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.

Pooling our Resources: The 10 Best Hotel Pools in the World


By: Christopher Roney

 After reading CNN’s own list of great hotel pools, we decided to put our heads together and write up our thoughts on the matter. Who has the 10 best hotel pools in the world? To truly know, you’ll have to visit yourself and see. But these are certainly our favorites.

10. The Banyan Tree Seychelles

With the simple application of basic mathematics, the Banyan Tree has figured out how to improve upon the tried and true concept of the private pool: By giving its two-bedroom suites two private pools – and what a sight they are. That’s the kind of thinking I can get behind.

Banyan Tree Seychelles

9. Le Palais de la Mediterranee, France

Le Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice rolls in at number 9 with its incredible 3rd floor indoor/outdoor pool. Just feet from a sun terrace with a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean, this is a pool that was tailor-made for lounging. If to you a vacation means leaning back, lowering your sunglasses over your eyes and relaxing the afternoon away, then this is the hotel for you.

Palais de la Mediterranee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. The Berkeley, London

While some other pools may be more spectacular, as you’ll see in a moment, none offer the same level of comfort year-round as The Berkeley rooftop pool in London. The heated pool features a wonderful open-air swimming experience in the summer, but unlike most hotels, when it gets a bit colder, you don’t have to take the party inside. The Berkeley instead rolls out its retractable roof, and you can now enjoy the comfort of a perfectly climate-controlled rooftop pool in winter.

The Berkeley London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Villa d’Este, Italy

The pool at Villa d’Este on Lake Como would make Archimedes blush. Floating above the very lake that the Villa rests against, the pool features a built-in Jacuzzi and fantastic view of the surrounding mountains. It’s like swimming in the lake just inches below your feet, but it’s always the perfect temperature.

Villa d'Este

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Blue Palace Resort and Spa, Crete

The Blue Palace Resort and Spa is truly deserving of its sixth place finish, and really if we were fair it’d be on this list twice. The aptly-named Blue Palace is renowned for the private pools that come standard with most of their rooms and suites. With pools up to 40 sq. meters in size for just you and your companion(s), there couldn’t be a more private or luxurious swimming experience. And if that weren’t enough, the Blue Palace is famous for its unique Grecian Thalassotherapy, which combines the relaxing powers of a world-class massage with water-cleansing rituals guaranteed to revitalize your body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. The Library Koh Samui, Thailand

In this case, the picture speaks for itself. The Library Koh Samui is built around the innovative concept that a vacation is about relaxation and people should be allowed to free their minds from stress by engaging in the simple pleasures of cracking open a book and enjoying the company of their family or friends. They’ve also turned their pool red - which is both surreal and strangely captivating, like green ketchup or a fish riding a bicycle.

The Library Koh Samui

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Rawi Warin Resort and Spa, Thailand

The 1000 sq. meter infinity edge pool at Rawi Warin looks as if the water is fading into the ocean, with only little beach umbrellas poking above the water line to let you know that it doesn’t go on forever. The illusion is compelling and gorgeous. As if that weren’t enough, Rawi Warin also has Asia’s first ocean swimming pool, extending 100 meters into the water and allowing you to swim with the fishes in an entirely literal way.

Rawi Warin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Palazzo Sasso, Italy

The Palazzo Sasso has one of the more innovative designs for a hotel pool we’ve ever seen. Situated on the edge of a cliff 1000 feet above sea level, the pool at Palazzo Sasso offers underwater windows with a view of the sea below, thus discovering the heretofore unknown condition of subaqueous vertigo. But seriously, it is the single most impressive thing I’ve seen at the bottom of a pool.

Palazzo Sasso

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Atlantis the Palm Dubai

Atlantis the Palm Dubai may just be the best thing ever. If you got all the things together in one place, and made me pick, I’d say, “I want that thing. It looks like the best thing.” So what is this thing I’m so excited about? Well, it just might be a standard luxurious hotel pool, only it’s attached to a full water park! I don’t bandy about with exclamation points lightly, but this seems to be worth one. If you, like me, have ever thought, “wow, this vacation is really relaxing, but what I’d really like is to go launching out of a ziggurat at high speeds into a pool of water,” then this is the destination for you. And even more than that, much of the hotel is themed around this aquatic experience. There are underwater mazes, a four-and-a-half hectare dolphin habitat, and something they just call Aquaventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Occasionally, a feat of engineering comes along that’s so remarkable, you have to doff your hat to the architects of its design. The Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool in Singapore is more like what would result if Leonardo da Vinci were in the hotel business. Resting 200 meters above the ground in the Sands SkyPark, the Infinity Pool is as breathtaking as it is surreal – the edge of the pool seems to fade into the horizon itself. Swimmers are greeted with a panoramic vista unequaled anywhere. Without a doubt, the Infinity is the coolest hotel pool we’ve ever seen and not just for the breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So throw on your swim trunks and book a room at any of these amazing hotels (maybe in the other order), and soon you'll be enjoying the sun by some of the most amazing pools in the world.


Global Sale on Airfares: Up to 25% Off with Qatar Airways


By: Five Star Alliance

Nab this deal while you can! Qatar Airways is running a Global Sales Promo - up to 25% off ALL destinations. With this 3-day sale starting September 6, 2011, you can travel to over 100 destinations and experience the world's 5-star airline, recently voted the Skytrax 2011 Airline of the Year in a survey consisting of over 18 million passengers from 100 countries. Hurry, you must book by September 8, 2011! With this exclusive sale, you can save up to 25% on Economy Class and up to 15% on Business Class fares. Reserve your tickets today and enjoy travel through March 31, 2012.


Now at Four Seasons Hotels: Paraben-Free Toiletries by L'Occitane


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Punta MitaGood news for all you toiletry hoarders out there. The Four Seasons hotel chain has announced that it will be changing to paraben-free toiletries after numerous studies have linked the chemical paraben to certain cancers. As The USA Today Hotel Check-In blog reports, Four Seasons is rolling out a new line of bath products by L'Occitane: "The move coincides with the Four Seasons chain's broader effort to use more natural products in its spas." City hotels have already started to replace their toiletry inventory, and Four Seasons resorts will start receiving their shipments in September. And by the end of this year, all Four Seasons hotels will feature an organic, chemical-free product in their spas.

Pictured: The Four Seasons Punta Mita in Mexico.


10% off to Select Destinations on Qatar Airways


By: Five Star Alliance

Qatar AirwaysHurry! You still have a few days to nab a 10% discount on fares on Qatar Airways. Book by August 31, 2011 and save up to 10% to 15 select destinations: Ahmedabad, Amman, Bangalore, Beirut, Chennai, Colombo, Kochi, Dhaka, Dubai, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Mumbai, and Trivandrum. Head to qatarairways.com/us to take advantage of this exclusive promotion. You'll experience 5-star luxury in the airlines' award-winning Economy Class onboard a brand new Boeing 777 aircraft.

Posted in: Articles, Air Travel

Now Booking: Five Star Alliance Adds Fab New Four- and Five-Star Hotels


By: Five Star Alliance

Fairmont Heritage Place Ghiradelli SquareEach and every day, the Five Star Alliance team is adding new hotels to our online portfolio. We offer great rates at the web's most comprehensive, hand-picked collection of luxury hotels. Just a sampling of the gorgeous properties that you can now book on our site: the Fairmont Heritage Place Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco, the Buddha Bar Hotel Prague, and Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives. And let's not forget our stellar four-star hotel collection, too. Whether you're looking for a honeymoon splurge or a simple, inexpensive weekend escape, we've got you covered.


Win a Free Night's Stay with Langham's "Linger Longer" Campaign


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Huntington Hotel, PasadenaBack in May, the Langham Hospitality Group launched a special offer called "Linger Longer for Less." Available through August 31, 2011 at Langham hotels worldwide (including Pasadena, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Shanghai), the promotion translates to real savings: stay two nights and get 10% off, stay three nights and save at least 15 percent with complimentary breakfast, linger four nights and save at least 20 percent with free breakfast and internet access. If you stay five nights, you'll get even more benefits: room upgrade included!

As part of this "Linger Longer" campaign, Langham recently announced a global social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo to search for top travel tips in key Langham cities. The prize? A free night's stay. To enter the contest, simply answer the question “If I could linger longer in a city with a Langham hotel, what would I do?” and email it with a photo (optional) to linger@langhamhotels.com. The most popular answer based on the most likes, comments and shares will win a free night’s stay in the Langham of the nominated city.

For more information, head over to Langham's Facebook page.


Kids Fly Free in August on the World's Best Airline


By: Five Star Alliance

Kids Fly For Less on Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways was recently named ”Airline of the Year” by Skytrax at the annual World Airline Awards 2011 for outstanding inflight product and operational excellence. Fly onboard one of the worlds youngest and most modern fleets to an ever-expanding global network of over 100 destinations.

And this August, fly Qatar Airways to selected destinations and pay only taxes and surcharges for up to two kids. Enjoy a family holiday to some of the most exciting destinations the world has to offer, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha.

Get all the information here >> http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/special-offers/kids-fly-for-less.html


Free Summer Gifts at Fairmont's Willow Stream Spa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Sonoma Mission InnIt's official- summer is here! Today marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and official start of the season. If you can't wait for your sun-and-sand getaway in August, why not plan a mini summer spa-cation? Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is rolling out a slew of value-added summer spa specials to entice you (and a few girlfriends) to hit up a Willow Stream Spa for a little rest and relaxation. Here's what's on the menu. Book "Without a Care," a body experience to keep your summer skin in shape, and you'll receive a FREE Willow Stream Summer Freedom Tote Bag as a gift. Or "Let down your hair" with your friends (four or more) and each person in your group will get $25 off any 90 minute body experience, a Bento Box spa lunch, and the Willow Stream Summer Freedom Tote Bag. These summer spa specials are available starting July 1, 2011 (through September 5) at the following spas: Fairmont Acapulco Princess; Fairmont Banff Springs; Fairmont Empress; Fairmont Mayakoba; Fairmont Pacific Rim; Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn; Fairmont Scottsdale Princess; Fairmont Southampton; Fairmont Turnberry Isle; Fairmont Monte Carlo; Fairmont Beijing; and the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai.


Qatar Airways Business Class Luxury


By: Five Star Alliance

Did you know that Qatar Airways is a global airline with over 100 destinations worldwide?

Qatar Airways Business Class

Qatar Airways Business Class sets the standard for onboard comfort and space. Here's why it was awarded World's Leading Business Class at the 16th World Travel Awards 2009.

The 180 degree flat-bed seats come with foot rests, 8 in-seat massage settings, and an in-seat power supply* to charge all your electronics. Need to put the finishing touches on a Powerpoint presentation or business proposal? You'll have no problem getting your work done in this environment. And when it comes time to relax, you'll find touch-screen inflight entertainment, 15.4” monitors, and, over 770 audio and visual options. Best of all: you'll arrive at your destination fresh and ready to go.

 *Available on selected routes only. Not available to Europe and Africa. Click here to learn more about our fleet.

The meals are memorable too. As a premium passenger, you will be treated to five-star dining at 35,000 feet with delicacies including foie gras, caviar, and smoked salmon. Complement your meal with a wide selection of fine wines and champagnes, plus select vintages exclusive to Qatar Airways. You'll also taste regional specialties, as Qatar Airways chooses the menu based on the direction of travel. For example, the Osaka to Doha route in Business Class has all kinds of Japanese delights. The Late Evening Indulgence features a sushi plate, seafood soba noodles soup, and wagyu beef sukiyaki in addition to the smoked center-cut salmon; foie gras with mushroom & chive salad; classic arabic mezze; donatello's azuki and green tea ice creams; sliced fresh fruit; cheese plate of farmhouse cheddar, brie de meaux and fourme d'ambert. The Japanese Breakfast offers grilled balloon fish; braised dried tofu, egg roll simmered shitake; poached egg with miso simmered spinach and carrot; steamed rice; miso soup; yaki nori seaweed; muskmelon & fresh fruit; forest berries in mountain yoghurt; and a selection of Japanese tea, espresso, African coffee, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Book your flight now >>

 


Win a Trip Around the World with Sofitel Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Paris Arc de TriompheDreaming of embarking on a grand world tour? Here's your chance to win a trip around the globe. Sofitel Hotels has launched a nifty competition called "80 Magnifique Nights"- inspired by both the 1001 Nights tale and the famous Jules Verne novel "Around the World in 80 Days." You're invited to create your ideal voyage at eight Sofitel destinations worldwide in a virtual travel diary.

Enter this sweepstakes and you could win the incredible grand prize: 31 nights for two people in a selection of Sofitel hotels and two round the world passes. Seven other winners will score a fabulous prize: seven nights for two people at one of his/her previously selected Sofitel destinations, like the Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe (pictured), a gem of a hotel located in the City of Light's prestigious Golden Triangle.

Psst. Get 5 more chances to win by: *Being or becoming fan of the Sofitel Facebook page *Being or becoming a member of the loyalty program A|CLUB *Sharing the postcard of your 8 favorite destinations with 5 friends