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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.

The Farce of Frequent Flier Programs

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Apparently 14 trillion unredeemed miles are floating around the black hole of frequent flier programs. According to the IHT's fabulous piece "Earning Miles: Is It Worth It?":

Since American Airlines introduced AAdvantage 21 years ago, an estimated 124 million travelers worldwide are busy counting miles with one or more of the 140 airline programs, many of which have scores of airline and non-airline partners, such as hotels, car rental firms and credit cards... Many airlines make money from the programs by selling miles to their program partners. United Airlines is said to generate more revenue from "Mileage Plus" than it does selling airline seats. Likewise, American Airlines with its "AAdvantage" program. Frequent-flier programs enable airlines to build a database of travelers, especially very frequent travelers, with the opportunity to build a direct relationship with them.
Could this really be the most successful marketing idea of all time?


The Destination Spa Program at Banyan Tree Phuket, Thailand

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Phuket

Arguably the world's best spa resort, the Banyan Tree Phuket is an exotic spa paradise facing Thailand's turquoise Andaman Sea. These exquisite tropical surroundings have recently become the sought-after setting for Banyan Tree's Destination Spa program: a series of fitness, wellness and cultural activities available in three, five and seven-night packages. The program includes accommodation for two in award-winning villas at Banyan Tree Phuket, daily breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, two 90-minute massage sessions, an Intimate Moments experience, complimentary participation in daily fitness and wellness program and a special gift from Banyan Tree Gallery. In addition, guests are provided their own personal resort host to assist and recommend the best spa treatments. Rates begin at US$1,980 for a three-night package in a Deluxe Villa.

Banyan Tree Phuket, Official Site

Banyan Tree Phuket, Five Star Alliance


Easter at the Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca, Spain

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter at Son Net

This Easter, think Spain. The gorgeous Mediterranean isle of Mallorca, awash with flowers and olive groves, is home to the 17th century hacienda-turned-boutique hotel: Gran Hotel Son Net. Its 25 rooms are each unique, lavishly and individually decorated; the suites boast large windows overlooking the countryside, and private terraces, gardens and swimming pools. The Easter special includes four nights luxurious accommodations, four Son Net breakfasts, cava and fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, traditional Good Friday dinner and Easter Buffet-Brunch at the L'Orangerie Restaurant, and private transfer service from and to Palma airport. Starting at EUR 1,670, valid April 13-18.

Gran Hotel Son Net, Official Site

Gran Hotel Son Net, Five Star Alliance


Going to Buenos Aires: the Grand Alvear Palace Hotel

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alvear Palace Hotel

Welcome to the most elegant hotel in Latin America. The awards are numerous--Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report ("Among the World's 20 Best"), Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler (Top Hotels in the World)-- and the service, impeccable. Among the wide avenues, magnificent architecture, and splendid boutiques of the elegant Recoleta neighborhood in the "Paris of South America," the Belle Epoque Alvear Palace is a city historical monument. Furnished in the style of Luis XV, the rooms and suites are adorned with antiques and crystal chandeliers. Amenities include Hermes de Paris bath products, personal butler service, 500 thread Egyptian cotton sheets, telephone with intelligent screen to regulate AC, Wifi, and DVD players. Bathrooms are nothing short of magnificent, often equipped with jacuzzi and sauna. Guests are treated to the best buffet breakfast in the city, at Orangerie Restaurant, and the fine-dining restaurant-- La Bourgogne—is considered the best in the city, awarded "Latin America's Best Restaurant" by Wine Spectator. Indeed, the Alvear Palace Hotel is itself a symbol of Buenos Aires.

Alvear Palace Hotel, Official Site

Alvear Palace Hotel, Five Star Alliance


Maybourne Hotels London - March and April Offers

March 9, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Paul Reynolds, The Maybourne Hotel Group

Berkeley Blue Bar

Madonna "Adores the Blue Bar" at The Berkeley. Claridge's main restaurant is run by (and named for) celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. You can find out why so many people want to associate themselves with the London hotels of the Maybourne Group this March and April with 4 special deals. 'Suite Dreams' deals start at 299 pounds for a Deluxe Junior Suite at The Connaught, 339 pounds for a Superior Junior Suite at The Berekley and 359 pounds for a Deluxe Junior Suite at Claridge's. The 'April Special' allows you to 'sample five star luxury at an affordable price'. 'Work from 'Home' without the inconveniences' during March and April with a special rate for single occupancy of Queen-bedded rooms at The Connaught. Lastly, check out the specials being offered during Easter week with reduced rates at The Berkeley, Claridge's, and The Connaught.

Maybourne Hotel Group, Official Site

Claridge's, Five Star Alliance

The Connaught, Five Star Alliance

The Berkeley, Five Star Alliance


A Jet Set Masseuse for the Masses

March 9, 2006
By: Guest Writer

By Courtney W. May Cal Simmons recently brought to my attention Mr. Mohammed Bendraoua. Recently profiled in "Under Pressure" from Daily Candy, Mr. Bendraoua is famous for his luxury service and travel schedule. What does he do? His card states that he is a global 'relaxiologue' nomad. Traveling between New York, Paris, Milan and London-- he brings to you his bed, candles, iPod, and famous hands. The Oct 8, 2005 New York Times article "France's Trendy 'Relaxiologue'" states:

Mohammed Bendraoua spends several months of the year following the fashion circuit and handling the undressed bodies of the personnel responsible for telling the rest of the world what to wear. Mr. Bendraoua's card calls him a "relaxiologue," which translated liberally means masseur, although one who uses a variety of techniques to restore equilibrium. The method that has made him one of the better-kept secrets of the fashion circuit is an unorthodox melange of Eastern and Western therapeutic techniques, married to an instinct for restoring bodies contorted by permanent jet lag and a willingness to work weird hours. A massage from Mr. Bendraoua typically lasts three times as long as a psychotherapy session, but with faster results.
But now you have the chance to get in on the deal: Mr. Mohammed Bendraoua can be reached by email at mohparisfr@yahoo.fr or +00 33 6 13 21 39 79.


Gadgets on the Go: the Monsterpod Digital Camera Tripod

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Monsterpod

This ain't no suction cup. The Monsterpod stick-to-anything tripod is pretty revolutionary technology, billed as the "most incredible digital planet tripod on planet earth." The "patent pending viscoelastic morphing polymer super grip tripod" sticks to more than 1,000 objects (you know, the usual suspects: trees, traffic lights, windows...) Small, compact, and a mere $29.95.

Via Uncrate


Extreme Makeovers: Kimpton Hotels Comes to Alexandria, Virginia

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

My home town is getting a makeover and I couldn't be happier. Kimpton-- that most delightful hotelier-- has bought the aged, decrepit Holiday Inn in Old Town, Alexandria and plans a complete overhaul. At long last: the return of glamour and class to this prime real estate in the heart of Old Town's cobblestone streets, flickering gas lamps and gorgeous colonial homes! Kimpton is pumping in $22 million in its conversion; the new Hotel Monaco, Alexandria will have 241 colorful and unique guest rooms, a pool, fitness club, and fine dining. Bring it on.


59 New Members for SLH in 2006

March 9, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications, Small Luxury Hotels of the World In the last 18 months, SLH has received over 1100 enquiries for membership. In 2005 alone, the brand received over 650 membership enquiries via its website, of which only 17 hotels met the standards and earned membership for 2006. Regionally, SLH received 23 requests for membership from hotels in Thailand but only 5 became members for 2006. 91 requests were received from the U.S.A. but only 6 became members. A total of 55 requests from Italian hoteliers lead to the biggest grouping of 11 new members; finally, 30 requests from the UK and 26 from France both only delivering two members each. Although Small Luxury Hotels of the World continues to receive requests for membership in the traditional markets, the brand is making a concerted effort to expand into newer, emerging markets. This effort has already paid off for 2006 with the addition of hotels in Laos, China, South Korea and Russia. Areas of interest for future growth in 2007 are Dubai, South America, Eastern Europe, China and Japan where the brand is already in serious discussion with luxury boutique properties. The total collection now stands at 359 hotels in 59 countries, and for the first time includes a presence in South Korea, Laos, St Lucia, Russia and Estonia. See the list after the jump.

In The Americas 1. Adara Hotel at Whistler; Canada 2. Le Chateau du lac Sacacomie; Quebec, Canada 3. Dolphin Bay Hotel & Residences; San Louis Obispo, CA 4. The Inn of the Five Graces; Sante Fe, NM 5. Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate; Huntington, NY 6. Goodstone Inn & Estate; Middleburg, VA 7. Marina Inn at Grande Dunes; Myrtle Beach, SC 8. Castle Hill Resort & Spa; Ludlow, VT 9. Sivory Punta Cana; Dominican Republic 10. Discovery at Marigot Bay; St Lucia 11. Gaia Hotel & Reserve; Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica In Asia Pacific 1. Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant; Katoomba, Australia 2. The Country Club Sydney; Nr Sydney, Australia 3. Island Hideaway Spa Resort & Marina; Dhonakulhi Island, Maldives 4. The Fortress; Galle, Sri Lanka 5. The Beach Negombo; Negombo, Sri Lanka 6. Banyan Tree Lijiang, Lijiang, China 7. Fuchun Resort Hangzhou; Hangzhou, China 8. Losari Coffee Plantation Resort & Spa; Central Java, Indonesia 9. Maison Souvannaphoun Hotel; Luang Prabang, Laos 10. Eros Spa & Resort Club Parthenon; Chungnam Province, South Korea 11. Hotel Hera Club Parthenon; Chungnam Province, South Korea 12. The Baan Thai Wellness Retreat; Bangkok, Thailand 13. D2hotel chiang mai; Chiang Mai, Thailand 14. The Racha; Phuket, Thailand 15. Nakamanda Resort & Spa; Krabi, Thailand 16. Aleenta Resort & Spa; Phang Nga, Thailand In Europe 1. Hoteldorf Gruner Baum; Salzburg, Austria 2. Manos Premier Hotel; Brussels, Belgium 3. Padaste Manor; Muhu Island, Estonia 4. Estate Hotel Schwarzer Adler; Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany 5. Brandenburger Hof; Berlin, Germany 6. De Hoefslag; Utrecht, The Netherlands 7. Dwor Oliwski Hotel & Restaurant; Gdansk, Poland 8. Savoy Moscow; Moscow, Russia 9. Royal Park Hotel; Bernese Oberland, Switzerland 10. Chateau de Cely; Ile de France, France 11. L’Hermitage Gantois; Lille, France 12. St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel; Crete, Greece 13. Villa Le Scale; Isle of Capri, Italy 14. Albergo San Montano; Isle of Ischia, Italy 15. Townhouse 12; Milan, Italy 16. Townhouse 31; Milan, Italy 17. Townhouse 70 Suite Hotel; Turin, Italy 18. Masseria Torre Coccaro; Puglia, Italy 19. Inn at the Roman Forum; Rome, Italy 20. View at the Spanish Steps; Rome, Italy 21. Relais la Suvera; Tuscany, Italy 22. Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte; Tuscany, Italy 23. I Casali di Monticchio; Umbria, Italy 24. Selenza Thalasso Wellness Hotel; Andalucia, Spain 25. Hotel Club Maritimo Sotogrande; Andalucia, Spain 26. Vincci Seleccion La Plantacion del Sur; Canary Islands, Spain 27. Mas Passamaner; Tarragona, Spain 28. The El Rodat Hotel; Alicante, Spain 29. The Goring; London England 30. Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island; Argyll, Scotland 31. La Stampa Hotel & Spa; Dublin, Ireland 32. La Sultana Hotel & Spa; Marrakech, Morocco
Our question? Who dropped out ... Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Official Site Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Five Star Alliance


Luxurious DC Cherry Blossom Package at The Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington

March 9, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Doug Camp, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Hay-Adams

Cherry Blossoms DC

The DC Cherry Blossom Festival happens each year from March 25th through April 9th (although the Yoshino cherry blossom trees will stay in bloom a little longer than that). This year's parade on Saturday, April 8th will be hosted by Pat Sajak. Other performers include Anthony Fedorov (American Idol Season 4) and Grammy-nominated artist Martha Wash.

Doug Camp from The Hay-Adams, a luxurious Washington, DC Boutique hotel, pointed out that they are offering their Cherry Blossom Package again this year. The package includes complimentary parking, but walking from The Hay-Adams to the blossoms around the Tidal Basin a) is a great walk which includes the White House, Washington Memorial, World War II Memorial and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, b) shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.

UPDATE 2 (March 29): The National Park Service's chief horticulturist Rob DeFeo now says Thursday, March 30th will be the peak bloom date for the Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms.

UPDATE: According to the National Park Service Chief Horticulturist, Rob DeFeo, the predicted peak blooming period for the 2006 Cherry Blossoms is March 27th through April 1st.

There is nothing more beautiful than the Cherry Blossoms in bloom around the Tidal Basin. Experience the beauty firsthand while enjoying luxurious accommodations at The Hay-Adams. This package is based on a two night minimum stay. Cherry Blossom Festival information, a special amenity, and complimentary parking are included. Packages start at $309.00 from March 24 – April 9, 2006.

Call the Hotel to reserve 800.853.6807

The Hay-Adams, Official Site

The Hay-Adams, Five Star Alliance