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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 Dreams: The Presidential Suite at InterContinental Hong Kong

August 7, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Hong Kong, Presidential Suite There's a lot to love at the InterContinental Hong Kong: the large outdoor heated swimming pool and unique trio of infinity spa pools, the luxurious I-Spa (with its feng shui inspired ambiance), prime waterfront location in Kowloon, unparalleled dining, not to mention the spectacular views. But one of the best things about the hotel is the stunning Presidential Suite, one of the most beautiful in Asia, and the city's priciest and largest. The price tag is $10,000 a night for 7,000 square feet of pure luxury. The 2,500 square ft terrace boasts its own infinity pool overlooking the sparkling lights of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. The wrap-around terrace can easily seat 50 folks for dinner, and 24-hour room service from Alain Ducaisse's Spoon Restaurant is a perk enjoyed only by guests of the Presidential Suite. Of course this five-room facility has made the roster of Forbes' most expensive hotel rooms in the world.


King’s Cup Elephant Polo with Anantara Resort, Golden Triangle, Thailand

August 7, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Elephant Polo at Anantara Resort Thailand's highly popular King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament returns to the hills of the Golden Triangle in 2008. Mark your calendars for March 31-April 6, for some serious fun in the sun. Event organizer, Anantara Resorts, describes the event as wildly entertaining, ranked as the 6th largest on the Thai tourism calendar. And it's easy to understand why. A charitable event that raises money for the country's National Elephant Institute in Lampang, King's Cup Elephant Polo is chock full of celebrities, seasoned elephant polo players, colorful parades and elephants. Plus, it's location in spectacular northern Thailand showcases the natural beauty of the Golden Triangle region, home to Thailand's elephant population. Indeed Anantara Resort has its own Elephant Camp, an on-site sanctuary for these peaceful pachyderms. Located 60 kilometers north of the Chiang Rai airport, perched on a ridge overlooking the hills of Myanmar and Laos, Anantara is all about laid-back luxury. Here you can experience the refreshing chill of a Northern Thai sunrise shrouded in mountain mist; the rush of a longboat ride up the Mekong to Laos; the exhilaration of riding an elephant through bamboo jungle along the border of Burma.

PS. The sport of Elephant Polo poses no threat to the participating creatures, says the World Wildlife Fund.


Major U.S. Airlines Play Catch Up with Luxury Airlines

August 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

United lie-flat seats Looks like United and American are still in the running. Luxury airline favorites like Eos and Maxjet have been getting a lot of press (read: a lot of business), and the major U.S. carriers are taking notice. High-paying customers have flocked to the new all-business class airlines, where spacious seats, cutting edge technology, and truly decadent meals are run of the mill. Now United and American Airlines, the nation's largest air carriers, are preparing to enter the fray with costly makeovers to get a piece of the pie. On international flights, first-class and business travelers can soon expect big lie-flat seats, ample leg room, elaborate in-flight entertainment systems, and lots of pampering and perks. These changes to business and fist-class seats will start to take place late this year and early next year.


Five Star Alliance Selects World’s Best Luxury Hotels 2007

July 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peter Island It's official. Five Star Alliance, the leading online travel agency for luxury hotels, has released the annual "World's Best Luxury Hotels" lists. Our crew of somewhat obsessive luxury hotel fans gives recs so often, we decided it's important to share that info with the world. Along with the company's expertise, the criteria used to select the World's Best Luxury Hotels includes honest feedback from Five Star Alliance clients and the popularity of hotels. Since Five Star Alliance only focuses only luxury hotels, these picks are truly la crème de la crème.

The world's most luxurious hotels are selected for eight categories, including Luxury Beach Resorts, Business Hotels, Luxury Honeymoon Resorts, Luxury Golf Resorts, Luxury Spa Resorts, Luxury Ski Resorts, Luxury Resorts for Families, and Romantic Resorts.

Do you have a favorite that didn't make our lists? After checking them out, come back and discuss your favorites with us! (You'll find a link for comments at the bottom of each list.)


Oberoi Udaivilas: Rajasthan, India is the Place to Be

July 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Oberoi Udaivilas The best hotel in the world? That honor-- according to Travel and Leisure's 2007 reader's poll-- is the Oberoi Udaivilas in India's romantic desert city of Udaipur. There's been a lot of buzz about this award-winning hotel, which commands one of the most beautiful settings in the world-- high above Rajasthan's fabled lake, with views across to the floating City Palace and sloping Aravalli Hills. Guest rooms are truly fit for a maharajah, with large private terraces, private swimming pools, walk-in closets, and butler service. The grounds are as stunning as the suites: 30 acres of landscaped gardens, courtyards, fountains, and reflection pools.


Trendspotting: Luxury Hotels Get Serious Technology Overhauls

July 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn Las Vegas A regular size TV will no longer cut it. The digital revolution during the age of TiVo means business travelers are used to home entertainment systems far superior than the technology found on the road. But now the tide has turned. Luxury hotels are upgrading rooms with high definition TVs, iPod docking stations and a wide selection of programming, personal entertainment systems with movies, music, and games, and more. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, in the hotel industry, the technology race is on. There's been a "paradigm shift more toward the lifestyle traveler." The good news for this new breed of road warriors: with on-demand programming, you'll never miss another episode of Entourage again.


Discovering the Kingdom of Bhutan at Uma Paro Resort

July 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Uma Paro Resort, Bhutan Now is the time to visit the magical kingdom of Bhutan. For centuries closed to outsiders, the country has slowly opened its doors to visitors in recent years. Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Himalaya, Bhutan is a wonderland of pristine landscapes, colorful architecture, and beautiful, enduring cultural traditions. A year of celebration is coming up for Bhutan: the new King will be crowned in Spring 2008 and the coronation of the fifth Dragon King promises to be a grand, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Join in the revelry while staying at Uma Paro, the 29-room five-star boutique opened by COMO Hotels and Resorts in fall 2004. Surrounded by a wild and dramatic topography-- terraced hills, towering, snow-capped peaks, orchard-lined rivers-- Uma Paro is a retreat rich in luxurious comforts, where guests find themselves inspired by the cultural riches of Bhutan.


What’s Hot in Mumbai: Dome Lounge at InterContinental Marine Drive

July 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dome at InterContinental Mumbai As featured in the July issue of Conde Nast Traveler, the "happening white-on-white rooftop bar, Dome" is the place to be in India's commercial, cultural and movie capital. In the midst of all this glamour, the 58-room InterContinental Marine Drive commands a sweeping view of the Arabian Sea. There are a number of fine dining options at the elegent hotel, but the al fresco rooftop venue stands out for its dreamy ambience. Voted Mumbai's most Romantic Restaurant in the year 2005-2006, Dome serves grilled delights from the open kitchen on the terrace. From this open-air cocktail lounge, guests can take in spectacular sunsets and views of the Marine Drive promenade. An international selection of cigars and wines is found at the bar, lit by soft light sreaming through the domed glass.


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.

Related Articles:

HotelChatter, PM Linkage: Stay at a Baccarat Hotel in 2010

TravelWeekly, Starwood Capital launches Baccarat Hotels and Resorts brand


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.