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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.

Top 30 Hotels of 2012 Honorable Mention: Marina Bay Sands Singapore

December 14, 2012
By: Jordan Schultz

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! But there were a few more hotels we absolutely had to mention. Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 

 Here are a few fun facts about Marina Bay Sands Singapore:

-The 2561 rooms include 230 suites that soar 57 stories above the ground and offer breathtaking views.

-The Sands SkyPark Observation Deck offers not only spectacular views, but the world-famous 150-meter infinity pool, which is the largest outdoor pool at that height.

-The casino has 2300 of the newest and most popular electronic gaming machines in the world.

-Celebrity chefs practically call this place home. The property features restaurants by culinary luminaries Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, Mario Batali, and Tetsuya Wakuda.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Marina Bay Sands Singapore>>

 

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Gotham City Getaways

July 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the much anticipated premiere of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, we certainly want to go beyond just seeing the films. For all of the Batman aficionados who hope to experience some of the scenes first hand, we bring you the numerous faces of Gotham City.

The Dark Knight had scenes shot in Chicago, Hong Kong, and London. The opening robbery of ‘Gotham National Bank’ by the Joker takes place at the Old Chicago Post Office, the offices of Harvey Dent and the boardroom of Wayne Enterprises are in the IBM Building in Chicago, and the restaurant where Bruce Wayne crashes Rachel’s and Harvey’s date is the Criterion Restaurant in London. The theater where Harvey attempts to take Rachel to see the ballet is the Chicago Theater on 175 North State St, and the meeting with the crooked financial tycoon is held in Hong Kong’s IFC2, the tallest building in the city. The views over the Chicago River from Bruce Wayne’s penthouse are actually taken from the 39th floor of the 71 Hotel, which is also where the bedroom of Wayne’s penthouse was filmed.

Want more? Check out the other pieces of Gotham City here!

Hoping to view all of these movie destinations in person? Make your reservations for London, Chicago, and Hong Kong here!

Photo of the 71 Hotel exterior


One of New Delhi's Newest Hotels: The Oberoi Gurgaon

December 12, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The Oberoi Gurgaon Guest RoomsThis year, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts welcomed a new property to its already-impressive Indian roster: The Oberoi, Gurgaon in New Delhi's stylish business suburb. On a recent trip to the subcontinent, we checked into this modern new addition — and checked up on some of the brand's iconic city and resort favorites.

Open since April The Oberoi, Gurgaon is in a booming business and entertainment enclave 15 minutes from the international airport—making it an ideal first stop in India. The hotel, which is spread out over nine acres, takes a more contemporary approach to design than some of its sister properties. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the reflection pool or maze garden, and offer conveniences that are both pampering (freestanding tubs, rain showers and silk robes) and practical (media hubs and 46-inch LED TVs). The two Premier Suites have private pools and decks, while the outdoor heated pool of the Presidential Suite (#6120) is cantilevered over the side of the building. Every guest enjoys 24-hour butler service by an employee trained under Robert Watson of The Guild of Professional English Butlers. To organize a VIP experience, like a ride in one of the hotel's private Rolls-Royce or BMW 7 Series cars, contact Les Clefs d’Or-accredited Head Concierge Stephen Fernandez.

To accommodate international flight schedules, The Oberoi, Gurgaon opened the city's first 24-hour full-service spa, with a globally influenced menu of services like herbal pouch massages, lime-and-ginger body scrubs, and milk-and-rose-petal baths. The Oberoi Gurgaon LobbyThere's also an Olympic-size outdoor pool and trainer-staffed gym onsite, and yoga sessions are offered daily. The hotel has also become a go-to dining destination, thanks to its diverse options. The vast threesixtyone restaurant (open from 6:30 a.m.-1 a.m.) has five show kitchens as well as a "live" patisserie and a bar menu of signature martinis and 200 labels of wine. (Top Tip: Contact the concierge team to organize a special Chef's Table experience.) At the fine dining restaurant Amaranta, Manager Swati Bhatnagar oversees a unique menu that highlights contemporary Indian coastal cuisine, with fresh fish arriving daily from the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Post-meal, ask to see the wide selection of Cuban and premium liquors in the Cigar Lounge.

Pictured: First, The Oberoi Gurgaon's lobby is spacious, post-modern and airy and second, an expansive guest room.

This article was originally written for our sister publication: Luxury Travel Advisor 


Recent Hotel Openings: Le Méridien Koh Samui

December 7, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger

Le Meridien Koh Samui Plunge Pool SuiteCalled the "Coconut Island," Koh Samui is situated in the Gulf of Thailand bordering the South China Sea. Once a haven for fishermen, it is Thailand's third-largest island. Earlier this fall, the ultra-posh Koh Samui got another dose of luxury with the opening of Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa.

The island resort sits on the exclusive Lamai Beach, with 77 suites and villas designed in the image of a traditional Asian seaside village. All rooms are quipped with 32-inch TVs, DVD players and iPod docking stations. We love the rainforest showers in the bathrooms, as well. We hear the best rooms in the house are the Ocean Front Pool Villas. These freestanding villas span 1,500 square feet and have open-air salas, sitting rooms, and a stretch of private ocean facing the infinity lap pool. In-villa dining with a private chef can also be arranged.

Le Méridien Koh Samui features three distinct epicurean experiences: Latest Recipe, all-day dining in a casual setting; Latitude 9, a colorful bar, great for coffee and pastries; and Plunge Bar, for swank barefoot relaxation.

An on-site spa, fitness center, and beachside and ocean swimming pools are also available.

This article was originally written for our sister publication: Luxury Travel Advisor


Top 10 Beach Resorts in the World

April 13, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Halekulani, HawaiiWe admit it. We're suckers for a good Top 10 List. (And who isn't?) So when the Toronto Sun recently published their list of the "World's Top Beachfront Hotels," we ate it up. They single out the following:

 

But where's Peter Island? And those swanky resorts in the Maldives? Or the celeb-mobbed hot spots on St. Barths?


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.


Announcing the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

April 6, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt Maldives

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has officially planted its flag in the Maldives with the April 1 opening of the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa on the Indian Ocean atoll called North Huvadhoo. Formerly the Alila Villas Hadahaa Resort, the property was rebranded a Park Hyatt and promises a dose of luxury in a swoonworthy tropical locale. (Just check out the website's photos and you'll be plotting your getaway.) The resort is comprised of 50 villas, some with private plunge pools just steps from the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. From sumptuous spa treatments at the Spa by Mandara to scuba diving at the onsite PADI dive center, the Park Hyatt Maldives offers a range of experiences to help you get the most out of your stay in paradise.


The New “Apprentice-Trips” Program from Fairmont Hotels

April 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Orchid HawaiiWe've just learned about the new "Apprentice-Trips" program at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a neat experience for travelers seeking out enriching and authentic adventures while on the road. Fairmont has taken this "yearning to learn" movement and created a collection of thoughtful experiences for hotel guests to learn, perfect, or acquire a new skill while on vacay. From surfing in Montreal to art immersion in Dallas, the program offers something for everyone. A smattering of these offerings are outlined below:

How to Pass a Bill in Washington D.C. (learn how to craft your agenda with a federally-registered lobbyist)

Find Your Inner Chi in Beijing (perfect the ancient art of Tai Chi)

Samuel Adams Behind the Scenes Boston Brewery Package at the Fairmont Copley Plaza

Canoes, Coffee and Culture in Hawai'i at the Fairmont Orchid

Cook with the Chef at the Fairmont Algonquin and the Fairmont Southampton

Learn about the Grizzly Bear while hiking from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise


Tropical Thailand: Aleenta Resort Phuket Adds to its Private Villa Collection

April 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Aleenta Resort Phuket, Private VillaWhen you're traveling with a group of friends or extended family, sometimes a private villa is the way to go. You get plenty of space and privacy, but with all the luxurious facilities of a five-star resort, doting staff included. On Thailand's popular island of Phuket, the Aleenta Resort's Private Villa Collection offers an exclusive experience on the golden sand of Natai beach, just 20 minutes north of Phuket International Airport. Recently Aleenta Resorts opened a third new villa called Grand Villa Satis, a four-bedroom hideaway complete with a child-safe swimming pool, full kitchen, and outdoor terrace lounge area leading to a secluded stretch of beach.

Guests booking Grand Villa Satis between now and September 30, 2011, will enjoy benefits such as a roundtrip airport transfer, followed by private check-in and welcome sunset cocktails at their villa, where they will be greeted by a personal butler who will be on hand during their entire stay. Daily breakfast, along with a delivered newspaper, is also free. Villa guests can explore a series of resort experiences. Think BBQ with a personal bartender, facials and massages at Aleenta's spa, and sunrise boot camp-style workout or Thai boxing on the beach. Prices for Grand Villa Satis begin at THB26,500 per night, an introductory offer available until September 30, 2011.


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.