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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.

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?


Summer Down Under: Special Extras at The Langham Hotel Auckland

January 28, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Langham Hotel AucklandSun-seekers desperate for some rays, consider a jaunt to the southern hemisphere, where summer entices with warm weeks aplenty. Auckland, "the City of Sails," is one of New Zealand's sunniest destinations (with an average of 2060 sunshine hours per annum). Here in the country's largest city, The Langham brings five-star indulgence and the famous Langham service standards to a city center location. Fans of the hotel rave about the Langham Service Stylists (aka butlers), spacious rooms, Chuan Spa, well-equipped fitness studio, and heated swimming pool. Business travelers appreciate all the facilities catered to their needs. Book the "Wonderland-The Magic of the Rose" package for a Friday or Saturday night stay and you'll get all kinds of extras thrown in with your luxury accommodations in an Executive Room. Valid until April 16, 2010 and priced from NZ$289 per room, the package includes buffet breakfast for two, a complimentary bottle of Stoneleigh (Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2008), late check-out at 1 pm, two tickets to the Auckland Museum's 'Wonderland – The Magic of the Rose' exhibition, plus complimentary valet parking and use of the Chuan Spa facilities.


Tiger Tracks: Melbourne, Australia Hotels

December 21, 2009
By: Daniel L. Moses

Langham Hotel In a former life, I spent a week working in Melbourne, Australia. At that time, I was hardly enjoying the high life like recent tabloid fodder, Tiger Woods. But the world's most famous athlete, and a man known for his refined taste, had many more options for luxury hotels in Melbourne than when I first ventured to the South coast city.

I'm an outspoken fan of the Langham Hotel Melbourne, positioned alongside the Yarra River with breathtaking views of the Melbourne skyline. While the Langham certainly offers luxury in abundance, our favorite golfer, Tiger Woods, has been rumored to prefer the Crown Towers Hotel, a place known for luxury in its own right.

So wherever you stay, just remember you could be following in Tiger's tracks, surely one of the world's most celebrated luxury hotel connoisseurs.


Win a Stay in Bali: Last Chance for the Luxury Hotel Giveaway from Five Star Alliance

December 3, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis BaliThe deadline is days away. Don't miss your chance to win a five-star stay at the super swanky St. Regis Resort in Bali. What a cure for the winter blues! Sign up for our exclusive monthly newsletter by December 15, 2009, and you'll be automatically entered to win a three-night stay in a St. Regis Suite, including round trip airport transfers by limousine and complimentary breakfast daily. Five Star Alliance's monthly newsletter is totally free, and chock full of hot deals and luxury travel news.


Bali High: Win a Five-Star Stay at the St. Regis Resort Bali

October 27, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Resort BaliCalling all luxury hotel fans. Five Star Alliance is currently running a giveaway contest where one lucky winner will score a three-night stay in a St. Regis Suite at the St. Regis Resort in Bali. Overlooking the beach and Bali's best golf course (Bali Golf & Country Club), the resort is the crème de la crème of island resorts. The 123 suites and villas boast handcrafted Balinese art, spacious balconies and large marble bathrooms. Simply sign up for our exclusive monthly newsletter by December 15, 2009, and you'll be automatically entered to win.


Friday Photos in the Fiji Islands: Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa

October 23, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa

Dreaming of a South Pacific escape? Shangri-La's Fijian Resort is located on a private island called Yanuca, an 109-acre paradise of sandy beaches, swaying palms, and turquoise lagoons. Committed to protecting its pristine setting, the resort has engaged in conservation programs; its Yanuca Marine Protected Area, a co-operative project, was chosen as a model site for coral reef development by the United Nations Environmental Program. Comprehensive amenities-- including internet access, helicopter transfers, and a business center-- distinguish the luxury resort from others in Fiji. On-site facilities include the new Ratu Makutu Events Centre and the signature CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, which is the largest and most luxurious private spa in Fiji.

Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa


Golfers Get Ready: World’s Longest Course Opens in the Australian Outback

October 23, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nullarbor Links, Australia

Stretching over 850 miles, Nullarbor Links-- traversing two vast Australian states, connecting Ceduna on the Southern Australia coast to the mining town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia-- will take golfers four days to play. Driving between holes. This has got to be one of the strangest golf courses on earth, with very little green on the course, pockmarked with lots of wombat dens. The Telegraph says that keen golfers were "lining up to take on the challenge as soon as it was declared officially open."


Cure the Blahs with Oceania’s Finest Hotels

October 22, 2009
By: Daniel L. Moses

Hayman Island ResortBlah, Blah, Blah! That's what I thought of when I read that Australia was once again ranked #1 by the Harris Poll as the top destination for prospective American travelers (if money is not the primary consideration, and, really, why should it be?). And to that, as noted, I say blah, blah, blah. Why? Well, where else would it be? Australia boasts a unique cultural identity set on a massive, mostly uninhabited continent that is as fascinating in its diversity as in its beauty. From Sydney's picturesque skyline to the blazing red sands of Ayers Rock to the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has it all and so much more. Amongst that "so much more" are some of the world's finest hotels, including the award winning property from the Signature Destinations group, Hayman Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef. This majestic hotel is ranked #4 in Travel & Leisure's World's Best Awards, 2009 (Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific region). And not to be overlooked, which it often is, New Zealand boasts two more Signature Destinations properties on the same list. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers checks in at #2 and The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is ranked #1! While having such amazing resorts in the top positions may inspire me to say "blah, blah, blah", seeing these amazing hotels certainly won't.

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Celebrity Chefs and Chocolate Afternoon Tea: Dining in Hong Kong at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

October 19, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental HotelThe Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has long been the place to eat in Hong Kong. From its perch on the 25th floor, the hotel's Pierre Gagnaire restaurant offers epicurean dishes from the three-starred chef and incredible views of glittering Victoria Harbour through oversized windows. The culinary maestro will be offering an eight-course tasting menu called "Mushrooms, coquillages et crustacés" from October 19-24, priced at HKD 1,688 per person. What's more, lucky guests can partake in a cooking class on Saturday, October 24 with Pierre Gagnaire himself. Coming in November: noted Australian chef Dan Hunter will make his Hong Kong debut at The Mandarin Grill with a six-course menu paired with hand-picked Australian wines from November 17-21. Awarded best regional restaurant of the year by the Australian Gourmet Traveller 2010, Hunter has distinguished himself for his nature-based cuisine featuring organic, heirloom produce at The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld. Lastly, foodies won't want to miss the famous Chocolate Afternoon Tea at this award-winning hotel. Tuck into a selection of chocolate-inspired items in addition to the legendary specialty cakes, scones and finger sandwiches.