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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.

Suite Promotions and Reasons to Love The Peninsula Tokyo


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula TokyoIn the age when so many hotels suffer deficiencies of design-- weird showers and light configurations, complex alarm clocks, bizarre remote controls-- the new Peninsula Tokyo is absolute perfection. Not only does it have a superb location, spa, and luxurious facilities, but it also offers honest-to-goodness comfort and a true home away from home experience. As the New York Times recently raved,

There is a place, however, where many of these failings have been conquered though intuitive technology and smart design, a place marked by such endemic comfort and ease that home itself begins to seem like a downgrade. It is the newest Peninsula hotel, a 24-story building opposite Hibiya Park in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo, with what may be the world's most fully thought-through hotel rooms.

The technology is mind-blowing. Phones which show the time and weather of your hometown when you call to confirm you've arrived. Adjustable humidity levels in the room. Lavazza espresso machines. No-fog television screens in the bathrooms, along with remote controls for light and music (and a unique "spa" function in the tub, which automatically softens the lights and changes the music). Skype built in to the telephones. Portable phones which work all over the hotel, and switch to cellular networks when you take them in the street.

Book the Suite Life package and get the second night free when you reserve a two-night stay. Or enjoy the Winter Escape promotion, from JPY 56,000, choose a room upgrade, or dining and spa credit-- along with complimentary daily breakfast, Internet, and access to the Fitness Club.


Singapore’s Fabulous New Airport Terminal


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Singapore Airlines SuitesNow there's another reason to jet to Singapore, the business capital of the East. On Wednesday, the ultra-modern $1.2 billion airport terminal will receive its first passengers. After Hong Kong welcomed its new terminal a few months ago and Bangkok ushered in the problem-choked Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2006, Singapore hopes to bolster its position as the region's aviation hub. Changi Airport's Terminal 3, boasting a gorgeous five-storey vertical garden with waterfalls, is designed to handle the massive Airbus A380, the world's biggest passenger plane, which was first operated by Singapore Airlines in October. This new terminal will alone handle 22 million passengers a year. Its ambiance? Like a lavish five-star hotel...


What’s Hot: The Aman, New Delhi


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Humayun's TombOver the last few months, rumors have been flying about a new hotel from Amanresorts located in New Delhi. Rated as the world's leading international hotel group in the 2007/2008 Zagat survey of the World's Top Hotels, Resorts, and Spas, Amanresorts has a dazzling collection of global luxury properties like the picture-perfect Amangani (the crème de la crème of ski resorts) and the five luxury lodges in the mythical kingdom of Bhutan. Slated to open in September 2008, The Aman will be Amanresort's first city property, the gateway to the Aman experience in northern India. Expect private plunge pools and all sorts of high-tech accoutrements. Located at the edge of New Delhi near Humayun's Tomb (pictured) and Purana Qila (a fortress dating from 1400 B.C.), the nine-story hotel will have 29 rooms.


Naladhu: Your Own Private Isle in the Maldives


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Naladhu, MaldivesWelcome to paradise. The dream of your own sublime island retreat is realized on Naladhu, the palm-fringed private island in the Maldives. Unsurpassed luxury and expansive private spaces are yours on this blissful atoll surrounded by the turquoise sea. Since its opening in March, Naladhu Maldives has been named one of the world's hottest new resorts by Conde Nast Traveler (2007 Hot List). With only 19 secluded villas designed by Bangkok-based designer Julian Coombs, the resort offers the ultimate in seclusion. Plunge into your private infinity pool, soak up the sun on your teakwood deck, swim and scuba-dive in the surrounding pristine waters... The choice is yours at Naladhu. The villas sport beautiful free-flowing spaces: spacious bedrooms and dressing rooms, open-air baths, steam rooms and garden rainshowers, and private gardens with your own dining sala. The best part of all? Your own House Master, a personal butler who attends to your every need and indulges your every whim. Rates start at $2,000 a night.


Ayurvedic Experience at Amangalla, Galle, Sri Lanka


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangallaStart off the year on the right note with the ultimate dose of good health at Amanresort's gorgeous architectural masterpiece: Amangalla. Located within the fortified walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site Galle Fort, Amangalla reflects the elegant ambiance of a bygone era. From the lavish resort, step out into a historical treasure, the ancient crossroads of Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Malays, South Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and English. Amangalla has designed the Ayurvedic experience package, for guests to revitalize and balance their energies, setting the course for a healthier future. Ayurveda is an ancient system of health care originated by the sages of India who learned how to prevent diseases and maintain good health. Sri Lanka developed its own Ayurvedic system over 3,000 years ago, and you can get a taste of this at Amangalla. The three-day Ayurvedic Taster, priced at $1,350 for two, includes a personalized Ayurvedic diet with daily herbal teas, daily Yoga and meditation class, daily Ayurvedic or spa treatment, Ayurvedic tonic delivered to the guest bedroom, a prepared herbal bath, use of The Baths' hydrotherapy pools, steam room and sauna, and open discussion over afternoon tea with Ayurvedic physician. You can also choose the seven-day Ayurvedic Relaxer ($2,835 double occupancy), or the 14-day Ayurvedic Detox ($5,355 double occupancy).


Sky High in Bangkok at lebua at State Tower


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


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


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


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


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?