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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.

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.


Escape the Winter Blues at Half Moon, Jamaica and Get Resort Credit


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon, JamaicaHalf Moon has been delivering the picture-perfect vacation for over fifty years. And recently, Half Moon has been the talk of the Caribbean with the opening of its dreamy Fern Tree Spa. Celebrate the good life in a magical setting: sandy crescent beaches dotted with palms, white washed cottages surrounded by fragrant gardens. Stretching across 400 lushly landscaped acres, the resort boasts top-notch facilities: a championship, 72-par Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, 18-hole putting green, 13-lit tennis courts, a full range of water sports, an exclusive natural Dolphin Lagoon, six gourmet restaurants and over half a dozen informal snack bars, and shopping village.

Book the Winter Escape package and receive big-time resort credit: $1,000 resort credit for a 5-bedroom villa, $1,200 for a 6-bedroom villa and $1,400 for a 7-bedroom villa to be used at restaurants, activities and other services at the resort. The package includes daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfers. The villas offer a grand home away from home for your friends and family-- with a personal staff of a butler, housekeeper and a cook, private pool, 2 golf carts, and all the amenities of a luxury resort. The Winter Escape package is also available for guests staying in any of Half Moon's 201 hotel rooms and suites and offers $200 in resort credit. 5-night minimum stay required. Valid for stays January 5- April 15, 2008 with blackout dates Feb. 14- 22, 2008.


The Caribbean’s Longest Bar: Wow Factors at Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grace Bay Club, Infiniti BarAfter some big time renovations in September 2007, Grace Bay Club has emerged as one of the finest resorts on the scene in the hopping destination of Turks and Caicos. What's new in terms of luxury amenities? Anani Spa Tents (manicures, pedicures and massage therapy just steps from the lapping sea), 100 chic new day beds (think chilled sorbet, fresh fruit and traditional beach service by the pool), a kid's treehouse, chic new beachfront interiors at the celebrated gourmet eatery Anancaona, and as reported in the NYT this weekend, the Infiniti Bar, the Caribbean's longest. Stretching 90 feet across the Grace Bay Club beach, the bar is constructed of black marble, creating the illusion that the entire structure is floating above the sand and extending indefinitely into the Caribbean Sea. Dine under shaded umbrellas with the waves at your feet. Inside, baccarat black glass chandeliers decorate the ceiling and the walls glow in blue and gold Bisazza glass tiles.

Image Via NYT


The Four Seasons Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu


By: Courtney W. May

Set on the exclusive Kona-Kohala Coast, the Four Seasons is a magical, tropical oasis that captures the essence of Hawaii's golden age. It offers seclusion without isolation, complemented by an award-winning sports club and spa and a private Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Experience an oasis of beachfront and golf club bungalows that captures the essence of Hawaii's golden age. Play the Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf course. Dine beside the rolling surf. Snorkel among 3,500 fish. Surrender to massage in fragrant gardens. Be inspired to live each moment to the fullest.


Tides Hotels Partners with Oceana Conservancy Group to Protect Oceans


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides ZihuatanejoIn a quest to help "turn the tides," the Tides brand of chic, luxury hotels has partnered with Oceana, the largest international organization focused on protecting the world's oceans. Considering that all Tides hotels and resorts (like the fabulous hotspots in South Beach, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Zihuatanejo) are set in pristine coastal settings, this is a match made in heaven. Beginning January 1, 2008, guests can book Oceana room rates at all Tides locations through the dedicated Web site, helpturnthetides.com, and a portion of the room rate will be donated to Oceana to help fund ongoing efforts (protecting essential ocean habitat such as coral reefs, reducing pollution, eliminating government subsidies worldwide that promote over-fishing). To celebrate the partnership, the newly-revamped Tides South Beach is hosting a New Year's Eve Soiree to honor Oceana. The five-course dinner will include sustainable seafood selections such as Alaskan sablefish and Maine lobster, and Chef Pietro Rota of The Tides South Beach's highly acclaimed La Marea restaurant will welcome special guests, high-profile activists and Oceana donors to enjoy an unforgettable evening.


What’s Hot: Mondrian South Beach


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mondrian South BeachWe've been waiting with bated breath, and now the opening date is just around the corner. Come May 2008, you can get your Spring Break groove on at the Mondrian South Beach, the first project by Morgans Hotel Group to include residences. We've gushed about the nearby Delano, and the Mondrian promises to be just as cool:

Around the pools, gardens and bay, Mondrian South Beach makes playful use of space with multiple outdoor living areas. A large swimming pool is adorned with an oversized custom lamp by plunge pools, a pool bar and cabanas for private rental, and surrounded by lush gardens hung with hammocks and landscaped into a labyrinthine trail with lounge areas, secret pathways and "kissing corners."

Located on the west side of Miami Beach, the hotel will offer jet skis and water sports on Biscayne Bay. As to be expected from a top-notch interior designer (Marcel Wanders was named "Designer of the Year" by Elle), the lobby will showcase an "exuberant style with oversized furniture and motifs inspired by fairy tales." From the second level terrace, guests can take in some incredible sunset views. There will be a five-star restaurant, fully-equipped gym, and spa. For more pics, check out Hotelchatter's exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage.

Photo Via NYT


Extraordinary Rates for a December Golf Date at Sea Island, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sea Islands GeorgiaLooking for a quick getaway? Escape the busy holiday season for a last-minute retreat at Georgia's exclusive Sea Islands, where championship golf, elegant dining, and charming Southern hospitality will restore your body and mind. Act fast! This last-minute offer is available until December 16, 2007. Starting from just $395 per night, enjoy luxury accommodations at The Cloister or The Lodge plus one round of green fees, cart, forecaddie, and range balls per person, per night. (Based on availability during these dates only. Play on Seaside incurs a $50 surcharge. Forecaddie gratuity is additional.)


Viceroy Anguilla: Spring Escape in the Caribbean


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Viceroy AnguillaForget St. Barts. Head to Anguilla, the jewel of the British West Indies, where laid-back luxury and a "magnificent island lifestyle" will be celebrated at the brand new Viceroy Anguilla. The Caribbean island was recently picked by the NYT as one of "53 places to go in 2008" and the latest offering from the Kor Hotel Group's Viceroy brand is a major reason why. Nestled on 35 acres of exclusive beachfront, the resort promises every possible pleasure with incomparable amenities: a world-class spa village, fine dining, elite concierge services, and a wealth of recreational amenities including tennis courts, infinity-edge pools, resort boats service, and Kids Club. This Spring 2008, discover "where the sublime meets the sea."


Lenny Kravitz and Morgans Hotel Group Open The Florida Room at The Delano


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Delano, Miami BeachOne of the most exciting things to come out of Art Basel Miami Beach (the prestigious art show closed yesterday) was the launch of The Florida Room at the legendary Delano Hotel. The media's abuzz about the new lounge on the Miami scene. What's the big deal exactly? Lenny Kravitz designed it! That's right-- the NY-based Kravitz Design Inc. teamed up with Morgans Hotel Group to create The Florida Room. Billed as a "modern day speakeasy," the sophisticated subterranean space features live musical performances nightly, with internationally-renowned DJs taking over the late night hours. Latin-inspired specialty cocktails include a fresh Raspberry Mojito and The Florida Room Punch. Hipsters sit back and enjoy the smoked bronze mirrored ceilings, crystal chandeliers by Swarovski, and grand piano that's a replica of Kravitz's own. To quote Kravitz from the official press release:

"My aunt had a place in her house where everyone played, hung out, listened to music and where all the fun was had, called the Florida room," said Lenny Kravitz. "We decided to create a space with this theme in mind but that also had the feeling of the old piano lounges in the resorts back in the 50's in Florida, Cuba and New York City. I love the rich musical history of Miami Beach. The Beatles, James Brown and Frank Sinatra all spent time here. We see the Delano as having this same kind of rich history and also took cues from this to envision the place I always wanted at the beach, but hasn't existed here in a long time."