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.

Relaxing Retreat At The Umstead


By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amongst the Carolina Pines just a few miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, The Umstead Hotel and Spa offers a peaceful retreat-like setting. Surrounded by 12 acres of wooded land, with gardens, fine art, and a shimmering lake encircled with a trail, the property feels worlds away from it all, yet it's just minutes away from the Triangle.

Five Star Alliance was invited to visit The Umstead Hotel and Spa to discover all the property has to offer. Read more below.

Exterior of The Umstead

Walking into the entrance, we were greeted by friendly doormen, along with a soothing lobby featuring a view of an exquisite piece of art by glass artist, Dale Chihuly, piano music, and sunshine flowing in from the hotel's expansive patio. 

Dale Chihuly Sculpture at the Umstead Hotel

Our spacious spa-inspired guest rooms offered a peaceful setting with large windows, plush beds with fluffy goosedown comforters, and a neutral color palette. The large marble bathrooms have soaking tubs complete with a bath caddy and bath salts, separate showers, and an array of Lather bath products, plus a special black towel designated for makeup removal. Continue reading below the guest room images.

Guest Room at The Umstead Hotel

Bathroom at the Umstead Hotel

Bath caddy and makeup towel at the Umstead

The Umstead Spa is an ideal setting for relaxing and melting away the stresses of daily life. Featuring a variety of massages, skin treatments, the air is filled with soothing botanical fragrances and soft music. Visitors are provided with a plush robe, along with access to separate men's and women's relaxation lounges with therapeutic whirlpools, eucalyptus saunas and steam rooms, and an outdoor meditation courtyard. There are teas and fruit-infused waters, along with cool towels and cucumber slices to add to the overall rejuvenating environment. Plus, a boutique filled with pampering products to add to one's spa experience.

Lake at the Umstead HotelSurrounded by trees and overlooking a 3-acre lake, the Umstead offers a retreat-like feel with manicured gardens and a lakeside 1/4-mile walking/jogging trail. There are bicycles, helmets, and trail maps available to explore the trails around the property leading to the William B. Umstead State Park. For added relaxation, the hotel's outdoor swimming pool is set amongst the serene setting with large sundeck, lounge chairs, cabanas, and poolside food and beverage service. 

Pool Deck at the Umstead Hotel

For an elegant dining experience, Herons, the hotel's signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. On select days, afternoon tea service is served in the lounge area along with a harp serenade. If you're looking for casual dining, there's an outdoor patio overlooking the gardens and lake. During the evenings, there is live music and crafted cocktails in the bar & lounge - an ideal spot to sip and reminisce about the day's events. Feeling like staying in? We recommend room service.

Tip: Be sure to inquire with the concierge about morning yoga, bike, and art tours as the property offers a variety of events for guests.

On a side note, we noticed the hotel is very pet-friendly, with special accommodations for canine guests and the DogWoods enclosed play area. 

Check rates and plan your relaxing retreat at The Umstead Hotel and Spa >>

The Umstead Hotel

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Savor Life Slowly at SLS South Beach


By: Five Star Alliance

Sponsored Post*

Savor Life Slowly at SLS South Beach. Indulge your senses at The Bazaar by José Andrés, featuring a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and a playful indoor-outdoor environment. The Bazaar menu blends Andrés' Spanish heritage, tradition and ingenuity with influences from South Beach's local Latin flavors. Read more below.

Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS South Beach

Katsuya South Beach infuses traditional Japanese cuisine with a provocative twist as Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi unleashes his culinary artistry with a menu of innovative sushi and robata dishes uniquely adapted for the American palate. For the perfect nightcap, Bar Centro by José Andrés is where cocktails become adventurous undertakings with a variety of fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables, as well as modern tools of liquid nitrogen and organic emulsifiers to create Manhattans with liquid cherries and margaritas with salt air that accompany delightful selections of caviar and Andrés' signature snacks. Continue reading below.

Katsuya at the SLS South Beach

Click here to visit the SLS South Beach website >>

Set in the heart of South Beach, the SLS Hotel combines impeccable design, imaginative dining, and a luxurious atmosphere with an outdoor pool that transforms into a chic evening lounge. Offering direct beach access and city views, the high-style property is steps away from upscale boutiques, dining and nightlife.

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guest that book through Five Star Alliance receive a $50.00 resort credit during their stay.  

Check rates and learn more about the SLS South Beach >> 

SLS South Beach

Guest room at the SLS South Beach

*The content of this sponsored article was provided by the SLS South Beach.


Penthouse Suite at Fairmont San Francisco


By: Rachael Weir

Occupying the entire eighth floor of The Fairmont San Francisco, a grand historic property in the heart of the city, The Penthouse has hosted royalty and celebrities alike, including John F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, King Hussein of Jordan, Marlene Dietrich, and Mick Jagger.

The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse Suite Living Room

The lavish suite offers three large bedrooms, a formal dining room with seating for up to 60 guests, ornately tiled billiard room, formal living room with a grand piano, and a two-story library. Plus, behind the bookshelves, there's a secret passageway adding to the allure of the fabled suite. Read more below.

The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse Suite Dining Room

Hallway within the Penthouse Suite at the Fairmont San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco opened in 1907. Set atop Nob Hill, the property offers panoramic views of the city, and its located at the only spot in San Francisco where each of the cable car lines meet. Fully restored with luxurious modern comforts, the hotel features the Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar with locally sourced ingredients, plus the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar featuring a tropical setting and Pacific Rim Asian Cuisine. Close to the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf, the property offers a centralized location for business and leisure travelers.

Learn more and check rates at The Fairmont San Francisco >>

Penthouse Suite Balcony View at The Fairmont San Francisco

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Glamping in NYC with W Hotels


By: Rachael Weir

If you've ever dreamed of camping without leaving the city, here's your chance...

The W New York partnered with Laurel & Wolf to temporarily transform the patio of its Extreme Wow Suite's terrace into an Outdoor Glamping Suite. 

Glamping at the W New York

Featuring a whimsical approach to urban glamping, the suite offers a 12-foot yurt decorated in colorful fabrics and textures with glowing lanterns. Finished with rattan hanging chairs for lounging, and a fire pit that ignites with the flip of a switch. Surrounded by a canopy of twinkling lights, the rustic-luxe oasis is a chic glamping option in the city.

Located in the center of Manhattan, the W New York is steps away from Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, the Theater District, and Rockefeller Center. Plus, there's a FIT Gym and Bliss 49 Spa, ideal for relaxing and pampering during your glamping getaway.

Note: this special suite will be available until fall 2016.

Check rates and learn more about the W New York >>

Glamping at the W New York

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Rooms with a view at Villa Dubrovnik


By: Five Star Alliance

Originally built in 1961, Villa Dubrovnik is a boutique hotel prominently positioned on the cliffs above Dubrovnik's prestigious St. Jacob precinct with stunning views over the Adriatic Sea, The Island of Lokrum, and the Old City walls. Featuring 56 rooms, seven of them unique suites, guests can enjoy the year round indoor/outdoor swimming pool, nearby private beach, extensive spa, fine dining at Pjerin and Giardino, and the rooftop lounge - Prosciutto & Wine Bar. Venetian Vaporetto speedboats offer daily transfers between the Villa and Old City.

Read more below about our favorite accommodations available at Villa Dubrovnik.

Villa Dubrovnik

Villa Kolin is a standalone building within the resort offering 2 separate residences with private services, entrances, and facilities. The residence spreads through 3 floors and offers 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a grand living room - for a total of 132 m2 space. The 12 m2 teak wood private terrace features a jacuzzi bath. Each bedroom has a private bathroom, plus the bathroom on the living room floor. The bathrooms are equipped with walk-in showers or bathtubs, double basins and floor heating. The 2 Kolin Residences can can be reserved individually or as one unit.

Villa Kolin at Villa Dubrovnik

Superior Rooms are the smallest offerings at 30 square meters. They offer a King Bed or 2 Twins, an en suite glass wall bathroom with full shading option, and a sea view off the teak wood terrace balcony overlooking the Adriatic sea, Lokrum island and the majority of them the view to the Old City.

Superior Room Terrace Villa Dubrovnik

The Deluxe Rooms are similar to the Superior Room and offer all the same features and amenities, but are 35 square meters in size.

Deluxe Room Bathroom Villa Dubrovnik

Executive Rooms offer a King Bed or 2 Twins, an en suite glass wall bathroom with full shading option, a private jacuzzi on the teak wood terrace balcony, and are 37 square meters in size.

Villa Dubrovnik Executive Room

Learn more about Villa Dubrovnik and book your reservation here >>

Villa Dubrovnik


1.5 Acre Playground at The Hall South Beach


By: Five Star Alliance

A classic 1940's Art Deco retreat freshly transformed into a wildly bohemian South Beach boutique hotel, The Hall (formerly the Haddon Hall Hotel) is one block from Ocean Drive and across the street from the beach. Vintage and tropical design celebrates the Deco heritage of the building while incorporating a playful and casual beach vibe. 

What we love:

- Hang like a Hemingway at the cocktail lounge, Holiday's

- Surrounded by palm trees, chic cabanas and the South Beach sunshine, the Olympic-sized pool takes on a life of its own.

- Don't miss Campton Yard, the backyard garden under a banyan tree where you can wear board shorts and bikinis and hone your mad ping pong skills while getting social with the locals before heading out for a night on the town.

- Take the edge off with Spike Mendelsohn's surf shack inspired cuisine at Sunny's.

Learn more about The Hall South Beach >>

The Hall South Beach Entry

The Hall South Beach

The Hall South Beach

The Hall South Beach Pool

The Hall South Beach


Palladio Suite at the Cipriani Venice


By: Five Star Alliance

At the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, named after the founder of Harry's Bar and inventor of the Bellini - Giuseppe Cipriani, there are two signature suites. The Palladio Suite, designed by Andrea Palladio, is the one that George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin stayed in right after getting married in 2014. On Guidecca island, the 970 square foot, 90 square meter suite is located on the southern tip of the property and provides 180 degree views. There is a concealed, private terrace with private plunge pool, private launch for 5 minute boat transfer to St. Mark's, 2 marble bathrooms, dining room, and mural-like watercolors covering the walls.

Rates start at €8,470 (£6,500) per night and include breakfast.

Check rates and availability now >>

Palladio Signature Suite Bedroom

Palladio Suite Terrace

Palladio Suite Living Room

 


Waterfront Redesign at the Boston Harbor Hotel


By: Five Star Alliance

Located on Boston's waterfront, near the Financial District, Seaport District, and North End, the Boston Harbor Hotel has just completed a renovation of it's 230 guestrooms and suites. Being Boston's only five-star waterfront property, the hotel's location is now carried throughout the rooms with a coastal redesign. The redesign of the rooms followed the recent renovation of the hotel's wine-centric restaurant, Meritage Restaurant + Wine Bar, as well as the Rowes Wharf Health Club & Spa.

Presidential Suite at Boston Harbor Hotel

Among the renovated guestrooms is the 1,400 square foot Presidential Suite. The 16th floor suite has new furnishings (including a 56-inch curved flat screen television and dining area for 8), bespoke amenities (a fully-stocked wet bar), and views of Boston's waterfront. Harbor-inspired art highlights the location of the Boston Harbor Hotel within the city. Similarly, it has spaces for entertaining and relaxation, especially with a private balcony overlooking the harbor.

Check rates and availability for the Boston Harbor Hotel >>

Presidential Suite at Boston Harbor Hotel

Presidential Suite at Boston Harbor Hotel

 


A Sunny Day in Monte Carlo at the Fairmont


By: Five Star Alliance

Open from April until October, The Fairmont Monte Carlo offers the exclusive Nikki Beach by the pool experience on the 7th floor for a moment of pure escape and pleasure under the heat of the Monaco sun. Each day, from breakfast (7 am) until long after the sun has gone down, celebrities, VIPs and true yacht lovers flock to Nikki Beach to enjoy the music spun by Nikki Beach's world renowned Resident DJs facing the magnificent Riviera.

Located in the heart of Monaco, the roof-top pool, heated at 30°C, has spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, Monte-Carlo's Belle Epoque Opera and Casino, and the celebrated Fairmont Monte Carlo Grand Prix hairpin curve.

Sun beds are exclusively reserved to hotel guests. Love seats, double beds, and Opium beds can be reserved for a cost.

Upcoming parties for 2016 include:

July: 1st - Do You Saint Tropez?; 2nd - Peace, Love & Music; 4th - 4th of July Celebration; 7th - Live @ Nikki Beach; 9th - Flashback; 14th - Bastille Day; 16th - Tribal Vibes; 21st - Live @ Nikki Beach; 23rd - 1st Anniversary Party; 30th - Tropicana Club

August: 6th - Peace, Love & Music; 11th - Live @ Nikki Beach; 13th - Flashback; 20th - Tribal Vibes; 25th - Live @ Nikki Beach; 27th - Tropicana Club

September: 3rd - Red Party; 10th - What Women Want; 28th - Love Boat Party

Book your reservation at the Fairmont Monte Carlo now >>

Pictured: Nikki Beach image courtesy of Fairmont Monte Carlo on Instagram (fairmontmc)

Fairmont Monte Carlo Nikki Beach


Complimentary Cocktails in Paris at Hotel du Louvre


By: Five Star Alliance

At Hotel du Louvre in Paris, even with 177 guest rooms, including 43 suites, each one with its own distinguished style, most of the rooms overlook the Louvre Museum, the Comedie Francaise Theatre, or the Avenue de l'Opera. As clear from the name, the hotels is across from the Louvre in the 1st arr.

The luxury property built in 1855 features a brasserie with terrace seting offering views of the Louvre, as well as a refined jazz bar serving cocktails and light fare. Guests that make their room reservations through Five Star Alliance receive complimentary welcome cocktails, ideal for both business and leisure travelers.

Make your reservation at Hotel du Louvre now >>

Hotel du Louvre Paris Bar