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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.

InterContinental The Lalit Hotel: Work Out at Mumbai’s Largest Fitness Center


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental MumbaiYou'd expect a Mumbai luxury hotel to have a top-notch business center-- with secretarial cervices, cell phone rental, and limo service-- and the InterContinental The Lalit certainly fits the bill. But the conveniently-located hotel also boasts the largest fitness center in Mumbai, filled with all the latest Technogym cardio and weight equipment. After a full-body work-out, indulge with a holistic spa treatment like the Stressbuster, or go for a swim in the large outdoor pool. Dinner options are plentiful; sample Pan-Asian delights at WOKS, fine contemporary food at Trendz, or head to Baluchi, the Indian Restaurant, for cuisine from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Special Offer: InterContinental has gone wild with the Biggest Free Nights Offer to date. Stay any 2 nights, then enjoy 1 free night in any InterContinental hotel around the world.


La Residence Phou Vao Hotel: The Best Hotel in Luang Prabang, Laos


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Residence Phou Vao HotelEmbark on a captivating adventure to Laos and discover Buddhist culture and untouched scenery-- washed by the Mekong River, the lifeblood of Southeast Asia. Home to the Golden Buddha, the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang is a sight to behold: the surrounding mountains dotted with pagodas and stupas. The place to stay is La Résidence Phou Vao Hotel, the luxury spa hotel from the Orient-Express group that's universally adored for its warm hospitality. Set within three hectares of lush gardens on the small hill of Phou Vao (the Hill of Kites) with breathtaking views overlooking Mount Phou Si (Luang Prabang's sacred mountain) and the golden dome of the Vat Chamsi Stupa, La Résidence Phou Vao Hotel has elegant guest rooms designed with local materials. From your own private balcony or terrace, you'll be amazed by the views of the forest canopy and palm-filled valley. The infinity pool affords similar views. Besides the cooking classes, spa services, and divine restaurants on-site, the hotel can organize cultural immersion experiences so that you can discover the ancient traditions of the people of Laos.


Grand Millennium Beijing: Where to Stay in the Chinese Capital


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Millennium BeijingOn business in Beijing? Book a stay at the Grand Millennium Beijing, smack dab in the middle of the city's Central Business District (CBD), and you'll find award-winning service and a plethora of five-star facilities, including the SPA by MTM, restaurant with open-concept kitchens, and cutting-edge Oxygen Club with gym, indoor pool, sauna and steam rooms. The new hotel is centrally located in the bustling district that's set to become a global hub for business, and overlooks the headquarters of the Chinese CCTV Corporation-- the skyscraper designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2000. (Note: An adjacent building recently made headlines when it went up in flames caused by fireworks during Lantern Festival Day.) With easy access to many corporate offices, the Grand Millennium Beijing is great for business travelers. Special offer: When you book three nights, you get the third night at 50 percent off. Plus, when you book with Five Star Alliance, you'll receive a welcome fruit basket in-room upon your arrival.


Langham Hotels Celebrate With an Afternoon of Tradition


By: Alison Victor

Langham Hotel LondonLangham Hotel, London has recently undergone an £80 million refurbishment, and to celebrate the hotel's anniversary and grand reopening, they will be serving afternoon tea on June 10 for its original price in 1865: one shilling, six pence, approximately 15 cents (USD). Joining them in the celebration will be Langham properties worldwide, including The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena and Langham Hotel, Hong Kong. A great way to honor a great English tradition, servers at the event will be dressed in period costumes from the era, and guests are encouraged to do the same. This global Langham tea party only goes to show that luxury really is timeless!


St. Regis Singapore: The World’s Best Business Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis SingaporeWhen the swanky St. Regis opened its doors just off Orchard Road in Singapore last year, it made waves as the first international luxury hotel to open in the island city-state in a decade. The first hotel for the posh St. Regis brand in southeast Asia, the 299-room Singapore property is getting lots of press for its impeccable service. The Robb Report named it as "Best of the Best" and the St. Regis Singapore also landed a spot on Travel and Leisure's It List as the top new business hotel for 2008:

The multilingual butlers are rigorously trained, and we found their graciousness refreshing in the midst of Singapore's often harried atmosphere. Our night butler, of his own accord, presented us with two different types of lens cleaners for our eyeglasses. The next morning, a double espresso was waiting for us when we woke up. Butlers are even equipped with BlackBerrys, so you can reach them wherever they are. The hotel is classic in feel, a fact which belies the modern glass façade. Interiors do acknowledge the St. Regis's Asian setting (we loved the chinoiserie armoires and works by contemporary Chinese artists), though details like the Czech crystal chandeliers and Regency-style furniture are a tad old-fashioned for our tastes.

The St. Regis Singapore is currently running some excellent promotions, like the complimentary nights offer, where you stay for two nights (over a weekend) and pay for only one. If you stay three consecutive nights (any time), you pay for only two.


Fantastic Three and Five Night Package Deals from Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali


By: Christina Vasquez

Ubud Hanging GardensDiscover the tranquility of Bali and everything this tropical paradise has to offer with superb package deals at Ubud Hanging Gardens. Book three nights accommodations and take advantage of the "Something to Celebrate" package which includes: daily American breakfast, one way airport transfer, welcome flowers decorations & sparkling wine, one traditional three-course dinner at Beduur Restaurant, a picnic for two and 10 percent discount on individual spa treatments. Plan on staying a little longer? The Ubud Hanging Gardens is also offering the "Bali Harmony Package". For a minimum five-night stay, enjoy one way airport transfer, a one-hour Yoga class, a two-hour pure relaxation treatment for two people, a two-hour morning walk, one revitalizing Yang massage treatment for two, a guided tour of the local temples, one private picnic, and two three-course dinners for two (excl drinks) as well as 10 percent discount for any additional individual spa treatments.

Packages valid from 3rd November 2008 to 21st December 2009, package rates vary according to availability, and certain terms and restrictions apply.


Summer Pasta Festival at The Peninsula Bangkok


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Bangkok

It's back. Executive Chef Philip Sedgwick is cooking up some summer fun at The Peninsula Bangkok-- the riverside palace hotel that's become a legend in hospitality. From June-August 2009, The Lobby will offer a delicious assortment of fresh, home-made pastas and sauces during the Pasta Festival. Sauces include the following flavorful mixes: Duck Ragout, with black olives and pine nuts; a zesty Amatriciana sauce with spicy pork cheeks and Rome tomatoes (the pasta lover's all-time fave); and a hearty, vegetarian delight of tomato, basil, and eggplant. All sauces can be served alongside your choice of classic fettucini, strozzapreti, or farfalle. Don't miss the Chef's Specialties: Ricotta Ravioli with thyme, crayfish and creamy bell peppers, or Duck Liver and Pumpkin Cannelloni with roasted sage jus. The Pasta Festival Menu is available daily in The Lobby for lunch and dinner.

PS. Head to the River Bar for a refreshing cocktail and unsurpassed views of the River of Kings.


Sunday Brunch in Hong Kong at the InterContinental Grand Stanford


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong KongGuests of the InterContinental Grand Stanford-- the internationally-renowned hotel in Kowloon-- are in for a treat. You can tuck into a royal feast for Sunday Brunch at Mistral Restaurant; the Italian restaurant offers a Sparkling Sunday Brunch so you can revel in an endless flow of Prosecco, savor the finest quality foie gras, and taste an array of Italian favorites, while your kids are happily entertained at the Leap Frog Kids' Corner. Available on Sundays from 11:30 am-2:30 pm. In addition to the excellent dining outlets, the hotel is famous for its Sun Court Pool (pictured), designed with lush landscaping, a luxurious wood deck, and river-washed stones. Relax in a lounge chair under the cooling mist and take in the expansive city views of Victoria Harbour.


Bonus Choices Abound at Shangri La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei


By: K. Clare Johnson

Shangri La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel As if you needed a reason to visit Taipei. Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel is offering a Bonus Choice package starting at TWD 8,520. The deal entitles you to complimentary Internet access and late check-out until 4pm. Plus, you can choose one of the following:

• Spa treatments credit of NTD1,500

• Dining credit of NTD1,500

• Quadruple bonus airline frequent flyer mileage

A minimum 2-night stay is required and the deal is subject to prevailing tax and service charges. Unused portions of selected benefit is not transferable and will not be refunded to your hotel bill. Dining credits (where available) may be used for all meal periods except breakfast and banquet functions. Spa credits (where available) do not guarantee availability of spa appointments.


Blissful Dreams at Rasananda Phangan Island, Thailand


By: K. Clare Johnson

Rasananda PhanganThailand's Rasananda Phangan Island wants every moment of your vacation to be luxurious and blissful. The 44 villas & suites nestled at the base of a mountain all have private pools and Rasananda's exclusive "blissful dreams" mattress-- adorned with 500 thread count bed linens and goose down duvets. The room has hardwood floors, Thai teakwood furniture accented with handwoven silks and cottons, along with flat screen TVs, satellite television, a home theatre and Apple TV. Even the Princess from The Princess and the Pea would get a good night's sleep if she were slumbering here!