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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.

Did You Know? Balbirnie House

March 1, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Balbirnie House
Balbirnie House
dates back to 1777, having been commissioned by The Balfour family who were a very influential agricultural and coal mining family at the time.

The house was originally designed by the architect John Nisbet in 1777 and was then extended by Robert Crichton in 1815, and is now listed as Grade A of architectural and historical importance, most probably built as one of the largest and earliest Grecian style houses in Scotland.

The park surrounding Balbirnie extends to 416 acres of undulating scenery, and is landscaped in the style of Capability Brown, including many specimen trees and a collection of magnificent rhododendrons which is unrivalled in the East of Scotland. Views from the house extend over flowering garden lawns and trimmed yew hedges to woodland walks around the park. The first tee off for Balbirnie Park’s 18 hole golf course is a short amble from the hotel.

Also within the park is The Balbirnie Craft Centre, housed in the original old stable block just a few minutes walk away. Crafts sold include hand made jewelry, pottery, glassworks, and leather goods.

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Did You Know? Kurumba Hotel Maldives

February 28, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Kurumba Hotel Maldives
Kurumba Hotel Maldives
was the first hotel to open in the Maldives. It opened in 1972, and is named after the Dhivehi word for coconut, Kurumba. From its humble origins accommodating only 60 guests a month, Kurumba has since graduated to 14,000. From a handful of founding friends running a resort, it now has a staff of 450. In 2003, Kurumba underwent a complete transformation yet again, to meet the demands of the 21st century. The result was a world-class resort with 180 rooms, including the Royal Residence, Presidential Suites, Pool Villas, Family Villas and beach and garden superior rooms.

 

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Did You Know? Hotel Captain Cook

February 20, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Anchorage's Hotel Captain Cook is named for British explorer and cartographer whose three major voyages took him around the southern tips of Africa and South America, to Easter Island and, on his final voyage, along Alaska’s majestic coastline. Cook helped define Alaska in the 18th century by mapping its jagged coastline for the first time. In June of 1778, while looking for a Northwest Passage to Hudson Bay, he and his crew on the HMS Resolution dropped anchor in Turnagain Arm—within sight of the spot where the Hotel Captain Cook stands today.

Hotel Captain Cook

An earthquake in 1964 leveled much of downtown Anchorage. Businessman Walter J. Hickel, who was also Alaska's mayor, had already been investing in Alaska’s future for decades, building hotels and business centers as well as serving as Alaska’s governor, all with an eye to making Alaska the American gateway to the Pacific Rim. The Hotel has prospered and expanded with the times: the first Tower opened in 1965, followed by Tower II in 1972 and Tower III in 1978. Today, the 547-room hotel plays host to dignitaries, celebrities and people from all walks who love the grandeur of Alaska.


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Did You Know? Raffles Hotel Singapore

February 12, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Raffles Hotel Singapore
Raffles Hotel Singapore
has claimed itself to be the home of the Singapore Sling. The down to earth decor of the two-story Long Bar where the drink was said to originate was inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s. The bar has the safe where Sling creator, bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, locked away his recipe books. You can also see a version of the recipe from 1936, which a curious patron jotted down on a receipt. In addition to almost every alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoction imaginable, the bar also serves traditional pub favourites that are available as a meal or snacks. In the evening, a band performs a selection of contemporary and popular hits.

The recipe for the Singapore Sling varies widely, but here's one to try, courtesy of Imbibe Magazine

1 oz. London dry gin
1 oz. Bols Cherry brandy or Cherry Heering
1 oz. Benedictine
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. soda water
1 dash Angostura bitters
Tools: barspoon
Glass: Collins

Combine all ingredients except soda water and bitters in an ice-filled glass. Top with soda water, stir briefly and dash with Angostura bitters. Note: The original Singapore Sling appears to have been ungarnished. By the mid-1920s, they were adding the peel of a lime, cut in a thick spiral. By the late ’30s, they were also omitting the Benedictine and bitters and floating Sloe Gin on top.

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Did You Know? Wedmore Place

January 29, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Wedmore Place
Wedmore Place
 is a historid farm that was settled in 1615. It was first called Archers Hope. In 1781, it was on the military maps of the French armies of Lafayette. It was identified due to its participation in the Revolutionary war against the British crown. At the time, the farm was owned by Maitre Bland, a reverend active American independence movement.

The 300 acre farm was acquired in 1983 as a virtually abandoned parcel by Patrick and Peggy Duffeler. They changed the name to Wedmore Place, a place conceptualized to feature art, history and culture in its stylistic design, its themes and decoration.

The first renovation project on the farm besides the reconstruction of a dwelling that was found out to have dated from 1736, was the start of the first planting of grapes in 1985 and the establishment of a winery.

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Did You Know? Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal

January 25, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

The splendid residence that houses Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal was built by the Coccina family. Sold in 1581 to the Florentine family of Luca Antonio Giunta, the palace was inherited by the Foscarini family after two of the brothers married descendents of Giunta. The Foscarini family lived at the palace in the eighteenth century, along with their most illustrious representative, Doge Marco Foscarini, who was responsible for the many rare manuscripts, all bound in red leather and stamped with the emblem of the Foscarini family. In the library of Foscarini Giovanelli Palace, nearly a thousand volumes collected by Marco Foscarini have been conserved for decades. Today, more than 500 of those historic manuscripts can be seen at the prestigious Imperial Library of Vienna. The books were a pledge for payment of taxes in arrears to the Austrian state by the declining Foscarini family.

Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal

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Did You Know? Hotel Scribe

January 22, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Scribe

Hotel Scribe was built in 1861 and today honors its many famous visitors with decor and whole floors devoted to them. Soon after opening, the hotel became home of the prestigious Jockey Club. The decoration of the first floor commemorates the prestigious club whose members were the elite of French and European society under the Second Empire. The second floor is a tribute to Marcel Proust, who immortalized the club in his works. 

Hotel Scribe

The 4th floor pays tribute to Serge Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, who lived in the hotel. Stars performing at the nearby Olympia theatre would often stay at the Scribe. Among the artists was the legendary Josephine Baker, to whom the 2nd floor is dedicated. The 6th floor is dedicated to Jules Verne, the visionary author who pioneered the science fiction genre and was a regular at the hotel's Grand Cafe. 

In 1895, the hotel played host to the first public presentation of the Lumiere brothers' revolutionary invention, the Cinematograph. The 5th floor commemorates the birth of cinema. 

Today, the hotel conserves the memory of that era, along with that of the countless personalities who shaped its renown. 

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Did You Know? Wequassett Inn

January 20, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Wequasset Inn
Wequassett Inn sits atop an east-facing rise, and offers breathtaking views of Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Over 400 years ago, the Wampanoag Indians enjoyed summering at Wequassett. The tribe named the land Wequassett, which means "crescent on the water," most likely because the sand-spit curves about the Cove are in the crescent shape. Much as visitors do today, summer activities for the tribe included swimming and fishing in the Bay's clear waters. 

Of the 22 historic buildings that comprise the resort, two boast especially noteworthy stories. The Eben Ryder House, known locally as "Square Top," was actually built in the nearby town of Brewster. In 1907 it was disassembled, and moved to Wequassett on large flat-bed trucks. The  registration building, the 1740 Warren Jensen Nickerson House, was also transported to its present site.

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Did You Know? Llao Llao Hotel and Resort

January 19, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Llao Llao Hotel and Resort
In 1934, the Patagonia and Andean region was completely uninhabited  territory. In that year, with the creation of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the construction of a luxury hotel (eventually to become Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Golf-Spa) began.

The Architect Alejandro Bustillo chose the Puerto Panuelo area for the hotel. In addition to its magnificence and beautiful scenery, the area has a port. Built with cypress logs and larch tile roofing in the Canadian style, the hotel was opened to the public on January 9, 1938. On October 26, 1939 a fire destroyed the building, but it was reopened on December 15, 1940.  The hotel closed in 1978, but was re-opened to the public in 1993 under its current name. 
 

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Did You Know? La Casa Que Canta

January 18, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

La Casa Que Canta appeared in the movie "When A Man Loves A Woman." The 1994 film starred Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia, Ellen Burstyn, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. 

A unique Mexican architectural concept, the luxury resort is perched on a cliff surrounded by the Sea of Zihuatanejo Bay, with a magnificent panoramic view. It features ten pool suites, eleven grand suites, and three terrace suites facing the ocean, all inspired by the beauty of Mexican Art.

La Casa Que Canta

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