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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.

Ft. Lauderdale Folly? The New Intracoastal Waterway and Grande Hotel and Yacht Club

April 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ft Lauderdale Grande

Change is afoot in Ft. Lauderdale, where the Intracoastal Waterway will be transformed with a new megayacht marina and five-star hotel. Just when we thought southern Florida couldn't get any more developed (satiric novelist Carl Hiassan is no doubt rolling his eyes at this one), the $100 million project will double the docks in size, adding three-phase power, WiFi and broadband, water, and pump-out stations. The adjacent hotel--the old Marina Marriott-- will get a $50 million infusion to debut as the Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel and Yacht Club. LXR Luxury Resorts aims to create the country's leading marina resort, stocked with 579 guest rooms, 33 yacht slips (for boats up to 300 feet), and 20,000 sq ft of meeting space. Spring specials are as low as $109 a night.


Loews Hotels Assumes Management of The Madison Hotel in Washington

April 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Madison Vintage Photo

One of our favorite DC establishments-- the landmark hotel The Madison-- has been acquired by Loews Hotels, and we're excitedly awaiting the refurbishment of the brand new Madison, A Loews Hotel. The Madison has long radiated classic, refined elegance-- its Georgian, Federal and American Empire furnishings and superb service symbols of a bygone era. After all, this is the hotel that has hosted every President since John F. Kennedy, as well as international heads of state and business leaders. And it's got a killer location. The Madison will no doubt be made even more lavish with Loews trademark touches. Plans are in the works for new flat screen TVs, luxurious terry products, and signature suites.

The Madison, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Madison, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance


The Skinny on Flexjet and Fractional Jet Ownership

April 3, 2006
By: Guest Writer

Lance Armstrong Flexjet

By Courtney W. May

When I first saw the Flexjet advertisement with Lance Armstrong, I was mostly confused because I had no idea what a Bombardier was or what fractional jet ownership would be. (I was also confused because I thought the images of Lance didn't do him justice-- see right-- and wasn't sure what advertiser would want to do such a thing.)

Lance Armstrong Flexjet

I did a little bit of research to figure out what Fractional Ownership was and why someone would want to do it. I got most of my information from the F.A.Q. section on the Flexjet website. So is Fractional Jet Ownership like a timeshare? Yes, although a little different since you get access and availability 24 hours a day, every day. And yes, your pet is welcome to travel with you as a member of your family: "A pet safety belt will be provided for pets weighing over 25 pounds. Pets smaller than 25 pounds may ride in a pet carrier or on your lap."

The part I really wanted to know about was price (not that I could afford it). For Flexjet, there are 4 variables as well as financing options which I won't get into here but you can find on the F.A.Q page I mentioned. And of course they aren't going to tell you outright what it's going to cost you-- they want you to contact their 'experienced sales team.' So instead I found an example within a press release from 2004:

"'Jet Rich Quick' The monthly payment ranges from approximately $4,600 for a 1/16th share of a Learjet 45 over a four-year term, to $12,000 for a 1/16th share of a Challenger 604 over a two-year term."

So is it worth it? I'm not sure, but I would be willing to try a couple complimentary flights to find out...


La Grande Residences for Extended Stays

April 1, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

from Courtney W. May and The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver

La Grande Residences Vancouver Extended Stay America is not luxury. Your not going to find it at Candelwoods Suites either. And, from experience, I know that those short-term 'Corporate' apartment and condo rentals are way overpriced. Never again will I pay for a 'luxury business apartment' where I have to supply the toilet paper and the carpets are orange. Now I just have to find a reason to go to Vancouver for an extended period of time on the company dime to stay at my new favorite option. Wikipedia suggests that if I want to do business in Vancouver, I should try forest products, mining, and import/export. No thanks.

Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver Pool

Why La Grande Residence is so great for extended stays:

It's luxury. I'm not kidding - it is 18 stories of fully furnished apartments designed by the people at Sutton Place Vancouver for the discerning traveler. There are 164 terraced residences - 18 small 550 sq. ft one-bedrooms, 116 large 700 sq. ft. one-bedrooms, and 30 800 sq. ft. two-bedrooms. Residences include kitchen facilities, valet parking for that rental car, concierge, business center, and laundry and room service. And instead of those orange carpets, you get traditional European furniture, balcony patio furniture, sun drapes in the living room and black-out drapes in the bedroom. Unlike a corporate apartment or condo (or my house), La Grande Residences offers twice weekly full maid service, daily towel service, grocery shopping service, and all of the connecting Sutton Place Hotel services. Convenient? They are located in the heart of Vancouver's business, theatre and arts districts - within walking distance of almost everything.

Anyone out there willing to fund a trip for me to the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 so I can stay at the La Grande Residences?

The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver

The Sutton Place Hotel, Five Star Alliance


London Boutique Hotels: Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel

March 31, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Brown's Hotel

After a GBP 20 million renovation, Brown's Hotel re-opened in December as one of London's most stylish boutique hotels. (Baroness Thatcher, accompanied by Sir Rocco Forte, did the honors at the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony.) The charming historic hotel is composed of 11 Georgian town houses, its 117 bedrooms individually designed with style and sophistication. Located in the heart of Mayfair just a few minutes from Bond Street shopping, Brown's has long boasted a reputation of exclusivity and elegant refinement. The notable features of the renovation include three spa treatment rooms, a fully-equipped gym, and six private meeting rooms. And of course The Grill serves up some pretty tasty cuisine, and the English Tea Room is considered a London institution.


Luxury Airline Eos Offers Reduced Fare and Money Back Guarantee

March 31, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos Airlines

As if you needed (yet) another reason to fly the best transatlantic luxury airline in business (besides complimentary car service from London Stansted, the rad frequent flyer program, boutique catering on a 48-seat aircraft designed to transport 5x that number of passengers....) The folks at Eos are so convinced that you'll agree, they're now offering a money-back guarantee for business class flyers of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Get a load of this:

Maybe you think you're flying the best business class to London. But we're willing to bet you're wrong. Our all-premium class airline is designed to be better. And if after flying with us you disagree, we will give you your money back.

Book by April 12, and as a first-timer, you'll also get a special reduced fare: $3,500 or GBP 2,000. Did I mention that this fare includes free car service and a "refresher room" for London arrivals? And if it doesn't add up, rest easy: you'll get a full refund.


Have You Been Disappointed by your Luxury Travel Vacation?

March 29, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

A luxury train ride promised to be epic, and it stank to high heaven? A private jet experience gone wrong? The Times UK weighs in:

They're icons of luxury travel: the Orient-Express, the Queen Mary 2, the private jet. Travel on them and you wave goodbye to the common herd. Sure, they cost a small fortune, but you've got to experience them at least once in a lifetime. Or have you? Are the most prestigious train, boat and plane rides in the world all they’re cracked up to be?
The Times sent three writers to find out, whose overwhelming response-- "Damn straight, it's worth it!"-- was a little surprising... Can these icons of luxury travel deliver perfect performances each time? Is there no room for improvement?


Special Offers: Half Price Lazy Days of Summer at the Hotel Hassler, Rome

March 29, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Hassler rooftop dining

No joke. Peak season, perfect city, popular hotel. The Eternal City's most luxurious and romantic hotel, perched above the Spanish Steps in an unbeatable location, is offering the "Early Bird-Lazy Days of Summer Package." Book your stay at the Hotel Hassler by May 15 for a two-night minimum stay between July 17 and September 8, and get more than 50 percent off! Includes daily breakfast buffet, starting at EUR 240. What a steal.

Hotel Hassler, Official Site

Hotel Hassler, Five Star Alliance

Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"


The Newly Renovated Spa at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

March 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Beverly Hills Moonlight Massage

So what if the hotel spa had racked up a mountain of awards, including #1 in service by Conde Nast Traveler readers? The only hotel in Southern California to score both the AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star awards for twelve consecutive years doesn't get complacent or sit pretty on their laurels. Instead, they inject $7 million in renovations into an already picture-perfect spa. The newly transformed Peninsula Spa opened its doors in Beverly Hills last month; its new look is cutting-edge, characterized by limestone, clear glass and mosaic tile-work. The lavish range of treatments include special treatments for men (that run the gamut from facials, sports, body, hand and foot experiences), and a dedicated skin therapy room overlooking the Hollywood Hills. In addition, there is now a Couples Treatment Room, and Spa robes, wraps and headbands from Frette. Spa technicians are fashionably clad in St. John custom-designed uniforms. And the best part of all: the exclusive Shiffa Precious Gem Treatments, which incorporate Shiffa gem oils containing rubies, emeralds and sapphires (oh my!) to relay the gems' healing powers and create serenity.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Official Site

The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Five Star Alliance


The Infinity Suite at the Langham Hotel, London

March 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Infinity Suite

What a London location. In the heart of the West End, near Regent's Park, and just a hop and skip from Bond and Oxford Street shopping. The Langham Hotel, London is a Victorian landmark dating from 1865, the luxurious flagship property for Langham Hotels worldwide. Join the royal ranks of the pampered clientele who choose the Langham on their London jaunts and reserve the Infinity Suite, the city's ultimate luxury suite. Opened in January 2005, the Infinity is a grand 236 sq meters, with a private entrance lobby, enormous Drawing room with dining table for six, Master Bedroom with four poster bed, second guest bedroom, a pantry kitchen, and elegant bathroom. The suite's plush materials and furnishings are opulent and wonderfully romantic. The best feature? The infinity bath or "sok" in the master bedroom (as featured in the pic)-- a deep soaking bath which constantly overflows in a cascade of falling water filtered through a color spectrum of light.

Langham Hotel London, Official Site

Langham Hotel London, Five Star Alliance