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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.

L’Atelier at Le Meridien Tahiti: The New Art Space in the South Pacific


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meridien Tahiti Get inspired with a trip to Paul Gauguin's favorite tropical islands, where the extraordinary light and colors continue to influence the canvases of visiting artists. Le Meridien Tahiti, a paradise of over-water bungalows and a perfect white sand beach, has opened a new onsite artists space called L'Atelier to feature works from contemporary artists from the Islands and around the world. Here, creative guests are invited to share an interactive experience with the exhibitions and the artists themselves. Situated near the resort's lagoon, L'Atelier hosts lectures, art workshops with artists in residence, and cocktail openings. Le Meridien Tahiti invites you to become a "creative guest" at L'Atelier, learning (or honing) artistic techniques and creating your own works. The Reveal Your Artistic Talent Package, available until December 15, 2007, includes buffet breakfast for two, room upgrade based on availability, two hour painting course per day for four days (two guests), and shuttle for two to Papeete to visit galleries. The fifth night is free, with a minimum four night stay in a Garden View room, and rates start at 31,080 XPF per night.


Beauty and the Beach at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Walk into the dramatic lobby-- a sparkling 5-storey glass atrium lined with 45-foot palm trees-- and take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The best family-friendly hotel in L.A., Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel offers elegance and comfort just a block from the beach. The 342 guest rooms are appointed with warm, inviting furnishings, sunken bathtubs, 300 thread-count linens, Bloom toiletries, the "Ultimate Doeskin" robe by Chadsworth & Haig, flat-screen TV, and CD player. Book a custom-designed luxury suite and you'll have a hard time tearing yourself away from the ocean views. Facilities are nothing short of fabulous. Hit the Fitness Center for a personalized consultation or Yoga class, dine poolside or on the outdoor patio next to the fire pit, indulge in a spa treatment. And families are thrilled to find out that they don't have to leave Fido behind on a trip to Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Pets are treated as pampered guests at Loews.


Maroma Resort, Yucatan, Mexico: Barefoot Luxury on the Riviera Maya


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maroma Resort The Caribbean coastline south of Cancun has become a favorite beachfront hideaway, brimming with luxury eco-resorts, fascinating Mayan ruins, and the happening nightlife in Playa del Carmen. The place to stay is Maroma resort, nestled in hundreds of acres of secluded jungle next to the soft sandy beaches and turquoise sea. In this luxurious haven, inclusive amenities are numerous-- like daily breakfast, welcome cocktail, and snorkeling trip to the extensive coral reefs just offshore. There's a beautiful spa, new restaurant, al fresco bar, pool and Jacuzzi. With the Stay Another Day in Paradise promotion, stay for four nights, but only pay for three. Rates start at $435 per night in a Garden Room. Valid until November 7, 2007.


Trump Discovers the Little Piece of Heaven Called Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sivory Punta Cana The cat's out of the bag about Punta Cana, the celebrity favorite hot spot in the Dominican Republic known for its white sand beaches edged by the crystal clear Caribbean sea. Located on the eastern-most tip of the DR, the region has been quietly edging out the other Caribbean destinations as the best beach bargain. Luxury boutique hotels-- like the fabulous, all-suite Sivory Punta Cana-- are now getting some competition. Recent growth has been staggering, with new hotels including the Golf Suites in Punta Cana, Agua Resort & Spa, and the Hotel Bavaro Real Arena and Hotel VIP Real Arena, two luxury properties to be launched by the Spanish NH Hoteles chain. That's more than 1,100 rooms to be added to the market in the next two years.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has joined the fray. His new development venture, the 30,000 acres called Cap Cana, will be one of the largest in the Caribbean. The $2 billion project will feature four luxury hotels, three Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, a mega yacht marina with 1,000 slips, and 5,000 residential units.

Related Articles:

Vagablond, "Fairway Play on Father’s Day: Punta Cana Resort & Club, Dominican Republic"

Announcing the Sivory Punta Canta in the Dominican Republic


Celebrate 07/07/07 in Style with Red Carnation Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Numerically perfect, and truly rare, dates like July 7th (07/07/07) only occur 12 times a century. So best to live it up and celebrate-- especially when the digit is the lucky number seven. Red Carnation Hotels has put together two fun packages at Summer Lodge in Dorset and The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. Take a Date with Destiny and enjoy a slew of "7" themed amenities: from a seven-course dinner to a seven minute helicopter ride to the beach... Get the deets after the jump.

At the award-winning Twelve Apostles, perched above the ocean at the foot of the dramatic Twelve Apostles mountain range, the "Three Lucky Sevens break" offers seven (you guessed it!) special amenities:

*7 scratch cards (so you can win back the price of your stay!)

*A tasting of 7 wines selected by Sommelier Luvo Ntezo

*A 7 course dinner in the Azure restaurant

*7 pm Movie screening of Casino Royale in the hotel's own cinema

*7 minute heli-flip to the V&A Waterfront

*7 hours free car hire

*75 minute Moya Crystal massage at the fabulous Sanctuary Spa, consistently ranked as one of the world's best

*Plus 70 minutes in the hydrotherapy pools, aroma sauna and floatation tank at the Sanctuary Spa

*Breakfast daily from 7 am

Before you check into your guest room (the number of which will end in a "7"), you'll be greeted with 007's favourite drink-- vodka martini, shaken not stirred. The price? A magical R7777 for two people sharing for two nights. You must arrive on Saturday, July 7th.

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, the charming boutique hotel in Evershot in Dorset, is likewise offering a weekly stay dedicated-- not to the "seven deadly sins" but to "septual healing." Book a visit for at least three nights including Saturday, July 7th, and you'll enjoy:

*A bouquet of 7 roses upon arrival

*7-item full English breakfast daily

*7-course dinner prepared by inspirational chef Steven Titman

*A tasting session of 7 wines selected by sommelier Eric Zwiebel, recently ranked fourth in World's Top Sommeliers category

*70 minutes of spa treatment

*DVD of your choice: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Se7en, or The Seven Samurai

*Seven Lucky 7 scratch cards per couple

*A room with a number seven in it, subject to availability

*A map outlining a comfortable 7 mile walk through the beautiful countryside

The price? GBP 777 per person for three nights.


Inside the Kitchen: Cooking Classes at Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Get busy inside the kitchen this summer at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, where the seasonal culinary series, Inside the Kitchen, showcases the best celeb chefs, cookbook authors, and sommeliers of the industry. Learn tempting recipes while indulging in some tasty dishes and fine wine. (Plus, the Ritz-Carlton even donates a portion of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels.) From June 1 through August 31, 2007, the AAA Five Diamond resort offers an array of themed weekends with cooking classes, dinners, and seminars.

The summer's instructors include Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake, Marcel Vigneron of Bravo's Top Chef, Jairemarie Pomo of The Hog Island Oyster Company, and Gayle Pirie and John Clark of Foreign Cinema. First up: Treasures of Asia: Far East to West on Friday, June 1 with Tim Luym of Poleng Lounge, named Rising Star Chef 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Next: High Style in Lowcountry on Saturday, June 9 with Kevin Johnson from Anson restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, described as the "the city's best example of high class Lowcountry cooking" by Wine Spectator.

Weekend package rates at the Ritz-Carlton start at $759 per night for one night accommodation and registration for two to any class.

Via DailyCandy


What a Hotel! Exclusively small …


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.

What a Hotel!

Helpful Hints: Exclusively small, Quintessentially helpful, Individual design ...

Maybe last week's 'contest' was a little too easy ... since part of the hotel's name was on the awning in the image, but to anyone who didn't guess correctly, Last Week's Hotel:
What a Hotel!

Hotel Plaza Athenee New York


Experience the Penthouse at Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grace Bay Club This year, Grace Bay Club emerged from a serious renovation: the 58-suite luxury boutique hotel has morphed into a world-class resort on 11 beachfront acres. With both an adults-only hotel and family-friend Villas, Grace Bay Club is the ideal Caribbean destination for both couples and families. (Adults and families each have their own swimming pools and Jacuzzis, dining venues, beachfront lounges, bars and beach.) The most prestigious address in the Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay Club offers a slew of activities and a lavish European spa. What will $20,800 get you at this destination resort? A premium Penthouse Luxury Package for four nights in an oceanfront three-bedroom Penthouse with fabulous amenities. Get the royal treatment with a personal chef and concierge throughout your stay, unlimited meals, and unlimited Anani Spa treatments. Also included: limo transfer from the airport, welcome fruit or rum punch with cold scented towel, champagne and fruit basket en suite upon arrival, daily continental breakfast in the restaurant, and signature Turquoise Daiquiri at sunset. Available until December 20, 2007.


The World’s Best New Hotels 2007


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bauer Il Palladio, Venice ...brought to you by the good folks at Travel and Leisure, who just published their "It List" of hot new hotel properties. Of the 25 chosen elite, the luxurious newbies include Trailblazers like Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece, a sparkling mass of twisting metal in the midst of the Rioja's celebrated vineyards, Beachcombers like Vietnam's gorgeous Nam Hai hotel, New Urbanists like the dazzling Mandarin Oriental in Prague, and Healers, like the swanky Bauer Il Palladio Hotel & Spa in Venice and our favorite Four Seasons Westlake Village, created in partnership with the California WellBeing Institute.


Mandarin Oriental’s Second Luxury Hotel in Macau, China


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental, Macau Move over, Wynn. Mandarin Oriental has plans for another property in Macau, the world's gaming capital. This means not one, but two, luxury hotels in the former Portuguese colony located just outside Hong Kong. Opening in 2009, the new Mandarin Oriental will be part of a luxurious, mixed-use complex (2.6 million square feet) on the waterfront with residences, upscale shopping, and dining. From here, the views are stunning. In the meantime, check into the existing Mandarin Oriental, Macau, the only resort hotel situated in the city center near the Jetfoil terminal. It's a cool mix of Asian and Portuguese styles, just like Macau itself.

Related Articles:

The World's Gambling Capital Shifts East: the Mad Macau Makeover

Fodors, 24 Hours in Macau

Globorati, Macau: Gambling on Gambling