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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.

Live Like a Star at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Santa Monica Beach HotelCruise the streets of Hollywood, shop and dine in style on Rodeo Drive, search for celebs in the Hollywood Hills, and speed down the Pacific Cruise Highway, wind in your hair, for some fun in the sun on the beaches of Malibu. LA is yours for the taking with the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the gorgeous luxury hotel that occupies a prime spot in Santa Monica just a block from the sprawling white sandy beach. This place has it all-- from an Ocean Spa and Fitness Center to the breathtaking views from the guest rooms and lounges. Choose the "Live Like A Star" package and you'll enjoy a one-night stay in a Premium Room and also get a one-day car rental (luxury convertible, of course) with a map of stars homes and LA attractions. Priced from $405, available until May 25, 2008.

Fourth Night Free at Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Copacabana PalaceHead down to Rio for a relaxing break at one of the most glamorous hotels in the world. Setting of the famous film 'Flying down to Rio' where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced together for the first time, Copacabana Palace offers the ultimate in sophisticated luxury-- just steps from the white sands of the most famous beach in the world. This is the hide-out of the rich and famous. Make the Copacabana Palace your home as you explore the delights of the fascinating city: sun yourself on Copacabana or Ipanema beach and visit Corcovado or Sugar Loaf Mountain and marvel at the beauty of Rio nestled in the series of bays below you. With the "Stay Another Night" package, you get the fourth night for free when you stay three consecutive nights. Rates start at $487, and you also get complimentary access to the fitness center, tennis court, and sauna.

Buzz: Movenpick Resort and Thalasso Opens in Crete

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

CreteThe latest luxury resort to open on the Med is the Mövenpick Resort & Thalasso Crete. After an extensive, two-year renovation, the upscale resort opened its doors on the northern coast of Crete along Amoudara Beach. This is the first property for Mövenpick in Greece. What's in store? "An exquisite combination of typical Greek hospitality and the traditional Swiss passion for efficiency, reliability, punctuality and precision," touts the hotel. We are most excited about the Aegeo Spa Center. If it's anything like the Zara Spa at the Mövenpick on the Dead Sea, spa-goers are in for a real treat. Mövenpick has an impressive portfolio of specialized spa resorts, and this Greek oasis is a beautiful addition. Sized at 4,500 square meters, the Spa Center offers classic wellness services including Thalasso and beauty therapy. The large seawater spa complex has various baths as well as a sauna, sanarium, solarium, whirlpools and steam rooms. Other resort facilities include a fitness center, two floodlight tennis courts, table tennis, squash, billiards, beach volleyball, and a wide variety of water sports. And of course all the 285 guest rooms offer divine sea views.

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HotelChatter's Take On It

Summer Deals Galore: One and Only Maldives, Sanctuary on Camelback, Jamaica Inn, and more!

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Reethi Rah, MaldivesThe falling dollar soured your mood? Don't let it deter your summer travel plans. There are deals to be had out there-- from the Maldives to Scottsdale. Thanks to the LA Times Travel and Deal Blog for pointing out this fab compilation of bargains at hotels worldwide. Looking for some sun and sand? You can get 20 percent off with the "Fall for Jamaica Inn" package at the elegant Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Or how about an exotic escape? Score a savings of 48 percent in the Maldives at the exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah. A weekend getaway Stateside? Get a fourth night free from the fabled Virginia resort, The Homestead, with the "Hot Springs Holiday" package. You can also get 20 percent off at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain with the "Sonoran Sanctuary" package, which includes spa treatments. A European getaway? How does 20 percent off sound- at Edinburgh's finest hotel: Rocco Forte's The Balmoral? Choose the "Scotland Summer Spa" package and get three nights in a Classic room with an automatic upgrade to an Executive room based upon availability; full Scottish breakfast; and unlimited use of the spa, including the sauna, relaxation suite, yoga and pilates classes.

Special Opening Rates at The Regent Bal Harbour, Florida

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Regent Bal HarbourCheck in to unrivaled luxury in the affluent enclave of Bal Harbour Village and score special seasonal rates at Regent's new flagship in the Americas. This ultra-luxury hotel-- the first to open in Bal Harbour Village in 50 years-- entices guests with privacy and exclusivity, the likes of which the area has rarely seen. Just 15 minutes from Miami's airport and a hop from the world-renowned designer shops at Bal Harbour, The Regent Bal Harbour boasts dramatic ocean views from each of its 124 guest rooms and bathrooms, never more than two guest rooms per floor; a $4 million, privately-commissioned art collection with works by established and emerging American artists; the first Guerlain Spa in North America, standing at 10,000 square-feet; as well as the signature 1 Bleu restaurant. Above all, The Regent is getting rave reviews for its highly personalized and anticipatory service. Experience The Regent Bal Harbour and enjoy The Regent Opening Rates starting at $375 per night on weekdays and $425 per night on weekends May 1 – September 30, 2008, including superior accommodations for two and breakfast in 1 Bleu. Considering that rack rates start at $750 per night, this is a hot deal.

A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore Hotel

By: Guest Writer

From Victoria Winters

This past April I attended my girlfriend's bachelorette party in Miami, and naturally we stayed in South Beach. I had been to South Beach once before (for a the World Adult Kickball Competition I was in ... I kid you not), but was looking forward to a more upscale and relaxing vacation this time around with just the girls. We booked 2 rooms (414 and 416 at around $500 total per room) at The Sagamore Hotel for 8 women, each room was equipped with two double beds and a pull out couch. We arrived on a Thursday and stayed through Sunday.

Known as "The Art Hotel" I have to begin with the hilarious art work in the lobby. My friend and I probably spent the first 30 minutes at The Sagamore looking at photos upon photos of naked people. Don't get me wrong this is tastefully done, but you would be amazed by how many people stripped down to their birthday suits for these photos….good way to avoid tan lines, I guess! Throughout the hotel (hallways, bathrooms, elevators…etc) you will constantly be engaging in new art mediums which makes for a really cool and interesting stay to say the least.

Besides staring at nudes... I also managed to experience the hotel restaurant, Social; lounge by the pool (and eat and drink poolside); go for a run at the gym; and take in some rays at the beach. The following is a list of pros and cons from my experience with the girls:


    Excellent location (close to Lincoln Ave and all the hot night spots)

    Nice size suites (heard they are larger than the Delano)

    Excellent beds and comfortable bedding

    Pull out couch in each room

    Large L-shaped couches in rooms great for large groups and entertaining

    ipod docking station in each room with great speakers

    Separate toilet from bathroom

    Refrigerator with a good size freezer

    Excellent kitchen space for entertaining

    Excellent service all around

    Relaxing pool environment, not a pool “scene”

    Poolside bar & grill serves great drinks and food

    Private/designated beach area for guests

    Beach chairs (2 per room, additional chairs $15) and umbrella (1 per room)

    Interesting artwork throughout the hotel


    Darks halls

    Single and shallow pool

    Odd layout of furniture in the rooms

    Weak hairdryers, if traveling with 2 or more women bring an extra

    Bad lighting in the bedroom near the mirrors which made getting ready with a group difficult

    Small gym with little equipment

    Good number of children at the pool (although if traveling with children this might be a pro)

    Social – restaurant is very cool but over priced for the food they serve

Would I go back to the Sagamore Hotel with the girls? Definitely! We loved that it wasn't "the place to be seen" which was exactly what you want the morning after a bachelorette party.

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Pool Entrance Package, Dubai

By: Madelyn Giblin

You'll find tranquility for the whole family with Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort Dubai's Pool Entrance Package. Located amongst the impressive sand dunes, guests can enjoy the 250 sunloungers available beside the luxury infinity pool. And don't worry about the kids! With entrance children have full access to the waterfall at the children's pool, complimentary camel rides, a falcon show and access to Sinbad's Kids Club. Parents can sit back and relax, in the sun or the shade and enjoy lunch from one of the hotel's fantastic restaurants, with all-inclusive soft drinks. In addition guests have access to the changing rooms, unlimited towels, and the variety of extra activities available at the pool, including putting green, tennis, volleyball and aqua aerobics classes. Open from 9am to 6pm, children under the age of 6 earn free admission, children 6 to 12 are AED 300, and adults 12 years or older are AED 500. (Rates subject to change on holidays.) The all day price includes: * All day access to the pool and sunloungers * Lunch of your choice from our superb restaurants, Al Forsan restaurant, Masala Indian restaurant and Pizzeria Le Dune, or a la carte service available at the pool-side. * All inclusive of soft drinks during meal time (juices and all other beverages are charged additionally) * Use of the changing rooms, showers and personal secured lockers, and unlimited towels * Cold towels and use of local newspapers and magazines * Camel, pony riding and falcon show available in the late afternoon * Use of Sinbad's Kids Club * A variety of games and fitness activities, including a 9-hole putting green, croquet, petanque, table tennis, volleyball, bicycle tours, aqua aerobics * Amenity services around the pool

Weekend Buyout of the Viceroy Santa Monica

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Viceroy Santa MonicaIt doesn't get much better than this. Santa Monica's swanky Viceroy Hotel, quite the happening hotspot, is available-- in its entirety-- for a two-night, two-day buyout celebration. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, this posh adult playground is the ideal spot for "Opulence Unleashed." With this Friday and Saturday night package, you'll get the entire 162 room hotel, fully stocked mini-bars in every room, and an ongoing schedule of extravagant dining events for up to 300 guests. It all starts Friday evening, with a poolside dinner orchestrated by Whist Restaurant. Executive Chef Warren Schwartz will man the outdoor grill, while personal mixologists take care of drinks. (There's also a cigar tent.) On Saturday, your guests will indulge in an all-day pool party, with DJ and dancing, on demand massage service and a fabulous brunch with an open bar. In the evening, guests are transported to the Getty Museum for a private, catered event that includes dinner and drinks. The weekend concludes with poolside brunch on Sunday. Guests will receive a Viceroy travel package, before being transported to LAX by luxury shuttle service. All for just $500,000. Plus tax.

Tax Rebate Package at Acqualina Resort, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AcqualinaOf all the tax rebate packages offered by hotels right now, this has got to be one of the best deals. Rosewood's sumptuous Acqualina Resort, situated on the white sand between Ft Lauderdale and Miami, was one of the hottest hotel openings of 2006. Guests are lured by the ESPA oceanfront spa, acclaimed Il Mulino New York restaurant, marine-biology based kids' program, and glorious swimming pools overlooking the Atlantic. Here's the skinny on the tax rebate package: A couple can take their $1200 and splurge on a two night stay in an oceanfront room, daily continental breakfast for two, and a 60-minute spa treatment per person. Considering that the rack rate for 2008 is $1050 per night, lucky guests are getting a good value. Valid from May-September.

Ritz-Carlton and Jean-Michel Cousteau Expand the Ambassadors of the Environment Program

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton, Grand CaymanWe're big fans of the aquatic education program at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, run by Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. Emphasizing education and respect for ecosystem sustainability with "hands-on" activities, the program was recently awarded "Best Children's Program for 2007" by Virtuoso. Participants explore coral reefs by snorkeling on the ocean floor, discover the critical role of mangrove trees in the ecosystem on pontoon expeditions, and participate in the breeding programs of rare species like the Blue Iguana. Now this collaboration between Ritz-Carlton and Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society will be expanded to other select destinations around the world, including Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui and Sanya, which opened April 24th, 2008.