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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.

Hit the Greens for Less Greenbacks at Thailand’s Anantara Resort Hua Hin


By: K. Clare Johnson

Golfers looking for the next exotic destination in which to tee up will want to take a swing at this offer. Anantara Resort Hua HinThailand's Anantara Resort Hua Hin is offering a Golf Discovery package starting at THB 7,300. Hua Hin's golf courses are legendary, both for their gorgeous views of tranquil lakes and lush landscapes and for their rolling greens. The package includes one night accommodation with breakfast, entrance to one of three golf courses per day (Royal Hua Hin, Imperial Lake View and Majestic Creek), Caddy fee and round-trip transfer to the course of choice, and an Anantara golf towel.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests staying at the Anantara Resort Hua Hin will receive free daily afternoon tea featuring Thai favorite delights through live demonstrations at Sala Siam lounge. There will also be a free Thai massage lesson at the award-winning Anantara Spa. The Recreation team will also provide a free handicraft activity.


Arrive in Luxury at the Peninsula Hong Kong


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Hong KongThe Peninsula takes the pain out of travel with stellar service (and staff ready to assist) the minute you set foot at the Hong Kong airport. Before you even partake in the hotel's world-famous amenities (flight-seeing tours, anyone?), you can experience arrival by Rolls-Royce. Scotland on Sunday recently sang the praises of the Grand Dame of the Far East:

There is only one way to arrive – gliding from Chek Lap Kok airport in the back of a Rolls-Royce, courtesy of the Peninsula Hotel (which many believe to be the finest hotel in the world). From the moment you get off the plane and are greeted prior to immigration by an immaculately uniformed member of the hotel's staff, you know you are in for an unforgettable and truly remarkable stay. By the time you pass through Customs, your bags have been picked up and escorted to your limousine. Cool towels and iced water are provided by the chauffeur as classical Chinese music plays gently during the 30-minute journey into Kowloon.


Get Insights into Local Culture with the Personalized Peninsula Academy Program


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Hong KongFeng shui, private guided tours, Thai cooking classes, kite flying in Tiananmen Square... These are just a few of the examples of the marvelous offerings available to guests at Peninsula Hotels worldwide. 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. Programs are available with just a few days notice, so guests can choose activities according to their own interests and travel schedules. It all started with the Peninsula Hong Kong, whose Peninsula Academy programs won the Government Award for Tourism Services. The range of activities is staggering: Chinese brush writing, Tai Chi, introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine- you name it. At the Peninsula New York, you can have breakfast at Van Cleef & Arpels, get a private tour of MOMA, and indulge in a Couture Shopping Outing. Younger guests love the Kids Academy; in Chicago they can attend the Little Bakers Class or enjoy a Scavenger Hunt while the 'rents take a cooking class at the hotel's renowned restaurant. In Tokyo, you can take a Tsukiji Fish Market Tour or take a Tea Flavors Master Class. Not to be outdone, the Peninsula Bangkok offers a choice of a la carte programs in the Peninsula Academy: Thai Flower Arranging, Fruit and Veggie Carving, Canal Tour along the Chao Phraya River, and more. And with the Peninsula Beijing, you can uncover the secrets of the Chinese capital with tours of the hutongs and the "Wild" Great Wall.


The World’s 50 Best New Hotels from Forbes Traveler: St. Regis Bali, Chicago’s Trump International Hotel, and More


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump ChicagoThe results are in. Forbes Traveler put together a board of 400 experts to name the world's up and coming hotspots and best new hotels. On the list? The Four Seasons chain managed to make a splash with the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, and the Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche offers the best of the south of France. St. Regis also scored two spots on the list with the St. Regis Singapore and St. Regis Bali. The Fasano Hotel in Rio also garners praise. And closer to home, Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower is getting lots of rave reviews, "slated to become one of Chicago's most desirable addresses."


Helicopter “Flightseeing” Tours at The Peninsula Hong Kong


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Hong KongLeave it to the "Grande Dame of the Far East" to come up with luxurious enticements to dazzle its loyal clientele. The opulent Peninsula Hong Kong, celebrating its 80th birthday this year, has a knack for spoiling its guests (Case in point: The Pen's fleet of Rolls-Royce limousines to whisk you around Hong Kong). The celebrated Peninsula service includes helicopter shuttle service from the hotel's rooftop helipad. Recently the hotel debuted a brand new helicopter program which combines "flightseeing" tours with other amenities. With the "Fly and Dine" package, flights depart from the rooftop for a 15-minute ride above the sparkling city in The Pen's twin-engined Aerospatiale Squirrel helicopter, where the pilot will point out the major city landmarks, spectacular coastline, and outlying islands. After their return, guests head downstairs to the restaurant of choice for lunch or dinner. Prices start from HK$ 7,180 for two persons. The "Fly and Relax" program combines the "flightseeing tour" with treatments at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA. After your tour, you'll indulge with a De-stressor Aromatherapy massage, a skin specific Intensive Facial and a poolside Naturally Peninsula lunch or Afternoon Tea. The total treatment time is 1 hour 50 minutes, and Fly and Relax is HK$ 7,500 for two or HK$ 9,300 for three people.


Savor Sofitel: “I Love Chocolate” Getaway with Three Course Dinner, Third Night Free, and Chocolate Surprises


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel ParisChocoholics, rejoice. Sofitel Hotels has cooked up a divine dream come true: The "I love Chocolate" offer. When you check into your spacious guest room, appointed with luxurious amenities, you'll find a chocolate surprise. Savor a lavish afternoon tea "au chocolat" with French hot chocolate and gourmet treats. Then it gets even better. You'll be treated to a spectacular three-course dinner crafted by the chef to showcase the flavors of chocolate. The icing on the cake? You'll get a third night free! This three-night stay is available from November 1, 2008 until January 31, 2009 in participating Sofitel hotels worldwide including the Sofitel Los Angeles (priced from $274), Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg (starting from EUR 245), and the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi, long cherished by visiting A-listers for its traditional elegance.


Hot Deals in Singapore: Five-Star Fabulous at The Fullerton Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Fullerton, SingaporeHere's a special offer only available to Five Star Alliance guests at Singapore's stunning Fullerton Hotel. Fittingly, it's called the "Five Star B&B package" and you'll get treated to some five-star fabulousness at this award-winning gem. Available November 1 and starting from SGD$458, the package includes luxurious accommodations in a Courtyard room, breakfast for two at Town Restaurant and late check-out at 3 pm. It's not just the elegant architecture that will have you swooning; the hotel is celebrated for its top-notch location and stellar service. Search for availability here.


Langham Hotels Signs Partnership with Emirates Airlines


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Emirates AirlinesThis just in: A new loyalty partnership between Langham Hotels and Emirates Airlines means you can rack up the points with hotel stays. You'll get 600 miles per qualifying stay at any Langham Hotel worldwide. Emirates' frequent flier program- Skywards- has 3.8 million members.


Jumeirah Group Keeps Growing, and Growing, and Growing…


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Al ArabSome hotel companies may be feeling the pinch of a down economy, but not Jumeirah. The Dubai-based hotel group, famous for its seven-star Burj Al Arab (pictured), has just announced they have 19 hotels under development. They're bringing their signature brand of hospitality to Asia and South America, and expect to have 60 properties, or about 25,000 rooms, either in operation or under development by 2012. Our friends at the Luxury Insider highlight the five new hotels and resorts-- Jumeirah Bali Resort in Indonesia, Jumeirah Maldives Resort in the South Malé Atoll, Jumeirah Al Salam Resort in Bahrain, Jumeirah Al Salam Yiti Resort in Oman, and Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel in Kuwait-- all scheduled to open within the next three years.


Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand: The Latest from the New Ritz-Carlton “Reserve” Brand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Phulay Bay, A Ritz Carlton ReserveBack in 2006 we started raving about Molasses Reef, the unspoiled island destination in the Turks and Caicos that would be the setting for the first "Ritz-Carlton Reserve"-- the "highest tier of luxury properties" designed in an eco-friendly way with respect for the local environment. Now our friends over at Luxury Insider have spilled the beans about the latest in the Ritz-Carlton Reserve collection: Phulay Bay, "tucked away in the midst of limestone karsts and hidden waterfalls in Thailand's diving hotspot Krabi and embraced by the Andaman Sea." Guest rooms feature walk-in wardrobes, outdoor verandah lounge beds, rainforest showers, and indoor and outdoor baths. 24-hour personal butler service is a given. And facilities include a beautiful infinity pool, state-of-the-art gym, and first destination ESPA.