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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.

Escape to the Alps at Spa Hotel Jagdhof, Tyrol, Austria

August 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Spa Hotel Jagdhof Stunning accommodations surrounded by some of the most sublime scenery on earth. Welcome to the Spa Hotel Jagdhof, situated in the midst of the Tyrolean mountains, just 30 minutes from Innsbruck, against the backdrop of the Stubai Glacier. This Relais and Chateaux property is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts-- country walks through the slopes of the Alps provide glimpses of chamois, stags, and dear-- and spa lovers, alike. The hotel's renowned Vital & Beautywelt Spa is a beautiful oasis that offers 17 different treatments in an area spanning 2,000 square meters. Exceptional cuisine includes hunted game and lamb from the hotel's own farm. With the Tyrolean Spa Experience package, enjoy four nights in a cozy 'Zwölfer' apartment including extensive breakfast, a six-course à la carte dinner, complimentary use of spa, indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and steam rooms, one stimulating Tyrolean massage, one glacier massage with high-quality natural oils from the Alps and return transfers from/to Innsbruck airport. Rates starting from EUR 899 per person for four nights. Valid until September 30, 2007.


Major U.S. Airlines Play Catch Up with Luxury Airlines

August 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

United lie-flat seats Looks like United and American are still in the running. Luxury airline favorites like Eos and Maxjet have been getting a lot of press (read: a lot of business), and the major U.S. carriers are taking notice. High-paying customers have flocked to the new all-business class airlines, where spacious seats, cutting edge technology, and truly decadent meals are run of the mill. Now United and American Airlines, the nation's largest air carriers, are preparing to enter the fray with costly makeovers to get a piece of the pie. On international flights, first-class and business travelers can soon expect big lie-flat seats, ample leg room, elaborate in-flight entertainment systems, and lots of pampering and perks. These changes to business and fist-class seats will start to take place late this year and early next year.


Shop til you Drop in Athens with the King George Palace

August 1, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

King George II, Athens With an unbeatable location on prestigious Syntagma Constitution Square in the heart of downtown Athens, the storied King George II has played host to kings, presidents, and Athenians alike since 1936. (A true celebrity haunt, King George II lured the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.) From this posh palace, an opulent hideaway of crystal chandeliers, Italian marble, and lush fabrics, visitors enjoy views of the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. And this historical landmark is bursting at the seams with ultra-modern amenities like plasma-screen TVs, high speed Internet, advanced climate control and ventilation, and personal trainers at the state-of-the-art gym. The only hotel in Athens among the 75 Top Europe Hotels on the Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards, it has also been honored on the magazine's 2007 Gold List. Indulge with the new CARITA treatments at the Palace Spa and be sure to dine in Tudor Hall, the city's most acclaimed gourmet restaurant overlooking the Acropolis. The Weekend Shopping Package at King George II is priced from EUR 180 per couple, per night, and includes luxurious accommodations and breakfast.


Gastronome’s Geneva: Windows Restaurant at Hotel d’Angleterre

July 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel d'Angleterre There's more to Windows Restaurant than the mind-blowing views, overlooking Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau, and Mont Blanc. Windows scored a rating of 16 in the prestigious Gault & Millau Guide. After all, the restaurant is housed in the Hotel d'Angleterre, one of the best hotels in all of Europe, and the excellence of the dining experience matches the sheer sumptuousness of the rooms. This summer, indulge in an evening of Enchanting Indian Delicacy during a three-week extravaganza when a five-man team flies in from the Michelin star Tamarind restaurant in London. From July 30- August 18, 2007, discover the exciting flavors of northwest India in a fabulously luxurious setting. The gastronomic four-course dinners at Windows are prepared by Tamarind's renowned chef Alfred Passat and his team.


Posh Paris: The Delights of the Renovated Hotel Meurice

July 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Meurice Mosaic floors, hand-carved moldings, glorious antique furnishings, sumptuous French fabrics, and of course the Art Nouveau glass roof atop the Winter Garden... In a breath: Parisian opulence incarnate. Hotel Meurice, the legendary Palace hotel adored by visiting royalty, has long stood as a proud Parisian landmark facing the Tuileries Gardens. How could one possibly improve upon perfection? Hotel Meurice has gone hip with a massive renovation, and is now better than ever. Most rooms have wonderful views of the Louvre and Tuileries, or the brilliant white Sacré-Coeur, floating above the city. Each of the seven floors has a distinct style, with 121 rooms decorated in a style reminiscent of Louis XVI. All the rooms are soundproofed and have air conditioning, high-speed Internet access, multiple telephone lines, a direct line, fax machines upon request and cable television. The Spa Caudalíe, opened in 2001, features the rejuvenating and purifying effects of Caudalíe treatments (like the Crushed Cabernet scrub) as well as a separate state-of-the-art Fitness Center. Meals at Le Meurice are as close to perfect as it gets; Yannick Alléno garnered his third Michelin star this year and the critics can't stop raving about the exquisite dining experience-- smart service, stunning surroundings, and elegant French fare at its finest. And of course kids are spoiled rotten at Hotel Meurice: sweets and in-room Kids Kit awaiting upon arrival, a treasure hunt winding through the hotel...


Five Star Alliance Selects World’s Best Luxury Hotels 2007

July 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peter Island It's official. Five Star Alliance, the leading online travel agency for luxury hotels, has released the annual "World's Best Luxury Hotels" lists. Our crew of somewhat obsessive luxury hotel fans gives recs so often, we decided it's important to share that info with the world. Along with the company's expertise, the criteria used to select the World's Best Luxury Hotels includes honest feedback from Five Star Alliance clients and the popularity of hotels. Since Five Star Alliance only focuses only luxury hotels, these picks are truly la crème de la crème.

The world's most luxurious hotels are selected for eight categories, including Luxury Beach Resorts, Business Hotels, Luxury Honeymoon Resorts, Luxury Golf Resorts, Luxury Spa Resorts, Luxury Ski Resorts, Luxury Resorts for Families, and Romantic Resorts.

Do you have a favorite that didn't make our lists? After checking them out, come back and discuss your favorites with us! (You'll find a link for comments at the bottom of each list.)


Win a Culinary Gift Certificate of $500 with Relais and Chateaux

July 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Inn at Little Washington Imagine: splurging on $500 worth of meals at the fabulous Relais Gourmands restaurants, which together garnered over 300 Michelin stars in 2006. (The Inn at Little Washington-- pictured at right-- is a member, described by Zagat as "the gastronomic equivalent of sex.") The line-up of celebrity chefs at Relais and Chateaux is nothing short of staggering: Daniel Boulud, Heston Blumenthal, Hélène Darroze, Thomas Keller, Charlie Palmer, Charlie Trotter and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Celebrate l'art de vivre and enter the draw for the $500 gift certificate. Register by phone before September 10, 2007 by calling 877-334-6464.


Roman Holiday: The Art of Shopping at Hotel de Russie, Rome

July 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de Russie Just a hop from the Spanish Steps in the middle of Rome, the terraced gardens of Hotel de Russie provide a tranquil refuge amidst the bustle of the Eternal City. Dine al fresco or stroll through the Butterfly Oasis, created in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund. (The graceful insects are an extremely rare sight in inner city gardens.) Rocco Forte's five-star luxury hotel is also known for its health club and spa, one of Rome's best with hydropool, Jacuzzi, Turkish steam bath, and gym. Hotel de Russie is within easy walking distance of the best this ancient city has to offer. With the "Art of Shopping" package, guests can enjoy the heady pleasure of discovering Rome's fashion houses while being pampered at Hotel de Russie. Package includes two nights accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, welcome gift in-room by a renowned designer, a post-shopping aperitif at the fashionable Stravinskii Bar, and an unforgettable foot massage at the famous de Russie Wellness Zone. Priced from EUR 663 until August 31, 2007, and EUR 841 from September 1- October 31, 2007.


What’s Hot: Hospes Palacio del Bailio, Cordoba, Spain

July 24, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hospes Palacio del BailioThere's a reason this tiny gem has racked up so many accolades and is noted on "It Lists" the world over. The latest from the Hospes Group, Spain's hippest hotelier which also runs the chic Hotel Lancaster in Paris, Hospes Palacio del Bailío is a 16th century palace turned design hotel. Surrounded by the architectural marvels of the city of Córdoba, the eighth century seat of the Moorish caliphate, the hotel itself is a stylish mix of contemporary luxury and fine historical details, like vaulted ceilings, beautiful frescoes, and 15th century doors. Indeed, in the atrium, a glass floor reveals a Roman villa that was unearthed beneath the building's foundations. There are 53 rooms and suites with sleek bathrooms, a courtyard swimming pool, Roman baths and signature Bodyna spa, and tapas bar and gourmet restaurant. Step outside and discover the riches of Córdoba, a UNESCO World Heritage site and ancient crossroads where narrow cobblestone streets wind past whitewashed walls and Moorish monuments.


Royal Suite at the Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris: The World’s Super Suites

July 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal Suite at the Hotel Plaza Athenee We thought the Eiffel Suite was luxe. The Hotel Plaza Athénée is also home to the lavish Royal Suite, 4840 square feet of serious opulence. The four-bedroom suite is situated on the 5th floor, overlooking the Avenue Montaigne and the courtyard. Furnished with splendid antiques, drapes embroidered with three different gold threads, and the finest silks and fabrics, the Royal Suite is like an elegant Parisian home-- a truly exceptional one at that. Bathrooms are decked out in Italian marble, with steam showers and Jacuzzis. To be expected, the suite offers the utmost in state-of-the-art technology: plasma TV screen in each room, glass video projecting screen in the master bedroom, WiFi Internet access, telephone with eight lines, fax, music library with 5,000 titles, and incredible security (digital finger print entry on each door of the Suite, four electronic safes...)

Of course you don't have to be a member of the royal family to stay at the legendary Plaza Athénée. Make like Carrie Bradshaw and book a room at the most famous hotel in the City of Light (with our without the "lovah" in tow). Recently renovated and scented with a unique amber fragrance, the hotel's spacious guest rooms showcase French style at its best.