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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.

Italy is the Top Vacation Pick for Americans?

August 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Naples, ItalyWhere are Americans lusting to travel to right now? According to a recent poll by Harris Interactive, Italy is the top choice for vacations. When 2,183 American adults were surveyed about their top pick for travel outside of the U.S. (irrespective of cost), the No. 1 pick, for the second year in a row, was Italy. The poll results are not new; Italy has been a top pick for Americans for some time - it has ranked as either the first or second choice for the past 8 years in The Harris Poll. Coming in No. 2: Great Britain, followed by Australia in 3rd place. Rounding out this year's top 5 are Ireland (4) and France (5).

Pictured: The Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Naples.


America’s Best Bathroom Award: And the Winner is…

May 1, 2009
By: Alison Victor

The Hermitage HotelLocated in the heart of downtown Nashville, The Hermitage Hotel is an ultra-luxurious property, named for Andrew Jackson's Hermitage Estate. The Hermitage is not only a coveted Five Diamond award-winning hotel, but it is also the 2008 America's Best Bathroom Award Winner. Not familiar with the Best Bathroom Award? Well, Cintas Corporation, the company that provides businesses with bathroom supplies, has presented this award for seven years and running. Any restroom in the United States that is open to the public is eligible for this award. Essentially, people go to a website and nominate their public bathroom of choice. Editors sift through the nominations, and they then narrow the field to 10 finalists based on exceptional hygiene, style and open access to the public. The public then casts their final votes, and the resulting winner is announced. Maybe not quite as crowning an achievement as say the Mobil Five Star rating that placed The Hermitage House on an elite list of 31 hotels, but acknowledgment of its superior operating standards nonetheless.


Travel Faves and Nightmares for 2008

December 26, 2008
By: Ruthanne Terrero

We hear that nearly 30 percent of travelers identified the Cannes Film Festival as the event to which they would most like to travel to in 2009, according to results of a year-end survey of more than 200 travelers conducted on behalf of travel insurance provider Travel Guard. Closely trailing the Cannes Film Festival was the upcoming presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. (22 percent wish to be witness to history in 2009). Destinations and events, including the Amazon River region (15 percent) and the Super Bowl in Tampa, FL (10 percent) followed Cannes and the inauguration. The survey also found that, with checked-baggage costs as high as $50, 52 percent of responding travelers bragged that they could get four or more days worth of clothing into a carry-on, while 33 percent responded they could cram three days' worth. Fifteen percent could only get two or fewer days or in their carry-on. Meanwhile, 44 percent of survey respondents reported that their "longest airport layover" lasted six hours or more; another 15 percent have spent "days" on a layover. After spending so much time in airline terminals in 2008, travelers were easily able to identify the "worst travel offenders" they encountered: the "airline-chair kicker/grabber" (30 percent); the "loud cell-phone talker" (23 percent) and the perennially high-ranking "crying baby" (21 percent). Travel Guard's year-end survey also found vacationers have strong opinions on how to navigate airports in 2009. In a contest between the "tram" and the "moving walkway," at busy and spacious O'Hare Airport, a broad majority of travelers (64 percent) would opt for the tram. Finally, travelers are still looking for the perfect getaway and want to avoid travel mishaps made famous by their fave travel films. According to the survey, 28 percent said the "vacation-gonewrong" travel nightmare they would most want to avoid was that of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, while Weekend at Bernie's (17 percent) came in second. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and North by Northwest rounded out the survey.