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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.

What’s Hot: Angsana Resort and Spa Ihuru Maldives

November 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Angsana Maldives

The best kept secret of the Indian Ocean-- the 26 atolls and 1,190 tropical islands of the Maldives-- has become one of the hottest destinations on the planet. Rated the number one islands in the world by the Conde Nast Traveler 19th annual Reader's Choice Awards, the Maldives are a natural wonder with unparalleled biodiversity (over 900 species of fish) and some of the most breathtaking dive sites in the world. Located on one of the most picturesque islands of the Maldives (lush and beautiful Ihuru), the Angsana Resort is surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty: pristine reefs, palm-dotted beaches, and turquoise waters. The island is encircled by a shallow lagoon and technicolor reef, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Angsana Resort and Spa Ihuru offers the hedonistic pleasures of a spa retreat and the perfect holiday paradise. The 45 private villas feature thatched roofs, private gardens and verandas with dining and sitting areas. The resort has recently revamped its spa offerings with an extensive list of treatments, including Asian Spa therapies and special men's treatments. The new highlights include Duet, tailored for couples to enjoy together (the spa experience begins with a Tropical Fruit Wash for him and an Almond Milk Aglow body polish for her, followed by body massages and the Milk Orange Bath), Soothing Sun Relief (which includes Cucumber Soother and a calming facial soother), and Ayurvedic Delights.

PS. Noteworthy: The Angsana Resort and Spa has won awards for its environmentally friendly focus, including several outstanding marine biology research initiatives.


Caribbean Christmas Availability: Anse Chastanet Resort, St. Lucia

November 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anse Chastanet Resort

Most luxury resorts in the Caribbean have been booked solid for months. But there are still a few rooms available at the gorgeous romantic hideaway of Anse Chastenet, located in the lush mountain paradise of St. Lucia. With 600 acres of tropical foliage, the soaring peaks of Petit Pitons, and extraordinary beaches, this is paradise on earth. And these days, St. Lucia is the new Turks and Caicos (according to the NYT, anyway), with swank hotels situated on perfect sandy stretches of coastline. The Anse Chastanet Resort offers the renowned SSI Platinum Pro/PADI dive facility, beautiful rooms (some boast luxurious "showers with a view"), art gallery, panoramic dining, the beachside Kai Belté spa, and activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, sunset sailing, jungle biking, "kool kayaking" or a nature walk among the ruins of a colonial plantation. The Tropical Tranquility Package includes includes seven nights of accommodations, breakfast and dinner, two spa treatments per person, a sunset celebration with champagne and appetizers in-room, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and more. Rates start from $4,288 per couple, until December 31, 2006. But hurry! There are only a few rooms left for the holidays. (One beachside deluxe room from December 22-January 3, One Beachside Deluxe Room until December 28, Two Hillside Deluxe rooms with check-out December 27, One two-bedroom suite until December 26, Two Superior rooms with check-out December 28.)


Buzzworthy: Fasano Hotel, Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro

November 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rio de Janeiro

The legendary Fasano Hotel of São Paulo-- site of one of the best Italian restaurants in the world-- is coming to Rio de Janeiro. Destined to wow both trendsetting locals and savvy travelers alike, the elegant new hotel will be situated in the heart of Ipanema Beach. Rogerio Fasano commissioned Philippe Starck in its design, which exudes understated sophistication, with decor from the 1950's and 60's. From the rooftop (guests only), the views are absolutely spectacular. In addition to the happening Lobby Lounge, Londra, the hotel features the Fasano Al Mare, Rogerio Fasano's gastronomic restaurant (serving traditional Italian seafood), beautiful pool, fitness center, sauna, massage and coffee shop for light meals.

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Christmas at The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

November 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Sanctuary

Kiawah Island Resort, outside Charleston, South Carolina, is oft considered the best golf and tennis resort in the United States. Kiawah debuted its luxury hotel, The Sanctuary, in recent years and the hotel has quickly gained a loyal following of distinguished guests. Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report named it "Best New Resort Hotel" for its personalized service, extraordinary accommodations, and luxurious facilities. The crown jewel of a special resort island, The Sanctuary is easily the finest oceanfront hotel to open on the East Coast in the past 20 years. Celebrate the holiday season at The Sanctuary with month-long festivities, beginning with the tree lighting ceremony and including special breakfasts with Santa and the elves, afternoon teas and storytelling with Mrs. Claus, cookies and hot chocolate, local chef Gingerbread House competition, and holiday music filling the lobby as carolers sing old favorites. It's truly a magical experience for the whole family. The Christmas Eve Package, priced at $485 per room, includes accommodations (Ocean View), full buffet breakfast for two, Christmas Eve Dinner for two at Jasmine Porch or Turtle Point, and a keepsake Sanctuary Christmas Ornament. The Christmas Feast Package, priced at $620 per room, includes a lavish Christmas Eve dinner for two at The Ocean Room, and a Christmas Day Buffet for two at Jasmine Porch.


Coming Soon: Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay

November 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica

Set to open in Winter 2006/2007, the Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica takes "all-inclusive" (the concept that the Bahia Principe hotels helped pioneer) to another level. This Jamaican playground promises a frolicking, rollicking, rip-roaring good time. We're talking meals, snacks, drinks, and cocktails available 24 hours a day, along with towel, parasol and hammock service at the beach and pool. The Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica is a funland of remarkably comprehensive facilities: six restaurants, five bars, four lake-type swimming pools, kids clubs, shopping center, wedding gazebo, large solariums, amphitheater for night shows, tennis courts, gym, spa, social lounges, and 757 guest rooms (all Junior Suites). If you want your very own exclusive "zone," head to Club Golden Principe, a private club with separate, lavish facilities. Warning: you must wear a different-colored identification bracelet on the premises.


The Surf Concierge at Four Seasons Resort Aviara, San Diego

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Aviara

Surf's up. Welcome to San Diego, where it's always sunny and seventy degrees, and the leading luxury resort-- the AAA five diamond Four Seasons Aviara-- has a surf concierge. That's right. This concierge dude hangs out in a poolside surf shack and relays the latest wave conditions and ocean temperature to interested guests. A Surf Shuttle departs from the resort daily at 10:30 am to transport guests to Moonlight Beach, one of San Diego's top surf spots, where lessons are held. The surf concierge-turned-instructor gives personalized two-hour lessons, which includes wetsuit and board. (Never fear: s/he's a professional, and life-guard-certified.) The ultimate goal of the surf concierge: help you catch your first wave.


Announcing The Resort at Singer Island, Florida

November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Resort at Singer Island

Palm Beach County's newest luxury resort, smack on the oceanfront on Florida's Gold Coast, is a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection. The 239 elegant suites are mammoth, ranging in size from 800-2,100 sq ft, outfitted with high tech kitchens, marble baths, and modern decor. And then there's the view. From the expansive suite terraces, guests can take in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Resort facilities include an 8,500 sq ft spa, two swimming pools, beach and pool cabanas, luxury collection kids club, and exquisite dining. (There's even a temperature-controlled wine room available to store private wine collections.) And of course butler service, valet attendants, and a full-time concierge will dote on guests' every need. Now accepting reservations for arrival on or after February 1, 2007. PS. It's totally smoke-free.


Hotel Bora Bora: Pacific Paradise

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bora Bora

Overwater bungalows perched over a turquoise lagoon beneath the lush green volcanic peaks of Mount Otemanu. Palm-fringed gardens. Endless stretches of white sand beach. An offshore coral reef, 25 miles long, which hosts a variety of colorful marine life. Welcome to paradise. Hotel Bora Bora is a picture-perfect vacation destination, a luxurious boutique hotel with 54 Polynesian-style bungalows and fares amidst the tropical perfection of French Polynesia. Enjoy swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing, and deep-sea fishing. Bungalows are outfitted in rattan and bamboo, with Tasmanian oak floors, red-cedar walls, and ceilings of pandanus lashed to beams of Douglas fir. Some feature sundecks, private pools, and outside showers. Until March 31, 2007, take advantage of a special offer at Hotel Bora Bora which includes complimentary breakfast with a stay in a bungalow, plus a complimentary massage for two with a minimum five-night stay. Includes round-trip airport transfers. Starting from $700 in a bungalow.


Four Seasons Great Exuma at Emerald Bay, Bahamas: Golf and Spa Package

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Great Exuma

Escape to the secluded Exuma cays, a beautiful tropical oasis just a short flight from Florida. At the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, indulge in luxury while surrounded by crystal-clear Bahamian waters and silky sand beaches. Lounge poolside at the free-form Active Pool, amidst the lush landscaping, while attendants provide iced water, cold towels, and refreshing chilled spritz. Play a round of golf on the breathtaking championship 18-hole course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, or hit some tennis on one of six Hydro Har-Tru courts (all lit for night play). Or indulge in an indulgent spa treatment at the beautiful open-air spa, followed by relaxation in the tranquil spa garden. The Golf and Spa package at Four Seasons Great Exuma has been designed for couples to make the most of their vacation in paradise. For each night you stay, choose either a 50-minute spa treatment or one round of golf, for the perfect combination of recreation and pampering. Package includes luxurious accommodations and choice of one round of golf (inclusive of cart) and one 50-minute spa treatment (for up to two persons, per room, per night). Starting at $628 per night in a Garden View Room. Valid until December 16, 2006.


The New Beach House at the Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples, Florida

November 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz Carlton Beach House

The five-star, five-diamond Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples has got it all: seven different restaurants, world-class spa, pool and beach activities, golf, tennis, kids programs, and a wide selection of water sports. It's no wonder The Robb Report lists The Ritz-Carlton Naples as one of the "100 Best Places to Stay in 2006" (May 2006). But now there's another reason to check out the beachfront resort: the Beach House. Located on the pristine sand of the Gulf of Mexico, the $4.5 million beach house is a 3,000 sq ft, two-storey, multi-use facility for weddings, private dinners, business functions, or parties. (It can host 120 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 for cocktail receptions.) The Beach House sports mesquite hardwood floors, Caribbean wicker ceiling fans, plantation shutters, state-of-the-art technology, and a full service kitchen for on-site catering needs complete with black granite bar. And of course there are remarkable views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.