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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.

The World's Best Hotels: Announcing the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011

November 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel-AirLooking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.

New & Noteworthy- The Year's Best New and Reinvented Hotels: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Mondrian Soho in NYC, Hotel Bel-Air & The Redbury in Los Angeles

Grande Dame- Legendary Hotels with Superlative History and Service: The Carlyle in NYC, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel du Russie in Rome, The Savoy in London

Casual Chic- Effortlessly Stylish Hotels with Rustic-Modern Appeal: Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, Bardessono in Napa, The Allison in Oregon

Design- Cutting-Edge Boutique Hotels at All Price Points: Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Jia in Hong Kong

Cavo Tagoo, MykonosLocal Flavor- Go-To Hotels for a Truly Authentic Experience: Fairmont Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Evason Ma'in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan

Clubby Atmosphere- Hip Urban Pied-à-Terres: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, The Liberty in Boston, The Augustine in Prague

Luxurious Retreat- Top Choices for a Complete Escape: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Trusted Brand- World-Class Examples of International Hotel Chains: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, The Peninsula Bangkok


Frosty Fridays at Boston's Colonnade Hotel: The Temperature Sets Your Room Rate

November 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Colonnade Hotel, BostonThe Colonnade Hotel in Boston's Back Bay had an extreme makeover this year- we're talking $25 million worth- and now it has all the press gabbing about its "clean, modern look" and "fab high-tech coffee makers." Within walking distance to Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Newbury Street, this Four Diamond hotel is eager to show guests that the winter season is just as fabulous in Boston, showing off New England's snow-covered splendor. So they're rolling out their popular two-night "Frosty Fridays" package- which affords guests a first-night rate according to the temperature at 5 p.m. on Friday as measured by the National Weather Service. For example: If the thermometer reads 17 degrees, guests will pay $17 for their Friday night stay and a special rate of $295 for Saturday night. "Frosty Fridays" is valid from November 15, 2011 through March 31, 2012 and includes a double occupancy luxe room; the choice of two tickets to either the Old Town Trolley Tour or admission and skating rentals at The Boston Common Frog Pond Skating Rink; hot chocolate for two at Brasserie JO; and overnight parking. Rates are based on a two-night stay and subject to applicable taxes and availability.


The Chocolate Bar & Dazzling City Brunch at The Langham Boston

October 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Boston'Tis the season... for chowing down on some heart-warming fare. While in Boston, skip over to the Langham Hotel for one of the best brunches in town. Offered on Sundays from September to June, the famous City Brunch is a feast of epicurean delights. We're talking Artisanal Cheeses & Meats (like Duck Prosciutto wrapped Roasted Red Pear with Lavender Honey), a Raw Bar and East Coast Catches (shrimp, salmon, crab, oh my!), a Carving Station, and all kinds of heavenly Breakfast Specialties (Honey Strawberry and Banana Smoothie, Pecan Sweet Rolls, Cinnamon Sticks). From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; priced $52 for Adults, $28 for Children 5-12, 4 and under free.

As the temperature cools, The Langham Boston is also heating things up with the return of its famous Chocolate Bar on Saturdays. Five interactive dessert stations feature varied chocolate content ranges. A selection of this season’s menu includes: mango white chocolate chili mousse parfait (0% cocoa), spiced pumpkin and milk chocolate cake (40% cocoa), dark chocolate brulee (50% cocoa), manjari chocolate and gruyere tart (60% cocoa), and guanaja cremeaux with olive oil and sea salt (70-80% cocoa).


Fall Foliage and Homemade Cider at Boston's Fifteen Beacon Hotel

September 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fifteen Beacon Hotel, Boston'Tis the season... for leaf-peeping at New England's splendid fall foliage, and savoring the scents of autumn (like warm spiced cider). Head to Boston, one of the world's best walking cities, for a private guided tour through the city's historic heart, soaking up the last days of summer warmth and enjoying mild temperatures. Fifteen Beacon Hotel, the luxury landmark standing at the crest of Beacon Hill, has an enticing package to help you get the most out of the season. Book "Only in Autumn" and you'll enjoy homemade spiced cider and donuts, a private tour of Boston (the most historic city in America) for prime leaf-peeping and historic sightseeing, and an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability. Please book at least two weeks in advance. Rates starting from $800. Blackout dates may apply.


Farm-to-Table Getaway with the Four Seasons Boston

September 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons BostonFoodies won't want to miss this special opportunity at the Four Seasons Boston: a weekend culinary extravaganza this fall that includes apple picking, cider making, and cooking with the Executive Chef. With the Farm-to-Table getaway, a group of six has a fun-filled, food-themed weekend both on the farm and at the luxury hotel. Here's what the weekend looks like:

* Friday - Arrive and savor special welcome amenities from Chef Vosika followed by a festive dinner at Chef's favorite Boston restaurant outside of the hotel.

* Saturday - Breakfast in The Bristol Lounge before departing for a local farm to select fresh produce and go apple picking. In the afternoon, the cooking begins. Venture inside the kitchen at Four Seasons Boston, don chef's hats and aprons and use a cider press to make apple cider from scratch. Then, cook up festive fall indulgences ranging from Chef’s favorite apple cider donuts to warm apple pie. You'll also taste a range of light bites and sip homemade wines from Chef’s personal label, Sawkill Creek. Dinner is a custom menu in The Bristol Lounge incorporating the farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients selected during the day’s outing.

* Sunday - Celebratory Sunday Breakfast Buffet in The Bristol Lounge. Each participant will receive Chef's personal recipes plus a basket of homemade goods to take home.

This special weekend is offered from Friday, October 14 to Sunday October 16, 2011 by Four Seasons Hotel Boston. The cost is $7,995 per group of six and includes three guest rooms plus the itinerary described; guests must book together.


Boston Restaurant Week: Specials at the Taj Boston

August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj BostonBoston restaurant week is in full swing, meaning you can score a deal at some of the city's finest restaurants. Try a two-course lunch for $15.11, three-course lunch for $20.11, and three-course dinner for $33.11. For the occasion, the Taj Boston-- the landmark hotel at Arlington and Newbury streets overlooking the Public Garden-- has introduced new menus available August 14-19 and August 21-26. Snag a table in The Café, the hotel’s charming 66-seat restaurant with perfect people-watching views of fashionable Newbury Street shops, and dig into these tasty favorites:

* Starters: Indian Spiced Fish Cake with Cucumber Salad and Mint Chutney OR Escargot and Orecchiette Pasta with Woodland Mushrooms and Lemon Garlic Butter

* Entrees: Methi Murg Chicken (a flavorful red curry) with Sweet Onion and Cashew Gravy and Fenugreek; East Coast Seafood Cioppino with Garlic Toast and Herb Aioli, OR o Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with Corn Yukon Mashed and Mustard Barbeque Sauce

* Dessert: Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries, OR Coconut Caramel Cake with Candied Bananas and Passion Fruit Coulis


Sizzling Summer Sales: 25% Off at Boston's Fifteen Beacon Hotel

July 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fifteen Beacon Hotel, BostonThe temperatures may be rising, but Boston's swank Fifteen Beacon Hotel is dropping rates for July bookings! With the "Summer Sizzler," you can get 25% off the Best Available Rate through July 2011. Why not cool off with an aquatic adventure to the New England Aquarium? Experience more than 70 exhibits, including a colony of penguins and a poisonous fish tank. Or indulge with ice cream on Newbury Street. Too hot to think? Leave your vacation planning to the well-connected concierge team; Fifteen Beacon is known for its stellar personal guest services and attention to detail. Need a table at a booked restaurant? Tickets to a ballgame? No sweat. They've got you covered. (No wonder they get so many repeat guests.)


The Charles Hotel in Cambridge Preps its Dazzling New Corbu Spa

July 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Charles Hotel, CambridgeGet ready, Boston. In just a matter of weeks, a new luxury spa will be upping the ante. The Charles Hotel-- located just outside Boston in Cambridge's Harvard Square-- is launching Corbu Spa & Salon this summer. Named after famed architect-designer Le Corbusier, the 4,000-square-foot spa will offer an all-organic treatment menu featuring ingredients handpicked from the hotel’s gardens. In this regard, the spa takes a cue from the hotel's renowned restaurants, Rialto and Henrietta's Table, both industry leaders in the farm-to-table movement. Get this: Spa Director Pamela Baldwin Adami will also be crafting salt scrubs, sugar buffers, and lotions right in her own home. The best part of all: Corbu is a “Spa with a Heart" with special packages providing donations to select charitable organizations like Partners in Heath, MSPCA, the EcoLogic Development Fund, and the Steppingstone Foundation.


Rates from $149: Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA Celebrates Renovation

July 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel MarloweThat's right. You can enjoy a fun stay in Beantown from just $149 per night at the newly-renovated Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge. The "chic spin on tradition" rates are available for weekend stays from Friday-Sunday and are available through September 5, 2011. Must book by July 8. Fresh from a makeover, this eclectic hotel is set on the Charles River across from downtown Boston, with many of the 236 rooms featuring river views. Like all Kimpton Hotels, the Hotel Marlowe offers a hosted evening wine hour, pet-friendly amenities, and free Internet access for Kimpton InTouch Guest Loyalty members.


Hold Your Wedding at the Taj Boston and Get a Free 6-Night Honeymoon

June 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, MaldivesNo joke. Taj Boston is giving you your honeymoon. Simply hold your fairytale wedding at the landmark hotel on Arlington and Newbury streets and receive a complimentary 6-night Taj Fantasy Honeymoon at your choice of romantic Taj destinations worldwide. The catch? You must spend at least $25,000 (not hard these days, when the average wedding in the U.S. costs over $28,000). Enjoy unrivaled wedding facilities overlooking Boston's Public Garden and then jet to paradise. We'd choose the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives (pictured)- with over-water bungalows, private plunge pools, sunset dining on a turquoise lagoon, and royal couples’ treatments at the Jiva Grande Spa.