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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.

Off the Beaten Path in Europe: Bruges, Belgium and Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo

April 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bruges Often described as the "Venice of the North" or "another Amsterdam," the magical city of Bruges is an untouristed delight. As recently featured in a NYT article about Affordable Europe/Second-Tier Cities, Bruges is a less-pricey alternative for a European holiday:

Bruges, a medieval city in the Flemish region of Belgium, has fairy-tale streets, gingerbread houses and winding canals that lead to old windmills.

The city itself is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its 50 picturesque canals and charming medieval buildings. The newly-refurbished Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo has put together a special package for visitors to enjoy both Bruges and the lively capital city of Brussels. Superbly located in the very heart of the capital, adjacent to the Grand Palace, Hotel Amigo now provides the best luxury digs in Brussels. The "Bruges Your Way" package, starting at EUR 511 for two nights, includes accommodations in a Classic room, full buffet breakfast at the Ristorante Bocconi, one first-class return train ticket (Brussels-Bruges) per person, guide and map of Bruges, map of Brussels, and a box of Pierre Marcolini chocolates in your room upon arrival.


LINLEY Designer Suites at Claridge’s

April 23, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Claridge's Linley SuitesClaridge's in London enlisted the British furniture and design company LINLEY to create new interior schemes for eleven of its sixty-three suites. Each of the one- or two-bedroom suites will be individually appointed; guests will enjoy both 'traditional' and 'art deco' themed suites.

One-bedroom Linley suites are 105 square metres/1,130 square feet (approximately) with one King size bed. The entrance hall leads to a large sitting room and the marble bathrooms are bright and spacious. Some of the one-bedroom suites offer a large walk-in wardrobe and a guest bathroom. The Two-Bedroom Linley suites offer King size beds. The entrance hall leads to a large sitting-room and the marble bathroom-- accessed via a striking dressing-room-- is sumptuously spacious. Rates for the Linley suites start at £2,500 for one-bedroom and £3,250 for a two-bedroom.

You can view more images of the new LINLEY suite designs from Claridge's.


Suite Extremes: Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome

April 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa La Cupola, Westin Rome La Dolce Vita, indeed. The largest suite in Europe can be found on Via Veneto in Rome-- sprawling over two full floors beneath the frescoed cupola of the Westin Excelsior. Here's the breakdown. After a $7 million renovation, the signature suite continues to outshine most hotel accommodations worldwide. Sumptuous furnishings? You betcha. Tapestries and magnificent artwork adorn the place. The suite boasts six bedrooms, a rich paneled dining room that seats ten, private fitness room, boardroom and private eight-seat theater, sauna, steam bath, and Jacuzzi. Relax on the sundeck with your choice of 160 imported wines and take in the fabulous views of the Eternal City. Price tag on this one? Rumor has it that it's close to $40,000 a night.


Chateau du Champ de Bataille: Jacques Garcia’s Paradise in Normandy

April 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau du Champ de BatailleThe designer behind the glorious interiors of the Hotel Victor in South Beach, Hotel Costes and Hotel Fouquet's Barrière, the fabulous new palace on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, has big plans for his personal château. Jacques Garcia, the world-renowned interior designer, has decided to open his home, the regal Château du Champ de Bataille, to visitors with the debut of a new restaurant and glamorous 18-room hotel. Surrounded by expansive private gardens and the beautiful countryside of Normandy, the 17th century château was built by one of the principle architects of Versailles. Garcia has begun an elaborate restoration. As opulent as Garcia's other masterpieces, the public rooms have been completely restored in period style and filled with objets d'art. Garcia will unveil the boutique hotel-- a luxurious oasis within his magnificent château-- in 2008.

Related Articles:

Hotel Fouquet's Barriere: The Hottest New Luxury Hotel in Paris

La Mamounia, Marrakech: Magical Morocco


Mandarin Oriental’s Sublime Spa in Prague

April 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental Prague Spa "Your body is a temple for your spirit; appropriately our spa is a chapel." It's hard to argue with that one. The setting for the new Mandarin Oriental's delicious spa is-- quite literally-- a 14th century Renaissance chapel. Opened in February 2007, the 99-room hotel occupies a former monastery in Prague's oldest quarter. Luxury Spa Finder magazine recently featured this luxury spa as buzzworthy:

The spa's seven treatment rooms, including two couple's suites, have vaulted ceilings, and even its more modern-looking public spaces (including a light-humidity sauna and vitality pool) have a meditative atmosphere that's divinely calming.

The reception area (pictured) is spectacular. The floor's glass panels display the foundations of a 13th century Gothic church. Above, a glass bridge joins the two wings of the second floor.


Suite Luxury: The Dome Suite at One Aldwych

April 16, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

One Aldwych Dome SuiteName: The Dome Suite at the contemporary One Aldwych London

Size: 74 square metres / 797 square feet

Location: Top Floor

Features: Located on the top floor, the Dome Suite has a large sitting room with a unique circular dining room for 10 guests (see below for image), guest cloakroom and large double bedroom. The Suite is available with either one or two bedrooms. The main/master bedroom has a King-size Bed with crisp white frette bed linen and duvet.

Note Bene: Named as one of the London Evening Standard's '10 Don't Miss Destinations'.

Rates: With 1 bedroom only (not two) the nightly rate begins around £1095 for single occupancy, inclusive of service but exclusive of the 17.5% VAT.

The Dome Suite One Aldwych


Dispatch from Paris: Hotel Le Bristol Gets Bigger and Better

April 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Le Bristol Here's the scoop from one of the finest luxury hotels in the City of Light, "the intimate palace" located on the fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. After closing in January 2007 for work on a new extension, Hotel Le Bristol has recently debuted a lavish makeover. Guests have long adored the hotel's glass enclosed roof-top swimming pool and expansive, beautiful garden. What's new? 22 redecorated rooms (including the Penthouse and Panoramic Suites), new welcome desks for Concierge and Reception, more spacious fitness room, brand new Hammam, and a new 460 square meter kitchen for Chef Éric Fréchon to continue to dazzle diners. And it only gets better. The hotel has acquired an adjoining building which will open in November 2007 with 23 new rooms and four new suites and a restaurant and grill room accessible directly from the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré.

PS. With the new VIP Welcome for Children, Hotel Le Bristol is paradise for the kiddies. Since April 1, 2007, children receive a special welcome at Hotel Le Bristol with a personalized book at reception, and the Hippolyte bunny (named after the hotel founder) along with a selection of complimentary bunny-shaped cakes waiting in-room. A hotel scavenger hunt and special activities can also be arranged. Not to mention the take-home goodies.


What’s Hot: J.K. Place Capri

April 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

J.K. Place Capri Now open. The chic island's latest gem is located directly on the sea, a rare commodity on an island adored since Roman times for its stunning Mediterranean views. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, J.K. Place Capri offers only 22 spacious guest rooms overlooking the manicured gardens and sparkling azure sea. Book the Penthouse and enjoy an enormous private terrace with panoramic views. Dine al fresco or soak up the rays at the beautiful pool. Capri's renowned shopping street, Via Camerelle, is just a short walk away.

Via Sherman's Travel Magazine


Single Women Travelers Pampered in London at Hotel 41

April 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel 41 In London on business? Head to Hotel '41', the city's intimate and luxurious boutique, where solo women travelers are given the royal treatment. Located just across from Buckingham Palace, the exclusive Hotel 41 has put together an innovative package where women can expect superlative personal service and guest amenities. The Woman Traveling Alone package includes:

* Enhanced levels of security

* Escort to your room and from your car if you are driving

* Foot spa and massage kit in your room

* The item of your choice from a well-being basket

* Selection of magazines and periodicals

* Thoughtful extras to add comfort during your stay including: duvet and soft towels, slippers and robe, hot water bottle, improved lighting for applying make-up, high-performance hair dryer, full length mirror

'41' offers the perfect mix of high technology and classic luxury. A personal butler will assist with unpacking/packing your belongings (though only if you so wish it-- service is thoughtful and discreet). Here, every room is beautifully appointed with handsome black and white decoration, handcrafted furniture, hand stitched mattresses, and working fireplaces. And of course your guest room easily becomes your own personal office as all rooms are wired with state-of-the-art technology.


An Interview with the GM: Egerton House Hotel’s Sandra Anido

April 9, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Egerton House Staff Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the Egerton House Hotel London?

Sandra Anido: I have worked for the Egerton in London for many years. Over two years ago, I and followed in the footsteps of our previous General Manager and took over the management position.

Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?

Sandra Anido: The Hotel is Unique in it's sense of style, décor, comfort and approach to guests.

Being greeted and welcomed back by a friendly team each and every stay, a smiling face as you walk through the door, the team always and ever trying to have your room ready upon your arrival, 24 hours Reception Team available for any assistance with queries or any concierge requests. A Butler to unpack your luggage on arrival, a personal shopper to assist you and to help you buy the best items. A butler to pour your tea or serve a scrumptious Afternoon Tea. The Housekeeping team to press your shirt before each important meeting.

Not one room is the same; furniture was hand picked, fabrics hand woven. Comfortable armchairs and sofa's, antiques, stunning fabrics and wall papers, soft furnishings, full length mirrors, marble bathrooms, power showers and the best in luxury amenities.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Sandra Anido: Our Hotel has been visited by certain members of European Royal Families. Unfortunately we can not disclose any further information as Privacy is afforded to all our guests including the famous!

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Sandra Anido: Our guests are mostly regular guests who have enjoyed staying at the Egerton for years. A lot of clientele are from the States and the UK.

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Sandra Anido: We are literally just a 5 minute stroll away from Harrods & Harvey Nichols. My favourite pass time is of course shopping at Harrods!

Knightsbridge is a Destination; The Egerton House Hotel is located in the heart of Knightsbridge, one of London's most exclusive addresses. Brompton Cross a minute's walk away with some of London’s most wonderful and exclusive boutiques, galleries and shops and restaurants.

Knightsbridge also houses London's most famous landmarks such as The Victoria & Albert Museum and the National History Museum.

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages? If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?

Sandra Anido: The Egerton House Hotel really offers "a room with a view". Rooms at the front of the hotel offer views over Egerton Gardens, glimpses of the stunning architecture of the Brompton Oratory and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Rooms located on the side of the hotel are overlooking Egerton Garden Mews, the old Stables, offering a feel of the old traditional London, a century ago. The beautifully maintained private gardens at the back of the hotel is an oasis of tranquillity and all rooms on the back of the hotel overlook these.

It is very hard to pick a favorite, as I truly love them all.

Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel? Perhaps a bit of history?

Sandra Anido: When Egerton House opened on a residential Knightsbridge street in 1990, it spearheaded London's "boutique hotel" explosion and was one of the first Hotels in London to open as a Luxury Townhouse Hotel.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Sandra Anido: The Hotel does not, unfortunately, have any spa facilities in-house, but we offer day passes at a Platinum Health club nearby.

Five Star Alliance: What is the hardest part about being General Manager? If you could change one thing about the hotel, what would that be?

Sandra Anido: I have worked in the hotel for so many years and it has grown to be my second home and we have a fantastic Team, I would not want to change anything for the world. We experience challenges from time to time but this is all part of the job.

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Sandra Anido: One of London's Top Hotels is Claridge's with its history and stunning Art Deco surroundings.

Bushman's Kloof, also part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection is located in the heart of an African nature reserve. A stunning and fabulous small intimate Hotel.

Five Star Alliance: Anything else you would like our readers to know about your property?

Sandra Anido: The hotel holds an extravanganza of stunning art - original prints from Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec. Original old prints from the Illustrated London News, engravings and lithographs of Picasso, Matisse and Braque alongside masterful paintings such as the Parrots by Kim Brooks. Our small intimidate Bar is packed with caricatures by JAK and Sems.

The Egerton Bar is a small intimate discrete little hideaway. Packed with caricatures by JAK and Sems, its the perfect place to have a quiet drink, light snack or entertain friends. Antonio is one of London's most beloved bartenders and Antonio's Martinis are known to be the best in London!


About Sandra Anido: After graduating from The Hague Hotel School, I worked for several boutique properties in the Benelux countries before moving to London which I now consider home. London is a marvelous city and has much to offer and Knightsbridge is the city's most exclusive address. Its an absolute joy for me to share my knowledge of London with our guests and to make sure The Egerton House becomes their home away from home and a truly great experience.