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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.

St. Regis Comes to Tibet: New Luxury Hotel Slated for the Roof of the World

March 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Potala Palace, Tibet That's right, the Tibetan capital of Lhasa is going luxe. Come the year 2010, a swanky new St. Regis Resort will open in the world's most highly elevated location in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a province in southwest China. Explore the stunning mountainous terrain (which includes Mt. Everest, located on the border with Nepal) while shacking up in the first internationally branded luxury hotel to open in Lhasa in over a decade. The recent completion of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has opened up the formerly isolated region and folks are starting to flock. (Never mind the heart-palpitating altitudes, the numbers are expected to reach three million tourists this year.) From the hotel's 169 guest rooms, enjoy views of the famed Potala Palace (pictured) while the signature St. Regis butler service attends to your every whim.

Image Via Wikipedia


Destination: Hoi An, Vietnam and GHM’s Nam Hai Hotel

March 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Nam Hai Hotel, Vietnam The ancient trading port of Hoi An is graced with alluring soft sandy beaches and a fascinating history. (Long a closely-guarded secret amongst backpackers, who flocked to Hoi An to pick up some exquisitely-tailored suits.) Not far from the Royal Tombs of the UNESCO-protected city of Hue, this Vietnamese coastal town captures the imagination of sybarites and sun-seekers. Here, The Nam Hai Hotel has become a destination in and of itself. Brought to you by GHM, the luxury hotelier known for distinctive worldwide properties, like the gorgeous Setai in South Beach. Sprawling across 35 hectares, the spa resort opened in December 2006 to much fanfare (the press simply gushed about this spot). Nestled within landscaped gardens on a prime stretch of China Beach, 60 villas and 40 pool villas gaze out across the South China Sea to the misty Cham Islands. The Villas are contemporary, with traditional design touches; bedrooms are spacious with en suite baths, walk-in closets, and high ceilings. At this sumptuous spa resort, there are 40 (count em, 40!) private swimming pools. Resort facilities include gourmet restaurants, clubhouse, beautiful spa, and plenty of recreational facilities. This is also a residential enclave, meaning you can own your own piece of paradise here on China Beach.


Cruise around Phuket with Banyan Tree’s Sea Gypsy and Pi Marn Yachts

March 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Phuket Cruises That's right. Banyan Tree Phuket has announced two new yacht cruises around Phang Nga Bay. Hop onboard the Sea Gypsy and Pi Marn and experience the glorious deserted beaches, crystal clear waters, spectacular underwater life, and majestic limestone cliffs that make Phang Nga Bay legendary. You'll even get a chance to see the best of Phuket's wildlife: chattering monkeys, flying fruit-bats, and eagles. Travel in style on the recently refurbished yachts and enjoy delicious gourmet meals and excellent service by a personal butler. The day-long private cruise, priced from $700 per couple, includes a kayaking expedition into a limestone cave at low-tide.


Luxury Travel Trends: Glamping

March 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Forget mildewed tents and crummy sleeping bags. Today's luxury travelers are opting for glamorous camping experiences, called "glamping" in a recent AP article. As I've oohed and ahhed about before, Four Seasons has opened a tented camp in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, where lucky guests are pampered with wifi and multi-line phones in their "tents," seductive spa services, five-course dining, and a free-form pool. Another example of this trend in "rustic luxury" travel: glamping it up at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, where tents are outfitted with Persian carpets, down duvets, antique dressers, pressed-glass oil lamps, heirloom accessories, and-- in addition to wireless Internet-- a remote-controlled propane wood-stove.

Related articles:

Welcome to the Jungle: Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand

Luxury Camping at Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts in Tofino, British Columbia


Destination: Seoul and the W Hotel Seoul-Walkerhill

March 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel Seoul Walkerhill Going to Seoul? Without a doubt, the place to stay is the W Hotel Seoul-Walkerhill. Located on the slope of Mount Acha overlooking the Han river, W Seoul is only 15 minutes from the bustling financial and business district, yet a world away in a natural paradise of 180 acres of parkland. Listed on the Conde Nast Hot List in 2005, the W Seoul-Walkerhill is a sight to behold. In addition to the chic accommodations (with bathrooms guaranteed to wow), the hotel features truly world-class facilities. Gorgeous indoor pool (with sweeping city views), a Turkish Hammam and legendary spa treatments at Away Spa, the first of its kind in Seoul. Golf driving range. Two kilometer jogging course, located on the hotel grounds, which winds through the mountain forest. Two outdoor asphalt tennis courts equipped for nighttime play. Full-service fitness facility. And the best part of all? Airport pick-up in the exclusive Red Jaguar XJ, specially made for W Seoul-Walkerhill.


Far-Flung Journeys with International Expeditions

February 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

International Expeditions Announcing new, exciting destinations with International Expeditions, the world leader in nature travel tours and environmentally responsible expeditions. Listed on Travel and Leisure magazine's 2006 list of "World's Best" tour operators, International Expeditions plans small-ship voyages and enriching land expeditions with exceptional naturalist guides. The Far-Flung Adventures take you to all corners of the world-- remarkable, less-traveled places like the Sahara, Falkland Islands, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Croatia and Bhutan. You stay in top-rate accommodations, from stylish riverboats on the Amazon to romantic tented camps in Africa. Samplings of upcoming adventures include: Bhutan-- learn about the cultures of this remote Himalayan kingdom, and explore its pristine environment (June 19, 2007, 14 days from $4,298), Mongolia-- explore the Gobi Desert, Lake Hovsgol, Hustain Nuruu National Reserve and the rich nomadic cultures of Mongolia (June 22, 2007, 14 days from $3,998), Papua New Guinea-- take in one of the last of the great highland "sing-sings," and visit the most interesting river villages (August 15, 2007, 19 days from $7,698), and Cape to Cairo-- journey to the most compelling places on the entire African continent on the expedition to see the "Best of Africa" (October 22, 2007, 18 days from $14,498).


The One Hotel, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

February 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The One Hotel, Cambodia A one-room hotel? I kid you not. The One Hotel Angkor is a stylish, one-suite hotel, offering the ultimate privacy in the heart of Siem Reap. Located in the town's Old Market area, the hotel is devoted to you and you alone. Perks include intimate, stunning dining experiences (the choice is up to you), a mobile phone for the duration of your stay, and in-room spa treatments.

Enter through a gallery-cafe on the ground floor. Ascend to your luxurious bedroom. A custom-made king size bed draped in Frette linen. Your personal iBook and iPod. 32" LCD screen television. Luxury and sensual indulgence continues into the bathroom. Choose from the two-person granito tub with underwater lighting or the soothing experience of your rainfall shower. A private rooftop terrace awaits above. Sink into your jacuzzi. The indoor-outdoor sound system allows you to accompany a romantic late evening dip with your favorite music. Lounge on the daybed. Dine at the table setting. Cast off your clothes for an outdoor shower. With the entire hotel to yourself, how you enjoy The One is up to you.

This hotel is no stranger to awards lists. Lavished with media attention, the One Hotel Angkor was recognized on Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List as one of the hottest luxury properties worldwide.


Banyan Tree Ringha, China’s Shangri-La Country

February 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Ringha Named Tatler Hotel of the Year 2007, Banyan Tree Ringha is set in the stunning, mountainous country which inspired the author of Lost Horizon to describe the remote, peaceful paradise of Shangri-La. The rugged landscape is mythical: snow-capped mountains towering over wide, open valleys. Designated the official "Shangri-La" by the Chinese government, this region of Yunnan province is part of Greater Tibet both historically and culturally. Here, 3,200 meters above sea level, Banyan Tree Ringha is a magical resort which reflects the local Tibetan culture. Crafted from traditional Tibetan farmhouses, the 32 spacious lodges and suites feature intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies with awe-inspiring views. Embark on a trek with a local guide through the Tibetan Mountains to crystalline lakes, deep canyons, mystical plateaus, and divine mountain peaks. At the end of the day, return to the heavenly spa and unwind in serene, luxurious comfort.


Luxury Flying with Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

February 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Singapore AirlinesIn an era of premium air travel for the uber-rich, the likes of which has never been seen before, Singapore Airlines proves itself a trendsetter with the launch of its new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER's. As described by ABC News, the "Orient Express of the skies" makes the 20-hour flights seem short:

For a mere $10,000, first class airline passengers can now rest their champagne glasses on mahogany tables as they hunker down in Givenchy sleep suits in 30-inch leather seats that turn into cozy beds.

This is luxury flying at its finest, with the world's widest First and Business Class seats, enhanced personal space, awesome entertainment systems, and tempting cuisine. In addition, Singapore Airlines is scheduled to launch its new 555-seat Airbus 380 in October, which will boast a bar on each deck.


Banyan Tree Maldives: Sailing in Style Aboard the Turkish Yacht Velaa

February 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Maldives

As if a stay at the Banyan Tree in the Maldives wasn't magical enough. The resort has organized sailing expeditions aboard the Turkish gulet, a 30-meter double-mast yacht named Velaa. Elegantly appointed, the yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests in comfortable mahogany cabins for one-, two-, and three-night adventures to the best dive spots in the North and South Male Atolls of the Maldives archipelago. With five-star service onboard, gourmet cuisine, daily canapés and drinks, and luxurious cabins equipped with LCD TV screens and DVD players, this isn't exactly roughing it. Soak up the sunshine from the ship's deck, picnic on secluded beaches, explore the wonders of the deep, diving with grey reef sharks, eagle rays, barracuda, stonefish and turtles. After your unforgettable journey, return to the luxury of Banyan Tree Maldives for some more pampering.