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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.

GQ Magazine’s Pick of the Best Family-Free Holiday Vacation Spots

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The White Barn Inn, MaineAlready stressed out by the holidays? Knee deep in family feuds? Why not bail on Christmas next year? GQ Magazine recently published a round-up of "the 6 best places to spend a footloose, family-free Christmas." Get a dose of the Old World-- without flying across the pond-- by vacationing in old Montreal. Catch a wave in the surfer's paradise of Hawaii's Sunset Beach. Explore Portland, Maine on a spontaneous weekend, or a little farther from home, Cartagena, Colombia, described by GQ as a "newly rediscovered South American gem Havana without the hassle—a spot where you can wash down pristine seafood with a fresh mojito and shake off the winter in style." For the full list, click here.

Last Day to Book Starwood’s Global Holiday Sale

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President Wilson, GenevaThe big two-week global sale from Starwood Hotels & Resorts is coming to an end. Act fast to score savings of up to 30% on best available rates this holiday season across all nine Starwood brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element. The offer is valid for stays between November 4, 2010 and January 17, 2011 at more than 750 hotels and resorts worldwide; valid at participating hotels over weekends and at participating resorts all days of the week.

Pictured: The world-renowned Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, part of the Luxury Collection.

Suite Escape: Book 2 Nights at St. Regis Hotels and Get the 2nd Night for $4

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Bahia Beach ResortSt. Regis Hotels & Resorts have just unveiled a special offer worth booking ASAP. To celebrate their expanding portfolio-- and the November debut of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico*-- the brand has rolled out the "Suite Luxury, Legacy Rates" offer. Book a suite for at least two consecutive nights at participating St. Regis hotels around the globe, and you'll get the second night's stay for only $4, the price of a suite at the brand's flagship, The St. Regis New York, when it originally opened in 1904.

*The new resort in Puerto Rico marks the brand's first foray into the Caribbean market. The resort will be home to the Caribbean's first and only Certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary.

Last-Minute Weekend Escape to Costa Rica at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Guanacaste ResortBack to the grind after a perfect summer filled with weekend beach getaways... Maybe you're lusting for an exotic tropical escape to recharge the batteries- close to home, that won't break the bank. How about Costa Rica in the off-season? JW Marriott Guanacaste-- situated on Mansita beach near Tamarindo and home to a world-class spa and golf course-- has some last-minute weekend deals in October. Take in the sunset over the Pacific while sipping a cool cocktail by the pool, then tuck into a delicious dinner at one of four restaurants. Retire to your spacious bedroom, equipped with a furnished private balcony or terrace, to luxuriate in style. Nightly rates are available from $195 for a two-night stay on October 15-17 and October 22-24, 2010. Limited availability so act fast!

Related Article:

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

Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil: A Romantic Candle-lit Dinner on a Private Island

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ponta dos Ganchos, BrazilAnother reason to love the sexy beach resort on Brazil's southern coast near Florianopolis: an exclusive dinner experience available nightly for one lucky couple. Tuck into sophisticated Brazilian specialties over candlelight, surrounded by the lush vegetation of the inhabited private island just offshore from the resort's main beach. The shore is lit with torches, and the only soundtrack is the lapping of waves against the sand. A private butler attends to your every whim. Reservations are strongly recommended.



Related Article:

Best of Brazil: Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort, Emerald Coast

The World’s Best Up and Coming Hotels

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

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″

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:


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


+ 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


+ 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*


+ 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


+ 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

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

2. El Bulli, Spain

+ 34 972 150 457

3. The Fat Duck, UK

+44 (0) 1628 580 333

4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain

+34 972 22 21 57

5. Mugaritz, Spain

+34 943 522 455


6. Osteria Francescana, Italy

+39 (0)59 210 118

7. Alinea, USA

+1 312-867-0110

8. Daniel, USA

+1 212 288 0033

9. Arzak, Spain

+34 943 78456

10. Per Se, United States

+1212 823 9335

11. Le Chateaubriand, France

+33 (0)1 43574595

12. La Colombe, South Africa

+ 27 (0) 21 794 2390

13. Pierre Gagnaire, France

+ 33 01 58 36 12 50

14. Hotel de Ville Switzerland

+41 21 634 0505

15. Le Bernardin, USA

+1 212 554 1515

16. L’Astrance, France

+33 1 40 50 84 40

17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium

+32 (0) 9 383 5848

18. D.O.M., Brazil

+55 11 3088 0761

19. Oud Sluis, Holland

+31 (0) 117-461269

20. Le Calandre, Italy

+39 049 630303

21. Steirereck, Austria

+43 (1) 713 31 68 restaurant

22. Vendome, Germany

+49 (0) 22 04 42 1941

23. Chez Dominique, Finland

+ 358 9 612 7393

24. Les Créations de Narisawa, Japan

+81 (3) 5785 0799

25. Mathias Dahlgren, Sweden

+46 (0) 8 679 35 84

26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, USA

+1 212 254-3500

27. Quay, Australia

+ 61 (2) 9251 5600

28. Iggy’s, Singapore

+65 6732 2234

29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France

+33 1 42 225656

30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland

+41 81 632 10 80

31. Le Quartier Francais, South Africa

+27 21 876 2151

32. The French Laundry, USA

+1 707 944 2380

33. Martin Berasategui, Spain

+34 943 366 471

34. Aqua, Germany

+49 5361 606056

35. Combal Zero, Italy

+39 011 9565225

36. Dal Pescatore, Italy

+39 (0)37 672 3001

37. De Librije, Netherlands

+31 (0)38 4212083

38. Tetsuya’s, Australia

+61 (2)9267 2900

39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore

+65 6338 8585

40. Il Canto, Italy

+39 (0)577 28 81 80

41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee,  France

+33 1 53 67 66 65

42. Oaxen Krog, Sweden

+46 8 8 551 531 05

43. St John, UK

+44 020 7251 0848

44. La Maison Troisgros, France

+33 4 77 71 66 97

45. wd~50, USA

+1 212 477 2900

46. Biko, Mexico

+52 55 5282 0722

47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Germany

+49 7442 4926

48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan

+81 3 3423 8006

49. Hibiscus, UK

+44 020 7629 2999

50. Eleven Madison Park, USA

+1 212 889 090

The World’s Top Hotel Bars

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.