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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.

Sky High in Bangkok at lebua at State Tower

December 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

lebua at State Tower, BangkokBangkok's all-suite luxury property presents dramatic views of the city from every single room. The world at your feet, gaze out over the pulsating city and the distinctive loops of the Chao Phraya River meandering around skyscrapers. lebua at State Tower is the only place in the city to offer this incredible bird's eye view. What's more-- the hotel's balconies are the highest in the city, so you can step out of your suite to enjoy the breeze and drink in awesome sunsets. Dine on the 63rd floor at Sirocco, the world's highest al fresco restaurant, or hit up the trendy Sky Bar. Retire to your room, where the glass wall of window continues the evening's theater of bright lights, big city. In-room, you'll find Bvlgari bath amenities, 330 thread count linens, Petrossian amenities in the mini bar, and all sorts of high tech gadgetry. There's even an in-suite cooking class option with the hotel's superb chefs.


Special Introductory Rates at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing

December 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton BeijingIt's here. The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing officially opened on December 12 in China Central Place. And the arrival of Ritz-Carlton on the scene bodes well for the thriving capital, utterly transformed for the 2008 Summer Olympics. (Hint: Book now for the Summer Games!) With millions of athletes and visitors expected in just a few months, the city has gone all out with new tourism facilities. The debut of the Ritz-Carlton couldn't have come at a better time. The company's third property in China, the 305-room hotel is offering special introductory rates for as low as $200 per night until February 29, 2008. Designed by the renowned design consultants, Hirsch Bedner Associates of Atlanta, the hotel's interiors were styled like an English country manor. In the guest rooms, classic furnishings blend seamlessly with the latest in-room technology from flat screen TVs to iPod docking stations. Facilities include fitness area, spa, 14,000 square feet of meeting space, and a wide selection of dining experiences. There's even a Wedding Chapel, the first for a Beijing hotel.


Hong Kong Holiday at the InterContinental Grand Stanford

December 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Hong KongThe city's mood is on a celebratory high note, and the InterContinental Grand Stanford is the place to be during this festive season. With breathtaking views of the sparkling lights of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong's internationally-renowned hotel (located in Kowloon) offers the highest levels of service and elegant five-star facilities. During the holiday season, the InterContinental Grand Stanford proudly presents glittering Gold and Black Christmas Celebrations along with a champagne-infused New Year's Eve party that promises to dazzle. Enjoy a traditional Christmas Eve lunch or dinner in The Mistral with a sensational eight-course Italian dinner prepared by Chef Claudio. Or head to Café Rendezvous for the harbour-view buffet featuring all your perennial favorites with all the finest trimmings. There's live music and a Santa visit, to boot.


Shanghai Gets a Langham Hotel

December 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

ShanghaiFans of Langham Hotels will be thrilled to learn about a new boutique in the works: The Langham Yangtze Boutique, Shanghai. The hotel group currently has eight properties in six gateway cities-- London, Boston, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Auckland and Toronto-- and now they're adding Shanghai to the mix. And if this hotel is anything like the others, we're in luck. The goal? Recreate the history and romance of Old Shanghai in a historic landmark in the central business district. Designed by architect Li Pan in the 1930s, the building is an iconic masterpiece of art deco and neoclassical architecture. After undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, the 101-room hotel will re-open in mid-2008 as a five-star boutique hotel.


New Luxury Travel Destinations

December 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanresorts, BhutanA recent article in the Washington Post describes the "destination fatigue-- been there, done that, paid a big bill"-- that affects a growing number of high-end travelers. When you've vacationed in Patagonia, the BVI, and the Greek Islands, and cruised the Nile and Yangtze rivers, what's next? The answer is remote, off-the-map destinations that once only appealed to backpackers. The newest hotspots are places like Bhutan, where Amanresorts has opened a string of luxury lodges that allow travelers to discover this incredible Himalayan kingdom without having to rough it. We'd count China's Yunnan province on the list, as well as luxury safaris in Africa, and hotels in northern India. What's your next luxury travel destination?


Special Pre-Opening Rate for Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand

December 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La, Chiang MaiShangri-La is bringing a whole new level of luxury to this city in northern Thailand. Opening this month (December 2007), Shangri-La Chiang Mai takes its inspiration from the beautiful surrounding landscape. Just 10 minutes from the international airport and within walking distance to the city's cultural sites and famous Night Bazaar, the deluxe city resort incorporates local materials and artifacts (teak, rich fabrics) into its contemporary design. Take a dip in the free-form swimming pool, framed by frangipani, bamboo, ginger and lotus ponds. Indulge in the luxury of the spacious CHI spa. Relax in your cozy bedroom which features numerous special touches: celadon tea sets, Thai silk pillows and bedrunners, local artwork, and daybeds in the Premier rooms. And of course, a stay at the Shangri-La Chiang Mai means soaking up the personalized service and hospitality for which Shangri-La is internationally-renowned. Take advantage of the pre-opening rate of just $270 per night and enjoy complimentary buffet breakfast at Kad Kafe. Available for bookings from December 22, 2007- February 29, 2008.


New from Jumeirah: Take Luxury Home with You

December 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Al ArabJumeirah already has an undeniably impressive collection of properties (including the award-winning Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab, celebrated as the world's most luxurious hotel) and the Jumeirah group has embarked on an ambitious expansion drive to include key resorts in cities the world over (London, New York, Shanghai, Doha...) But perhaps the most exciting news of all for Jumeirah fans: It's now possible to order those sumptuous Burj Al Arab bathrobes and bedding from the Jumeirah Collection, a dedicated retail Web site. The newly-launched online store features exclusive products and innovative services. And for those who like to travel light, take advantage of the "Pre-Arrival Service" and order essential vacation items online prior to staying with Jumeirah. When you arrive, you'll find all the goodies already in your room. And get this: Before the end of the year, you'll be able to order the luxurious new Burj Al Arab Dux Bed from the Web site, at the same time it debuts in the hotel.


Volar: The Place to Party in Shanghai

November 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Volar ShanghaiWelcome to another Philippe Starck masterpiece. Designed with graffiti-splattered walls and a giant eagle with spread wings, this bar and nightclub is Shanghai's happening hotspot. The sister to Hong Kong's Volar, the club promises "not only a sultry lounge experience but also a sexy, energy-filled space for action-craving guests." Located minutes from FuXing Park and the Xintiandi district, Volar is a two-level concept bar. Downstairs is the open-to-all area, while upstairs is the exclusive members-only section. Hipsters, fashionable trendsetters, and music-lovers descend en mass for the chic nightlife experience. DIVA Wednesdays means free Grey Goose cocktails for all the divas in the house.

Photo via SmartShanghai


Banish the Winter Blues with The Peninsula Hotels

November 27, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The PeninsulaThis winter, The Peninsula Hotels invites you to a luxurious retreat with special offers to make your stay even more pleasurable. Winter Escapes helps guests to personalize their stays with a customized selection of benefits at each hotel. From 15 December 2007 through 31 March 2008 inclusive, each Peninsula hotel offers a menu of three enticing options. Guests booking rooms or suites can select one to tailor their stay to their personal taste and preferences, making a stay at any of the Peninsula hotels worldwide even more memorable. Highlights include:

As the mantle of winter descends and cooler months arrive, thoughts turn to escaping daily routines and indulging in some truly luxurious personal pampering, either by basking in the warm tropical climes of Asia or by maximizing a well-earned city break in the US at one of the Peninsula properties - an ideal way to banish those cool weather blues.


Holiday Delights at The Peninsula Tokyo

November 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula TokyoIn September, The Peninsula opened its doors on Harumi-dori and Naka-dori Avenues in Tokyo's business district of Marunouchi. A dose of high-octane glamour awaits. The facilities are extensive. There's a spa, fitness room, ballrooms, even a wedding chapel and Japanese ceremony room. And lucky guests are the first in the world to sample the exclusive new luxury skin care line, Davi, which will soon be rolled out in all Peninsula hotels. This collection of in-room bath amenities was designed by Robert Mondavi's grandson, and takes its cue from the vineyard.

What's on at Tokyo's hottest new hotel? The holiday season is full of tempting delights, including decadent set menus from December 21- December 25, 2006 at all three fine dining restaurants. At The Lobby, enjoy a four-course dinner featuring dishes like goose liver flan and braised morels with Madeira wine sauce and roast Japanese beef with chestnut and winter truffle. (10,500 yen per person.) Hei Fung Terrace is even more extravagant with a drool-worthy menu: lobster and mango salad, premier shark's fin and crabmeat served with a clear broth, braised whole Yoshihama abalone and foie gras with gold foil oyster sauce, steamed fish fillet with black mushrooms and Yuunan ham, steamed turnip rings filled with assorted fungus served with fired glutinous rice and double-boiled superior bird's nest in papaya. (16,800 - 48,800 yen per person) Or reserve a table at Peter and enjoy the city's bright lights from the 24th floor while savoring a seven-course dinner. Peter also promises a fabulous New Year's Eve celebration with a seven-course dinner paired with wine and a live band and DJ.