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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.

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.


Trump Launches Luxury Hotel Brand

October 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Palm JumeirahIn the wake of countless new luxury hotel collections (Crillon, 1 Hotels, Waldorf-Astoria, Baccarat, to name a few), Mr. Trump has decided to launch his own. The flagship for this new brand is the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. Touted as "raising the bar on top-end travel experiences," the Trump Hotel Collection will showcase the new Spa at Trump with signature Trump-inspired treatments and an exclusive line of skin-care products by Kate Somerville. What else is in store? Customized service that will "go beyond butler service" because of the intrusive detailed record of personal guest preferences. In addition to the NY hotel, the collection will include two forthcoming properties in Chicago and Las Vegas, set to debut within the next few months. There are projects in the works in Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, NY's Soho neighborhood, Waikiki, Toronto, Cap Cana, Mexico's Baja Peninsula, Panama City, Aberdeen, Scotland, and Dubai *of course*. Will this really be "the next generation of luxury hospitality?"


Luxury for Less in Geneva at Jiva Hill Park Hotel

October 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jiva Hill Park HotelYou can't beat this rate at the fashionable Jiva Hill Park Hotel. Starting from just EUR 189 per night, the Great Rate offered through Small Luxury Hotels is a steal. (Available until December 31, 2007.) Just two kilometers from the Mont Jura ski resort, this luxurious haven is set within a 70 acre park in the foothills of the Jura Mountains, just opposite the majestic, snow-capped Mont Blanc range. There's a spa, beautiful indoor swimming pool, helipad, Eurolac water-ski nautical base on the lake, endless outdoor activities (like the Riding School and Tennis Club), and innovative cuisine. And with only 34 rooms and lodges, guests are guaranteed a peaceful, discreet hideaway with intimate, personalized service. At the Jiva Hill Park Hotel, it's the attention to detail that makes a difference: the roaring fireplace in the lounge, the unlimited Wifi Internet access, the impressive contemporary art collection found throughout the hotel.

Via Travel and Leisure Hot Deals


InterContinental Concierges Provide “In the Know” Travel Tips

October 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Hong KongMost folks think of InterContinental Hotels as the first truly international hotel brand in the world. So it's no wonder that InterContinental-- as it continues to define glamorous global travel-- goes the extra mile to provide guests with unique experiences to enrich their lives and broaden their outlook. Case in point: the "In the Know" program that provides online destination videos and Internet communication with the hotel concierges. Today's savvy, worldly guests are pickier about what they expect from hotels, and InterContinental is on hand to point the way to authentic and local destination experiences.

At the InterContinental Grand Stafford in Hong Kong, for example, you'll find maps created by the concierge with suggestions for the best shopping and dining spots in the area. (The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus service to the Star Ferry area, to boot.) And at the Athenaeum InterContinental, the best hotel in Athens, the multi-lingual concierge can do a lot more than arrange tours of the Parthenon and the Acropolis. Local insider tips include favorite neighborhoods, new exhibits, and what's new on the city scene. Even suggestions for the best Greek gifts to take home with you. Check out this video from the concierge.


Wine Master Classes at Mount Juliet Conrad, Kilkenny County, Ireland

October 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mount Juliet ConradLuxuriate in the grand surroundings of Ireland's grand sporting estate, Mount Juliet Conrad, and learn how to tell your Pétrus from your Penfolds. The country house hotel is offering a series of exclusive wine master class weekends with award-winning sommelier, Alain Bras. Recognized as one of Ireland's leading authorities on wine, Bras was Ireland's representative at the World Sommelier Championships in 2004. During these two-night escapes, Bras will guide guests through tastings of Champagnes, Ports, and fine wines. The wine master classes are priced from $543 per person and includes two nights accommodation with breakfast for each guest in The Hunter's Yard, a casual dinner including wine on the first evening, and a Champagne reception and dinner including wine on the second evening in the Lady Helen Dining Room at Mount Juliet House. Tuition and course materials are also included. The dates are November 5-6, 2007, November 26-27, 2007, January 14-15, 2008, and February 4-5, 2008. Set within 1,500 picturesque acres in Kilkenny county just an hour from Dublin, Mount Juliet Conrad offers an incredible range of activities-- in the grand tradition of the gracious living of the countryside-- including horseback riding, clay shooting, fishing, archery, tennis, and golf.


Spend Christmas and New Years at Le Meurice, Paris

October 5, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Hotel Le MeuriceEnjoy the lively rhythm and elegant ambiance of the chic 1st arrondissement at the legendary palace hotel that has played host to international royalty, fashion designers and countless public figures, Hotel Le Meurice. The Christmas package, starting from EUR 590 per room, per night, includes accommodations, daily American breakfast, Christmas gifts and chocolates for parents and children. Extraordinary Christmas Eve and Day dinners are available at Restaurant Le Meurice and Jardin d'Hiver. Package available from December 7- December 27, 2007.

Or if a Christmas stay isn't in the works, plan a New Year's escape to the heart of Paris. This internationally renowned five-star hotel is Paris at its most elegant and stylish. Between December 28, 2007- January 2, 2008, your family can enjoy a minimum two-night stay with accommodations, daily American breakfast, Christmas gifts and chocolates for parents and children starting at EUR 730 per room, per night.