January 30, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
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.
Featured prominently on the Gold List for ambiance and design, the Alila Villas Uluwatu is everything you could hope for in an secluded all-villa property. On the very edge of sheer limestone cliffs that overlook the Balinese ocean below, the views from the outdoor pool and gardens seem to look over the edge of the world itself. Sky and sea meet in an endless ocean of blue that is only ever disrupted by the prismatic diffusion of the sun's rays as it falls below the skyline. And as darkness drapes itself over the edge of the cliffs, cradling Uluwatu in its embrace, simply step inside to the Sunset Cabana for a nightcap or something more substantial. Its holistic design is minimalistic but never spartan, tranquil but never vacant. The Alila Villas Uluwatu truly deserves its place on the Conde Nast Gold List for most ambient and well-designed hotels of 2012.
November 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
When W planted its flag in Indonesia earlier this year, the W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak (pictured) immediately became *the* place to see and be seen. (The resort manages to be both a tranquil hideaway and a happening hot spot at the same time.) Now the brand is looking to make a splash in the buzzing capital city of Jakarta, with the opening of a brand new hotel in 2015. Located in Jakarta's Central Business District, the 300-room property will import W's signature Whatever/Whenever service philosophy along with the W Living Room experience. To quote the official press release: "W Jakarta will offer escape, extravaganza and innovative design in the heart of one of the city's most vibrant districts, redefining the contemporary lifestyle and bringing a completely new and distinctive experience to the hotel market in Jakarta." The W Jakarta will be the brand's twelfth property in the Asia Pacific region, following the 2014 openings of W Beijing and W Shanghai.
October 28, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky
What do you get when you combine luxury, serenity, and incredibly gifted hands? The best spa resorts, of course! Check out our list of the top 10 luxury spas all over the world, make your reservation for that much needed vacation, and step into a relaxing paradise of mineral baths, facials, saunas, mud masks, massages, and much more.
This peaceful spa is surrounded by forest on the Pacific Ocean, creating the perfect, natural environment with the sound of splashing waves and the smell of the ocean permeating the atmosphere. This spa offers high-quality spa products and its estheticians focus on providing a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Located in the wine country of San Francisco, this spa is surrounded by private gardens and breathtaking views of Napa Valley. This spa offers the opportunity to partake in relaxing activities for romantic couples or friends of four with access to a private outdoor garden and hot spring. Embrace this spa’s philosophy of nurturing the body and mind while sinking into a peaceful state of relaxation.
This one is considered to be one of Asia’s most spectacular spa resorts. All of this resort’s 123 villas have access to their own garden and an open air sunken bathtub, 52 of its villas have their own Jacuzzi, and 46 have their own private swimming pool. For the ultimate getaway, consider one of 13 villas with access to a private pool, Jacuzzi, private steam, and sauna room, and be sure to sign up for this hotel’s renowned ‘Intimate Moments’ partner massage.
The Grove is London’s cosmopolitan country estate, and it offers spa treatments that sooth and stimulate all of your senses. This spa prides itself on offering a total caring experience and ensuring that you escape, relax, and re-energize during your stay. Breathe in the tranquility, breath out the stress, and leave with a little more balance in your life.
This spa is located in a private red rock canyon in Sedona, Arizona-- in what is considered to be one of the most sacred healing places on Earth. World class spa therapists create unique and memorable experiences and offer a variety of specially tailored services, aiming to provide a sense of harmony and health.
This Miami Beach luxury spa embraces ancient traditions and offers a complete experience with access to three private, sparkling swimming pools. This spa is dedicated to absolute privacy and relaxation, and its treatments will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.
This exotic, Hawaiian themed spa integrates tropical gardens and exudes serenity. Its complimentary, pre-spa services include access to the lap pool, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, and cold plunges. The treatment massages can be performed outside amidst beautiful nature and bamboo that naturally bring about a sense of calm.
This spa embraces the ancient philosophy of individualized treatments to reach harmony from the inside out. Be sure to take advantage of their unique treatment options and enjoy various services made especially for your needs.
Inspired by the surrounding ocean, this resort has eight magnificent treatment rooms and offers suites equipped with outdoor soaking tubs. The spa treatments utilize essences of plants, aromas of healing flowers, and herbs and spices, all blended together to create soothing and rejuvenating recipes for an enhanced experience.
Dramatically located on a cliff’s edge, this spa overlooks the resort and the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Channel below. The indigenous botanical resources along with therapeutic practices make for the most relaxing spa experience. The best part, however, is that this spa is willing to accommodate you in their Cliff Spa Suite, in your room, on the beach, or even under the stars!
Try as we might, we just couldn’t pick one favorite, so we encourage you to share your favorite luxury spa experiences with us on Facebook. Is your favorite spa on our list? Let us know! We love hearing from you.
By: Oksana Balytsky
August 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Today we're hitting the beautiful beaches of Bali, where the Jimbaran Puri Bali, a luxury resort by Orient-Express, offers massages by the talcum-powder sand, private yoga sessions, and a waterfront restaurant where the fish are grilled straight from the sea. The horizon-edge swimming pool alone merits a visit. Fresh water cascades from three water spouts into the pool, terraced into the landscape with stone tiles. Teak lounge chairs are yours for the taking. Needless to say, the Jimbaran Puri Bali is the ideal place for romance, and the resort offers a number of wedding and honeymoon packages.