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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.

News: Leading Hotels of the World Announces Award Winners

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel CiprianiLeading Hotels of the World held its annual convention in Boston recently and doled out some pretty prestigious awards. Considering that the organization represents some 450 of the world's finest hotels, these accolades should not be taken lightly. And without further ado, the winners are:

Commitment to Excellence Awards: Hotel de l'Europe, Taj Boston, Brenner's Park

Commitment to Quality Awards: The Chedi Muscat, Al Maha Desert Resort, The Datai, Rambagh Palace, Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin, Hotel Caruso, One&Only Palmilla, Tortuga Bay, Island Hotel (Newport Beach), and SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand.

Sixth Annual Juan Gaspart Award recognizing an outstanding employee of a Leading Hotel pursuing a career in the hospitality industry:  Mr. Colin Field, head bartender at Ritz Paris.

(Pictured: Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin- which received the highest score overall during LHW's anonymous inspections.)

Update: Langham, Yangtze Boutique, Shanghai Hotel Will Open in Spring 2009

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Yangtze Boutique ShanghaiWe can barely contain our excitement for the Langham's debut in Shanghai (after all, their Hong Kong property is one of the world's finest). The latest news is that this baby will officially open its doors next spring. Housed in architect Li Pan's iconic building and reflecting the art deco and neo-classical architecture from the 30's, the new Langham, Yangtze Boutique will have 96 rooms and suites, including Chuan Residences which are directly connected to the signature Chuan Spa, where guests can get pampered with indulgent treatments based on Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy.

Langham Yangtze Boutique ShanghaiThe goal is to recreate the history and romance of Old Shanghai in the heart of the central business district, adjacent to Nanjing Road. Nota Bene: The restaurants will be designed as international destinations with distinctive characteristics. Think Japanese, Cantonese, Italian, English tea, and even a deli.

Romance, Beijing Style at China World Hotel

By: K. Clare Johnson

Romance just got more luxurious at China World Hotel Beijing. From now until December 31, 2008, lovebirds can enjoy the "Premier Romance" package. The package includes Premier Room accommodation with breakfast in bed for two, a candle-lit gourmet dinner at Aria restaurant, aromatherapy massages, chauffeured hotel limousine transfers and complimentary champagne, flowers, fresh fruits, and chocolates. China World Hotel Beijing

The couple also enjoys complimentary evening cocktails with canapes at the Lounge, as well as refreshments throughout the day. You even get a set of "his and hers" monogrammed pajamas as a memento of your stay.

The Premier Romance package is available for two persons at RMB 3,088 (plus 15 percent service charge) per room per night.

Borneo’s Hottest Resort, Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Launches Exclusive Whisky Club

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La Tanjung AruInsiders know that the secluded tropical retreat of Shangri-La Tanjung Aru is the best resort in Malaysian Borneo. It's not just the sparkling beaches and endless views of coral islands in the South China Sea. The resort offers a plethora of activities (from deep sea fishing and scuba diving to biking, petanque, and an impressive Health Club). And the myriad culinary options mean you can enjoy everything from Italian to contemporary Asian. Shangri-La Tanjung Aru is also known for its nightlife: Sip a cocktail while the sun dips below the horizon at the Sunset Bar, then head out for a lively evening at Blue Note, a popular hotspot with nightly music.

whisky at Shangri-La Tanjung AruOn November 22 the resort will launch an exclusive Whisky Club at Borneo Lounge and Bar for whisky zealots in Kota Kinabalu to attend whisky presentations, get special discounts, and be expertly introduced to world-class bourbons and whiskies. Co-sponsored by Riche Monde, Asiaeuro, Maxxium and Diageo, the event will have lots of whisky tastings, bar bites, and excellent live music. The highlight will be the presentation of a four-and-a-half liter bottle of The Macallan to Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa's Whisky Club by Mr. Ivan Ong, marketing director of Maxxium Marketing, while the resort's Whisky Club will present the Glen Grant 1958 to members.

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.