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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.

Announcing Baccarat Hotels and Resorts

July 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baccarat Joining the likes of Waldorf-Astoria, Bulgari, and Crillon Hotels, Baccarat Hotels and Resorts is the latest luxury hotel brand on the block. Starwood recently announced its latest venture into the foray of five-star hotels, inspired by Baccarat's iconic status with its fine, hand-crafted luxury goods (as the "provider of crystal to kings"). The first for the brand will be the Baccarat Wailea in Hawaii, scheduled to open in 2010 with 193 condominium homes furnished by Baccarat, the ultimate luxury living experience. Of course lobbies will be adorned with those signature Baccarat chandeliers. Other locations will follow in the Caribbean, Europe, and the Far East.

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August Opening for the Venetian Resort in Macau

July 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Venetian Macao Resort Hotel Rumor has it that Las Vegas Sands Corp. is bringing its Vegas-style pool parties to the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The 3,000-room Venetian Resort-Hotel, "large enough to hold ninety Boeing 747 jumbo jets," will open at the end of August in the world's gambling capital. The centerpiece of Las Vegas Sands' $11 billion complex of casinos and shops, the Venetian will bring over-the-top luxury to the Cotai Strip. Suites are enormous, decked out with lavish Italian marble bathrooms and sunken living rooms. There will be a V Spa, V Gym fitness center, myriad dining experiences, and of course multiple swimming pools, including the exclusive adults-only pool. Book now and get special introductory rates from HK $1,088.


Summer Resort Credit at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

June 29, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Maldives Since its reopening at the end of 2006, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa has generated quite a buzz. (In a setting this magical-- private coral island surrounded by the turquoise sea-- it's no wonder visitors are swooning.) The resort's palm-thatched pavilions and bungalows rise above the water, or line the white sand, and boast private plunge pools, over-water decks, and outdoor showers. From the infinity edge pool, one of the largest in the Maldives, you can take in the memorable sunsets, when the sky is painted in brilliant shades of color. Aboard the resort's yacht, The Explorer, you can cruise untouched atolls and discover some of the best scuba diving spots in the world. Until September 30, 2007, book a four-night stay and you'll receive a $250 resort credit for use in the fabulous spa and restaurants.


Nine World Wonders by Private Jet with Abercrombie and Kent

June 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Abercrombie and Kent private jet Visit nine wonders of the world-- from the Egyptian pyramids to the incredible carved sculptures on Easter Island-- with Abercrombie & Kent's globe-spanning journey by private jet. The luxury tour operator enlists expert guides to accompany their programs; these professionals are the ideal traveling companions who work hard to ensure an unforgettable journey. Privileged guests can choose from an array of sightseeing excursions, sport, shopping and spa options at selected destinations. And with Abercrombie & Kent, guests experience privileged access to these nine landmarks of world culture-- a real insider's perspective. As to be expected, the accommodations on this circumnavigation are the finest, like the elegant Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco, the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, and the luxurious Four Seasons First Residence in Cairo. For 2008, the itinerary spans Miami, Lima, Easter Island, Apia (Samoa), Sydney, Siem Reap (Cambodia), Yangon (Myanmar), Jodhpur & Agra (India), Muscat (Oman), Petra (Jordan), Cairo, and New York. Dates are January 13- February 6, 2008 and February 7- March 2, 2008. There are a limited number of seats on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. The private Boeing 757-200 is limited to just 50 guests, so make your reservations today.


Hot Dining in Hong Kong: Spoon by Alain Ducasse at the InterContinental

June 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Spoon by Alain Ducasse Savvy gourmands flock to the InterContinental Hong Kong for the best dining options in the city. The STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill lures meat lovers with prime cuts of the world's finest steaks on Hong Kong's only charcoal grill; the new Nobu restaurant was named one of the world's Hot Tables by Conde Nast Traveler. And then there's SPOON by Alain Ducasse, the high concept restaurant designed by the world's most awarded chef. This innovative hot spot gives guests the freedom to mix and match food and cooking styles, and select different sauces and side dishes. The best ingredients from around the world-- think French foie gras, lobster, the freshest fish and vegetables-- are incorporated into exciting, contemporary dishes by SPOON Executive Chef Tjaco van Eijken who moved to Hong Kong in June 2005 (from Mr. Ducasse's Il Cortile (1-Michelin star) restaurant in Paris).

Tony Chi designed the interiors to showcase the panoramic views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong island. The leather and chrome bar area is complemented by modern French chairs with eel skin upholstery and sofas with mink cushions. 550 hand-blown Venetian Mercury glass spoons adorn the ceiling, reflecting the custom-designed open kitchen and harbor views. The huge international wine selection (4,800 bottles with 450 different vintages) is dramatically showcased within the restaurant.

SPOON offers one of the most sought-after dining experiences in the city. Hong Kong residents easily make up half of the restaurant's clientele. Open daily for dinner and Sundays for lunch. Located on the Lobby Level of the InterContinental.


Terelj Hotel and Spa: Mongolia Gets a Five Star Destination Resort

June 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Terelj Hotel and Spa, Mongolia That's right. The wide, open spaces of Mongolia, birthplace of Genghis Khaan, the "great unifier," are getting a luxury edition. Located just 50 kilometers north of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Terelj Hotel and Spa is situated on the border of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, nestled beneath some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world: spectacular valleys with eroded rock formations, pine-covered mountains and grasslands carpeted with perennial wildflowers and edelweiss. Scheduled for a soft opening in October 2007, the hotel is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, to boot. Originally built as a summer camp for the Soviets, the resort is reminiscent of an 18th century country palace. A mélange of traditional and contemporary elements, the hotel will be adorned with paintings and sculptures commissioned by Mongolian artists. Discerning travelers will appreciate the comfortable facilities: 52 luxurious suites, a selection of restaurants, a pool pavilion, spa, conference facilities, and a wedding garden. A highlight will be the overnight excursions to the Terelj Camp where guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and cuisine.

Photo Via MSNBC


Ride the Eastern and Oriental Express: Get Free Hotel Nights in Bangkok and Singapore

June 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eastern and Oriental Express This summer, experience a panoramic view of the mystical landscapes of Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia aboard the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express. When you travel this journey, the ultimate centerpiece of any visit to the Far East, you will receive complimentary hotel accommodations: one free night at The Oriental in Singapore and one free night at The Oriental in Bangkok. (Available until September 16, 2007). Enjoy the thrill of the rails and the splendor of the E&O: elegant compartments, the famous bar car, delicious cuisine, and impeccable service. Begin your unforgettable journey in Bangkok, traversing the lush Malay peninsula, before crossing the causeway over the Straits of Johor to the elegant city of Singapore (you may also elect the alternate route, departing from Singapore). Along the way, pass rice paddies, traditional villages, temples, and the infamous River Kwai. Rates for the four day/three night journey start at EUR 1540 in a Pullman compartment.


Four Seasons Tented Camp: Elephant Adoption in the Golden Triangle, Thailand

June 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Elephants at Four Seasons Tented Camp, Thailand When Four Seasons opened its luxury camp in Thailand's Golden Triangle, it launched a new travel trend for adventure-seekers to "rough it" without denying the creature comforts. Five-star tents, like tree houses, are outfitted with teak wood floors, hand-hammered copper tubs, outdoor rain showers, and sundecks with day beds. Guests discover the mysteries of the Golden Triangle-- the region wedged between northern Thailand, Burma and Laos-- on three or four-night adventures: elephant-trekking through the tropical jungle, hiking mountain trails, venturing out on river excursions down the mighty Mekong, discovering the cultures of the hill tribes. But perhaps the best part of the experience is the elephant rescue program. The six elephants at the Four Seasons Golden Triangle were rescued from city streets and now play an important role at the camp. Guests have the opportunity to help by making donations to the elephant adoption program.


Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Closes Its Doors

June 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hong Kong Come January, the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong will stop operating. In its place, a high-rise commercial office building will loom over the city. Though not as fabled as The Peninsula, the Ritz-Carlton was known for its timeless elegance and outstanding amenities, like the complimentary Romantic Concierge, six restaurants, and extensive catering to female business travelers. But what we'll miss the most is the heated outdoor pool, the only one in the downtown area. Fans of Ritz-Carlton will be relieved to know that the company has two other properties under development in the region: a hotel-casino in Macau (of course) and another hotel in Kowloon's International Commerce Center. Scheduled for completion in 2010, the 116-storey Kowloon property will be the world's tallest hotel (1575 feet).


Raffles Hotel Singapore Celebrates 120 Years

June 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles Hotel Singapore Happy birthday to the storied Raffles Hotel, pride and joy of the island state of Singapore, celebrity mecca and worldwide icon. Named for Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore, the historic landmark hotel has been wowing well-heeled travelers since 1887. Though the hotel has been featured in books (Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham hung out here) and on the silver screen, Raffles doesn't rest on its laurels. Today, Raffles Hotel Singapore is a modern bastion of exclusivity and pampering, known for its unsurpassed service and colonial elegance. At a spot with such impressive history, it's no wonder the tourists flock. The lobby is open to tourists who want to gape at the molded ceilings, teak and marble floors, and period furnishings. But don't worry-- the hotel retains a private lobby for hotel guests only. Also on site: the Amrita spa and excellent culinary academy.

PS. A stay at Raffles isn't complete without a cocktail at Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented in 1910.

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