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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.

Beach Butlers and Endless Sea Views at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Royal Pavilion, BarbadosOn the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea, where the shimmering pink sand meets the sea and sky, discover an enchanting luxury hotel. Described as "The Jewel in the Crown of Barbados," the Fairmont Royal Pavilion blends Old World hospitality and stunning scenery (swaying palms aplenty) with all the world-class facilities expected by sophisticated travelers. Golf, tennis, snorkeling, sailing, water skiing, and all that jazz. During the high season, this resort is a couples-oriented destination-- ideal for honeymoons and romantic escapes-- with kids welcomed from May 1 and October 31. Boasting endless views of the turquoise Caribbean, all rooms are decorated with mahogany furniture and luxurious fabrics in the tradition of a Barbadian plantation house, outfitted with all the latest technology. Personalized service is a given here. Read: Beach Butlers who'll deliver fresh towels, sunscreen, drinks and ice water, anything your little heart desires…


Family Affair at the Viceroy Santa Monica


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Viceroy Santa MonicaHead to the California seaside for a stylish family weekend at Viceroy Santa Monica. The chic hotel has put together an exclusive Family Affair package, utilizing its exclusive hotel amenities and gorgeous setting, to set a fun-filled agenda of activities for the whole fam to enjoy together. How does this sound? Popcorn and movies, surf lessons on a classic urban beach, private yoga lessons by the pool or drives through posh Malibu in a luxury convertible. Here's the skinny:

- Two night stay in a one-bedroom suite with connecting room with two beds

- Welcome Amenity of wine & cheese for parents, cookies & milk for kids

- Movies and popcorn delivered to the room on the first night of stay

- Breakfast each morning at Whist or in room

- Surf lessons for four (additional surf lessons are $120 per person)

- Private family yoga session for four on the Viceroy pool deck

- Luxury convertible car rental for the weekend with map to Malibu and new Getty Villa

The total price for the Viceroy's package is $3,500, available for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night stays from now until October 31, 2008. Must be booked 7 days in advance.


The Incredible Renovation of the Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal HawaiianThe legendary "Pink Palace of the Pacific" has temporarily closed its doors through December 31, 2008 for a complete makeover. The 528-room resort is getting $110 million in enhancements. Come January 1, 2009, the Royal Hawaiian will usher in a new era of luxury. After all, this is the spot where the Shirley Temple drink was invented for the visiting star, and served as the playground for Hollywood A-listers and the world's elite for many decades. The Royal Hawaiian has remained an icon of luxury, romance, and the glory and grandeur of Waikiki since its opening in 1927, and after this renovation, the Royal Hawaiian will be at the top of its game. To quote the Mercury News:

The hotel's distinctive rosy exterior and eye-catching Spanish-Moorish architecture won't change. But the interior is slated for a major facelift and—gasp—will become less pink. Gone will be the pink tablecloths, pink napkins, pink towels, pink bed sheets and even the trademark pink-and-white umbrellas at the Mai Tai Bar will become history.

But don't worry. They're not getting rid of all the pink, just "accentuating the pink they have"-- while also upgrading the hotel's service, and adding hip, contemporary touches to all the rooms.


Free Room Upgrades at The Villas and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, South Carolina


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kiawah IslandWith the sky-rocketing price of gas (read: impossibly-high airfares to Europe) and the falling U.S. dollar, many travelers are looking closer to home for a summer vacation. Kiawah Island, the award-winning resort just outside Charleston, South Carolina, is an ideal East Coast destination with a slew of activities the whole family can enjoy- from tennis to kayaking. The resort's on-site five-star hideaway, The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, offers sophisticated accommodations and a fabulous spa. If you book a two-night stay in June, July or August at The Sanctuary or The Villas at Kiawah Island, you'll receive a one category upgrade at time of booking.


Star in Your Own Movie, Surf Like a Pro at The Peninsula Beverly Hills


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Beverly HillsNow's your chance to make your very own Hollywood movie. The only AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil Five-Star hotel in Southern California for 15 consecutive years, The Peninsula Beverly Hills has launched some very special guest experiences as part of its Peninsula Acadamy-- everything from surfing to playing film star. These Academy programs reflect the Beverly Hills lifestyle, and are available within a few days' notice. (Of course, you may just want to relax and enjoy the newly-renovated Rooftop Garden Pool, Restaurant and Bar at this iconic luxury hotel.) Choose to create your own Hollywood movie and an Emmy-nominated producer and crew will film guests and their families sightseeing, shopping, surfing, relaxing by the pool-- or whatever suits your fancy while in Tinsel Town. The footage will be edited into a professional-quality movie that they can watch on DVD at home. Prices start at $2,500 per day. You can also "Discover Your Inner Surfer Dude," and learn to surf with Rod Samper, the surfer dude who taught Tom Cruise, Cindy Crawford and Harrison Ford and their families to surf. The hotel will transport guests by town car to Malibu for their private lesson, which will be followed by a picnic prepared by The Peninsula Beverly Hills' team of chefs. Prices start at $225 per person per hour.

Peninsula Beverly HillsOr learn to "Sound like a Star," and work with Bob Corff, the voice coach who taught Cate Blanchett to sound like Katherine Hepburn in "The Aviator," and Jake Gyllenhaal to sound like a cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain." Bob Corff also coaches top executives for Oscar-winning performances in the boardroom. Prices start from $185 for a one-hour session at The Corff Studio. The Peninsula Beverly Hills also offers the "West Coast Wellness Workout" so that you can get in shape with SHAPE magazine's "Best New Trainer of 2008"-- Alonzo Cannon, who has shaped up celebs including Colin Farrell. She will create customized fitness regimes for guests, and then lead them through it on the beach, on a trail in the Santa Monica Mountains or in the hotel's fitness center. Prices from $200 an hour.


Announcing the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella PedregalIn an extraordinary location at the southernmost tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez at the legendary Finisterre (Land's End), a resort of unprecedented luxury will make its debut this Fall. Called Capella Pedregal, the resort is the latest from the Diaz Rivera family, one of Mexico's foremost developers. Encompassing 24 oceanfront acres at the foot of the dramatic mountainscape, the 66-room Capella Resort and Spa will be the flagship beach resort for the new Capella brand of luxury hotels we've been raving about. (This new, elite concept in resort accommodations was launched by Horst Schulze, the "celebrated founder of the modern-day incarnation of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.") Capella Pedregal will be complemented by 31 shared-ownership Capella Residences and 20 private, full-ownership Capella Casonas-- in close proximity to the Cabo Marina. The entrance to this exclusive gated community is dramatic: via the only privately-owned tunnel in Mexico, carved through the mountains and separating the town of Cabo from the Pacific. Buzz: At the world-class spa, the menu of treatments was designed by the acclaimed Sylvia Sepielli, who draws upon indigenous cultures for therapies, treatments, and rituals.


Sizzling Summer Savings at Banyan Tree Phuket


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree PhuketRanked No. 2 in the "Top 10 Asia Resorts" category of the Condé Nast Traveler 20th Annual Readers' Choice Awards, the Banyan Tree Phuket is bordered by the golden sand and turquoise waves of the Andaman Sea. This tropical paradise is offering exclusive rates during June and July to encourage guest to visit Thailand, the "Land of Smiles," this summer. The special starts at just $200 per night for Deluxe Villa accommodations and includes daily breakfast. There's no better time to experience Banyan Tree Phuket, the 150-villa resort that exudes luxury and romance.

Pssst. Don't miss a treatment at the award-winning spa!


Buzzworthy: Four Seasons Opens Resort on Mauritius


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons MauritiusEast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, you'll find an island paradise fringed by the green Bambou mountains and impossibly blue waters. Here on Mauritius, Four Seasons is opening a new resort with an Ernie Els golf course and over-water spa. Nestled in a wilderness preserve, this private sanctuary is the essence of romance, with 123 spacious villas and residences with seamless indoor-outdoor living, plunge pools, and inspiring views in all directions. In fact, the Lagoon Pool Villas and Presidential Suite are located on a private, 11-acre island, Ile aux Chats! But this resort won't be limited to couples seeking romance. There is an extensive children's program at the Hobbit Club, so your kids will be occupied (and having a blast) while you relax on the serene lagoon beaches or indulge with a Mauritian lomi lomi massage at the spa, hovering over the waters of the lagoon. Now confirming reservations for arrival from October 1, 2008.


Experience 5 Top Brazilian Chefs with Ponta dos Ganchos


By: Madelyn Giblin

Ponta dos GanchosThis year's Ciclo de Chefs brings five top Brazilian chefs to Ponta Dos Ganchos to give guests a taste of some of Brazil's finest cuisine. The annual event brings top chefs from around the world to guest-chef at Ponta Dos Ganchos for visitors to experience new flavors and tastes. This year's event features Carla Pernambuco on July 4th-6th (awarded Best Contemporary Cuisine in 2006); Danio Braga from July 25th -27th (whose restaurant has been awarded 3 stars in the Quatro Rodas Guide since 1982); Roberta Sudbrack on August 1st-3rd (the Brazilian Chef of the Year in 2007); Sergio Arno from August 8th-10th (elected Best Italian Cuisine Chef in Latin America); and Roland Villard from August 15th -17th (the 2008 Chef of the Year in Brazil). This year's event is sure to delight the palate!

 

 

Ponta dos Ganchos is located 40 km north of Florianopolis and South-east of Sao Paulo, situated on a small point nestled between two charming fishing villages and surrounded on 3 sides by the sea of the Emerald Coast.


Palm Island: All-Inclusive, Private Island Resort in the Caribbean


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palm Island ResortDiscover paradise near the southern tip of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, an archipelago of 32 tropical islands in the warm waters of the Caribbean. Palm Island is an exclusive, private-island resort that offers complimentary water sports, so you can take to the high seas in a kayak or catamaran, and complimentary snorkeling equipment to discover the exotic sea life, rainbow-colored reefs and fascinating shipwrecks of some of the finest underwater sights in the world. In fact, most everything at this luxurious resort is complimentary, because it's all-inclusive. Chill out in the refreshing freshwater pool and waterfall, lounge on one of the five beaches, indulge in the superb food while enjoying live entertainment, bike around the 135 acre island, play tennis or pitch-and-putt golf. This casually-elegant resort has it all (and the awards to prove it). And with just 42 guest lodgings, Palm Island is intimate and exclusive, so you share this unspoiled island with just a few other discerning travelers.