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.

Free Afternoon Tea Awaits You at the Draycott Hotel, London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The DraycottLooking for a charming, intimate hotel in the heart of London, replete with grand interiors and a discreet, professional staff? The Draycott, situated between Chelsea and Knightsbridge, will satisfy your every whim. The 35 rooms are beautifully, individually appointed, each theatrically themed and filled with Victorian antiques. Enjoy the delights of summer with a stay at the award-winning Draycott Hotel with London's finest shopping and restaurants just minutes away. Allow the Draycott to spoil you with an indulgent Traditional Afternoon Tea on arrival and all the other luxurious trimmings you would expect from a 5-star townhouse. This "Summer Special" includes Traditional Afternoon Tea on the day of arrival, an early evening glass of Champagne, a mug of hot chocolate before bedtime, and daily English breakfast. Deluxe Double priced at GBP 255, valid from July 26 to September 7, 2008.


Von Trapp Family Villa: Home from The Sound of Music Opens as Hotel, Salzburg


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Von Trapp Family VillaFans of "The Sound of Music"-- and there are many, as the flick is the third most successful of all time, bested only by "Gone With the Wind" and "Star Wars"-- will be happy to learn that the von Trapp family's house in Salzburg, Austria will open on July 25, 2008 as a 14-room hotel. As reported by Goldarths Review, "For 100 euros (or US$155) a night, visitors will have a chance to relive scenes from the movie. Sip coffee at the gazebo where Liesl, eldest daughter of the von Trapp family and her boyfriend Rolf had a secret rendezvous or dine at the von Trapp family table."

Image Via HotelChatter


Dollars for Euros at Capella Castlemartyr, Cork, Ireland


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella CastlemartyrWe aren't the only ones who can't stop talking about Capella Hotels and Resorts, the six-star hospitality group launched by Horst Schulze, the guy behind Ritz-Carlton's success and "whose name is synonymous with visionary hotel-building" (to quote Travel + Leisure). Guest service is truly an art form at these new luxury hotels. Travel + Leisure loves 'em just as much as we do:

Before leaving New York for Schloss Velden, in southern Austria, and Capella Castlemartyr in County Cork, Ireland... Benjamin and Iona called, identifying themselves as my private assistants. Was there anything they could do for me or needed to know about me before my arrival-- dietary don'ts, transfers, reservations, specific things I wanted to see or do? Wow, I thought. Lots of hotels send "thank you for staying with us!" notes after you check-out, but such exhaustive pre-calls are rare.

At Castlemartyr, the 100-room, ultra-luxe hotel situated on 220 lush acres in County Cork, Capella's team of private assistants, "defined as proactive concierges" can handle any request. (Macrobiotic meals? No prob.) This summer, experience this already-legendary service with a fantastic "Dollars for Euro" promotion for stays booked through July 31, 2008. U.S. residents will be allowed to pay the room rate with dollars (even though it's listed in Euros). Considering the exchange rate is hovering around $1.55, this is a deal.

Image Via Blogs.NYPost.Com


Discover Italy’s Enchanting Cinque Terre with Hotel Splendido, Portofino


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel SplendidoOverlooking the sparkling bay of Portofino, the Italian Riviera's glamorous coastal town, Hotel Splendido is an exclusive hideaway for the international jetset. The guest book is filled with VIPs (like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) who have long sought out the superb accommodations at this 16th century monastery-turned-luxury hotel. The sea views are absolutely stunning, and the hotel can even arrange a chartered yacht or sailboat for you to discover small fishing villages along the coast and the prime beaches only accessible by sea. The Splendido Mare, the recent extension of the Hotel Splendido, is situated in the heart of Portofino overlooking the famous Piazzetta and the waterfront. (It's only a five-minute walk from the main hotel.) There you'll want to sit on the terrace at Chuflay Bar Restaurant for some excellent cocktails and people-watching.

The Hotel Splendido can arrange a wonderful excursion to the Cinque Terre, the five postcard-perfect fishing villages that hug the cliffs of Liguria. The two-day, two-night journey starts with a gourmet dinner in either the Splendido Mare's Chuflay restaurant or in the Splendido's La Terrazza restaurant. The next day, guests will be taken by chauffeur-driven car from the hotel to the railway station at Santa Margherita, where they will board the train for the Cinque Terre (tickets available from the concierge). Upon their return, scheduled for late afternoon, guests will find a car waiting to take them back to the hotel. Prices for two persons in a double room with sea view include flowers, a bottle of spumante in-room, full American-style breakfast and all the activities in the program. Until June 5, 2008 (and from September 15-November 9, 2008), the prices are EUR 1670 at Hotel Splendido and EUR 1315 at Splendido Mare. During high-season (June 6-September 14, 2008), prices start at EUR 1585 at Splendido Mare.


Newsworthy: Starwood’s Luxury Collection Offers New Travel Services


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The PhoenicianNow guests at Starwood's Luxury Collection hotels can enjoy signature travel services: Luggage Free Travel and access to news publications with NewspaperDirect. The Luxury Collection includes 65 properties in 26 countries worldwide, including San Diego's U.S. Grant, The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Mystique in Santorini, and the Grande Bretagne in Athens, and its sophisticated clientele is used to an exceptional level of service. In a new partnership with Luggage Forward, the Luxury Collection is launching Luggage Liaison, which will allow guests to travel without luggage to any of the brand's destinations, and find their belongings safely in their room upon arrival. Guests can even arrange to have bags unpacked for them. Another new perk: guests at Luxury Collection properties can now choose from a range of over 600 newspapers and magazines from 77 countries through services provide by NewspaperDirect-- delivered to their guest room throughout their stay.


Guaranteed Year-Round Dollar Rates at The Athenaeum, London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, LondonDiscreet and glamorous, The Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments on London's Piccadilly is one of the top addresses in the British capital. Many rooms have stunning views of Green Park towards Buckingham Palace! World-renowned for its professional service and sumptuous décor, the family-owned luxury hotel offers a haven of tranquility in the heart of Central London. Good news for American travelers: The Athenaeum has just introduced year-round US$ rates. Starting from just US$350 plus taxes, or US$700 plus taxes for an apartment, these $ rates offer exceptional value for money at the hotel voted "One of the 500 Top Hotels in the World 2008" by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Additional benefits include: priority check in, late check out at 2pm, Athenaeum family amenity program, and complimentary sofa bed in the apartments.


Langham’s Big Anniversary: Original Home of Afternoon Tea Serves Tea at 1865 Prices


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham LondonOn June 10, 2008, lucky Langham guests can sit down for a luxurious afternoon tea for exactly 1 shilling 6 pence. (That's 15 US cents, 7 English pence and just over 1 Hong Kong dollar.) Langham hotels around the world will pay homage to that lovely ritual of Afternoon Tea, that quintessentially British institution, by turning back the clocks to 1865, when the Langham London, Europe's first grand hotel, was opened by the leading royal of the day, the Prince of Wales. Legend has it that the indulgent tea ritual was created in 1840 by Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford, who created this afternoon snack to ward off the hunger pangs between lunch and dinner. Soon she began to share tea with her friends, and the ritual took off. Back in 1865, The Langham London served up the world's first afternoon tea in a luxury European hotel-- consisting of simple but dainty items including cakes, sweets, bread and butter and, of course, tea. Nowadays guests can still experience this stately ritual, a truly luxurious affair. Don't miss out on the celebratory 1 shilling tea on June 10, 2008 at Langham Hotels in Auckland, Boston, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne and now Pasadena.


Luxury Hotel Specials in Europe: Fourth Night Free at the Grand Bretagne, Athens


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand BretagneNow's your chance to snag a free night at the most prestigious hotel in Athens. Long considered the city's most exclusive place to stay, the Grand Bretagne occupies a prime block of the city center, just across from Constitution Square, the House of Parliament and the National Gardens. The hotel of choice for heads of state and celebrity royalty, the Grand Bretagne has a stunning rooftop pool, renovated Spa, and a Rooftop Garden Bar restaurant with sigh-inducing views. Travelers will be thrilled to find out that Starwood's Luxury Collection is offering a fourth night free with three paid nights for its European hotels, including the Grand Bretagne. The booking deadline is May 30, 2008, and the special applies for the months of May, October, November and December.


Steal Away to Barcelona: Special Rates at Gran Hotel La Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gran Hotel La FloridaInsiders know that the best panoramic views of Barcelona (and the Mediterranean Sea) are from Gran Hotel La Florida, the sexy urban resort located just 25 minutes outside the city. Filled with contemporary master works of art and beautiful sculptures, this spectacular hotel boasts every possible amenity. For a truly unforgettable stay, choose one of the Design Suites- like the Sky Terrace Suite, which-- as its name suggests-- features sweeping mountain and city views. Book your stay with Five Star Alliance and you can find rates as low as EUR 175 this summer. 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. Plus, you get free wireless Internet and access to the ZenZone Spa including Sauna, Steam Bath, Pressure Showers, Ice Fountain, Jacuzzi, Hydrotherapy and treatment cabins.


Buzz: Movenpick Resort and Thalasso Opens in Crete


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

CreteThe latest luxury resort to open on the Med is the Mövenpick Resort & Thalasso Crete. After an extensive, two-year renovation, the upscale resort opened its doors on the northern coast of Crete along Amoudara Beach. This is the first property for Mövenpick in Greece. What's in store? "An exquisite combination of typical Greek hospitality and the traditional Swiss passion for efficiency, reliability, punctuality and precision," touts the hotel. We are most excited about the Aegeo Spa Center. If it's anything like the Zara Spa at the Mövenpick on the Dead Sea, spa-goers are in for a real treat. Mövenpick has an impressive portfolio of specialized spa resorts, and this Greek oasis is a beautiful addition. Sized at 4,500 square meters, the Spa Center offers classic wellness services including Thalasso and beauty therapy. The large seawater spa complex has various baths as well as a sauna, sanarium, solarium, whirlpools and steam rooms. Other resort facilities include a fitness center, two floodlight tennis courts, table tennis, squash, billiards, beach volleyball, and a wide variety of water sports. And of course all the 285 guest rooms offer divine sea views.

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