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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.

Bring in the Year of the Ox with Chinese New Year Celebrations at The Peninsula Hong Kong


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chinese New Year at the Peninsula Hong KongSay so long to the year of the Rat. On January 26, the Chinese New Year will start with a bang; Chinese communities worldwide have festive fireworks and parades to mark the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar for the year 4707. Hong Kong heads into the Year of the Ox with a city-wide party and not-to-be missed fireworks. (Note: Folks born in the Year of the Ox are honest, dependable, calm and modest. The Chinese Calendar indicates that the Ox is the sign of prosperity through hard work, patience, and fortitude.) Check into the Peninsula to enjoy a slew of treats to welcome in the New Year. Indulge in a special set dinner with live music from a traditional Chinese Orchestra, then head up to the 7th floor Sun Terrace for an unrivaled view of the fireworks display with a complimentary glass of Champagne. If you book the "Chinese New Year Fireworks" package, you'll get daily breakfast, late check-out, and complimentary Internet and local calls along with your indulgent accommodations in a suite.


Escape the Winter Chill with Free Rooms and Added Amenities at Peninsula Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula TokyoBack by popular demand... Peninsula Hotels-- with a star-studded roster of legendary hotels in Asia and the U.S.-- is running some fab wintertime promotions through March 2009. With the "Winter Escapes" package, you get to choose a free added amenity thrown in with your luxurious accommodations: an enticement like a room upgrade, spa treatment, a multi-course meal, afternoon tea, or airport transfer. You'll also enjoy complimentary Internet access and daily newspapers. Book the "Suite Life" and you get a free second night when you reserve a suite.


Praise for Phuket and the New Anantara Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara PhuketIn this weekend's Travel section of the New York Times, Gregory Dicum visits the "cocooned paradise" of Phuket to check out the recovery of the Andaman Coast after the 2004 tsunami wreaked havoc. The verdict? A splendid seaside destination and an inviting place to stay. We love the new Anantara Phuket which opened in October and Dicum praises it as "one of the most prominent new resorts." It's situated on Mai Khao Beach, "a world away from the Jet Skis and beach umbrellas of Kata Beach to the south. (Jet Skis are banned on Mai Khao to protect nesting turtles.)"

The resort is laid out along an artificial lake, mimicking a traditional southern Thai water village. Soaring wooden roofs peak above the enclosed compounds of the villas, each of which includes its own small swimming pool and outdoor and indoor sitting areas complete with big daybeds for savoring Thai massages. A dark teak roof and staircase arcing around a banyan tree set off the smoothly polished Treetop bar, with swooping terrazzo, fiber-optic chandelier curtains that sway in the benevolent sea breeze and soft settees for contemplating the setting sun with a ginger margarita in hand. The rooms themselves are exquisitely well-considered, with big sliding glass doors opening the bedrooms directly onto the shimmering pools, and with big bathtubs sunk directly into the water, separated by a glass partition.


Banyan Tree and the Tourism Authority of Thailand Give Away Free Rooms


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree PhuketTourism in Thailand may hit a four-year low because of the December blockade of the international airport by anti-government protesters, so the Tourism Authority of Thailand has decided to start 2009 afresh with some excellent promotions to encourage visitors back to the Land of Smiles. In a partnership with Banyan Tree, the Tourism Authority will give away a total of 1000 complimentary room nights at the luxurious Banyan Tree Bangkok and Banyan Tree Phuket (pictured at right). The rooms will be disbursed online from January 8-31, 2009. This offer entitles guests who book online to one complimentary night's stay on the consecutive night at the Best Available Rates. Stays will be valid from February 1, 2009 to April 20, 2009.


Talk of the Town: The Peninsula Hotel Will Open in Shanghai in Late 2009


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Hotel Shanghai

Since 1928, The Peninsula Hotels have symbolized glamor and exceptional service worldwide, starting with the flagship in Hong Kong. Now the luxury hotel chain will be opening its ninth property in Shanghai facing the historic Bund, a UNESCO-designated Modern Heritage Site, in late 2009 (in time for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010). With spectacular views of the Huangpu River, Pudong, and the gardens of the former British Consulate next door, The Peninsula Shanghai will feature 15 storeys encompassing 235 guestrooms and suites. Styled with a classic architectural design and Art Deco interiors, the hotel will have five restaurants (including a rooftop resto with inspiring views), The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, shopping arcade, and Rolls-Royce car service for guests. The hotel's opening marks the return to Shanghai of Asia's oldest hotel company, as The Peninsula's parent company (The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited) has origins in the city.


Dive into the Maldives at Anantara Resort


By: K. Clare Johnson

Anantara Resort Dhigu Maldives

Indulge your beachfront fantasies at Anantara Resort Dhigu Maldives . The luxury property offers 68 beachfront villas, all situated on a private stretch of beach, with unique outdoor bathrooms and rain showers. There are also two Beachfront Pool Villas that come with their own private plunge pool set in a tropical garden. Anantara's 38 over-water suites, situated over the Indian Ocean, feature private sundecks and open-air infinity-edged bathtubs with a view. For the ultimate over-water Maldives luxury resort getaway, there are two exclusive Deluxe Over-Water Pool Suites that enjoy a prime setting at the end of each jetty, with wrap-around sundecks featuring their own private plunge pool and spacious interiors with hints of Maldivian culture and arts. And right now, Anantara Resort Dhigu Maldives is offering a spa package. Begin each day with a complimentary breakfast, and then choose your daily one-hour spa treatment. Whether you decide on a Thai massage or an exotic fruit peel (among the many choices), you'll find yourself refreshed by a soothing sense of tranquility. Rates start from $555 USD per night.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests at the Anantara Resort Dhigu Maldives receive a Dolphin safari and subject to availability, a late check-out.


Park Hyatt Shanghai: Tallest Hotel in the World


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt ShanghaiWhen construction on the 492-meter-high World Financial Center was completed in Shanghai this past August, visitors were delighted to check out the second tallest building in the world. Indeed, the observation deck on the 100th floor is the world's highest such deck, offering gasp-inducing views of the city. Of course the Park Hyatt's location on the 79th-93rd floors of this tower makes it the tallest hotel in the world. Don't worry, there's a direct elevator from the ground floor to the lobby. We like the in-room day beds, walk-in dressing rooms, and deluxe bathrooms with rain showers, deep soaking tubs, and heated floors. The complimentary wireless Internet is a nice perk, too. If we had our druthers, however, we'd opt for the Chairman Suite, boasting panoramic Huangpu River views and the services of a personal chef and butler.

Image via Hidden Travel Gems


The Peninsula Tokyo’s Five-Star Bathrooms Rack up the Reviews


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula TokyoLots of chatter about the incredibly lavish bathrooms at The Peninsula Tokyo, featured in HotelChatter's Flickr Pool. In fact, the tricked out bathrooms are better than a lot of hotel rooms out there. (Wait til you see the Peninsula Tokyo's enormous, perfectly-designed guest rooms.)


Mandarin Oriental Tokyo Celebrates A Michelin Star


By: K. Clare Johnson

Pop the cork and raise a glass of bubbly for Jeff Ramsay. The chef at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo has earned his first Michelin Star for his culinary prowess. The three in-house restaurants, Signature, Sense, and Tapas Molecular Bar, Mandarin Oriental TokyoTokyo were awarded one-star status in the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2009. For those who have heard the term but may not know what a Michelin Star is, it refers to an award given to restaurants by Le Guide Michelin, a series of annual books published by Michelin for over a dozen countries. Think the Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy rolled into one.

Luckily, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is offering patrons a chance to toast Ramsay with a glass of legendary Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1995 at Signature, Sense and Mandarin Bar priced at JPY 7,000 per glass throughout November and December. Or, enjoy four cocktail types at JPY 2,100 per glass. During the Christmas period, exclusive champagne cocktails will be served at JPY 3,800 per glass. Congratulations to Jeff Ramsay and his staff!


Third Night on the House at St. Regis Beijing


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Regis BeijingCheck into the newly-renovated St. Regis Beijing this holiday season and have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed. This stunner of a hotel is offering a third night free until December 31, 2008 when you arrive on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. You'll be wowed by the $27 million renovation and restoration of the 258 guest rooms, 102 luxuriously appointed suites, signature restaurants and public areas. The lobby alone is a work of art, featuring hand-painted ceilings, pure silk embroidery and custom-made rosewood and lemonwood furnishings. Staying over Christmas? You won't want to miss the Christmas Eve Party and Gala with renowned comedians and delicious grub.