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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.

Pre-Wedding Relaxation with Peter Island

March 24, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

from Brian Dye, Peter Island Resort and The Meridian Club

Peter Island Resort Spa Package

Our newest member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Brian Dye - who works with Peter Island Resort and The Meridian Club - both in the Carribean, brought to our attention information on the new package for marrieds-to-be. In the December 2005 Issue of The Informed Traveler Newsletter we wrote about the Peter Island Resorts Babymoon Package to help moms-and-dads-to-be relax. Now they are offering the ultimate pre-wedding celebration spa package for the bridal and groom parties before their big wedding day. And no, this isn't the honeymoon - this is before that. The package is designed for the bride and groom (and their closest friends) to enjoy an entire day of pampering, champagne, body treatments and facials. All while enjoying their own private outdoor seaside bohios (one for the groom's party and one for the bridal party), where they can enjoy unlimited views of the ocean and a luxurious suite entirely to themselves. It is being billed as a "one-of-a-kind 'Bohio-bonding, Pre-Wedding Relaxation Celebration'".

Enjoy more details after the jump.

Peter Island Offers Marrieds-To-Be The Ultimate Pre-Wedding Celebration Spa Package

This premium Bohio experience gives the bride and groom exclusive all-day access to their own outdoor, seaside Bohio spa suite, where they will enjoy spa pampering by the highly-trained staff, beautiful views of the ocean and complete privacy. Peter Island's Bohios were specifically designed for couples and small groups to enjoy the ultimate spa experience in a luxurious room that brings a little bit of the Caribbean inside while still maintaining the serenity of the ultimate spa experience. To that end, the rooms are equipped with floor-to-ceiling wooden doors that when open expose the suite to the gentle ocean breezes. Additionally, the Bohios feature 4-person hot tubs, chaise lounges, two massage tables each and Swiss showers for two. Guests can also sit outside on the patio and enjoy a lunch or a cocktail.

The "Bohio-bonding, Pre-wedding, Relaxation Celebration" experience starts at a rate of $450 per person and at a rate of $324 per person with the 20 percent discount. The package includes the following:

For the Bride's Group

An entire day at a luxurious seaside Bohio suite

A celebration bottle of champagne

One facial per person

One classic manicure per person

One classic pedicure per person

Lunch overlooking the ocean (one main course and one drink)

Unlimited use of the Jacuzzi, private swimming pool and steam room

For the Groom's Group

An entire day at a luxurious seaside Bohio suite

A celebration cooler with 12 bottles of beer per group

One facial per person

One classic manicure per person

One fresh coconut body rub per person

Lunch overlooking the ocean (one main course and one drink)

Unlimited use of the Jacuzzi, private swimming pool and steam room

As an added bonus for those thinking of booking a wedding at Peter Island, the resort is now offering a 20 percent discount on the Bohio-bonding add-on, for those who book a wedding now through December 31, 2006!

Peter Island Resort, Official Site

Peter Island Resort, Five Star Alliance

P.S. Check out the Peter Island Villas as well.


Romantic Honeymoons at the Banyan Tree Seychelles

March 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Seychelles

The ideal honeymoon vacation in luxurious privacy surrounded by the turquoise Indian Ocean, sugar white beaches, and lush tropical foliage. The Banyan Tree Seychelles is paradise on earth, its 47 pool villas offering spacious interiors, sprawling verandahs, open-air pavilions, private pool, Jacuzzi and steam room. Could you get any more romantic than this? Resort facilities include gourmet dining, ocean-view tennis court, water sports, infinity pool and gym, and world-class spa. And exquisite UNESCO World Heritage sites and national parks are close at hand, to be discovered and savored.

The resort has specially designed two honeymoon packages, valid until Jan 10, 2007. Romance in Seychelles is priced from EUR 990 per night per couple, with a minimum stay of three nights in a Hillside Pool Villa. This four-day package includes daily sumptuous Continental breakfasts, an in-villa dinner, a 90-min body massage for two, and an Intimate Moments romantic villa set-up. The Heavenly Honeymoon is priced at EUR 1015 per night per couple, with a minimum of four nights. The package includes an in-villa breakfast, a romantic moonlight dinner, an Intimate Moments set-up, special honeymoon gift, a chilled bottle of champagne and a choice of a two-hour Rejuvenation or a Renewal Spa Treatment per person.

Banyan Tree Seychelles, Official Site

Banyan Tree Seychelles, Five Star Alliance


Presidente InterContinental Cancun Resort Re-opens

March 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Presidente Intercontinental Cancun

After the tragic mess left by Hurricane Wilma, Cancun is slowly making a comeback. The Presidente Intercontinental Cancun Resort has recently reopened, with some profound improvements. They've renovated each guest room and suite, revamped the Club Floor, redesigned the lobby, enlarged the pool, added a new oceanfront bar with nightly live music, and added a new open air restaurant. Not to mention a wider (and whiter) beach. Actually, as the hotel explains:

due to its privileged location, added more than 15 feet of additional frontage to its spectacular private beach, one of the largest and most beautiful in Mexico and featured as one of the "World's Best Beaches" by the Travel Channel.

Forget the spring break hordes (they're all in Key West and Panama City, anyway); now's the time to head south of the border.


Vacation Planning Tips: New Year’s in the Caribbean

March 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanyara

It's not too late to start planning your New Year's Caribbean vacation. The expert travel agents at Five Star Alliance notice that the hot properties in the Carib, Mexico and Central America fill up absurdly fast. Try late Spring/early Summer fast. A trend that is repeated every year. So if you're thinking sunshine for you and your family over the holidays and New Year, especially for places like the Four Seasons Guanacaste in Costa Rica or Peter Island or Amanyara (Turks and Caicos) or anything St. Bart's-- act fast.


Announcing the New Barcelo Karmina Palace Hotel, Manzanillo, Mexico

March 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Barcelo Karmina Palace Hotel

Palma de Mallorca-based Barcelo Hotels and Resorts recently acquired the five-star Karmina Palace Hotel along Mexico's Pacific Coast near Manzanillo. The 324 all-suite, all-inclusive resort has long been known as a world-class, premium destination, and the new Barcelo management will surely only enhance that reputation. (Barcelo operates 10 luxury properties throughout Mexico.) This baby-- for which they shelled out $48.2 million-- is rated AAA Four Diamond and offers an 18-hole golf course, swanky accommodations, three restaurants and four bars, eight swimming pools with waterfalls, children's club, fitness center and spa, and a theater. The Barcelo Karmina Palace Hotel is uber-family-friendly, and superior service is not abandoned with the convenience of the all-inclusive plan.


What’s Up with the Hotel Building Boom in Bulgaria?

March 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bulgaria Hotel

Change is afoot in the Eastern Europe outpost of Bulgaria. Its 20th century history was marked by the power struggle between paternalistic Russia and wary western Europe (which sought to break up the Russian stronghold and thus carved away Macedonia to the Balkans), but the country is now slated for entry into the European Union in 2007. And as the Financial Times reports, the Black Sea coastal beaches have recently become prime real estate for investors:

The Moscow government has already invested in this area of Bulgaria's coast, with plans to build two five-star hotels on a promontory enclosing the south side of the beach. And more buyers – institutions and individuals from Russia, the UK, Ireland, Spain and France – are circling, eager to get in on Europe's latest emerging market property boom.

Investment in upscale development is good news for Bulgaria's economy, and in addition, the government has realized the importance of legislation protecting the coast: banning high-rise buildings, creating new zoning regulations, and setting aside green space. Looks like Bulgaria is on the path to becoming Europe's new second home hot spot.


Spring Escapes at Mexico’s Ultimate Pacific Hideaway: Las Alamandas

March 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las Alamandas

Seriously, this is the hideaway. According to Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, anyway. Las Amandas was recently voted a "2006 Hideaway of the Year," and is the frequent haunt and luxurious retreat for celebrities galore. Halfway between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast, the 70-acre resort is set in a lush ecological reserve chock full of exotic flowering plants, pristine beaches and lagoons. Its 14 suites and six villas-- beautifully designed with Mexican artifacts and antiques-- are linked by yellow mosaic-lined walkways winding through graceful gardens. Most are equipped with private terraces and verandahs. For a limited time this spring, get four nights for the price of three! The "Spring Escape" includes a welcome cocktail upon arrival, a fruit platter and flowers in suite, daily Continental breakfast and a romantic candlelit dinner for two on the beach. Unlimited horseback riding, tennis, gym and croquet are included. Rates depend upon the suite selected and range from $360 to $1,400 per suite, per night.


Win an iPod Shuffle from The Strand Ocean Drive Hotel, Miami

March 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Strand Ocean Drive

It's hot. It's hip. Welcome to the new Strand Ocean Drive Hotel, a chic and stylish boutique hotel on Miami's South Beach. The unique hotel is comprised of four different historical structures (and one new building) with each suite featuring a unique design theme so—and get this!— you can change the style and ambience each time you visit the hotel. Whatever your whim. Thus, at 1024 Ocean Drive, you can savor the Retro style of the 1960s. Next door at 1036 Ocean Drive, you can join the martini-set in the classic Art Deco style of the 1930s. At 1052 Ocean Drive, get a taste of the contemporary, with the hip new five story structure. And at 1060 Ocean Drive, you can soak up the Mediterranean Tropical style of Miami. Now through April 7, 2006, the hotel is offering a cool giveaway. If you sign up for The Strand Ocean Drive mailing list, you are entered to win an iPod shuffle. They're giving one away each week for a month. Hop to it!


Crazy about Coral Gables: the New Westin Colonnade Hotel

March 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Colonnade Hotel

On its sun-soaked perch overlooking Miami, Coral Gables-- aka City Beautiful as it was dubbed when it was founded in 1925-- is a lot more than its 6.5 million square feet of office space, high-end boutiques and University of Miami campus. This is also the Latin American business headquarters of oodles of multinational companies (try 175 of them). It's a lush and beautiful spot, with a Mediterranean style aura. Starwood just announced plans to convert the 157-room Colonnade Hotel-- long known as the scene for important social and business events-- into a new Westin. What can guests expect at the new Colonnade, slated to open in late 2006? Why-- Westin's signature Heavenly Bed, of course, along with luxurious services, products and amenities that are all in line with Westin's new brand message of "renewal." Hence, the high thread-count sheets, down duvet and down pillows, plush bathrobes, and the newest Heavenly Bath: "a custom-designed dual showerhead that offers a choice of spray options from light mist to massaging needles." But smokers, beware. As of February 2006, Westin's paved the way for smoke-free hotels across North America.


W Hotels Joins the Fray in Dubai

March 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Will the Dubai building boom go bust? As hyped in the press, W Hotels has recently announced its plans to bring its signature, stylish brand to the Middle East. W will open its 350-room luxury hotel in 2008 as part of the Festival City Project: a massive "City within a City" with "Riviera-style scenery and lush green landscapes… and iconic towers and luxury hotels." And it's touted as "the Middle East's largest, privately funded mixed-use real estate development." The W seems its centerpiece, to be designed by a renowned architect and packed full of the W brand signatures like loft suites, open "Living Room," and Bliss spa. Can the booming hotel and resort landscape of Dubai become as packed as the Vegas Strip? Related Articles: The Lobby, "W Comes to Dubai" Luxist, "W Hotels Heads to Dubai" CNN Money, "W Hotels Arrives on Shores of Dubai, the Global Brand's First Location in the Middle East" TravelPost Insider, "W Hotels Plan 2008 Dubai Opening"