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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.

Luxury Cruises: “The World” Cruise Liner Gets a Banyan Tree Spa

May 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The World The World, the impressive private yacht owned (or rented) by folks from over 40 different countries, is a floating residential community that circumnavigates the globe, checking out diverse ports of call for 2-5 days at a time. Managed by ResidenSea in Miami, The World is outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities including a full-sized tennis court, jogging track, gym, five restaurants, move theater and library, and beautiful spa. Banyan Tree Spa has recently announced a collaboration with The World and will soon launch its Sanctuary of the Senses onboard the cruise ship. Banyan Tree's signature Asian-inspired treatments will be available at sea for the first time. Located on Deck 5 in "The Village," The World Spa by Banyan Tree features four single treatment rooms and a Beauty Garden that incorporates a Hair Salon and Manicure Station.


Going to Galle, Sri Lanka: The Fortress Hotel and Spa

May 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Fortress, Galle The historic seaport of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts a marvelous mélange of European and Southeast Asian architectural traditions. (The famous Galle fort, first built by the Portuguese, was then modified by the Dutch in the 17th century.) For centuries, the ancient city of Galle was at the crossroads of major worldwide trade routes, the strategic port en route from Arabia to the Orient. After the devastation caused by 2004's tsunami, the fortified city is back on its feet and is home to some of the finest luxury hotels in the region. One of these fine establishments is The Fortress Hotel, fashioned to resemble a powerful fortress rising from the sea. Perched on the beach, the new resort offers exquisite, perfumed gardens, a renowed spa with Ayurvedic treatments, free flow swimming pool, Sri Lankan tea room, wine cellar and restaurants. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Fortress features beautiful rooms with designer amenities, designed in a style which forges Dutch and Portuguese styles with Sri Lankan motifs.


Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski: Exploring China’s Great Wall Near Beijing

May 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski Marvel at an ancient architectural wonder while staying in a thrilling contemporary one. Nestled alongside the Badaling section of the Great Wall (40 miles from Beijing), the Commune is a complex of 12 houses designed by Asia's leading architects, including Japan's Shigeru Ban and China's Yung Ho Chang. Operated as a boutique hotel by the Kempinski luxury hotel group, the Commune is set amidst a breathtaking mountainous landscape. Each of the 12 architects was given a $1 million budget to design a contemporary luxury villa. Kengo Kuma's Bamboo Wall House features a tea room; Shigeru Ban's Furniture House features laminated plywood typical of modular furniture; Yung Ho Chang's Split House is literally split in two. After the additions in 2006, there are now 31 additional villas (replicas of the originals), a fitness center, outdoor pool, private screening room with DVD library, and spa. High-concept architecture is complemented by high-tech amenities and excellent service (private butlers to attend to every need). From the floor-to-ceiling windows, gaze out at the Wall, or simply step out the front door for your own walking adventure upon China's "ancient wonder of the world."


What’s Hot: The Rania Experience, Maldives

May 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Rania Experience The Maldives has become the most sought-after destination on the planet. The archipelago's desert atolls (white sandy beaches and turquoise waters) boast some of the finest luxury hotels in the world. In this paradise, The Rania Experience truly stands apart-- raising the luxury experience to another level. Ranked as one the hippest new places to stay on Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Hot List, The Rania Experience is limited to just one exclusive booking at any one time (up to 15 people). Your own private island in paradise includes use of The Rania, an 86 foot luxury yacht with indoor and outdoor lounges, Jacuzzi, and a full entertainment center with home theater. In addition, guests are pampered with yoga on demand, personal dive instructor, three private butlers, personalized gourmet meals, and unlimited spa treatments at The Rania Spa. Opened in 2006, the six-room Rania Experience is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.


Luxury Boutique Hotels in Shanghai

May 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jia Hong Kong The trend for cutting-edge boutique hotels is catching on in major metropolises across Asia. As recently featured by Newsweek International, these cool hotels are "popping up in Asia's more cosmopolitan cities faster than construction cranes." In recent years Hong Kong and Singapore have paved the way with a slew of intimate design hotels, but now Shanghai is also getting its share of hip boutiques. Opening within months of each other, these new luxury hotels include the 30-room Mansion Hotel, a renovated French villa-style manor which "evokes the swinging Shanghai of the 1920s", and M Suites, which has a "sleeker, more contemporary feel." But perhaps the most exciting news of all: the sexy, Philippe Starck-designed Jia Hotel in Hong Kong is branching out to two new locations: Krabi, Thailand and Shanghai.

Photo Via itravelishop


Announcing the Langham Place Hotel Beijing

May 3, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Hotel Hong Kong Just in time for the Olympics, Langham plans to open its first hotel in China, the five-star Langham Place Hotel, Beijing located in the Chao Yang District, close to Chang An Avenue. Known for its swanky hotels in London, Melbourne, Boston, and Hong Kong, Langham strives for elegance in design and genuinely warm service. The new 26-storey hotel will provide 440 guest rooms for business and well-heeled leisure travelers, 5,000 square meters of function space, five restaurants/bars, and the Chuan Spa based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.


Grand Opening of the Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou, China

April 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Suzhou gardens Just a few hours drive from Shanghai, the historic city of Suzhou is world-famous for its Classical Chinese gardens, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. These nine garden masterpieces recreate natural landscapes in miniature:

Dating from the 11th-19th century, the gardens reflect the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture in their meticulous design.

Part of China's coastal economic development area, the city itself is a key tourist destination with its tile-roofed houses, canals linked by small bridges, and tranquil gardens. Here, visitors can discover 487 historical sites! Shangri-La has just opened its newest luxury hotel in the Metropolitan Tower in Suzhou. Located between the 28th and 51st floors, the hotel features 390 spacious rooms and suites, six restaurants and bars, meeting and banquet facilities, tennis courts, and a Health Club with indoor pool, steam sauna, and Jacuzzi.


Announcing the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place

April 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jakarta Get ready, Jakarta. The city's getting another luxury addition. Ritz-Carlton has staked its claim to the city's newest and hottest development, Pacific Place, where the hotel company is planning to open a 62-room boutique hotel sometime this year. Located in the heart of Jakarta's central commercial district, adjacent to the Jakarta Stock Exchange, Pacific Place is described as "the nation's benchmark development." Ritz-Carlton is promising the largest suites in the city, a 44,000 square foot ballroom, and dedicated concierge service with complimentary food and beverage presentations throughout the day in the Club Level. Of course the biggest draw is access to Pacific Place's upscale shopping, dining, office tower, and entertainment.

Photo Via National Geographic


Raffles Beijing: The Hotel of Choice for the 2008 Olympic Games

April 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles Beijing The Chinese capital's in the press a lot these-- mind-boggling economic growth, the new city-wide anti-spitting campaign, and all the buzz for the imminent Olympic games. After all, tickets have just gone on-sale! So once you've secured seats for your favorite sporting event, it's time to think lodging. The place to stay in Beijing is the new Raffles, awarded "Best New City Hotel" by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report (2007) and also listed on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2007 "Hot List." Dating from the 1900's, the distinguished hotel is an architectural icon in the city. The location is ideal, just minutes from the Forbidden City and historic Tiananmen Square. The 171 guest rooms are downright decadent.

Related Articles:

Diario del Viajero, A la venta las entradas para los Juegos Olímpicos de 2008


Luxury Values in Bangkok: Baan Thai Wellness Retreat

April 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baan Thai Wellness Retreat The hotel trend in Bangkok these days is going "mini," according to a recent Travel and Leisure article. Smaller boutique hotels are setting the standard for affordable luxury and authentic experiences. Smack dab in the middle of the bustling cosmopolitan city (amidst soaring skyscrapers, a maze of traffic, and Sky Trains), the Baan Thai Wellness Retreat is a tranquil oasis in the Sukhumvit area of downtown Bangkok. Sprawling across a royal estate of five two-storey Thai teak homes transported from Ayutthaya (the ancient Thai capital), the hotel is straight out of the Old World, but wrapped in contemporary luxury. Rooms are outfitted with sumptuous Thai silk, antiques, and elegant teak furniture. Choose a suite with private pool, or opt for a spa suite with outdoor massage table and private treatment room. The Spa itself is a luxurious hideaway with a full menu of spa services. Three night packages start from $770 per person (double).