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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 Best Brunch in Buenos Aires: Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt

May 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palacio Duhau- Park Hyatt Buenos AiresMost Argentines know the Palacio Duhau- Park Hyatt, situated in the city's swank Recoleta district, as one of the best, most fashionable hotels in Buenos Aires. After its opening, it was immediately featured on the Travel + Leisure 2006 It List. To quote: "Walking up the sweeping stone staircase of Palacio Duhau is like walking into a private mansion." The garden was designed by the gentleman who planned B.A.'s botanical gardens; the rooms outfitted with all the latest luxuries; the indoor pool equipped with "750 colored bulbs to simulate the changing of light from dawn to dusk." Vinoteca may have some 3,500 bottles of wine to choose from (accompanied by your choice of 40 different cheeses), but perhaps the best kept secret at the Palacio Duhau- Park Hyatt is the prix fixe brunch served at Gioia Restaurant on Sunday. Take a seat on the terrace and soak up the spectacular views of the Palace and the garden. Insiders claim it'll be the best $53 you’ve ever spent.

Photo Via Flickr/Longhorndave


Fourth Night Free at Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

May 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Copacabana PalaceHead down to Rio for a relaxing break at one of the most glamorous hotels in the world. Setting of the famous film 'Flying down to Rio' where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced together for the first time, Copacabana Palace offers the ultimate in sophisticated luxury-- just steps from the white sands of the most famous beach in the world. This is the hide-out of the rich and famous. Make the Copacabana Palace your home as you explore the delights of the fascinating city: sun yourself on Copacabana or Ipanema beach and visit Corcovado or Sugar Loaf Mountain and marvel at the beauty of Rio nestled in the series of bays below you. With the "Stay Another Night" package, you get the fourth night for free when you stay three consecutive nights. Rates start at $487, and you also get complimentary access to the fitness center, tennis court, and sauna.


Suite Luxury: Fabulous Faena’s 3 New Lavish Suites in Buenos Aires

March 24, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Faena Hotel + UniverseThe opulent and gorgeous Faena Hotel + Universe in Buenos Aires is just one distinctive part of the Faena Art District in BA, Argentina. With lavish restaurants and bars, authentic theater spaces, an exceptional wine cellar, world-class spa, and top-tier accommodations, the hotel has topped itself once again. At the end of 2007, 3 over-the-top, extremely lavish suites were introduced to the property – F Suite, Tower Suite, and Imperial Suite (click on the images below for the bigger pictures).

F Suite Living Room The F Suite, the most exclusive suite in Latin America, is a wholly private and impeccably appointed 1,291 square foot residence located on the 6th floor of Faena Hotel + Universe featuring two bedrooms (1 pictured), three bathrooms, living (pictured) and dining rooms, a kitchen, a library and outstanding panoramic views of the Faena Art District, embankment and city center of Buenos Aires. Additional amenities include a marble bathroom with rain forest shower and Jacuzzi and a state of the art in-room entertainment center with three 42-inch plasma screens.

Atop Faena Hotel + Universe is the Tower Suite, a triplex suite with exceptional views of Rio de la Plata and the MicaelaBastidas Park. The centerpiece of the suite is a fiber optic teardrop crystal lamp that shifts from amber to blue to green to purple, located at the foot of the stairway and specially created for the suite. Imperial Suite terrace The two bedroom, two bathroom suite also includes living and dining rooms, marble bathroom with jacuzzi and relaxation area, an outdoor terrace and flat screen home theaters in the living room and bedroom.

Imperial Suite living room.jpgWith two outdoor terraces, offering double 180-degree views that face east and west, supplying idyllic panoramic views of city and river, sunrise and sunset is the Imperial Suite. Inside, a spacious living/dining room with sliding glass windows, kitchen, cloakroom and one super king-sized bedroom and bathroom make the Imperial Suite perfect for honeymooners or any other romantic escape.  Imperial Suite bathroom The marble-floored bathroom features a Philippe-Starck designed jacuzzi and separate shower, while the living room and bedroom each boast home theaters with flat screens and surround sound.

All suites include one of Faena Hotel + Universe's famous personal Experience Managers, high-speed wireless internet connections and automatic red velvet curtains with Venetian blinds.

Faena Hotel + Universe is known for ultimate luxury and the F Suite, Tower Suite and Imperial Suite continue the tradition of welcoming guests with exceptional service and luxe comforts.


Small Luxury Hotels Announces Photo Competition: Win Cool Trips and Prizes!

March 24, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hostellerie Les Frenes, ProvenceSmall Luxury Hotels of the World-- the exclusive brand of more than 440 independent properties in 70 countries-- recently launched its inaugural worldwide photography competition with some incredible prizes. The idea is for travelers to share their most inspired moments and experiences "caught on film" during their trips-- whether biking through the Tuscan hills or watching the sunset over a beach in the Indian Ocean. The possibilities are limitless! Running from March 17, 2008 through July 31, 2008, the contest will take place completely online via a dedicated competition website. You can register with the site and then upload up to 10 of your favorite photos that capture a sense of place and experience. All submitted photos will be viewable in an online gallery. Four overall winning photographs will be chosen by a panel of judges including celebrity photographer Andy Earl (who shot Madonna, Prince and Pink Floyd for their album covers). And get this: anybody who registers and submits at least one photo will be automatically entered into a prize draw for a five-night stay at any of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties.

The top prize winners will all receive a brand new Nikon D80 SLR 10.2 Camera with an 18-135mm zoom lens, plus, choose one of four incredible prize getaways including two round-trip tickets on American Airlines. The available prize packages are:

* A six-night Costa Rican Adventure spent at both Hotel Punta Islita and Gaia Hotel and Reserve

* A five-night English Town and Country Experience spent at both The Capital Hotel in London and Luton Hoo Country Estate

* A four-night Mexican Escape at Esencia on the Riviera Maya

* A three night Big Apple Experience in New York City at The Iroquois New York


Alluring Argentina at the Caesar Park Buenos Aires

March 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Caesar Park Buenos AiresAs the dollar continues to slide, the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires still offers bang for the buck for those looking to travel outside the U.S. Marvelous steak dinners can be had for a fraction of the price of a comparable meal in NYC, and luxury hotels continue to offer good value. An excellent choice is The Caesar Park Buenos Aires. Well-heeled guests are delighted by the elegant ambiance in the grand lobby: columns, marble staircase, the giant chandelier and mezzanine balcony. All works in the impressive art collection, displayed in the lobby and mezzanine, are for sale. Situated in the Recoleta district opposite from Patio Bullrich, the city's most exclusive shopping mall, The Caesar Park offers 175 tastefully-appointed guest rooms, including the top-floor Imperial Suite with amazing views over the city, the Rio de la Plata, and all the way to Montevideo, Uruguay. All rooms feature separate tubs and showers, and large entertainment systems.


Travel across Chilean Roads and Stay in Style at San Cristobal Tower, Santiago

March 19, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

San Cristobal Tower, SantiagoHands down the finest hotel in Santiago, San Cristobal Tower is arguably one of the best hideaways in South America. A member of Starwood's Luxury Collection, San Cristobal Tower is situated just minutes away from the Providencia business district. Guest rooms are outfitted with carved mahogany chairs, elegant drapes and gold-rimmed mirrors, and boast spectacular views of the snow-capped Andes. If you book one of the two Terrace Suites, named after the great Literature Nobel Prize winners from Chile, "Gabriela Mistral" and "Pablo Neruda," you'll enjoy the views from spacious terraces. San Cristobal Tower is offering an exclusive getaway with a car rental included so that you can create your own tour of the world-famous Chilean wineries, beaches at Viña del Mar, and Andes mountains. Priced from $289 per night (3-night minimum required), the package includes complimentary buffet breakfast, a bottle of Chilean wine in-room upon arrival, free admission to Neptuno Spa Pool and Fitness Center, late check-out at 4 p.m, and parking for your rental car!


Last Minute Getaway to Belize at Cayo Espanto, Private Island Resort

March 6, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cayo Espanto, BelizeDesperate for some sun? Steal away to the private island of Cayo Espanto, located three miles offshore from San Pedro in the calm Caribbean waters of Belize. This private piece of paradise, a favorite retreat for the discriminating few, is offering serious savings-- up to 57 percent off-- until March 15, 2008. Usually priced from $1,895 to $2,295 per night, the villas (3 of the island's 6) are going for $995 per couple. This includes a personal butler and all your meals, drinks, and transfers, so this is a real deal. Three-night minimum stay required.

Via Washington Post


Luxury Hiking and Biking Tours in South America with AuroraEco

February 29, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort CarmeloDiscover the scenic destinations of South America-- Uruguay's colonial cities on the banks of La Plata River and upscale Punta Del Este, Mendoza wine country, Patagonia, Brazil's Bahia beaches, the glacial lakes of Argentina-- with top-tier trips offered by AuroraEco. Distinguished by the quality and attention of their expert guides (one guide for every four people), AuroraEco chooses only the very finest restaurants and accommodations for each meticulously-researched tour. Luxury accommodations include the breathtaking Hotel Llao Llao in spectacular northwest Patagonia, the Four Seasons Carmelo on the Rio de la Plata, and Relais & Chateaux properties. Trips average 16 miles a day (biking) and 6 miles a day (walking).


Maxim Bungalows in the Dominican Republic

February 26, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Despite several delays due to ongoing construction, the highly anticipated Maxim Bungalows will be opening this year. March 15 marks the debut of Maxim Bungalows, Cofresi Beach, while its sibling resort at Juan Dolio will open in September. Maxim Bungalows is designed to give singles and couples alike an exotic stay in one of the Dominican Republic's finest resorts. Maxim Bungalows boasts 108 one and two bedroom bungalows complete with 24 hour service, Jacuzzi tub and flat screen TV. The resort includes a large, relaxing spa, and pool area, and most notably, a 54 foot yacht, which guests have the ability to charter for day trips and evening cruises.

Maxim Bungalows also offers a variety of activities for its active guests including jungle trips, scuba diving, a lively nightlife at various bars, cabanas, and night clubs in the area. The spa also offers guests a place to relax and rejuvenate in an exotic exciting environment. Maxim Bungalows stands out as the place to go for trendy singles searching for a place to enjoy a magnificent resort. And yes, it is related to Maxim Magazine. Visit www.maximbungalows.com.


Emiliano, Sao Paulo: The Best of Brazil

January 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

EmilianoFor an utterly decadent hotel experience, head to Sao Paulo, where the Emiliano pampers guests with the most fabulous five-star treatment. No joke-- this is some of the best service and amenities we know about. Frommer's says it best: "The Emiliano is a bargain compared to what a room like this would cost in New York or Paris." Think welcome massages, private butlers to unpack bags, personalized pillow selections (why not try 6 different ones?!), mini-bars stocked to your liking, and bathrooms the size of small spas (with customized toiletries). Oh, and there's private helicopter service to the airport. This is a true sybarite's delight, where rooms are beautifully designed, the restaurant is renowned for its haute cuisine, and the rooftop boasts a pool and spa.