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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.

20 Minutes from Paradise - Inclusive Amenities at Maroma, Cancun

March 14, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Maroma Resort and SpaVisit the Maroma Resort & Spa within 20 miles south of Cancun's international airport and 45 minutes from Cancun on the Mexican Caribbean, at the Riviera Maya and enjoy the 25 acres of jungle preserve this secluded, luxurious hideaway sits on.

Included in all Maroma room rates are:

  • Full daily a la carte breakfast in the resort Restaurants or Room Service
  • Welcome Margarita cocktail upon arrival (the famous Maroma Margarita)
  • High-speed internet access in all the rooms
  • One snorkeling trip per guest, per stay, to the world's second largest barrier reef
  • Round-trip airport transfers for two (private transportation can be arranged at additional cost)
  • Use of fitness center

Keep in mind (whether you have children or avoid them), that no children under 12 are allowed at the property year round, and between January 1 to April 30 and December 22 to 31, no children under 16 are allowed on property.

If you make reservations with Five Star Alliance, in addition to the amenities above, you will also receive a welcome fruit basket upon arrival and a surprise departure gift.

More Photos >>


Shelling Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

March 13, 2007
By: Courtney W. May

"I have a hobby. I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen some of it." - Steven Wright Coastal Living Magazine has come up with their list of the top 10 shelling beaches in North America - "Winter storms stir up a bounty of prize specimens. Here's where to hunt." See if you agree with their assesment: Shell Map1. Sanibel Island, Florida 2. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina 3. Bandon, Oregon 4. Galveston, Texas 5. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii 6. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby, Maryland 7. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia 8. Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas 9. Great Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York 10. Stinson Beach, California Read more about each location over at Coastal Living or leave us your own thoughts below.


Welcome Back Spring at the Hay-Adams (with Sake!)

March 12, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Hay-Adams is almost exactly a mile from the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin and on the walk over you'd get to pass 1) The White House, 2) Old Executive Office Building, 3) Washington Monument and 4) The National World War II Memorial. This year, the predicted peak bloom will be April 4th (although they start to bloom around March 30th). Hay-Adams Cherry BlossomsThe Hay-Adams "Cherry Blossom Package" includes a minimum of 2 nights, Cherry Blossom Fesitval information, a special amenity, and complimentary parking (normally $35.84 per night with the valet). Rates start at $369 for the package and will sell out quickly (check real-time availability here). Other packages available to welcome back spring to the area include "Spring Break" (low rates, breakfast and accommodations) and the "Sake Dinner Package" (five-course Asian influenced dinner, 5 different Japanese sake, breakfast, free parking, and of course the room). If you live in the area or are visiting and not staying at the Hay-Adams (shame on you) but want to partake in the "Sake Dinner" the night before the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival, the cost for two is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Call the Lafayette Room at 202-220-4853 to make reservations - 6:30 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Dinner.


An Interview with the General Manager: Tony McHale of Keswick Hall

March 9, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Tony McHale of Keswick HallTony McHale is the current General Manager at Keswick Hall in Keswick, Virginia - just outside Charlottesville. He took some time out of his busy schedule (you'd be busy too if you had an Arnold Palmer golf course at your office) to answer some of our questions.

Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?

Tony McHale: I was the General Manager of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, also an Orient Express property, and transferred to Keswick following Katrina.

Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?

Tony McHale: Keswick is like a country home. It is intimate and charming with gracious service and hospitality, in a breath taking setting, on a private 600 acre Estate.

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Tony McHale: Private, yet just 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. Curl up with a book in front of one of the six fireplaces, or enjoy golf on our private Arnold Palmer Championship Golf course. Hot air ballooning, shooting, riding, fishing or biking are one of many pursuits.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed at Keswick Hall, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Tony McHale: Mic Jagger, James Brown, Michael J. Fox, Sissy Spacek, Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, and Paul Newman to name a few.

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages?

Tony McHale: Balcony State Rooms 9 and 27: Both are corner rooms located on the 2nd floor. They have private balconies and exquisite views overlooking the Arnold Palmer Golf Course. They are requested time and time again by our regular guests.

Five Star Alliance: If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?

Tony McHale: A favorite Signature Room (standard) would be # 10. It has a full size balcony overlooking the Horizon Edge Pool and Arnold Palmer Golf Course.

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Tony McHale: Strongest markets are New York and Washington, though people travel from all over including Europe.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Tony McHale: Check-in/out times, dining options (both on and off property), recreational activities, things to do in the area: shopping, wineries, etc, parking fee, and safety deposit box.

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Tony McHale: Villa San Michele in Florence and the Maroma Resort in Cancun.


Suite Luxury: Desert Palm Retreat Dubai

March 6, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Location: Desert Palm Retreat consists of a main building with 13 Palm suites overlooking the polo field, 4 private one bedroom Pool Villas, 6 private three bedroom Pool Residences and the two bedroom presidential "Villa Layali". Each villa offers complete seclusion, with 9 ft. privacy walls encircling the gardens, a large swimming pool, outdoor dining area and sun-bathing deck.

Desert Palm Retreat Presidential SuiteSize/Sq. Footage: 585 square meters (bigger than all other villas in Dubai) or 6,260 square feet.

Interior Designer: IMA Singapore

The Presidential Suite - Villa Layali: is compromised of two master bedrooms each with a master bathroom, one mutual living and dining room/area in between which overlooks the polo field. The courtyard features a big private swimming pool with a sunbathing patio and pantry.

Description: This exclusive two-bedroom presidential villa, surrounded by lush grass and colossal palm trees, is a walled sanctuary. Built from Jordanian stone, this villa is centred around on open-air courtyard with a large swimming pool and water features, perfect for private sunbathing or outdoor entertaining. Parallel to the swimming pool is a long and spacious living room incorporating the lounge, dining and surround sound theatre system. The two bedroom suites each feature a private courtyard garden, king sized bed, personal business and "Bang & Olufsen" entertainment system with CD/DVD player, wi-fi internet access, "Sony Bravia" flat screen, Apple iPod, flat screen and sitting area. Behind a hidden doorway guests will discover an airy dressing room and bathroom with luxurious amenities from "Ren"...

Rate: "Villa Layali" starts at USD $2,800 during summer time for two people, it runs at USD $3,900 during the year and goes up to USD $5,850.00 during the New Years Eve period and is inclusive of an a la carte breakfast served in "Epicure" gourmet market and deli cafe - plus tax and service charge.

Fun Fact: The private rooftop terrace is ideal for viewing the excitement of polo chukkas daily at sunset (polo season runs from November until April) and for relaxing under the stars with friends. It is an ideal location for photo shots and weddings.

Check Availability >>


Be a ‘Very Important Meeting Planner’ with Loews Regency NYC

March 1, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Hartmann LuggageThe Loews Regency has just launched a new program that will let those haggard meeting planners forget the freight and just focus on the event. With the VIMP Promotion, meeting planners are eligible for complimentary shipping of meeting materials and related luggage. Additionally, planners are rewarded with a peice of Hartman Luggage when they book their meeting at the Regency over selected dates throughout the year.

See more details >>


Cuckoo for Cocoa Island’s 2 Bed Villa, Maldives

January 31, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

In our ongoing feature of luxury suites at deluxe hotels worldwide, we present to you: Cocoa Island Maldives

2 Bedroom Villa: Located with direct access to the sea, offering maximum privacy

Size: 300 m2

Room description (images after the jump): The 2 bedroom villa has a king size and twin bedded room with private bathroom featuring double vanity unit, WC, island bath, separate walk in shower, outdoor shower and private terrace with access to the water. The full length windows on three sides flood the room with light. Down to the steps is a walkway to a private Bale (covered tiki hut - 2nd image below) for private dining or relaxing. The private sun deck features loungers and a dining table.

Interior Designer: Kathryn Kng

Rates start at US$ 2090 and go up from there ...

Images after the jump

The Cocoa Island Villas:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Sundeck:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Bedroom:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Living Room:

Cocoa Island Villas

More information on Cocoa Island Maldives ...


Suite Luxury at The Madison DC

January 10, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

In yet another installment of our series on the highest luxury level suites at the best hotels worldwide, below you can find more information (and some awesome photos) regarding the Presidential and Royal Suites at The Madison, a Loews Hotel in Washington, DC. Enjoy.

Presidential Suite

Location: 15th Floor, Size: 1370 sq. feet

Description:

Includes the Main Parlor/Master Bedchamber, Bedchamber Two, and may connect to additional rooms. The Presidential Suite features antique furniture and objet d'art throughout, unique imported fabrics from Italy and France, marble foyer, butler's pantry, dining area with stately Charleston dining table with Hepplewhite shield back mahogany chairs, large sitting area, 52" plasma TV with surround sound speakers, and custom designed US Axminster carpets. (See images after the jump below)

Royal Suite

Location: 15th Floor, Size: 1320 sq. feet

Description:

Includes the Main Parlor/Master Bedroom, and may connect to additional rooms. The suite includes a private balcony, butler’s pantry, powder room, large flat screen TV, foyer with marble floor, coat closet, sunken living area dressed in golds, peaches and greens, sitting alcove, ad black lacquer dining table with fully upholstered chairs.

View pictures of the rooms after the jump ...

The view from the Presidential Suite

Madison Presidential Suite

The Parlor of the Presidential Suite

The Madison Presidential Suite Parlor

The Bedroom of the Royal Suite

The Madison Royal Suite Bedroom

The Parlor of the Royal Suite

The Madison Royal Suite Parlor

Check Availability, Details, Photos and Make Reservations »


Last-Minute Caribbean Getaways for the Holidays

December 12, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Villa BAJ BAJ Turks & Caicos

Looking for a last minute getaway trip for the holidays? At this point, just about all of the hotels and resorts in the Caribbean are sold out for the holidays. Any luxury hotels or resorts that do still have availablity, such as the Jamaica Inn, require longer minumum stays (Jamaica Inn has a 10 night min.) There are a few luxury hotels and resorts in Mexico City and South America where you can still find availability.

Seagrape - Little Thatch Island

But don't worry - luxury villas are still available for a last minute holiday getaway in the Caribbean. Luxury caribbean villas are the perfect solution for a last minute luxury getaway with the whole family or with friends.

Luxury Carribean Villas for the Holidays
Grand Cayman: 4 Bedroom beach villa with private boat dock and cabana
Virgin Gorda, BVI: New 3 Bedroom villa with tennis, just steps from the beach
Tortola, BVI: 1 Bedroom beachfront villa on private island off Tortola
Mustique: 9 Bedroom Japanese style villa with pitch & putt
Provo, Turks & Caicos: 5 Bedroom Palace Resort with boat
See all of our Luxury Villas in the Carribean for Christmas and New Years

Not planning on traveling to the Caribbean? Check out what last minute packages are still available in other parts of the world:
Luxury Hotels & Resorts in Miami, FL
The 12 Best Ski Resorts Worldwide
Los Angeles Area Luxury Hotels
Luxury Family Friendly Hotels in Paris

View More of our Recommended Luxury Hotels & Resorts for last minute trips


Don’t Cook - Let the Conrad Chicago

December 11, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Conrad Chicago Cerise During the holiday season, keep your kitchen clean by dining at the Conrad Chicago instead. The Conrad Hotel is located at the heart of Chicago's financial district on Michigan Avenue, also known as "the Magnificent Mile", connected to Nordstrom and Westfield North Bridge shopping centers. Make your reservations for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day brunch, or New Years Eve dinner now to avoid being turned away. Plus, if you make overnight room reservations with Five Star Alliance at the Conrad, you'll also get a welcome amenity, continental breakfast for two (2) daily, and a possible upgrade upon check-in based upon availability. Christmas Eve (December 24, 2006) 3 Course prix-fixes Menu $55 Adult + Wine pairing additional $24 Christmas Brunch (December 25, 2006) Hours: 11:30a-3:00p $65.00 Adult / $25.00 under 12 New Years Eve Dinner (December 31, 2006) 7 Course dinner Hours: 7:00p-12:00a $90 per adult, optional wine pairings $56