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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.

Elegance and Etiquette Weekend at The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island, South Carolina


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Sanctuary at Kiawah IslandSo you've committed some ugly etiquette atrocities. Elbows on the table isn't the worst of it. You've written Miss Manners hoping for her unfailing wisdom on correct behavior. But really, what you need is a dose of the South: a weekend of elegance and etiquette at one of the top resorts in the U.S. After all, Charleston-- only a short drive from the island-- is considered the most mannerly city in America, where etiquette is considered an important part of everyday life. And the resort's AAA Five-Diamond Sanctuary Hotel prides itself on having class, composure, and elegance. To help you and your family learn the etiquette of the south, The Sanctuary has designed a special Elegance and Etiquette Weekend to be held on November 9-11, 2007. The Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette will help you refine your social skills: both in the business environment and social arena (the art of dining, and host/guest etiquette). Meanwhile, your kids will learn all sorts of useful tips: setting the table, dining in style, writing thank-you notes and invitations. The two-night event package includes accommodations, welcome tea reception, Etiquette Program sessions, one lunch and dinner, one brunch, and a thank-you cards amenity. Priced from $2,169 for one adult and one child at The Sanctuary (oceanview accommodations).


Cloud 9 on Jamaica: Half Moon Debuts Fern Tree Spa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half MoonHow to improve on perfection? Open a splendid, new spa called Fern Tree. The timelessly elegant Half Moon, a favorite Caribbean hideaway, has opened the doors to a new facility that will knock your socks off. Celebrated as "a destination within a destination," the spa is housed in the resort's signature Fern Tree House; the conversion retained the original colonial design of hardwood floors and white-washed verandahs situated in beautifully-landscaped gardens. Choose an individual spa treatment or experience a customized, step-by-step program developed by the Spa Elder, your experienced guide who is trained in the use of local indigenous ingredients. Upon arrival at this 68,000 square foot oasis, each guest enjoys a ceremonial foot bath. Treatments utilize premier skincare lines from Jamaica and Europe, highlighting the indigenous botanicals of Montego Bay (Pevonia, Thalgo, and pure essential oils from Jamaica's Blue Mountain Aromatics). Choose a luxury VIP suite and bask in the posh amenities: full bath, private patio and garden with hot tub and shower.


Private Lagoon Dinner at The Tides Zihuatanejo


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides ZihuatanejoStep into a canoe, where you are transported to a private island in the middle of an azure lagoon. Candles flicker against the sand. Music plays. A dedicated butler brings champagne, and a message in a bottle-- your menu written on a scroll inside. Surrounded by lush tropical foliage, you taste a salad with hearts of palm, followed by yellow tomato gazpacho, before sinking your teeth into a magnificent plate of Mahi Mahi with garlic and chilli guajillo served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Between courses, vodka and lime sorbet cleanses the palate. For dessert? A warm chocolate volcano cake accompanied by macadamia ice cream. The Private Lagoon Dinner at the award-winning Tides Zihuatanejo is easily the most exclusive dining experience on Mexico's Pacific coast.


Caribbean Beach Bargains at La Samanna, St. Maarten


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La SamannaExperience paradise for a song. La Samanna, an Orient-Express hideaway in the French West Indies, is a chic, white-washed wonderland where restaurant provisions are flown in from France daily. And it recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, to boot. This beachfront spa resort has all-time low promotional rates of $395 per night during peak season. The catch? You must arrive on one of the following arrival dates: November 25 and 26, 2007, January 30, 2008, or February 26, 2008. As Travel + Leisure points out, this is a whopping 60 percent savings, as normal peak season rates start at around $1,000 a night. But hurry, this "Best Deal Days" promotion is bound to book fast.


Buzzworthy: Langham Place Eco Resort and Spa Opens in Krabi, Thailand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place Eco-Resort, KrabiLangham Hotels International will open its newest gem in the beautiful Thai province of Krabi in January. Since the London flagship opened in 1865, the Langham name has come to represent hotels that epitomize elegance and sophistication. (The Langham in Hong Kong is easily one of the top hotels in Asia.) Now Langham brings that legendary reputation to Lanta Yai Island in Krabi province, where an eco-friendly resort will offer luxurious accommodations that coexist in perfect harmony with the magnificent surrounding landscape. The five-star resort features 185 rooms and villas perched on the beach and up the gently sloping hillside overlooking Klong Tob Bay. Other facilities include four swimming pools, including a unique ocean pool, six restaurants and bars, and a plethora of sporting and leisure facilities-- from diving to mountain biking.


Thanksgiving on a Private Island Paradise at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jumby BayThe holidays are fast approaching: the perfect excuse for a family getaway! Jumby Bay has put together the ultimate holiday package of scrumptious eats, ultra-luxurious accommodations, and family-friendly festivities for a most memorable Thanksgiving. Recently honored as the Best Caribbean Resort by the readers of Travel + Leisure, Jumby Bay is set on a 300-acre island paradise off the coast of Antigua in the West Indies. The resort's lavish facilities-- 40 suites and 12 villas, private pools, complimentary Caloi bicycles for every guest, tennis courts, and recreational facilities galore-- are accessible only by boat. The "Island of Thanks" getaway means five days of fun: pumpkin carving for the kids, rum tasting for the parents, holiday cookie decorating, family bingo, and a phenomenal Thanksgiving feast prepared by new Executive Chef, Erik Gremmer. Rates start at $875 per night.


Tequila Tastings at The Tides Riviera Maya


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides Riviera MayaVisitors to the sexy Tides Riviera Maya, perched on the white sands of the Yucatan Peninsula, will be delighted by the new Tequila 101 Tastings at the Tequila Bar. This ain't Jose Cuervo. You'll taste at least three high-end tequilas including blancos, añejos and reposados, accompanied by different Sangritas, the elixir that serves to extinguish tequila's fire and complements the various tequila flavors. The charming Tequila Maestro, Eduardo Gonzalez, explains the origins of blue agave-- how it is grown and how it is processed into Mexico's world-famous spirit. Plus, he'll give you the skinny on the proper way to drink tequila. Priced at $50 per person, per tasting.


One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah Tops Conde Nast Traveller Reader’s Travel Awards


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Maldives at Reethi RahThe annual CNT Reader's Travel Awards have been released, so now we can ogle these gorgeous properties to our hearts' content. Perusing the list, you may wonder: Just why did the One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah get top honors, scoring the number one position on the chart? Conde Nast Traveller readers voted this the top hotel in the world, with a score of 96.45 percent out of 100 (the magazine's index of satisfaction). So what makes this spot so special?

Blissful spa? Check. A truly dreamy tropical setting? Check. Decadent cuisine? Check. Sleek over-water villas from where you can go for a dip in the crystal clear sea? But of course. But more than the standard fare at luxury hotels, the One&Only Maldives offers a level of privacy and exclusivity which is truly unprecedented. In other words, this resort is the pinnacle of tropical luxury.

You've seen the ads. Impossibly good-looking couple disembarks from a private plane, while the grinning One&Only staff greet them, gracefully balancing designer luggage and trays of chilled cocktails. Enough said.


The Regent Bal Harbour: Unprecedented Luxury Arrives in North Miami Beach


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Regent Bal HarbourWhen the new Regent Bal Harbour opens its doors in January, it will be the first hotel in a half-century to be built in glamorous Bal Harbour, the shopping and people-watching mecca in North Miami Beach. As upscale and chic as its surroundings, the exclusive hotel promises to up the lux factor with its vibrant modern design and stunning museum quality art collection. Located on a pristine white sand beach, the hotel affords inspiring views of the Atlantic, Intracoastal Waterway, and Miami's bright lights. Expect to find sublime guest rooms, accessible via private elevators to ensure privacy, with terraces, 52-inch plasma screen TVs, Anichini linens, and free-standing bathtubs set before 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. Other perks at the Regent Bal Harbour: the expansive infinity-edge pool, poolside cabanas with private Roman hot tubs, fully-equipped fitness center, water sports, and private cars to whisk you away for a day of shopping. While you relax on the 750-foot private beach, attendants will provide sunscreen, portable DVD players and iPods, iced towels and beverages. But perhaps what we are most excited about is the Guerlain Spa, the first of its kind in the U.S. South Florida's new ultra-chic destination is now accepting reservations for its January 2, 2008 opening. Special opening rates for Superior Bay View Rooms start at $475 a night from January 2 -April 30, 2008.


Family-Friendly Fall Getaway at La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, California


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Costa Resort and SpaAfter a $140 million renovation, La Costa has emerged as one of the most celebrated luxury hotels along the Southern California Coast. They've revamped the spa, smartened up the accommodations, and added a whole slew of fun-filled family activities. In fact, La Costa was named the second "Most Family Friendly Resort" in the U.S. by the Travel Channel. With in-room family amenities, the supervised kids' programs at Kidtopia, the Vibz lounge for teens, and the new Splash Landing Pools and Slides, La Costa is the ideal spot for a family getaway. (Plus, there's championship golf, memorable dining, and soothing spa services to lure Mom and Dad.) As warm days give way to cool nights, fall is the perfect season to experience this newly renovated gem. Enjoy the cozy comfort of a luxurious La Costa guest room with great fall rates, starting from just $249 a night (Plaza Room). Book Sunday -Thursday and get 25 percent off spa and golf.