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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.

It's Business Time: Park Hyatt Best Business Hotel Tokyo

March 6, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

There's a very interesting split in the travel industry between business and leisure travelers.  And if you're one of the business types, you know well that you're on the road constantly and the things that matter to you, travel convenience, efficiency, and connectivity, are almost the opposite of what a leisure traveler might want.  If the word 'secluded' ever appeared in a hotel description, you'd cross it off the list immediately.  So I'm here to use some adjectives you might appreciate hearing in describing some of the world's best business hotels.  Today? Tokyo.

Guests may be familiar with the criticallly-acclaimed Park Hyatt Tokyo from its estranged cinematic guests from the film Lost in Translation.  Designed as a modern private residence, the 178 rooms and suites are the most spacious in the city.  Its 24-hour business center gives you unparalleled access to everything you might need, and it is located next to the city's major transportation hub.  The Shinjuku station provides rail and subway access to anywhere in the city. Extensive meeting and business facilities provide spacious room for anything from business meetings to conferences.  And you can wine and dine your clients at the New York Grill, number one for the past five years in Tokyo's Zagat Survey.  The Park Hyatt Tokyo is everything a business traveler looks for, packaged up nicely in one convenient location.  And who knows? You might even have an incredibly dysfunctional but endearing relationship with an American transplant while you're there.


Going out on a Limb: The Peninsula Bangkok

March 5, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Looking for a place to stay along the Chao Phraya riverfront in Bangkok?  Well, look no further than the Peninsula Bangkok.  The 370-room super luxury hotel was voted the world's best in 2003 and has kept up its best-of-the-best presentation since.  Guests are treated to uninterrupted panoramic views of the river and city, and with a beauty spa and fine dining on site, you'll find little need to leave the hotel if you desire not to.  Pick from any of four restaurants:  traditional Cantonese at Mei Jiang, homestyle Thai at Thiptara, international buffet at River Cafe & Terrace, and Pacific Rim at Jesters.  And once you've satiated your body, satisfy your mind by relaxing in a wonderful three-tiered swimming pool.  Maintain the careful balance by adjusting the custom environmental controls in your chich but classical room.  The Peninsula Bangkok really is my choice to stay for my next trip to the city.


Visiting London? Check Out the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

March 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is located on a quiet street in the heart of Mayfair. It is one of the few luxury hotels in London that has greenery and open spaces on all sides, allowing visitors access to the best of both worlds; nature and the city. Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James Park are all located nearby, and the hotel is just a short stroll from to the West End theatres, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, and Buckingham Palace. Aside from an incredible location, this luxury hotel has a few other distinguishing factors that make it one of the best hotels in London. It has a putting green on its terrace as well as a glass-walled rooftop spa offering 360 degree views of the treetops and the city. The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is also a wonderful choice for families, and it certainly goes out of its way to welcome young travelers. The concierge is extremely accommodating and always available to assist with making reservations for a family dinner, a babysitter, and more.

Need more details about the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane? Be sure to explore room types, availability, and photos here!


Hotels with an Edge: Raffles Hotel Singapore

March 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In today’s competitive world, everyone needs a way to stand out from the crowd. Luxury hotels certainly are not any different and are always looking for ways to outshine their competitors and attract more visitors. We understand that our travelers look for the best of the best, and we would like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with an Edge. We’ll be highlighting and featuring a few hotels we feel truly stand out and offer their guests more than is expected. Be sure to check in with us to explore various hotels that deserve recognition for their supreme levels of luxury.

Our fourth featured hotel is one that is exclusively comprised of suites, the Raffles Hotel Singapore. This luxurious property is one of Singapore’s most elegant landmarks, and its colonial style architecture radiates a timeless grace. The suites in the hotel are certainly this hotel’s distinguishing factors, specifically the Grand Hotel Suite which has 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a parlour, a private verandah and butler service. It is also the only hotel in Singapore with a movie theatre on site, a pool open 24 hours a day, and the only Singapore hotel marked as a National Monument.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Raffles Hotel Singapore here!

Be sure to keep up with our blog series for a little inspiration on where to stay next!


Can Luxury Hotels Be a Force for Development?

March 2, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The last place one might expect to find a luxury hotel is on the wartorn streets of Kabul, where the porter's duty is as much to wipe off the accumulated dust of the ruined cityscape as it is to carry your luggage.  But one hotel brand is not just opening there, it's making it its mission to use the luxury hotel business to spur development in struggling countries, predominantly in the Middle East.  As Foreign Policy reports, Serena hotels are a mainstay of areas of internal conflict, its flagship property protected by armed guards in the heart of Islamabad.  And they're looking to expand their efforts in Afghanistan as a part of the unique mission of their benefactor, Aga Khan.

Aga Khan, whose personal wealth measures in the billions, began the hotel chain in the 1970s, and it is supported by Norfund, a Norwegian development fund, and International Finance Corp. of the World Bank.  As he is himself a spiritual leader of a sect of some 15 million Shiite Muslims, the vested interest in bringing the luxury hotel industry to Muslim countries is clear.  Part of the international development process is giving visiting businessmen and dignitaries a place where they can feel safe and taken care of while they come to work the deals that might, in theory, help lift places like Kabul out of the perpetual poverty of a war-stricken country.  

While the investment is not without its perils, the Serena in Kabul has been attacked three times since its opening in 2005, Serena has also been able to maintain occupancy rates of 60% in the very same hotel.  The visitors to Kabul are, of course, aware of the perils of the situation they are choosing to step into, and are often intimately tied into the conflict itself.  The clear hope is that once stability is gained, the hotels can serve as an existing infrastructure to develop a tourism industry around, and Serena's safer hotels in more established regions do a good business.  Regardless of your thoughts on this kind of luxury development work in countries where even food and water can be hard to come by for much of the population, Serena serves as a fascinating test case for developing industries in countries without the infrastructure to support them and shows the potential the hotel industry has to do more than provide a nice vacation.  You can read the full piece from Foreign Policy here and find out more about Serena properties at Five Star Alliance.

 

Kabul Serena Photo via Foreign Policy

 


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

March 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel is located right at the historical Pariser Platz, a short stroll from the beautiful boutique shops and right in the vicinity of the financial district. Its atmosphere is inspired by history and modernity, and a number of the rooms and suites offer breathtaking views of the Bradenburg Gate. This luxury hotel burned down in 1945, was rebuilt in 1997 and remodeled in 2007. This hotel’s service certainly sets it apart, and their concierge team is more than willing to set up and organize whatever sort of adventure you want. Their staff is flawlessly prepared and extremely helpful and accommodating to any and all questions or concerns.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin here!


The World’s Best Hotels

March 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Big shout out and thank you to all our loyal blog readers! We certainly love bringing you the latest and greatest luxury travel news, and we appreciate hearing from you via phone, email, or our Facebook and Twitter pages. We realize that every traveler begins his/her journey in the research phase; deciding on where to go, and we certainly get a number of inquiries about the best hotels in certain areas, the most romantic hotels, the best hotels for families, the best all-inclusive resorts, and onward. To help you pick the absolute best hotel that fits your needs and criteria, we would like to draw your attention to our ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab. Here you’ll be directed to lists and lists of phenomenal hotels and resorts in various categories. From the best ski resorts to the best spa resorts, we certainly have you covered. Be sure to check out the various lists for a little inspiration on where to travel next! You want the best, and we certainly want to give it to you!

Photo of the Meridian Club in Turks and Caicos, a luxury hotel on our Best Honeymoon Resorts List


Hotels with an Incredible View! Istanbul, Turkey

February 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that an incredible view is of utmost importance to luxury travelers. After a day of exploring a new city, there’s nothing more enjoyable then returning to your luxurious accommodations and taking in the miraculous view before calling it a day. For others, there simply is no time to enjoy everything a city has to offer, and the only exploration one has time for is to take in the view from the hotel. We’d like to introduce you to our blog series, which will be featuring incredible hotels with incredible views! Whatever your travel reasons or however much time you have to enjoy your trip, we hope you leave thinking wow what a view!

Our third feature is the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus. It’s located on the European bank of the Bosphorus, which flows through Istanbul’s phenomenal history. This luxury hotel is a converted Ottoman Palace surrounded by indigo water and mountaintops. Its 145 guest rooms and 25 suites blend Ottoman design with contemporary furnishings and nearly a quarter of the rooms offer incredible views across the legendary Strait to the hills of Asia. Rooms located on the first and second floor offer straight views of the water and the Maiden’s Tower in Old Town. The hotel’s pool overlooks the Bosphorus, and the outdoor terrace of the hotel’s restaurant Aqua allows you to dine right on the water’s edge.

Be sure to keep up with our blog series to discover various luxury hotels all over the world with the best views!


An Insider’s Guide on Where to Stay in Paris

February 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Paris, a thriving, bustling city with over 70 luxury hotels located throughout its districts can be a bit overwhelming for folks deciding on where to stay to get the most out of their experience. We understand that travelers visiting Paris for the first time have different interests and desires than frequent visitors, so we’ve put together a short, sweet and to the point guide for you to ensure that you choose the perfect hotel for your trip!

Hotel du Louvre

Hotel du Louvre is the perfect luxury hotel for first time visitors to Paris looking to be in the heart of the attractions. The beautiful décor of the hotel was inspired by the Napoleon III style, and all of the guest rooms have modern comforts while retaining a traditional feel. The draw of this hotel is certainly its location, perfectly situated in the heart of old Paris with easy access to the fashion and business districts, steps from the Brasserie du Louvre, and immediately opposite the Comedie Francaise. Just steps from the Louvre Museum, certain rooms and suites at the Hotel du Louvre offer views of the exhibits! The Opera Granier is set to one side of the hotel, and the Palais Royal is on the other side. The area is busy with authentic cafes and is a short walk from the bustling shopping street of Rue St. Honore. It also offers interconnecting rooms, perfect for a family vacation.

Hotel Lutetia

Hotel Lutetia is a phenomenal hotel option for travelers who have been to Paris before, who have explored the famous areas in Paris, and who are looking for a much more detailed look into the city. It’s a very modern hotel with a contemporary style and artistic surprises. The bustling lobby has an edginess with displays of art by renowned contemporary artists including Arman, Cesar, Perrin, and Thierry Bisch. The Hotel Lutetia has an artistic and elegant culture that is clearly visible in the Art Deco architecture, period furniture, crystal chandeliers, and live jazz music flowing through the Lutetia Bar. It’s located on the left bank in Saint-Germain des Pres, in the heart of the fashion, art, and literature district. What sets this hotel apart is that if you make a reservation for a suite, you are guaranteed an Eiffel Tower view! (We do ask, however, that you request an Eiffel Tower view ahead of time)

Hotel de Crillon

Hotel de Crillon is a very royal, elegant 18th century style luxury hotel situated in the famous Place De la Concorde in the heart of Paris. This hotel is for new travelers as well as frequent visitor to Paris, perfect for those who are looking for the absolute best and most royal hotel in the City of Love. It is only a few steps from the Champs-Elysees and the Fabourg Saint Honore. It is decorated in a Louis XV style, and its guest rooms and suites are decorated to represent the rich history and culture of Paris. Similar to the Hotel du Louvre, the Hotel de Crillon has connecting room options as well, making it another perfect hotel for a family or group vacation.


Special Five Star Alliance Package at Le Burgundy Paris

February 27, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Le Burgundy Paris is a 5-star boutique hotel located where the rue Duphot meets the rue Saint-Honore, in the Golden Triangle of Champs Elysees-Madeline-Opera. This historic property was built in 1800, remodeled in 2010, and has 59 luxurious rooms including 8 suites. Aside from inspirational architecture, a phenomenal restaurant offering delectable cuisine, and a relaxing spa, Le Burgundy Paris is also currently offering a special Five Star Alliance package, providing the perfect reason to make your travel plans today!

The Five Star Alliance Package provides the perfect way to pamper yourself for 1 hour and 30 minutes with a facial or body care option for ultimate relaxation. This package is available for 1 person and is not valid with groups or conventions. Take advantage of this incredible package and treat yourself to a much needed and deserving escape from it all!