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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.

Free Helicopter Transfer at the Sivory Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

August 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sivory Punta Cana

Imagine… landing on the beach, not at any Heli port, enjoying beach check-in with champagne and cold towel service, and heading straight to your suite, bypassing the lobby. The hottest new boutique hotel in the Caribbean, the Sivory Punta Cana, is offering a free helicopter transfer with a 3-night stay, until December 15, 2006 (book by October 15, 2006). Located on the soft white sand of the eastern top of the Dominican Republic, the 55-room Sivory Punta Cana has nothing but suites: each Balinese-style room opens onto its own private garden, with ocean views. Choose from three different restaurants, inside or out, by the pool, on your own private terrace, or next to the beach. Indulge in a luxurious treatment at the Aquarea Wellness and Spa, relax by the gorgeous infinity-edge pool, or play tennis, scuba dive, mountain bike. This could be heaven. (Free helicopter transfer is based upon the following conditions: 3 night minimum stay, purchase of Sivory Meal Plan, available from Punta Cana airport only, subject to weather conditions.)


Planning a Caribbean Getaway for the Holidays: Think Jamaica

August 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jamaica Inn

Many Caribbean hot spots have been booked solid for months for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays. Though a few luxurious resorts in Jamaica—including the Jamaica Inn, Ritz Carlton Rose Hall, and Half Moon—still have a few rooms available (some resorts require a minimum night stay of 4+ nights). Soft white sand beaches dotted with palms, lush forests and tropical nature reserves with waterfalls, orange sunsets over the turquoise sea… Jamaica is the stuff of postcards. And the third largest island in the Caribbean boasts the best golf. The courses—like the White Witch at Rose Hall-– are known worldwide for their awesome challenges and stunning natural beauty. To ensure a sunny Caribbean vacation over the holidays, act fast!


Free Fourth Night at Cap Juluca, Anguilla, Caribbean

August 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cap Juluca

What could be better than a summer Caribbean getaway? The sugary white sand beaches are yours for the taking (hurricanes are not always on the forecast), the days are marked by cool ocean air breezes (as opposed to abundant East Coast humidity), and other-worldly resorts like Cap Juluca offer awesome discounts. Located on the island of Anguilla, just minutes from St. Maarten, Cap Juluca is an award-winning paradise of Moorish-style villas, five-star restaurants, tropical gardens, unparalleled service, and pristine beaches. The party doesn't stop there; Cap Juluca's got an amazing array of recreational facilities, including fitness center, bicycles and private golf carts, aqua golf driving range, putting green, croquet lawn, swimming pool, tennis courts, and endless water sports. The snorkeling and wind surfing are excellent. This luxurious resort is beloved by readers of Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, who routinely rank it within the Caribbean's top three resorts. Until the end of August, pay for three nights at Cap Juluca and get a fourth for free! The offer includes continental breakfast served on your private terrace or full breakfast in the restaurant, use of the tennis courts and recreational facilities, afternoon tea and a bottle of rum.


Summer Introductory Rates at Amanyara, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

August 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanyara

Welcome to a world of sea breezes, reflecting pools, turquoise sea, and powder-fine white-sand beaches. Amanyara is nestled on the tip of a 5,000 acre nature reserve-- the Northwest Point Marine National Park-- on the secluded western shore of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos islands. Surrounded by the third largest coral reef system in the world, the stunning archipelago is known for its pristine beaches and some of the best scuba diving in the world. The destination resort of Amanyara is celebrated by beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts alike. With a fantastic oceanfront setting, the 40 timber-shingled Pavilions are spacious and luxuriously comfortable, with outdoor terraces and surrounded by large glass doors which open to the sea breezes. The attentive, understated service at Aman Resorts is world-renowned (even the most discerning clients can't stop gushing about it.) With some of the world's best scuba diving offshore, the fully equipped Dive Centre at Amanyara offers a range of courses suitable for both beginners and experienced divers. Excellent snorkeling is also available; a complimentary snorkeling trip departs daily from the Dive Centre. The Beach Club provides a variety of water sports equipment from Hobie Cats to ocean kayaks. And the resort has two flood-lit clay tennis courts, and spa and massage treatments can be enjoyed in the privacy of guests' private pavilions with Amanyara's team of skilled therapists. From June 15 to October 31, 2006, enjoy a Summer Introductory Rate of $950 per night at Amanyara, with a three-night minimum stay. Includes airport transfers, non-motorized water sports, use of tennis courts and equipment, mini bar, and all telephone calls.


Trends in Luxury Travel: Babymoons

July 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las Ventanas

We've written about the Babymoon Packages at the Four Seasons Chicago and Peter Island in the Caribbean. And now it seems the trend is catching on. More and more expectant couples are choosing to travel before the baby's arrival-- to treat themselves to a few days of romance and pampering before the baby makes three. And more and more luxury hotels are organizing Babymoon packages to accommodate them. As highlighted in Newsweek International, Jamaica's Half Moon resort has organized an elaborate, five-day package where moms-to-be (in their first trimester) can even swim with dolphins, which use sonar to communicate with the fetus. At Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, the four-night maternity spa package offers prenatal yoga and exercises, and a special gift of a silver baby fork-and-spoon set.


Coming Soon: The Brand New Ritz-Carlton, St. Lucia

July 19, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton St. Lucia

Ritz-Carlton is expanding its portfolio of award-winning luxury properties in the Caribbean, with its eight hotel in St. Lucia slated to open in 2009. And the island destination isn't a shabby choice; St. Lucia is celebrated for its unspoiled natural beauty and verdant landscape marked by the Piton volcanoes. Situated on Half Moon Bay with spectacular views of the Piton peaks, the new Ritz-Carlton will be an exclusive haven of 275 oceanfront rooms. The resort will be enhanced by a 20,000 square foot spa and two 18-hole golf courses overlooking the Atlantic, including one designed by Arnold-Palmer. Dining venues will include a specialty restaurant with pool grill, 30-seat lobby lounge, and a clubhouse restaurant and bar next to the golf course. Ritz-Carlton is already anticipating the St. Lucia resort to be a hot spot for destination weddings and meetings.

Via TravelWeekly


The O Property Collection to Build $1 Billion Hotel Development, Turks and Caicos

July 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Turks and Caicos

It's being called the "largest development in the hemisphere." The O Property Collection has announced its development of 2.24 sq-mile Dellis Cay, a breaktakingly beautiful island in the Turks and Caicos. With stunning tropical beaches and lagoons, the islands are also known for their spectacular diving and snorkeling, as the third largest coral reef system in the world is located just off-shore. This flagship project is located just 20 minutes from Providenciales. According to Travel Weekly:

Scheduled to open in 2008, the project is estimated to generate a billion dollars worth of sales within the next five years… The development will be divided into lifestyle zones, each designed by a different architect. OPC, which also has projects planned in the Mediterranean and Asia, will partner with hotel management companies to run the individual properties worldwide. Although each property development will be different, Kinay said that they will all "bear the marks of the OPC signature brand -- timeless architecture, sleek design, a fit with the natural surroundings and the finest in amenities and services."

But the company's website is remarkably vague about a project of this magnitude:

The Project involves building infrastructure and about 70,000 square meters of construction within the next three to five years. On the island, which will be divided into "lifestyle areas" designed by the world's foremost architects, the focus will be on creating an upscale, exclusive private island serving the needs of affluent travelers.


Sizzling Summer Package at the Water and Beach Club Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico

July 11, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Water Club

The city's only boutique hotel on the beach, The Water Club was named "one of the coolest hotels in the world" by Conde Nast Traveler. The rooftop bar, Wet, offers cocktails and sushi under the stars, while the rooftop sundeck, pool and Jacuzzi likewise boast breathtaking ocean views. The enormous suites feature large telescopes to appreciate the panoramic vistas. This is a San Juan hot spot, with its bar, Liquid, a happening and loud party mecca, so non-party peeps should steer clear.

Right now The Water Club is offering an unbelievable Summer Package, starting at just $89 per person.The Sizzling Summer Package includes welcome Melon Lips Martini for two, complimentary breakfast for two at Tangerine, one night of VIP list privileges at a local night club, and a complimentary gift upon arrival.

Related articles:

Chicago Tribune, Old San Juan


Hotel Star Ratings in the Caribbean, Courtesy of Mobil

June 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

It's about time. The Mobil Travel Guide--the illustrious bible which has provided comprehensive hotel ratings in the US and Canada since 1958 (using 750 criteria, no less)-- has announced plans to bring that expertise to evaluation of Caribbean hotels. Mobil bills itself as the "originator of the prestigious Five-Star ratings and certifications program for hotels, restaurants, and spas." The company's evaluation of Caribbean hotels, in of the most popular tourist regions in the world, is the beginning of an effort to bring their renowned rating system to properties worldwide.


Announcing the Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica

June 19, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon

This summer, the award-winning Half Moon resort will begun work on a new $4 million spa facility. The resort's signature villa, Fern Tree House, will be converted into a 68,000 sq ft sanctuary to debut in early 2007. The colonial styled treatment rooms will be set within lush gardens, and the ultra-private couples massage room will include a private dipping pool. The extensive treatment menu will draw from Jamaica's ancient healing remedies and will incorporate native herbs, fruits and botanicals.

The Fern Tree Spa Complex will also house a spa cottage (for families and wedding parties), relaxation lounge, yoga pavilion, hydrotherapy swimming pool, sculpture garden, and six beachfront spa suites. These signature suites, located adjacent to the Spa, will provide all of the traditional hotel amenities along with added spa features, including oversized bathrooms, private patio with outdoor soaking tub and shower overlooking the Caribbean, personal studio for yoga and en-suite treatments, and organic refreshment bar.

The Fern Tree Spa is the third in a series of major refurbishing projects to be undertaken by Half Moon in last five years. Other upgrades included the rebuilding of the resort's beachfront Hibiscus Suites, adding a children's play area, the renovation of the 41-year old Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed golf course, and refurbishing of the Oleander deluxe suites.

Via Travel Weekly