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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.

News: Leading Hotels of the World Announces Award Winners


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel CiprianiLeading Hotels of the World held its annual convention in Boston recently and doled out some pretty prestigious awards. Considering that the organization represents some 450 of the world's finest hotels, these accolades should not be taken lightly. And without further ado, the winners are:

Commitment to Excellence Awards: Hotel de l'Europe, Taj Boston, Brenner's Park

Commitment to Quality Awards: The Chedi Muscat, Al Maha Desert Resort, The Datai, Rambagh Palace, Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin, Hotel Caruso, One&Only Palmilla, Tortuga Bay, Island Hotel (Newport Beach), and SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand.

Sixth Annual Juan Gaspart Award recognizing an outstanding employee of a Leading Hotel pursuing a career in the hospitality industry:  Mr. Colin Field, head bartender at Ritz Paris.

(Pictured: Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin- which received the highest score overall during LHW's anonymous inspections.)


Celebrate Christmas at Nisbet Plantation, Nevis


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Nisbet PlantationIt's not too late to plan your Christmas holiday getaway. This year "Celebrate Christmas" at Nisbet Plantation, the Caribbean's only plantation resort on the beach at Nevis. Arrive between 12/15 and 12/20, check out out on 12/27 (or before) and your Christmas presents may include something extra dependent on your length of stay. For example stay 3 - 4 nights and receive a complimentary bottle of champagne, stay 5 - 6 nights and receive a complimentary one hour massage, stay 7 - 10 nights, and Christmas is free, including taxes. Gifts are cumulative, so you will enjoy it all: the last night free, bottle of champagne and the massage! Nisbet Plantation features a beautifully restored Great House and 36 charming cottages spread out over 30 lush tropical acres. Recently re-appointed and modernized to provide maximum comfort with casual elegance and recognized as one of the best luxurious hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America and recipient of the 2008 Trip Advisor Choice Awards, Nisbet Plantation offers a multitude of activities from swimming to the complimentary tennis and snorkeling equipment, hot tub, pool eco tours, hiking and much, much more. Come be part of the family at Nisbet Plantation where the warmth and comfort of a Caribbean breeze offer the unmatched Nevisian hospitality. Let Nisbet Plantation do the cooking, decorating and gather your presents this year for your Christmas.


Stay in James Bond’s Swanky Digs: One and Only Ocean Club, Bahamas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Ocean Club, BahamasThere's been lots of Bond mania since the debut of the latest film, Quantum of Solace, over the weekend. Die-hard fans are seeking out spots where Bond had frequented-- from martini bars to Jamaica beaches. Top on our list? The uber-luxury hotel where Bond stayed in Casino Royale, famous for its Versailles-style formal gardens and personal butler service. A playground for the world's elite, the One and Only Ocean Club is the best of the Bahamas. The colonial-style estate even boasts an 18-hole golf course and cuisine by culinary legend Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Rumor has it that Daniel Craig stayed in Villa 1085.

PS. With plummeting hotel rates at hotels worldwide-- just check out HotelChatter's "Room Rate Drop Watch"-- you may be able to score a deal at the One and Only Ocean Club just like this one at its sister property in Cabo.


Caribbean Savings: All Meals Included, Plus $500 Air Taxi Credit at Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Little Dix BayWord on the street island is that Rosewood's Little Dix Bay, the prestigious Caribbean resort located on beautiful Virgin Gorda in the BVI, is now including all meals to its $850 per day winter room rate. Add to that the $500 air taxi credit for easy resort arrival, and a luxurious Caribbean experience is yours for the taking in high season. The resort is offering the air taxi credit through February 12, 2009 (with a minimum five-night stay) so that guests can get down to the islands and discover a new, signature wellness activity called Poolates, combining the flexibility and core-strengthening principles of Pilates with the joint-friendly benefits of water. The classes will be taught in the resort's oceanside swimming pool against the gorgeous backdrop of the half-mile crescent-shaped beach. This is the newest offering from Sense, A Rosewood Spa, perched on a seaside cliff at the celebrated resort and offering an extensive menu of indigenously focused, therapeutic practices and progressive concepts of beauty and well-being.


Book Now: Limited Space Available for the Holidays at the Jamaica Inn


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jamaica InnThere's still time to reserve a little piece of paradise for the holidays. The elegant Jamaica Inn, consistently ranked No. 1 resort in Jamaica and one of the top hotels in the Caribbean by leading travel magazines, has a few more rooms available for both Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years. But don't delay- make haste in booking your room as these will no doubt fill up fast. Nestled around a secluded private beach (considered the prettiest in Jamaica), the Jamaica Inn has just 47 suites overlooking the sand and sea from private balustraded balconies and large verandahs. The Jamaica Inn captures the timeless elegance of the Caribbean with tasteful accommodations and impeccable service. Recreational facilities run the gamut from croquet and tennis to snorkeling and windsurfing. And lucky guests can bliss out with a treatment at the KiYara spa perched on the seaside cliffs. For Thanksgiving week, you can grab a room in the following categories: Superior Balcony Suites, Deluxe Verandah Suites, Premier Verandah Suites, Cowdray Suite, Jamaica Inn Cottage (without pool). For Christmas and New Years, there are still a few rooms available: 2 Superior Balcony Suites, 2 Deluxe Verandah Suites, 1 Premier Verandah Suite, The Blue Cottage, and Cottage 4.


Affordable Honeymoons in the Caribbean: Island Romance at El Conquistador, Puerto Rico


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

El Conquistador Resort, Puerto RicoScouting out the ideal honeymoon spot? For a real luxury value, consider the vibrant isle of Puerto Rico, just a short flight away from the East Coast. El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa is situated high on a cliff overlooking the sparkling azure sea. You may just want to relax by the pool, but when you're feeling restless, a slew of activities awaits: world-class golf, spa, casino, water park, wind surfing, scuba diving, and fishing. When you book the Island Romance package, you can enjoy rates starting from just $275 based on a four night minimum stay. You'll be picked up at the airport, then treated to chilled Champagne and tropical fruit in-room upon arrival. You'll also get full Caribbean breakfast daily, and two 50-minute massages. Available until December 31, 2009. (Rates vary depending on the season-- as high as $521 in March-- but are still quite the deal.)


Get Summer Rates at Amanyara Until December: Sale on Turks and Caicos Islands


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanyara, Turks and CaicosThe posh Amanyara resort has just extended its Summer Rates until December 18th. Just steps from the sand and pristine coral reefs offshore, this Turks and Caicos hideaway is luxury made tangible. Ocean enthusiasts and adventure buffs prize the scuba diving and sailing, but the land activities are equally as alluring. Tennis anyone? There's also a multimedia screening room and elegant spa. The pavilions showcase the best of contemporary design with terraces and daybeds, gleaming kitchens, and infinity edge pools in black volcanic rock. Even better: The hotel has just announced its new Beach Villa accommodations, perched on the postcard-perfect sandy beach a stone's throw from the sea.


Recession Savings at Luxury Hotels like Fairmont: Spectacular Seven Day Winter Sale


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Le Chateau MontebelloThese days, deals abound at five-star lodgings. Occupancy rates are down and luxury hotels are slashing their rates. Case in point: The big Seven Day Sale at Fairmont Hotels, where you can get 20 percent savings plus a free night when you book by October 27th for stays between November 3 and April 15, 2009. Bed down at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, the world's largest log cabin, hit up the Windy City with $155 rates at the Fairmont Chicago, bask in Bermuda for $189 at the Fairmont Southampton, or secure $119 rates in Silicon Valley at the Fairmont San Jose. An added perk: You can earn double airline miles on Fairmont's partner airlines (Air Canada, United and American) when you book the Only One Way rates.


Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand: The Latest from the New Ritz-Carlton “Reserve” Brand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Phulay Bay, A Ritz Carlton ReserveBack in 2006 we started raving about Molasses Reef, the unspoiled island destination in the Turks and Caicos that would be the setting for the first "Ritz-Carlton Reserve"-- the "highest tier of luxury properties" designed in an eco-friendly way with respect for the local environment. Now our friends over at Luxury Insider have spilled the beans about the latest in the Ritz-Carlton Reserve collection: Phulay Bay, "tucked away in the midst of limestone karsts and hidden waterfalls in Thailand's diving hotspot Krabi and embraced by the Andaman Sea." Guest rooms feature walk-in wardrobes, outdoor verandah lounge beds, rainforest showers, and indoor and outdoor baths. 24-hour personal butler service is a given. And facilities include a beautiful infinity pool, state-of-the-art gym, and first destination ESPA.


Pure Pampering at the Dominican’s Tortuga Bay Resort


By: K. Clare Johnson

Tortuga Bay Puntacana ResortSerenade and seduce your sweetheart in style. Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort and Club has unveiled their "Pure Pampering Menu," and the delightful mixture of food, wine, music, and massage will melt the hardest of hearts.

Picnic with your beloved on the beach after the rising of the full moon from $100 for the Moonlight Islander Picnic to $175 for the Royal Highness Picnic. Or, spring for the $375 Dominican Farewell, which features couples' massages by the beach at sunset, Moet & Chandon cocktails, and canapes.

If the beach doesn't appeal, you can book a $220 Romantic Escapade. Just like in the movies, your suite will be set for romance with candles, champagne, and rose petals floating in scented bath water. Or opt for Dinner a Deux for $340 per couple. You'll get a personalized menu, exclusive butler service, chilled champagne, candlelight and soft recorded music. A live musician (flautist or saxophonist) can be had for an additional $300 per hour.

The truly creative can create their own romantic escapade. Cake, floral arrangements, chocolate dipped fruits, and champagne are all available for purchase.