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.

Most Expensive Hotel Rooms: Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, and Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President WilsonForget "Staycations." The uber-rich continue to globe-trot on private jets and bunk down in swanky pads-- like the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, the world's most expensive at a whopping $52,000 a night. Elite Traveler recently released their list of the "101 Top Hotel/Resort Suites of the Year" in the July/August 2008 issue. Runners-up for priciest suite include the $50,000/night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Attica, Greece, and the $21,000/night Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. In the U.S., the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York has a price tag of $30,000 per night, making it the most expensive suite built in the U.S. Next up? The Chairman Suite at the Palazzo in Vegas ($20,000/night) followed by the Empire Suite at the Carlyle in New York and the Grand Suite at the Grand Wailea Resort (both at $15,000/night). For the full breakdown, click here.


Economic Forecast for Luxury Hotels: Horst Schulze of Capella Hotels Believes in Upscale Demand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella CastlemartyrForget the gloomy economic forecast surrounding the U.S. credit crunch. The global hotel industry will be A-OK, according to Horst Schulze, the former president and CEO of Ritz-Carlton, and founder of the new Capella brand of ultra-luxury hotels. As profiled in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Schulze believes that the boom in luxury hotels will continue worldwide. Proof? He plans to open seven more Capella hotels in the next 10 months. And from the successful booking rates of his Düsseldorf hotel, the Breidenbacher Hof, it looks like all's right in the luxury hotel business.

Pictured at right: the Capella Castlemartyr, the glorious country manor house-hotel in Cork County that sits adjacent to the ruins of a 1000-year-old-castle.


Fourth Night Free at Hayfield Manor, Cork, Ireland


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hayfield ManorSurround yourself in a cocoon of luxury at Hayfield Manor, where guest rooms are designed with beautiful antiques, sumptuous fabrics and all the modern amenities to ensure your greatest comfort. The hotel is an oasis of calm in the middle of the city, nestled in two acres of mature gardens with winding paths. The premier five-star hotel in Cork, Hayfield Manor promises exceptional service and indulgent facilities. For a limited time in August, when you stay three nights, you'll get the fourth night for free-- compliments of Hayfield Manor-- an offer priced from just EUR 220 per night in a Manor Room. Includes a bountiful Irish breakfast each morning, and access to The Beautique Health and Treatment Rooms. Plus, when you make reservations with Five Star Alliance, you'll receive complimentary tea for two, valued at EUR 25 per person.


Dispatch from France: The Demolition Party (and Renovation) of the Royal Monceau, Soon to Be a Raffles Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Royal MonceauQuelle soirée! The media is still abuzz about the spectacular demolition party of Le Royal Monceau, the legendary Parisian palace hotel just minutes from the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The historic hotel is getting a big makeover from French designer Philippe Starck, and to prep the pad for Starck's handiwork, special celebrity guests were invited to attend the Demolition Party (smashing everything in sight as DJ spun some tunes). This followed an auction, of course, of all the precious antiques, silver, porcelain and Frette linen, coveted by aficionados of style. Scheduled for a 10-month transformation which began this summer, the hotel will re-open in the Fall of 2009 as Le Royal Monceau- A Raffles Hotel. As Le Nouvel Observateur points out, the luxury hotel market in Paris is booming, regardless of the state of the global economy, as Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental are also slated to open in the next year.


Buon Appetito: Italian Cooking School in Florence at the Villa San Michele


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa San MicheleWant to know what al dente really means? Learn to cook, Italian style, in one of the most beautiful settings on earth. As described by Outside's Go Magazine, the Villa San Michele is the place to go to "whip up a Tuscan feast:"

No spot embodies Italy's impassioned gastronomic aesthetic better than the luxury hotel Villa San Michele, a 15th century monastery perched on a hill overlooking the baroque domes and red-tile roofs of Florence, with a façade designed by Michelangelo.

We are big fans of this cookery school, where both serious foodies and beginners can learn with the masters. You can try your hand at traditional Italian cuisine with an intensive 2.5 hour class offered three days a week, or dabble in other subjects, like "cooking with flowers" to a pasta seminar. It's all about hands-on instruction with the experts. Plus, we can't imagine a finer setting to sleep off a fabulous feast.


Big Treats for Little Guests at the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Jumeirah Lowndes HotelLooking for a centrally London located family oriented hotel that treat the children like VIPs - consider the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Belgravia, that is just two minutes from Knightsbridge or an underground station. Children will enjoy a range of goodies suck as bathrobes, bubble bath, board games including Kerplunk and Hungry Hippos and Nintendo Wii, along with amenities of kiwi fruit, strawberry, pineapple and marshmallows with chocolate dip, jelly babies and skittles all guaranteed to keep smiles on all faces. The babies in your family will enjoy baby bathrobes, baby packs, cots and high chairs. The Jumeirah Juniors Package offers two rooms for the price of one, full English Breakfast for four people, welcome in-room chocolate dipped cookies, complimentary access to the Peak Health Club and Spa and complimentary newspaper. This package is valid for Friday to Sunday stays and available until December 31, 2008, based on four people sharing two rooms and excludes the 17.5% VAT and 5% discretionary service charge. Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel combines sophistication and true luxury and contemporary elements in its' 220 rooms and 59 suites.


Enjoy The Final Days of Summer in Barcelona with Gran Hotel La Florida


By: Madelyn Giblin

Gran Hotel La FloridaBask in the beauty of summer in Barcelona. The weather is perfect and Spain is calling, and why not go when Gran Hotel La Florida is offering discounted rates this summer! For only 195 Euros per night guests can enjoy a luxurious stay in a Deluxe Room with fabulous furnishings. Guests also receive a buffet breakfast in the restaurant, complimentary shuttle to the city center for sightseeing, and a 30EUR credit on Spa treatments. Enjoy vacation under the splendid Barcelona sun. Offer valid on stays in July, August and September.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests staying at Gran Hotel La Florida will receive a room upgrade based upon availability at check-in, late check-out at 2pm and a bottle of specially customized Gran Hotel La Florida extra virgin olive oil.


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