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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.

Buzzworthy: Free Bikes with the Park Hyatt’s Bike Valet Program


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palacio Duhau, Park HyattAs we reported last month, Park Hyatt Washington D.C. is now handing out complimentary bikes for guests to take on a spin around the city. We just learned that this "Bike Valet" program will soon be extended to other Park Hyatt properties-- from Sydney to Tokyo, from Chicago to Buenos Aires. Inspired by Lance's recent return to the Tour? Come August, you'll be able to embark on your very own "Tour de Park Hyatt." The concierges will hook you up with a hybrid bike, helmet, lock, city biking map, and bottled water.


Travel + Leisure Announces World’s Best Hotels Survey Winners


By: K. Clare Johnson

 

 

Bushmans Kloof

 

Travel + Leisure has just announced the winners of its World’s Best Hotels 2009 survey, and no surprise, many of the top hotels named can be found on Five Star Alliance. In top fifteen alone, favorites include South Africa's Bushmans Kloof (pictured), Singita Sabi Sand , and Twelve Apostles; Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia, India's Oberoi Vanyavilas and Oberoi Udaivilas; Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, Tanzania's Kirawira Camp, and America's own Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. Congrats to all the winners!


Singles Explore Bhutan: 50 Percent Off Itineraries with Uma Paro Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BhutanCOMO Hotels and Resorts is making it easy for solo travelers to discover the "Land of the Thunder Dragon." The Buddhist Himalayan kingdom has been closed to the outside world for centuries, and now allows limited access for visitors to discover one of the last pristine mountain cultures on earth. The 29-room Uma Paro Hotel arranges the entry permission required to visit the Kingdom, along with visas and Druk Airline tickets. Generally speaking-- singles suffer higher prices when it comes to travel packages. COMO Hotels to the rescue. With "Bhutan for One," the luxurious Uma Paro Hotel is giving solo travelers 50 percent off the single occupancy rate on various itineraries from November 1- December 20th, 2009 and January 1-March 31st, 2010. Ranging from three to 10 nights, these full-service packages include meals, accommodations, guided tours, taxes and visa fees.


Buzzworthy: PuLi Hotel and Spa Opens in Shanghai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

PuLi Hotel and SpaThe bustling metropolis of Shanghai has just welcomed its first urban resort. Fancy a panoramic city view from your bath tub? A dip in an infinity pool overlooking the city? A flute of Champagne at a lengthy 32-meter bar (aptly called the Long Bar)? A divine spa treatment at the Anantara spa? All this is yours at the newly-opened PuLi Hotel and Spa, centrally located in the heart of the city near NanJing West Road. Guest rooms combine contemporary design with Old World charm; brass incense burners and porcelain plates are complemented by modern amenities: a 32-inch LCD TV, a Bose wave music system with iPod docking station, high-speed wireless internet access, a Nespresso coffee machine and a rain shower. Take advantage of a spectacular opening offer where you'll get one night free for every night paid. Also includes complimentary mini-bar and breakfast. Available until September 30, 2009.

Image Via Luxist


Luxury Hotels Hungry for Restaurant Success


By: Alison Victor

Four Seasons Hotel Hong KongIn the past, hotels were not really known as great dining destinations. This has all changed in recent years, where it seems like every luxury property has at least one fine dining restaurant on site. In fact, many hotels seem to be striving for a culinary hot spot. This not only helps to set them apart from competitors, but is also a great way to generate buzz. So where can you find some of the world's best hotel food? If you happen to be in Hong Kong, there is no better example then the Lung King Heen restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Executive chef Chan Yan-tak was recently awarded three Michelin stars for his contemporary Cantonese cuisine- an amazing feat in itself. Yan-tak also happens to be the first Chinese chef to obtain this distinction. Known mostly for the seafood and dim sum offerings, the restaurant's highlights include the steamed shrimp and garoupa dumplings with black truffles. With such great distinction attached to this restaurant, guests can not only expect the kind of service long associated with the Four Seasons Hotel, but also, perhaps, the best dim sum meal in the world.


Sale, Sale, Sale: 50 Percent Off Starwood Hotels from Hong Kong to New York


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meridien CancunSnag this deal while you can. Starwood Hotels just announced a summer promotion with big discounts at 600 participating hotels across the globe. You have just one week-- until July 20-- to take advantage of reduced rates for stays from July 16 through October 12, 2009. Properties include W New York Times Square ($199 per night), Le Méridien Bangalore ($107 per night), W Hong Kong ($219 per night), Le Méridien Cancun Resort & Spa ($92 per night) and the Mexico hotspot, St. Regis Punta Mita ($239 per night).


Visit India 2009! Get One Night Free at Select Oberoi Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Oberoi Amarvilas, AgraDreamed of living it up like a maharajah for awhile? Here's your chance to bed down in opulence with one of the leading hotel chains in the world, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts. India's Ministry of Tourism is promoting 2009 as "Visit India!" year and so Oberoi has decided to go in on the initiative-- giving you another reason to explore the magnificent country with a night free at some of its properties, recognized worldwide for all-around excellence. Gape at the Taj Mahal from your room at The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra. Embark on a Himalayan adventure in alpine India at Wildflower Hall in Shimla. Explore Rajasthan while staying at The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur-- consistently ranked one of the top hotels in the world-- or The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur. The third night free offer is valid through the end of September.


Say Hello to the Peace Hotel: Shanghai’s Icon on the Bund Gets a Fairmont Facelift


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peace Hotel, ShanghaiShanghai is gearing up for 2010's World Expo with a slew of luxury hotel projects. One such project is the renovation of The Peace Hotel-- "a symbol of all that was playful and decadent in old Shanghai," to quote The Financial Times. Facing the Huangpu River from its strategic spot on the Bund, The Peace Hotel is an Art Deco landmark with lots of history. (Put it this way: The Peace Hotel has seen a lot: from Sun Yat-sen to Japanese occupation during WWII straight through to the present-day skyscraper boom in the city called "hipper than Hong Kong and more alluring than Beijing.") Fairmont will be managing the 12-storey property when it opens next year after a renovation project that's been hailed "one of the most challenging, and closely watched, historical restoration efforts in China" as it seeks to "balance the needs of profit and preservation."

Image Via Wikipedia


Reasons to Jet to Bangkok ASAP: Flight Deals, Store Sales, and Hotel Credit at The Peninsula


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Bangkok

Times are tough for the tourism industry in Thailand. All the more reason to get on over to the "Land of Smiles"! Deals are yours for the taking. Try some of these courtesy of the AP:

-Free round-trip domestic tickets on Thai Airways when you fly in to Thailand from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

-$10 domestic flights through October on discount carrier AirAsia.

-70 percent savings on glam goods and shops with the "Amazing Thailand Grand Sale"

What's more: Gorgeous luxury hotels like The Peninsula are offering nice incentives for bookings. You can nab an $100 bar and restaurant credit plus a free second night at any Peninsula hotel in the world when booking a special package with the riverside palace hailed as one of the finest hotels in the world.


Free Five-Star Digs for Couples Honeymooning in Beijing?


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula BeijingWord on the street is that Beijing is introducing a new tourism initiative to entice visitors, including free five-star hotel accommodation for newlyweds on their honeymoon. Also in the works: the payment of 1 million yuan of highway toll fees for tourist buses for half a year.