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.

Spotlight On: Capella Schloss Velden and the New Breed of Luxury Hotels

September 22, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella Schloss Velden"Could the grand hotel of yesteryear be dead?" So begins Sunday's article in the New York Times Travel magazine, describing the plethora of new hotel brands to hit the scene recently:

At a time when travelers are spoiled for choice, the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional big-hotel service is giving way to ever more tailored experiences. And hotel companies are adapting not by making themselves over but by introducing new brands: 40 in about as many months, including offshoots of major players like Hyatt, expansions from the likes of Gansevoort and the Fountainbleau, and fledgling chains like SLS and Missoni.

One of the highlights of the article? The Capella Schloss Velden-- where there is a "restaurant that will open for you in the middle of the night." Horst Schulze, visionary behind the new Capella brand, is quoted as describing the "little service processes" that represent the new paradigm of luxury hotels. Guests don't want stiff formality, but they want to be taken care of. An incredible innovation of the Capella Hotels? Doing away with check-in and check-out times, "a notion historically based on what's easy for the hotel." To quote Schulze: "Why do we force the customer to do something that's convenient for us? We should have seen this long ago."

Incredible Last Minute Offer in Rome at the Villa Spalletti Trivelli

September 19, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa Spalletti TrivelliNow's your chance to luxuriate in a splendid urban villa in the heart of Rome for a fraction of the normal price. Surrounded by the world-famous sites of the Eternal City, just minutes from the Trevi Fountain, the luxurious Villa Spalletti Trivelli is centrally located, yet secluded from the city's bustle. Connoisseurs of art are entranced by this historic residence and its Italian garden. The refined interior spaces are just as elegant, furnished with antiques and sumptuous fabrics. The Villa Spalletti Trivelli offers a unique and memorable hideaway in Rome.

Villa Spalletti TrivelliBook the Last Minute Offer, valid from today until September 29, 2008, and you can get incredible savings! With a two-night minimum stay, this special offer is priced at EUR 350 per night in the "Romantic" room category, with continental breakfast included. The only catch: this offer must be prepaid and is non-refundable.

The Augustine, Prague, from the Rocco Forte Collection: The World’s Monastery Hotels

September 17, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

PragueAfter all the talk about converting old jails into luxury hotels, this trend seems rather ho-hum. From the drop-dead gorgeous Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco, Peru to the new Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, there are a whole bunch of monastery-hotels cropping up in phenomenal locations worldwide. Here's what Forbes Traveler says about Villa San Michele:

But it's doubtful there could be a view more serene than that of Florence from the Villa San Michele, a former century monastery that clings to a lush hillside in Fiesole. The monastery portion was built in the 16th century, the façade was designed by Michelangelo and the entire property is run with smooth, contemporary efficiency by General Manager Luca Finardi, an affable Florentine if ever there was one. "The Michelangelo Suite, the monastery's former library, was where Napoleon once stayed," Finardi says.

Perhaps most exciting of these hotel openings is The Augustine, slated to open in January 2009. Housed in five historic buildings around the St. Thomas Monastery in Prague, the new hotel promises abundant style and sophistication- like all the Rocco Forte Collection hotels.

Buzz: Langham Hotels Signs First India Property in Pune

September 17, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place, Koregaon Park, Pune, IndiaFrom the legendary London hotel to Hong Kong's stylish establishment, Langham has brought its stimulating hospitality concept to four continents now. Luxury hotel operator, Langham Hotels International, has doubled in size in the last year with 16 hotels open or in the pipeline. We just got word that Langham has signed a contract for Langham Place, Koregaon Park, Pune, India- as Langham expands into what's termed the "new Silk Road of China, India and the Middle East." Slated to open in 2010 in the "Silicon Valley of India," the 180-room hotel will be home to India's first Chuan Spa concept, featuring oriental hot tubs, ice caves, herbal steam rooms, singles and couples treatment suites, and an infinity edge indoor and outdoor pool. The exciting restaurants on offer will include a new hybrid concept called Portal- Work & Play. Here's the scoop from the press release: "By combining a lobby lounge, cocktail bar and business centre, Portal is where work and play seamlessly intertwine to meet the needs of today's multi-tasking world." A DJ will spin in the lobby-atrium, setting the mood.

Galerie des Gobelins at the Hotel Plaza Athenee: Hot Spots in Paris

September 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Galerie des Gobelins, Hotel Plaza Athenee ParisIt's not just the bar that's the place to be in Paris. The Hotel Plaza Athenee, the 188-room embodiment of Parisian luxury set between Avenue des Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, is also home to La Galerie Des Gobelins, a newly-designed lounge area that's the talk of the town in Paris. The hotel recently unveiled a tremendous re-imagining by interior designer Pascale Benhamou, and the Galerie now features velvet sofas, a mosaic carpet, amber lighting from chandeliers, and made-to-measure furniture (like beaten-metal lampshades by Societé Lyonnaise Bronzes d'art Francais and pedestal tables of French-polished walnut by Taillardat). This chic, Parisian venue is the perfect spot to lounge after a day of shopping in the Golden Triangle. There's a "fashion parade of a menu" so you can enjoy epicurean delights like "Start the show" (nibbles), the "Spring & Tea Collection" (afternoon tea) and the "Hottest Fashions" (main courses). Desserts are crafted by Christophe Michalak, the world-famous Pastry Chef.

Around the World in 80 Ways: The Epic $1 Million Journey from Leading Hotels of the World

September 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Aldwych, LondonWe recently spread the word about the incredible deal-- $19.28 room rates!-- offered by Leading Hotels of the World to celebrate its 80th anniversary. And now it's time to highlight another celebratory package from LHW-though this one is a tad more extravagant. Leading Hotels of the World has created an epic voyage, "Around The World in 80 Ways," to pay homage to both the 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards, and their own 80th birthday. The price tag for this amazing, glamorous journey? One million dollars.

Traveling in a private jet all the way, you and a companion will see everything in the world worth seeing and do everything in the world worth doing. Best of all, 10 percent of the USD 1 million price will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for the global fight against AIDS. So, with that in mind, we invite you to open your hearts and wallets and get ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Buzz: Montenegro as the “Monaco of the Balkans”

September 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sveti Stefan island, MontenegroWe've reported on Montenegro, the jewel of the Adriatic, as an up-and-coming destination and future coastal "it" spot. Indeed, Amanresorts is restoring the resort island of Sveti Stefan as a glamorous vacation spot for A-listers. Now Luxist has the skinny on schemes to make Montenegro the next Monaco:

A group of billionaire investors including Oleg Deripaska (Russia's richest man) and LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault are backing a scheme to turn Tivat, a derelict port and ex-Yugoslav naval base in the former communist country of Montenegro, into the next playground for the megarich.

Porto Montenegro, aka "Monaco of the Balkans," will be home to a "marina for the oversized yachts of the rich and famous." Four Seasons is even planning to open a luxury property there. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has his sights set on a nearby beach for his own luxury resort.

Milan’s Hotel Principe di Savoia Offers An Autumn Truffle Hunting Getaway

September 12, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Principe di SavoiaWhat's better than having the opportunity to search for the world's most desired and prized foods? Embarking on this culinary adventure at one of the Italy's finest luxury hotels. Hotel Principe di Savoia is now offering a "Truffle Hunting Getaway" in Alba, Italy, a world-renowned spot for white truffles. Known to sell for over $700 for a single ounce, white truffles are an extravagant culinary delight. The package offers a limo-transported trip to Alba where guests can embark on a white truffle hunt with specially trained dogs and an English-speaking truffle enthusiast to guide them. In addition guests receive a truffle cooking class from Chef Fabrizio Cadei and dinner at the Acanto Restaurant. Guests can also relax after a long day of truffle hunting with a Reflex Zone Massage at Club 10. At $5285 per person, guests receive four nights accommodation in a newly refurbished Principe di Savoia Deluxe Mosaic Room. Offer valid from October 1 through November 15th, 2008.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests at Principe di Savoia will receive an Aperitif for 2 people in the hotel bar.

The Apartments at Hotel “41″: Your Very Own Street Address in London

September 11, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel 41, Apartments in LondonLondon's "41", the fashionable boutique property from Red Carnation Hotels overlooking the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, has introduced two fabulous apartments so that guests can enjoy their very own exclusive space in the heart of the bustling Victoria shopping district. Outfitted with all the latest modern conveniences and appointed with the finest furnishings, these two apartments allow guests the privilege of staying in their very own London apartment. Choose either a one- or two-bedroom apartment, both situated in a residential townhouse and serviced by the five-star hotel "41" nearby. Of course the hotel's amenities are yours for the duration of your stay. Each boasts a gas fireplace, opulent marble bathrooms, fully-equipped kitchen, and spacious roof terrace for al fresco dining. You'll enjoy all the latest technology- from plasma screen TVs to complimentary Wifi. Plus, there's a fully-stocked bar, top-of-the-line Penhaligon's toiletries and daily maid service. The one-bedroom apartment is GBP 2000 per week; the two-bedroom apartment is GBP 2750. Rates are exclusive of taxes and gratuities.

$19.28 Room Rates with Leading Hotels of the World

September 9, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Hotel Hong KongCelebrate the birth year of Leading Hotels of the World, 1928, with an unbelievable promotion. At 8 am EST on October 1, 2008, LHW will "release a limited number of the world's most-coveted hotel rooms at the unprecedented rate of USD 19.28 per night. For 80 minutes only, registered consumers will be able to secure the celebratory USD 19.28 rate." Participating member hotels include the iconic Langham Hong Kong (pictured), the Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, the Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa in Sedona, Arizona, the Hay-Adams in Washington, DC, the Gran Hotel La Florida in Barcelona, and the Villa La Massa in Florence. Pre-register online today!