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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.

Hotel Tipping Etiquette

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Courtesy of the NYT: Tip the housekeepers on your next hotel stay!

Perhaps because they were unseen, working in the room when the guest was gone, hotel maids were generally overlooked by many travelers until fairly recently. A seasoned business traveler would always make sure to have a bunch of singles on hand to take care of the parking valet, the bellhop, the doorman and the cabby. But the maid? ...[the physicality of the housekeeping job has] become more intense in recent years, especially as hotels in the upscale and luxury niches have added luxurious new beds and bedding. Take a look at those swanky beds. They have duvets. They have half a dozen pillows and heavy 300-thread-count sheets-- usually three sheets, rather than two, per bed. Now think about the extra work involved in making those swell beds. Yet in most hotels, the maids are still expected to do the same number of rooms a shift, usually 14 to 16.
Thus the importance of tipping. But-- in your experience-- what is the appropriate amount to tip?

Park Avenue Suite at The Regency in New York City

By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

Terrace Park Avenue Suite Regency

Continuing our theme of highlighting luxury suites in New York City (see posts for the Taipan Suite at Mandarin Oriental and The Royal Suite at The Carlyle) we present to you the 'Park Avenue' Suite at The Regency, A Loews Hotel.

Park Avenue Suite

Rate: $3,500.00 per evening, plus applicable taxes

Sq. Footage: 1625 sq. ft.

Rooms (not including bath): 4

Bathrooms: 1 and 1/2

Interior Designer: Connie Beale

Note Bene: The suite offers views of the city on its private outdoor terrace.

Official Description:

The Park Avenue Suite offers views of the city with a private terrace. Connie Beale, Interior Designer, used aqua and red schemes throughout the suite for a traditional feel like a Park Avenue apartment. The main doorway enters into a lovely living room overlooking the private terrace with a custom-made mahogany desk and beautifully appointed matching chairs, coffee tables and couch. The den has a more clubby and cozy feel featuring comfortable leather chairs with a matching couch. Book cases filled with the Classics as well as a built-in television and entertainment center are highlighted. The dining area is large and has a kitchen attached for those who would like to entertain on their own. The outdoor terrace is also ideal for entertaining due to its size and furniture with a gas grill. The bedroom also looks out on the terrace with authentic artwork. The room is very spacious with its own bathroom, seating area, and private outdoor balcony.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance

Move Over Four Seasons; Rosewood Comes to Menlo Park

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The new Four Seasons Silicon Valley may have staked its claim to the luxury market in Palo Alto, but now Rosewood's moving in:

Stanford University and Rosewood Hotels and Resorts announced that they are working on plans to develop a 120-room luxury hotel on a 21-acre site directly southeast of the Sand Hill Road/I-280 intersection in Menlo Park. The site, about one mile west of the Stanford campus, is adjacent to land where some of the nation's foremost venture capital firms and other prestigious businesses are situated.
Looks like world-class luxury lodging galore for business travelers.

Early Spring Special Rates at Wynn Las Vegas

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn Las Vegas

Celebrate spring in style with some superb rates at Wynn's Las Vegas masterpiece. The only spot on the Las Vegas Strip with its own 18-hole championship golf course. Everything about this place is over-the-top opulent: grandiose casino (of course), a whopping 19 fine dining restaurants boasting celebrity chefs, loads of retail and convention space. And the rooms. The Tower Suites wing have their own VIP check-in, concierge, and hotel entry, but the resort's other rooms hardly skimp on the luxury: posh entertaining and living areas with staggering views over the Strip, wet bars, marble bathrooms with soaking tubs, and chic, comfortable bedrooms. For a limited time this spring, take advantage of the Early Spring Special Rates. Resort room from $179 a night, Parlor Suite from $459 a night, Salon Suite from $659 a night. Offer available March 19, 20, and 26-28 and April 2, 3, and 9, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17. Rate available Sunday-Thursday only.

Wynn Las Vegas, Official Site

Wynn Las Vegas, Five Star Alliance

Go Green at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont San Francisco

Welcome to Fairmont, where new check-in desk computers are powered by the wind. For its hotels across North America, Fairmont has recently purchased Eco-Logo certified wind power for 249 computers. This translates to greenhouse gas reduction of almost 100 tonnes for the year! We applaud Fairmont for leading the pack with environmental initiatives and sustainable energy technology launched by its Green Partnership program.

W Hotels Reopens New Orleans Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W New Orleans French Quarter

You may have missed Mardi Gras, but Jazz Fest is on the horizon. And both W hotels—which had sustained serious wind and water damage from Hurricane Katrina—have recently reopened in time for the best of spring festivals. W French Quarter is contemporary and full of sleek technology—as all W Hotels are—yet plenty romantic and old-world European at the same time. Plus, as its name suggests, it's in the heart of it all in the French Quarter. Its restaurant Bacco is considered one of the best in the city. Hot and hip, the other W New Orleans is equally well-located, a trendy and fashionable hotel that is the home of Rande Gerber's happening bar Whiskey Blue.

W New Orleans, Official Site

W New Orleans, Five Star Alliance

W French Quarter, Official Site

W French Quarter, Five Star Alliance

“Smart” Hotels are the Wave of the Future

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Your favorite tunes on the stereo. Room at exactly the right temp. The minibar stocked with your daily dose of wheat grass shots. As the IHT reports:

At the Mandarin and other high-end hotels, new computer systems which connect individual rooms to network servers can now keep track of guests' preferences and change the room conditions automatically.
Big brother profiling or the perks of refined technology?

South Beach Spring Special at the Setai, Miami

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Setai

The art deco landmark and oceanfront South Beach destination is surrounded by tropical gardens and turquoise pools overlooking the Atlantic. Originally built in the 1930's as the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, Adrian Zecha's Setai opened to much fanfare in 2005. In the hot South Beach scene, The Setai stands out for its intimacy, impeccable service, and elegant Asian touches. 75 guestrooms and 50 suites are detailed with exquisite amenities: espresso machines, in-room bars, Bose surround-sound DVD/CD systems, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, luxurious bath amenities, and flat screen LCD and plasma TVs. Enjoy a deep therapeutic massage at the luxurious spa overlooking the sand and sea, and then savor the gastronomic delights at the Crustacean restaurant. With the South Beach Spring Special, take advantage of special rates starting at $675.

The Setai, Official Site

The Setai, Five Star Alliance

Taj Royal Escapes, India: Stay for Six Nights, Pay for Three!

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Lake Palace

Now is the time to plan a holiday to India: to discover the colorful culture and mythical history of the desert-state of Rajasthan, the pulsing nightlife of New Delhi, and get pampered like a maharaja staying at the glorious Taj Hotels. It doesn't get much better than this with Taj Royal Escapes. From May 1- September 30, stay at any participating Taj luxury hotel, in any combination, and the benefits are extraordinary. Stay for 6 nights, pay for 3; stay for 10 nights, pay for 5; stay for 14 nights, pay for 7. Hotels include Taj Mahal Palace and Tower (Mumbai), Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi), Rambagh Palace (Jaipur), Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur), and the most romantic and magical hotel in the world: the Taj Lake Palace, which appears like a brightly lit castle floating on water in Udaipur.

Spotlight On: Four Seasons Hong Kong

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hong Kong

The new Four Seasons is the shining star of the prestigious International Finance Centre, the awesome business and shopping complex located on the waterfront of the Central neighborhood. This is easily the top location on Hong Kong Island, with unrivalled links to Hong Kong Station, and the Star Ferry just steps away. Described by the IHT as the "first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years," the Four Seasons Hong Kong opened its sleek, modern doors in September. Its 399 spacious guestrooms—with wall-to-wall windows offering views of the Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak—are well-equipped with the latest in technology, including 42-inch plasma screen TVs. Additionally, there are five excellent restaurants and bars, a fully-equipped health club, and an incredible, 2,043 sq meter spa with 18 treatment rooms including two VIP suites. The outdoor infinity pools, heated in winter, offer a pool-deck whirlpool and sweeping harbor views.

Related Articles:

IHT, "Hotel Watch: A Rare New Hotel in Hong Kong"

Four Seasons Hong Kong, Official Site

Four Seasons Hong Kong, Five Star Alliance