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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.

Image of the Day: Esencia

November 3, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Esencia is a 50-acre private estate, with an awe-inspiring beachfront, two swimming pools, day spa, gourmet restaurant, and an indulgent atmosphere fitting of royalty. In fact, the property and many of the buildings once served as the exclusive beach-side retreat of an actual Italian duchess.

Esencia 

View rates, details, and more images of Esencia >>


Belmond Charleston Place: A Unique Balance Between Historic Charm and Modern Luxury

November 3, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Belmond Charleston PlaceTake a step back in time, exploring centuries-old gardens and antebellum architecture while staying in the heart of one of the most romantic and vibrant cities in the world.

There are few cities in the world that have been able to preserve its past like Charleston. History abounds on every street corner with beautifully maintained architecture from houses to churches to historic sites like Fort Sumter, the famous open-air market and the gardens and plantations, which are some of the country's oldest.

While the past is still very much alive in Charleston, the city has become a vibrant, cosmopolitan destination, tempting travelers around the world to experience its rich culture, boutique shopping and arguably one of the best culinary scenes in the country. Condé Nast Traveler has ranked Charleston the Number 1 City in the US for 4 years in a row and no hotel in Charleston better represents the city's unique balance between historic charm and modern luxury than Belmond Charleston Place.Belmond Charleston Place

One of the grandest properties in the Belmond collection, Belmond Charleston Place is consistently ranked among the best hotels by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. The hotel evokes the feeling of a grand, 17th century residence, from lush personal suites to the Italian marble lobby with a signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier. More than 200 rooms at Belmond Charleston Place have recently undergone a complete revitalization, resulting in modern, luxurious accommodations with slick in-room technology. The rooms feature new furniture, distinctive pieces of artwork and Carrera marble bathrooms.

The staff of Belmond Charleston Place is dedicated to indulging its guests with the finest in Southern hospitality. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s full-service European-style spa, horizon-edge swimming pool with retractable glass roof, upscale shops and the Charleston Grill, the on-site restaurant that’s been consistently recognized with an AAA Four Diamond Award, Mobil Four Star Award and "Best of Award of Excellence" from Wine Spectator. Executive Chef Michelle Weaver presents a menu that is a unique balance of Southern, French and Contemporary cuisines highlighted by favorites like the Charleston Grill Crab Cake or Okeechobee Catfish & Fried Shrimp. The sight of local fine art and sounds of live, world-class jazz featured nightly at Charleston Grill accompany the unparalleled culinary experience.
Belmond Charleston Place
Surrounded by historic homes and buildings, strolling distance to the city's delightful shops, galleries and restaurants, and close to pristine beaches, Belmond Charleston Place is the perfect place for guests to experience the unrivaled charm of Charleston, SC in a setting unlike any other.


Imagine being able to explore all Charleston has to offer you this season with an exceptional discount. Belmond Charleston Place's Upgrade Your Stay Offer includes a 20% discount on luxurious Club Level or Suite accommodations for a limited time. 

Book your stay at Belmond Charleston Place >>


Dining al Fresco: The Trafalgar

November 2, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Given the name of this hotel, we are pretty sure you know what square The Trafalgar overlooks.

The Trafalgar 

View rates, details, and more images of The Trafalgar >>


Your Questions Answered: Can You Recommend a Family-and Surfer-Friendly Tahitian Resort?

November 2, 2014
By: Betsy LeTourneau

InterContinental Resort Tahiti
We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: We are a family looking to stay is Tahiti. What resort offers the best accommodations for our family and is near one of the surf spots and surf schools?


ANSWER: InterContinental Resort Tahiti 

The InterContinental Resort Tahiti is the premier international resort of Tahiti, the main island of French Polynesia, which is situated between California and Australia in the South Pacific. The resort has a total of 263 units, comprising of 170 fully renovated lagoon and garden view rooms, an extension of 60 panoramic view rooms with a Presidential Suite, and 32 over the water bungalows located in 32 acres of gardens. The Polynesian style resort with its own private sand beach and lagoon, offers views of unforgettable sunsets over the Volcanic peaks of sister island Moorea, just 12 miles across the sea of moons.

TOPDIVE Tahiti Diving center, located at the very heart of the hotel, offers numerous exciting and unique activities, from PADI 5-Star SCUBA diving,to discovering the lagoon by kayak, to whale watching, all in a safe environment that will make your stay both thrilling and fun.

For Your Family's Needs We Recommend:

The Overwater Bungalows located at the Lotus end of the resort, with sweeping views of the lagoon, reef and ocean beyond. The bungalows have a private sundeck and platform - ideal for sun bathing or watching the magnificent sunset. Intercontinental resort tahiti

All rooms and bungalows have the following amenities : a terrace or a private balcony, a bathroom with bath tub and shower, an individually controlled air conditioning system, a flat screen Cable TV, a direct dial international phone, an Internet connexion (wireless in public areas), a private safe, a refrigerator restocked on request, some 110V/220V outlets,tea and coffee making facilities, a hair dryer, an iron and ironing board, etc.

The resort makes available to its clients a laundry and dry cleaning service (express or regular), some self-service laundry facilities located throughout the hotel and some transit rooms with individual shower for early arrivals and late departures.
Moreover, children younger than 15 can share their parents room without supplement (within the limits of the room capacity).

Book your family vacation at InterContinental Resort Tahiti >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.
 


Dining al Fresco: Gray d'Albion Hotel

November 1, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

At Gray d'Albion Hotelguests can dine against the backdrop of the resort's private beach.

Gray d'Albion Hotel

View rates, details, and more images of Gray d'Albion Hotel >>


Food and Wine Indulgences at Steamboat Bay Fishing Club

November 1, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Steamboat Bay Fishing Club
Steamboat Bay Fishing Club, the 
elite luxury Alaska sport fishing lodge, is the only resort on the unpopulated Noyes Island. The exclusive club accepts reservations for groups up to sixteen during the summer fishing season. The location’s remote privacy makes it the perfect venue for both intimate gatherings of friends and family, and for high end corporate events.

The world-class fishing and accommodations  at the club are matched by the world-class dining. The cuisine at Steamboat Bay Fishing Club is designed to invoke the great Alaskan wildnerness. The regionally inspired cuisine includes quality ingredients like wild game, prime cuts of meat, local seafood, and organic greens grown in The Club's gardens.

Steamboat Bay Fishing Club

The kitchen at Steamboat Bay is an open display-style, so guests can observe and interact with the Chef and his staff. Gourmet dining at The Club is all-inclusive and customized to guests’ individual tastes. Guests with food preferences or restrictions are easily accommodated with advance notice. The fine dining starts as early as 5am. Guests can fuel up for the long day of fishing. Lunch options include a picnic-style lunch on the water, which means no break in the fishing, or guests can return to the lodge from nearby fishing spots. The guides even call in lunch orders on the way back so the meal is ready as soon as the fisherman hit the shore. 

Guests are treated to an evening reception. The Club's open bar is amply stocked with Pacific Coast wines, local microbrews and brand name beers, and premium spirits and mixers. For dinner, bay-side table service is available. There's also a special five-course Taste of Alaska option. Menus are updated daily, and personalized to accommodate guests individual tastes. 

Book your stay at Steamboat Bay Fishing Club >>


Image of the Day: Palihouse Santa Monica

October 31, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Palihouse Santa Monica is a boutique beach lodge offering 37 generously appointed classic rooms as well as stunning studios, one and two-bedroom guest suites featuring fully equipped kitchens. In continuous operation since 1927, Palihouse Santa Monica (formerly The Embassy Hotel Apartments) is an outstanding example of Moorish-influenced Mediterranean Revival Architecture. The hotel dates back to a time when Santa Monica was the last Los Angeles rail stop and travelers from all over the world came for seaside vacations all year round.

Palihouse Santa Monica

Book a stay at Palihouse Santa Monica >>


Countdown to the Most Haunted Hotel: The Stanley Hotel

October 31, 2014
By: K. Clare Johnson

The Stanley Hotel

Two words: The Shining. The Stanley Hotel was made famous by the Stephen King book and Stanley Kubrick film. King wrote much of the novel while staying in Room 217 at the hotel. The film wasn't shot there, and the hotel in the film is called Overlook Hotel, but a later TV movie was. The hotel fully embraces its haunted history. In fact, it might be the world's only hotel that offers an upgrade to a haunted room. The Ghost Adventure package includes a  guaranteed 4th Floor room, a K2 Meter per reservation, a glow-in-the-dark Stanley Hotel squishy ghost per person, and a REDRUM mug per person.

No one knows when the ghostly happenings started at The Stanley, but virtually all the rooms have had unexplained experiences reported. but unlike the movie, all the instances reported involve friendly, rather than malevolent, spirts.

Here's a few of the sightings:

- In 1911, the chief housekeeper was involved in an explosion in what is now room 217. She wasn't killed, but her ghost is known to perform extra housekeeping duties in the room. Expect unexplained unpacked bags and tidying. This is the room Stephen King occupied during his stay at The Stanley.

- Children are heard running and giggling in the hallway of the 4th floor. Somes guests will be tucked in by ghostly nannies. Room 418 is said to be the most haunted room in the hotel. 

- Frequent guests F.O. and Flora Stanley haven't let death stop them from regular visits. It is de rigeur to see F.O hanging around the lobby and Flora often plays the piano in the Music Room. 

- The Earl of Dunraven, the former owner of the land on which the hotel is built, haunted room 407. The scent of his tobacco is often smelled in the air, and a ghostly face has been seen at the room's window. 

Do you dare to check in to The Stanley Hotel?


Countdown to the Most Haunted Hotel: The Fairmont Banff Springs

October 30, 2014
By: K. Clare Johnson

Fairmont Banff Springs
Legend has it that a bride fell down the marble staircase at Fairmont Banff Springs and died on her wedding day. She's also rumored to have caught fire on the way down, due to the torches that lit the staircase.  The bride has been sighted dancing in the Cascade Ballroom, and cold air on the staircase is said to be her doing. 

Tip: If an elderly Scottish man offers to help with your bags, he's a ghost. Sam the Bellman was a longtime employee who has apparently made good on his threat to come back and haunt the place. The random opening and closing of the elevator doors is also attributed to Sam.

Book a spooky stay at Fairmont Banff Springs >>

 


Countdown to the Most Haunted Hotel: The Heathman Hotel

October 29, 2014
By: K. Clare Johnson

The Heathman Hotel
Long before 50 Shades of Gray made it popular, The Heathman Hotel had a reputation as one of the most haunted hotels in America. Rooms whose numbers end in 03 are rumored to be the most haunted in the hotel. The origin of this is a guest who committed suicide by jumping out of the window of room 1003. 703 is also considered haunted, but those not comfortable with the spirit world should avoid all 03 rooms. 

Guests have reported clean towels used when no one is in the room, glasses of water mysteriously emptying, and chairs moving around. Cold spots, sounds that can't be explained, and faces that appear in the dark have also been reported. Most chillingly, some guests have reported feeling a ghostly presence in bed with them. 

Shudder. Talk about double occupancy. 

Book your own ghostly stay at The Heathman Hotel >>