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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.

Availability in Costa Rica for Winter Holidays

December 2, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Escaping the cold and checking into a luxury beach resort seems to be quite popular amongst our travelers, so we’re making it a bit easier for you to plan your getaway by hi-lighting the hotels with availability at popular spots.

A popular destination this year is Costa Rica. With activities ranging from zip lining, white water rafting, lounging on the beach, and relaxing in the hot springs, it’s no wonder folks are drawn to this country. The 5 star hotels that currently have availability during the last week of December are the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa and the Marriott Los Suenos Resort. The only 4 star hotel with availability is  the Radisson Europa Hotel. Be sure to make your travel plans and reservations before these hotels sell out!


Hot off the Press: "The Most Wanted Winter Spa Treatments" by In Style Magazine

November 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Palmilla, CaboIt's that time of year again. When we start bemoaning our cracked hands, chapped lips and parched winter skin, we know it's time to book a spa treatment ASAP. But where's the best place to rejuvenate with that ultimate winter pick-me up (pre- or post-fête?). In Style to the rescue. Lucky for us, the mag has put together a fab list of "The Most Wanted Winter Spa Treatments." There's the Hot Chocolate Synergy Massage, inspired by the ancient Mayans and using warm chocolate oil to enhance the mood, at One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos; the Candy Cane Ritual at the Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas; the Pumpkin Nectar Facial at Remède Spa, St. Regis Mexico City; the Peppermint Pedicure
 
to sooth tired feet at Remede Spa, St. Regis San Francisco (Lady Gaga's a fan of the hotel); Santa's Little Helpers Mandara Four Hand Massage at The Cove Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas; and more! For all the delicious details, be sure to check out the article.


Luxury for Less: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hotel Deals

November 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lorien HotelGearing up for Black Friday? Planning your strategy for Cyber Monday (the biggest online shopping day of the year)? Expect deals galore, especially if you're looking to travel. Hotels are catering to travelers looking for internet savings. We've been keeping tabs on the great online deals available. And the offers keep flooding in! Here's a sampling.

Marriott’s Florida Resorts (like Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach and Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort) are joining together to offer up to 25% savings on Cyber Monday with rates starting from $95 to $186 per night. Available online on Monday, Nov. 28 only, the savings can be applied on stays from Nov. 29, 2011 through Jan. 8, 2012.

Kimpton is holding a 72-hour Cyber Monday Sale, starting 12 am on Monday, November 28, 2011, for 12 Mid-Atlantic region hotels in DC, Virginia and Maryland, giving away top suites and specialty rooms for the price of a standard guestroom. Hotels include Hotel Palomar Washington DC and the Lorien in Alexandria, where you can nab an overnight stay in the one-of-a-kind Diplomat Suite, featuring a 550-foot private furnished balcony, wet bar, and oversized bathroom for just $159 per night.

Trump ChicagoThe newly-renovated Warwick New York Hotel is offering a four-day Black Friday deal of 30% off the best available rate with savings extending through Feb. 29, 2012.

The Trump Hotel Collection is offering 30% off all suites that are booked on November 28, 2011 only. Available for travel January 1- March 31, 2012 at all Trump Hotel Collection properties – New York (Central Park and SoHo), Chicago, Las Vegas, Waikiki, Panama and Toronto (opening Jan. 31, 2012).


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


Best of the Best: Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino is the Best Luxury Casino Hotel in 2011

November 2, 2011
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’d like to welcome you to our new blog series, Best of the Best, where we’ll be featuring the best and most luxurious resorts in various categories. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business by the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards, so you can relax and stop worrying about your upcoming trip, knowing that it truly will be the best of the best.

The Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino received the Best Luxury Casino Hotel in 2011 title, and it is located 10 minutes away from the Iguazú Falls National Park, straddling the border of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. This resort has 34 gambling tables for Roulette, Black Jack, and Poker, 200 modern slot machines with progressive prizes, video games, video slot machines, electronic roulette, traditional slot machines, 10 electric terminals of traditional Roulette, and much more. Aside from being the best luxury casino hotel, this resort also offers three multilevel outdoor swimming pools, access to exotic gardens, and the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Don’t forget your lucky socks, and head over to the best luxury casino hotel of 2011.


Costa Rican Resort Introduces New Shangri-La Gardens

November 1, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Costa Rica has just introduced its newest luxury hideaway, the private Shangri-La Gardens. These adult-only gardens are located in a secluded area of the minerals springs complex, and they provide guests with a serene area to unwind while enjoying cocktails and refreshments served by the garden butler. The Shangri-La Gardens are surrounded by lush greens and offer six thermal mineral spring water pools, heated naturally by the Arenal Volcano, providing a relaxing experience unlike any other. Be sure to also experience the natural hot springs and waterfalls located throughout the resort, and take advantage of the unique treatments available, including volcanic mud wraps, exfoliations with coffee or coconut, and outdoor Watsu underwater massages. Take relaxation to the next level by checking in to the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort and checking out the new Shangri-La Gardens.


3rd Night Free at the Four Seasons Resort Carmelo in Uruguay

September 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort CarmeloJust a hop from both Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the Four Seasons Resort in Carmelo is a spa and golf paradise nestled in the pines on the Río de la Plata. Consistently ranked as one of Uruguay's top resorts, this country retreat has it all-- from tennis and horseback riding to a double-casade pool and vineyards. Take advantage of a special promotion, available until December 21, 2011, and you'll get a third night free during Uruguay's lovely spring season. You'll delight in your bungalow or spacious bi-level suites, getting spoiled rotten by Four Seasons staff. What's more: You can score even more savings with the "Spa Escape Promotion." Book your spa treatment and pay with any American Express Card, and you'll get a 90-minute massage for the price of 60 minutes when you mention the Spa Escape promotion at time of reservation. (Available Monday - Friday, before 5:00 pm. Upgrade valid only toward massage treatments.)


Buenos Dias a Buenos Aires!

September 29, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Did you know that people from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteῇos, or people of the port? Aside from being the capital and the biggest city in Argentina, Buenos Aires is bursting with things to do and culture to explore. Buenos Aires is composed of various neighborhoods, or barrios, and each has its distinct characteristics and culture. I encourage you to check them all out, but consider giving yourself at least a few days to fully absorb everything this city has to offer!

Start your exploration by checking into the Faena Hotel and Universe, steps away from the river. Not only does this luxurious resort offer the opportunity to enjoy the race track from a box seat, but it also presents you with the opportunity to get to know the inner workings of a winery and even create your own wine! While you’re indulging yourself, be sure to try Argentine ice cream; it’s truly phenomenal, and I especially recommend the dulce de leche flavor. Enhance your stay by exploring some of the nearby barrios including Recoleta, which is the city’s most exclusive neighborhood that offers luxurious boutiques, fabulous restaurants, and beautiful galleries.

Two other barrios worth visiting are San Telmo and La Boca. San Telmo is a historical neighborhood that has preserved the authentic charm of Buenos Aires, and the cobblestone streets and high trees make an atmosphere of exceptional reminiscence. La Boca is located right on the water, and it’s one of the most unique areas of Buenos Aires. The buildings are painted vibrant colors, and there is tango dancing and singing in the streets. This is predominantly a tourist location, but it is unlike any other part of town and definitely worth a visit. After absorbing everything the city has to offer, return to the Faena Hotel and Universe, unwind at the luxurious spa, and fall asleep in one of the 105 rooms designed to offer you a luxurious experience of modern elegance.


World Luxury Hotel Awards Declare Best Luxury Hotels of 2011

September 28, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

The 2011 World Luxury Hotel Awards have announced their Global Winners across a variety of categories, and we’re confident that each of these hotels represents the finest in luxury accommodations. We'll be spotlighting many of these individually in the coming weeks and offering our critical commentary, but for now, take a look at the winners such as the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, winning Best Luxury Hotel overall, and the Sandals Royal Plantation, the Best Luxury Island Resort.

Click here to check out the full list of best hotels, listed alphabetically by location so you can find the names of the top hotels in your vacation spot of choice, and search here if you're interested in booking any of the top hotels of 2011.