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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.

2008 Overall Best Luxury Hotel Award: lebua at State Tower, Bangkok


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

lebua at state tower, bangkokVisitors to Bangkok (and local urbanites alike) flock to the Sky Bar, one of the hottest venues in the city, for heart-stopping views of glittering Bangkok. But this birds' eye view of the Chao Phraya River meandering through the city is not limited to the dramatic Sky Bar. In fact, guests at lebua at State Tower experience these incredible views from their guest room too, as this all-suite luxury hotel boasts extraordinary balcony views from every single room, along with Bvlgari bath products, Petrossian amenities in mini bar, and 330 thread count linens. Winner of the "2008 Overall Best Luxury Hotel Award" at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards in Cape Town, lebua at State Tower features several fine dining options and in-suite cooking by an award-winning chef. The best part of all? The hotel is surprisingly affordable, with rates this month hovering around $164. Plus, lebua at State Tower is running a special promotion, whereby you get 20 percent off if you stay two nights, 30 percent off if you stay three nights, and a whopping 40 percent off if you stay four nights.


A Nobu Restaurant on Every Continent? From Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai to Honolulu


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Atlantis, The Palm, DubaiBack in October, the world's gaze shifted to Dubai to gawk at the new Atlantis resort on Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest man-made island situated in the Arabian Gulf. Billed as the "majestic focal point" of the palm tree-shaped island, a "dazzling world of imagination," and a place to "live out your dreams," Atlantis, The Palm held a grand opening party so lavish, so excessive, that it's fireworks were supposedly seen from outer space. Boasting the third largest aquarium in the world, this extravagant resort is also home to the a Nobu restaurant, the first outpost in the Middle East for the world-renowned chef. As the Nobu empire has expanded to 16 cities around the world, from Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas to Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, from Miami to Hong Kong, we can't help but wonder... will we soon have a Nobu on every continent? Next up: A Nobu in Qater.


Announcing the Aman New Delhi, the First Urban Hotel for Amanresorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Aman New DelhiAt long last, the Aman New Delhi has opened its doors, and promises to be one of the hottest hotel openings of the year. The ultra-luxury hotel brand founded by Adrian Zecha has established quite the following (and with hotels like Amangani in the portfolio, how could that *not* be the case?) Situated in the heart of New Delhi next to the medieval Nizamuddin complex, the urban resort is designed with contemporary flair, accented with numerous Indian touches such as hand-made rugs. What else can you expect to find? (Get ready to swoon.) An otherwordly spa, a beautiful pool (a whopping 50 meters), elegant cuisine, and a health center set in a sunken courtyard, where professional instructors are on hand to help you out with your Pilates moves (in the studio) and tennis game (on three courts).  The suites are ridiculously spacious, and some offer private pools and butler service. Tranquil and sophisticated, the Aman New Delhi is the ultimate haven in a bustling, cosmopolitan city.


Get a Hotel Credit from Le Royal Meridien Shanghai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Royal Meridien ShanghaiShanghai bound? Check into Le Royal Meridien Shanghai, the city's sleek landmark on historic Nanjing Road East opposite People's Square, and you'll enjoy unforgettable views of the Bund and Huang Pu River from the hotel's floor-to-ceiling windows. After all, this is one of the tallest buildings in the city, measuring 66 storeys. An unbeatable location and up-to-the-minute technology make Le Royal Meridien Shanghai the place to stay in the "Paris of the East." Stay a minimum of two consecutive nights until the end of February 2009, and you'll receive a RMB 600 credit redeemable at Le Spa and the hotel's 10 exciting restaurants and bars. Rates start from RMB 1,388 per night for a Grand Deluxe room.


Airport Hotels Get Swanky


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Heathrow...and it's about time! Airports around the world are seeing the debut of sexy luxury hotels. From the cutting-edge Radisson SAS in Zurich Airport's Terminal 1 to the stylish, "cheap-and-chic" Aloft hotels in North America, these new offerings at international airports are actually giving city-center hotels a run for the money. These are-- to quote the recent article in the New York Times-- "airport hotels that invite lingering." You can find personalized iPods at Singapore's Crowne Plaza, but perhaps the finest of the bunch is the new Sofitel at Heathrow:

Sofitel's six-month old, 607-room Heathrow property cost a cool $400 million to build — and looks it — with interior design by Khuan Chew (also responsible for Dubai's ultra-luxe Burj-al-Arab hotel) and bathrooms fitted with Swarovski crystal fixtures... (It) includes a brasserie by the Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux and a spa with five treatment rooms.

Image Via PeterGreenberg.com


Suite Surrender at Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai


By: K. Clare Johnson

From THB 12,999, you too can surrender to wondrous relaxation at

Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai. You'll also get to go back in time and explore one of Thailand's most famous mountaintop temples, Doi Suthep, and meander amongst hill tribes in the well-preserved Mhong Village. Shangri-la hotel, Chiange Mai When you take advantage of a Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai's Suite Surrender package, you'll stay in a Horizon Executive Suite room, enjoy a half day tour to Doi Suthep and Mhong Mountain Tribe village, and indulge in a Lanna Blend massage at CHI, The Spa (45 mins). The package also includes roundtrip airport transfers, Horizon Club benefits access, and complimentary broadband Internet access. This offer is available until March 31, 2009, subject to availability. Rates are subject to tax and service charge, a total of 18.5%, and minimum of 2 nights required.


Celebrity Honeymoon Watch!


By: K. Clare Johnson

Where in the world are Fergie and Josh? Atlantis The Palm The celebrity couple, who married in a star-studded affair earlier in the month, embarked on a honeymoon to destinations unknown. But news reports have spotted the Black-Eyed Peas gone solo singer Fergie (aka Stacey Peterson) and her new hubby actor Josh Duhamel (late of NBC's Casino) in the Maldives at One and Only Kanuhura Resort. Of course, they have also been spotted at Dubai's Atlantis the Palm. No matter where they are, one thing is for sure. They have great taste in luxury 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.