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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.

UP, UP, and Away With The Langham Melbourne

June 30, 2008
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Langham MelbourneLocated on the banks of the Yarra River and established as one of Melbourne's and Australia's finest hotels, The Langham Melbourne is offering overnight accommodations and a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight for 2 from now till the 30th of December. This special also includes a Champagne breakfast for 2 at Melba's, the Langham's award winning interactive restaurant. Here you can interact with the chefs at one of the Dynamic Cooking Stations and partake of the Inspirational Theme Stations including Tandori Oven, Turbo Woks, Rotisserie, Seafood Ice Blocks and Floating Desserts. All with unrivalled panoramic views of the City Skyline and Yarra River. Your stay includes accommodations in a River Room with views of the Yarra River and the Melbourne Skyline, access to the Health Club and Fitness Center, Pool, Jacuzzi, Saunas, signiture-scented color therapy steam rooms and therapeutic rain showers. Rates for this special start at $940 (Sunday to Friday) or $990 (Saturday). Weather permitting, your Hot Air Balloon ride is with the most experienced and professional company in Australia, www.hotairballooning.com.au.

Late check out is offered at 2 pm to fully allow you time to enjoy the offerings of this special experience.


Announcing The Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa - All With Private Pools

June 18, 2008
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Anantara PhuketAnantara Resorts is proudly announcing the October 2008 opening of its newest property, Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand. Located in Phuket's more secluded, natural northern coast, 15 minutes from the Phuket International Airport and just minutes from golf and beaches, this 83 all private pool villa property features unspoilt beauty, absolute privacy and fabulous dining. Special amenities include the magnificent Bill Bensley designed gardens and paths fusing the colorful tropical flora with age old traditional Thai architecture, a world renown Spa specializing in rich, lavish body treatments and scrubs and high concept dining where you pick the location and the chef transforms a meal to a memorable occasion. Special opening Anantara Breeze Packages are available from October to December 23rd offering the 4th night complimentary with a 3 night stay.


Newsworthy: Amanresorts Announces Relaunch of Hotel Bora Bora

May 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bora BoraIt's hard to improve on perfection-- Hotel Bora Bora boasts luxurious overwater bungalows and a brilliant blue lagoon with colorful reef fish-- but Amanresorts is always ahead of the game when it comes to anticipating clients' needs and desires. A fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, Hotel Bora Bora showcases French Polynesian culture in the 54 bungalows and fares, styled with rattan, bamboo, and ceilings of pandanus lashed to beams of Douglas fir. Vacation activities run the gamut from snorkeling and diving to sport fishing from the resort's catamaran which will take you sailing to the neighboring islands. Recently the resort's General Manager has announced a dramatic reconstruction and relaunch for the resort just in time for its 50th anniversary. Hotel Bora Bora will close this October 2008 for this renovation, and in the meantime, guests will be spoiled rotten in this one-of-a-kind setting overlooking the islands of Tahaa and Raiatea to the west, the island of Maupiti to the east, and the chimney peaks of Mount Otemanu and Pahia.


Langham’s Big Anniversary: Original Home of Afternoon Tea Serves Tea at 1865 Prices

May 9, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham LondonOn June 10, 2008, lucky Langham guests can sit down for a luxurious afternoon tea for exactly 1 shilling 6 pence. (That's 15 US cents, 7 English pence and just over 1 Hong Kong dollar.) Langham hotels around the world will pay homage to that lovely ritual of Afternoon Tea, that quintessentially British institution, by turning back the clocks to 1865, when the Langham London, Europe's first grand hotel, was opened by the leading royal of the day, the Prince of Wales. Legend has it that the indulgent tea ritual was created in 1840 by Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford, who created this afternoon snack to ward off the hunger pangs between lunch and dinner. Soon she began to share tea with her friends, and the ritual took off. Back in 1865, The Langham London served up the world's first afternoon tea in a luxury European hotel-- consisting of simple but dainty items including cakes, sweets, bread and butter and, of course, tea. Nowadays guests can still experience this stately ritual, a truly luxurious affair. Don't miss out on the celebratory 1 shilling tea on June 10, 2008 at Langham Hotels in Auckland, Boston, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne and now Pasadena.


Five-Star Fling in Auckland, New Zealand at the Langham Hotel

May 7, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham AucklandThe place to stay in New Zealand's City of Sails is The Langham Auckland. Situated in the heart of NZ's largest city, The Langham is within walking distance to the dazzling waterfront. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, The Langham epitomizes the elegant design and innovative hospitality for which the brand is famous. Guests have full access to the health club with heated rooftop pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym. All 410 guest rooms have large business desks and Internet access, while the Langham Hotel Club offers exclusive privileges: access to the comfortable Hotel Club lounge with complimentary evening drinks and canapés, the pressing of three items on arrival and a complimentary shoe shine as well as access to the business centre and butler service. And the best part of all? A luxury experience at The Langham Auckland is a great value, as the dollar is still strong against the NZ dollar. So guests can take advantage of the "Passionate about Prada" package and get overnight accommodations with a complimentary upgrade to an Executive Room, a 50ml bottle of Prada Parfum, and an indulgently late checkout of 1 pm-- all for just NZ$299 per room. Or choose the "Five-Star Fling" and get luxury accommodations, buffet breakfast for two people in the SBF Brasserie, a complimentary bottle of Méthode Champenoise, and a late checkout of 1pm-- for just NZ $239 per room. Or the equivalent of USD187!


Go Now: Huka Lodge, The Best of New Zealand

April 24, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Huka LodgeThe best hotel in New Zealand? According to Conde Nast Traveler's 2008 Gold List, Huka Lodge wins that honor. In fact, scores of 100 percent for Service, 97.3 percent each for Rooms, Food, Location and Design and 86.1 percent for Activities means that Huka Lodge is among the best in Asia, Australia and the Pacific nations. Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, Huka Lodge is situated in Taupo in the central North Island. The crystal clear waters of Lake Taupo are fed by mountain streams and are home to some of the most sought-after Rainbow trout in the world. Just a short walk from the lodge, guests discover the spectacular cascades of Huka Falls on the banks of the Waikato River. Easily one of the top retreats in the world, Huka Lodge delights its discerning clientele with its top-notch recreational activities (petanque, anyone?), exquisite cuisine, and superlative accommodations. (For a true VIP experience, book the Owner's Cottage.) Just check out the guest book to see all the celebs who flock to this place. Plan a visit to Huka Lodge between May 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008, and you'll find the lowest rack rates of the year, starting from NZ$730 per person, per night. All rates include pre-dinner drinks, superb five-course dinners, full breakfast, use of all Lodge facilities, and Taupo airport transfers.


Art and Cooking Classes at Le Meridien Tahiti

April 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meridien TahitiNot like anyone could ever get bored of over-water bungalows and the paradise setting of Tahiti: white sandy beaches and dramatic green mountains rising from the South Pacific. But the luxurious Le Meridien Tahiti has organized art and cooking classes for those who want to do more than lounge in the sandy-bottom swimming pool or scuba dive the seas. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the resort highlights the colorful cultural heritage of these beautiful islands, the inspiration for so many artists (like Paul Gauguin). Discover art and cuisine first-hand with L'Atelier du Chef, the new cooking class program for 2008. Study the art of Tahitian cooking with the Executive Chef Sebastien Philizot during several interactive classes and learn how to make tasty dishes like crispy shrimp with fresh mint and mango salsa. Classes are offered daily, except Thursdays, for approx. $55. You can combine cooking classes with the noteworthy L'Atelier Art program. Immerse yourself in the rich art history of the islands by meeting local artists and receiving painting instruction through several courses. There are 4 and 5 day packages available.


Historic Views at the InterContinental Sydney

April 3, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Perhaps no other address offers the prestige, historic significance and convenience you'll enjoy at InterContinental Sydney. Renovated in 2004, the hotel features a heated indoor pool and onsite health and fitness facility.

Five Star Alliance client Christine N., of Perth, Scotland said the following about her stay at the InterContinental Sydney:

    "The view of Sydney Opera House and Watson's Bay was fantastic - enhanced by the huge windows and very comfortable window seats (I didn't want to leave). The room itself was tremendous with many little touches that were much appreciated. Hotel staff very helpful with restaurant reservations - would recommend the Cafe Opera for the buffet."

Click on the images above or below to watch a video and tour the spaces of the InterContinental Sydney Hotel >>

Make reservations for the InterContinental Sydney here >>


All-Day Lounge Debuts at Cocoa Island in the Maldives

April 1, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Cocoa Island in the Maldives is proud to announce that they now offer an all-day lounge - a small and cozy area at Cocoa which consists of 2 spaces above the reception desk. One room with a PC and an iMAC for internet use, and the second room with a flat screen TV, media player, and selection of books and magazines. Water is provided as well as CS ginger tea. Opening hours are as necessary, depending on the earliest arrival and the latest departure. The new lounge will be especially useful for guests that arrive early or have late flights, especially in times of high occupancy. However, guests can still continue to spend their time at the pool, beach or hydrotherapy pool, and can shower and change clothing at COMO Shambhala when they arrive early or leave late in Male at Cocoa Island.


Escape to the World Heritage-Listed Blue Mountains, Australia at Lilianfels Blue Mountains

March 31, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lilianfels Blue MountainsLess than two hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a stunning wilderness area known for its distinctive blue haze (created by the sun's rays merging with drops of eucalyptus oil from the millions of eucalyptus trees). Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa is the place to stay while exploring the region-- the luxurious gateway to the breathtaking surroundings. Set amidst two acres of manicured gardens, the resort is a European-style country house managed by Orient Express. Lilianfels is happy to arrange a number of unique customized experiences for its guests, whether you're craving a little extra indulgence (think Gourmet Picnic for two, Moet and Chandon and Strawberries in-room) or adrenaline-pumping activity in the Blue Mountains (like private rock climbing, four wheel drive eco-tours, and abseiling). The "Blue Mountains Escape" package includes accommodations, delicious Australian breakfast for two served in the Tre Sorelle restaurant, access to the Spa and Fitness Center with its beautiful indoor pool, complimentary daily newspaper, and undercover valet parking. Rates start from AUD 389 per night.