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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.

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


San Diego Hotspots: Hotel Solamar, Jsix Restaurant, and Jbar


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Solamar San Diego

Kimpton, of course, is the mastermind hotelier behind this delightfully quirky, luxurious and fun hotel hotspot in the heart of San Diego's happening Gaslamp district. Decorated in vibrant pink and green tones, energetic and modern furnishings, and a very pretty clientele, the Hotel Solamar also stocks its minibars with fun and original amenities like flip-flops and art supplies. Jbar, located on the 4th floor rooftop deck of the hotel, has become a trendy urban oasis complete with fire pits, poolside cabanas and awesome views of downtown San Diego and the bay. In an exotic setting, Jsix restaurant specializes in Coastal California cuisine, with a menu showcasing innovative, regional flavors inspired by the region's Baja coastline.

Hotel Solamar, Official Site

Hotel Solamar, Five Star Alliance


What’s Up With the Ducks at the Peabody Hotels?


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peabody Memphis

After late nights pondering the question, I've finally found the answer. Novelist Jay McInerney-- with his sarcastic wit and true command of the South and all things Southern-- describes the Peabody Memphis in his book The Last of the Savages:

I think it was Faulkner—usually a safe bet in these matters—who said the Mississippi Delta originated in the lobby of the Peabody. Certainly no one would have mistaken this for the Boston Ritz-Carlton, or for the Plaza in New York. That curious and beguiling southern blend of ease and formality were in the air—that rhythm oscillating between languor and hysteria. The lobby was thronged with revelers in evening dress... Young women in ball gowns wafted about the two-story lobby, while their male counterparts lurked in corners, conspiring and breaking out into sudden fits of suppressed hilarity. These young swains applauded as a tiny man in livery marched the ducks from the fountain in the center of the lobby across the floor and into the elevator en route to a pen on the hotel roof. The ducks were the descendants of a batch of live decoys—or so Cordell Savage once told me—which had been dumped into the fountain one afternoon by a band of liquored-up hunters fresh from the duck blind who wanted to continue drinking at the hotel bar.

So much for the ducks' noble origins.

The Peabody Memphis, Official Site

The Peabody Memphis, Five Star Alliance


Suite Escapes: the Mandarin Oriental New York Celebrates its Taipan Suite


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental exterior

Imagine a luxurious home-away-from-home in the heart of Manhattan, featuring designer furnishings by rock-star designers Robert Kuo, Martha Sturdy, Barbara Berry and Bill Sofield. The two-bedroom Taipan Suite is a dreamy 1,210 sq feet, with floor-to-ceiling views overlooking Central Park, the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline from the 54th floor of the Mandarin Oriental. The decor? The best of urban chic, with Asian and Art Deco influence. The bathrooms—equipped with heavenly bath products by FRESH—are unique and luxurious: an oversized marble bath with LCD flat panel TV and separate shower, and the other featuring a soaking tub with picture window overlooking Central Park. Take care of some business—your suite converts easily to an office with three multi-line telephones, high-speed internet access, laptop connections to LCD TV, and printer and fax machine upon request. Or relax with a drink from the wet bar with Bisazza tiles, and enjoy a flick from the home theater set-up.

Mandarin Oriental New York, Official Site

Mandarin Oriental New York, Five Star Alliance


The Carlyle Hotel in New York City (Re)Opens The Royal Suite


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From James McBride, General Manager, The Carlyle

The Carlyle Royal Suite

In case you missed it, the Carlyle Hotel in New York City just announced the reopening of the Royal Suite after a redesign by Alexandra Champalimaud from Champalimaud & Associates (ACA) in Manhattan. The suite (seen at right) is inspired by the legendary and long list of celebrity and regal guests who have stayed at the hotel. The suite has been completely refurbished, but still retains the feel of the private residence it emulates. As the Carlyle says, they attract "the highest echelon of clientele and the Royal Suite exceeds their every expectation as a space truly at the pinnacle of luxury." Want to reserve it for a day or a month? You can't do it online so contact the Carlyle reservations to make it your own.

More information and pictures below

NEW YORK - The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is thrilled to announce the opening of the Royal Suite. These luxurious quarters, in name inspired by the long list of rock n' roll and regal guests who have stayed at the legendary property, has been completely refurbished; freshness and modernity have been added to the decor yet it still conjures the intimate feel of a private residence.

A space of grand proportions and fabulous history, the Royal Suite is an example of urbane luxury combined with intimacy of design. Set on the 22nd floor of the legendary Carlyle, the duplex suite boasts extensive spaces - two full bedrooms, two full baths, a sizable dining room and kitchen and an expansive traditional living room with lofty ceilings and two-story views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Carlyle Royal Suite Living Room

An impressive fireplace with faux quartz logs towers the living room, adding to the drama and the modernization of the suite, while resonating with the hotel's renowned Thierry Despont-designed lobby. Royal Suite guests can admire the antique books, sunburst clocks and Lars Bolanger orange lacquered boxes or read from beautiful glossy paged books on Harley Davidson, Tom Ford and other cultural icons.

The living room includes a sage velvet seating group at the fireplace, an elegant English secretary for jotting notes, comfortable armchairs by the windows, an expansive desk and finally - for the occasional musician in residence - a Steinway piano. Wall-mounted plasma -screen televisions and state-of-the-art acoustics are also present. To be noted are the draperies by Dedar, the Nina Campbell trims on the draperies and furniture and the Stark carpeting.

The Royal Suite has always been, and will continue to be considered, a legendary New York suite. The renovations have maintained the integrity of a historical New York space while elevating sophisticated design to an experience of unique refinement and style. The Carlyle attracts the highest echelon of clientele and the Royal Suite exceeds their every expectation as a space truly at the pinnacle of luxury.

The redesigning of the suite was handled by Alexandra Champalimaud from Champalimaud & Associates (ACA). ACA is a full service interior design and interior architecture firm that specializes in high-end hospitality design. The company has built its reputation through its work with a discerning international clientele including Four Seasons, The Maybourne Group and The Savoy Group amongst others. ACA maintains a staff of approximately twenty-five, with central offices in Manhattan and supporting offices in Montreal and Los Angeles.

Standing at the corner of 76th Street and Madison Avenue, The Carlyle has been an enduring landmark for East Side social life since 1930. The internationally-acclaimed hotel has always been ranked amongst the best in the world and was recently named one of the top 20 U.S City Hotels by Harper's Hideaway's 2005 Reader Survey. The Carlyle is a 35-story, 179-room hotel that has long understood the aesthetic sensibilities of its clientele and is surrounded by galleries, designer boutiques, and the city’s most popular art museums. Embracing a passion for the arts, pianos grace 23 of the suites, and most rooms have views of Central Park.

The Carlyle, Official Site

The Carlyle, Five Star Alliance


Les Ambassadeurs Means More Rewards for Hotel de Crillon


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Pascale Adoner, Director of Sales and Marketing, Hotel de Crillon

Hotel Dining at the Crillon

Whether you live in Paris or are just visiting, there are two great reasons to visit the Hotel de Crillon's restaurant Les Ambassadeurs.

First? Lunchtime.

The restaurant Les Ambassadeurs proposes a menu particularly adapted to those who seek an elegant place to organize their business lunches. Based on a choice of two entries, two dishes and two desserts, the tasting is accompanied by mineral water, matching wines chosen by the sommelier and coffee. The menu is all inclusive: 100 euros. Lunch served from Tuesday to Friday, from noon to 2pm.

Wanna set it up? Your privileged contact: Patrice Willems, phone: +33 1 44 71 16 16 or through e-mail at ambassadeurs@crillon.com.

The second reason to visit Les Ambassadeurs even if you are living in Paris or staying somewhere else (which we don't recommend), is because this restaurant is winning all of the awards.

Soon after the Michelin Guide and the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006, the Bottin Gourmand awards the Ambassadeurs. In February 2005, the gastronomic restaurant the Ambassadeurs obtains a second star with the Michelin Guide. This new 2005 edition of the Guide awards the hard work of Jean Francois Piege and his team just one year after his arrival in the kitchens of the Hotel de Crillon. Les Ambassadeurs is one of the three Parisian restaurant to have been awarded with a second star and one of the 15 Parisian establishments to be 2-starred.

In October 2005, the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006 also awards the Ambassadeurs and more specifically Jean Francois Piege as it distinguishes him as Chef of the Year. The launch of the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006 was a real event on October 24th in the Ambassadeurs and the Jardin d'Hiver.

And on November 15th, the famous gastronomic guide the Bottin Gourmand awards the Ambassadeurs with the best note possible being 4 stars.

Almost seems worth a trip to Paris just for one lunch at the Hotel de Crillon ...

Hotel de Crillon, Official Site

Hotel de Crillon, Five Star Alliance


Rocco Forte’s Villa Kennedy Opens its Doors in Frankfurt


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa Kennedy

Just in time for the World Cup Championship I've been obsessing about. Following an extensive restoration, the Villa Kennedy will be ready to dazzle (and show off that stunning neo-gothic architecture) on March 1st. Originally built in 1904, the hotel has extensive gardens and a sweet central courtyard. Located on the southside of the River Main, the Villa features luxurious rooms with state-of-the-art technology, mosaic-tiled bathrooms, pool and three-level-Spa. Book the gigantic presidential suite (300 sq meters) and enjoy a separate kitchen and turret dining room.


Madrid’s First Hard Rock Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hard Rock Hotel Madrid

Opening in June, the next Hard Rock Hotel will debut—where else?—but Madrid. How's that for a nonsequitur. So when the lovely Prado Museum shows off its new extension later this year filled with the zillions of masterpieces that had been idly collecting dust in storerooms, you can check out the exhibits while a guest at the happening Hard Rock, located on the lively Plaza Santa Ana, surrounded by bars galore. Noteworthy features? The Tower Suite, with its terrace offering 360 degree views of the city and "chillout zone." Along with the private outdoor jacuzzi, guests get personalized concierge service (talk about rockstar treatment) and a bottle of champagne.


World’s Best Cities for a Business Trip


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Economist has created a "business-trip index" for 127 cities worldwide, ranking the best and worst destinations for business, which includes factors like crime, climate, transport and recreation along with the usual suspects (convention facilities, corporate meetings and seminars). At the top? Canadian cities like Vancouver kick some serious booty, while cities to avoid include Lagos, Nigeria (it's hard to pity the oil tycoons that are doomed to conduct business in this dirty town.)


Tennis with the Pros at the Ritz Carlton Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz Carlton Dubai

The coach of the country's Number One tennis player is now heading up the program at the Ritz Carlton Dubai. Zeeshan Ali has oodles of awards and titles under his belt—experience that he's now bringing to all tennis enthusiasts at the hotel in both private instruction and group lessons. Not really into tennis? The Ritz Carlton Dubai has got it all—from fitness classes, squash, golf, shopping, stunning pools, beach, and idyllic Balinese Spa. Situated on prime beachfront along the snazzy, exclusive Jumeirah Beach area of Dubai, the Ritz Carlton basks in the year-round sunshine of Dubai's perfect climate. Luxurious rooms have private balconies overlooking the tropical gardens and the Arabian Gulf. Plus, the Kids Club has loads of fun daily activities to keep the 'liluns happy and smiling.

The Ritz Carlton Dubai, Official Site

The Ritz Carlton Dubai, Five Star Alliance