches, an infinity edge pool, a world-class marina, and swank rooms with spectacular ocean views. The best part of all? This five-star luxury experience is affordable- with introductory rates starting from just $299/night. Pick up a copy of the May 2011 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine for more praise of this private island resort.


A Dose of Art in St. Petersburg: Special with the Renaissance Vinoy Resort

April 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance Vinoy Resort, St. PetersburgSun, sand, golf, and tennis... St. Petersburg, Florida has got its bases covered as a resort destination. But with the opening of the Chihuly Collection in summer 2010 and the addition of the new Salvador Dalí Museum in January 2011, St. Petes has become something of a cultural destination, too. To encourage you to discover the art on offer, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is inviting guests on an Art Retreat. Priced from $174 per night, the getaway package includes an upgrade to a newly renovated bay view guest room; dinner for two at Marchand’s Bar & Grill from the 1925 Classic Dining Menu; and a choice of two tickets (valued at up to $42) to the Salvador Dalí Museum or the Chihuly Collection and the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio & Hot Shop. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is also a work of art, showcasing Mediterranean Revival architecture from the 1920's, and its very own Chihuly sculpture in the Grand Ballroom, comprised of 750 pieces of individually hand-blown glass.


Get Your Nails Done in Paris: New Beauty Bar at Hotel Pavillon de la Reine

April 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pavillon de la Reine, ParisNew York-style nail salons are few and far between in the City of Light. So what's a gal to do when she needs a mani? Hotel Pavillon de la Reine to the rescue! The elegant hotel known for catering to celebs dodging the limelight has just opened a beauty bar in its library. So every Saturday you can get your nails buffed and lacquered (with OPI polish, of course) by the expert technicians from the hotel's Carita Spa. The beauty bar is open to the public, with no reservations required, with manicures priced at 25 euros.* Glass of Champagne included! Tucked away in a courtyard off the Place des Vosges, the oldest public square in Paris, Le Pavillon de la Reine is the only luxury hotel of its kind in the historic Marais quarter.

*Celeb sighting probable, though not guaranteed!


Hope for Japan: The Peninsula Hotels Group Supports Relief Efforts with Fundraising Drive

April 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula TokyoAfter the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, the world is looking to help. The Peninsula Hotels Group is proudly supporting "Hope for Japan," a fund-raising drive at each hotel in Asia and the U.S. to support the relief effort with donations going directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society. From Shanghai to Chicago, Peninsula Hotels are contributing a donation for every guest stay. The renowned hotel brand has also launched a new Japanese Afternoon Tea, and for each tea ordered, The Peninsula will donate the entire retail price ($50) to the Red Cross. Before departing the hotel, make a donation and hang an origami crane on "The Tree of 1,000 Cranes" displayed in the Lobby of each Peninsula hotel. In Japanese culture, 1,000 cranes represent hope and healing in challenging times, and so guests are invited to help this worthwhile and meaningful initiative.


A Princely Setting for the Royal Wedding at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

April 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Pierre, New YorkYou've been swept away by Royal Wedding fever, but aren't too keen on navigating London town with the throngs of royal watchers. The Pierre on New York's Central Park has the answer. Book the Rajput Suite, the jewel in the crown of the hotel’s collection of 11 Grand Suites, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience complete with every regal comfort (and a personal butler on call). If you stay April 28-29, you'll be able to gape at the televised royal festivities from the privacy of your very own palace. (The sprawling Rajput Suite is decked out with TVs, so take your pick from the living room, bedroom, even bath tub.) Or stay May 2-4 and you’ll have the privilege of private shopping at the hotel’s pop-up souk featuring artisanal jewelry, fashions and more hand-selected by the lifestyle curators at Indagare.com. Here are the details on what the Pierre Rajput Suite Celebration Romance Menu includes:

* Two nights in the royally exotic Rajput Suite

* Your own private Romance Butler

* In-room Couples Massage

* Special floral arrangement by L’Olivier

* Dine at London’s famed Le Caprice, the first US outpost of this British brasserie

* Julien Farel exclusive salon menu

* Picnic in Central Park

* Carriage Ride

* Romance Turndown: with Kama Sutra touches that include body oil, incense, candles; a bubble bath drawn nightly with candles and rose petals, and a late night aphrodisiac menu with selections that include oysters, chocolate and champagne

The price tag for this all-inclusive stay is $14,500, subject to availability, valid through July 1, 2011.


From $151: Resort Credits in Puerto Rico at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza

April 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad San Juan Condado PlazaSunshine, here we come. Give yourself a spring cleaning with a trip to the beach. Just a hop from the East Coast, Puerto Rico's got enough sand and sea to soften even the hardest of hearts. (Any lingering winter blues will dissolve with the first fruity rum drink and salsa dance.) Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza is making a spring break trip easy on the wallet with a special offer that translates to 20% off your stay. In addition, you can get up to $100 in resort credit,* a 50% discount on Children's tours, and a $25 casino match bet coupon. Priced from $151 per night; minimum two-night stay required. With three pools, a casino, vibrant nightlife, and dazzling sunsets at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza... what are you waiting for?


Limited Time Offer in Paris: 3rd Night Free at Radisson Blu Hotels

April 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's, ParisIt feels like summer in Paris this week. Actually, the weather's even better than summer: sunny and 70 degrees! The sidewalk cafes are packed with sun-bathers and people-watchers. Needless to say, work productivity may suffer this April... Take advantage of these glorious days in Paris with a special offer from the Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's and the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan. The two luxury hotels have launched a 3=2 offer for new bookings only. Stay three nights and pay for only two from April 15- April 25, 2011. Based on contracted mid-week rates in Deluxe rooms, subject to availability. Located between the Trocadero and the Arc de Triomphe, the neo-classical style Le Dokhan's is home to a beautiful Champagne bar. Near the Eiffel Tower, the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan features sleek contemporary interiors by designer François Champsaur (pictured at right).