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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 World’s Best Up and Coming Hotels

August 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James ChicagoIn its August 2010 issue, Travel + Leisure highlights "20 to Watch: 2010's Best Up-and-Coming Hotels," many of which can be found in the Five Star Alliance collection. Predicting "the next hottest hotels around the globe," Travel + Leisure scoured the globe "to pick out this year's new and refurbished, expanding, or otherwise evolving hotels." What the magazine's editors found: domestic hotels are raising the bar, with fantastic luxury hotels in the United States and Canada. So without further ado, here's the list:

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Algodon Mansion, Buenos Aires

Amangiri, Utah

Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Four Seasons Beirut

The James Chicago

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

The Peninsula Chicago

The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel

Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan, Paris

Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, Krabi, Thailand

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London

Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, India

Veranda Resort, Turks & Caicos

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island

Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia

Destination Spa: The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu , Malibu, California


Ski Chile’s Snow-Capped Slopes with the San Cristobal Tower, Santiago

June 30, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

San Cristobal Tower, SantiagoIt may be hot and humid in the Northern Hemisphere, but cold weather-addicts can still get their winter fix by high-tailing it down south of the equator. Winter is in full swing in the Southern Hemisphere, and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, just 30 miles from Chile's capital city of Santiago, beckon adrenaline hounds hoping to get some action on the powder. Lucky you- San Cristobal Tower-- a sumptuous urban resort and member of Starwood's Luxury Collection-- has organized a package so that you can discover Chile's world-class ski centers. Considered the most easily accessible skiing in all of South America because of their proximity to Santiago International Airport, the triumvirate of ski resorts (La Parva, Valle Nevado and El Colorado) offer some stunning terrain with some 40 lifts between them. With the San Cristobal Tower's ski experience, you'll enjoy accommodations in a Grand Deluxe Double Room and a day of skiing for two at one of the three above-mentioned resorts including round-trip transfers, equipment rentals, and lift tickets. You'll also get 500 Bonus Starpoints, buffet breakfast, admission to the health club, a bottle of Chilean wine in-room, and late check-out at 4 pm. Starting from $439, available until September 30, 2010.


The World’s Hottest New Hotels: Travel + Leisure’s New “It List 2010″

May 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoIt's our favorite time of year. Travel + Leisure has released their "It List 2010" of the 45 best new hotels in the world. The mag's esteemed editors have hand-picked the year's most exciting hotel debuts, to be revealed in the June issue which hits newsstands this month. What's especially cool to see: ten of the properties have room rates of less than $300 per night. Can't wait til May 21st to see the list? We've got the skinny:

UNITED STATES

Andaz Wall Street+ Bardessono, Yountville, California

+ St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

+ Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

+ Andaz Wall Street, New York, New York*

+ Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York

+ Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

+ Waldorf Astoria, Park City, Utah

THE CARIBBEAN , MEXICO, AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

+ Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla

+ Gansevoort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

+ W Santiago, Santiago, Chile*

+ Tcherassi Hotel & Spa, Cartagena, Colombia

+ Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

+ Hotel Boca Chica, Acapulco, Mexico*

+ Las Alcobas, Mexico City, Mexico

EUROPE

+ Lime Wood, Hampshire, England*

+ Dean Street Townhouse, London, England*

+ InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, Paris, France

+ La Réserve Ramatuelle, Ramatuelle, France

+ Heidelberg Suites, Heidelberg, Germany

+ Il Salviatino, Fiesole, Italy

+ Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy

+ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy

+ Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy

+ Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

+ Hotel Consolaciόn, Teruel, Spain*

+ Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey*

ASIA

+ Amanfayun, Hangzhou, China

+ Upper House, Hong Kong, China

+ Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai, China*

+ PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai, China

+ Serai Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India

+ Raas, Jodhpur, India*

+ Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

+ Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay, Philippines

+ Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

+ Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand*

+ Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AUSTRALIA

+ Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

+ Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa, Ma’in, Jordan

+ Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon

+ Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles

+ One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Taj Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

+ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Lithgow, Australia

*Property has starting room rates of $300/night, double, or less.


We List the World’s Best Restaurants

May 10, 2010
By: Ruthanne Terrero

The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010 is the result of an extensive poll of the world’s most celebrated chefs, renowned food critics, leading restaurateurs and well-traveled gourmands – collectively known as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy...

1. Noma, Denmark

+45 3296 3297

http://www.noma.dk

2. El Bulli, Spain

+ 34 972 150 457

http://www.elbulli.com

3. The Fat Duck, UK

+44 (0) 1628 580 333

http://www.thefatduck.co.uk

4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain

+34 972 22 21 57

http://www.cellercanroca.com

5. Mugaritz, Spain

+34 943 522 455

http://www.mugaritz.comx

6. Osteria Francescana, Italy

+39 (0)59 210 118

http://www.osteriafrancescana.it

7. Alinea, USA

+1 312-867-0110

http://www.alinea-restaurant.com

8. Daniel, USA

+1 212 288 0033

http://www.danielnyc.com

9. Arzak, Spain

+34 943 78456

http://www.arzak.es

10. Per Se, United States

+1212 823 9335

http://www.perseny.com

11. Le Chateaubriand, France

+33 (0)1 43574595

12. La Colombe, South Africa

+ 27 (0) 21 794 2390

http://www.constantia-uitsig.com

13. Pierre Gagnaire, France

+ 33 01 58 36 12 50

http://www.pierre-gagnaire.com

14. Hotel de Ville Switzerland

+41 21 634 0505

http://www.philippe-rochat.ch

15. Le Bernardin, USA

+1 212 554 1515

le-bernardin.com

16. L’Astrance, France

+33 1 40 50 84 40

http://www.lastrance.abemadi.com

17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium

+32 (0) 9 383 5848

http://www.hofvancleve.com

18. D.O.M., Brazil

+55 11 3088 0761

domrestaurante.com.br

19. Oud Sluis, Holland

+31 (0) 117-461269

http://www.oudsluis.nl

20. Le Calandre, Italy

+39 049 630303

http://www.alajmo.it

21. Steirereck, Austria

+43 (1) 713 31 68

http://www.steirereck.at/wien restaurant

22. Vendome, Germany

+49 (0) 22 04 42 1941

http://www.schlossbensberg.com

23. Chez Dominique, Finland

+ 358 9 612 7393

http://www.chezdominique.fi

24. Les Créations de Narisawa, Japan

+81 (3) 5785 0799

http://www.narisawa-yoshihiro.com

25. Mathias Dahlgren, Sweden

+46 (0) 8 679 35 84

http://www.mathiasdahlgren.com

26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, USA

+1 212 254-3500

http://www.momofuku.com

27. Quay, Australia

+ 61 (2) 9251 5600

http://www.quay.com.au

28. Iggy’s, Singapore

+65 6732 2234

http://www.iggys.com.sg

29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France

+33 1 42 225656

http://www.joel-robuchon.com

30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland

+41 81 632 10 80

http://www.schauenstein.ch

31. Le Quartier Francais, South Africa

+27 21 876 2151

http://www.lequartier.co.za

32. The French Laundry, USA

+1 707 944 2380

http://www.frenchlaundry.com

33. Martin Berasategui, Spain

+34 943 366 471

http://www.martinberasategui.com

34. Aqua, Germany

+49 5361 606056

http://www.restaurant-aqua.com

35. Combal Zero, Italy

+39 011 9565225

http://www.combal.org

36. Dal Pescatore, Italy

+39 (0)37 672 3001

http://www.dalpescatore.com

37. De Librije, Netherlands

+31 (0)38 4212083

http://www.librije.com

38. Tetsuya’s, Australia

+61 (2)9267 2900

http://www.tetsyuas.com

39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore

+65 6338 8585

http://www.swissotel.com/singapore-stamford

40. Il Canto, Italy

+39 (0)577 28 81 80

http://www.certosadimaggiano.com

41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee,  France

+33 1 53 67 66 65

http://www.plaza-athenee-paris.com

42. Oaxen Krog, Sweden

+46 8 8 551 531 05

http://www.oaxenkrog.se

43. St John, UK

+44 020 7251 0848

http://www.stjohnrestaurant.com

44. La Maison Troisgros, France

+33 4 77 71 66 97

http://www.troisgros.fr

45. wd~50, USA

+1 212 477 2900

http://www.wd-50.com

46. Biko, Mexico

+52 55 5282 0722

http://www.biko.com.m

47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Germany

+49 7442 4926

http://www.traube-tonbach.de

48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan

+81 3 3423 8006

http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com

49. Hibiscus, UK

+44 020 7629 2999

http://www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk

50. Eleven Madison Park, USA

+1 212 889 090

http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com


The World’s Top Hotel Bars

April 27, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Artesian Bar, The Langham, LondonWho doesn't love hotel bars? These days they've become destinations in their own right. And present some of the finest opportunities for savoring the local nightlife-- from Tokyo's New York Bar (showcased in the film Lost in Translation) to London's chic Artesian Bar at The Langham (beautifully designed by David Collins Studio). A recent "Top 10" list in Bon Appetit touches on one of our favorite subjects. The magazine picks just 10 spots "offering memorable combinations of sublime cocktails, lovely views, and storied pasts." On the list? Lobby Bar at Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Bar Dos Descasados at Hotel Santa Teresa in Rio, M Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Coburg Bar at The Connaught in London, Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris, The Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Budapest, Hassler Bar at Hotel Hassler Roma, New York Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, O2 Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow and Bascule Whisky, Wine & Cocktail Bar at Cape Grace in Cape Town. For the full article, click here.


The World’s Hottest Hotels: Where to Stay Now

April 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangiriConde Nast Traveler has released their annual Hot List 2010 "of the newest and most innovative hotels worldwide" and a quick browse is guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Best of all: 42 hotels that made the cut have rooms costing under $250 a night. We were pleased to see a few of our faves make the list. In North America, for example: the Capella Pedregal, Crosby Street Hotel, The Allison, St. Regis Mexico City, Amangiri, The Jefferson, The Betsy, The Elysian, W South Beach, and Viceroy Snowmass...


What’s Hot in Buenos Aires: Algodon Mansion, a New Wine Hotel

April 1, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Algodon Mansion, Buenos AiresThere's a new luxury boutique hotel on the scene in B.A. that's "perfect for wine aficionados." And we can see why. The folks behind the new Algodon Mansion are the Algodon Wine Estates & Champions Club, the 2,050-acre vineyard estate in the heart of Malbec wine country, aka "the Napa Valley of Argentina." There's a lot to love here at 1647 Montevideo Street in the elegant Recoleta quarter: personal butlers on call any hour of the day (or night), a Cognac Bar with hand-crafted cigars, a complimentary massage for each and every guest, a rooftop pool that's "an oasis in the sky." Did we mention the 95° Spa featuring Vine Therapy, a relaxation technique using organic products procured from the vineyards of Algodon Wine Estates? Housed in a French-style mansion dating from 1912, the Algodon Mansion offers 10 opulent suites with in-room wine bars.


Family Escape to Costa Rica: Special at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort

March 29, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort, Costa RicaTake the kids on an adventure to Costa Rica. Discover unspoiled beaches surrounded by pristine nature where the whole fam can go for hikes, partake in ecological activities, and spy some exotic wildlife. Smack dab on the Pacific oceanfront in Guanacaste, the JW Marriott offers treasure hunts and kite-making for pint-sized guests, while their parents lounge by the pool (or secluded beach), sip tropical cocktails at sunset, or luxuriate in the spa. There's even an equestrian center and championship golf available. The 310 guest rooms feature furnished balconies with to-die-for views over the pool and the serene Pacific. The Family Escape package provides the fun after an activity-filled day; relax with a movie, pizza, and cookies with milk in your room. Priced from $269 per night and available through December 19, 2010, the package also includes accommodations in a deluxe garden view room and daily buffet breakfast.

Related Articles: Up Close: The New JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa, Costa Rica


The Largest Pool in the World: Alfonso Del Mar Resort in Algarrobo, Chile

March 25, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alfonso Del Mar Resort, Chile

We tend to go gaga over hotel pools; we've been known to swoon over the pools at the W Hotel Ft. Lauderdale, Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, and Hotel Joule Dallas, not to mention the rooftop pool scene at The London West Hollywood. Now we've just learned about the enormous pool at the Alfonso Del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile, and we're itching to check it out. National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog reports that this 20-acre, 66 million-gallon pool stretches half a mile. For the record: an Olympic-size pool is only 164 feet long and holds 660,000 gallons. "Built for $3.5 million by the Chilean firm Crystal Lagoons, which aims to open an even vaster version in the Egyptian desert, the pool has delighted resort guests and curiosity seekers since 2007."


Machu Picchu Will Reopen on April 1

March 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Machu PicchuSince powerful floods washed away the access routes leading to the isolated ruins at Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage site has been closed to visitors. But we've just learned today that the Peruvian Minister of Tourism announced a reopening date of April 1, 2010 for tourists to once again visit the Inca ruins.