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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.

96 Hour Sale: $96 Rates with Rock Resorts

March 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rock ResortsThe big sale is back. Stay at a luxurious RockResort from just $96 per night! From snug mountain hideaways in the Rockies to a blissful beachfront retreat in the Caribbean, Rock Resorts has some dazzling destinations: The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, Aspen's Hotel Jerome, Keystone Lodge and Spa, The Lodge at Vail, La Posada de Santa Fe, and The Landings St. Lucia in the West Indies. Even the swanky new Arrabelle at Vail Square is going for just $136 per night. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, book your stay before Sunday, March 16, 2008, at 11:59 p.m. MDT. This offer is available for travel Sunday through Thursday nights, April 13, 2008 through November 13, 2008. Online bookings only. All bookings must be prepaid and are nonrefundable.


Spring Break Deals in the Caribbean in April

March 10, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cap JulucaThe New York Times has the scoop on some thrilling hotel deals in April. Because Easter falls early this year, spring break is shorter than usual and most travelers-- especially those whose spring break plans are determined by school holidays-- have planned their holiday for the month of March. Rates for hotels and flights may be through the roof in March, but April is incredibly cheap. Normally peak season, April is proving to be a boon for travelers who have a little flexibility with their travel plans. Luxury resorts with inventory on their hands have slashed their rates as the shoulder season has been moved up by a month. Case in point: the exclusive Caneel Bay resort on the Caribbean island of St. John has beachfront rates as low as $675 in April (as opposed to $975 in March). Jumby Bay on Antigua has also cut their rates-- by 25 percent starting April 1. Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands is actually offering a $200 resort credit. And Anguilla's gorgeous Cap Juluca resort-- usually booked solid, as the NYT points out-- actually has availability in April.


The Colony Villas at Half Moon Bay

February 27, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Colony Villas at Half MoonLocated in the exclusive Rose Hall area in Jamaica, the Colony at Half Moon, scheduled to open in 2010, offers unparalleled views overlooking beachfront property near Montego Bay. Located within the Half Moon Resort, the Colony will feature 30 luxurious villas offering a choice of three, four, or five bedroom villas, all with personal pool, dining area, gardens, terraces and verandas. The Colony at Half Moon is an experience unlike any other in the Caribbean. Each bedroom will have a private bathroom, and each villa is provided with its own personal cook, gardener, housekeeper, butler and laundress. In addition to the wealth of activities to do at your personal villa, the Colony at Half Moon also offers a variety of services and facilities including a spectacular golf course, the Spa at Half Moon, multiple bars and restaurants, a dolphin lagoon, equestrian centre and a shopping village. Enjoy a unique Jamaican vacation in style.

Publisher Update: I just received the following note from the hotel with updates:

Much in the spirit of the founding families of Half Moon, The Colony is a singular opportunity for visitors to our treasured resort to become a part of the Half Moon heritage through ownership of a luxurious villa at The Colony at Half Moon.

These opulent, spacious three-, four- and five-bedroom villas will offer both villa owners and guests an unparalleled level of comfort, service and amenities. Planned for 14 acres of Half Moon's 400-acre estate, visitors to The Colony at Half Moon will enjoy an even deeper sense of home with the attentive care of a butler, cook, housekeeper, laundress and gardener in surroundings designed to offer the very best of gracious Caribbean living.

The Colony at Half Moon signals the final phase of a vision that began in 2003 to bring about a renaissance at Half Moon that would see our beloved resort being a part of the legacy for another generation of guests. Step by step with your unwavering support, we have renovated, refurbished and upgraded the facilities, services and amenities offered at Half Moon. The feedback from you and your clients have been invaluable in helping to shape and guide the direction we have taken over the years. With this new offering and all that The Colony villas promise, we are confident that we will have a product to which you will be even more proud to send your clients.

Equally, we are mindful of the treasured clients you will continue to send to Half Moon while The Colony is being erected. Let me assure you that every measure is being planned to ensure that any work relating to The Colony will have minimal impact on the comfort, enjoyment and experience you and your clients have come to expect of Half Moon. Thanks to the vast space and layout of Half Moon, The Colony has been planned for a small area of our 400 acres that is away from guest accommodations. We are confident that our mutual clients will continue to have memorable experiences at Half Moon and will enjoy even more the experience The Colony will offer.

For your information, please find attached aerial views of the resort that outline the space designated for The Colony at Half Moon. Also attached are renderings of the aesthetic hoardings and pathways planned for the site. We have also included for your interest architectural renderings of The Colony villas. While work is scheduled to begin within the next 16 months, much of that is contingent on the success of the project's pre-sale efforts. The response to this offer has been very positive and we believe the project should remain on schedule with an estimated completion in late 2010.


Sports Illustrated 2008 Swimsuit Issue Highlights Caneel Bay, St. John

February 19, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Caneel BayWhen you check out supermodel Marisa Miller on the cover of Sports Illustrated, you'll also be ogling a gorgeous setting: the legendary beaches of Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort. Fashion photographer Raphael Mazzucco captured portraits of bathing beauties on the beach at the Caribbean getaway of choice for generations of returning clients. Where did the girls stay when not frolicking on the beach for the photo shoot? Cottage #7, the original quarters of founder Laurence Rockefeller and still the resort's most requested accommodations. Experience the beauty of Sports Illustrated's 2008 Swimsuit Issue with the "Suited for Sunshine" package from Caneel Bay, which includes accommodations for 2 in a Beachfront guest room, full breakfast & dinner daily, private Champagne & hors d'oeuvres picnic, sunset cruise, half-day sail, watercolor lessons, massage for 2, romantic dinner for 2 in the Sugar Mill Ruins, tennis lessons for 2, welcome beach bag with hat or visor and certificate for 25 percent off any swimsuit purchase at the Caneel Bay Gift Shop, and round-trip airport transfers. Package starts from $4,720, double occupancy, valid from May 1- October 31, 2008.


Ocean Front vs Ocean View Room Descriptions

January 30, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

People are frequently confused over the terms "ocean view" versus "ocean front" as found in hotel room descriptions. Cambridge Beaches oceanfrontMost beach resorts will try to best describe the room views to make sure guests are fully informed. In the rate terms, oceanfront (Cambridge Beaches pictured at left) means that you will have the best possible ocean views from your windows and, if available, balcony. Your room will be directly facing the ocean - frontage views. Of course, ocean-front rooms are always the most expensive as well. But if your idea is to lay in bed and look out over the ocean, these are the rooms that will guarantee you that opportunity.

 

On the other hand oceanview rooms (Cambridge Beaches pictured) will have some possible view of the ocean - whether it is out certain window to the side, available at an angle, or seen from the side of your balcony. Cambridge Beaches Ocean ViewOcean-view usually guarantees at least a sliver of ocean will be seen from somewhere inside, or even directly outside, your room. If seeing the ocean is really important to you - then you definitely need to reserve an ocean front room to be on the safe side and get the best possible views.


Mariel Hemingway Hosts Girlfriend Getaway at Cambridge Beaches

January 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mariel Hemingway at Cambridge BeachesIf you missed November's big event at Cambridge Beaches, here's your chance to experience the popular Girlfriend Getaway with Mariel Hemingway! The actress/author will be returning to Bermuda's exclusive resort for an unforgettable weekend devoted to healthy living on March 27-30, 2008. Expect beachside yoga classes, personal Q & A sessions, delicious meals prepared by the renowned culinary team, spa treatments and more. Only 36 guests will be allowed to attend, so register today!


Caribbean Escapes: Fifth Night Free at Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic

January 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa de CampoEscape the winter chill and get a 5th night free at Casa de Campo, the Dominican winter playground that boasts just about every single recreational activity on the planet. Tennis? The luxurious La Terraza Tennis Center awaits you-- with its 13 har-tru courts overlooking the resort and sea. Polo and horseback riding? You bettcha. Golf? Only some of the most celebrated, Peter-Dye-designed greens in the world. The spa offers a slew of rejuvenating services including exfoliating clay baths. Plus there's a dual-level pool with cascades and a swim-up bar, plenty of water sports from the beach, and an extensive children's program. Enjoy all this, while soaking up the Caribbean elegance and abundant natural beauty of the resort. Did we mention that it's all-inclusive?


Last Minute Caribbean Getaway: The Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos

January 14, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Regent PalmsEscape the cold and enjoy serious savings in the postcard-perfect Turks and Caicos islands, the newest "it" spot in the Caribbean. Just because it's January doesn't mean the holidays have to end. The award-winning Regent Palms has some last minute getaways that are too good to be true. Plus, you can scope out the brand new Regent Spa which just opened this month. Book the "Welcome to 2008" package and get five nights for the price of four in a Luxury Ocean View Room! You'll also score a 30 percent VIP discount on all signature massage services and two welcome cocktails as you watch the sun set over Grace Bay. The rate starts at $875 per night, available through January 31, 2008. Or book the "Four Night Holiday Recovery" and get a couple's massage, dinner for two at Parallel 23, an in-suite breakfast with champagne (complimentary continental breakfast on the other mornings), and complimentary non-motorized water sports. Valid until January 26, 2008, priced at $3,360. Nota Bene: Kids under 12 stay free at The Regent Palms!


Spotlight On: Eco-Friendly Kitchens at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

January 9, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Le Chateau FrontenacGood news from Fairmont's eco-friendly luxury hotels... Not only is Fairmont Hotels and Resorts committed to energy-efficient practices, but also green kitchen operations. When the trendy talk these days is all about lessening our carbon footprint on the planet, Fairmont is actually taking action. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is devoted to organic and sustainable local menus, as well as finding ways to run an environmentally responsible kitchen. Case in point: Fairmont locations in the Pacific Northwest which partner with Rodney Strong Vineyards, an organic wine producer that operates with solar power and takes steps to ensure soil and water conservation. And Ottawa's beautiful Fairmont Chateau Laurier is connecting local producers with businesses by hosting events such as "Farmer-Chef Meet and Greet." In British Columbia, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and The Fairmont Empress were the first hotels to join the Ocean Wise program run by the Vancouver Aquarium which promotes the use of sustainable seafood. In Bermuda, the chefs at The Fairmont Southampton and The Fairmont Hamilton work closely with local fishermen to source a variety of line-caught fish. Even the staff cafeteria at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise creates eco-friendly menus focused on locally-grown and organic ingredients. And get this-- starting this year, the Fairmont Newport Beach will hire a "local forager" to visit local organic produce markets to buy choice goods for the hotel. Bravo.


Stay Another Day at La Samanna Resort, St. Maarten, Caribbean

January 7, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La SamannaImagine endless days spent lingering at the beach, luxuriating at the hands of a massage master, and dining on meals so fresh and perfect they would put a Parisian chef to shame. La Samanna is an Orient-Express hideaway in St. Maarten, French West Indies that was named one of the best places to stay in the world by the discriminating readers of Condé Nast Traveler Magazine. The 55-acre beachfront property-- the essence of chic-- recently completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment and is easily one of the most alluring spots in the Caribbean. Choose the "Stay Another Day" offer and you can get a free fourth night when you book three consecutive nights. This discounted rate gives you the equivalent of 25 percent savings off the normal rates, and includes daily buffet breakfast and use of the tennis courts, non-motorized watersports, and the fitness center.

P.S. A couple of months ago we pointed out the "Best Deal Days" promotion, which gives all-time low promotional rates during peak season. You can score rates for as little as $395 per night. These dates for check-in are still available: January 30 and February 26, 2008.