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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.

Christmas on Ice at Claridge’s and The Berkeley, London

October 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ice Skating in LondonLondon sparkles at Christmastime, so why not hit the shops, take in a Christmas show, go merry-making around town? Complete the experience with a stylish overnight stay at Claridge's (that glamorous establishment) or The Berkeley (the Knightsbridge home of Petrus restaurant and the hip Blue Bar), where you'll find some dazzling good deals available over the holidays. The "Christmas on Ice" package promises a welcome bottle of champagne, two tickets for ice-skating at the National History Museum with a basket filled with hot chocolate and stollen cake to sustain you, and traditional English breakfast next morning. Festive rates start at just GBP 289.


Manned Cloud Hotel: The Way of the Future

October 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Manned Cloud HotelIt's a bird, it's a plane, it's a... flying whale in the sky! In fact, this enormous whale will be an eco-hotel, an environmentally-sensitive air-ship that cruises the earth. The mastermind behind the Manned Cloud? Jean-Marie Massaud, the brilliant designer who used to work with Philippe Starck and who was named Designer of the Year at last year's Salon du Meuble in Paris. His dream-- a unique, helium-filled hotel from where you can appreciate the most marvelous views of Earth-- could be realized as soon as next year.

Photo Via Diario del Viajero


Taste of Luxury in Venice with Starwood Hotels

October 23, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Venetian culture comes alive when your US Dollar buys up to 40% more this Fall and Winter in Venice, Italy.

Westin Europe and ReginaVisit Venice before 31 December 2007 with one of Starwood's Taste of Luxury or Taste of Venice USD packages and take advantage of the special One US Dollar = One Euro* exchange rate parity deal. Valid for a minimum stay of 3 nights at Hotel Danieli, Hotel Gritti Palace, or The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice. Stay in characteristic accommodations from USD 350 (instead of Euro 350) per room per night for two, inclusive of American buffet breakfast, tax and service. Don't delay. Book by 29 December for stays until 31 December 2007.

*Rates confirmed in USD are guaranteed in US dollars when paid in US cash or traveler's checks. Payments made by credit cards at the hotel will be charged in the local currency equivalent based on the exchange rate used by the hotel on the day of arrival. Currency conversions by bank or credit card companies in processing payments are not within the control of the hotel and are subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Please consult the Terms & Conditions for full details of this promotion.


The Lodge, Verbier: The Latest from Sir Richard Branson

October 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Lodge, VerbierThe first ski chalet from Virgin Limited Edition will be-- to quote the official lit-- "the most luxurious of its size in the Alps available to rent." Sir Richard Branson has a knack for choosing the most dramatic settings on earth for his hideaways: the Caribbean's Necker Island, the soaring foothills of Morocco's Atlas Mountains, and now, the iconic Swiss ski resort of Verbier, celebrated as much for its world-class terrain as for its legendary après-ski. This mountain retreat opens its doors for the first time in January 2008 and will be open year-round. Just minutes from the ski lifts, The Lodge, Verbier features nine rooms and suites (plus a kids bunk room that sleeps up to 6), private pool, mini ice rink, and indoor and outdoor spa areas. The ultimate alpine escape doesn't come cheap. Rates for exclusive use in winter range from GBP 35,250-59,000 per week for up to 18 guests. Rates in summer start from GBP 555 per person for a three night stay. You also get most meals, all drinks (Champagne too), and 24-hour driver service from Verbier.


The Gordon Ramsay Invasion: New Restaurant at Trianon Palace in Versailles

October 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Trianon Palace, VersaillesThe celebrity chef is moving in on the French, opening a signature restaurant at the opulent Trianon Palace & Spa in Versailles. Set to open in the spring, the restaurant will be bringing British ingredients (!!!) to the capital of haute cuisine. The ambitious chef just opened his fancy Dublin establishment at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, and has had his eye on Paris for quite some time. He's creating a global brand and the goal is to achieve three Michelin stars in NY, London, and Paris-- simultaneously. In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Ramsay explained his "culinary patriotism:"

I've had a bellyful of the French coming over and telling us how s*** our food is. We should f****** shout from the rooftops, with our hand-dived scallops from the west coast of Scotland, and our venison from Balmoral, our wonderful Aberdeen Angus steak, and our f****** mussels and oysters from beds in South Ireland. Why not?


Pure Witchcraft at Claridge’s, London

October 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Witchcraft at ClaridgesLeave it to Claridge's to think up a fabulous Halloween-themed offer. One of the trio of super-luxury London properties managed by the Maybourne Hotel Group, Claridge's is a glamorous art deco jewel situated within easy reach of Hyde Park, Park Lane, Bond Street and Oxford Street. For All Hallows Eve, luxuriate in hauntingly beautiful overnight accommodations (a Mayfair Suite), then linger over a full English breakfast for two, while your kids enjoy a Halloween sleepover at nearby Hamleys toy store. Available for up to 2 children (aged 6-12 years), the sleepover includes themed costumes, photographs, games, scrumptious party food, an overnight stay in the store's Tented Village with bedtime milk and cookies, and breakfast the following morning. Available the evening of October 27, 2007 only.


The Ultimate Valentine’s Indulgence from Red Carnation Hotels

October 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

De Beers Diamond30,000 will buy you the Valentine's Day indulgence of a lifetime. (But we're not talking dollars. Nope. British pounds! which means a paltry 60,000 dollars.) Red Carnation Hotels-- the stellar global collection of boutique luxury hotels-- has recently announced the ultimate Valentine's Day experience available for the month of February 2008. And it seems that diamonds trump hearts. You'll get a chauffeur-driven Bentley, a bath filled with pink Champagne, twelve dozen red roses, and a box of handmade chocolates. *Yawn, how humdrum.* But did we mention the makeup and hair session in a top salon for the lady and a haircut at one of London's most celebrated barbers for the gentleman? Plus a bespoke tailored suit for him and a designer evening dress for her? Followed by a 7-course tasting meal with butler service in your suite, with a different wine to complement each dish, served as a harpist plays melodious tunes in the corner? And to top it all off: ten grand's worth of diamonds from De Beer's! Now, that's more like it. The Diamonds Package may be extravagant, but of all the days in the year, this evening is surely worth the splurge. Red Carnation Hotels is offering this package at all six of their London properties: "41" opposite Buckingham Palace, The Milestone by Kensington Gardens, The Egerton House in Knightsbridge, The Montague in Bloomsbury, The Chesterfield Mayfair and The Rubens next door to "41."


Luck of the Irish: Ritz-Carlton Opens its Doors in County Wicklow

October 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Powerscourt GardensThe brand new Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, Ireland's first, is tucked in the gentle green hills of Country Wicklow, located just 16 miles outside of Dublin on the east coast. The Palladian estate is destined to become a magnificent destination hotel. Here you can enjoy both the tranquility of country living and the city chic of cosmopolitan Dublin. Set in the beautiful formal gardens of the famous Powerscourt Estate, the hotel is the ideal retreat in County Wicklow (aka "The Garden of Ireland"). As to be expected at a Ritz-Carlton, the surroundings are sumptuous: dignified accommodations, an outstanding spa, 36 holes of championship golf, and three exceptional restaurants including Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt, a signature restaurant from the esteemed chef. Plus, with 10,000 square feet of meeting space, this place is bound to be a meeting planner's dream.


Winter Escape at the Bayerischer Hof, Munich

October 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bayerischer HofWhen the temperatures dip this autumn, get cozy at Munich's finest hotel, Bayerischer Hof, and enjoy an unforgettable holiday in Bavaria. Jazz enthusiasts will flock to the hotel's Night Club for the New York Concert Series, where famous artists perform musical highlights from soul to jazz. Sunday mornings mean an indulgent Jazz Brunch Buffet at the Palais Keller with savory starters, seasonal salads, and delicacies from the sea. Book the Winter Package at this world-class luxury hotel and enjoy excellent rates and a bunch of extras: Warm up with a hot winter cocktail at the crackling fireplace in the Blue Spa winter garden. Indulge in champagne breakfast in the roof garden. Savor a four-course menu at the Garden Restaurant. Plus two nights of luxurious accommodations, all for EUR 308 per night (double room). Available from October 26, 2007- March 13, 2008.


Explore Provence with Hostellerie Les Frenes, Avignon

October 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Les Frenes, AvignonIndian Summer reigns supreme in Provence. Why not steal away to the south of France and discover the lovely historic city of Avignon, the former papal stronghold surrounded by vineyards, medieval villages, and Roman ruins? Book a room at the charming Hostellerie Les Frênes, one of the newest members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Located just five minutes outside the city, the hotel is a lovely Napoleon-style villa with 200-year old gardens dotted with Greco-Roman statues. There are only 20 guest rooms, decorated with period family heirloom furniture, and outfitted with luxurious modern amenities like private Jacuzzis, satellite TV and wireless Internet.

The hotel has put together the perfect package to experience the magical region of Provence. Enjoy a full day's wine tasting with a sommelier from Provence. Take a jaunt to the picturesque village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhone Valley, origin of some of France's greatest wines. Explore the vineyards, taste the wines, and lunch on a delicious picnic prepared by the hotel's chef. You'll also enjoy full breakfast daily plus one dinner at Le Jardin des Frenes, the hotel's excellent restaurant offering contemporary interpretations of traditional Provencal cuisine. Available until November 3, 2007, the Explore Provence package is priced from EUR 900 for two people for three nights.