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.

Brunch in Bangkok at the Shangri-La Hotel

By: K. Clare Johnson

The Angelini Restaurant & Bar at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok is delighted to announce that Sunday brunch is now served. Each week, Chef Paolo Vitaletti and his team freshly prepare an international Sunday brunch buffet with an Italian twist.

Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok The new Angelini Sunday brunch features Italian and international delicacies. Guests can enjoy an array of antipasti in addition to a selection of cold cut specials, pasta, fresh seafood, and crispy salads, accompanied with an assortment of freshly-baked breads including focaccia and Angelini's loaf. To finish, the restaurant's dessert corner offers dozens of home-made pastries, Angelini signature desserts and traditional favorites. The buffet includes an unlimited serving of soft drinks and live entertainment throughout the buffet brunch.

While parents enjoy their brunch, the kids can pursue their own adventures with a range of Kids Club activities and fun games, including Eckie the clown. The activities and games change weekly.

Virtuoso Hotelier of the Year: Franka Holtmann of the Hotel Meurice, Paris

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Franka HoltmannIt comes as no surprise that Franka Holtmann, General Manager of the opulent Hotel Le Meurice in Paris, was awarded "Hotelier of the Year" at Virtuoso's annual Travel Mart Conference at the Vegas Bellagio hotel in August. Holtmann was selected by Virtuoso's 6,000 member travel advisors as well as the editors of Virtuoso Life for the top spot. She beat out an impressive roster of hoteliers who had been nominated: Rainy Chan, The Peninsula Hong Kong; Geoffrey Gelardi, The Lanesborough, London; Anthony Lee, The Connaught, London. Holtmann's experience in Paris' legendary luxury hotel sector extends far beyond her tenure at Le Meurice, where she has overseen the fantastic renovations by design legend Philippe Starck. She was the second-in-command at Hotel Plaza Athénée in 2000, and then became the first woman general manager of a palace hotel in France at Hotel de Crillon. She has rightfully been called the "First Lady of Fine Hospitality."

Pan Pacific Manila Wins World Travel Award for Leading Business Hotel

By: Betsy LeTourneau

Pan Pacific Manila Congratulations, the Oscars are in! That is, from The World Travel Awards, the "Oscars of the Travel Industry." This year's recipient, announced at the the 15th Annual World Travel Awards 2008, for the Philippines' Leading Business Hotel is

Pan Pacific Manila. General Manager, Richard Masselin, attributes this honor as due to the hotel's dedication to exceptional service on a personalized level.

As the first and finest five star property in Philippines, Pan Pacific Manila offers contemporary style that is luxurious but casually elegant. While staying at Pan Pacific Manila you will receive a heartwarming welcome in true Filipino style. All guests are provided Butler Service, the Hotel's unique concept of consolidated services associated with the utmost personalized care. Each guest room and suite includes an expansive desk, 2 phone lines, fax line, broadband internet access, fully stocked mini bar, and personal coffee and tea making facilities. Bath Rooms are uniquely designed with a sliding wall to open into the bedroom. The property includes extraordinary dining and entertainment at the Adriatico Square, outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi, and a health and fitness center.

Pan Pacific Manila stands ready to provide an experience of luxury and indulgence like never before for you to enjoy.

InterContinental Hanoi Landmark: Vietnam’s Tallest Hotel to Open in 2011

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hanoi By NightInterContinental is bringing its distinctive luxury touch to more and more locations across the Asia Pacific region, with 30 new hotels scheduled to open within the next three years. One of the most anticipated debuts is the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark, which will be Vietnam's tallest hotel when it opens in 2011 in the 70-storey Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower. Like the new InterContinental Westlake Hanoi overlooking the 800-year-old Golden Lotus Pagoda on Hanoi's largest lake, the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark is bound to make waves on the luxury hotel scene with its stylish amenities and first-class service. The Westlake was named to Condé Nast Traveler's prestigious 2008 Hot List for its "sublime waterfront locale," and it seems likely that the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark will also land on the list for its resort-style pool, fitness club, and panoramic city views from the atrium lobby located on the 60th floor. The new hotel will join the ranks of the world's tallest hotels, including the InterContinental Doha West Bay in Qatar (scheduled for 2009) and the InterContinental Nanjing in China (slated for 2010).

Image of "Streets of Hanoi at Night" via Travelblog

What’s Hot: China’s Carbon-Neutral Hotel, URBN Shanghai

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

URBN ShanghaiWith all the talk of smog-clouded skies in Beijing and factories sprouting up like weeds, it's nice to see a new(ish) line of carbon-neutral, boutique hotels in China. URBN Shanghai is making waves as a model for eco-design and sustainability in the hospitality sector. Named to Conde Nast Traveler's 2008 Hot List and recently cited by Fodor's Hot List, URBN was built with recycled materials and energy-saving technology. The hotel calculates its carbon footprint (including energy consumed by staff who commute, and food and bev delivery), and then purchases credits for green energy to neutralize the footprint. Guests are encouraged to buy carbon credits to offset their flights. The hotel has 26 designer rooms outfitted with all the latest technology, housed in a renovated factory just two blocks from Shanghai's high-end Nanjing Road. This is the first of what's promised to be a chain of URBN hotels across China.

Image Via Boutique Design

Free Fourth Night at Ritz-Carlton Hotels (Pay with American Express)

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Fort LauderdaleWe just got wind of a cool offer available at luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide. You'll get a fourth night on the house when you book and pay with any American Express Card. Head to Fort Lauderdale for some fun in the sun and check out the ultra-luxury beach resort, the one-year-old Ritz-Carlton (formerly the St. Regis). Indulge in a leisurely spa treatment at the Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Check into the Ritz-Carlton Moscow at the edge of the famed Red Square and enjoy the largest, poshest rooms in the city. Ogle the views from one of the most dramatic skyscrapers at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. This special offer is available until December 19, 2008.

Buzzworthy: Amanresorts Opens The Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Aman at Summer Palace, BeijingBefore the Summer Olympics, we heard a lot about the hotel building frenzy in Beijing and all the new hotel openings. But this one is so special, says the LA Times, and promises to be so sought-after, that its debut will occur next month, well after the world's Olympians have come and gone. The latest luxury offering from Amanresorts, The Aman at Summer Palace is a sight to behold, housed in a series of historic dwellings (which hosted those awaiting an audience with the Empress Dowager Cixi at the turn of the last century) just a stone's throw from one of the most legendary sites in China. Fittingly, the hotel exudes a sense of tranquility throughout. There will be only 18 guestrooms and 25 suites, outfitted with furniture pieces inspired by the Ming Dynasty. You can try Peking duck at the restaurant, and sip drinks at the bar overlooking a traditional Chinese pond and garden. There will also be a nine-room spa with an indoor pool, gym, and dedicated pilates/yoga room.

Canine Cuisine and Five-Star Service for Fido: Peninsula Tokyo Launches Dog Stay Program

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula TokyoBring your dog to the award-winning Peninsula Tokyo for a little canine pampering. Just like its sister hotels in New York, Chicago, and Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Tokyo has launched a dog stay program so four-legged family members don't have to miss out on the legendary Peninsula service. As to be expected from Peninsula, the program is positively indulgent. When you arrive in your posh guest room, you won't just be ogling the high-tech gadgets. You'll find countless pet amenities: stainless steel water and ceramic food bowls with a placemat, Vittel bottled water, a Simmons dog bed with blanket and pillow, and a welcome basket that includes wet tissues, dog diapers, toys and snacks. When your pup needs a walk, The Peninsula Pageboys and Pagegirls are available to provide complimentary walking service in Hibiya Park or in the outskirts of the Imperial Palace. Your pooch can be outfitted in a Peninsula Page uniform, if you'd like! The fun for Fido doesn't stop there. The "canine cuisine" room service menu offers a range of appetizers and treats, entrees, and desserts for dogs that can be paired with a complimentary video movie or CD for their entertainment. Tasty treats include Organic Cobb Salad, Seasonal Sashimi Tartar on Rice, Kobe Big Burger and Afternoon Tea Delight, along with regular soft and hard dog food. And get this- you can even order a special dog CD which contains music that only dogs can hear. The Dog Stay Program at The Peninsula Tokyo is available for dogs weighing up to 15 kilos (33 pounds) and costs JPY 5,000 per night.

On Top of the World Yoga Retreat in Bhutan: Judy Krupp at Uma Paro Resort

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BhutanThe 29-room Uma Paro, operated by COMO Hotels and Resorts, offers more than the usual five-star hotel experience in Bhutan; Uma Paro welcomes visitors on an holistic, cultural adventure- where you can discover one of the last pristine mountain cultures on earth, surrounded by towering peaks. Uma Paro arranges the entry permission required to visit the Kingdom, along with visas and Druk Airline tickets. Because the core of the COMO Shambhala experience is yoga and Asian-inspired therapies devoted to physical and spiritual wellbeing, it's only fitting that Uma Paro is offering a 6-night yoga retreat led by Australian teacher Judy Krupp. Suitable for all levels, the retreat will take place from January 4-10, 2009 and is priced from $3,968 (single occupancy). The program includes six nights accommodation, breakfast and lunch daily, five hours of daily group instruction, a traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath and Massage, exploration of the local scenery and monasteries with an English-speaking guide, a pilgrimage to Bhutan's most sacred site Taktsang monastery (Tiger's Nest), a lunch at a Traditional Bhutanese Farmhouse, and a picnic at a ruined fortress at the end of Paro Valley with views of Bhutan's highest mountain, Mt Jomolhari (7,314 meters).

Buzz: Langham Hotels Signs First India Property in Pune

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place, Koregaon Park, Pune, IndiaFrom the legendary London hotel to Hong Kong's stylish establishment, Langham has brought its stimulating hospitality concept to four continents now. Luxury hotel operator, Langham Hotels International, has doubled in size in the last year with 16 hotels open or in the pipeline. We just got word that Langham has signed a contract for Langham Place, Koregaon Park, Pune, India- as Langham expands into what's termed the "new Silk Road of China, India and the Middle East." Slated to open in 2010 in the "Silicon Valley of India," the 180-room hotel will be home to India's first Chuan Spa concept, featuring oriental hot tubs, ice caves, herbal steam rooms, singles and couples treatment suites, and an infinity edge indoor and outdoor pool. The exciting restaurants on offer will include a new hybrid concept called Portal- Work & Play. Here's the scoop from the press release: "By combining a lobby lounge, cocktail bar and business centre, Portal is where work and play seamlessly intertwine to meet the needs of today's multi-tasking world." A DJ will spin in the lobby-atrium, setting the mood.