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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.

An Interview with the General Manager: Heinrich Morio of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Heinrich MorioHeinrich Morio, born in the United States to German parents in 1960, joined Jumeirah in the position of General Manager Operations in October 2004. He brings over 25 years of operational experience all of which was spent in some of the finest luxury hotels including Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, Plaza Athenee in New York, Turnberry Isle in Florida, One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius, Ritz Carlton in New York and The Peninsula in Beverly Hills.

Prior to joining Jumeirah, Heinrich held the position of General Manager of One&Only Le Touessrok, Mauritius where he successfully directed the closure, re-opening and re-positioning of the hotel, as well as General Manager of the One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas and Little Palm Island, Florida Keys. Heinrich holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University, Miami.

Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: I started working in the hotel industry approximately 30 years ago, over the years I have worked in many different functions including restaurants, kitchen and reception. I have worked my way up in the industry and I have now realized my dream of managing a luxury hotel.

Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: The architecture of the hotel in itself is very distinctive and unique. It is designed to reflect the shape of a breaking wave which has become an instantly recognizable symbol of Dubai.

In addition, we are unique in the fact that all of the 617 rooms, suites and villas at Jumeirah Beach Hotel have stunning ocean views across the beautiful Arabian Gulf, this feature is a favorite amongst all of our regular and first time guests.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: All of our guests are important to us and we have many guests who return to us on a regular basis. We provide all of our guests with the level of service that they would expect to find in a five star luxury hotel and we also respect the privacy of all guests.

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages? If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: All of our rooms are extremely spacious and provide a minimum of approximately 50m2 of living space. Full advantage has been made of the fact that all of our rooms are ocean facing and each room has floor to ceiling windows which mean that guests have maximum enjoyment of the spectacular panoramic views.

For the ultimate in luxury the villas at Beit Al Bahar (Arabic for 'House by the Sea') are perfect for guests searching for a truly personal, uniquely special holiday hideaway. Each villa benefits from a private plunge pool and an unparalleled level of service which means that Beit Al Bahar is known as one of the regions most luxurious private retreats.

Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel? Perhaps a bit of history? Any special events that have taken place on property?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: Our impressive conference centre is Dhow shaped and has hosted some of Dubai's most spectacular and significant events. The conference centre has a ballroom space of 1332m2, a tiered auditorium that seats 416, two floors of dedicated conference facilities and custom-built executive boardrooms.

Another interesting feature of the hotel is the large sculpture in the atrium that shows the original destinations that Emirates flew to when the hotel first opened ten years ago. If we tried to update this sculpture to reflect the current destinations that Emirates fly to today, this would be extremely difficult due to the vast number of routes now in operation.

In addition there is also our iconic beach front location which is simply stunning, the hotel boasts over 3800m2 of beautiful outdoor beach and garden areas.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at Jumeirah Beach Hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: Jumeirah Beach Hotel provides guests with the ultimate in luxurious family resort style accommodation, in addition to our stunning beaches and rooms we also have a world class conference facility, Pavilion Sports centre, dive facility, private marina and over 20 restaurants and bars. The extensive choice of dining options at the hotel and range of international cuisine of offer is sure to satisfy any guest.

Our guests are also provided with the opportunity to upgrade for the duration of their stay to become a Club Executive or Premium Leisure Club guest. These options provide access to additional facilities such as the tranquil Executive Pool and the Club Executive Lounge.

In addition to the above, high on my priorities would be knowing what the weather forecast is for the duration of my stay!

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: The hotel is ideally located on Jumeirah Beach and our popular beach front restaurants all have stunning views of the spectacular Burj Al Arab. We are very centrally located and all of Dubai's attractions, including the amazing shopping malls and world class golf courses are only a short taxi ride away. We are also only 20-30 minutes drive from the airport.

Wild Wadi Water Park is an integral part of the resort and is located right next door to the hotel, all Jumeirah Beach Hotel guests receive unlimited access to the water park for the duration of their stay.

My favorite way to spend time in the surrounding area is to take a visit to Bab Al Shams for a unique desert experience. Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is an elegant desert resort in a traditional Arabic fort setting and is perfect for a relaxing retreat away from the city.

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: Over the past ten years we have welcomed guests from all over the world, many of our guests come from Europe and we have lots of visitors from the UK, Germany and Russia. Our excellent family facilities mean that we have lots of families who visit the hotel, many returning on a regular basis. In addition our superb conference facilities are used by a wide range of guests attending private and corporate events of all sizes.

Five Star Alliance: What is the hardest part about being General Manager? If you could change one thing about the hotel, what would that be?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: Over the last ten years Jumeirah Beach Hotel has undergone continuous growth and development, we deliver an excellent level of service which is largely due to our fantastic colleagues. If it were not for our exceptional colleagues then my job would be much harder!

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Mr. Heinrich Morio: For me Jumeirah Emirates Tower is the finest business hotel in the world. It is very popular with frequent business travelers and is ideally located in the heart of Dubai's commercial district.

The Madinat Jumeirah is one of the most impressive and fascinating resorts that I have ever visited. Known as The Arabian Resort of Dubai the hotel is a magnificent tribute to Dubai's heritage and is styled to resemble an ancient Arabian citadel. The hotel offers the height of opulence and with two grand hotels, superb facilities and a traditional souk the Madinat Jumeirah really is unique.



Buzzworthy: Explora en Rapa Nui, Easter Island


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter IslandYour coordinates: 27º09 south latitude and 109º26 west longitude, 3,800 km from the central coast of Chile in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The closest inhabited island is Pitcairn, 1,900 km northwest. Your destination? The mythical Easter Island, home to the gigantic moai sculptures erected by a people whose origins and evolution are still unknown. This beautiful and mysterious place recently welcomed a chic hotel hideaway: explora en Rapa Nui , Posada de Mike Rapu. Located on a hill facing the endless sea (5.6 km from Hanga Roa, the island's only town), the hotel provides the ideal base to explore this incredible destination. Fly from either Santiago, Chile or Tahiti (Papeete) and you will be greeted by explora staff who will whisk you away to this stunning spot. The island's native volcanic rock was used in the hotel's construction. Thirty guest rooms spiral out from the central areas that house reception, the bar, and dining areas. Adjacent to the lounge, Casa de Baños Hare Vai boasts a pool, massage salon and open-air Jacuzzis.


Destination: Montenegro and Amanresorts’ Restoration of Sveti Stefan Island


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanresorts Sveti Stefan islandThere's been lots of buzz about "the next Croatia": the small, sun-soaked country wedged between Bosnia and Albania on the Adriatic coast. Montenegro is one of those jewels that tops 2008's hotlist of the "next destinations." In fact, Amanresorts is currently pumping millions into the restoration of the resort island, Sveti Stefan, a former haunt of movie stars which will soon open as an exclusive private-island resort. Dating from the 15th century, the island's picturesque dwellings and cobblestoned streets are encircled by golden crescent-shaped beaches. Sveti Stefan is in fact connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus (pictured). Formerly a glamorous hideaway for all sorts of A-listers, the island fell into decline during the 1990s. But now Montenegro is on the tourist map once again and Amanresorts luxury playground will soon begin wooing well-heeled travelers to its magical shores.


February is Romance Month at Cambridge Beaches


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cambridge BeachesBermuda's classic resort is also one of the most romantic hide-outs in the world. Last year's February relationship menu was such a hit-- private island fine dining, romantic movies by candlelight, cooking classes-- that Cambridge Beaches is again hosting a series of weekend events during the month of February to rekindle the romance. With its 30 acres of private beaches and gardens, the resort alone is a dream come true for couples seeking a little r 'n r. But couples can also look forward to interactive classes led by Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a renowned relationship expert who has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and in the New York Times, about how the five senses hold the keys to an improved love life. February's "Come to Your Senses" events will allow couples to explore the five senses-- sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste-- with couples massages, dance, cocktail creating, and more.


The World’s Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Presidential Suite at the Martinez, Cannes


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Martinez SuiteThe French Riviera's glamorous Art Deco palace is home to one of priciest suites in the world. Overlooking the largest private beach on the Croisette, the Hotel Martinez lures the rich and famous seeking the fanciest digs in the South of France. The room of choice? The Presidential Suite, with its incredible panoramic views of the Bay of Cannes from wrap-around teakwood decks and sunken Jacuzzis. Rumor has it that the price tag is EUR 18,000- EUR 32,000 per night. The 8,000 square foot pad includes two sitting rooms, two dining rooms, four bedrooms, kitchen, hammam and sauna-- not to mention a plethora of high-tech accoutrements and the private butler on call 24 hours a day. But it's really the terrace-- arguably the most fabulous on the Cote d'Azur-- that has movie moguls coming back for more each year during the Cannes Film Festival.

Photo Via Guardian UK


Winter Warm Up in Miami at The Conrad


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad MiamiWinter blues got you down? Take a weekend trip to Miami, where the luxurious amenities of the Conrad await: dazzling contemporary guest rooms with all the latest technology, tennis courts and hot tub surrounding the rooftop pool, the Spa Conrad with breathtaking views from the 24th floor, and the Sky Lobby overlooking Biscayne Bay and the city's glittering nightlife... Located in an innovative building of concave glass and steel in the heart of Miami's financial district, the Conrad Miami provides quick and easy access to South Beach, Coconut Grove, and Key Biscayne. Improve your swing this winter with the "Winter Warm Up" package, which includes two nights accommodation, decadent daily breakfast, one round of golf at the stunning 18-hole Crandon Golf course in Key Biscayne, complimentary transportation to and from the golf course and a 50 percent discount on purchases and rentals from the pro shop. Also included in the package are two 60-minute wellness treatments of your choice at the new Spa Chakra, a complimentary rejuvenating foot bath upon arrival at the spa and the luxury of a late 3 p.m. check-out. Starting from $549 per room, per night.


Naladhu: Your Own Private Isle in the Maldives


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Naladhu, MaldivesWelcome to paradise. The dream of your own sublime island retreat is realized on Naladhu, the palm-fringed private island in the Maldives. Unsurpassed luxury and expansive private spaces are yours on this blissful atoll surrounded by the turquoise sea. Since its opening in March, Naladhu Maldives has been named one of the world's hottest new resorts by Conde Nast Traveler (2007 Hot List). With only 19 secluded villas designed by Bangkok-based designer Julian Coombs, the resort offers the ultimate in seclusion. Plunge into your private infinity pool, soak up the sun on your teakwood deck, swim and scuba-dive in the surrounding pristine waters... The choice is yours at Naladhu. The villas sport beautiful free-flowing spaces: spacious bedrooms and dressing rooms, open-air baths, steam rooms and garden rainshowers, and private gardens with your own dining sala. The best part of all? Your own House Master, a personal butler who attends to your every need and indulges your every whim. Rates start at $2,000 a night.


Stay Another Day in Paradise: Fourth Night Free at Maroma Resort, Riviera Maya


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maroma Resort and SpaEscape from the busy holiday season and plan the perfect beach vacation in paradise. Destination: Sun and Sand-- where you can dip your toes in the warm Caribbean, recharge in an otherworldly spa, laze on the picture-perfect white beach, and try your hand at numerous water sports. At the elegant Maroma Resort and Spa, guests are spoiled with fab inclusive amenities like daily breakfast, a welcome cocktail, and snorkeling trip to the extensive coral reefs just offshore. Surrounded by a 200-acre nature preserve on the Yucatan Peninsula just south of Cancun, this secluded hideaway serves up the best kind of barefoot luxury. Choose the "Stay Another Day" package and you can stay for four nights, but only pay for three.


The Latest Cutting-Edge Services from Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Los Cabos


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las Ventanas al ParaisoLas Ventanas al Paraiso, Rosewood's world-renowned resort in Los Cabos, has been leading the pack when it comes to personalized service and fabulous amenities. Where else can you find a post-dinner Bath Menu? Private beach dining by the glow of a warming bonfire? A pet's luxury program with special menus and pampering massages for your furry friend? Enhanced poolside service that includes sunglasses cleaning? By far the finest resort on the peninsula of Baja California, if not the continent, Las Ventanas al Paraiso has recently introduced an olive oil tasting menu showcasing oils from Valle de Guadalupe. Guests will delight in dishes like Panela cheese with hot chili fougasse bread (La Cetto Vineyard oil), beef and organic vegetable stew (Misión Porvenir oil), and homemade linguini with red snapper (Adobe Guadalupe Vineyard oil). There's even a dessert with olive oil ice cream.


Final Days for Free Nights at Fairmont Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont ChicagoBook a stay at a participating Fairmont Hotel by December 31, 2007, and you'll get the third night free with Only One Way Winter rates. Or you can earn double airline miles with the Only One Way Winter rate until April 15, 2008. Hurry, now's your chance to get the best of winter with memorable experiences, fabulous rates (starting from $189 in D.C.!) and free third nights in Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Santa Monica, and Newport Beach.