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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.

Culinary Retreat at Chateau St. Gerlach, Maastricht, Netherlands

October 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau St. GerlachThe Dutch town of Maastricht has been hailed as both an historical delight (cobble stone streets framed by 17th century houses) and-- on the other side of the Maas River-- an "urban planner's dream mix of contemporary buildings." Just a ten minute drive outside of this charming European city, the luxurious Chateau St. Gerlach is a destination in and of itself. Sprawling over a number of period buildings (including a 13th century chateau, farmhouse, convent, and Baroque church), the hotel is home to the fine, Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name. Nestled on a beautiful country estate with a wildlife reserve, Chateau St. Gerlach showcases the best of the Valkenburg countryside-- the frontier region that is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Holland. Dive into some extraordinary haute cuisine with a special "Culinary Maastricht" package. This fabulous offer include two nights in a Deluxe Room, a welcome glass of champagne on arrival, daily breakfast buffet in the Winter Garden, free Marco Polo guide of Maastricht, and free use of the swimming pool, Turkish bath, and sauna. Enjoy a four-course dinner at Michelin star restaurant St. Gerlach and then on your second night, indulge in a five-course dinner at Michelin star restaurant Chateau Neercanne. Rates start from just EUR 259; available until December 31, 2007.


Nuit Blanche Returns to Paris this Weekend

October 3, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Paris This Saturday, October 6, 2007 Paris will remain open all night for its annual cultural extravaganza. What a way to pull an all-nighter! From sun-down to sunrise, the grand museums, churches, historical sites (and even swimming pools) of Paris will remain open and free to the public. Visitors can even enjoy the palace of Versailles under moonlight. The city obliges with free transport (shuttle buses, and there's always the cool, free bike service). Night owls will go gaga over the nocturnal contemporary art exhibitions and music concerts in these exciting venues. This year's Nuit Blanche is dedicated to Ingrid Betancourt, the politician and activist held hostage by the FARC in the Colombian jungle since 2002.


End of Summer Sale at the Westin Europa and Regina, Venice

October 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Europa and Regina How about a free night on the Grand Canal in Venice? In the sumptuous surroundings of a magnificently restored historic building just steps from Piazza San Marco? With the End of Summer Sale at the Westin Europa & Regina, your third night is free when you book a three night stay between now and December 28, 2007. Plus, you can arrive any day of the week. Housed in five buildings which date from the 17th to 19th centuries, the award-winning hotel offers the perfect combination of traditional beauty and contemporary conveniences-- like the signature Heavenly Bed and Westin WORKOUT room. (Rates start from EUR 330 per night. Book online before October 31, 2007. Promotion code is Z3R.)

PS. Get a bird's eye view of this magical city with a helicopter tour arranged by the hotel.


Going Green: Badrutts Palace, St. Moritz

September 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutt's Palace The glaciers are receding in the dramatic mountain range of the Alps, and renowned resorts like Badrutt's Palace are doing something about it-- putting up a fight against global warming. With a new energy-efficient heating system in a long term cooperative effort with Zurich's "EWZ" power station, the resort has designed a heat pump that draws water directly from Lake St. Moritz without harming the area's flora and fauna. With this measure, the legendary hotel-- the very symbol of sophisticated Alpine luxury-- is saving 400,000 liters of heating oil per season, while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tons per year. That's an 80 percent difference over the previous heating system. Bravo.


The Talk of the Town: Hotel Particulier Montmartre, Paris

September 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Particulier Montmartre Tucked away in the winding alleyways of Montmartre, a charming and chic new hotel made its debut this summer. From the façade, the Hotel Particulier Montmartre appears to be a 19th century country house, surrounded by leafy landscaping and secluded private gardens. Though there are only five guest rooms, this interior space is a dream of modern design. Vogue (September 2007) praises the "distinct personalities" of these magical spaces designed by a graphic designer, a Musée de la Mode et du Textile curator, and three artists. From fanciful fashion to ornate rococo style, the guest rooms embody the best of high design. Choose the top-floor miniloft for incredible Paris views.

Be forewarned: finding the entrance amidst the tiny rues of hip Montmartre is not for the faint of heart.


Dukes Hotel: Rediscover a London Classic

September 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dukes, London Say hello to the new Dukes Hotel. This beloved London establishment was recently taken over by Campbell Gray Hotels-- a collection of exquisite, individual hotels including One Aldwych in London and Carlisle Bay in Antigua-- and has undergone a complete makeover. Tucked in its own courtyard in a quiet corner on St. James's Place between Mayfair and Green Park, Dukes has been given a touch of 21st century contemporary chic. Hailed by The New York Times as "the ultimate country house hotel, only steps from Piccadilly," the award-winning Dukes Hotel is as famous for its service (the best in London, according to Travel and Leisure), as it is for its martinis. All 90 luxury rooms and suites have been upgraded by a stellar design team, along with the public areas. The world-famous Dukes Bar has been made up with blue velvet chairs and portrait paintings from the Dukes collection. Guests will find a new menu at The Dining Room, featuring classic British dishes with a comprehensive wine list (including a special reserve selection with predominantly Old World reds). There's also a Health Club with a 24 hour gym, steam room, and full range of spa treatments.


Experience Oktoberfest in Style with a Stay at The Charles Hotel, Munich

September 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Oktoberfest in Munich Come tomorrow, Munich's Lord Mayor will tap the barrel and thereby open Oktoberfest, the largest, beer-swigging funfair in the world. (At 12 noon, to be exact.) Join the German revelers for some serious beer-fueled fun until October 7, 2007. You don't need to go to Hofbräuhaus, the world's most famous beer hall (aka Disneyfied tourist delight), to experience traditional music, tasty Bavarian dishes, and a stein full of beer. Tents and beer gardens are set up all over the city. Don't miss the Costumes and Marksmen's Procession on Sunday, September 23, 2007. Book a room at the latest European five-star hotel from the Rocco Forte Collection, The Charles Hotel, and experience the elegant comfort and excellent service one would expect to find at a Rocco Forte property. Distinguished by its original, personalized design, the custom-built hotel boasts a top-notch health club. (Rooms are available at this brand new hotel beginning October 4, 2007.)

Related Articles:

"Announcing The Charles Hotel, Munich"


Special Offer at Conrad Brussels: Rubens, A Genius at Work

September 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Brussels Take a jaunt to the European capital to check out an extraordinary new exhibition, "Rubens-- A Genius at Work" which opened on September 14, 2007. After a four year research project by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the exhibition brings together 120 works of Belgium's best known Old Master. This is one of the most important retrospectives of Rubens' work ever to be staged and also shows works by the great Antwerp master produced with fellow artists including Jan Brueghel the Elder, Antoon van Dyck and Cornelis de Vos. Take advantage of a special overnight offer at the luxurious Conrad Brussels-- home to the largest, most sophisticated guest rooms in the city-- which includes breakfast at the hotel's Café Wiltcher, limousine transport to/from the exhibition and one two-day entrance ticket. Plus, earn 1,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points per stay. Rates starting from EUR 293.


Party Like a Rock Star, Sleep Like a Baby: The Metropolitan, London

September 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Metropolitan London For ten years, The Metropolitan Hotel has served as a landmark contemporary address on London's Park Lane. And the hotel still embodies stylish, cutting-edge cool. The hopping Met Bar continues to be a favorite for urban hipsters and fashionistas. The lobby, filled with light and accented with red and fuchsia and a striking carpet from Kappa Lambda that incorporates the Met's rich chocolate browns, is a hotspot for casual meetings. In this high design hotel, floor-to-ceiling windows look out over a glittering skyline. To celebrate these ten years, The Met has unveiled ten new packages. Embrace your inner hedonist with the Met's most decadent package, Party Like a Rock Star, Sleep Like a Baby. The two-night weekend package is priced from GBP 555 for two sharing a City Room. Arrive to a welcome "Classic Martini," prepped in your in-room cocktail shaker with two chilled glasses. (You'll also get a shaker and a box of rubber coasters.) Get into the swing with a "Metropolitan Party Box" which includes a Hedkandi CD and a "Hangover from Hell" eye mask and Firefly "Sharpen-Up" Tonic for later. Check in with the well-connected concierge to plan your night's revelry, with priority reservations at Nobu or Nahm. Enjoy complimentary chauffer service to a Central London club followed by a Champagne Breakfast for two back at the hotel, and a late check-out at 4 p.m.


Autumn Treats in Paris at the Hotel Plaza Athenee

September 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Plaza Athenee Fall is upon us. In Paris, blue skies, lots of sunshine, and cool autumn breezes make for delightful days strolling the city as a stylish flaneur. The city's chic and elegant Hôtel Plaza Athénée, the glamorous hideaway where the pleasure of luxury is celebrated, has launched an Autumn/Winter Pastry Collection. The hotel's Pasty Chef, Christophe Michalak, welcomes the season with truly drool-worthy pastries that are bound to blow the winter blues away. In a city known for its fabulous patisseries, these delicate creations will knock your socks off. For those who feel nostalgic for sultry summer days, the exotic flavors of citrus fruits will hit the right note. Of course the strong, rich chocolate aromas will appeal to those who prefer the winter season. Tempting treats include: Le Finger Pamplemousse Allégé (a light grapefruit delicacy), Le Vacherin Paradisiaque (a combination of pineapple cooked 'à l’étouffée, meringue and exotic fruit sorbet), Salambo façon pomme d'amour (roast apples, choux pastry, Calvados, chantilly and crunchy caramel) and Brownies à la Pistache (brownies with pistachio, creamy bitter chocolate and fine layers of crunchy chocolate.)

PS. These pastries are as pretty to look at as they are to taste.