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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.

St. Kitts Goes Classy: New Hotels by Auberge Resorts and Mandarin Oriental

October 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Auberge Resort, St. KittsJust across from the isle of Nevis in the lower Caribbean, St. Kitts hasn't defined its own tourism niche the way neighboring Nevis has lured well-heeled travelers. Until now, anyway. There's a new high-end development in store, and it promises to dazzle. Christophe Harbour, the 2,500-acre development, will boast luxury hotels from Mandarin Oriental and Auberge Resorts. And if Auberge's new Sandy Bank Bay is any bit as exceptional as its other properties (Auberge du Soleil, Esperanza, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff), we're in for a treat. Situated on a peninsula, the resort site features seven miles of sandy coastline facing both the turquoise Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. There will also be a spa and a Tom Fazio-designed golf course. Auberge's resort is slated for 2009, with the Mandarin Oriental following in 2010.


Cloud 9 on Jamaica: Half Moon Debuts Fern Tree Spa

October 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half MoonHow to improve on perfection? Open a splendid, new spa called Fern Tree. The timelessly elegant Half Moon, a favorite Caribbean hideaway, has opened the doors to a new facility that will knock your socks off. Celebrated as "a destination within a destination," the spa is housed in the resort's signature Fern Tree House; the conversion retained the original colonial design of hardwood floors and white-washed verandahs situated in beautifully-landscaped gardens. Choose an individual spa treatment or experience a customized, step-by-step program developed by the Spa Elder, your experienced guide who is trained in the use of local indigenous ingredients. Upon arrival at this 68,000 square foot oasis, each guest enjoys a ceremonial foot bath. Treatments utilize premier skincare lines from Jamaica and Europe, highlighting the indigenous botanicals of Montego Bay (Pevonia, Thalgo, and pure essential oils from Jamaica's Blue Mountain Aromatics). Choose a luxury VIP suite and bask in the posh amenities: full bath, private patio and garden with hot tub and shower.


Caribbean Beach Bargains at La Samanna, St. Maarten

October 24, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La SamannaExperience paradise for a song. La Samanna, an Orient-Express hideaway in the French West Indies, is a chic, white-washed wonderland where restaurant provisions are flown in from France daily. And it recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, to boot. This beachfront spa resort has all-time low promotional rates of $395 per night during peak season. The catch? You must arrive on one of the following arrival dates: November 25 and 26, 2007, January 30, 2008, or February 26, 2008. As Travel + Leisure points out, this is a whopping 60 percent savings, as normal peak season rates start at around $1,000 a night. But hurry, this "Best Deal Days" promotion is bound to book fast.


Thanksgiving on a Private Island Paradise at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort

October 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jumby BayThe holidays are fast approaching: the perfect excuse for a family getaway! Jumby Bay has put together the ultimate holiday package of scrumptious eats, ultra-luxurious accommodations, and family-friendly festivities for a most memorable Thanksgiving. Recently honored as the Best Caribbean Resort by the readers of Travel + Leisure, Jumby Bay is set on a 300-acre island paradise off the coast of Antigua in the West Indies. The resort's lavish facilities-- 40 suites and 12 villas, private pools, complimentary Caloi bicycles for every guest, tennis courts, and recreational facilities galore-- are accessible only by boat. The "Island of Thanks" getaway means five days of fun: pumpkin carving for the kids, rum tasting for the parents, holiday cookie decorating, family bingo, and a phenomenal Thanksgiving feast prepared by new Executive Chef, Erik Gremmer. Rates start at $875 per night.


Trump Launches Luxury Hotel Brand

October 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Palm JumeirahIn the wake of countless new luxury hotel collections (Crillon, 1 Hotels, Waldorf-Astoria, Baccarat, to name a few), Mr. Trump has decided to launch his own. The flagship for this new brand is the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. Touted as "raising the bar on top-end travel experiences," the Trump Hotel Collection will showcase the new Spa at Trump with signature Trump-inspired treatments and an exclusive line of skin-care products by Kate Somerville. What else is in store? Customized service that will "go beyond butler service" because of the intrusive detailed record of personal guest preferences. In addition to the NY hotel, the collection will include two forthcoming properties in Chicago and Las Vegas, set to debut within the next few months. There are projects in the works in Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, NY's Soho neighborhood, Waikiki, Toronto, Cap Cana, Mexico's Baja Peninsula, Panama City, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Dubai *of course*. Will this really be "the next generation of luxury hospitality?"


Opening Exclusive Package at The Landings St. Lucia

October 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Landings St. LuciaIt's not too late to score a room for the grand opening of The Landings St. Lucia, the latest luxury resort from RockResorts. On December 14, 2007 the oceanfront resort will open its doors on the Caribbean island du jour: the paradise of St. Lucia. You'll find sea-facing guest rooms, a dazzling 800-foot beach, a sumptuous spa, and an 80-slip marina. If you book by December 14, you'll receive a free upgrade to a plunge pool suite. Plus you'll get a framed picture of you and your suite guests. Rates start at $466.65 per night.


Get Beached on St. Bart’s: Savings at Hotel Guanahani

October 1, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Guanahani Craving some tropical sun? Escape to one of the most indulgent resorts in the Caribbean, and treat yourself to some super savings in the off-season. As the dollar continues to slide to an all-time low against the euro, the chic Hotel Guanahani has guaranteed a dollar-to-euro match so lucky guests can avoid the frightful exchange rate. Nestled within coconut groves and tropical gardens, the colorful cottages at this award-winning resort offer a sophisticated hideaway in a blissful setting. There's nothing like soaking up 180 degree views of the turquoise sea (while getting pampered at the spa) to cure the post-summer blues. The three-night Blissful Guanahani package, identified by Sherman's Travel Magazine as a top luxury value deal for the fall, is a seriously smart splurge. Available until October 31, 2007, the package includes a host of add-ons: daily breakfast, two lunches and dinners per person, one-day car rental, four spa treatments for person, and even a cooking class-- all for $2,025 per person.


Bermuda Girlfriend Getaway with Mariel Hemingway at Cambridge Beaches

September 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mariel Hemingway at Cambridge Beaches Only 36 guests will be allowed to attend this exclusive event at Bermuda's finest resort, Cambridge Beaches. Over the weekend of November 15-18, 2007 the resort proudly welcomes actress and author Mariel Hemingway for a very special event. Inspired by her book Healthy Living from the Inside Out, Every Woman's Guide to Real Beauty, Renewed Energy and a Radiant Life, the weekend will be filled with enriching activities in a stunning seaside setting-- where attendees will also enjoy all the distinctive pleasures of the resort. Hemingway will share her passion for healthy living and spotlight the four cornerstones of her book: food, exercise, home and silence. Highlights include:

* a book signing and cocktail/mocktail party to begin the weekend

* an inspirational beachside yoga session

* a Hemingway-inspired lunch

* a personal Q & A on the benefits of great nutrition and how to choose "foods that boost"

* a delicious sampling of Hemingway's signature menu items throughout the weekend

* a personal conversation with Mariel about stress and the benefits of meditation

This exclusive event package includes premium deluxe accommodations, all meals prepared by the renowned Cambridge Beaches culinary team, additional yoga classes and a spa treatment at the fabulous Ocean Spa. All guests for the event will also receive Rare, a special gift from Lili Bermuda, the island's on-site perfumery. The four day/three night event is priced at $2,825 per person based on double occupancy.


All Island Buy-out at Peter Island Resort, British Virgin Islands

September 7, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peter Island For the first time ever, Peter Island-- the renowned Caribbean resort that frequently tops the lists of "world's best hotels"-- can be rented in its entirety. How's that for exclusivity? The fully-staffed private island resort can be yours for just you and 130 of your closest friends or business colleagues. Think weddings, family reunions, company retreats. The largest private island in the BVI, Peter Island boasts five picture-perfect beaches, a seaside spa, 52 guest rooms, three villas, and Tradewinds restaurant, which was recently awarded the Wine Spectator award of excellence. (Oh, and did we mention the resort's 41' sailing yacht Silmaril?) 200 members of staff (a 3 to 1 ratio of staff to guests) are on hand to assist with all requests. Rates for the full island buy-out (a five-night stay) begin at $259,600 for travel now through November 16, 2007. Included: all breakfasts, lunches and dinners daily, round trip airport transfers, unlimited ferry service to and from Tortola and unlimited use of the resort's non-motorized watersports equipment, mountain bikes, tennis courts, windsurfing, snorkeling and fitness center.


Spotlight On: The Equestrian Center at Half Moon, Jamaica

August 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon, Jamaica Horse folks are welcome at Half Moon, one of only three resorts in the Caribbean with its own equestrian center. Led by passionate trainers, the center offers excellent programs for all ages and skill levels. Enjoy the signature Beach Ride, which takes riders for an exhilarating swim on horseback into the sea. Budding equestrians can partake in the Jungle Jaunt, which leads riders through paths on a scenic hillside. More proficient riders can take advantage of private lessons. Plus, there are pony rides for the kiddies. Surrounded by sandy crescent beaches, the elegant Half Moon resort features an exclusive dolphin lagoon, championship golf, first-class tennis, a variety of water sports, and delectable specialty restaurants.

PS. Fall breaks at Half Moon are a steal, with nightly rates starting at $149 per night in a Superior Room. (Double occupancy; three night minimum stay required.) Available September 6 - October 31, 2007.