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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 New Jing An Shangri-La in West Shanghai to Open June 2013

April 26, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

June 2013 will mark the opening of Jing An Shangri-La Hotel, West Shanghai designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, this is Shangri-La’s third luxury hotel in Shanghai, following the well-established Pudong Shangri-La and the contemporary Kerry Hotel, both located in East Shanghai.

Jing An Shangri-La West ShanghaiShangri-La Hotels and Resorts' newest flagship hotel will open in the heart of Shanghai. The 508-room Jing An Shangri-La in West Shanghai on the top 29 floors of the 60-storey main tower will envelop guests in a world of luxury and modern glamour befitting one of the most exciting and influential international cities.

The hotel is the cornerstone of the new Jing An Kerry Centre, a 450,000- square-metre integrated complex with prime retail, office and residential space located in the fashionable Jing An District in Puxi, Shanghai. Jing An Shangri-La will present an approachable contemporary design that evokes a strong sense of place complemented by Shangri-La's inimitable heartfelt hospitality.

Every detail of the hotel has been meticulously considered, from the staff uniforms designed by top Chinese designer Han Feng, to over 80 intricate silk lanterns that appear to float magically in the Summer Palace Chinese restaurant, to the commissioning of large-scale artwork from two of the most renowned Chinese contemporary artists - Zeng Fanzhi and Zhou Chun Ya.

Jing An Shangri-La overlooks the focal point of Jing An Kerry Centre - a 3,000-square meter piazza featuring pathways, gardens, water features and al fresco dining. Guestrooms will occupy the top 29 floors of the hotel's 60-storey main tower, while restaurants, offices and retail shops will be located on the lower levels.

Jing An Shangri-La West ShanghaiThe spacious guestrooms' rich yet delicate interiors are a foil for the stunning views of Shanghai visible through nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. All guestrooms will feature bathrooms with heated marble floors as well as LCD TV and digital clock embedded in the bathroom mirrors.

The most spectacular view can be seen from the hotel's Horizon Club Lounge, which takes up the entire 55th floor and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Shanghai. Horizon Club Lounge access will be available to guests staying in the 62-square-meter Grand Premier Room category and all suites.

Among Jing An Shangri-La's many draws is its array of restaurants and lounges. Shangri-La created a distinct environment for each venue.

The unique destination restaurant, Summer Palace, serves Southeastern Chinese cuisine with Cantonese flair. Inspired by Chinese ink paintings of poetic landscapes, a series of contemporary dining chambers each provide a different dining ambiance and menu. The colorful rooms flow from the casual Pantry Chamber serving dim sum, to the Lantern Chamber with an open kitchen specializing in clay pot cooking, to the exquisite Imperial Chamber for formal dining.

The 1515 WEST, Chophouse & Bar is where old Shanghai film making meets classic American bar and grill decor. Executive Chef Franco Brodini will bring "ranch to table" dining to Shanghai, serving beef from hand-selected cattle raised in Australia specifically for The 1515 WEST. The main dining room features an open-grill kitchen complemented by a raw bar and The 1515 WEST bar, serving signature cocktails from a team of world-class mixologists.

The hotel's two-level Cafe LIANG & mezzanine will add a new twist to the gourmet international buffet dining experience Shangri-La hotels are known to offer. The cafe will feature a "tick box" menu card for main courses, integrating a buffet and table service experience. Main courses can be served family style for sharing, and al fresco dining will be available in the piazza area. A la carte Japanese cuisine will be served on the mezzanine level.

Opposite Cafe LIANG in the piazza is a modern Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar in a striking stand-alone two-storey glass-roof building clad in bamboo.

Jing An Shangri-La West ShanghaiAlso located within the piazza is the home in which Chairman Mao Zedong spent several months in 1920. Preserved amid the Jing An Kerry Centre's gleaming modern towers, the heritage home is currently being restored with the support of Kerry Properties and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in collaboration with the Jing An District Government.

Anticipating a need for meeting and event space in the central business district, the hotel offers an unparalleled 4,465 square meters of function space in West Shanghai. Jing An Shangri-La's Event Centre is housed in a five-storey podium block with a direct passage to the hotel tower on the third storey.

Its 1,740-square-metre pillarless Jing An Grand Ballroom is the largest in West Shanghai and boasts a 10-metre-high ceiling. The ballroom is complemented by a roof garden and a 1,039 square-metre pre-function area. In addition, the Event Centre houses a 514-square-metre junior ballroom plus six function rooms covering 659 square metres of space.

One signature event venue will be the Lifestyle Suite. Designed to provide the perfect combination of privacy and exclusivity, the self-contained Lifestyle Suite has its own bar, reception area, living room, dining room and courtyard. It can cater up to 80 guests.

Other offerings at Jing An Shangri-La include Shangri-La's signature CHI, The Spa, a state-of-the-art health club and a 25-metre heated indoor sky-dome lap pool.

The hotel is steps away from the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Jing An Temple and the famous Nanjing Road shopping street. It sits on a network of public transportation, including Metro Lines 2 and 7. It is a 45-minute drive from Pudong International Airport and a 20-minute drive from Hongqiao Airport via the adjacent elevated Yan'an Middle Ring Road.

The hotel and entire Jing An Kerry Centre development has been awarded the LEED Gold Pre-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai is the third Shangri-La property in the city, joining the luxurious Pudong Shangri-La located in the city's financial centre opposite the Bund, and the vibrant Kerry Hotel, Pudong, a luxury lifestyle hotel located near Century Park and the Shanghai New International Expo Center.


The Salamander Resort & Spa Sets August 2013 Opening

April 1, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VASalamander Resort & Spa, set on over 300 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia's famed horse country and lush vineyards announced that it is set to open this August. Located in the 18th century village of Middleburg, Salamander Resort is 30 minutes west of Dulles International Airport and an hour from downtown Washington, DC.

Set on 340 acres of farmland, the brand new resort will offer what was said to be "an unparalleled luxury experience in the region" with 168 guest rooms and suites; a culinary program led by Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant in DC including two restaurants, wine bar, cooking studio and two-acre culinary garden; a spa with 14 treatment rooms and a couples suite; and various activities including an onsite Equestrian program, with a 22-stall barn, practice ring, riding trails and instructional classes.

The Salamander Resort outside Washington, DCThe property similarly boasts tennis courts and an outdoor pool complex, and guests have privileges at the nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Fifty wineries are within an hour's drive of the resort, as are opportunities for whitewater rafting, sporting clays and raceway spectating.

Salamander Resort is also eyeing to be a destination for meetings or events. The property features a 5,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, as well as more intimate settings including a 1,800 square foot Junior Ballroom, Executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms, hospitality suites and 2,000 square foot Presidential Suite with an entertainment balcony.

Indoor and outdoor event facilities at Salamander are eyed to make events stand out, including the Equestrian Barn event room, the Stallion Barn, a, over a hundred year old stone building adjacent to the Grand Lawn, and the Cooking Studio, which may be reserved by groups for private events.

 


Newly Unveiled Renovated Guest Rooms at The Tuscany NYC

February 14, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

The Tuscany NYCFive Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently wrote an article about the newly unveiled guest rooms and suites at The Tuscany Hotel in New York City. Read more here: 

Boutique luxury lovers will flip over the newest addition to New York's hotel scene. Located along 39th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues and steps away from Grand Central Terminal, guests of The Tuscany NYC-A St Giles Luxury Collection Hotel are perfectly situated to explore all that New York City has to offer. The hotel recently reopened in November 2012 following a multimillion-dollar renovation.

The unveiling on December 18, 2012 showed off the first phase of the revitalization (think fully renovated guest rooms and suites). The second phase will wrap up in early 2013 with the debut of the 17th-floor Penthouse Suite, with wraparound terrace and views of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. The Penthouse Suite will also come with its own private kitchen and living room/den area (complete with working fireplace).

The Tuscany embodies both Old and New World, with custom oak and leather wall panel systems and hardwood floors complemented with artistic wall murals made by artists and designers (think Sarah Morris and Paul Smith).

All bathrooms have glass tile walls and Duravit vanities. Nice Touch: In-room bath amenities are Molton Brown.

View rates, details and more photos for The Tuscany Hotel New York City >>

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Fun Fact Friday! Fairmont’s President’s Club Members Ride in Style

February 8, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Fairmont is now offering complimentary shuttle service to its President’s Club members in a BMW 750i Sedan, so arrive to the airport, your meeting, or your dinner date in style!

Explore Fairmont hotels all over the world here >>


Deals and Steals at the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel

February 7, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance know that our travelers are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you. Be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!

Today’s feature is the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. This 5-star hotel is located in the heart of San Antonio's Cultural Arts District, across from the magnificently restored Majestic Theatre and within walking distance to the Convention Center and Rivercenter Mall. Check out the following deals and packages that are simply too good to pass up!

The Rio Package

Includes Breakfast Buffet for all registered guests and children 12 Years of age and under In Las Canarias Monday through Saturday and Ostra On Sundays. One ticket per adult per stay to the Rio San Antonio River Cruise. Tickets distributed at check In. Complimentary valet parking for one car. Terms And Conditions: Extra persons do not receive package benefits.

Romance Remembered Package

Includes daily breakfast in bed for two. Chandon Brut romantic turndown with robes, music and lighting. Concierge precall to assist with special romantic requests. Late checkout.

Amor Del Rio Package

Includes full American breakfast for each registered guest in Las Canarias Monday Through Saturday, Ostra on Sundays or through room service seven days a week. Bottle of sparkling wine and 4 chocolate truffles delivered to room. Turndown Service.

These packages and specials are based on double occupancy, subject to availability, and exclusive of tax.

Be sure to make your travel plans today to take advantage of the incredible packages and deals that await you in San Antonio!

 

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New Year, New You Package at The Westin New York Grand Central

February 5, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

We absolutely love New York City almost as much as we love bringing you exceptional deals for high-class hotels in the Big Apple! Be sure to check out the following hotel that is currently offering a special package for $179!

The Westin New York Grand Central, located on 42nd Street at Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan, convenient for both business and leisure travel, has a New Year, New You package. For $179, you get deluxe accommodations, Organic Avenue juice in-room amenity, complimentary New Balance lending gear lending (sneakers and workout accessories), access to Westin Workout studio, free WiFi and a late 4 p.m. check out. Guest can book until March 31st, so get jump start that New Year’s resolution, and be sure to check out the Westin New York Grand Central!


Calling All Beer Lovers to the Four Seasons Philadelphia

January 30, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

There’s nothing better than a cold beer after a stressful day at work, and adding travel on top of work can only lead to needing the finest beer and certainly more than one!

The Four Seasons Philadelphia certainly caught our eye as a beer lovers hot spot! It recently teamed up with Dock Street Brewing Co, a local brewery for a limited celebration of all four seasons. Witty, right? The Swann Lounge has a beautiful fire place that’s perfect for setting a relaxing environment where folks can unwind with a few beers. The four seasons beers have not yet been announced, but the line will begin with a spring brew. The Four Seasons Philadelphia will host a special event to launch its summer beer, which will perfectly coincide with the hotel’s 30th anniversary and go during beer week, June 3rd – 7th.

Be sure to explore the Four Seasons Philadelphia here >>

 

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New Hotel Openings: The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

January 29, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi had originally set its opening date for today, January 29, 2013 but it looks like they’re pushing back the opening to April 15th. That’s quite a delay, and we certainly hope that the 283 guest rooms including 40 grand suites are nothing short of spectacular!

Explore the St. Regis Abu Dhabi here >>


Breath-Taking Presidential Suites

January 21, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Inauguration has got us jazzed about the next four years, and we’re taking a look into some of the world’s most extravagant and luxurious presidential suites!

Today’s focus is the 51 Buckingham Gate in London which has a Presidential Residence, complete with 6 bedrooms, 3 kitchens and takes up an entire floor. Guests are welcomed by personal and discreet butlers and the suites in 51 Buckingham Gate feature award winning contemporary bathrooms and modern kitchens fitted with state-of-the-art equipment.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the 51 Buckingham Gate here!


Insider’s Look into Park Hyatt Chicago’s New Bottega Veneta Suite

January 8, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Park Hyatt Chicago has been recognized as one of the top 20 ‘World’s Best Hotels’ by Institutional Investor, so it’s no surprise that its 198 rooms meet a high level of luxury, but its Bottega Venta suite certainly exceeds our expectations! This 1400-square foot suite offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and its design is sleek and refreshingly simple. The bedroom, open living room, kitchenette, and two bathrooms are spacious and maximize the light and dramatic views of Chicago’s expansive lakefront. A few elegant touches include leather pillows, hand-carved Venetian glassware, and cashmere throws, and objects from Bottega Veneta’s home collection.

Explore the Bottega Veneta suite and other room options at the beautiful Park Hyatt Chicago here!