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.

Virtuoso Hotelier of the Year: Franka Holtmann of the Hotel Meurice, Paris


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Franka HoltmannIt comes as no surprise that Franka Holtmann, General Manager of the opulent Hotel Le Meurice in Paris, was awarded "Hotelier of the Year" at Virtuoso's annual Travel Mart Conference at the Vegas Bellagio hotel in August. Holtmann was selected by Virtuoso's 6,000 member travel advisors as well as the editors of Virtuoso Life for the top spot. She beat out an impressive roster of hoteliers who had been nominated: Rainy Chan, The Peninsula Hong Kong; Geoffrey Gelardi, The Lanesborough, London; Anthony Lee, The Connaught, London. Holtmann's experience in Paris' legendary luxury hotel sector extends far beyond her tenure at Le Meurice, where she has overseen the fantastic renovations by design legend Philippe Starck. She was the second-in-command at Hotel Plaza Athénée in 2000, and then became the first woman general manager of a palace hotel in France at Hotel de Crillon. She has rightfully been called the "First Lady of Fine Hospitality."


Presidential Election Themed Packages at Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel New YorkElection fever has prompted hotels to get patriotic with special packages, as we noted with the Fairmont Copley Plaza's "Making of a President Package." But the trend doesn't stop there. As Travel + Leisure reports, these presidential promotions are available not just in red and blue states, but in hotels around the globe-- like the Hotel Concorde La Fayette in Paris where you can chow down on a "Hawaiian-themed O-Burger" or the "Southwestern-flavored Elephant Burger for the senator from Arizona." Back in the States, W Hotels is inspiring guests to "gear up and show their colors" with the Declare Yourself Package. If you declare yourself red at W Hotels in New York, you'll get an Elephant t-shirt, a Republican Vote Tote made of 80 percent recycled cotton canvas and 20 percent recycled plastic soda bottles to help you support your party and contribute to save the planet, the "Declare Yourself" book in which celebrated Americans - from Adrian Grenier to Amber Tamblyn to Alice Walker to Hayden Panettiere - share personal reasons and motivations for voting, plus two 10 Cain Rum cocktails. Or rock your Democrat colors and you'll get donkey gear plus two Obama Pama cocktails.


Experience Paris Zen at La Tremoille


By: K. Clare Johnson

La Tremoille Paris in spring is wonderful, but Paris in winter plus great rates and spa treatments is just as lovely. La Tremoille is offering a Zen Couple week-end package from now until January 10, 2009. Guests will receive one night at the hotel, a Continental breakfast, and two treatments. Choose from 1/2 hour massage, facial care treatment, or back/neck/shoulder massage. This offer is valid on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays depending upon availability.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests at La Tremoille will receive a box of Laduree macaroons in room upon arrival.


Former Nuclear Bunker in Switzerland Becomes World’s First Zero-Star Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

A night in this windowless gem will set you back $9. A subterranean bunker has been converted into a hotel in the Swiss region of St. Gallen. Recently fifteen guests were guinea pigs guests in this underground pad, where they were treated to "real hotel duvets." No word yet on the bathroom amenities, as we're told the "shared bathroom has been converted into a fountain with swimming flowers." Nice perk: Images from the outside world are broadcast via live cam onto a large screen. (Bye, bye claustrophobia.)


Austria’s Hotel Jagdhof Spa Announces the Glacier opening!


By: K. Clare Johnson

Hotel JagdhofPull out your parkas, the glacier is open! Hotel Jagdhof Spa has announced special package deals to accompany the opening of the Stubai Glacier. Enjoy 4 or 7 nights in your reserved room, the Jagdhof Gourmet Service, One 60-minute Tyrolean Massage, a 3 or 6 day glacier ski pass, and complimentary shuttle bus to the Stubai Glacier. You'll also get access to Hotel Jagdhof's award-winning spa, which boasts 17 treatment rooms. Prices start at 4 days from Euro 737 and 7 days from Euro 1,107. Happy Skiing!


Unwrap London, Christmas, and Chocolate at the Jumeirah Lowndes


By: K. Clare Johnson

Half MoonBuying a gift for the Chocoholic traveler in your life just got easier. Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel and Rococo Chocolates has unwrapped their special "The Art of Chocolate" package for Christmas 2008. Starting from GBP 345 per room per night, guests will get overnight accommodation at the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Belgravia, Rococo Chocolates gift on arrival, a master class at Rococo's Chocolate School for two people, a Chocolate Martini Cocktail at the Mimosa Bar, a two-course weekend brunch at Mimosa Restaurant, and access to The Peak Health Club & Spa.

The workshop at London's Rococo Chocolate School is made up of hands-on making, a tutored tasting, and a presentation on chocolate "from tree to bar." Hot chocolate is served throughout and a glass of champagne and goodie bag provide a sweet ending to a delectable day.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests staying at the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel will receive a Welcome Card from the General Manager, a Temple Spa Gift worth GBP 35, and possible room upgrade on check-in if available.


What’s Hot: Mama Shelter, Phillipe Starck’s New Hotel in Paris- The Price is Right!


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mama ShelterA cutting edge new hotel has opened in Paris, the first to be wholly designed by Phillipe Starck (from the ground up), in the untouristed 20th arrondissement. With a name suggestive of a cocoon, Mama Shelter provides trendy comfort at fashionable rates-- starting at just EUR 79 per night. As praised by the International Herald Tribune, the contemporary hotel was built by "Roland Castro, architect of low-cost housing projects, under the aegis of Serge Trigano, whose father was a co-founder of Club Med." The site used to be a garage, and the hotel's ceilings and floors reflect its gentrified surroundings, covered in stylish graffiti. Rumor has it that the 172 guest rooms are booked through October. This could become the most talked-about Parisian hotel opening of the year.


Champagne Weekend in London at One Aldwych


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Aldwych, London"One Aldwych is all about living it up in one of the world's great cities," says Gourmet Magazine. Home to a private screening room and the buzzing Lobby Bar, One Aldwych could be the most exciting hotel in London. The on-site amenities are hip, fun, and utterly luxurious: bespoke furniture and original works of art in each of the 105 contemporary guest rooms, clean bio active bath products by REN, all the latest technology (like mini TVs and mist-free mirrors in each bathroom and bedside fiber optic reading lights), and a swimming pool with underwater music. Above all, One Aldwych has a superb location smack dab in the middle of London in Covent Garden, between the City and the West End. Celebrate something special and book a Champagne Weekend from GDP 310 for two per night. You'll enjoy a bottle of Champagne on arrival, fresh fruit and flowers delivered daily, access to the gym, sauna, and steam rooms, and full English breakfast included. Available until December 30, 2008.


Grand Hotel Bellevue Gstaad Indulges Body and Mind in 2009


By: K. Clare Johnson

Grand Hotel Bellevue GstaadMake your 2009 resolution to take advantage of Grand Hotel Bellevue 's spectacular Body and Mind Promotion. You'll get 6 nights in a designer double room at the Swiss luxury hotel, breakfast buffet, five dinners in Brasserie Coelho, 1 gourmet dinner at the 1 Michelin-starred Retaurant Prado, free unlimited admission to the Bellevue Spa, 1 Seraglio skin care treatment, 1 guided walking tour with a personal trainer, 1 Decleor detox treatment, and daily grup workout sessions. Grand Hotel Bellevue Gstaad's Body and Mind Promotional rates start from CHF 1998 per person (incl. resort taxes, service and VAT).


Free Fourth Night at Ritz-Carlton Hotels (Pay with American Express)


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Fort LauderdaleWe just got wind of a cool offer available at luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide. You'll get a fourth night on the house when you book and pay with any American Express Card. Head to Fort Lauderdale for some fun in the sun and check out the ultra-luxury beach resort, the one-year-old Ritz-Carlton (formerly the St. Regis). Indulge in a leisurely spa treatment at the Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Check into the Ritz-Carlton Moscow at the edge of the famed Red Square and enjoy the largest, poshest rooms in the city. Ogle the views from one of the most dramatic skyscrapers at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. This special offer is available until December 19, 2008.