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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.

A Good Value at Qamardeen Hotel in Downtown Dubai

April 4, 2011
By: Guest Writer

Qamardeen Hotel, DubaiLooking for luxury in Dubai without breaking the bank? Qamardeen Hotel-- located in downtown Dubai just a five-minute walk from Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building)-- promises "a really excellent value for money compared to Dubai's vast number of five-star hotels." This four-star deluxe hotel offers contemporary style and Arabic architecture smack in the thick of things. On the hotel's doorstep is the Dubai Mall with 1,200 boutiques, and Souk al Bahar, a retail destination resembling a traditional Arabian souk with winding corridors and high archways overlooking Burj Khalifa. Qamardeen Hotel gets high marks for its warm staff, outdoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, and well-equipped guest rooms. Take your choice of 13 Executive Suites, 123 Queen Rooms and 48 Twin Rooms filled with natural light, each with a flat screen TV, complimentary high speed internet access, free coffee and tea-making facilities and bottled water. You'll also find a spacious desk area, an open-plan bathroom, and a well-stocked mini bar.


Hot Deals: Family Escape to the Arizona Grand Resort, Phoenix

April 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Arizona Grand Resort, PhoenixThere's a whole lot to love at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. Situated on the doorstep of 17,000 acres of South Mountain Preserve (the largest municipal park in the world!), the resort has golf, a colossal water park (seven acres of it!), full-service spa and a 20,000 square foot athletic club (the largest resort spa and fitness center in the state!). And let's not forget the sultry temperatures afforded by Arizona's winning climate... We've just learned about a deal for families looking for some fun in the sun in Phoenix. The new BBC Travel blog is reporting that you can snag rates from $169 per night for two adults and two kids in a Resort Suite through May 9, 2011, and $139 per night from May 22- September 10, 2011. Make that a Deluxe Suite for $20 more. The "Escape Kit" includes your luxurious accommodations, full American breakfast for two at the Lobby Grill, a $50 spa credit towards any 50-minute treatment, andfour passes to the Oasis Water park. So what are you waiting for? The lazy river awaits...


Friday Photos: Hotel Napoleon Paris, Two Steps from the Champs Elysées

April 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Napoleon Paris

Not too shabby a gift! Built in the 1920s, the Hotel Napoleon was bought by a Russian businessman as a wedding present for the French girl he had fallen for. Over the years the hotel hosted famous guests from the era's high society. (Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, and Dali all stayed here.) In the 1930's, the hotel was immortalized by one of France's most famous actors, Jean Gabin, in a couple of his films. Today the boutique hotel is appreciated for its location in the heart of the Triangle d'Or, just a stone's throw from the Arc de Triomphe and the world-famous Champs Elysées.

Hotel Napoleon Paris

Adorned with Napoleonic artwork and elegant Directoire furniture, the Hotel Napoleon has retained an intimate ambience. The 102 guest rooms are decorated in the Empire style and have views over the Paris rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. What could be better than starting the day with breakfast on your terrace, with all of Paris at your feet?

Hotel Napoleon Paris


Giant 4-Foot Wedding Cake Unveiled in London to Fete the Royal Wedding

March 31, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Visit London's Giant Wedding CakeFrom themed Afternoon Teas to commemorative tea bags and postage stamps, London is getting in the mood for the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Visit London-- the official tourism organization for the capital-- recently unveiled a giant 4-foot wedding cake, a lovely replica of the famous St. Bride's Church on Fleet Street-- the actual, real-life inspiration for the traditional tiered wedding cake enjoyed around the world today! Visit London describes their recent feat:

Back in the 18th century, London-based baker’s apprentice Thomas Rich wanted to create something special for his wedding day so, taking the tall spire and steeple of St Bride’s Church as a model, he came up with the idea for a tiered cake. This cake was provided by Sophisticake (who made the wedding cake for HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall). It was created using a medieval recipe which required a whopping 200 eggs, 120lb (54kg) of dried fruit and 18lb (8kg) of butter! The cake will be donated to St Bride’s Church to share with its parish and support their charitable causes.

Thinking about flying to London for the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011? Hotels are not yet sold out. Browse our collection of Four- and Five-Star hotels and take your pick...


Have a Spring Fling: 30% Off with Starwood Hotels Limited-Time Sale

March 31, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meridien Limassol Spa and ResortPssst! Starwood is having a ginormous sale to herald spring's arrival. So if you're looking for a spring fling, why not take a jaunt to one of Starwood's 800 hotels and resorts worldwide? Or even just spend a night away from home in your own 'hood? The "Our World, for a Limited Time" package doles out savings of up to 30% at properties available across all nine of Starwood's brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element. (We say the W Retreat on Koh Samui looks mighty nice... And closer to home: spend the night in the "drunk tank" at Boston's "liberated landmark," The Liberty Hotel.) Available for stays until May 30, 2011, must book by April 4, 2011.

Pictured: A heavenly slice of the Mediterranean at Le Meridien Limassol Spa and Resort on Cyprus.


Special Rates with Added Amenities at The Surrey New York

March 31, 2011
By: Guest Writer

The Surrey, New YorkBedside cocktails, cuisine by acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud, and a wow-worthy rooftop garden are enough reason to head to The Surrey Hotel in Manhattan's Upper East Side. An exceptional guest experience is assured at the hotel that once hosted JFK, as The Surrey, recreated by interior designer Lauren Rottet, has just about everything the modern traveler could dream of. (Yes, even pooches are pampered here with Lauren Rottet-designed pet beds and Pratesi pet robes.) Hot rates: If you book with Five Star Alliance and choose "Five Star Alliance" rates, you'll get a discount on your room plus loads of freebies: in-room Continental breakfast for two, 20% off spa services (not available on mani-pedis), a welcome amenity from the General Manager, and an upgrade based on availability.

Related Article:

Padma Lakshmi’s Luxury Jewelry Collection at The Surrey, New York


Switch Off Your Smartphone, Recharge Your Batteries at Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai

March 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hotel ShanghaiOn business in Shanghai? The Four Seasons Hotel is inviting you to recharge your batteries... by disconnecting from your Blackberry and iPhone. The swank hotel insists that two days is all they need to get you fully rebooted and ready to get back to work. Just switch off the power buttons, extend your stay with the new "Suite Delight Promotion," and reconnect with the art of relaxation. You'll get reduced rates on your accommodations plus dining and spa credits. Straight from the horse's mouth:

Opt for a personal Spring detox via the Green Dragon Cleansing Ritual at Qin, The Spa; savour Chef’s April Zhou Shan seafood specials in Si Ji Xuan; or sample the tantalizing first flush of Long Jin (Dragon Well) green tea with Spring Flush Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Lounge. And with access to the Hotel Concierge’s legendary historical, art and cultural itineraries, there’s scope to discover even more of the city’s sweet spots.

The Suite Delight Promotion is offered through May 1, 2011, and includes Executive Suite accommodations, a CNY 300 food and beverage credit, daily buffet breakfast for two at Café Studio, CNY 200 Spa voucher, and late check-out based on availability.


Le Spiderman, Alain Robert, Climbs to the Top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai

March 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, DubaiIt took him just six hours to scale the tallest building in the world. Known for his "death-defying stunts"-- climbing skyscrapers around the world without safety equipment-- "Spiderman" Alain Robert has successfully added another notch to his belt. On Monday, the French urban climber topped the Burj Khalifa, the soaring glass tower in Dubai that's home to the Armani Hotel. "Le Spiderman" has scaled some 70 skyscrapers, but complied with safety regulations for this latest stunt, using a rope and harness. He even summited the tapered spire above the top floors of the building, 2,717 feet above the ground. Robert finished the climb in the darkness.


Festive Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

March 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump International Hotel and Tower, ChicagoThe food alone is a reason to book a table for Easter brunch at Sixteen, the modern American resto at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. (With made-to-order sushi, carving stations, and individually-prepared omelets, it's a firm favorite among Chicago brunch-goers.) And for the holiday on April 24, the eatery is pulling out all the stops for a festive celebration. Executive Chef Frank Brunacci will offer several special items for Easter: Spring Pea soup; Crispy trout with mushroom and fava bean ragu; Veal medallions with caramelized artichokes and spinach; Thai-spiced shrimp with curry-apple slaw; Grilled asparagus with goat cheese, candied walnuts, and truffle vinaigrette; and Lamb loin with fennel and Vidalia onion jam. For something sweet, stop by Executive Pastry Chef Sarah Kosikowski’s dessert station. But don't fill up too fast- your family will also get a homemade chocolate bunny to take home. The kids will get a kick out of the lively entertainment, including a visit from the Easter Bunny and an Easter egg hunt.

Brunch will take place from 10:30 am to 3 pm, priced at $115 for adults and $25 for children (under 8 years of age) exclusive of alcohol, tax, and gratuity. Sixteen will also be open for Easter dinner from 6 to 9:30 p.m.


Say Hello to London’s Restored Landmark, the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel

March 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Pancras Renaissance London HotelWith the Royal Wedding fast approaching and the Olympic Games drumming up excitement for 2012, London has become the destination du jour-- with no shortage of stylish places to stay! In recent months, a slew of new hotels have opened on the famously fashionable hotel scene. One of the most highly anticipated is the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, reopened after a dramatic £150 million transformation. With the arrival of Eurostar trains in 2007, the St. Pancras railway station was itself renovated, and now it has a hotel to match. The red brick building-- a stunning example of High Victorian Gothic architecture-- was saved from demolition and has been restored to its former glory as one of the city's great landmarks. The five-star St. Pancras Renaissance London has 204 rooms and 41 suites.

To quote the London Evening Standard:

...it is the restored public spaces that will astonish visitors: the grand sweeping staircase, the Ladies Smoking Room - the first place in Europe where women could smoke in public - and the old ticket office that has been converted into a bar. A St Pancras ale is being brewed in tribute to the station's history as a transportation point for millions of barrels of beer. The hotel reception and function room have been carved from the former taxi rank, and Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing will open a restaurant and bar serving classic British cooking and named after the station's master architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott.