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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.

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.


New and Noteworthy: La Casona Inkaterra Set To Open in Cusco, Peru

January 11, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Inkaterra La Casona, CuscoWe're big fans of Inkaterra's rustic boutique hotel located in the heart of Machu Picchu's Historical Sanctuary. So we were thrilled to learn about the opening of Inkaterra's La Casona Hotel in Cusco, a lovely gem that's the perfect base to explore the "Lost City of the Incas." (Cusco is the gateway town to Machu Picchu.) Built over the palace of Inca Manco Capac (founder of the Inca Empire), the 16th century manor house was beautifully restored as an 11-room hotel centered around a gorgeous courtyard. Showcasing an exciting mélange of Incan cultural tradition and contemporary comforts, La Casona is the the city's first luxury boutique hotel. Amenities include wireless Internet, private butler service, open fireplaces, spacious bathrooms, iPod docking stations, and a private spa. Plus, your stay is guaranteed to be 100 percent carbon neutral. Opening is scheduled for February 2008.


Buzzworthy: Explora en Rapa Nui, Easter Island

January 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter IslandYour coordinates: 27º09 south latitude and 109º26 west longitude, 3,800 km from the central coast of Chile in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The closest inhabited island is Pitcairn, 1,900 km northwest. Your destination? The mythical Easter Island, home to the gigantic moai sculptures erected by a people whose origins and evolution are still unknown. This beautiful and mysterious place recently welcomed a chic hotel hideaway: explora en Rapa Nui , Posada de Mike Rapu. Located on a hill facing the endless sea (5.6 km from Hanga Roa, the island's only town), the hotel provides the ideal base to explore this incredible destination. Fly from either Santiago, Chile or Tahiti (Papeete) and you will be greeted by explora staff who will whisk you away to this stunning spot. The island's native volcanic rock was used in the hotel's construction. Thirty guest rooms spiral out from the central areas that house reception, the bar, and dining areas. Adjacent to the lounge, Casa de Baños Hare Vai boasts a pool, massage salon and open-air Jacuzzis.


O.A.R.S Catalog of Luxury Adventure Vacations

January 3, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

OARS Alaska WhitewaterThe Chairman of Five Star Alliance (also known as the Cal Simmons of The Informed Traveler) recommends O.A.R.S. which provides Whitewater rafting with experienced professional guides and top notch equipment since 1969. Cal has run rivers with the owner, George Wendt, in Africa, Fiji, Idaho, California and The Grand Canyon. According to Cal their Grand Canyon camping is even better than a luxury hotel.

For almost 40 years, O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists) has been a leader in the adventure travel industry. The California-based, eco-conscious organization provides exceptional, award-winning customer service, friendly, experienced and safety-conscious guides, comfortable and clean camping equipment, undeniably delicious and hearty meals and an ideal environment for a traveler to experience the outdoor vacation of his or her dreams. Some vacations include catered camping and rafting excursions through one of six national parks, lodge-based outings with comfortable beds and hot showers, multi-week expeditions, half-day escapes, weekend retreats close to home or private chartered trips specifically and uniquely designed for a given client's needs.

New to O.A.R.S.' vacation menu in 2008 includes rafting on the Apurimac River, the source of the Amazon and lodge-to-lodge trekking to Machu Picchu, 15 or 16 days.

Read More about O.A.R.S and their 2008 schedule here:

http://www.prweb.com//releases/OARS/Adventure_Travel/prweb588702.htm


New Luxury Travel Destinations

December 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanresorts, BhutanA recent article in the Washington Post describes the "destination fatigue-- been there, done that, paid a big bill"-- that affects a growing number of high-end travelers. When you've vacationed in Patagonia, the BVI, and the Greek Islands, and cruised the Nile and Yangtze rivers, what's next? The answer is remote, off-the-map destinations that once only appealed to backpackers. The newest hotspots are places like Bhutan, where Amanresorts has opened a string of luxury lodges that allow travelers to discover this incredible Himalayan kingdom without having to rough it. We'd count China's Yunnan province on the list, as well as luxury safaris in Africa, and hotels in northern India. What's your next luxury travel destination?


The World’s Best Hotels with a View

November 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmanganiWe're constantly scouring the earth for the best luxury hotels. When we stumble across hotels with views this breathtaking, this heartstoppingly beautiful, we can't help but get lyrical about them.

Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Ranked among the top après-ski destinations in the world and also consistently voted the nation's best spa by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, the ultra-luxurious Amangani is set atop East Gros Ventre Butte, offering panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks around Grand Teton National Park.

Hotel Caruso

Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Soaring 350 meters above the sea, hugging the cliffside over the Mediterranean, the Hotel Caruso commands the ultimate location. White stucco houses draped with brilliant bougainvillea, this is sun-kissed Italy at its most charming. With views like this, the infinity pool is easily among the most beautiful in the world.

Oberoi Udaivilas

Oberoi Udaivilas, Rajasthan, India

Sitting high above Udaipur's fabled lake, the Oberoi Udaivilas looks across to the floating City Palace, gleaming white in the sunshine, and Aravalli Hills beyond. Named the best hotel in the world in Travel and Leisure's 2007 reader's poll, the Oberoi Udavilas has rooms fit for a maharajah in India's romantic desert city.

Ritz-Carlton TokyoThe Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, Japan

Occupying the top nine floors and the first three levels of the 53-story Midtown Tower, the tallest building in Tokyo, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo features 360-degree panoramic vistas of the city and Mount Fuji. When it debuted in April 2007, the hotel dazzled Tokyo with its over-the-top service and amenities (like the $16,000 Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini with its very own Bulgari diamond).

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

Along the stretch of mythic California Highway 1, Big Sur enchants visitors with its awe-inspiring landscapes. Smack dab in the middle of this dramatic coastline, the Post Ranch Inn offers rustic elegance and incredible views. Dine above the Pacific at the award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant, guaranteed to be one of the most romantic dining experiences of your life.

Hayman Island Resort

Hayman Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Located on the southwestern side of Hayman Island just beside the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island Resort boasts an idyllic setting surrounded by coral fringed beaches and the lapping waters of the Coral Sea. The resort has a style as special as its setting, and boasts the largest swimming pool in the southern hemisphere.

Jumeirah Essex House

Jumeirah Essex House, New York

The Grande Dame of New York is uniquely situated at the southern base of Central Park, just across the street from 843 acres of parkland. An internationally renowned urban oasis, the Jumeirah Essex House has an excellent location right in the heart of midtown Manhattan.The 515 guest rooms and suites-- fresh from a $70 million renovation-- boast breathtaking views of Central Park. Plus, the hotel has a camera on the roof which scans the city and broadcasts live to a channel in the guest rooms.

Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles, Cape Town, South Africa

Situated where earth, sea, and sky meet, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is poised above the Atlantic, flanked by Table Mountain and the majestic Twelve Apostles range, just minutes from the glorious oceanfront city of Cape Town.

Copacabana Palace, Rio

Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

Looming over the world-famous Copacabana beach, the Copacabana Palace is legendary, a glamorous piece of Rio's history. Like a sumptuous white wedding cake on the sand, the hotel has hosted royalty, film stars, and world leaders.

Cap Estel

Cap Estel, Eze-Bord-de-Mer, French Riviera

Located between Nice and Monaco in the charming clifftop village of Eze-Bord-de-Mer, Cap Estel is situated on its own four acre peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean with a 180 degree view of the coastline. All the guest rooms at this renowned 19th century hotel have a balcony or terrace with a sea view.

Four Seasons Hong Kong

Four Seasons Hong Kong

Heralded as the "first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years," the sleek Four Seasons opened in September 2005. Easily the top location on Hong Kong Island, the hotel is located on the waterfront of the Central neighborhood, with the Star Ferry just steps away. Its 399 spacious guestrooms have wall-to-wall windows offering views of the Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak. From the outdoor infinity pools, heated in winter, guests enjoy sweeping Harbour views.

Hotel Hassler

Hotel Hassler, Rome

The Eternal City's most luxurious and romantic hideaway, the Hotel Hassler is perched above the Spanish Steps in an unbeatable location. Hands down the best views over Rome (while working out at the health club, you can check out St Peter’s Cathedral!)

Machu Picchu

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Peru

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, one of the world's major heritage sites. Managed by Orient-Express, the luxurious Sanctuary Lodge can arrange visits to Machu Picchu with experienced guides.


Indigo Patagonia Hotel and Spa: Heaven on Earth at Torres del Paine, Chile

November 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Indigo PatagoniaThe Nordic-style Indigo Patagonia is easily one of the most exciting new hotels of the year. Overlooking the Fjord of Last Hope in the maritime passage of Puerto Natales at the entrance to the Torres del Paine National Park, the hotel opens out on one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world: the sweeping sea and sky, mountains and glaciers, that come together to create the grandness of Patagonia. The Indigo Patagonia is a triumph of contemporary design, an exemplar of architectural sophistication with natural materials and a neutral color palette. The 23 rooms and 6 suites are outfitted with luxurious details: delicate sheets, blankets of pure hand-heaved wool, wireless Internet. And there are windows, windows, everywhere so that guests can always contemplate the surrounding grandeur. Unwind in one of the thermal pools in the blissful rooftop spa and just try to tear yourself away from the views.

Photo Via Irarrazaval Architects


Trump Launches Luxury Hotel Brand

October 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Palm JumeirahIn the wake of countless new luxury hotel collections (Crillon, 1 Hotels, Waldorf-Astoria, Baccarat, to name a few), Mr. Trump has decided to launch his own. The flagship for this new brand is the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. Touted as "raising the bar on top-end travel experiences," the Trump Hotel Collection will showcase the new Spa at Trump with signature Trump-inspired treatments and an exclusive line of skin-care products by Kate Somerville. What else is in store? Customized service that will "go beyond butler service" because of the intrusive detailed record of personal guest preferences. In addition to the NY hotel, the collection will include two forthcoming properties in Chicago and Las Vegas, set to debut within the next few months. There are projects in the works in Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, NY's Soho neighborhood, Waikiki, Toronto, Cap Cana, Mexico's Baja Peninsula, Panama City, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Dubai *of course*. Will this really be "the next generation of luxury hospitality?"