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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.

Get Hitched in Barbados at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion

August 27, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Royal Pavilion

With the average American wedding costing upwards of $30,000, some engaged couples are looking to downsize it. Why not fete the day with a small affair in an island paradise? The Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados has you covered. For just $1,750 (excluding accommodation), the luxury hotel will throw you an unforgettable wedding for six guests-- complete with wedding co-ordinator, marriage license, wedding arch decorated with fresh flowers in the lush tropical garden, her wedding bouquet and his boutonniere, champagne for the special toast, a two-tier wedding cake, and the clergyman to pronounce you man and wife. This "Wedding Package" is available until December 31, 2010.


Sandals Resorts Buys Four Seasons Great Exuma, Rescues the Bahamas Resort

August 26, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Great ExumaDropping tourism numbers in the Caribbean has hurt the hospitality industry* this year, even leading to the closure of the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay. But there's some good news for the luxury resort famous for its Greg Norman-designed golf course and paradise-on-earth setting. Sandals Resorts International is buying "one of the most spectacular pieces of real estate in the Caribbean," to quote CEO Adam Stewart. After injecting $12 million for a makeover, the resort will reopen in January 2010. According to the Associated Press, the enhancements will "include outdoor cabanas for spa treatments, an authentic British pub, a piano bar and a new half-acre pool that will be three times the size of the existing one."

*Now's the time to plan a trip to the Caribbean. Visitors will find steep discounts and special offers throughout the region.


Christmas in the Caribbean: 40 Percent Savings at Antigua’s All-Inclusive Resorts

August 18, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Galley Bay ResortCanceled your Christmas holiday in the Caribbean last year? Don't despair about 2009. Here's a recession-proof vacation opportunity that's bound to put a smile on your face. Elite Island Resorts is giving guests an early Christmas present by offering 40 percent off their award-winning Caribbean resorts in Antigua. Rates start as low as $189 per person, per night all-inclusive and include accommodations, all dining, all beverages, activities, taxes, and service charges. Hurry, reservations must be reserved and paid-in-full by September 1, 2009. Choose from one of three luxury resorts, each offering an all-inclusive paradise:

St. James's Club & Villas--Beach bliss for both couples and families, featuring a fun Kids Club

The Verandah Resort & Spa-- Turquoise waters and white-sand beaches make this the ultimate beachfront playground

Galley Bay Resort & Spa-- 40 acres of tropical gardens and a white sandy beach for couples seeking their own private hideaway


What’s New for Conrad Hotels in 2010: Openings Across the Globe

August 13, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ShanghaiCalling all connoisseurs of luxury (and hotel addicts). You'll soon be able to get a dose of Conrad luxury in Shanghai, Koh Samui (Thailand), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the Bahamas, and Portugal's Algarve. With the addition of these six hotels, Conrad is pursuing a bold expansion strategy. The current portfolio-- comprised of properties in diverse markets across the globe-- numbers 19. While the Conrad Shanghai has a striking contemporary design (pictured) and will house an urban spa, the Conrad Koh Samui Resort and Spa will consist of villas with private plunge pools and outdoor sundecks offering panoramic vistas-- all surrounded by a lush coconut plantation. The Conrad Bimini Resort & Casino is part of an overall new seaside village on the island of North Bimini, Bahamas. The Bimini Bay Resort has restaurants, a marina, spa and a casino. Click here for the full scoop.


Rum Tastings in the Caribbean at the All-Inclusive Palm Island Resort

August 13, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palm Island ResortThe best thing about the paradise called Palm Island Resort? Everything's included. Located near the southern tip of St. Vincent and the Grenadines-- an archipelago of 32 tropical cays-- the private island resort offers exclusivity and luxury in an idyllic setting of soft sand beaches lapped by crystal-clear water. The 135-acre retreat has just 42 guest lodgings, so you'll be sharing paradise with just a few other fortunate souls. Go for a stroll on one of the scenic nature trails, grab a snorkel and mask and explore the underwater reefs teeming with colorful fish, play a game of tennis, indulge in Afternoon Tea, nibble on a picnic lunch under a thatched umbrella, or take to the seas on a kayak or Hobie-style catamaran- it's all included. On Tuesdays you can partake in the complimentary Rum Tasting at the Royal Palm Bar, where you'll learn the history of rum-making in the Caribbean (and maybe how to make your own). You'll also get a few rum recipes, and learn to taste the difference between Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Barbados and West Indian Rums-- such as St. Vincent's own Sunset Rum.


Pilates at Parrot Cay Resort: 6 Night Retreat in November

August 11, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Parrot Cay

We can't think of a better spot* for an intensive five-day Pilates Retreat. Forbes calls Parrot Cay a "fantasy island"-- supremely popular with the Hollywood set. No wonder Bruce Willis chose it as the setting for his destination wedding. From November 8-14, 2009, Parrot Cay's resident Pilates teacher, Lynda Lippin will be hosting a retreat-- for both beginners and the more advanced. Lippin will be offering 16 hours of classes over a five-day period, ensuring that each student gets a private session (and lots of attention). Practicing Pilates for 20 years, Lippin has owned several award-winning Pilates studios in the U.S. Priced from $6,026 (single occupancy).

*It's possible to do an "Island Buy-Out." Just 1.5 hours from Miami, this small island in the Turks and Caicos-- 1000 unspoilt acres with a mile-long powdered beach-- can be rented out in its entirety.


Fall Deals: Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort for just $159

August 10, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon JamaicaLooking for sugary sand beaches dotted with palms? A little fun in the sun? Montego Bay's Half Moon can deliver the dream. Go for a dip in one of the (count 'em!) 51 swimming pools, play a round of golf on the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed course, swim with the dolphins, play croquet or basketball, go horseback riding, unwind at the Fern Tree Spa. The elegant, colonial-style Half Moon welcomes you to paradise. You can snag discounted rates at Half Moon with the "Fall Family Time Package," starting from just $159 per night, minimum three-night stay required. Available September 1- October 31, 2009, the package includes accommodations, an invitation to the manager's cocktail party, and unlimited use of the resort's tennis courts, fitness center, paddleboats and kayaks.


Spontaneous Dominican Escape at Tortuga Bay, Oscar de la Renta’s Caribbean Gem

August 4, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tortuga BayHang out in Oscar de la Renta-designed digs in the DR. Within the Punta Canta Resort and Club, world-famous as a celebrity hang-out, Tortuga Bay is an exclusive haven with villas designed by the Dominican-born, internationally acclaimed designer. A stay here in paradise means plenty of frolicking on the white sandy beaches, dining on palate-pleasing delights, and golfing on two championship courses. But more than that, it promises top-notch service. VIP airport service will whisk you through customs, your personal concierge will welcome you to your private villa, where you'll find your own personal golf cart to whiz around the resort. The villas? Balconies overlooking the Caribbean, the finest frette linens, kitchens, and spa-like bathrooms decked out in coralline stone... As much unrestrained luxury as your little heart desires. Book the "Spontaneous Dominican Escape" for a little beachtime this summer and you can have a golf view Junior Suite for just $300 per night until September 5, 2009.


Book Now: 4 Day Sale Means 40 Percent Off Bermuda Hotels

August 3, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cambridge BeachesAs we recently reported, Bermuda is celebrating its 400th birthday in style with some fantastic tourism promotions. We just got the scoop on a 4 day sale happening at 18 hotels on the island paradise. For a limited time, you can get 40 percent off: "Hurry, Bermuda's pink sand, turquoise tropical water, and vibrant culture will always be here—but this special offer will end on August 5th!"


Bargains in the Bahamas: Summer Splash Package at Old Bahama Bay

July 29, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Old Bahama BayDiscover a paradise of white sand beaches just 64 miles from the Florida Coast. Snag a luxurious suite at Old Bahama Bay-- overlooking a secluded beach on Grand Bahama Island-- for just $199 per night through the end of August. (Two-night minimum stay required.) The "Summer Splash" package also includes a welcome cocktail upon arrival and complimentary use of non-motorized water sports. Sailing from Miami? You can dock your boat at the resort's 72-slip marina and enjoy the full-service facilities with on-site customs and immigration. Go scuba-diving or snorkeling in the Caribbean waters, or deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic, before unwinding by the beachside pool. Your suite awaits with an oceanfront terrace, kitchenette, and marble bathroom with deep soaking tub and Frette robes.

Book with Five Star Alliance and you'll get complimentary continental breakfast and room upgrades upon check-in, based on availability. Complimentary Airport Transfers are included in all rates.