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

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

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.

Check Out Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica with the Eco-Friendly Gaia Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Costa RicaEager to check out the howler monkeys, endangered squirrel monkeys, and sloths in Costa Rica's Manual Antonio National Park? Set on the Pacific coast, this park is world-famous for its natural beauty and great biodiversity- with over 346 species having been discovered here. The smallest of Costa Rica's national parks boasts two pristine sand beaches edged by tropical rainforest. You can even go snorkeling offshore. The place to stay is the Gaia Hotel and Reserve, the only 5-star boutique hotel in the vicinity, with an eco-friendly focus, to boot. Terraced suites and villas offer unrivaled views over the lush wild surroundings. And a spa, gym, and pool means blissful comfort onsite. But there's a slew of activities and tours available here-- from mangrove kayaking to surfing lessons to guided tours of the national park-- so you'll definitely want to get out and explore this incredible corner of the world.

Chilean Wine with the Andes as a Backdrop: 4th Night Free at San Cristobal Tower, Santiago

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

San Cristobal Tower, SantiagoFew places can rival Santiago as far as urban settings are concerned. Flanked by the snow-capped Andes Mountains, the Chilean capital is certainly swoon-worthy. And book a stay at the San Cristobal Tower-- steps from La Chascona (the house where Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda penned his love poems)-- and you may just fall in love. This sparkling urban resort will spoil you with meals of Patagonian lamb and fresh fish from the Pacific, paired with local Chilean wines. One of the "Top 10 Hotels in South America," San Cristobal Tower offers stunning views over Santiago's cityscape (and the mountain peaks). Return from your urban adventures or tours of the countryside, and take a dip in the Neptuno Pool, or play a match of tennis on the lighted court. With your elegant room accommodations, you'll appreciate personalized butler service. The hotel is currently offering a 4th night free when you stay for three nights with the "Taste of Luxury" package. Blame it on Valentine's Day, but we're also smitten with the "Pleasures of Being in Love" package which includes a romantic dinner for two, a bottle of Chilean wine, a welcome drink, breakfast service, private parking, and a late check-out with your rooms. From $319.

Marriott’s Big Sale: 20-40 Percent Discount on Hotels Worldwide

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott CancunMarriott is starting the year off right with a "Global Rate Break" on weekends at participating hotels worldwide, including the upscale JW Marriott brand. Stay at any of the more than 2,500 participating hotels between January 22 and March 21, 2010 and save 20 percent. Book at select resort hotels in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Hawaii-- like the JW Marriott Mexico City, JW Marriott in Cancun (pictured), Marriott Los Suenos in Costa Rica, or Hawaii's JW Marriott Ihalani Resort-- and you'll get 40 percent off. Hurry, you must book by January 22.

Fourth Night Free at Four Seasons Buenos Aires

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Buenos AiresBuenos Aires bound? Check into the swanky Four Seasons Buenos Aires in the exclusive Recoleta district, and get a fourth night free when you stay for three consecutive nights throughout 2010, including a sumptuous buffet breakfast for two in Le Mistral (yes, you'll find plenty of dulce de leche there). Choose one of the seven one-of-a-kind suites in the adjacent Belle Époque mansion, and you're in for a treat: spacious rooms with frescoes, gold leaf, and stained glass. Rooms in the contemporary tower-- appointed with mahogany furnishings-- are just as fabulous. Revel in Argentine summer by taking a dip in the outdoor pool located in the hotel gardens. Also available: an exclusive health club (one of the best in town) and a spa.

Hot Spots in Buenos Aires: The Cheese Room at the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt, Buenos AiresRecently highlighted by CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg in "2010 Travel Hotspots," the Cheese Room at the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt is an "off the brochure" experience that's not to be missed. We've recommended the brunch at the hotel's Gioia Restaurant as one of the best in B.A., and the Cheese Room-- located in Duhau Restaurant & Vinoteca-- is sensational as well. Make an appointment with the Maître Fromager to sample your choice of the 40 available cheeses accompanied by breads, dips, and fruits. All washed down with Argentine Malbecs, of course. (The cellar at Vinoteca is stocked with some 3,500 wines.)

New Luxury in Peru: Hotel Paracas and Tambo del Inca, Starwood Luxury Collection

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tambo del Inca luxury hotelTwo new hotels are upping the luxury quotient in Peru. As reported by The New York Times In Transit blog, the destination once firmly associated with backpackers is going upscale with the addition of two new properties from Starwood's Luxury Collection. The first, called Hotel Paracas, is located next to the Paracas Natural Reserve on the southern Pacific coast (chock full of marine life) and offers excursions to the Ballesta islands. Choose a Solarium Room at this spa resort and you'll be privy to jaw-dropping ocean views from two balconies. The second hotel, opening later this month, is the Tambo del Inca located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 15 km north of the city of Cusco. (Artist rendering is pictured at right.) Surrounded by the mythical landscapes of the Andes Mountains, the resort will even have its own train station for trips to the Inca hilltop city of Machu Picchu, just an hour away. The spa will feature therapeutic treatments incorporating ancestral Inca ingredients.

Where to Go Now: Hot Destinations for 2010 (Marrakech Included)

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Where are the "It Places" to travel in 2010? Conde Nast Traveler's Ondine Cohane has the answer in her recently compiled "It List" for 2010, "Travel's Comeback Year." Drum roll, please: Colombia, Sri Lanka, Vancouver, Antarctica, Burma, Cuba, Venice, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, and Marrakech. We're glad to see that Morocco didn't fade fast from the savy traveler's radar. An unprecedented number of luxury hotels will open in Morocco next year-- from Le Royal Mansour (owned by the king) to the Four Seasons to the new resort from the Rocco Forte Collection (pictured)... And you probably already ogled the pretty pictures of all the celebs attending the opening of La Mamounia over Thanksgiving....

What would you add to this list?

Where the Celebrities Stay: The A-List of Luxury Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las VentanasCurious about where celebs like J-Lo, Brad and Angelina, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and Fergie jet in the winter months? Travel + Leisure spills the beans in an article in the December 2009 issue:

If you're Jennifer Lopez (the ninth-richest woman in entertainment with a net worth of $110 million), you have a $350 million fragrance and fashion empire, and your husband just bought ownership in the Miami Dolphins, where do you spend your winter vacations? Answer: Anywhere you damn well please, of course. But for JLo, "winter getaway" has sometimes meant heading to the Mexican resort Las Ventanas, in Los Cabos.

Also on the list for winter hideaways: The Little Nell in Aspen (just as much privacy as Las Ventanas), Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos (where Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner got hitched), Fairmont Chateau Whistler (where Seal proposed to Heidi Klum in an igloo on top of a glacier), Copacabana Palace in Rio (TomKat's a fan), and The Setai in Miami (the penthouse is a favorite of Madonna's).