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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.

Kiwi Luxury: Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

September 23, 2009
By: Daniel L. Moses

The Farm at Cape KidnappersHave you ever dreamed of scaling the rocky slopes of Mount Doom? Defending the crags and tors of Helm's Deep? Perhaps of gliding from the lush valleys of Rohan to the quiet grasses of the Shire? Even if you haven't let your mind drift while reading the magnificent work of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, perhaps you were stunned by the captivating backdrops of Peter Jackson's cinematic filming of the three books. Those backdrops are not simply extant in the realm of fantasy; you can see them all and more in the world's fastest growing tourist retreat, New Zealand. And what better way to take advantage of the other country Down Under than visiting the Award Winning Relais & Chateaux Lodges Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. These two exciting resorts are offering deals that will make your inner Orc scream with joy. When you stay a combined 5 nights at Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, you can now receive the 6th consecutive night free! As this offer is ending soon, hurry to book your ultimate Lord of the Rings adventure now, or just enjoy the luxury of two of New Zealand's finest properties.

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Luxury Hotel Giveaway: Your Chance to Win a Stay at St. Regis Bali

September 23, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Regis Resort BaliPining for a little luxury in the tropics? The St. Regis Bali delivers; this place simply oozes luxury. With a prime spot overlooking the sea and Bali's premier golf course, the St. Regis Resort is fragrant with tropical flowers and decked out in exquisite furnishings. Five Star Alliance recently announced a luxury hotel giveaway that's almost too good to be true. Simply 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 breakfast and round-trip airport transfers.


Win a Five-Star Stay at The St. Regis Resort in Bali

September 17, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Regis Resort BaliHave you heard about our luxury hotel giveaway? No joke-- Five Star Alliance is giving away a three-night stay in a St. Regis Suite at the super-luxurious St. Regis Resort in Bali. What's more-- round-trip airport transfers and daily complimentary breakfast are included. Just sign up for our exclusive monthly newsletter by December 15, 2009, and you'll be automatically entered to win!


The Best Luxury Resort Recommendation for Families in the Maldives

September 17, 2009
By: Five Star Alliance

Last week, the Five Star Alliance customer service team received the following questions and requests from one of our clients:

Hotel Name or City: Maldives

Number of Nights: 7

Number of Adults: 3 Ages of any Children: 2 children of 5 and 8

Subject: We need your recommendation for a hotel on Maldives

We are looking for a hotel, located close to Male, transfer time from the airport by speed boat should not be longer than 30 min. PADI scuba diving center is required, activities for small children, water sports, fitness center and spa. Accommodations should allow to have 2 seperate bed-rooms for 3 adults and a bed-room for 2 children (or a folding bed in a living room). What would you recommend?

Kurumba Resort MaldivesHere is part of our response to the client:

We think the best property for exactly what you are looking for would be the Kurumba Resort.

http://www.fivestaralliance.com/luxury-hotels/male/kurumba-hotel-maldives

The resort is a private island, and is located 2 km from the airport - a 10 minute speedboat available 24 hours a day. Unlike most luxury hotels in the Maldives, Kurumba allows children and offers them special amenities as well.

Unfortunately, almost none of the hotels that do allow children in the Maldives will offer villas or bungalows that will accommodate 3 adults and 2 children. Instead, at Kurumba, you will need to get 2 of each room, villa or bungalow (which are still spectacular, can be next to each other or centered around one courtyard, etc). Unless you stay in the Royal Kurumba Residence. The residence has 2 winged bedrooms, one sitting/dining area, two bathrooms, two swimming pools and a spacious sundeck over the beach. During one 7 day period that we checked in February, the nightly rate was USD 3280.00, per night. Otherwise, 2 superior rooms, the lowest price category, were at USD 465.00 per night, per room. Kurumba Resort MaldivesSuperior rooms are grouped together in a 2 storey colonial house with a total of 4 rooms - which might work well for a group of 3 adults and 2 children.

At Kurumba, the resort's dive school is run to the exacting standard of PADI, with both Maldivian and foreign diving instructors.

Water sports include a catamaran and wind surf school and offers a range of fun activities - Parasailing with platform boat, Waterskiing, Wakeboarding, Kayaking, Banana Rodeo, Fun Tubes, Sailing Safaris with a skipper and more.

The spa offers 8 Treatment Rooms, Aroma Steam Room, Hydrotherapy Pool, Refreshing Bucket Shower, Gymnasium, Relaxation Lounge, Yoga Pavilion, and Bespoke Spa Packages.

Services and Amenities available at the resort for children include Baby Cots, Child products and toiletries at our Souvenir shop, Snorkeling and Swimming equipment for younger guests, Children's menus in all our restaurants and In-Room Dining, Small play area for Toddlers at the Sports Center, and babysitting services.

You can check rates and availability for this property, as well as see more photos, by clicking here.


Luxury Hotel Giveaway: Enter to Win a 3-Night Stay at The St. Regis Resort Bali

September 11, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The St. Regis Resort BaliFive Star Alliance is thrilled to announce a luxury hotel giveaway contest. That's right-- we're giving away a 3-night stay in a St. Regis Suite at the swanky St. Regis Resort in Bali, including round-trip airport transfers and complimentary breakfast. Simply sign up for our exclusive monthly newsletter* by December 15, 2009, and you'll be automatically entered to win! For the full deets, click here.

*Pssst. It's free!


Spas in Sydney: New Upgrades for the Shangri-La Hotel

September 2, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La Hotel SydneyChange is afoot in Sydney. The perfectly-located Shangri-La Hotel-- positioned between the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge in the heart of the historic Rocks District-- is currently undergoing a renovation. Scheduled from July 11- September 12, 2009, the improvements will focus on the Health Club, pool, gym, and Café Mix. Pretty soon lucky guests will be able to luxuriate in the only CHI, The Spa in Australia-- as the hotel will debut its swanky new spa in mid December 2009.


Luxury Hotel Trends: Spa Treatments for Teens

August 31, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso Spa

A few years ago we noticed a growing trend at five-star hotels in the U.S: spa treatments for teens. Stowe's Topnotch Resort led the pack with spa services like the Total Teen Facial and Teen Massage. Now The Tribune reports that this trend is catching on at luxe hotels around the globe-- from Trump International in Chicago to The InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso Spa, the largest spa in French Polynesia (pictured above). To quote:

The teen spa area at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, designed with Pottery Barn PBTeen, offers young spa goers a chance to play video games or watch DVDs while they wait for their special acne facials, sports massages or skincare lessons.

The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, meanwhile, advertises treatments suitable for several "generations" of your family, while the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Costa Rica has a family spa bungalow that a family can use for an entire day, scheduling alternating treatments with dips in the river.

"Teens we see are experienced spa-goers," said Pat Liberto, manager at the Cloister Spa at Sea Island, Georgia. "The younger children who have older spa-goer siblings want to try something too."

A question for our readers: Do you take your teens to spas?


What’s Hot: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, New Eco-luxury Resort in Australia’s Blue Mountains

August 21, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wolgan ValleyJust a short drive from Sydney, the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains offer breathtaking scenery of sandstone peaks and gorges known for their distinctive blue colored haze-- a miraculous act of nature as sunlight is filtered through drops of eucalyptus oil emitted from the region's eucalyptus trees. And as The New York Times recently reports, a tree once believed to be extinct- the Wollemi Pine- can now be seen at a new eco-friendly resort opening in October, as the luxurious Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa planted a grove of 60 Wollemi Pines for the enjoyment of guests. Since it was rediscovered in 1994, the prehistoric tree could only be found in the wild by a few scientists and conservationists, "one of Australia's best kept secrets." Set within its own 4,000-acre conservation and wildlife reserve, the resort will be operated by Emirates Hotels and Resorts. Each of the 40 free-standing suites will have their own outside deck and private swimming pool.


Luxury Value on Bali: Spa Journey at Anantara Seminyak Resort

August 14, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort

The fabled paradise of Bali has it all-- from cultural discoveries to adrenalin-packed encounters with nature to stunning sunsets on the beach. But it's perhaps most appreciated as a spiritual place to rejuvenate and find well-being. We can't think of a better spot than Anantara Resort Seminyak to rest and recharge. Embark on the "Seven Days of Renewal Journey" and you'll enjoy a package of traditional Balinese as well as innovative new spa treatments that will transform your mind, body and soul. You'll get yoga sessions and healthy spa cuisine, to boot. Plus you'll get to partake in a Balinese Massage Workshop. Priced at just $445 per night, this is a real luxury value.


The Brando: Marlon Brando’s Private Island in the South Pacific Gets a Luxury Eco-Resort

August 7, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Marlon Brando atollThis dreamy spot in the South Pacific will soon be home to The Brando, a luxury eco-resort that's slated for 2011. Marlon Brando bought the private island in French Polynesia in 1965, a postcard-perfect atoll called Tetiaroa surrounded by a coral reef. Construction has begun on what will be the only resort on the island, following Brando's vision for an eco-friendly hideaway. What's in store? The official website promises "47 deluxe bungalow villas (each with private plunge pools), a spa, fitness center, community pool, as well as various island activities including scuba diving and archaeological tours of royal Tahitian sites." To minimize the resort's environmental footprint, The Brando will use a "sea water air conditioning" system which uses renewable clean energy. This system is also used at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa, as The Brando is being developed by Tahiti Beachcomber SA, whose CEO, Richard Bailey, owns the four InterContinental resorts in the region, all committed to eco-friendly practices: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, InterContiental Tahiti Resort, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, and InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa.