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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.

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.


Suite Deal: Free Fourth Night at Langham Place Mongkok, Hong Kong


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place MongkokTalk about a pedicure with a view! Pictured at right, the exclusive Chuan Spa at the Langham Place Mongkok is an oasis of luxury on the 40th floor. As if the views could get any more exhilarating, the hotel's rooftop boasts a 20-meter heated swimming pool with chill-out tunes played underwater. Kick back in the jacuzzi, or in one of the large poolside cabanas with a cocktail under the stars, and check out the twinkling lights across the city. You'll also get panoramic views of Kowloon and Hong Kong from the 24-hour fitness studio, equipped with 12 card machines, 10 strength machines, and free weights. And the rooms.... Flanked with floor-to-ceiling windows, the 665 rooms and suites are five-star fabulous. High-tech amenities are plentiful: flatscreen tv, DVD/CD player, iHome, and a modern workstation with state-of-the-art Cisco IP telephony, wired and wireless broadband. Book a luxurious stay in Kowloon at the Langham Place Mongkok and you can take advantage of a special "Free Night SUITE Deal" until September 6, 2009. Stay for three nights in a suite and you'll get a fourth for free. Plus you'll enjoy Club L benefits.


Discover the Spectacular Aquatic Pastime of Underwater Exploration with Cocoa Island Maldives


By: Christina Vasquez

Cocoa Island MaldivesSituated on the warm pristine waters of the Indian Ocean, the Republic of the Maldives offers some of the world's best diving spots, featuring some of the most psychedelic colors in underwater life anyone has seen. Cocoa Island Maldives is ideally located in a quiet atoll of undisturbed waters and provides dive enthusiasts with everything they need to explore the fascinating underwater oasis surrounding the resort. Not only does this top rated boutique property have a team of knowledgeable and experienced PADI instructors available on site, they also provide a full package kit for all diving needs, including Scuba Pro BCD's, regulators with 11 liter tanks, and long-leg and short-arm wetsuits. The resort also provides Gull and Mantis masks, Technisub fins, and Aladdin Pro dive computers. So leave your dive gear at home and let the Cocoa Island Maldives take care of the equipment, while you enjoy beautiful luxury accommodations in one of the world's most beautiful locations.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance All guests booking through Five Star Alliance for Cocoa Island Maldives receive a complimentary Champagne breakfast for two the first morning of their stay.


And The World’s Best Hotel is…


By: K. Clare Johnson

Villa d’esteThe Forbes Traveller 400 has spoken, and Villa d'Este has come out on top. The luxury Lake Como resort took top honors in the poll, besting world-class hotels such as

The Peninsula Bangkok, Hong Kong's

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental,

Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and

Burj al Arab in Dubai. The poll was conducted among top travel connoisseurs-professionals who stay in five-star luxury properties at least 20 times per year- and the ratings were based on room quality, service, decor and cuisine.


Design Dream: Capella Singapore Features Objets d’Art from Lamont Design


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Since the Capella Singapore opened in March, guests have been dazzled by the largest guest rooms in Singapore. (Not to mention the one- and two-bedroom garden villas with private pools overlooking the South China Sea.) These interior spaces feature handcrafted objects, artwork and furniture from Lamont Design, a Bangkok-based company that worked with Norman Foster's architectural design to achieve Capella's vision for the new hotel. Centered around two historic "Tanah Merah" houses (dating from the colonial era), the ultra-luxury hotel was built to take advantage of its hilltop setting with tiered pools and marvelous courtyard gardens. Seascape vistas aren't the only thing guests appreciate inside the resort; Lamont's sophisticated objects in bronze, earthenware and Peking glass display a rich history of craftsmanship and create the mood. You can browse Lamont's contemporary collections and rare objects-- showcased at the Capella Singapore and Miami's Setai Hotel-- in five stores in Thailand, including a boutique at The Sukhothai. And from now until August 31, 2009, you can check out the Capella Singapore's lush tropical haven with a special introductory offer where you get a third night free.


Alfresco Barbecue Dining at The Dharmawangsa


By: Christina Vasquez

The DharmawasaSavor a sumptuous barbecue buffet dinner under the stars in the stunning gardens of Jakarta's fashionable Dharmawasa hotel. Every Saturday evening at The Jakarta Restaurant, guests and visitors can experience delectable barbecue accompanied by live entertainment in a relaxing ambiance. Be tantalized by the aroma of the freshly grilled lobster and seafood, juicy seared chicken and of course sizzling prime quality steak with a selection of soups, fresh salads and sauces-- and enjoy the simple pleasure of alfresco dining. The Dharmawasa's Garden Buffet Barbecue Dinner is offered every Saturday evening from RP. 395.000/person (inclusive of one welcome drink) for adults and RP 275.000/child (up to 11 years old)


Hot Hotel Debuts: Langham Yangtze Boutique, Shanghai Is Open for Business


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

 

 

Langham Yangtze Boutique, Shanghai

After much anticipation, the Langham Yangtze Boutique is open for business. Already tongues are wagging, and the press is abuzz. "Fans of old Shanghai style rejoice," proclaims Time Magazine. "Another of the city's Art Deco beauties has been buffed, polished and restored to its former shine, this time by Langham Hotels." In its heyday 75 years ago, the former Yangtze Hotel attracted the glitterati of the day, but in subsequent decades the once-glamorous hotel fell from glory. That is, until Langham Hotels entered the picture. After a major redo, the 96-room hotel "now boasts the kind of rooms and public spaces that a tuxedo-clad Noel Coward would have enjoyed lolling about in, gimlet in hand — think period-style furnishings, a lavish deployment of geometric patterns and motifs, and a masculine color palette of chocolate, cream and deep red." Guests can now experience the glamour of the Golden Age of Old Shanghai in an Art Deco masterpiece, beautifully restored with every contemporary convenience.


Kickin Back in Kuala Lumpur at the Westin: $121 Rates and a Third Night Free


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Kuala LumpurOn business in Kuala Lumpur? You'll find a relaxing oasis in the middle of the city's bustling Jalan Bukit Bintang when you check into the Westin Kuala Lumpur. Stay in shape at the fully-equipped WestinWORKOUT Gym or by swimming laps at the outdoor pool at Splash. There's also a running concierge who can lead you on a jog every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning. (Running maps are available for the other days of the week.) After a day of meetings, head to the lobby for "unwind: a westin evening ritual" where you can sample local appetizers and drinks. The hotel offers over six innovative dining options, including Pan Asian at EEST, a Cuban bar and Latin grill at Qba, and authentic Italian at Prego. And of course rooms are outfitted with the plush, all-white signature Heavenly Bed. Book the Westin Recharge Package, starting from just RM475 per room per night ($135), and you'll wake up to complimentary breakfast and sleep in with a late checkout. Minimum two-night stay required. Valid until December 30, 2009. Or choose the Limited Free Night Offer and you'll get a third night free, starting for just RM425 per room per night ($121). Offer valid for stays between September 01, 2009 and December 30, 2009. Only available for arrival/check in on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.


Beachside Yoga in the Maldives at the Anantara Dhigu Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Dhigu Resort

What's not to love at the Anantara Dhigu Maldives? Overwater villas come with their own private plunge pools. The spa has glass floors so you can check out the puffer fish, sting rays and baby reef sharks swimming under you as you get a massage. You can sail around the islands in the atoll, snorkel the reefs, picnic on white sands, and frolic in pristine waters on an uninhabited island offshore from the resort. One of the highlights-- and signature activities-- at this resort paradise is Beachside Yoga-- where you can "gain physical poise and mental peace through ancient exercises drawn from centuries of traditional South Asian wisdom." Beginners can get instruction on the beach from professional instructors while more seasoned yogis can try private sessions. Guided meditation sessions take place in the early morning hours on the beach, so you can start your day with gentle stretching and a clear head.