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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.

What’s New in Bermuda: Renovation for Mandarin Oriental’s Elbow Beach Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Elbow Beach ResortOn November 30, 2009, Bermuda's high-class Elbow Beach Resort will embark on a project to reposition itself as an "intimate resort" with 98 suites and secluded cottages. The hotel's 101-year-old main building will be closed for extensive renovations, and the recently-renovated guest rooms will get lavish bathroom improvements and cutting edge entertainment systems. Other facility updates: a new recreation lounge, new poolside courtesy suites for early check-in and late check-out guests, a new business center, luxury beach lounge chairs and a new spa beach pavilion on the resort's prized sandy beach, a new bar, and makeover of the Bermuda Room for weddings and special event functions. We're told the refurbishment will be done in discreet phases between January and March 2010 so as not to disturb guests.


Caribbean Hotel Deals for the Holidays


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

CuisinartHow does four nights for the price of three sound? At a swank villa at the CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla? Or free car rental to tool around St. Barts while staying six nights at Hotel Guanahani? Or a couple free nights on a private island in the Turks and Caicos? (Parrot Cay is continuing its gig of giving away two free nights to folks who stay for five.) That's not all-- The Atlantis in the Bahamas is offering two-night stays for a mere $199 including a round of golf and admission to the resort's water park. There are deals to be had this holiday season at luxury properties across the Caribbean. The New York Times' travel guru Michelle Higgins scopes out the best of them; check out the article here.


Carrie Underwood Performs at The Cove Atlantis, Paradise Island


By: K. Clare Johnson

The Cove Atlantis As if a stay at The Cove Atlantis Paradise Island Resort wasn't wonderful enough, Country music queen Carrie Underwood is performing at the luxury Bahamian property on December 5, 2009, in order to celebrate the release of her new album. The Cove Atlantis is a unique, ocean-themed destination located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas, and features a variety of accommodations, all built around a 97-acre waterscape comprised of over 20 million gallons of fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools and habitats. The Cove Atlantis is home to Aquaventure, a non-stop water experience consisting of thrilling water slides, a mile-long river ride with high intensity rapids and wave surges, and never-before-seen special effects.

The Cove Atlantis rates for the weekend of December 5 begin at $269 per night, including concert tickets. Guests who stay for two nights will receive an additional $650 in complimentary signature Atlantis activities and dining experiences, such as dolphin interactions, sushi and sake at Nobu, access to the exclusive Cain at The Cove ultra-pool and the new Snorkel with the Mantas program.

Vacations and a concert? That might be the best multi-tasking ever!


Savings in the Turks and Caicos: 25 Percent Off The Regent Palms Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Regent Palms, Turks and CaicosEscape to the powder fine sands of Grace Bay Beach and luxuriate at The Regent Palms for 25 percent off your normal daily rate when you stay four or more nights. The luxury beachfront resort is basically giving you one free night. Hurry, you must travel by December 18, 2009. This special offer includes a welcome amenity and daily Continental breakfast. Take a dip in the sparkling infinity pool, go for a sail (all non-motorized water sports are complimentary), and get pampered at the 25,000-square-foot spa. Or not. The Regent Palms' accommodations (pictured) are so sumptuous and inviting, you may just want to lounge on your private terrace and take in the views.


Fall Special from $290 Per Night at Seven Stars Resort, Turks and Caicos


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Seven Stars Resort, Turks and CaicosSun-seeking couples will appreciate the luxury value found at Seven Stars Resort, one of the newest properties to open on the beaches of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Grace Bay Beach offers fine white sand lapped by turquoise water, and Seven Stars Resort gets marks for its "top-notch service." To quote the hotel review in The New York Times: "When I arrived in the lobby, my traveling companion and I were greeted with chilled, scented hand towels and glasses of rum punch. Our bags and car were swiftly taken away, and the receptionist at the front desk walked us to our room." From the spa to the complimentary water sports to the gourmet dining experiences, the resort's amenities are hardly lacking. Book now to take advantage of a special offer for the fall season. Seven Stars Resort is offering room rates of $290 per night (garden view suite) for travel through December 15, 2009 when you book by October 31, 2009. Includes complimentary Continental breakfast each morning.


Four Seasons Beirut: Hot Hotel Openings of the Year


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons BeirutThe cool Lebanese capital is getting another luxury hotel addition. (We've been excitedly anticipating the opening of Le Gray, from the hotelier behind London's One Aldwych and Carlisle Bay in Antigua). The other hotel that's crossed our radar? Four Seasons Beirut which is slated to open in December 2009. HotelChatter says that "all you Four Seasons loyalists out there... will have a new reason to visit Beirut." The city's known for its vibrant social scene and Four Seasons is planning to attract the crowds to a sky-high, "see-and-be-seen" rooftop pool lounge. Soaring above Beirut's Corniche, the glass-and-steel landmark building has views of the Mediterranean from private terraces adorning each and every room. Noted designer Pierre-Yves Rochon created the French-inspired interiors, showcasing polished maple, bronzed wallpaper and chinoiserie lamps. With a prime location in "the Paris of the Middle East," the Mediterranean gateway that links Europe to the Middle East, Four Seasons Beirut will feature a full-service spa, meeting and event spaces (including a grand ballroom), and two restaurants and three bars.


Don’t Skip Your Well-Deserved Tropical Vacay: Caribbean Discounts with Elite Island Resorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua"We've all been cornered. The gauntlet thrown down by America's new economic realities: Change your evil, thriftless ways," notes the San Francisco Chronicle. "But making do with less doesn't have to mean cutting out a well-deserved tropical holiday!" We couldn't agree more. There are deals aplenty for a high-season sojourn in the Caribbean so you can get your sun and sand fix during the dreary arctic winter. Case in point: The 20, 10, 30 Special Offer now being promoted by Elite Island Resorts, featuring all-inclusive luxury resorts on idyllic islands like Antigua. Save 20 percent in January, 10 percent in February, and 30 percent in March when you stay seven nights and book by February 1, 2010. Choose between these award-winning resorts:

Galley Bay Resort & Spa: Antigua's romantic all-inclusive escape with a private 3/4-mile white-sand beach.

St. James's Club & Villas: Tucked away on a private 100-acre peninsula on Antigua.

The Verandah Resort & Spa: Antigua's newest all-suite resort with a full-service spa and lots of amenities.


Renewal on Demand at Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos


By: Daniel L. Moses

Parrot CayWhen I arrived on an easy flight of just over 3 hours from Atlanta, I didn't know quite what to expect on my first visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands. I had spent a lot time in the Bahamas and a few other locations making up the proverbial Kokomo, but nothing had even come close to what I saw in the place known simply as TCI. Amazing! I stood looking down the strand of white sand that seemed to stretch forever or out at the water that was so blue, yet so clear, mouth agape, for several minutes before I strolled down to feel the warm, salty water on bubbling over my toes. At COMO Resorts & Hotels Parrot Cay, you too can take advantage of this stunning location. And if you want to combine a perfect vacation spot with a week-long chance to refresh and renew your tired body, then COMO Resorts & Hotels Parrot Cay has an offer that is as exciting as it is affordable. From November 8-14, 2009, the grand resort is offering a six-night Pilates Retreat with famed instructor Lynda Lippin starting from only $6,026 (single occupancy). The sessions are for any experience level, and will be tailored to suit your needs. Time is short and space is filling up, so book now, and be inspired and strengthened by this unique opportunity. And when you're not renewing your body inside COMO Resorts & Hotels Parrot Cay, stroll out to the beach, breathe in the fresh salt air, and renew your soul.

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World’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts: Paradisus Palma Real in the Dominican Republic


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Paradisus Palma Real

We weren't surprised to see the Paradisus Palma Real land on Away.com's list of the best all-inclusive resorts in the world. What's not to love? Perfect palm-fringed beaches, pools lined with Bali style daybeds, oversized suites, and a long list of complimentary all-inclusive amenities that could melt even the hardest of hearts. Think golf, tennis, scuba diving (for certified divers), horseback riding, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and meals at five different a la carte restaurants and two poolside buffets. Did we mention the wine-tasting and salsa classes?

P.S. Kids are welcome.

Paradisus Palma Real


Sail with the Pros: Bitter End Yacht Club’s Pro Am Regatta 2009


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bitter End Yacht ClubBitter End Yacht Club-- the famous water sports resort and nautical village on Virgin Gorda-- is not just the setting for an idyllic Caribbean escape. It's also home to the annual Bitter End Pro Am Regatta, a world-class sailing event that matches up amateur sailors with America's Cup skippers, Olympic Medalists, and Around the World Race Winners:

Picture yourself teamed with Serena Williams or Roger Federer in the doubles final at the U.S. Open. Few, if any, sporting events in the world offer the fan an opportunity to participate at such lofty levels. The Bitter End Pro Am Regatta is different from any sporting event or regatta on earth.

Bitter End Yacht ClubThe 23rd annual event will take place from October 31- November 7, 2009, and will use Lasers, Hobie Waves, ICs, and Hunter 216s. Even first time sailors are welcome. Snorkel, windsurf, and relax on the beach during your down time. There's even an excursion to Norman Island or Anegada scheduled for Wednesday, the layday, which is devoted to non-sailing. Don't miss the evenings of rum-infused merry-making: cocktail parties, wine dinners, pub gatherings, organized Q&A sessions, etc. Book the "Pro Am Admiral's Package" and you'll get showered with all kinds of good stuff: three meals a day, cocktails, sunset cruises, and an Introduction to Sailing Course.