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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.

China World Hotel, Beijing Indulgence Package

July 23, 2008
By: Betsy LeTourneau

China World HotelYou have a number of reasons to visit Beijing this year, starting with the Olympics, the Pandas, or this is one of the places you need to experience on your own 1,000 places to go before you die list. Now you have another reason to add to your list and it is the announcement of the new "Beijing Indulgence Package" now being offered at the China World Hotel. This enticing indulgence starts right at your arrival at the Beijing Capital Airport where you will be greeted by the hotel's airport butler at the gate, then escorted through airport immigration, assisted with your luggage collection and guided to your limousine. On arrival at the hotel, you will be met by the hotel's waiting guest relations Officer and escorted to your room for your express check-in. China World Hotel Your suite accommodations are a one bedroom Executive Suite, which boasts a spacious comfortable sitting room separate from your bedroom, satellite TV and DVD entertainment center, and an Italian Marble Bathroom stocked with the exclusive L'Occitane Designer Bath Products. You will receive your choice of a complementary bottle of imported red or white wine, daily breakfast in the hotel's 2 story Horizon Club Lounge which also will provide you with panoramic Beijing city views with its floor to ceiling windows. Complementary evening cocktails and canapes are served each evening and complementary refreshments are available throughout the day in the Lounge.

Other highlights of this "Beijing Indulgence Package" include a traditional Beijing Duck Dinner for 2 at the Summer Palace, a chauffeured hotel limousine at your disposal for eight hours each day to ensure sightseeing around Beijing in comfort, and a choice of a 45 minute Chinese reflexology session or a traditional Chinese full body massage (both are offered for maximum of 2 people). China World HotelOther features of the China World Hotel include a magnificent fitness center with a heated pool, state of the art gym equipment with spacious exercise studios and the latest cardio-fitness machines, indoor squash and tennis courts, steam room and jacuzzis and the city's only Oxygenation Room. The China World Hotel recently was recognized as one of the first three hotels in mainland China to be awarded with a Platinum Five Star rating by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and named on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List as well as being recognized by Frommer's Guide and Finance Asia, Forbes, and Travel & Leisure China as "The Top 50 Hotels in China". The hotel soars over the China World Trade Centre complex, which includes the China World Exhibition Centre and shopping mall, in the heart of Beijing's diplomatic and business district.

The "Beijing Indulgence Package" is available for RMB2,888 (plus 15% service charge) per room per night until December 31, 2008. The package is available Thursday to Sunday (inclusive) and is valid for single or double occupancy. Advance bookings for your massage and Beijing Duck Dinner are required.


Added Extras at Cocoa Island, the Dream Getaway in the Maldives

July 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cocoa Island, MaldivesIntrigued by the luxury "it" spot of the moment? The paradise islands of the Maldives-- distinguished by white sandy beaches, the world's finest scuba diving, and the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean-- have definitely crossed the elite traveler's radar screens in recent years. Cocoa Island is the luxurious outpost from COMO Hotels and Resorts (of Parrot Cay fame). If you're dreaming of private beaches and turquoise lagoons, overwater bungalows, water sports, and the benefits of yoga and spa services on-site, this island resort will more than exceed your expectations. Plus, the resort has recently debuted all sorts of added extras. There are brand new features in all suites and villas. Guests can now enjoy the viewing pleasure of 42" flat screen TVs and media players, while sipping some Italian coffee from their Lavazza Espresso machine - without having to leave the privacy of their room. Wait- there's more. A new all-day lounge offers a stylish environment for guests. Internet access here is complimentary, and you can chill out with a ginger tea, satellite TV and media player.


Free Stuff at Peninsula Hotels with the Summer Splendour Offer

July 18, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula New York, Salon de NingWe're pretty psyched about the "Suite Life" promotion at Peninsula Hotels-- where you get a complimentary second night when you check into a swanky Peninsula suite at select locations worldwide-- but the "Summer Splendour" offer deserves a shout-out, too. From now until September 14, 2008, you can indulge yourself with a stay at a luxurious Peninsula Hotel and select one of the fantastic free benefits-- ranging from spa treatments, room upgrades, culinary choices, traditional Peninsula Afternoon Tea-- all complimentary! Here’s a sampling. At the Peninsula Hong Kong, not only can you choose a value-added benefit (one-way limo airport transfer, dinner for two in The Lobby, or a 50-minute Holistic Body Massage for two), but you also get a bunch of free stuff thrown in: daily breakfast, gift certificate valued at HK$ 300 for a spa treatment at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, daily fruit basket and newspaper, and complimentary Internet access. At the Peninsula New York, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, you can choose an upgrade to the next available room category, a bottle of champagne and canapes at The Bar at Fives, or overnight valet parking. In Tokyo, you can choose between a spa or dining credit or room upgrade. Now that's living the good life!


Suite Luxury: The Presidential Suite at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

July 11, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Fullerton SingaporeThe Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a five-star luxury property with 400 rooms and suites in the heart of the financial and arts districts. It is just minutes from Singapore's main shopping belt, and overlooks the historic Singapore River. The most luxurious of the hotel's 28 suites is the Presidential Suite, located on the second floor.

Fullerton Presidential SuiteThe Fullerton Hotel Singapore's Presidential Suite

Size/Sq. Footage: 2142 square feet

Interior Designer: Hirsch Bedner Associates

Living Room: Colours in the suite are a soothing vanilla, while the curtains are in shades of white and beige. The upholstery used are Decorators Walk dark pillow fabric, Jack Lenor Larsen patterned sofa pillow fabric, and Old World Weavers light coloured fabric on the larger pillows. Fullerton Presidential SuiteThe floor is laid in white marble that gives the suite a clean, airy feel.

Entertainment Area: There is a private elevator at this corner, which is also furnished with a Baby Grand piano and two intricately carved solid wood chairs with inlaid mother-of-pearl.

Study: A private study adjoins the tastefully furnished bedroom, with broadband Internet access for instant connectivity.

Fullerton Hotel Singapore Presidential SuiteBathroom: The spacious bathroom, accessoried with Bulgari bathroom amenities, has minimalist, sleek fittings that were selected to complement its modern feel.

Rate: SGD$6,880++ per night, subject to service charge and taxes (currently around USD$5,000)

Fun Facts/Note Bene:

- The Presidential Suite is formerly the card room of the elite Singapore Club.

- The living room, dining room and entertainment area extend out to a spectacular air-conditioned glass-enclosed veranda – an ideal space for guests who wish to host a private dinner for up to 30 people. It is graced by majestic 20-foot high Doric columns characteristic of the building's Palladian style of architecture.

- Guests of the Presidential Suite also enjoy the services of a 24-hour personal butler.


Naladhu’s 5 Day Spa Journey in the Maldives

July 10, 2008
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Naladhu ResortI can hear it now, the rhythm of the waves rolling on the sand, the rustle of the palms, and the singing of the birds as they land in paradise. Naladhu Maldives 5 Days Spa Journey Package offers not only the sounds of Paradise at your door but the unique and intimate spa retreat that is sure to bring that complete sense of well being. Each spa day begins with a pre-spa yoga session followed by a signature spa treatment. A consultation is conducted by a certified ayurvedic doctor to prescribe a personalized ayurvedic healing. Your stay includes 5 nights in a Naladhu Ocean House, daily breakfast, round trip speed boat Male International Airport transfers, and 5 days of spa indulgence. Start your stay with the a Jetlag massage sure to get you in that relaxed state. This is not just any spa retreat.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Guests who make reservations at the Naladhu Resort with Five Star Alliance will receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne, a Dolphin safari, and late check-out subject to availability.


Four Seasons Hotel Macao Opens Its Doors

July 7, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Macao- Cotai StripThe Las Vegas of the East welcomes a brand spanking new Four Seasons Hotel. Macao, the world's biggest gaming capital, has seen a slew of new luxury hotel brands from the West staking claim to a piece of this former Portuguese capital. Hot on the heels of the Wynn Macao and the Venetian Macao, the Four Seasons is making its debut in October 2008. There's even a Cirque du Soleil Macau, the first resident show in Asia. Now accepting reservations, the Four Seasons Macao-Cotai Strip has an indulgent spa (where you can adjust to the new time zone with the Revive Jet Lag treatment), a lagoon pool, and Belcanção restaurant offering cuisine reflecting Macau's Portuguese and Chinese heritage Seasons service. You can even watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. Step out the door and you'll be seduced by the colourful fusion of culture in Macau (not to mention the duty-free designer shopping and larger-than-life entertainment).


Luxury Shopping Spree in Shanghai at the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel

July 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pudong Shangri-LaSoar to the heights of the new Shanghai at the Pudong Shangri-La. The views of the Bund and the Huangpu River are unrivaled from this vantage point. (The floor-to-ceiling windows in the guest rooms capture the panorama of the historic Bund.) One of the city's preeminent luxury hotels, the Pudong Shangri-La offers world-class facilities and the warm and attentive service for which Shangri-La is known. With easy access to both Hongqiao and Pudong international airports, this is an ideal choice for business and leisure travelers. Designer restaurants and bars, ballrooms, health club and swimming pool, and Chi, The Spa... The Shangri-La's got it all. Shop til you drop when in Shanghai, discover the city's many shopping enclaves, and pamper yourself thoroughly at the Pudong Shangri-La with a lot of complimentary extras. The hotel's Luxury Shopping Spree Package, priced from RMB 2,788 per night, includes daily buffet breakfast for two persons at Yi Café, a RMB 500 credit for treatments at CHI, The Spa, free in-room Internet, one complimentary buffet dinner for two at Yi Café, one box of gourmet chocolates, and a concierge shopping guide for 3 hours.


Journey Through Bhutan with Uma Paro Hotel

July 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BhutanBhutan's been in the news a lot these days. Called the "Land of the Thunder Dragon," this Buddhist Himalayan kingdom recently held its first democratic elections. Right now Bhutan is the focus of the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the mall in Washington D.C., and has become the destination of choice for adventurous travelers looking to discover off-the-map spots. Closed to the outside world for centuries, Bhutan has tremendous natural and cultural riches waiting to be explored. Uma Paro, the 29-room luxury hotel opened by COMO Hotels and Resorts in late 2004, is offering a spectacular adventure: The Central and Western Bhutan Journey and Bumdra Camp. From August 28-September 7, 2008, a small group will venture out on a 10-night inclusive adventure in the Dragon Kingdom, which brings together the very best of Uma Paro's most popular experiences in one itinerary. Led by one of Uma Paro's experienced, English-speaking guides, the group will enjoy tours and day hikes and witness some of the most dramatic scenery on earth. The highlight will be a one-night camping trek high above the famous Tiger's Nest monastery. Available from $4,068 per person (single occupancy) including full board, transfers, government fees, taxes and royalties. You'll also get a 1 hour daily yoga class while at Uma Paro, and complimentary use of the pool and gym.


Vertical Marathon at Banyan Tree Bangkok

July 2, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Vertigo Restaurant at Banyan Tree BangkokClimbing to the top is no small feat. At 61 storeys, the hotel towers over the city skyline. This year marks the tenth year that Banyan Tree Bangkok has organized the annual Vertical Marathon, to be held on September 28, 2008 from 6am-12pm. The finishing point for the race is the former helicopter landing pad on the 61st floor, now the Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar (pictured). In 2007, the winner made it to the top (that's 1,093 steps) in just six minutes and 16 seconds. The Vertical Marathon initiative is aimed at specific health care issues and needs within the local communities, and the event raises money for HIV-AIDS charities. The registration fee is 350 Thai Baht per person and includes the official Vertical Marathon t-shirt and a meal box. Winners will receive a trophy from Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali, as well as complimentary accommodation and gift certificates from Banyan Tree. Visitors to Bangkok can also book the Vertical Marathon Package, available from September 27-28. Benefits include: a stay in a well-appointed suite, a cocktail drink at Moon Bar, breakfast or a lunch box, a Vertical Marathon entry ticket, and a Vertical Marathon T-Shirt. You'll also get 20 percent off at the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa- to relax with a rejuvenating massage after tackling the vertical maraton!


Best of Bangkok: lebua at State Tower, All-Suite Hotel, Offers Free Fourth Night

June 27, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

lebua at State TowerIt's easy to speak in superlatives about lebua at State Tower, Bangkok's all-suite luxury hotel and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Here at the State Tower, you can dine at the world's highest al fresco restaurant and sip drinks at the hip Sky Bar. (Check out the photo with the incredible views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya river from the dramatically-lit deck.) Each of the hotel's suites has a balcony with striking views over the cityscape, plus they are wired with all the latest technology. Take advantage of the "Sizzling Deal" at lebua at State Tower, available until July 30, 2008, and you can score a fourth night free with three paid nights in a two-bedroom suite or three-bedroom suite. The package also includes daily breakfast at Café Mozu and free in-suite Internet access. You must book by July 15, 2008.