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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.

The World’s Hottest New Hotels: Travel + Leisure’s New “It List 2010″

May 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoIt's our favorite time of year. Travel + Leisure has released their "It List 2010" of the 45 best new hotels in the world. The mag's esteemed editors have hand-picked the year's most exciting hotel debuts, to be revealed in the June issue which hits newsstands this month. What's especially cool to see: ten of the properties have room rates of less than $300 per night. Can't wait til May 21st to see the list? We've got the skinny:

UNITED STATES

Andaz Wall Street+ Bardessono, Yountville, California

+ St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

+ Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

+ Andaz Wall Street, New York, New York*

+ Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York

+ Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

+ Waldorf Astoria, Park City, Utah

THE CARIBBEAN , MEXICO, AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

+ Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla

+ Gansevoort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

+ W Santiago, Santiago, Chile*

+ Tcherassi Hotel & Spa, Cartagena, Colombia

+ Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

+ Hotel Boca Chica, Acapulco, Mexico*

+ Las Alcobas, Mexico City, Mexico

EUROPE

+ Lime Wood, Hampshire, England*

+ Dean Street Townhouse, London, England*

+ InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, Paris, France

+ La Réserve Ramatuelle, Ramatuelle, France

+ Heidelberg Suites, Heidelberg, Germany

+ Il Salviatino, Fiesole, Italy

+ Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy

+ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy

+ Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy

+ Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

+ Hotel Consolaciόn, Teruel, Spain*

+ Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey*

ASIA

+ Amanfayun, Hangzhou, China

+ Upper House, Hong Kong, China

+ Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai, China*

+ PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai, China

+ Serai Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India

+ Raas, Jodhpur, India*

+ Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

+ Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay, Philippines

+ Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

+ Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand*

+ Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AUSTRALIA

+ Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

+ Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa, Ma’in, Jordan

+ Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon

+ Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles

+ One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Taj Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

+ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Lithgow, Australia

*Property has starting room rates of $300/night, double, or less.


I Dream of Fiji: Extra Value at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa

April 21, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and SpaSouth Pacific, here we come. Shangri-La's got a hideaway on Fiji's private Yanuca Island that's got our name on it. Get this: The 109-acre idyll of sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons is totally secluded, and the resort is committed to protecting the natural environment with a slew of conservation programs like the Yanuca Marine Protected Area, a model site for coral reef development. Appealing to both couples and families alike, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa offers helicopter transfers, CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La (said to be the finest on Fiji), children's activities, even a business center for those who can't unplug while on vacay. When you book a stay for three nights or more and choose the BonusChoice offer, the resort will give you a choice of freebies on the house. Enjoy one of the following value-added benefits, in addition to complimentary Internet access, daily buffet breakfast and late check-out till 4pm:

* Arrival airport transfer

* Departure airport transfer

* Daily buffet dinner at hotel cafe

* Triple bonus airline frequent flyer mileage


The World’s Hottest Hotels: Where to Stay Now

April 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangiriConde Nast Traveler has released their annual Hot List 2010 "of the newest and most innovative hotels worldwide" and a quick browse is guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Best of all: 42 hotels that made the cut have rooms costing under $250 a night. We were pleased to see a few of our faves make the list. In North America, for example: the Capella Pedregal, Crosby Street Hotel, The Allison, St. Regis Mexico City, Amangiri, The Jefferson, The Betsy, The Elysian, W South Beach, and Viceroy Snowmass...


Easter Break in Bali from $398 with Brunch at the Anantara Seminyak Resort

March 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Seminyak BaliPlan your getaway to one of the world's most beautiful beaches. Perched on Bali's most sought-after stretch of shore, the Anantara Seminyak Resort offers two infinity-edge swimming pools overlooking the Indian Ocean, gourmet restaurants, and an unparalleled spa experience at the Anantara Spa. Did we mention the rooftop terrace bar for ogling the famous Seminyak sunsets? Claim this little piece of paradise as your own and book a stay for Easter. Soak up the island's rich cultural spirit and idyllic setting, and get treated to sumptuous breakfasts, including a celebratory Easter brunch. The three-night "Ultimate Easter Weekend" includes three nights in a suite, daily breakfast and Easter brunch, a speical Easter turndown service, and complimentary return airport transfers by limousine van. From $398 in an Anantara Suite.


What’s Hot: The Beach House Maldives Joins Waldorf Astoria Collection

March 22, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beach House Maldives

The Waldorf Astoria Collection-- which comprises swank properties like the Trianon Palace Versailles, the Arizona Biltmore Resort, and Casa Marina in Key West-- has just added a new star to its luxury hotel portfolio. And the setting couldn't be any more gorgeous. Fringed by sugary white beaches and lagoons, the Haa Alifu Atoll is the northernmost island in the Maldives. The first Indian Ocean property for Waldorf Astoria, the Beach House Maldives officially joined the collection on March 1, 2010. Each of the resort's 83 villas comes with a private pool, outdoor dining area, and a butler. Sprawling across 35 leafy acres, the resort offers recreational activities galore-- from an 18-hole golf simulator to a water sports center from where you snorkel and dive and discover the Maldives' world-famous sealife.


Limited Time Special Offer: Save 25% at Starwood Hotels

March 22, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

SLS Hotel at Beverly HillsYou still have a few days to take advantage of a limited time special offer at Starwood Hotels around the world. Tango the night away in Buenos Aires while staying at the Park Tower, catch an opera in Sydney, relax at the luxury spa (featuring natural hot springs water) at the St. Regis Beijing, see the City of Light while luxuriating at the Westin Paris, stroll Via Veneto while living it up at the St. Regis Grand Rome, or grab some grub at the talked-about Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills... Save up to 25% off "Best Available Rates" for stays from now until May 31, 2010, but hurry, you must book by March 30. The offer is valid for Thursday - Saturday arrivals at hundreds of participating Starwood hotels (and all days of the week at resorts with no arrival day requirement).


Exclusive Offer with Viceroy Bali: Get Free Extras the Longer You Stay

March 19, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Viceroy Bali

Cut into the hillsides of a ravine in the Lembah Valley, the Viceroy Bali is a small family-run resort offering only 11 luxury villas for the ultimate in luxury and pampering. Think private pools, marble floors, and loads of in-room technology. What's more- it's the only resort in the entire Ubud region that has a helicopter landing pad, meaning guests can take off in whirly bird to see aerial views of the nearby volcano. Despite its small size, the resort features the holistic Lembah Spa, an award-winning restaurant, and a business center. Book with Five Star Alliance-- and simply choose the "Five Star Alliance" rate-- and you'll get free breakfast for two included with your room. For additional nights, take advantage of "Exclusive Long Stay Benefits" where you get freebies thrown in. With 3 nights: return airport transfers with VIP immigration service. With 4 nights: a bottle of Champagne in room upon arrival. With 5 nights: a two-hour couples massage at the spa. With 6 nights: a romantic candlelit dinner at Cascades Restaurant. Valid until September 30, 2010.


Sydney’s Fancy New Spa… at the Shangri-La

March 10, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La SydneyJust a few weeks old, CHI, The Spa is giving Sydney residents (and visitors, of course!) something to smile about. Shangri-La's signature spa brand opened in Oz on February 16 with a big opening ceremony (which featured a "lion dance"). The first CHI in Australia, this luxurious sanctuary has six private spa suites, each described as a "spa within a spa" with ample personal space and aroma steam showers. Three of the suites even offer infinity edge spa tubs overlooking Sydney Harbour. Take your pick from 24 treatments based on authentic natural healing methods found in traditional Asian well-being practices. The "Sense of Place" experiences focus on indigenous treatments using Australian herbs and plants like lemon myrtle and eucalyptus.

In Sydney over Easter? Hop over to the Shangri-La to test out the new spa. With the "Easter Eggs-traordinary Spa Package," you'll get a CHI Vanilla Bean Body Massage for one adult and Easter eggs for the kids. Also included with your accommodations: childrens robes for the night, buffet breakfast, overnight parking, and complimentary use of kids' DVDs, the health club and Internet. Priced from AUD 413 per night and available March 26- April 14, 2010.


Spring Escapes: A Taste of Paradise at the Jimbaran Puri Bali

February 24, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jimbaran Puri BaliCabin fever? Flee the snow-threatening forecasts for sunnier climes. It's not too late to book a spring escape- even to the exotic island of Bali. Here's what awaits: a mesmerizing landscape of rice terraces, volcanoes and rainforest, rich cultural life, tasty Balinese cuisine, and some of the prettiest beaches in the world. Stay at the Jimbaran Puri Bali, an Orient-Express property, for utter relaxation, pampering, and spectacular views across the Pacific from one of Bali's best beaches. Bed down in a traditional Balinese-style cottage, designed in timber and marble, and enjoy the indoor/outdoor showers, sunken terrazzo marble bathtub, and private tropical garden. Head to the beach spa for a massage on one of three Balinese-inspired terraces. Feeling more adventurous? A private guide can escort you to see some of the beautiful temples in the surrounding region. Good news: The Jimbaran Puri Bali is currently running a special offer called "the Great Affordable Escape"...


Top 10 Lists: Family-Friendly Luxury Hotels and Resorts

February 16, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

ice skating at Hotel Plaza Athenee

From mini ice-skating rinks (pictured) to cookies & milk in the evenings, luxury hotels definitely get creative when taking care of their pint-sized guests. The world's finest hotels go to extraordinary lengths in the pampering department- whether their clients are 8 or 80 years old. A recent article in Forbes highlights some of the top family-friendly luxury hotels in the world. Who made the cut? The Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris, The Athenaeum in London, the Porto Elounda De Luxe Resort in Crete, the Commune by the Great Wall outside Beijing, Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel, Caneel Bay in St. John, The Ritz-Carlton Cancun, the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Four Seasons Resort Bali, One & Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, Cape Grace in Cape Town, and The Oriental in Bangkok. We'd add Le Meurice to the list (for their Parisian treasure hunt), and Loews Hotels across the U.S. for their innovative kids programs (think dive-in movies in the summer months). Any hotels you'd recommend as note-worthy? Who'd we miss?