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.

Surf’s Up in San Diego, Music in Nashville: Teen Edu-cation Packages with Loews Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

NashvilleTraveling with a troubled teen? Parents will be thrilled about exclusive packages from Loews Hotels combining vacation time with educational experiences. Designed to please the tricky adolescent set, these one- and two-night packages are both fun and instructional. Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville offers a "Music and Lyrics by Loews" package that's perfect for the budding music star. Your teen(s) will enjoy a song-writing session with award-winning songwriter, Thom Shepherd, a one-hour guitar lesson, plus a voucher for an acoustic guitar. The whole fam can attend a performance at the famed Bluebird Café, where Garth Brooks, Kathy Mattea and Vince Gill got their starts. Priced at $1,200, the package includes luxurious accommodations for up to two adults and two teens.

Les ados also get psyched about "My Super Suite Vacation" at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, where they get private surfing lessons on INT surfboards custom-designed for each teen to take home. (Followed by spa treatments in the resort's Teen Spa Room, no joke.) Or perhaps your teen is already on their way to Wall Street? Loews Regency Hotel in New York offers "Inside Financial Markets" to provide the inside scoop on this exciting, complex industry. Priced at $900, the one-night package includes Power Breakfast for two, with rotating speakers from the financial world, viewing of the Nasdaq Opening Bell and tour of NASDAQ's Marketsite, photo of the teen's image on the Nasdaq Tower, and a special turn-down amenity. Or head to South Beach to learn the secrets of party-planning! The two-night "Culinary Arts Experience" at Loews Miami Beach Hotel includes a one-on-one South Beach exclusive "food arts" lesson with Barton G. Wiess, dining experience for teen and parents at the Barton G. Restaurant, and a customized apron personalized by Barton.


Celebrate the 10th Anniversary with 1998 Rates at Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gran Hotel Son NetMallorca's exquisite 5-star Gran Hotel Son Net is commemorating its 10th anniversary with a special offer: Guests can book rooms at the original 1998 rates during the month of October 2008, the 10th month of the 10th year. You can even score special rates-- guaranteed dollar prices-- at the newly opened Grand Suite Villas. All guests will also receive a complimentary bottle of Mallorcan wine during their October stay. But hurry, the hotel is bound to fill up fast! Situated in the rugged Tramuntana mountains just 15 minutes from Palma, this 31-room boutique hotel is housed in a farmhouse dating from the 17th century surrounded by olive groves and orange trees. Dine poolside or at the gourmet Oleum Restaurant, lounge in a private cabana by the beautiful pool, or indulge in a beauty treatment at the Zen Zone center. Rates starting from $300.


Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the ShangriLa Barr Al Jissah ResortShangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort in Muscat, is much like Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah Resort in that it is comprised of three distinct hotels. At Barr Al Jissah, travelers can choose to stay at the Al Waha, Al Bandar, or Al Husn depending on their rooming needs. The complex is set on 124 acres, providing excellent views of both the desert and the sea, and only 15 minutes drive from Muscat's city center.

Al Waha, or "The Oasis", is family friendly and has several swimming pools surrounded by date palm trees. Located at the base of a mountain range, a tunnel was created to allow visitor access by car. There are 262 guestrooms in Al Waha, with room sizes starting at 37 square meters. All rooms have a balcony or patio, and most importantly, all are sea-facing.

The central point of the resort is Al Bandar, or "The Town", a hotel that features eight restaurants and cafes, 11 meeting rooms, and the Barr Al Jissah Ballroom. This hotel was inspired by old Muscat and looks as though it was composed from several different buildings, of different heights and styles. Al Bandar has 198 sea-facing guestrooms, with their starting room categories being a little larger than Al Waha's at 45 square meters. The guestrooms at Al Bandar are also sea-facing and have balconies or terraces.

Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the ShangriLa Barr Al Jissah ResortAl Husn, "The Castle", is known as being the most exclusive of all the properties. All rooms and suites have direct views of the Gulf of Oman, and access to the secluded Mahhara Beach and Beach Bar are reserved only for guests at Al Husn. The 180 guest rooms are the largest, not to mention the most luxurious, in all of Oman. Complimentary in-room high speed internet access, Ipods, and DVD entertainment systems are available to guests at Al Husn. If you choose to reserve on of their suites, you will be able to enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail and canapés service as well.

Good luck trying to pick just one! No matter which one you choose, all Five Star Alliance guests visiting the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort will receive a complimentary upgrade to next room category upon check-in, subject to availability.


Langham Place Eco Resort, Krabi: Tempting Offer in Thailand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place Eco Resort, KrabiExperience the pinnacle of luxury for a song. The Langham Place Eco Resort and Spa, the new eco-friendly hideaway on the small island of Koh Lanta off the southwest coast of mainland Thailand, has a special package for just $185 per night including transfers, a bountiful breakfast, daily fresh fruit basket in-room, and complimentary late check-out at 4 p.m. Play some tennis, hit the gym, enjoy the use of the non-motorized water sports equipment and the movie house and music room-- all included. The three-night "Buy Me" Package is priced from Baht 6,000 ($185) and is available until October 31, 2008.

P.S. The pix will make you pine for paradise-- soft sand, crystal clear water, dramatic infinity-edge pools with uninterrupted views to the Andaman Sea. And the accommodations, infused with authentic Thai style, are equally as inspiring.


Family Fun with Starwood Hotels and Resorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass ResortSo you're looking for some family bonding time, a weekend getaway, family vacation, something unique and memorable... Starwood Hotels to the rescue. The company has just announced "Love Your Family"-- a new, family-friendly program designed for both kids and adults alike. After lots of customer research, Starwood's come up with a program they feel caters to the whole family. The three signature experiences-- Fireside Storytelling (s'mores included), Stargazing, and Dive-In Movies (watch a family film from the pool)-- can now be found in 29 resort locations in the U.S. and the Caribbean under the Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection labels. Other "Love your Family" services? Connecting rooms, food and bev discounts, counselor-led kids nights, all coordinated by the resort's "Director of Fun."


Snorkel the Florida Keys, Tour the Everglades, Swim with Dolphins: Insider Experiences from the InterContinental Miami


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental MiamiReasons to love the InterContinental Miami:

*The brand new MY SPA offering indulgent and innovative treatments

*Richly-appointed accommodations with breathtaking views over Biscayne Bay and the city skyline

*State-of-the-art fitness center and heated outdoor pool

*66,000 square feet of meeting space, including 30 meeting rooms

But the best part of all? Exclusive Insider Experiences created by the InterContinental Miami's expert concierges to help you take advantage of this exciting tropical playground. These destination vacation packages include "Key West Express," "18 Holes of Golf," "Luxury Car Rental," "South Beach Snorkeling," "Tour the Everglades," and "Swim with our Dolphins."

If you choose the "Swim with Our Dolphins" package (referred to as "Insider Culture 2" when booking your res), you'll get to enjoy deluxe accommodations and a two-hour program that offers an insightful look at dolphin behavior up close. You can even slip on a wetsuit and follow trainers into the water for one-on-one interaction with a dolphin! The "South Beach Snorkeling" package (choose "Insider City 2" when booking) includes a diving excursion to Key Largo's world-renowned John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary. When you pick the "Tour the Everglades" Miami Florida Vacation Package, you'll experience an airboat ride through the largest remaining swampland in the world. See alligators, turtles, rare birds, and all other sorts of plant and animal life in the largest remaining natural subtropical wilderness in North America. Choose "Insider Culture 1" when booking.


Special Low Rates and Guaranteed Dollar Deals in Nice, France at Hotel La Perouse


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel La PerouseWe've just uncovered some unbelievably low rates at La Perouse, the elegant hotel situated just a stroll from Old Nice. At the end of April, bask on the sunny French Riviera while relishing room rates at just EUR 132 per night. At La Perouse, there is also the possibility of booking a summer stay (high season in the south of France) for a guaranteed dollar rate starting from $340 per night in a Standard Room. Though the rate is fully pre-paid and non-refundable, this is a great deal at this beautiful hotel when rooms on the French Riviera are hard to come by. Dine on tasty Provençal cuisine on the terrace under the lemon trees. Here's a sampler to tempt the taste buds: Escallops of duck foie gras pan fried with a honey sauce, Large pan fried Mediterranean prawns in a Provençal vinaigrette, Lamb chops grilled and served with pesto and polenta, Delicate tart of pears cooked in thyme served warm with caramel ice cream. Brimming with Provençal charm, La Perouse boasts magnificent views of the glittering Baie des Anges. There are pretty flowered terraces with sea views, gardens, and an outdoor pool. Plus, we love us some free Wifi. Book with Five Star Alliance and you'll get complimentary in-room continental breakfast.


Celebrate the Season with Seductive Offers at Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cambridge BeachesLooking for the ultimate destination for a sophisticated spring fling? Think Bermuda-- where pink sand beaches and sparkling azure waters entice romance-seekers to the island's classic resort, Cambridge Beaches. The luxury resort offers the best of Bermuda-- from private beach dinners to snorkeling jaunts by catamaran. And now you can enjoy a fifth night free at this world-class cottage colony resort. With the "Revive in Five" package, you can stay for 5 nights and only pay for 4. Book anytime until May 12, 2008 for travel between now and May 21, 2008. Or take advantage of a special offer from the Bermuda Tourism Department and score a $300 air credit. (Travel before April 30, 2008.)


Hot Eats in South Florida: Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina at Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Turnberry Isle ResortAfter an $100 million resort transformation, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club is dazzling South Florida. Conveniently located between the two major international airports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the resort offers 392 newly-renovation oversized rooms, two brand-new golf courses, a newly-redesigned spa, a new tennis facility, and a lagoon-style pool. But the best part of all? Michael Mina, the legendary restaurateur and winner of two distinct James Beard awards, is bringing his contemporary American steakhouse to South Florida. Bourbon Steak is now accepting reservations. Discover Michael's Classics like the Maine Lobster Pot Pie, Tapioca-Crusted Yellowtail Snapper, Olive-Oil Poached Aspen Valley Rack of Lamb, and fabulous all-natural raised Angus beef (and American Kobe beef) from the wood-fired grill.


Relax, Relieve, Rejuvenate with the Aleenta Spa Detox Retreat


By: Madelyn Giblin

Relax Relieve Rejuvenate with the Aleenta Spa Detox RetreatShed all your worries and problems at the refreshing Aleenta Spa Detox Retreat. Enjoy the retreat's rejuvenating menu of organic fruits and vegetables, low fat meals and natural juices, all designed to get your body back in sync with your life, and leave you feeling refreshed and energized. The spa offers personalized treatments and relaxing activities to renew your body and your mind. Located in Hua Hin - Pranburi & Phuket - Phangnga, the award winning Aleenta Resorts and Spas are the perfect way to recapture your inner balance.