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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.

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary with 1998 Rates at Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gran Hotel Son NetMallorca's exquisite 5-star Gran Hotel Son Net is commemorating its 10th anniversary with a special offer: Guests can book rooms at the original 1998 rates during the month of October 2008, the 10th month of the 10th year. You can even score special rates-- guaranteed dollar prices-- at the newly opened Grand Suite Villas. All guests will also receive a complimentary bottle of Mallorcan wine during their October stay. But hurry, the hotel is bound to fill up fast! Situated in the rugged Tramuntana mountains just 15 minutes from Palma, this 31-room boutique hotel is housed in a farmhouse dating from the 17th century surrounded by olive groves and orange trees. Dine poolside or at the gourmet Oleum Restaurant, lounge in a private cabana by the beautiful pool, or indulge in a beauty treatment at the Zen Zone center. Rates starting from $300.


The Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Rois Welcomes Chef Peter Knogl


By: Madelyn Giblin

The Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Rois Welcomes Chef Peter KnoglBeginning in April 2007, the Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Rois will benefit from the talents of their new chef Peter Knogl. Awarded a Michelin star for his work at the Las Dunas Beach Hotel and Spa, as well as several other awards for his cuisine at various other restaurants, Peter Knogl comes well recommended and with plenty of experience in gourmet cuisine. Open five days a week, the Cheval Blanc offers an impressive wine list, and offers a wide range of haute French cuisine. The wine list offers approximately 700 different positions, including rare vintages, and was recently awarded 17 points in the Gault Millau. Enjoy exceptional wine, and fine French cuisine and a romantic atmosphere along the Rhine at Les Trois Rois.


Special Low Rates and Guaranteed Dollar Deals in Nice, France at Hotel La Perouse


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel La PerouseWe've just uncovered some unbelievably low rates at La Perouse, the elegant hotel situated just a stroll from Old Nice. At the end of April, bask on the sunny French Riviera while relishing room rates at just EUR 132 per night. At La Perouse, there is also the possibility of booking a summer stay (high season in the south of France) for a guaranteed dollar rate starting from $340 per night in a Standard Room. Though the rate is fully pre-paid and non-refundable, this is a great deal at this beautiful hotel when rooms on the French Riviera are hard to come by. Dine on tasty Provençal cuisine on the terrace under the lemon trees. Here's a sampler to tempt the taste buds: Escallops of duck foie gras pan fried with a honey sauce, Large pan fried Mediterranean prawns in a Provençal vinaigrette, Lamb chops grilled and served with pesto and polenta, Delicate tart of pears cooked in thyme served warm with caramel ice cream. Brimming with Provençal charm, La Perouse boasts magnificent views of the glittering Baie des Anges. There are pretty flowered terraces with sea views, gardens, and an outdoor pool. Plus, we love us some free Wifi. Book with Five Star Alliance and you'll get complimentary in-room continental breakfast.


Parc & Mid Week Package at Park Hotel Weggis


By: Christina Vasquez

Park Hotel Weggis If you plan on traveling to Lucerne, or are lucky enough to live in the area, be sure to take a midweek spa getaway at the Park Hotel Weggis. Check in Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and inquire about the hotels "Parc & Mid Week Package" which includes two nights' accommodations as well as additional amenities that will invigorate and refresh you through an otherwise hectic work week. The package includes daily Sparkling Breakfast Buffet, one three course dinner at the Restaurant The Grape, one four course dinner at the Restaurant Sparks, one ninety minute Holistic Treatment, and one ninety minute KANEBO Harmonising & Care Facial Treatment. Two hour individual use of the hotel's SPA cottages is also included in this package so that you can enjoy your Holistic Treatment or KANEBO Harmonising & Care Facial Treatment in privacy. Top off your midweek getaway at Park Hotel Weggis with a leisurely afternoon stroll through Sparkling Open Eyes Path and enjoy wonderful views of Japanese Zen gardens with an impressive mountain and lake backdrop.


Eos Airlines Launches Flights Between London and Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos AirlinesFans of the luxury airline will be pleased about this one. Starting July 6, 2008, Eos will start daily service between London Stansted and Dubai's international airport. So now lucky passengers can enjoy the Eos Class experience when heading to the world's most outlandish, over-the-top destination. We've talked up the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, but now Dubai's also getting one of the biggest malls in the world-- a gargantuan, 12-million-square-foot development complete with an indoor aquarium and an Olympic sized ice skating rink. Tickets to Dubai onboard Eos will be available starting in April.


Fourth Night Free in the South of France: Chateau Eza, Cote d’Azur


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau EzaFrom now until the end of April 2008, Chateau Eza-- the magical hideaway on the French Côte d'Azur which was the former residence of the Swedish Royal Family-- is offering a fourth night free when you pay for three consecutive nights. Spring is the perfect time to visit the South of France, not yet overrun by summer crowds. Perched on a rock cliff in the 1,000-year-old village of Eze, the award-winning hotel offers 10 guest rooms which can be reached by stone passageways over ancient stone steps. Outfitted with all the contemporary comforts, the rooms feature fireplaces and private balconies with sweeping views over the Mediterranean. The Michelin-starred restaurant is just as romantic. Experience what Town and Country Travel described as "glamorous, but cozy... straight out of a Matisse painting." With this special offer, you'll also get a half-bottle of Champagne, one tapas per person at the bar or terrace, and a basket of fresh fruit daily in the room. Starting from $280 per night.


Daiquiri Master Class at Artesian Bar at The Langham, London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Artesian Bar at The LanghamGet your masters at London's chic, new bar, Artesian. Designed by David Collins Studio with leather seats, a lilac marble bar, and a mirrored ceiling, Artesian at the Langham has been drawing a hip crowd for its exciting drink menu, specializing in rum. So why not learn the secrets of Daiquiri-making with the experts during an hour-long class? The bar's rum collection includes more than 50 varieties, including its own private label. Eight students max per class; Priced at GBP 30.

P.S. The Langham's Landau restaurant is another top destination in London; don't miss Chef Andrew Turner's culinary creations.


An Interview with the General Manager: Luca Virgilio of the Hotel Baglioni London


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Mr. Luca Virgilio has been the General Manager of the Hotel Baglioni London since October of 2004. Prior to his work in London, most recently Mr. Virgilio was the General Manager of the Hotel Carlton Baglioni in Milan, and the Resident Manager of the Hotel Eden in Rome.

Luca Virgilio Carlton LondonFive 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?

Luca Virgilio: The décor plays a very important role in determining the personality of the Hotel. So I would say décor is a unique feature that distinguish us from other Hotels in the City. It has a very glamorous and decadent feel, and a definite Italian chic appeal. It is n hotel with energy a great soul and spirit. This is given by the staff who are always there to help but the feel is relaxed and without an "attitude"… people that frequent us make the Hotel Baglioni London what it is.

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?

Luca Virgilio: We have many A-listers in the entertainment business that are known world wide, however they one of our most treasured secrets and we do not like to divulge…..

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?

Luca Virgilio: Definitely room 505. It is on the top floor has beautiful views over the park and in indeed a standard room. This said all our rooms are particularly spacious where the smallest is 300 square foot. My favorite rooms in the hotel are the '04 types. These are junior suites facing the park with beautiful contemporary 4 poster beds and working gas fireplaces.

Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel?

Luca Virgilio: Hotel Baglioni London is very well embedded in the London social scene. We have become a destination for the Londoners to meet for drinks or dinner. The restaurant and bar are very busy especially in the evening - lots of beautiful people around. We have held some of the most glamorous events and parties such as the Vanity Fair, Tatler, EMI after the Brits award party, Fashion Rocks, where many celebrities attended.

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?

Luca Virgilio: If the style and décor would suit my desires.

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

Luca Virgilio: Hotel Baglioni London is in a residential area facing Hyde Park. We are in the heart of the cultural part of London with the Victoria &Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Hall. We are at the cross roads between the touristy part of London and the London for the locals with bars, cafes, boutiques, art galleries. We can be in any of these 2 parts in 5 minutes and Kensington itself is a beautiful area where I just enjoy walking the streets window shopping or a little walk in the park.

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?

Luca Virgilio: The Carlyle in New York, The Eden in Rome, The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. They all have a very strong individuality, soul and charisma. This is invaluable in the days where many go for one rule fits all.

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

Luca Virgilio: Age group is from 35 to 55 more or less and come from different geographic regions and background. From CEO of major international corporations, to the movie or rock star to a couple enjoying a romantic weekend, or a family traveling to enjoy quality time together. The main group of our guests come from the US, followed by England, Italy, France, Russia and Middle East.

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?

Luca Virgilio: Is a fascinating job and I would not change it for anything in the world… indeed can be challenging, probably the hardest is to make sure you please every single guest as an individual, there is not one rule for all... change nothing add yes... a swimming pool.

Mr. Luca Virgilio is fluent in Italian, English and French, and has a fair knowledge of Spanish. He attended Cornell University, the University of Rome, Istituto Kennedy in Rome and Hotel Management School in Switzerland.


What’s Hot: The New W Hotel Istanbul


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel IstanbulNow accepting reservations beginning April 1, 2008, the new W Hotel is the hottest thing to hit the scene in Istanbul. The hotel brand known for its chic, contemporary style has opened a sexy new property in the ancient city of gilded domes, minarets, and dynamic modern towers. Crossroads between old and new, East and West, the cosmopolitan metropolis of Istanbul welcomes a hotel as dynamic as the city itself. Designed by Geomim, the hotel is the centerpiece of the historic Akaretler Row Houses. You'll find all the signature W touches like iPod docking stations and flatscreen TVs, munchie boxes and mini bars, the luxurious W bed, separate showers and tubs in the bathrooms, and the cozy Living Room for cocktails. Plus, all rooms and suites have gardens, terraces, or cabanas. Indulge in all the decadent facilities on offer: chow down on the Southeast Asian plates at Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market before getting pampered with a massage at the spa. Talk about Turkish Delight.


Suite Package Deal in Prague at the Hotel Palace Praha


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Palace PrahaDating from 1909, the Art Nouveau-style Hotel Palace Praha is smack dab in the middle of Prague, just a stone's throw from Wenceslas Square. In addition to the 114 guest rooms, combining traditional elegance with all the modern comforts, the hotel boasts some to-die-for suites with marvelous views of Prague Castle: 3 Junior Suites, 2 stylish Old Town Suites located on the 6th and 7th floors, the Opera Suites with white Carrara and Rosso Verona marble bathrooms and state-of-the-art entertainment systems (and views of the State Opera), and the 5th floor Art Nouveau Suite. Our favorite is the 6th floor Palace Suite with its private sauna and balcony. When you book the Suite Package at the Hotel Palace Praha, you'll experience pure luxury in the heart of Prague with some excellent add-ons including a 3-course candle-lit dinner in Gourmet Club Restaurant-- awarded one of "The Top 10 International Restaurants in Prague." Priced from just EUR 335 per night in a Junior Suite and available through the end of 2008, the package includes luxurious accommodation in one of the suites, daily full buffet breakfast in L'Epoque Restaurant, welcome drink upon arrival, home made chocolate pralines in-room, 3-course candle-lit dinner, free access to the hotel sauna and business center, and a voucher to the nearby Fitness center (use of fitness, indoor pool, whirpool and steam bath).