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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.

At Last: Acqualina, A Rosewood Resort, Accepting Reservations

March 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Acqualina

The moment we've all been waiting for. The glorious Sunny Isles beach resort we've been raving about for months, is officially accepting ressies for April 28th arrivals. The setting couldn't be more perfect: 400 feet of gorgeous Florida coastline halfway between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. This luxurious haven features 97 suites, all with private terraces, the Il Mulino New York restaurant, the first ESPA Spa in the US, three swimming pools and the marine biology inspired AcquaMarine children's program. We've been excitedly anticipating this one for months. Enjoy.

Acqualina, Official Site

Acqualina, Five Star Alliance


Escape with World Cup 2006 Packages at Banyan Tree

March 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

World Cup 2006

So you missed your chance to get tickets to this year's matches in Germany, not to mention the impossible task of booking a hotel room in any of the hosting cities. But you-- a diehard and devoted football fan-- are not about to miss the games on telly. Enter Banyan Tree, with their creative packages designed for fans who want to watch the games in peace (tranquil surroundings with nary a beer-guzzling heckler in sight!) and their partners/spouses who may have escaped infection with that football fevered frenzy. For a limited period from June 1 to July 31, Banyan Tree is offering exclusive World Cup 2006 Escape packages at its resorts worldwide. All packages are inclusive of daily bountiful breakfasts and a surprise gift from Banyan Tree Gallery.

At Banyan Tree Bangkok, the World Cup 2006 Escape package rates begin from US$270 per night for a Deluxe View Suite (minimum two-night stay). The package includes a Banyan Tree Spa Back Reviver session per person as well as a Shopping Companion Service for hunting out the city's treasures.

At Banyan Tree Bintan, package rates start at US$465 in the Valley Villa (minimum two nights stay). All guests taking this package will receive a choice of a two-hour Renewal or Rejuvenation spa session, as well as a welcome drink and fruit platter on arrival.

At Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru, guests can enjoy the World Cup Escape Package with rates starting from US$680 per night for an Oceanview Villa. This package includes daily breakfast and dinner, a choice of a two-hour Renewal or Rejuvenation spa session, and an unforgettable private sunset sail on a catamaran, complete with a guide.

At Banyan Tree Phuket, the package is priced from US$495 per night in a Deluxe Villa, with a minimum stay of three nights; includes a body massage per person, an intimate High Tea session for two, and cooking lessons with lunch for two.

Lastly, at Banyan Tree Seychelles, the World Cup Escape package rates start from EUR 855 per night (four night minimum), including a Renewal or Rejuvenation Spa session for two, as well as a one-day tour of Mahe with a beach picnic lunch included.


Take a Body Holiday at Le Sport in Saint Lucia

March 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Body Holiday at Le Sport

A luxury Caribbean resort, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and drenched in endless sun, that combines an active beach vaca with personalized rejuvenation? Bring it on! The BodyHoliday at LeSPORT is the first of its kind-- and a whole lot more than a health spa, with activities galore in a non-pressure environment. The resort's one-line motto-- "Give us your body for a week and we'll give you back your mind"-- is backed up by heaps of awards and personal testimonials about the experience. Take your pick of sports, beauty treatments, therapeutic treatments, life-enhancing pursuits and all the luxurious amenities of a world-class beach resort at the world's first wellness holiday.


The Spa Guest Journey at The Palms, Turks and Caicos

March 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Spa at The Palms

Of course the pampering at The Palms is sublime… In your spa treatment room surrounded by water and towering palms, sample the Mediterranean Marinade (a facial with vitamin boosters, combining reflexology and massage) or the Mediterranean Infusion (a hydrating treatment combining mint, cucumber, Greek yogurt, honey and lemon). But above and beyond this paradise, the Palms has distinguished itself among destination spas (and we beg, and plead, for others to follow suit!) with its new Spa Guest Journey program. From the moment of arrival, guests receive spa-inspired preferential treatment, in-room spa amenities, and products upon check-out to help maintain that serenity and avoid the post-vacation hang-over. At the airport, receive chilled aromatic treatment towels, and upon arrival at The Palms, a complimentary spa product on crushed ice served by spa staff. During your stay, guest rooms are spritzed with "Quietude" aromatic spray from the spa, and Pillow Treats from the spa await on your pillow in the evenings.. In-room spa services include the Sleepy Time Service (hot toddy anyone?) and the Bathing Ritual, where tubs are drawn, sprinkled with rose petals, and the bathroom transformed with candles, music, and aromatherapy spray. In addition, a range of spa inspired food is also available to guests including The Power Breakfast menu. And of course there are all sorts of spa goodies to take with you on your way home...

The Palms, Official Site

The Palms, Five Star Alliance


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.