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.

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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HotelChatter's Take On It


Summer Break on the Amalfi Coast at Hotel Raito


By: Courtney W. May

Hotel RaitoThe exclusive and prestigious Hotel Raito is located at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast among the blue sky, sea and lush green mountains embedded between vast citrus plantations and intense scents of lemon. Recently renovated with elegance and refined furnishings, Hotel Raito will make your stay unique and unforgettable with its enchanted view overlooking the Bay of Salerno and the Faraglioni in Vietri sul Mare. This summer, enjoy the Amalfi Coast with Hotel Raito and their special Summer Break package for 5 or 7 nights. The Summer Break package includes: 5 or 7 nights in a double room, Buffet breakfast, dinner (daily menu, beverages excluded), 1 free SPA entrance per person (indoor swimming pool, turkish bath, sauna, relax area, emotional showers), and 10% reduction on SPA treatments.


Summer Deals Galore: One and Only Maldives, Sanctuary on Camelback, Jamaica Inn, and more!


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Reethi Rah, MaldivesThe falling dollar soured your mood? Don't let it deter your summer travel plans. There are deals to be had out there-- from the Maldives to Scottsdale. Thanks to the LA Times Travel and Deal Blog for pointing out this fab compilation of bargains at hotels worldwide. Looking for some sun and sand? You can get 20 percent off with the "Fall for Jamaica Inn" package at the elegant Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Or how about an exotic escape? Score a savings of 48 percent in the Maldives at the exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah. A weekend getaway Stateside? Get a fourth night free from the fabled Virginia resort, The Homestead, with the "Hot Springs Holiday" package. You can also get 20 percent off at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain with the "Sonoran Sanctuary" package, which includes spa treatments. A European getaway? How does 20 percent off sound- at Edinburgh's finest hotel: Rocco Forte's The Balmoral? Choose the "Scotland Summer Spa" package and get three nights in a Classic room with an automatic upgrade to an Executive room based upon availability; full Scottish breakfast; and unlimited use of the spa, including the sauna, relaxation suite, yoga and pilates classes.


Baur au Lac, Zurich’s Most Luxurious Hotel, Plans Makeover


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baur au Lac, ZurichFor over 160 years, Baur au Lac has been the top address in Zurich, playing host to royalty and international celebrities. Notably, Baur au Lac is one of the few hotels in the world owned by the same family for six generations. Set in its own park on the shore of Lake Zurich just a short walk from the Paradeplatz, the hotel is celebrated for its elegant rooms, unequalled hospitality, and stellar restaurants. And now, this luxurious haven, one of the founding members of the Leading Hotels of the World, is getting a facelift in mid-July. Throughout its history, Baur au Lac has stayed ahead of the game by anticipating the needs of its international clientele and updating and modernizing the hotel accordingly. What's in store with the planned CHF 40 million renovation? 25 rooms will be converted to create 15 new suites and junior suites on the lakefront and canal facing side of the hotel. All rooms are slated for completion in spring 2009, and the hotel will be kept open at the hotel with inconveniences to guests kept at an absolute minimum. The gourmet restaurant Le Pavillon and the summer favorite La Terrasse will be redesigned by the famed restaurant and hotel architect, Pierre-Yves Rochon, starting in October. (He’'s the man behind the George V in Paris and a few of the Michelin-starred Joel Robuchon restaurants).


Summer Sales in Florence, Italy at Rocco Forte’s Hotel Savoy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Savoy, FlorenceLocation, location, location. The five-star Hotel Savoy has an unbeatable address in the heart of Florence, not far from the famous Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. The stylish hotel offers 88 rooms and 14 suites appointed with carefully chosen ceramics, artworks and fabrics. You'll find beautiful mosaics in the marble bathrooms. Brimming with luxury and style, Rocco Forte's Hotel Savoy promises impeccable service (how about guaranteed tix to the Uffizi?) and the highest standards of cuisine at L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant where you can dine alfresco on the piazza. Hotel Savoy has put together a special summertime package for when the Summer Sales start on July 14, 2008. They run until the first week of September, and this is your chance to secure some great bargains at the most fashionable boutiques. Starting from EUR 315 in a Classic Double room, the offer includes Daily Buffet Breakfast, a welcome gift by a renowned Italian designer in the room, and an after shopping aperitif at the fashionable L'Incontro Bar.