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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.

Opening Soon in Beijing: The China World Summit Wing, a Shangri-La Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

China World TowerShangri-La's swanky new resort in the Maldives may be getting all the press love these days, but soon all eyes will turn to Beijing, as the luxury hospitality group opens the China World Summit Wing in the new 330-meter tall China World Tower in the heart of the Central Business District. What's in store? 278 guestrooms and suites (billed as some of the largest in the city), four designer restaurants, two bars and a lounge, CHI The Spa, ample conference facilities, and an observation deck on level 81.


The World’s Tallest Hotel: Shanghai or Hong Kong?


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt ShanghaiAnd the battle wages on... Hotels around the world vie to be the tallest, most luxurious, in a spectacular display of one-upmanship. Five, Six, Seven stars? (What's the legal limit, anyway?) Business Week recently highlighted the Park Hyatt Shanghai, located on floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center, as the world's highest hotel:

See that nice pagoda-shaped building you're looking down on out the window? Yeah, that's the Jin Mao Tower, and it's about 40 meters taller than the Empire State Building in NYC.

Floor-to-ceiling windows from China's tallest building provide incredible views (through the smog, of course.) And though the Burj Dubai may be the world's tallest building, the "world's highest hotel" title currently belongs to the Park Hyatt Shanghai. Until the completion of the International Commerce Center in Kowloon, that is. Then the planned 7-star Ritz-Carlton will steal the title.


Lunar Spa Treatments at the Capella Singapore’s Auriga Spa


By: Christina Vasquez

Capella SingaporeThe Capella Singapore's Auriga Spa and Fitness Center offers a unique twist on relaxation treatments by adding four services with a celestial approach to wellness that are based on the cycles of the moon. Choices from these signature treatments include the following and are only offered during the corresponding lunar phase:

New Moon: The Beginning - Treatments during the new moon stage will focus on stimulating and awakening the body.

Waxing Moon: Sowing the Seeds -The waxing phase is the time to "sow the seeds" and nourish the body.

The Full Moon: This lunar phase brings one to the height of his or her potential and treatments during this phase incorporate pink roses to signify balance and the realization of full potential.

Waning Moon: Cleansing - The waning moon signals a time to cleanse the body and spirit to stimulate the elimination of body toxins.

Along with these distinctive services guests can also enjoy a range of traditional Asian therapies scrubs and wraps for an out of body experience while enjoying world class accommodations and amenities offered at the Capella Singapore.


What’s New for Conrad Hotels in 2010: Openings Across the Globe


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ShanghaiCalling all connoisseurs of luxury (and hotel addicts). You'll soon be able to get a dose of Conrad luxury in Shanghai, Koh Samui (Thailand), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the Bahamas, and Portugal's Algarve. With the addition of these six hotels, Conrad is pursuing a bold expansion strategy. The current portfolio-- comprised of properties in diverse markets across the globe-- numbers 19. While the Conrad Shanghai has a striking contemporary design (pictured) and will house an urban spa, the Conrad Koh Samui Resort and Spa will consist of villas with private plunge pools and outdoor sundecks offering panoramic vistas-- all surrounded by a lush coconut plantation. The Conrad Bimini Resort & Casino is part of an overall new seaside village on the island of North Bimini, Bahamas. The Bimini Bay Resort has restaurants, a marina, spa and a casino. Click here for the full scoop.


Special Savings at The Metroplitan Bangkok


By: Christina Vasquez

The Metropolitan BangkokEnjoy great rate specials at The Metropolitan Bangkok where until December 25, 2009 you can book a prorated nightly rate which equates to one free night with the 2 Plus 1 Promotion for a three consecutive night stay. For bigger savings book the Ultimate Savings Offer and receive prepaid rates starting at $99 for a City Room, $119 for a Studio Room and only $150 for a Metropolitan Room! Take advantage of these extraordinary specials and immerse yourself in Thai culture while retreating to your contemporary luxury retreat at The Metropolitan Bangkok.


The Peninsula Shanghai Opens October 19, 2009


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula ShanghaiNeed we say more? We've been anticipating this hotel launch for awhile now, as the top-notch Peninsula Hotels Group prepares to open its 9th property on the historic Bund waterfront. And The Peninsula Shanghai is now accepting reservations for its October 19th debut. We hear the technology will be as cutting-edge as that in the Peninsula Tokyo. Read: perks like unlimited VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls around the world. The standard guest rooms are billed as the largest standard guest rooms in the city, inspired by the Art Deco period when Shanghai was the "Paris of the East." The dining choices sound fab, especially the nautically-themed bar and Rooftop Restaurant. If the Salon de Ning is anything like New York's, we're in luck.


Get Married on a Yacht in the Maldives with Naladhu Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Naladhu Resort, Maldives

Here's a wedding idea that's bound to send countless hearts aflutter. Sure, destination weddings can translate to turquoise seas and white sands. But a ceremony on a luxurious Maldivian yacht, while sailing around the palm-fringed islands of the South Male Atoll? Now that's epic. Naladhu Resort is known for its luxurious offerings, so we can't say we're surprised. Private plunge pool? Just a drop in the bucket there; they've got dolphin safaris, sunrise yoga, Culinary Journeys, even storytelling on the beach. Tempted by the yacht wedding? Read on:

The Captain welcomes you both aboard with tropical handmade leis placed around your necks, while attentive House Masters serve chilled exotic canapés prior to setting sail. Exchange your carefully chosen vows as the sun begins to set in the distant horizon, and complete the ceremonial exchange of rings as our Bodu Katheeb, or Island Chief, pronounces you husband and wife. Feel the sea breeze in your hair as you glide through the Atoll and enjoy the lulling splash of water against the keel as you search for playful dolphins who may even come out to accompany you on your way! Cut the cake onboard and toast to your newly proclaimed love with a glass of fine champagne while our photographer captures these timeless memories of your magical ceremony. Meanwhile, your personal chef and waiter will be busy preparing your seafood barbeque, paired with a carefully selected wine, guiding you to your pre-set table lovingly arranged with beautiful tropical flowers and candles.

Naladhu Resort, Maldives

Not to mention the rose-petal bath awaiting your return, sumptuous breakfast prepared on your deck, and the planting of a coconut tree-- "to symbolize the beginning of your new life together."


Room with a View on Koh Lanta, Thailand: Rawi Warin Resort and Spa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eco-Resort on Koh Lanta

It's Friday, which means a little beach day-dreaming is in order. Check out these pics of the Rawi Warin Eco-Resort and Spa in Thailand (formerly the Langham Place Eco-Resort). The island of Koh Lanta could be heaven on earth: soft sand lapped by the crystal clear water of the Andaman Sea. All viewed from a dramatic infinity-edge pools in your villa....

Eco-Resort on Koh Lanta


World’s Tallest Hotel Bar and Restaurant is…?


By: K. Clare Johnson

lebua at State TowerLooks like there's more than one hotel rooftop bar and/or restaurant vying for the title of world's highest. We wrote on July 27 about some great rooftop spots for dining, drinking and star-gazing. Banyan Tree Bangkok's spectacular 61st floor Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar was one of the luxury spots we mentioned as being the world's highest. Turns out that lebua at State Tower, also in Bangkok, has the Sirocco Restaurant, which they bill as the world's highest open air restaurant, located on the 63rd floor. We're big fans of their Sky Bar, too, which we highlighted a few years ago.

Rather than wade in to the fray about who is the highest, has the best views, or the best drinks/food or service, we'll just say that we wish we were enjoying the view from either one of them right about now.


Trends in the City: Hotel Rooftop Bars


By: Alison Victor

Banyan Tree BangkokCoast to coast, continent to continent, there has been no greater trend than the urban hotel rooftop bar. Not only is it a great tool in drawing crowds and garnering attention, but it provides hotel guests with the best views of their city. So with that, and cocktails, in mind, here are a few places that seem to rise above the rest. Recently revamped, the Skybar at Mondrian Hotel is the place to be seen in Los Angeles. This rooftop destination includes an open air, ivy-covered pavilion set above a pool and outdoor living room, unique reflective glass surfaces, custom-designed furniture, and of course, the best sweeping views of L.A.

On the East Coast, Washingtonians who were eagerly awaiting the opening of the new W Washington DC have been rewarded with the cleverly named POV Rooftop Terrace. Just an elevator ride up to the 11th-floor, this Sasha Petraske owned destination boasts panoramic views of the Nation's monuments, including an almost surreal glimpse of the White House. With carefully crafted cocktails, tapas style "snacks" from culinary great Jean George, and striking red decor, the POV Lounge has elevated DC to another level.

Vertigo, Banyan Tree BangkokVertigo is typically defined as a feeling of dizziness, or disorientation, triggered by high places. With this in mind, it is easy to see why the rooftop lounge at the

Banyan Tree Bangkok has been named The Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar. The Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar has the distinction of being the highest open air bar in the world, offering guests 360 degree views of Bangkok from 61 floors up. Stylish and sleek, this destination is a must on any visitor's checklist.

Warm weather, great views, and refreshing cocktails sound like a good combination no matter where you may find them, and with so many luxury properties extending their reach to the roof top arena, we should only continue to see the outdoor trend soar.