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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.

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.


Spring Break in Key West: The Conch Republic Independence Celebration Begins April 22

March 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria ResortVisitors to the southernmost point in the United States are often so enchanted with Key West that they never leave. A favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, the sunny island has diving and snorkeling, sailing and sunning, deep-sea fishing, elegant dining, and a rowdy nightlife scene. All connected to the mainland by an impressive island-hopping roadway-- possibly one of the prettiest roads on earth. There's never a bad time to visit, but Key West's Conch Republic Independence Celebration is a real hoot. Key West has called itself the Conch Republic since it "seceded" from Florida in 1982 with the motto: "The People Who Seceded Where Others Failed." With drag races, parades, food fests, and the "Conch Crawl," the celebration promises to be a rip-roaring good time. Residents are calling it: "The Conch Republic's own 4th of July, Bastille Day & Cinco de Mayo all rolled into one!"

Looking for some hotel recommendations? Scroll through the photos in our hand-picked collection of Four-Star and Five-Star hotels, and be tempted to plan your getaway. Pictured at right: The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.


Don’t Miss Out: Win a 3-Night Stay at The James New York!

March 29, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The James New YorkHave you heard about the Five Star Alliance giveaway contest? We're giving away a 3-night stay at The James New York, the sexy new hotel already famous for its rooftop pool deck that has 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. Simply sign up for our free monthly newsletter by May 31, 2011, and you’ll be automatically entered to win! All new subscribers, aged 18 or older, will be eligible for a chance to score a 3-night getaway in a Deluxe Guestroom at the hotel everyone’s talking about.


Book by April 4: Limited Time Offer at the New W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak

March 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Retreat and Spa Bali, SeminyakOpened this month, the glamorous new W Retreat & Spa Bali- Seminyak is the fourth W Retreat in an exotic location worldwide, joining properties in the Maldives, Koh Samui, and Vieques Island. W Hotels Worldwide debuted the property after cutting the ribbon on the buzzed-about W London- Leicester Square in February. The "Retreat" concept is an enticing one; take the signature W touches (like "Whatever/Whenever" service and trendy destination bars) and transplant them to idyllic beach settings, and you've got a taste of pure, unadulterated luxury. Comprised of 237 Retreats and Villa Retreats on Petitenget Beach, the new resort boasts a 24-hour spa and three-storey beach bar. Be one of the first guests to check out the W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak and save up to 30% on stays between March 31 and May 30, 2011, with rates starting from $240 per night for two people in a Wonderful Garden View Retreat. Also includes: complimentary Wifi, unlimited access to SWEAT (the fitness center), and use of the hot stone bath and cold plunge at AWAY Spa. This limited time special offer must be booked by April 4, 2011! Subject to availability, minimum five-night stay required.


Get the Inside Scoop on Paris with “Eye Prefer Paris” Walking Tours

March 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Spring Flowers in ParisIf you saw the wonderful article on Paris in The New York Times Travel section this past weekend, you might be pining for a trip to the City of Light. And you couldn't have picked a better time. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and there's not a cloud in the sky. In fact, the temps have been in the 70s and it feels almost balmy. Take a stroll through the city's glorious gardens and you'll find the air fragrant with flowers, the sidewalk cafes packed with people-watchers. For some insider tips on Paris, book a private tour with Eye Prefer Paris. A transplanted New Yorker, Richard Nahem delights visitors on tours through his Marais neighborhood and other prime spots around town. Each three-hour walking tour is individually tailored, so if you're interested in jewelry and fashion, Richard can point out secret addresses and cutting-edge boutiques; if you're a die-hard foodie, he's got the skinny on local food shops, markets, and restaurants. Price for the private tour is 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each individual person. Check it out! www.eyepreferparistours.com Photo of "Spring Flowers in Paris" courtesy of Eye Prefer Paris


A Well-Earned Tax Break: Crunch Time Special at Duane Street Hotel, New York

March 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Duane Street HotelIt's that time of year again. Tax season is upon us, and with the April 15 deadline just around the corner, you may be desperate for a little tax relief. Duane Street Hotel to the rescue! The stylish 45-room hotel-- located in New York's red-hot TriBeCa neighborhood-- is offering the "Crunch Time" package so you can take a "tax break." Starting from $370 per night, the package includes chic accommodations, unlimited in-room coffee, a complimentary Taxes for Dummies book, and access to an iPad loaded with TurboTax, along with a round of celebratory cocktails when you've done the deed.

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Friday Photos: Enterprise Hotel Milan, Former Factory Turned Trendy Boutique

March 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Enterprise Hotel Milan

This design-driven boutique hotel is the result of a successful industrial recovery project. After thirty years of total neglect, the property-- first built as an important radio factory and later used to print La Settimana Enigmistica (an established Italian weekly)-- was totally refurbished and rebuilt. Opened in 2002, this trendy four-star hotel has 123 guest rooms decorated with refined fabrics and materials, some of which were custom made for Enterprise by acclaimed brands Flos and Cassina. These contemporary rooms were designed in a minimalist style with comfort in mind and they have all the latest technology, including free wireless Internet access.

Enterprise Hotel Milan

The Enterprise Hotel Milan also has a Congress Centre with eight meeting rooms filled with natural light, where companies like BMW, Coca Cola, Estèe Lauder, and Hugo Boss have held events. The hotel has hosted its fair share of photo shoots, art exhibits, and fashion shows, too. Last summer, the Lounge bar presented "Kama Karana," a special aperitif combined with massages and wellness therapies. Sound interesting? The hotel also gets props for its lively "happy hour party" every Thursday.

Enterprise Hotel Milan


Spring in South Carolina at Charleston Place

March 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Charleston PlaceTake a long weekend in Charleston, and it's guaranteed that you'll return home with a spring in your step. A good dose of history, lots of art, flower-filled gardens, and all kinds of good grub (from elegant fare to Southern comfort food that's finger lickin' good). Not to mention the comfortable climate. Charleston Place-- the Orient-Express hotel that's famed for its true Southern hospitality-- is celebrating the arrival of spring with a fabulous package where you get to choose from a memorable variety of experiences, one for each day of your stay. Available from April 1- June 4, 2011 and priced from $370 per night, the "Spring Selections" package includes luxury accommodations, complimentary Internet access and daily newspaper, plus your choice of one of the following (per night):

* $100 Food & Beverage Gift Card for use in the Charleston Grill, Palmetto Cafe, Thoroughbred Club or In Room Dining

* $100 Spa Gift Card for use in The Spa at Charleston Place

* Schooner Pride two hour Sunset Sail for two, including two drinks per person

* Carriage ride for two from Palmetto Carriage Works