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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.

London at Xmas - It’s a Wonderful Life at Red Carnation Hotel’s Wonderful Hotel


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Egerton House HotelChristmas in London is truly a magical time, and the 5 Star Jewels of Red Carnation Hotels (RCH)- The Milestone, The Egerton (pictured right) and "41" are the magical places to stay. This year, RCH brings "It's a Wonderful Life" Package to you to enjoy the Holidays. With a minimum 2 night stay in luxurious accommodations you will receive a deluxe tree ornament plus the DVD of the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life", full English breakfast for 2 daily, tea for 2 with Christmas Cake one day, complementary bottles of white and red wine, Lunch or Dinner for 2 one day (with minced pies of course), mistletoe on your pillow at turndown, and if you are so lucky as to spend Christmas itself here, a stocking stuffed with seasonal goodies. A taxi to Oxford street so as to enjoy the Christmas Lights and to start your pre-Christmas or New Years shopping and gift wrapping are also included.

The Milestone"It's a Wonderful Life" is available from November 21, 2008 to January 11, 2009, and is perfect for shopping, visiting, business, or just plain relaxing. The Milestone, the 2007 Conde Nast Readers Choice and 2008 #1 for Service Travel and Leisure, overlooks Kensington Palace and is known for their excellent service. Here you will have the services of your own butler. Each of the 45 deluxe guest rooms, 12 luxurious suites and 6 long-term stay apartments are individually designed and decorated.

The Egerton, a town house residence, is located in heart of Knightsbridge and offers impeccable service with 30 individual luxurious Bedrooms. 41 Hotel London"41", recognized in 2007 as the #2 Hotel in England by Travel and Leisure Worlds Best 500 Hotels and Europe's 10th Best Hotel, is a boutique hotel overlooking Buckingham Palace Royal Mews. "41" feels like a London Club and has unforgettable luxury, 30 unique rooms and suites with striking black and white color scheme and no 2 rooms alike.

With RCH's promise 'No request is too large, no detail is too small', these 3 properties will bring "It's a Wonderful Life" to you this Christmas.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Guests of Five Star Alliance visiting the Milestone will receive a glass of chilled Champagne, selection of finger sandwiches, homemade fruit scones with preserves and devonshire clotted cream, and homemade tea pastries once during their stay with time and date reserved at check-in.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance for Egerton House will receive one complimentary martini or drink of their choice anytime during their stay in the drawing room.


Exclusive Offer in London: Weekend Indulgence at The Connaught


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The ConnaughtEager to check out that renovation you've heard so much about? After a cool GBP 70 million make-over, The Connaught is simply dazzling. Treat yourself to a weekend at this London legend where you'll be treated like royalty (and eat even better than a king, at the restaurant overseen by award-winning French chef Hélène Darroze). You'll find Mayfair Village, also in the midst of its own renaissance, at your doorstep, and some of the world's finest fashion brands and galleries a stone's throw away (eg. Marc Jacobs, Christian Louboutin and the Hamilton Gallery). Inside the hotel, you can indulge your taste for fine living with tantalizing afternoon tea, drinks at the chic Coburg Bar (with a cocktail list spanning three centuries), and supremely comfortable shut-eye in the newly-refurbished guest rooms. Stay Friday, Saturday or Sunday night before December 31, 2008 and enjoy a welcome bottle of chilled Grand Marque champagne and a traditional English breakfast with the "Weekend Indulgence" package, priced at GBP 389 for a Superior King-bedded room.


Design Your Own Italian Itinerary with Orient-Express Hotels in Venice, Florence, Portofino and Ravello


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel CarusoDiscover Italy's glorious destinations while staying at true gems of refined hospitality. With a new special offer, Orient-Express allows guests to customize their own itineraries with exclusive add-ons. When you reserve a minimum of 6 nights in at least two Orient-Express hotels in Italy, you gain access to your personal private capital of "Golden Coins"- a virtual currency by which you can "buy" value-added amenities of your choice. There is a tempting menu of choices, ranging from private limousine transfers to pampering spa and beauty treatments, from memorable experiences to very romantic options. For example: when you stay 3 nights, you get 9 golden coins with which you could treat yourself to a 50-minute Renew Rose Radiance Facial (1 credit), a 3-hour guided walking tour of "Secret Venice" (3 credits), a chilled bottle of French champagne with cold canapés served wherever you like on the hotel premises (2 credits), a romantic dinner for two served in the secluded privacy of your terrace (3 credits), and many more specially designed services!

With the "Italy, My Way" package, you can customize your stay exactly as you want- at no extra cost. And if this isn't enough, every day you also get full American breakfast, served at the hotel's restaurant or in the privacy of your room, as well as one à la carte meal (either lunch or dinner) with regional wines, served in the hotel's fine dining room. Pricing is as follows:

Villa San MicheleHotel Caruso (pictured, top right), the spectacular cliffside hideaway on the Amalfi Coast: Three nights for EUR 3,300

Hotel Splendido, Europe's legendary resort overlooking Portofino: Three nights for EUR 3,750

Villa San Michele (pictured bottom right), the picturesque Florentine estate housed in a converted 15th century Franciscan monastery in the hills outside Florence: Three nights for EUR 3,750

Hotel Cipriani, the splendid Venetian resort located at the tip of Giudecca Island a short boat ride from St. Mark's Square: Three nights for EUR 4,650


Anti-Jet Lag Experience and Free Nights at Le Meridien Barcelona


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meridien BarcelonaHave an early morning arrival in Barcelona? Le Meridien Barcelona, perfectly situated on the famous boulevard Las Ramblas, understands how red-eye flights to Europe require a little pampering and energy! When you arrive at Le Meridien, you'll be greeted with a freshly-brewed premium Illy coffee and a pastry of your choice to stimulate your senses and get you ready for your day. The hotel even allows early check-in at 10 a.m. so you don't have to wait around for your room! Refresh in your contemporary-style room and enjoy luxurious amenities like the blissful Rain Shower, pillow-top mattress with feather down duvet, and plasma TVs and smaller LCD TV in the bathroom. The "Arrive Early and Be Ready" package also includes a full buffet breakfast in the hotel's signature restaurant Cent Onze overlooking Las Ramblas and is priced from EUR 249 in Deluxe Room accommodations. Escape to Barcelona this summer and discover an exciting cultural mecca with Gaudi's vibrant architecture, lively cafés and bars, and sun-splashed beaches. The longer you stay, the better the discount you get at Le Meridien Barcelona. Stay 2 nights, get 20 percent off... Stay 3 nights, get the third night for free... Stay 4 nights, get the fourth night for free...


Live La Dolce Vita like a Medici at Villa La Massa, Florence


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa La Massa, FlorenceIf you could imagine savoring the artistic and cultural riches of Florence without the crowds, what comes to mind? A 16th century Medici-style villa in a tiny village in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, just a few miles outside of Florence? On the banks of the Arno River, no less? With a guest list that includes celebs like Clark Gable, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? This little piece of paradise does in fact exist. Indeed David Bowie and Iman took over the Villa La Massa for their wedding. Owned by the same folks who run the magnificent Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the Villa La Massa is brimming with ancient frescoes and luxurious touches. After its major spruce-up in 1998, the New York Times raved:

Beyond the iron gates of the buttercream villa with sage window shutters, there is a four-story atrium in the main building decorated with the flags of Tuscan nobles, dark antique furniture and pots of white flowers. All 34 guest rooms are furnished with antiques, silks and brocades, and linen sheets. Many feature oversize bathrooms of a pale green Iranian marble called Verde Atlantide.

There is a majestic 22-acre park surrounding the villa, and the seasonal produce from the chef's garden is served in Il Verrocchio restaurant on a terrace overlooking the Arno River and famous Rufina hills. The breakfast buffet is sumptuous: fruit juices, fruit, cheeses, Tuscan cured meats, cereals, yogurt, organic jams and marmalade, prosecco, and fresh eggs straight from the hotel's hen-house, cooked to the clients requests.


Vienna’s Arts and Delights at the Hotel Ambassador


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ambassador Hotel ViennaFor more than 100 years, the Hotel Ambassador has been an integral part of Vienna's cultural life. Musicians have found their inspiration at this beautiful hotel, and masters like Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven have chosen this setting to present new compositions to the music-loving Viennese pubic. The Ambassador strives to combine arts and music, pleasure and relaxation in creating a luxurious atmosphere for its guests. And of course good food and wine are celebrated in this philosophy! The hotel's gourmet restaurant, "Mörwald im Ambassador", has an integrated open view kitchen and a winter garden overlooking the fountain by Raphael Donner, and the hotel's open-air café on the famous street Kärntner Straße is delightful in the summertime. The location can't be beat- with the State Opera, St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the Imperial Palace all within the vicinity. You can take advantage of last minute rates (within seven days of your check-in when the hotel has availability) at the Ambassador (starting at EUR 210 with Five Star Alliance), and the "Arts and Delights" package is another winner, with three nights of pure pleasure in this cosmopolitan Austrian destination. Priced from EUR 275, the package includes buffet breakfast, fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, late check-out, and admission to the Liechtenstein Museum and the Albertina. Plus, you'll enjoy complimentary champagne and finger food at the bar on the evening of your choice.


Kempinski Hotel Bristol: Celebrate 111 Years with EUR 111 Room Rates in Berlin


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kempinski Hotel BristolJump on this offer-- while it lasts! Berlin's glamorous Kempinski Hotel Bristol, the first five-star hotel to be rebuilt after the war and a symbol of the city itself, is celebrating a big birthday for the Kempinski Hotel Group. The Kempinski Bristol is the grande dame of the hotel group, the very reason for its name, and so it's marking the hotel company's major milestone with a fantastic offer. Enjoy accommodations in an elegant standard room and use of the Kempinski spa with pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness room-- for just EUR 111 per night! (The generous buffet breakfast can be purchased for EUR 25.) Valid until August 28, 2008, based on availability. Situated in the center of it all on Berlin's popular Kurfuerstendamm Boulevard, the Kempinski Hotel Bristol has hosted a slew of high-ranking guests over its distinguished history.

Via Halogen Guides Travel


Castello del Nero August Breeze Offer


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Castello del NeroHaven't you ever wanted to stay in a 12th century castle? Castello del Nero, is a fully restored castle with modern luxuries is located in Tuscany between Florence and Sienna. With many unique features such as a beautiful frescoed chapel and garden, Castello del Nero has 50 rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the estate olive groves and vineyards that are inhabited by peasant, deer and wild boar. The August Breeze package offers a minimum 2 night stay with complimentary buffet breakfast, sweet in room and mineral water, welcome 4 course dinner for 2 (excluding beverages), courtesy shuttle to and from the center of Florence, use of the gym, tennis and outdoor swimming pool (summer months) and daily newspaper. With this as a base you can explore the vineyards or take a cooking class or visit the many fine museums and art galleries of Florence.


Canary Islands Getaway: Reconnect Package at Abama, A Ritz-Carlton Resort, in Tenerife


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Abama, Ritz-Carlton Resort, TenerifeSpain's Canary Islands may be crowded with tourists looking for a sunny holiday, but the Abama Golf and Spa Resort, operated by Ritz-Carlton, offers a little piece of paradise among all the bland tourist traps. The resort is vast and equipped with just about every convenience imaginable. Situated on a 160 hectare finca in a remote part of the island of Tenerife, the 478-room resort has it all: "Out of Africa"-inspired spa, 10 dining options, Dave Thomas-designed golf course, fitness center, Sánchez-Casal Tennis Academy, 8 swimming pools, and private beach accessed by a funicular from the hotel's cliff-top perch. The island of Tenerife itself is breathtakingly beautiful. Just 300 km from the African coast, just a bit north of the Tropic of Cancer, the "Island of Eternal Spring" boasts volcanic landscapes and lush vegetation surrounded by the blue Atlantic. And the views from the Moorish-style Abama Resort (and its exclusive beach) are mind-blowing. Book the Reconnect Package and you'll enjoy daily buffet breakfast, one spa experience per person, one tasting menu per person in the restaurant La Pampa Verona, and late check-out at 3 pm with your accommodations. Valid until October 31, 2008, the package starts at EUR 380 per night.


Summer Specials in Rome at the Hotel Hassler


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel HasslerThe Hotel Hassler has pampered guests with the highest standards of service and an elegant ambience for over a century. Situated at the very top of the Spanish Steps (the view from this unbeatable location is pictured at right), the Hassler was voted No.1 hotel in Rome among Travel + Leisure's list of 500 best luxury hotels in the world. The staff will satisfy your every whim, and can even set up half-day tours with personal shopping consultants. Experience the Eternal City at its summertime best and take advantage of the specials offered by this magical hotel. Stroll along Rome's picturesque cobblestone streets, browse through boutiques with the best names in Italian fashion, discover the incredible art and history of the ancient Caput Mundi (Capital of the World), and revel in the city's fabulous nighttime entertainment: outdoor music concerts, dance and theater. From July 27 – September 10, 2008, you can get great value with the "Vacanze Romane" offer which starts from EUR 340 and includes breakfast. Book the "Magic Roma" package for two consecutive nights and you'll get even better rates—starting at EUR 320 with breakfast included.