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.

Travel Trends: Voluntourism, and Give-Back Getaways with Ritz-Carlton Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand CaymanVolunteer tourism, a.k.a "voluntourism," is a growing trend in travel, and more and more travelers are jumping on the bandwagon and planning to volunteer during their vacations. Forbes Traveler sums it up nicely:

There comes a point — generally when you're on your third margarita, sunburned over 60 percent of your body and the kids are screaming in the infinity pool — when you start to wonder if there is more to the whole vacation concept than lying on a beach getting toasted. A way of showing thanks for your own good fortunes, perhaps. You want a chance to contribute more to a local economy than buying overpriced trinkets that neither you nor your friends back home really need.

Ritz-Carlton has taken notice. They've created the Give Back Getaways program- to offer guests a chance to give back to the community with half-day local community experiences, working alongside Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen in a Community Footprints humanitarian or environmental project. All profits from the Give Back Getaways programs are donated to the partner organizations. An example is the Blue Iguana Recovery Program at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, led by naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, where guests assist with the breeding program to help a unique species on the brink of extinction.


Luxury Turks & Caicos Resort Offers 25% Off For Opening Season


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Regent GrandThe Regent Grand Resort and Spa has just opened on Grace Bay in the beautiful Turks & Caicos Islands. The resort is the second luxury condominium resort by the highly regarded Turks & Caicos based HAB Group, who have been developing in the Turks & Caicos and London luxury markets for over 20 years. Their first property, Villa Renaissance, has recently been awarded a Tripadvisor Top 10 Luxury Caribbean Resort, and it is thought that the Regent Grand will be even more successful. The property has 50 oceanfront suites, all with fully fitted kitchens and fantastic ocean view balconies, which ensure that guests enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in the Caribbean.

The luxury five star Regent Grand is offering guests 25% off until December 2008 and anyone lucky enough to book in the next few weeks will receive free golf during their stay at the nearby 18 Hole championship course, Provo Golf Club. Guests will also receive a 15% discount at the Spa for reservations up to 30th September, and can have treatments either at the Spa or in room if required.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Guests will also receive a free welcome amenity of a bottle of wine and a fruit basket in their room upon arrival.


End of Summer Sale in the Caribbean at Biras Creek Resort, Virgin Gorda


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Biras Creek ResortHurry! You have just two more days to take advantage of this deal. Book by August 20, 2008, and you'll get seven nights for the price of five at the Biras Creek Resort, Virgin Gorda's luxurious 31-suite resort surrounded by three distinct bodies of water (the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the lagoon of North Sound-- all in brilliant shades of emerald and turquoise). Available for travel until August 31, this special is for Ocean Suites only. What a way to celebrate the end of summer: basking in the Caribbean sun and ocean breezes, feasting like kings, swimming and snorkeling from your own private beach in this tropical island paradise that's only reachable by boat or helicopter...


Hot Deal in the Caribbean: $995 Labor Day Weekend at La Samanna


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La SamannaWe've got the scoop on a unique Labor Day special that doesn't come around that often. La Samanna Resort, a chic Orient-Express property in St. Maarten, French West Indies, is consistently named one of the world's best places to stay. This gorgeous gem is usually closed for the season over Labor Day weekend, but this year, La Samanna will stay open so you can celebrate the Dog Days of Summer in style. Finish off your summer with a three-night Labor Day weekend package starting at just $995 in an Ocean View Room. You'll also get buffet breakfast daily, a welcome bottle of champagne and a car rental for the day (tax, gas and insurance not included). Upgrade to a spacious One Bedroom Suite for just $100 more per night.


Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, and Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President WilsonForget "Staycations." The uber-rich continue to globe-trot on private jets and bunk down in swanky pads-- like the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, the world's most expensive at a whopping $52,000 a night. Elite Traveler recently released their list of the "101 Top Hotel/Resort Suites of the Year" in the July/August 2008 issue. Runners-up for priciest suite include the $50,000/night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Attica, Greece, and the $21,000/night Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. In the U.S., the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York has a price tag of $30,000 per night, making it the most expensive suite built in the U.S. Next up? The Chairman Suite at the Palazzo in Vegas ($20,000/night) followed by the Empire Suite at the Carlyle in New York and the Grand Suite at the Grand Wailea Resort (both at $15,000/night). For the full breakdown, click here.


Sale in the Caribbean: Ocean Cottage for the Price of a Garden Room at Little Dix Bay


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Little Dix BayWe just got word about a stellar Caribbean package that offers savings of 45 percent, with breakfast included. Situated on a half-mile crescent-shaped beach on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, Rosewood's Little Dix Bay is a blissful resort offering elegant villas and guest rooms with recently renovated bathrooms and outdoor rain showers. Little Dix Bay has announced a new "Rosewood Escapes Extra" Package so that guests can own the beach for the price of a garden. With this four-day upgraded holiday package, you can save $1100 in an ocean cottage from September 1- November 20, 2008. When guests book a garden view room at the rate of $425 per night, they will automatically receive a triple upgrade to an ocean cottage, never more than 25 steps off the beach, with buffet breakfast included each day (normally priced at $758 per night). 17 percent tax and resort fee are additional. Founded by visionary philanthropist Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1964, Little Dix Bay has water sports, tennis courts, three excellent dining venues, Sense, A Rosewood Spa (with treatments utilizing indigenous botanicals plucked from the resort's grounds), and a great kids program at the Children's Grove. Psst. This promotion is in addition to the already discounted "Rosewood Escapes" package currently offered this summer and fall.


The Ultimate in Luxury - Half Moon Jamaica


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Half Moon JamaicaCombining barefoot elegance and style that is sure to enrich your stay and welcome you back again and again is the promise of Half Moon Rose Hall, Jamaica. Now for the "Ultimate in Luxury", Half Moon is offering from now until December 14, 2008, an all exclusive package offering a range of sports activities, gourmet meals and accommodations in lush surroundings. Highlights of your stay include 18 holes of gulf (green fees daily), horseback riding, glass bottom boat rides, sailing, snorkeling, wind surfing and much, much more. Other features of your stay are the round trip transfers to and from the International Airport, a bottle of champagne on arrival, a welcome gift, weekly manager cocktail party and use of Anancy Children's Village for the 3-12 year old crowd (arrangements for the use of a Nanny can also be made). Half Moon JamaicaMeal plans offer daily breakfast at the Seagrape Terrance and restaurant options for lunch and dinner, as well as cocktails and house wines by the glass at selected restaurants and bars. Rates start at $570 per night double occupancy excluding government tax and service charge. There are a total of 6 restaurants and 7 bars offering the very casual to the elegant casual setting for your meals, 51 swimming pools, 2 miles of private beach, shopping village and 400 tropical acres to explore.

By offering luxurious accommodations at a premier caribbean resort and the convenience of paying one price for your accommodations, sports activities and meals, Half Moon Rose Hall, Jamaica truly offers the "Ultimate in Luxury".


SUMMER & FALL ESCAPE RATES - ROSEWOOD LITTLE DIX BAY & CANEEL BAY


By: Madelyn Giblin

Rosewood CaribbeanThere's no better time to escape to the Caribbean than this summer and fall with Rosewood Resorts Escape Rates. The dreamy Caneel Bay Resort is offering rates from $325 for bed and breakfast through September 2nd. With spectacular window views overlooking pristine white sand beaches, Caneel Beach is perfect for forgetting your work week woes.

Rosewood's Little Dix Bay is also offering discounted rates of $425 for bed and breakfast from now until December 19th. With brand new villas just opened Little Dix Bay offers the ultimate luxury Caribbean vacation.


Win a Free Island Hotel Stay with HotelChatter and Michael Kinsley


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Layover Contest HotelChatterOur friends over at HotelChatter have a fun contest running through Thursday, July 31st that we suggest you mull over (your suggestion is important) and enter.

"Pick a Layover Stop for Michael Kinsley and Win a Free Island Hotel Stay"

From HotelChatter:

That's right. We said "A Free Island Hotel Stay" and all you have to do is enter a comment on HotelChatter. For realz! Ok so we're slightly getting ahead of ourselves here but this is the 411.

Not all of us can enjoy a cushy layover in an airport hotel like the Grand Hyatt Dallas Fort Worth, but Condé Nast Traveler's Michael Kinsley is determined to find the best layover cities around the world in case we do get stranded somewhere with hours of nothing to do on our hands.

Kinsley actually completed this challenge back in 1988 but since that was before the internet, before boutique hotels became lodging staples and before low-cost-carriers took off, he's decided to make the trip again in September.

This time he wants suggestions from you readers about which airports he should check out in which cities and what he should do while he's there.

So we're teaming up with the Perrin Post and Jaunted to bring you this fun contest. If your layover suggestion gets picked for Kinsley's itinerary you could win a Palm Centro Smartphone. And if Kinsley finds your tip to be his absolute favorite, you could win a killer stay at The Regent Palms Turks and Caicos.

Keep reading to learn how to win these goodies and to enter >>

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St. James’s Club and Villas, Antigua: All-Inclusive Sale in the Caribbean for $299


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. James Club, AntiguaNow's your chance to escape for a blissful Caribbean holiday with savings up to 50 percent off the usual seasonal rates. Operated by Elite Island Resorts, the all-inclusive St. James's Club sits on an 100-acre estate boasting unobstructed ocean views and two white sandy beaches on the island of Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. The resort has a long-standing reputation for its exceptional service in a casual, club-like environment, with plenty of fun-filled activities and diversions. You'll enjoy complimentary non-motorized water sports such as kayaking and catamaran sailing, along with the four distinctive swimming pools, spa, tennis courts, and seaside fitness center. The resort is not just for couples; families love it too. Mom and Dad can lounge on the beach while the little ones are entertained at the award-winning Kidz Club. Elite Island Resorts is currently running a great promotion, the "$299 Island Sale"- so that you can snag a nightly rate of $299 (double) at all-inclusive properties like the St. James's Club, Palm Island, and the Verandah Resort and Spa-- including accommodations, meals, beverages, taxes and service charges. This deal is available until December 21, 2008, three-night minimum stay required.

PS. It's also possible to stay at St. James's Club on a room-only basis (not all-inclusive).