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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.

Last Minute Holiday Getaways: Palais de la Mediterranee, Nice, France

December 5, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palais de la Mediterrannee

Now is the time to visit the fabled Mediterranean coast of France. The sun is shining but the crowds have dissipated on the Cote d'Azur. And legendary luxury hotels like the Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice are offering excellent holiday packages, to help spur the decision to ditch the usual harried holiday season at home (caroling and shopping overkill) and take the fam on a delightful winter escape. The most fashionable palace in Nice, situated on the Promenade Des Anglais, offers the ultimate Riviera experience with its Art Deco ambience, award-winning Le Padouk restaurant, panoramic poolside terrace, and splendid accommodations. Recently rated among the "Top 75 European Hotels" in Conde Nast Traveler magazine's Reader's Choice Awards 2006, the Palais de la Mediterranee has devised two great value offers for a joyous Christmas and New Year's. The Magical Christmas Package starts at an unbelievable EUR 285 per night, and includes accommodations in a superior city view room, daily breakfast buffet, welcome gift, Christmas lunch or dinner at Restaurant Le Padouk on December 25, complimentary extra bed and breakfast for one child under 12 and unlimited access to the indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, sauna and steam room. Valid from December 22-26, 2006. Two night minimum stay. Sea view room is available for an additional EUR 25 per night. Likewise, the Cabaret Show Time New Year's Package is an excellent value, starting from EUR 425 per night. The package includes accommodations in a superior city view room, daily breakfast buffet, a VIP welcome, New Year's Eve gourmet dinner with beverages such as Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée 730, a French cabaret show and after dinner dancing, unlimited access to the indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, sauna and steam room. Valid from December 28, 2006 to January 2, 2007. Minimum two night stay required.


Luxury Airlines Special Offer: Inaugural Sale on Silverjet

December 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Silverjet

Silverjet is the third luxury airline (joining Eos and Maxjet) to offer exclusive, premium class service between London and the East Coast. The new UK-based carrier is set to launch flights between London (Luton) and Newark, New Jersey on January 25, 2007. Silverjet's 767 aircraft will be configured for 100 seats that lie flat. Passengers will be able to check in as little as 1/2 hour before departure. Perks will include swanky airport lounges in Newark and Luton, comprehensive in-flight entertainment systems, and gourmet meals that customers can pre-order. With the airline's Inaugural Sale, book a flight by December 31, 2006 and score a ticket for $799 each way. (Regular roundtrip fares start at $1,798.)


Magical London Package at Red Carnation Hotels

December 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Christmas in London

As winter blankets the city, London welcomes the yuletide season with seasonal spirit and festive celebrations. Head to the West End and watch a Christmas Classic like The Nutcracker, join in with the carol singers and merry revelers, skate across one of the many outdoor ice rinks, gather around the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, explore the plethora of Yuletide fairs, and of course shop 'til you drop on the best shopping streets in the world. The capital is at its festive best, decked out with lights and brimming with good cheer. To celebrate the season, Red Carnation Hotels is offering luxurious and fun-filled breaks at their three four-star London hotels-- The Chesterfield Mayfair, The Rubens at the Palace, and The Montague on the Gardens-- with a special Magical London package. The package includes two nights stay, welcome gift upon arrival, Santa Claus hat, full English breakfast daily, tea for two with Christmas cake, taxi to Oxford Street to see the Christmas lights and start your Holiday Sales Shopping (plus shopping map), and a stocking filled with seasonal goodies for those staying Christmas day. Upgrade to an Executive Suite and you'll enjoy a decorated Christmas Tree in your suite and a visit by Santa on Christmas day (if children accompany the guests). Magical London package rates start from: The Chesterfield – GBP 360 for the Double Room and GBP 620 for the Suite package; The Montague – GBP 330 for the Double Room and GBP 480 for the Suite package; The Rubens – GBP 330 for The Double Room and GBP 480 for the Suite package. The Magical London package rates are based on double occupancy for two nights, inclusive of taxes. Available until January 7, 2007.


Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley: The Ultimate Afternoon Tea in London

November 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pret-a-Portea at the Berkeley

Indulge in the best afternoon tea in the world at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge. Cakes, butter biscuits, and scrumptious delicacies are all set for a makeover in the style of the world's top fashion designers, such as Lanvin, Jimmy Choo and Valentino, as The Berkeley launches its new Autumn/Winter 2006 Prêt-a-Portea cake collection. The traditional afternoon tea gets a twist with inspiration from the latest fashion season's catwalk designs. On the Pret-a-Portea menu this season are fashionista delectables such as Valentino leopard chestnut crème handbag, Giles Deacon pink polka dot nougat mousse , Alexander McQueen Stuart tartan chocolate cake , Aquascutum yellow coat ginger biscuit, Yves Saint Laurent frilly passion fruit meringue and Jimmy Choo gold boot biscuit. (All served in tiny bites, of course, for the figure conscious.) The Berkeley's pastry chef visits London fashion week shows to get his inspiration for the new patisserie collections; the Berkeley has also created a distinguished Prêt committee of fashion experts from publications such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar to check out the collection. Pret-a-Portea is served in The Caramel Room at The Berkeley from 2-6 pm everyday priced at GBP 33 per person. (GBP 41 per person includes a glass of champagne.)


Badrutt’s Palace, St. Moritz, Switzerland: Four Nights for the Price of Three

November 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutts Palace

Possibly the world's most famous ski resort, Badrutt's Palace is a historic symbol of St. Moritz and the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism. Situated on six acres of private grounds high above the village of St. Moritz, overlooking the lake and mountains, Badrutt's Palace occupies a regal perch amidst dramatic and unspoiled scenery. Since its opening in 1896, Badrutt's Palace has been hailed as a symbol of the Swiss Alps region, a wondrous winter playground beloved by visiting celebrities and royalty. The Palace offers 165 guestrooms and 30 suites with stunning views. Guests enjoy discreet service, the ultimate relaxation at the spa, exciting nightlife, world-renowned cuisine at the hotel's restaurants, including Nobu, the trendiest new restaurant in St. Moritz opened by adored superstar chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. With parties, polo ponies and ski slopes, the Winter season is an event not to be missed in St. Moritz. The Pre-Holiday Ski Break is a fantastic deal; guests experience the pampered luxury of Badrutt's Palace at an unparalleled discount with four nights for the price of three. Stay December 5-17, 2006 (not including Saturday nights) and get a rate of $280 per night for a superior double room (usual rack rate is $510).

Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"


Winter Fantasy at Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva, Switzerland

November 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel d'Angleterre

This could be the best hotel in Europe. Dating from 1872, the lakeside pied a terre is adored by the world's royalty. The Hotel d'Angleterre offers only 39 rooms and 6 suites, so that each distinguished guest is provided the utmost in personal service. Balconies provide heart-stopping views over Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau and the towering peaks of Mont Blanc. Windows restaurant, recently recognized by the prestigious Gault and Millau guide as one of the top restaurants in Geneva, also looks out over the lake to Mont Blanc. Experience luxury on the lake at Hotel d'Angleterre with the Winter Fantasy Package, overflowing with goodies to see and do in Geneva. Take a cooking class with the Pastry Chef, discover Geneva's specialty designer shops on the world famous Rue du Rhone and the enchanting Christmas market with the help of a personal shopper, enjoy an excursion on a mountain train to a chalet to indulge in traditional cheese fondue overlooking the snow-capped Jura Mountains, sip cocktails by the fire, and delight in a gastronomic four-course dinner at Windows accompanied by Switzerland's finest wine. The Winter Fantasy Package includes all these activities, two nights in an elegant classic room, daily buffet breakfast, welcome gift of a handcrafted tree ornament and a basket of Biscome, CD of traditional Swiss Christmas Carols, "Mont Blanc 4807" cocktail for two in the Leopard Lounge, and for those staying on Christmas day-- a stocking stuffed with seasonal goodies on your doorknob. Available from December 10, 2006 to January 15, 2007. Minimum two-night stay required. Priced at CHF1,810.


A Swinging New Year at the Art Deco Hotel Montana, Lucerne, Switzerland

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Art Deco Hotel Montana

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is-- you guessed it-- a celebration of everything Art Deco. Since its opening in 1910, the stylish hotel has dazzled guests with its vistas and fun bravura design. Originally built as a palace hotel, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is within walking distance to the picturesque city center of Lucerne. The 62 guest rooms and suites are individually designed with flair: salmon, turquoise, and sienna yellow bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, original art deco bars and spiral staircases in the Tower Suites, bold and modern touches throughout. From your balcony, enjoy fantastic views across Lake Lucerne to the Swiss Alps. (There's even a cable car from the lobby to the lake promenade.) This New Year's, escape to Switzerland for a fun end-of-year bash, and welcome in 2007 in style. The Art Deco Hotel Montana is hosting a celebration with a Hula Hoop theme, so grab a hula hoop and hit the dance floor. Package includes three nights accommodations, breakfast, and five-course gala dinner plus entertainment on New Year's Eve. Rates starting from CHF 1,386 per room inclusive of tax and service charge. Minimum three nights stay, available from December 30, 2006 to January 5, 2007.


Destination Berlin: Rocco Forte’s New Hotel de Rome

November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de Rome

"Berlin is Europe's new cultural and entertainment powerhouse," says Frommer's. And with three opera houses, 150 performance stages, 200 art galleries, 170 museums, and more bars than any other German city, Berlin easily lives up to the hype. The dynamic capital is a hip and exciting European destination, with myriad five-star hotels to boot. The latest luxury hotel on the scene is Rocco Forte's Hotel de Rome, which opened recently in the fashionable Mitte district. Housed in the historic bank building, the EUR 70 million hotel features spectacular panoramic views of the city's best attractions. The hotel retains the classical style of the original 1889 building-- mosaic floors, the bank vault now converted into a pool-- while showcasing edgy, contemporary design from Tommaso Ziffer, who also designed the Hotel de Russie in Rome. The 146 guest rooms are modern, comfortable, luxurious, and feature all the latest cutting-edge technology, including Broadband Internet and interactive flat-screen television. Book the 120 square meter Presidential Suite and enjoy the incredible full-length terrace overlooking Bebelplatz.


Wine Tasting at The Milestone Hotel, London

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Milestone Hotel

The Wine Dinners at The Milestone Hotel, compiled by famed Cellar Master, Nicolas Clerc, are sumptuous affairs, tailored for connoisseurs of fine food and wine. Each wine dinner begins at 7 pm with aperitifs, followed by a four-course dinner paired with different wines. Upcoming events are on Wednesday, November 22, with David Powell from Torbreck Estate, Australia (GBP 75), and Wednesday, December 13, with London's foremost Burgundy importers who seek out small, family owned domaines (GBP 90). Take advantage of the Wine and Dine Package at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments and enjoy a luxurious guest room, full English breakfast, personal wine tasting with the Sommelier, and an elaborate four-course gourmet dinner.


Winter Getaway at The Merrion, Dublin: Truffles, Irish Coffee, and Literary Inspirations

November 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Merrion

The Merrion-- Dublin's finest five-star hotel-- is the place to be this winter season. A crackling fire lights the Drawing Room, and the bar and restaurant buzz with action. The luxurious Georgian surroundings of the Merrion-- comprised of four restored townhouses-- are filled with warmth and good cheer. At the vibrant Cellar Bar, fashionable patrons sip the ultimate Irish Coffee, or choose from one of fifty select wine vintages, now served by the glass. On the evening of November 14, 2006, The Cellar Restaurant will be showcasing an indulgent truffle menu guaranteed to dazzle even the most serious of gourmands. The experience will start with an introduction to truffles before the exceptional six course menu created by Executive Chef Ed Cooney in conjunction with the world renowned Urbani family.

During the winter months, curl up with a good book and unwind in style at The Merrion. The hotel has created a Literary Inspirations Experience for guests to soak up Ireland's literary heritage while being pampered in luxury; the package includes overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, and the rare opportunity to see the collected works of WB Yeats in the nearby National Library with a private curator tour.

And of course, there are myriad festivities and events to celebrate the holiday season: feasts, family entertainment, traditional menus, and a trip to Dublin's premiere race: Leopardstown Christmas Race Festival. After all that merry-making, detox at the luxurious Tethra Spa, a favorite of Dubliners and guests from around the world, which offers a variety of sumptuous treatments, an infinity pool, and fitness center.