Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Four Seasons Sydney

January 12, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Four Seasons Sydney is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel is stunningly situated overlooking the Sydney Harbour in the Rocks district, located a short walk from the shopping and business areas of Sydney. The Four Seasons Sydney is a classic luxury hotel, offering an impressive 531 rooms including 121 suites, quietly secluded in the tower on the 6th through 34th floors. Even though this is a large luxury hotel, the staff is extremely attentive and willing to go the extra step to ensure your stay is memorably pleasurable. Be sure to take advantage of the incredible service to take in everything Sydney has to offer!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

January 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in Lithgow, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This hotel is Australia’s most environmentally responsible tourist destination, and it’s set amidst the striking scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains. This resort has its own private conservation and natural reserve, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for a serene location. This boutique resort has 40 free-standing suites, each with its own private pool and terrace. Aside from privacy and tranquility, the Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa also offers a Timeless spa, world class dining with an emphasis on organic produce, and truly exemplary service. The hotel staff will happily assist you in any way they can, from organizing a horseback ride to planning a wildlife safari, this hotel has truly earned its best for service recognition.


Catch Me If You Can: A Legal Art Heist?

January 6, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

SubtleHere's a promotion that's got so much panache, it's making everyone in the industry stand up and take note.  The Art Series Hotels in Melbourne, The Blackman, The Cullen, and The Olsen, have been rotating two Banksy paintings, valued at a bounty of $20,000, around their hotels from Dec 15 through Jan 15.  And here's where the promotion gets cool:  They're inviting you to try to steal them without getting caught.  If you succeed, you get to keep the painting.

The first of the two Banksy paintings is "No Ball Games," one of only a few signed and authenticated Banksy works in Australia.  And it's already already fallen.  After failed attempts to hack the security cameras, place a listening device at the concierge desk, and simply to vault over the desk in plain sight of all the staff (this didn't go too well for the perpetrator), Maura Tuohy and Megan Aney pulled the heist off.

 The trick?  People listen to you if you act like you know what you're doing.  And that's just what they did.  Maura researched all of the names and brief bios of the marketing people in the hotel's PR firm and strode into the hotel in plain sight, claiming to be charged to move it to the next hotel.  

After a series of questions about her connections, which she passed with flying colors, they demanded to have her story verified.  That's when she had them call up her accomplice, who impersonating the manager, backed up her story.   The hotel staff even helped her load up the painting into her car.  Fifteen minutes later, she came back to let them know they'd let a $15,000 painting walk right out their front door, a la Frank Abagnale.

The second, "Pulp Fiction" is still up for grabs in a very literal sense, so pull on your balaclava, rent a mini-cooper, and wear down your sneakers because the next heist is going to have to be even trickier.  If you need a nearby staging area, make sure to check out some of the other top-notch luxury hotels in Melbourne.

Photos courtesy of Art Series Hotels site and Twitter


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Cape Lodge Western Australia

January 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Cape Lodge Western Australia in Yallingup, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for food. This luxury hotel is one of Australia’s finest small luxury hotels located 3 hours south of Perth. It is located on its own vineyard and is in an area surrounded by beautiful forests and incredible beaches. There are 22 secluded rooms and suites as well as a Private Residence which sits on its own private 3 acres. The acclaimed Cape Lodge Lakeside Restaurant features a 14,000 bottle cellar stocked with premium aged Margaret River wines. Be sure to check out this luxurious, secluded hotel, and get ready to rock your taste-buds with amazing Australian cuisine paired with the perfect wine.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

December 23, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Shangri-La Hotel Sydney in Sydney, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for food. This luxury hotel is perfectly located in between the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge in the center of the historic rock district. Its guest rooms are some of the most spacious in all of Sydney, and the hotel offers 80 Horizontal Club rooms for business travelers which offer upgraded amenities, complimentary refreshments, a private lounge, and free suit press. The Shangri-La Hotel Sydney has a world-class selection of restaurants and bars to satisfy every appetite. The Altitude Restaurant has an incredible chef, Steve Krasicki, who’s sure to dazzle you with his incredible dishes.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Henry Jones Art Hotel

December 15, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Henry Jones Art Hotel in Tasmania, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambiance and design. This luxury hotel is the first and only dedicated art hotel in Australia. It presents an atmosphere that allows guests to enjoy art in a unique manner. The public areas in the hotel have 300 paintings and sculptures, many of which are for sale. There are beautiful works of art in every guest room, exposing guests to sophisticated art all the while providing them with a luxurious experience.


Oh My Darling Momofuku: The Darling Hotel Opens in Australia

November 15, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Here’s one for the food aficionados. A new hotel, The Darling, is opening within walking distance of the Sydney Opera house, and it’s got quite the in-house cuisine. The Seiobo restaurant at The Darling is the very first international location for Momofuku outside of New York. Pioneered by David Chang, Momofuku Seiobo offers a unique and ever-changing tasting menu utilizing only the finest in fresh Australian ingredients and inspired by centuries of Japanese tradition. And who doesn’t enjoy some grilled trumpeter belly ever now and again?

Sleekly designed to evoke an ultra-modern feel, the architecture makes liberal use of glass paning to keep the hotel open to the surrounding Sydney skyline. And it’s only a few kilometers from Bondi, the internationally renowned beach that’s perfect for surfing. And since the hotel features an adults-only pool itself, you don’t need to make an excursion to enjoy some more leisurely time in the water. So next time you’re looking to travel down-under, stay at this peach of a hotel, The Darling in Sydney.


Explore the Land Down Under

October 28, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Sydney Harbour Marriott HotelI bet your life (like most of ours) is lacking in kangaroos, surfing, and scuba diving. Take a trip down under and experience first-hand the laid back atmosphere and beauty Sydney, Australia has to offer. Not a big fan of the winter cold? Consider traveling anytime from December-February, Australia’s summer season, and enjoy a cocktail on the beach while your neighbors back home shovel snow.

For those wanting a truly Sydney experience, the newly renovated Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay is the perfect hotel. This downtown Sydney resort overlooks the beautiful Sydney Harbour and the renowned Opera House, providing you with cultural and outdoor activities a few steps away. At Sydney’s premier waterfront hotel, guests are welcomed to indulge in a variety of treatments offered in the day spa and take a dip in the luxurious indoor pool. If an outdoor adventure is more your calling, check out the boating, surfing, and sailing opportunities found in Sydney. After doing it all, retire to your room, complete with picturesque harbour views, and dare to do it all again the next day.


Escape to Oz: Experience the Newly-Renovated Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

October 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular QuayWhen the temperatures start to cool off in this hemisphere, things are only heating up in Australia. How about a Christmas or NYE break in OZ? Bask in the Australian sun and learn the ins and outs of one of the coolest cities on the planet. (The Clefs d'Or Head Concierge at the Sydney Harbour Marriott will hook you up with local insight on the city's premier attractions.) For your stay in Sydney, experience the newly refurbished Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay. Just minutes from the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Sydney Aquarium, Observatory and historic Rocks district, this stylish waterfront hotel recently completed a $20 million refurbishment. New features include large 42” flat screen LCD televisions in every room, as well as high speed wireless internet and an iPod docking station - not to mention the famous Marriott "Revive" bedding (300-thread-count linens, fluffier pillow & down duvets). Most guest rooms have killer views of the harbour, to boot. Start off the day with a full breakfast buffet in Icons restaurant, and after exploring Sydney, return for a swim in the indoor pool or for a massage in the day spa.


Tourism Queensland Launches The Best Expedition in the World

April 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hayman Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef

Remember the “Best Job in the World” contest? Back in 2009 Tourism Queensland made headlines for its innovative marketing campaign. Thousands of video resumes were received, and Tourism Queensland chose Ben Southall as the lucky winner who got to live in a gorgeous three-bedroom house on Hamilton Island while blogging about his exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. After a successful year-long stint as Island Caretaker (paid $150K), Southall is embarking on a new adventure- "The Best Expedition in the World." Ben, now Queensland Tourism Ambassador, is exploring Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef on a four month, 1600 km kayak and sailing journey, retracing the route of Captain James Cook from the Town of 1770 on the Central Queensland coast, north to Cooktown in Queensland’s Tropical North. He’s setting of on May 21, 2011, and armchair travelers can keep up to date on Ben’s experiences by reading the official blog. Now that’s a cool job.

Photo: The dreamy Hayman Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef. (*Not* Ben's digs, but check out that incredible setting.)