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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.

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.


Hong Kong Harbor Cruise with The Peninsula and The Star Ferry

November 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Hong KongGuests at The Peninsula Hong Kong, long hailed one of the finest hotels in the world, can now enjoy a complimentary harbor cruise. Two of Hong Kong's oldest icons, The Peninsula and The Star Ferry, have teamed up for The Peninsula's Cruise and Dine package. Each evening at 6:15 p.m., the hotel will charter the exquisite 'Shining Star' for a 45-minute cruise around Victoria Harbor with champagne served onboard. The "Grand Dame of the Far East" will offer the cruise from November 19, 2007- February 29, 2008. Just call the concierge to book your reservation. Or, choose the Cruise and Dine package, priced at HK $1,288 per couple, and enjoy a three-course dinner in The Lobby (with a bottle of Peninsula wine) after the cruise. As a special gift, The Peninsula Spa by ESPA will present each diner with a HK $300 gift certificate redeemable for any treatment.


The Nam Hai, Vietnam: Best Beach Resort in Asia

November 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Nam HaiThe awards keep streaming in for The Nam Hai, the stunning Asian flagship for GHM (of Setai fame). The Nam Hai nabbed the #1 spot for the Best New Beach Resort at the 18th annual TTG Travel awards, which honor the movers and shakers in Asia-Pacific's travel industry. Since its opening in December 2006, the Nam Hai has been turning heads nonstop. Nestled on the pristine beach in Hoi An, Vietnam, the Nam Hai is a gorgeous design hotel with close proximity to important UNESCO World Heritage sites: the ancient Cham sanctuary of My Son and the citadels of Hue. You'll find in-room bathtubs, rain showers, flat-screen TVs and iPods, and in-room bars. There's an all-natural spa center, tennis courts, exquisite beachfront swimming pools, and a restaurant serving the finest Vietnamese cuisine overlooking water gardens and the ocean.


The World’s Best Hotels with a View

November 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmanganiWe're constantly scouring the earth for the best luxury hotels. When we stumble across hotels with views this breathtaking, this heartstoppingly beautiful, we can't help but get lyrical about them.

Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Ranked among the top après-ski destinations in the world and also consistently voted the nation's best spa by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, the ultra-luxurious Amangani is set atop East Gros Ventre Butte, offering panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks around Grand Teton National Park.

Hotel Caruso

Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Soaring 350 meters above the sea, hugging the cliffside over the Mediterranean, the Hotel Caruso commands the ultimate location. White stucco houses draped with brilliant bougainvillea, this is sun-kissed Italy at its most charming. With views like this, the infinity pool is easily among the most beautiful in the world.

Oberoi Udaivilas

Oberoi Udaivilas, Rajasthan, India

Sitting high above Udaipur's fabled lake, the Oberoi Udaivilas looks across to the floating City Palace, gleaming white in the sunshine, and Aravalli Hills beyond. Named the best hotel in the world in Travel and Leisure's 2007 reader's poll, the Oberoi Udavilas has rooms fit for a maharajah in India's romantic desert city.

Ritz-Carlton TokyoThe Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, Japan

Occupying the top nine floors and the first three levels of the 53-story Midtown Tower, the tallest building in Tokyo, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo features 360-degree panoramic vistas of the city and Mount Fuji. When it debuted in April 2007, the hotel dazzled Tokyo with its over-the-top service and amenities (like the $16,000 Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini with its very own Bulgari diamond).

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

Along the stretch of mythic California Highway 1, Big Sur enchants visitors with its awe-inspiring landscapes. Smack dab in the middle of this dramatic coastline, the Post Ranch Inn offers rustic elegance and incredible views. Dine above the Pacific at the award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant, guaranteed to be one of the most romantic dining experiences of your life.

Hayman Island Resort

Hayman Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Located on the southwestern side of Hayman Island just beside the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island Resort boasts an idyllic setting surrounded by coral fringed beaches and the lapping waters of the Coral Sea. The resort has a style as special as its setting, and boasts the largest swimming pool in the southern hemisphere.

Jumeirah Essex House

Jumeirah Essex House, New York

The Grande Dame of New York is uniquely situated at the southern base of Central Park, just across the street from 843 acres of parkland. An internationally renowned urban oasis, the Jumeirah Essex House has an excellent location right in the heart of midtown Manhattan.The 515 guest rooms and suites-- fresh from a $70 million renovation-- boast breathtaking views of Central Park. Plus, the hotel has a camera on the roof which scans the city and broadcasts live to a channel in the guest rooms.

Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles, Cape Town, South Africa

Situated where earth, sea, and sky meet, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is poised above the Atlantic, flanked by Table Mountain and the majestic Twelve Apostles range, just minutes from the glorious oceanfront city of Cape Town.

Copacabana Palace, Rio

Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

Looming over the world-famous Copacabana beach, the Copacabana Palace is legendary, a glamorous piece of Rio's history. Like a sumptuous white wedding cake on the sand, the hotel has hosted royalty, film stars, and world leaders.

Cap Estel

Cap Estel, Eze-Bord-de-Mer, French Riviera

Located between Nice and Monaco in the charming clifftop village of Eze-Bord-de-Mer, Cap Estel is situated on its own four acre peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean with a 180 degree view of the coastline. All the guest rooms at this renowned 19th century hotel have a balcony or terrace with a sea view.

Four Seasons Hong Kong

Four Seasons Hong Kong

Heralded as the "first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years," the sleek Four Seasons opened in September 2005. Easily the top location on Hong Kong Island, the hotel is located on the waterfront of the Central neighborhood, with the Star Ferry just steps away. Its 399 spacious guestrooms have wall-to-wall windows offering views of the Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak. From the outdoor infinity pools, heated in winter, guests enjoy sweeping Harbour views.

Hotel Hassler

Hotel Hassler, Rome

The Eternal City's most luxurious and romantic hideaway, the Hotel Hassler is perched above the Spanish Steps in an unbeatable location. Hands down the best views over Rome (while working out at the health club, you can check out St Peter’s Cathedral!)

Machu Picchu

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Peru

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, one of the world's major heritage sites. Managed by Orient-Express, the luxurious Sanctuary Lodge can arrange visits to Machu Picchu with experienced guides.


Federer-Sampras Tennis Showdown at the Venetian Macao

November 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Venetian MacaoIn just a few weeks, the Venetian Macao Resort will host a historic tennis match. Catch the action as the former World No. 1 tennis legend Pete Sampras goes head-to-head with the current World No. 1 tennis champ Roger Federer. There's been a lot of hype about this match between two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Called the most sought-after tennis event of 2007, the Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown will be played on Saturday, November 21 at the hotel's stunning event center. Fittingly, the Venetian Macao has put together some impressive packages for the event: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. The three-day/two-night Platinum Package, available for November 23-25, 2007, includes tickets in the Reserve A section for the match along with a slew of add-ons: complimentary drink at the Bellini Lounge, daily buffet breakfast, a 15-minute gondola ride down the Grand Canal, and your choice of fine dining experiences at the resort's superb restaurants. Priced at HKD 4,888 per person, assuming double occupancy.


Fuchun Resort: High-Design Heaven in China’s Hangzhou Province

October 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fuchun ResortJust 150 miles from Shanghai, you'll find a stylish sanctuary-- a modern day imperial compound-- that's hailed as China's leading resort. Nestled in the tea-covered hills of Fuyang village in Hangzhou province, the magical Fuchun Resort was inspired by a 700-year old painting. These lush surroundings were where Yuan dynasty painter Wang Gongwang went into exile, and it's easy to see why this storybook setting prompted his classic landscape painting, "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains." And with villas designed by Jean-Michel Gathy of Amanresort fame, it's no wonder Condé Nast described the Fuchun Resort as one of the World's Best New Hotels (2005)-- the only hotel in China to make the list. The accommodations are stunning, with Jacuzzis and oodles of technological gadgetry. From your private balcony, you'll contemplate incredible mountain views. Other facilities include a glamorous spa, golf course, two tennis courts, a mountaintop conference pavilion, and a ballroom.

For more photos, check out Flickr