The 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.
It's official. Five Star Alliance, the leading online travel agency for luxury hotels, has released the annual "World's Best Luxury Hotels" lists. Our crew of somewhat obsessive luxury hotel fans gives recs so often, we decided it's important to share that info with the world. Along with the company's expertise, the criteria used to select the World's Best Luxury Hotels includes honest feedback from Five Star Alliance clients and the popularity of hotels. Since Five Star Alliance only focuses only luxury hotels, these picks are truly la crème de la crème.
A regular size TV will no longer cut it. The digital revolution during the age of TiVo means business travelers are used to home entertainment systems far superior than the technology found on the road. But now the tide has turned. Luxury hotels are upgrading rooms with high definition TVs, iPod docking stations and a wide selection of programming, personal entertainment systems with movies, music, and games, and more. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, in the hotel industry, the technology race is on. There's been a "paradigm shift more toward the lifestyle traveler." The good news for this new breed of road warriors: with on-demand programming, you'll never miss another episode of Entourage again.
Visit nine wonders of the world-- from the Egyptian pyramids to the incredible carved sculptures on Easter Island-- with Abercrombie & Kent's globe-spanning journey by private jet. The luxury tour operator enlists expert guides to accompany their programs; these professionals are the ideal traveling companions who work hard to ensure an unforgettable journey. Privileged guests can choose from an array of sightseeing excursions, sport, shopping and spa options at selected destinations. And with Abercrombie & Kent, guests experience privileged access to these nine landmarks of world culture-- a real insider's perspective. As to be expected, the accommodations on this circumnavigation are the finest, like the elegant Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco, the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, and the luxurious Four Seasons First Residence in Cairo. For 2008, the itinerary spans Miami, Lima, Easter Island, Apia (Samoa), Sydney, Siem Reap (Cambodia), Yangon (Myanmar), Jodhpur & Agra (India), Muscat (Oman), Petra (Jordan), Cairo, and New York. Dates are January 13- February 6, 2008 and February 7- March 2, 2008. There are a limited number of seats on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. The private Boeing 757-200 is limited to just 50 guests, so make your reservations today.
The World, the impressive private yacht owned (or rented) by folks from over 40 different countries, is a floating residential community that circumnavigates the globe, checking out diverse ports of call for 2-5 days at a time. Managed by ResidenSea in Miami, The World is outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities including a full-sized tennis court, jogging track, gym, five restaurants, move theater and library, and beautiful spa. Banyan Tree Spa has recently announced a collaboration with The World and will soon launch its Sanctuary of the Senses onboard the cruise ship. Banyan Tree's signature Asian-inspired treatments will be available at sea for the first time. Located on Deck 5 in "The Village," The World Spa by Banyan Tree features four single treatment rooms and a Beauty Garden that incorporates a Hair Salon and Manicure Station.
A fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, Hotel Monasterio, managed by Orient-Express Hotels, is the jewel of the historic city of Cuzco. Located in the heart of Cuzco, the 16th century Hotel Monasterio is a magnificently renovated masterpiece, a national historic landmark which has retained its charming characteristics. Here, guests are spoiled with luxurious amenities, beautiful, oxygen-enriched guest rooms, and superlative service, including the indulgent Bath Butler service. (After a long day, soak in a steamy bath, specially drawn for you, with the glow of candles, rose petals, champagne, aromatic bath salts...) High in the Andes, more than 3000 meters above sea level, the former capital of the Inca dynasty is the ideal base to discover the ancient ruins at Machu Picchu, accessible via a spectacular three-hour train journey. Hotel Monasterio has designed the exciting Inca Triangle package, whereby guests can spend a week exploring Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu, including guided tours, transfers and domestic flights, breakfast daily, and some other meals. The seven-night adventure is priced from $3,918 per person.
The Alvear's chic French restaurant, La Bourgogne, may be the city's best (the only Relais Gourmands establishment in Argentina), but the Lobby Bar is where it's at. Located in the Recoleta neighborhood, the most refined quarter in the city, the Alvear Palace Hotel stands as an elegant icon in Buenos Aires. Slink into the Lobby Bar and mingle with well-heeled Argentines, international jetsetters, and visiting royalty. The bar offers a fine selection of cognacs and single malt whiskies, and creative cocktails abound. Try The Alvear, a sultry mix of gin, pineapple pulp, Benedictine, lemon juice and champagne, served in a Martini glass and topped with a cherry.
Imagine: your own luxury villa with all the amenities of a world-class resort. One of the most exclusive refuges in Belize, Azul Resort is a tranquil paradise of only two villas. Situated on 400 feet of private beach lapped by turquoise water, the pair of 3,000 square-foot, two-level structures are outfitted with rooftop hot tubs, custom kitchens with Viking appliances, Apple computers, 50-inch plasma flat-screen TVs, and Bose home theater systems. There's an infinity pool, the hip Rojo Lounge next door, and private chef service. The price tag? Starting from $1,875 per night (summer and fall rates).
In a city that oozes hipness, the Hotel Unique epitomizes cool. Designed by the Brazilian-Japanese architect Ruy Ohtake, the hotel is an ultra-modern architectural landmark in the exclusive Jardins district of Sao Paulo. The 95 carefully designed guest rooms and suites are spread out over six floors in the building that looks like a watermelon slice, dotted with circular windows (the "seeds"-- how clever!) Rooms are loaded with technology: flat-screen TVs, DVD, phones that work anywhere in the hotel, free Internet. From the rooftop swimming pool and lounge, the cityscapes are magnificent. Don't be turned off by the crimson color of the pool; if you go for a dip, you'll be rewarded with groovy underwater sounds.
There's no bad time to visit Rio. So what if it's autumn; you can always heat things up in Brazil! And the off-season means cheaper airfares and deals aplenty. Head to Copacabana beach to experience the unrivaled beauty of Rio's world-famous sand and surf. Here, the Copacabana Palace looms over the beach in all its splendor (and not just any part of the beach-- we're talking prime Rio real estate). The Copacabana Palace is so legendary, so famous, it's secured its own listing in the book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. Indeed the Copacabana Palace embodies the glamour of Rio. Throughout the hotel's distinguished history, royalty, film stars, politicians, and business leaders have flocked to the sophisticated meeting place for Rio's high society. The hotel's dining establishments-- The Hotel Cipriani Restaurant and The Pergula Restaurant-- are two of the city's finest. Other facilities include semi-Olympic size swimming pool, tennis court, Fitness Centre, Beauty Salon, and Beach Service. The 6th floor Penthouse suites feature works of art, oriental carpets and French fabrics and an exclusive swimming pool.