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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.

ArtScience Museum Debuts at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

March 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Marina Bay SandsIt's little wonder that Singapore's Marina Bay Sands was one of the most buzzed about hotel openings of 2010. A sky-high infinity pool, restaurants by celebrity chef Guy Savoy, a plant-filled SkyPark set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform... What more could you ask for? Well, "Asia's ultimate resort experience" has just upped the ante with yet another exciting amenity: the ArtScience Museum, recently opened in a fanfare celebration. Here's how Malaysia Asia describes the lotus-inspired museum:

Designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, it has been called “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore” by Mr. Sheldon Adelson, the visionary chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp. The curved roof of the museum harvests rainwater, sending it to a reflecting pool. There are a total of 21 gallery spaces that will embrace achievements in both art and science in a total of 4,800 square meters of space here. Traveling exhibitions will change every three to six months.

Book the "Museum Premiere Package" to mark the opening of the ArtScience Museum and spend the night in luxury while delighting in the cultural experience that's the talk of the town. Book by March 10 and enjoy rates from $339++ (per night for select weekdays) or S$359++ (per night for select weekends) and receive 2 adult tickets to the ArtScience Museum. Available for select dates through April 2011.


A Free Night and Restaurant Credit: The St. Regis Osaka Celebrates its Debut

March 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Regis OsakaBack in July 2010 we reported that Starwood's St. Regis brand was heading to Japan. Now The St. Regis Osaka has debuted 160 guest rooms and suites that it says are "the most spacious and elegantly appointed in Osaka." Serviced by the St. Regis butler, the residential-style accommodations have luxuriously layered beds with headboards made of Kawashima silk showing motifs of gingko and cherry blossoms. Walk-in closets and spa-like bathrooms with Japanese tubs and rainforest showers are standard in all rooms, as are the high-tech amenities. Be one of the first guests to check out the sleek spa and elegant dining at Rue d’Or or La Veduta, while taking advantage of a special offer at the St. Regis Osaka. Book the "Opening Package" and get a JPY 5,000 restaurant credit and a complimentary one night stay for your next visit.


The World’s Tallest Hotels (in Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai… Where Else?)

February 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Al ArabCurious about the tallest hotels on the planet? Do any hotels in the Americas make the cut? Web Urbanist just published the Top 10 List, and it's making the Internet rounds. Burj Al Arab-- the sail-shaped wonder soaring over the beach in Dubai-- lands on the list, along with two other Dubai properties: The Rose Rayhaan by Rotana and Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The rest of the buildings can be found in cities across Asia: The Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok, The Cullinan I in Hong Kong, the Grand Lisboa in Macau, The Lanko-Grand Hyatt Hotel in Chongqing, Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore, Oasis Skyway Garden Hotel in Shanghai, JR Central Hotel Tower in Nagoya, and Ryugyong Hotel Tower in Pyongyang. Check out all the photos here.


Sofitel Phnom Penh Unveils New Dining Digs

February 25, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger

Sofitel Phnom PenhFoodies looking for fodder? The Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra in Cambodia has opened its eighth restaurant, Fu Lu Zu. The new dining digs joins the ranks of a Chinese restaurant, Japanese restaurant and Italian restaurant, as well as a chocolatiere, an Old World bar, two poolside eateries and La Coupole, which blends both Western and Asian flavors.

We like the restaurant's timeless theme, which takes diners back to the Golden Age of travel (think plush red seats and coffered ceiling). Here gourmands can feast on shark's fin and braised bird's nest as well as lobster, crab and barbecued pork.

Saturday and Sunday mornings are reserved for dim sum, and, as a nice touch, the restaurant will remain open into the wee hours for famished night owls.


Kerry Hotels, New Five-Star Brand from Shangri-La, Debuts in Shanghai

February 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kerry Hotel Pudong, ShanghaiIt's here. The Kerry Hotel Pudong has opened in Shanghai, marking the debut of a new five-star hotel brand by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. What's it all about? Kerry Hotels are aimed at the business traveler "who prefers a vibrant and relaxed environment without compromising on service or quality. The hotels are contemporary in style and provide a seamless link between business, entertainment and recreation," says Greg Dogan, CEO of Shangri-La International. We're pleased as punch about the contemporary room amenities: 40-inch flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and complimentary broadband and wireless Internet access, custom-designed in-room consoles with high stools and mini-bars, and sweeping views over Shanghai. We also like the sound of the in-house craft brewery and enormous gym called Kerry Sports, billed as the city's largest hotel-based sports club. Inside you'll find separate studios for spinning classes, Pilates and yoga along with a heated indoor pool, outdoor basketball court, tennis court, and outdoor roof garden with a jogging track. Next up for the brand: The Shangri-La's Kerry Centre Hotel in Beijing will be converted into the second Kerry Hotel after a multimillion dollar renovation scheduled for completion in 2012.

To celebrate its opening, Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai offers a special introductory package until May 31, 2011. The package includes:

* Accommodation in a Deluxe Room (single or double occupancy)

* Daily breakfast for up to two persons

* Rmb300 dining credit per stay valid at The COOK, The MEET or The BREW

* A special Kerry welcome amenity

* Complimentary wired and wireless broadband Internet access

Rates start at Rmb1,688 plus tax, and reservations are subject to availability and advance booking.


The Andaman’s Spa Goes Organic

February 24, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger

AndamanOrganic is all the rage nowadays and we hear that The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort in the Langkawi archipelago of Malaysia is jumping on the bandwagon. Never been? We say now's the time to go.

We hear that the resort's V Botanical Spa has sharpened its image with the offering of 100 percent certified organic food grade products and treatments. Translation" all-natural goods like hair and body oils, multi-functional aromatics, nutraceutical supplements and nutritional lip balms.

V Botanical Spa is one of five pieces that makes up V Integrated Wellness. The other four elements consist of V Fitness, V Healthy Cuisine, V Retreats and V Beach Club, all of which will officially launch in March.


Seaside Villas at the Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru

February 23, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses

Banyan Tree MaldivesFact: The Maldives is the most beautiful place on Earth. There, it’s been said. Minted and printed. For those that believe there is another place on this planet that compares, please feel free to comment below. In my opinion, you have a hard case to prove. And when you’re lying on a hammock underneath the bright canopy of the bluest heavens, staring out across the clear turquoise waters, and breathing in the sweet scent of the trade winds wafting by, I think you’ll agree.

The Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru, on the North Male atoll, is the perfect place from which to experience the world’s most beautiful place. The Banyan Tree is pure luxury, period. Guests stay in deluxe beachfront villas propped on stilts that plunge deep into white sand. The beaches are often empty, with some visitors reporting that they didn’t see another soul all day while soaking in the sun and swimming in the warm, docile waters.

The Banyan Tree also recognizes the importance of its location, as the Maldives is a unique eco-habitat with rare species abounding. The marine biology demonstrations presented for guests is a unique offering to this exotic locale. So if you want to stay in the most beautiful place in the world, reserve a villa at the Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru. Heck, in between sips of Mai Tai, you might even learn a thing or two.


Taipei Travels: W Hotels Opens Newest Property

February 23, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger

Taipei came a bit more tantalizing this month with W Hotels' debut of its newest Asia property, W Taipei. The W Taipei offers 405 rooms spread over 31 floors. We hear that guest rooms overlook the Yangmingshan mountain range and are equipped with balconies. We're loving the style, which is true W (think warm-colored tones, burnished wood and floral carpeting, accented with subtle lighting from Chinese lantern boxes). All rooms feature high speed wireless, flat screen televisions, Bose 2.1 sound systems, and a W Taipei's signature W Zodiac Animal. When it's time to wine and dine, guests can choose from an assortment of restaurants and lounges. The Kitchen Table serves up spicy tandoor dishes, wood-fired pizzas, salads and seafood. The WET pool sky deck is tops for al fresco dining (and we hear the views are pretty tasty, themselves). Here dine on barbecue goodies. On the 31st floor, check out the W's Cantonese restaurant, Yen, which offers dim sum, seafood and desserts. Intimate touch: There are five private dining rooms at Yen.


The Siam Journey: Thai Massage Workshop at The Peninsula Bangkok

February 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula BangkokThe best digs in Bangkok? Try The Peninsula, the stunning riverside hotel that's a fixture on "World's Best" lists. Every one of its sprawling guest rooms and suites offers sweeping views over the city. There's a three-tiered swimming pool, destination restaurants, top-notch Peninsula Spa by ESPA and fitness center-- all attended by doting staff. And here's something else that distinguishes The Peninsula Bangkok: a new program with The Peninsula Academy called "The Siam Journey." The Peninsula Academy Programs were created to give guests a personalized introduction to key aspects of local culture, lifestyle, cuisine, arts, and history– through individualized classes, tours, and activities in each Peninsula location. This particular program was designed to share the Thai heritage of wellness with guests, enabling them to take the experience home and practice it in their daily lives.

Start off with The Peninsula Tea Ceremony paired with a relaxing foot ritual. Then learn the history and practice of Thai massage in a special workshop, providing insights into the unique herbs used in Thai treatments. After this learning experience, guests are treated to a 1-hour and 20-minute Thai massage described thusly: "the therapist’s skilled hands, elbows and feet are used to massage pressure points to open the body’s flow of energy, elongate the muscles and release deep-seated tension." The journey concludes with traditional Thai snacks to savor, and guests receive a Siam Journey Wellness Gift. Taking place in a Spa Suite, the half-day program begins at 9:30 am and is priced at THB 5,000 per person.


Andaz Arrives in China with a New Hotel in Shanghai

February 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz Wall StreetFans of Hyatt's Andaz brand will be thrilled to learn that Andaz is bringing its signature complimentary inclusions (think internet, local calls, and mini-bars) to Asia. The trendy boutique brand has quite the following for its smart hotels in London (Andaz Liverpool Street), Los Angeles (Andaz West Hollywood), San Diego, and New York (Andaz Wall Street and Andaz Fifth Avenue). The newest sparkling hotel to hit the scene will be the Andaz Shanghai, debuting this summer in the city's Xintiandi neighborhood. You can be sure that the 307-room hotel will have plenty to write home about: a restaurant, brasserie, bar, lounge, a spa and pool. Up next for Andaz? Properties in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Delhi, India; Papagayo, Costa Rica; Sanya, China; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands; and Wailea-Makena, Hawaii.

 

 

Pictured: Andaz Wall Street.

 

Related Articles:

More Press Love for Hyatt’s Andaz Brand

Personal Cocktail Lessons with the Resident Bartenders at Andaz West Hollywood

Buzz in New York: Andaz Fifth Avenue is Opening in August

It’s Here: Andaz Wall Street Opens Its Doors (with Free Wifi, Local Calls, Croissants)