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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 Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #7 Hotel Le St. James

December 25, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #7 spot we have the Hotel Le St. James in Montreal, Canada.

Quick facts about the Hotel Le St. James:

- This historic building is ideally situated in lively Old Montreal with easy access to shopping areas, restaurants, and the financial center.

- Located less than a mile from Central Station and just 12 miles from Dorval International Airport.

- Each room and suite has its own character and personal charm.

- The hotel’s restaurant, XO Le, is Montreal’s highest rated restaurant in 2009 by the Gazette.

- Le Spa, the hotels luxurious spa served as the Merchant’s Bank vault in the late 1800s.

- Pet friendly, allowing pets less than 30 lbs.

- Mobil Travel’s highest rated property in Quebec since 2003.

- The hotel’s original architecture dates back to 1870, with design features that have remained intact over the centuries.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Hotel Le St. James.


Luxury Hotels near the Montreal Convention Center

December 2, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

This blog series is for all of the business travelers who are looking for a luxury hotel that is located near the Convention Center of specific cities. We understand that you have places to be, people to meet, and conferences to attend, so we try to make your travels as stress-free and convenient as possible without forgoing luxury.

The Montreal Convention Center is our center of focus for this blog post. The following are 5 star hotels located less than a ten minute walk away from the Convention Center. We’ve listed them in order of proximity, starting with the hotels located a one minute walk away to hotels a nine minute walk away from the Convention Center.

The InterContinental Montreal

Hotel Le Saint James

LHotel Montreal

W Montreal

Hotel Gault

Place d’Armes Hotel

Le Saint-Sulpice

Three four star hotels near the Convention Center are Le Westin Montreal, which is a one minute walk away, the Hotel St. Paul, which is located 8 minutes away, and the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure, which is located 9 minutes away.


Grand Opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto

November 18, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto officially opens January 31, 2012. This luxury hotel sets a new standard for refinement and unrivaled opulence offering incredible views, unique design, and all of the signature Trump services and amenities.

This hotel delivers a superior level of contemporary convenience including 2 floors of meeting and event facilities as well as 2 floors devoted to Toronto’s most luxurious spa.

Be one of the first to experience what this luxury hotel has to offer.  Make  your reservation for a superior room between now and November 31st and enjoy a complimentary upgrade to a suite accommodation and a $50 credit redeemable at the signature spa or restaurant for stays January 31 – April 30, 2012.


Dining in Toronto: New Vegan Menus at the Windsor Arms Hotel

November 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Windsor Arms Hotel, TorontoThere are luxury hotels, and then there are the luxury hotels that go above and beyond the call of duty. We'd put Toronto's Windsor Arms Hotel in that category. Here's just one reason why: the new vegan brunch, lunch and dinner menus developed by chef Doug McNish with all organic ingredients, free of refined flours and sugars. We read a brunch review in A Health Writer's Notebook, and found ourselves drooling over the sound of the Stuffed French Toast. (Mind you: vegan is not usually our thing!)

"Made of sprouted grain bread, it was stuffed with a banana-strawberry compote and topped with a blueberry-maple sauce, with tempeh bacon and a strawberry-grapefruit salad on the side."

Other items on the menu include a chocolate chia bowl; granola with chocolate hemp milk; gluten-free pancakes; tofu benedict. And something called "The Works"- a plate piled high with scrambled tofu with greens and mushrooms; home fries; tempeh bacon; black bean chili, sprouted grain toast and a sunflower-miso butter.


The World's Best Hotels: Announcing the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011

November 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel-AirLooking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.

New & Noteworthy- The Year's Best New and Reinvented Hotels: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Mondrian Soho in NYC, Hotel Bel-Air & The Redbury in Los Angeles

Grande Dame- Legendary Hotels with Superlative History and Service: The Carlyle in NYC, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel du Russie in Rome, The Savoy in London

Casual Chic- Effortlessly Stylish Hotels with Rustic-Modern Appeal: Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, Bardessono in Napa, The Allison in Oregon

Design- Cutting-Edge Boutique Hotels at All Price Points: Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Jia in Hong Kong

Cavo Tagoo, MykonosLocal Flavor- Go-To Hotels for a Truly Authentic Experience: Fairmont Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Evason Ma'in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan

Clubby Atmosphere- Hip Urban Pied-à-Terres: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, The Liberty in Boston, The Augustine in Prague

Luxurious Retreat- Top Choices for a Complete Escape: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Trusted Brand- World-Class Examples of International Hotel Chains: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, The Peninsula Bangkok


Get Steeped: Fairmont Celebrates Tea Around the World on Nov 12

November 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Celebrates TeaFairmont has declared November 12, 2011 an official "tea day"-- celebrating all things tea-- and being tea fans ourselves, we're thrilled about the "tea-rrific" events they have planned at hotels and resorts around the world. From tastings with a tea sommelier at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria to tours of a neighboring tea estate at Kenya's historic Fairmont The Norfolk, the festive events celebrate Fairmont's historic connection to the traditional afternoon ritual. Other fun, noteworthy celebrations: get discounts for wearing fancy hats at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; imbibe signature "Tea-quila" cocktails at The Fairmont Dallas; try Swiss-style tea at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace featuring finger sandwiches made with local Gruyère cheese; partake in a multi-cultural tea celebration at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. For the full run-down of activities, check out the official website. And if you're in need of a little Tea Etiquette, the experts at The Fairmont Empress have some top tips.

Pssst. You can also try some tea-infused cocktails from the hotel brand's top mixologists.

Image via Fairmont Hotels/ Everyone's an Original


Sponsored Article: Winter Wonderland in Canada with Fairmont Hotels

November 7, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Skiing in Whistler, Fairmont HotelsLet it snow! November means it’s time to take advantage of some early-season ski deals so you can hit the powder fast. Without a doubt, the best place to embrace the winter is our neighbor to the north. Canada’s pristine wilderness is home to the number one ski resort in North America (Whistler), and Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a storybook winter setting in the Canadian Rockies. Here, the wide-open wilderness makes for some epic skiing on what feels like your very own private pistes.

Fairmont offers three legendary resorts where skiers and non-skiers alike revel in luxury while soaking up the surrounding natural beauty. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs resort is located in the heart of the park with three pristine ski resorts at your doorstep. With the “Couples Holiday Getaway,” you get a third night for free when you stay for the festive Christmas season between December 17th and December 30th, 2011. Another hot offer: With “Extend Your Stay,” you’ll get discounts until February 10, 2012. Stay two nights and save 25% off each night when you stay two nights; 30% off each night when you stay three nights; 35% off each night when you stay four or more nights.

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseAlso located in Banff National Park, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the ultimate winter playground. Oft described as Canada’s most scenic ski resort, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has 139 marked ski runs and back bowls on four mountain faces. Beyond skiing, the snow adventures are endless-- from dog sledding the Great Divide to horse-drawn sleigh rides through the glacial shadows. Take advantage of the resort’s “Ski & Play for Free” and you’re guaranteed the ski trip of a lifetime. Included in the package: luxury accommodations, two adult Lake Louise Ski Resort passes per room per night OR a $100 Fairmont Chateau lake Louise resort credit (in place of each ski day), plus transportation to the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Valid from November 15th, 2011 until May 1st, 2012, starting from $299 CAD per night.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler-- nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain-- offers ski-in/ski-out access, amenities for pets, and a lavish spa. The “Ski for Free” package means you get Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets included with your low room rates (from $269 CAD per night) until November 23, 2011. Or book the “Everyone's An Original Winter Offer “ for double airline reward miles.


Top 10 Spas All Over the World

October 28, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

What do you get when you combine luxury, serenity, and incredibly gifted hands? The best spa resorts, of course! Check out our list of the top 10 luxury spas all over the world, make your reservation for that much needed vacation, and step into a relaxing paradise of mineral baths, facials, saunas, mud masks, massages, and much more.

10. The Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

This peaceful spa is surrounded by forest on the Pacific Ocean, creating the perfect, natural environment with the sound of splashing waves and the smell of the ocean permeating the atmosphere. This spa offers high-quality spa products and its estheticians focus on providing a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

9. Auberge de Soleil, United States

Located in the wine country of San Francisco, this spa is surrounded by private gardens and breathtaking views of Napa Valley. This spa offers the opportunity to partake in relaxing activities for romantic couples or friends of four with access to a private outdoor garden and hot spring. Embrace this spa’s philosophy of nurturing the body and mind while sinking into a peaceful state of relaxation.

 

8. Banyan Tree, Thailand

This one is considered to be one of Asia’s most spectacular spa resorts. All of this resort’s 123 villas have access to their own garden and an open air sunken bathtub, 52 of its villas have their own Jacuzzi, and 46 have their own private swimming pool. For the ultimate getaway, consider one of 13 villas with access to a private pool, Jacuzzi, private steam, and sauna room, and be sure to sign up for this hotel’s renowned ‘Intimate Moments’ partner massage.

7. The Grove, United Kingdom

The Grove is London’s cosmopolitan country estate, and it offers spa treatments that sooth and stimulate all of your senses. This spa prides itself on offering a total caring experience and ensuring that you escape, relax, and re-energize during your stay. Breathe in the tranquility, breath out the stress, and leave with a little more balance in your life.

6. Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa, United States

This spa is located in a private red rock canyon in Sedona, Arizona-- in what is considered to be one of the most sacred healing places on Earth. World class spa therapists create unique and memorable experiences and offer a variety of specially tailored services, aiming to provide a sense of harmony and health.

5. The Setai, United States

This Miami Beach luxury spa embraces ancient traditions and offers a complete experience with access to three private, sparkling swimming pools. This spa is dedicated to absolute privacy and relaxation, and its treatments will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.

4. Four Seasons Hualalai Kona, United States

This exotic, Hawaiian themed spa integrates tropical gardens and exudes serenity. Its complimentary, pre-spa services include access to the lap pool, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, and cold plunges. The treatment massages can be performed outside amidst beautiful nature and bamboo that naturally bring about a sense of calm.

3. Le Sirenuse, Italy

This spa embraces the ancient philosophy of individualized treatments to reach harmony from the inside out.  Be sure to take advantage of their unique treatment options and enjoy various services made especially for your needs.

2. Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay, Indonesia

Inspired by the surrounding ocean, this resort has eight magnificent treatment rooms and offers suites equipped with outdoor soaking tubs. The spa treatments utilize essences of plants, aromas of healing flowers, and herbs and spices, all blended together to create soothing and rejuvenating recipes for an enhanced experience.

1. Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands

Dramatically located on a cliff’s edge, this spa overlooks the resort and the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Channel below. The indigenous botanical resources along with therapeutic practices make for the most relaxing spa experience. The best part, however, is that this spa is willing to accommodate you in their Cliff Spa Suite, in your room, on the beach, or even under the stars!

Try as we might, we just couldn’t pick one favorite, so we encourage you to share your favorite luxury spa experiences with us on Facebook. Is your favorite spa on our list? Let us know! We love hearing from you.


Trick or Suite at Starwood Hotels in Canada and Save 40%

October 27, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Westin Trillium House at Blue MountainStarwood is handing out the treats this Halloween. Book the "Trick or Suite" package by October 31, 2011 to get in on the action (the biggest suite sale of the year!) The Toronto Star points out that you can snag 40% off suites at hotels like the Westin Trillium House at Blue Mountain, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, W Montreal "and four properties in Toronto, including Le Meridien King Edward, Sheraton Toronto, Westin Harbour Castle and Sheraton Parkway." For weekend stays with arrivals Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, for travel through December 30, 2011. Black-out dates apply at each property.


Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto to Open in January 2012

October 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump International Hotel and Tower, TorontoTrump has landed in Toronto. And not exactly in a quiet way. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, slated to open its doors on January 31, 2012, will be Canada’s tallest residential building towering 900 feet above the city. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets, the tower will have 65 storeys. Talk about a bold addition to the city skyline! The 261 guest rooms are decorated with a color palette said to be "inspired by Champagne and caviar." Expect palatial rooms outfitted with the latest technology, Nespresso Coffee Machines, and the signature Trump Hotel Collection Beds covered with Italian Bellino Linens. Not to mention the personal attention of the Trump Attaché (dedicated butler-style service)! There will also be a 18,000-square-foot spa with an indoor pool and a fully-equipped gym, plus the STOCK restaurant on the 31st floor.

Related Article: From Trump to Four Seasons: A New Crop of Luxury Hotels in Toronto