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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.

Luxurious Langham Hotel Auckland Welcomes Weta (the Native New Zealand Insect)

October 7, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Weta at the Langham Hotel AucklandThis fierce-looking insect (pictured at right) is getting a VIP welcome at Auckland's swanky Langham Hotel. As part of its "Guests of the Earth" environmental program, the five-star property recently unveiled a "Wetarium"-- New Zealand's first weta habitat-- for the Auckland Tree Weta. The only New Zealand hotel to have achieved Green Globe certification through its environmental initiatives to reduce energy consumption, save water and increase the recycling of waste, the Langham Auckland is celebrated around the world for combining elegance with environmental sustainability. (Case in point: The hotel's new fleet of hybrid limousines which are the world's first V8 hybrids.) The glass-enclosed "Wetarium" is located outside the hotel where the weta are housed in a in a native New Zealand habitat. Visitors can check out an indigenous insect that predates the dinosaur and learn about the weta's important role in the surrounding ecosystem.

Image Via Mindfood


Honeymoon in Paradise at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort

September 18, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and SpaIt's hard to imagine a more perfect honeymoon locale than Bora Bora. With breathtaking lagoons and coral reefs, this Polynesian island is as inspiring a backdrop for a romantic escape as they come. The luxurious Bora Bora Lagoon Resort has regal accommodations in overwater bungalows, where you can see colorful fish through the illuminated glass coffee-table, and go swimming directly from your own private deck. Here's what's in store if you choose a 5-night honeymoon experience:

Upon arrival, sip a refreshing beverage before checking out your bungalow where a bottle of chilled Champagne awaits you, along with a Tahitian-style "Bed of Flowers" decorating bed. You'll start off each picture-perfect day with daily American buffet breakfast for two in Otemanu Restaurant. On one morning, breakfast will be delivered via canoe. Luxuriate with a 50 minute Traditional Polynesian massage (though this can't be applied to couples massage). One evening, you'll enjoy a romantic 3-course dinner for two in Otemanu Restaurant, including appetizer or salad, entrée and dessert, Mouton Cadet Rothschild wine and a bottle of Evian. The package also includes motorboat shuttle service between the Resort and Vaitape, Bora Bora, and the use of tennis courts, fitness center and all non-motorized watersports. This honeymoon is priced from EUR 2628 for all 5 nights and the above-listed amenities.


Buzz: Langham Hotels Signs First India Property in Pune

September 17, 2008
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.


Around the World in 80 Ways: The Epic $1 Million Journey from Leading Hotels of the World

September 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Aldwych, LondonWe recently spread the word about the incredible deal-- $19.28 room rates!-- offered by Leading Hotels of the World to celebrate its 80th anniversary. And now it's time to highlight another celebratory package from LHW-though this one is a tad more extravagant. Leading Hotels of the World has created an epic voyage, "Around The World in 80 Ways," to pay homage to both the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards, and their own 80th birthday. The price tag for this amazing, glamorous journey? One million dollars.

Traveling in a private jet all the way, you and a companion will see everything in the world worth seeing and do everything in the world worth doing. Best of all, 10 percent of the USD 1 million price will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the global fight against AIDS. So, with that in mind, we invite you to open your hearts and wallets and get ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.


Bright Lights, Big City: Impressive Harbour Views from the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

September 15, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La Hotel SydneyYou can't beat the views of the glittering city skyline from the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, perfectly situated in the historic Rocks district overlooking the spectacular Sydney Harbour and world-famous Opera House. After a AUD 40 million renovation program, the spacious guest rooms showcase exquisite furnishings. The views are simply extraordinary. It's easy to become mesmerized by the bright city lights at this five-star address. Get pampered in style with the aptly-named "Emerald City" package, starting from AUD 325 per night. The offer is available through December 30, 2008 and includes overnight accommodation, breakfast for two at Café Mix, complimentary use of the Health Club, and complimentary valet parking. Inclusive of 10 percent goods and services tax.


Best Bars in Bali: Sunset on Six (SOS) at Anantara Resort Seminyak

September 4, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Resort Seminyak, Bali, SOS barBali's beautiful new resort, the Anantara Resort and Spa Seminyak, is situated on 3,500 square meters of prime beachfront on Bali's gorgeous Seminyak coast, just steps from the Indian Ocean and elegant Seminyak Village. The 59-suite resort has it all: an Anantara Spa, two infinity-edge swimming pools overlooking the ocean, a destination restaurant, and rooftop terrace bar to take in the world-famous sunsets. The SOS bar (Sunset on Six) has been getting rave reviews as one of the top bars in Bali. In addition to the beautiful sunsets, the bar is appreciated for its good libations and DJs. In Bali's most fashionable beachside district, SOS is the chic place-to-be. Drink in the sunset while sipping a designer drink and listening to chill-out lounge music. Here's the skinny:

Divided into four areas, SOS caters for all manner of pleasurable leisure, day or night – whether guests prefer to soak in the sun, or chill out under a starry night. Zone One features sumptuous daybeds to delight sun-seekers, while Zone Two comprises of an elegant DJ Lounge. The Dining Bar at Zone Three is solely aimed at providing in the form of sugar and spice; delectable eats and treats to do much more than just fill an empty gap. Finally, in Zone Four, The Wine Room and Long Table is the place to select a rare vintage from a state-of-the-art wine cellar to appreciate alongside out-of-this-world cuisine.

And the color scheme? Why this hip hang-out reflects the dazzling reds and crimsons of the sunsets you can ogle from the rooftop.


Buzz: St. Regis Resorts Brings Its Butler Service to Bali

September 2, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Resort BaliPersonal butlers for every guest is a hallmark of the St. Regis brand, famed for refined elegance and peerless service. And now St. Regis is importing this unique tradition to the tropical island paradise of Bali, when the St. Regis Resort Bali opens this month. Overlooking the ocean and Bali's premier golf course in the exclusive enclave of Nusa Dua, the beachfront resort has 125 luxurious suites and villas. The St. Regis butlers are known to provide ever-present, unobtrusive service while anticipating guests' needs. It goes beyond preparing coffee or tea and packing/unpacking suitcases; the butlers are more like experienced personal assistants. The St. Regis Bali is the first in the island to have an international Chief Butler, Tony Sharp, and Assistant Chief Butler, Robert Johnson, winner of 'Butler of the Year' award, an international award conferred by the International Butler Association. Trained in wine by the resort's chief sommelier, the butlers are also incredibly technologically savvy, as the resort is the first in Bali to feature Internet Protocol (IP) phones in all suites and villas.


Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, and Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York

August 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President WilsonForget "Staycations." The uber-rich continue to globe-trot on private jets and bunk down in swanky pads-- like the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, the world's most expensive at a whopping $52,000 a night. Elite Traveler recently released their list of the "101 Top Hotel/Resort Suites of the Year" in the July/August 2008 issue. Runners-up for priciest suite include the $50,000/night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Attica, Greece, and the $21,000/night Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. In the U.S., the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York has a price tag of $30,000 per night, making it the most expensive suite built in the U.S. Next up? The Chairman Suite at the Palazzo in Vegas ($20,000/night) followed by the Empire Suite at the Carlyle in New York and the Grand Suite at the Grand Wailea Resort (both at $15,000/night). For the full breakdown, click here.


Buzz: The Heli-Fishing School at Blanket Bay, New Zealand

August 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Blanket BayThe pristine wilderness and spectacular scenery of New Zealand's South Island lures savvy visitors (and film-directors, like Peter Jackson of the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Nestled in this cinematic setting, Blanket Bay is a luxurious lodge that offers five rooms and seven suites constructed in timber and stone with bay-facing windows. (The suites have private terraces with mind-blowing views).) Of all the activities on offer, the heli-fishing school at Blanket Bay is a unique way to get outside and hook some brown and rainbow trout in untouched waters in truly empty wilderness. In four different river settings, private guides give personalized instruction for all levels of fishermen. The school has lots of casting insights for experienced anglers, to boot. Helicopter fishing trips allow you to fish stretches of water possibly not fished this season by any other anglers- inaccessible by vehicles.


Fourth Night Free at the Hayman Island Resort in Australia

July 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hayman IslandDiscover the ultimate in island living in Australia's Whitsunday Islands, nestled between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by coral fringed beaches, Hayman Island boasts tremendous natural beauty and superb facilities. Home to the largest swimming pool in the southern hemisphere, the 244-room resort is an unparalleled private island destination. It's winter down under so Hayman Island has designed a neat promotional offer to help you escape the winter blues and marvel at all the wonders of the great barrier reef with exciting activities and the finest of resort living. With great value like this, it's the right time to visit Australia. With the Winter Escape package, you get 3 nights' twin share accommodation in a Retreat Room with daily buffet breakfast for two in Azure overlooking the Coral Sea-- and a fourth night free. Included are complimentary activities: paddleskiing, windsurfing and catamaran sailing, tennis, squash, golf putting/driving, croquet, gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Priced from AUD $870 per person.

Via Halogen Guides Travel