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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.

Semana Santa in Seville, Spain

March 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Alfonso XIII

Holy week in Seville takes place in the eight days between Palm Sunday and Easter (April 9-16 this year): an incredible celebration and melancholy observance at the same time. The cloaked Cofradias (Brotherhoods)-- their eyes and faces hidden by huge conical hats-- process through the city's narrow, winding streets. Some barefoot, burdened with crosses, or huge fantastic floats of the Virgin Mary or Jesus, kneeling in penitence as they circle from their church to the Cathedral of Seville and back-- passing mobs of citizen revelers and eager onlookers. The streets are absolutely packed with extended families (from infants to grandmothers) who gather to watch the processions of 57 brotherhoods carry 116 marvelous floats through the streets. To witness this religious ritual is a once-in-a-lifetime must. Where to stay in the exquisite historical city of Seville? The Hotel Alfonso XIII, of course! Built in 1929, the posh royal palace was inaugurated by the King for which it was named. A fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, the hotel is the essence of opulence. (Hurry, rooms are still available! My pick are the Moorish-themed rooms, with their tasteful and elegant furnishings.)

Hotel Alfonso XIII, Official Site

Hotel Alfonso XIII, Five Star Alliance


Brad and Angie Getting Hitched at Villa d’Este, Lake Como?

March 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa d'Este

The rumor mills are churning, and our friends at the TravelPost Insider have picked up on this tantalizing tidbit. Stop the press: Brangelina may be tying the knot this weekend on the shores of Lake Como. What's in store at the elegant and perfect Villa d'Este? The 16th century aristocratic residence could easily be the most romantic place on earth. Draped in accolades, and revered worldwide, the villa overlooks 25 acres of picturesque gardens and the heart-stopping blue vistas of Lake Como. Rooms are simply magnificent, with period furniture, sumptuous silk and satin fabrics, some with balconies and terraces.

Villa d'Este, Official Site

Villa d'Este, Five Star Alliance


The Magic of Monaco: Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel

March 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Monte Carlo Bay Resort

The first new hotel to open in Monaco in 75 years, the $260 million Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel has reinvented Monte Carlo, bringing back the chic and legendary glamour of the Roaring Twenties on the Riviera. Set on the edge of the sea, with sweeping azure views, the hotel is elegantly situated within four hectares of Mediterranean gardens and lagoons. Just minutes from Nice. Lounge by the glass-domed indoor swimming pool, or relax in the adjoining spa, a contemporary and luxurious paradise complete with 12 treatment rooms, fitness center and Turkish baths. In the evening, watch the sunset from the sea-view bar, and then indulge in the gastronomic pleasures of four stellar restaurants, including one directed by celebrity chef Alain Ducasse. And the nightlife—as expected—is exceptional.

Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel, Official Site

Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel, Five Star Alliance


Easter at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

March 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Adlon Kempinski

This Easter experience the renaissance of the cool and cultured in Berlin, and the luxurious bliss of Germany's most famous hotel. Leveled during the war, the Hotel Adlon was reconstructed in 1997 by Germany's renowned hotelier, Kempinski. Located in the heart of Berlin, next to the famous Brandenburg Gate, the Adlon is a grand and storied hotel. The seven-room Presidential Suite-- its window the notorious scene of Michael Jackson's baby-dangling antics-- is as elegant as befits the royalty and heads-of-state who frequently stay here. The Easter Package includes two nights accommodations in a deluxe room, a welcome gift upon arrival, gourmet breakfast buffet daily, one special four-course dinner with champagne, a guided cultural tour, and free entrance to the Adlon Spa. Starting at EUR 498, valid from April 14- April 17.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, Official Site

Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, Five Star Alliance


Easter at the Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca, Spain

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter at Son Net

This Easter, think Spain. The gorgeous Mediterranean isle of Mallorca, awash with flowers and olive groves, is home to the 17th century hacienda-turned-boutique hotel: Gran Hotel Son Net. Its 25 rooms are each unique, lavishly and individually decorated; the suites boast large windows overlooking the countryside, and private terraces, gardens and swimming pools. The Easter special includes four nights luxurious accommodations, four Son Net breakfasts, cava and fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, traditional Good Friday dinner and Easter Buffet-Brunch at the L'Orangerie Restaurant, and private transfer service from and to Palma airport. Starting at EUR 1,670, valid April 13-18.

Gran Hotel Son Net, Official Site

Gran Hotel Son Net, Five Star Alliance


Maybourne Hotels London - March and April Offers

March 9, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Paul Reynolds, The Maybourne Hotel Group

Berkeley Blue Bar

Madonna "Adores the Blue Bar" at The Berkeley. Claridge's main restaurant is run by (and named for) celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. You can find out why so many people want to associate themselves with the London hotels of the Maybourne Group this March and April with 4 special deals. 'Suite Dreams' deals start at 299 pounds for a Deluxe Junior Suite at The Connaught, 339 pounds for a Superior Junior Suite at The Berekley and 359 pounds for a Deluxe Junior Suite at Claridge's. The 'April Special' allows you to 'sample five star luxury at an affordable price'. 'Work from 'Home' without the inconveniences' during March and April with a special rate for single occupancy of Queen-bedded rooms at The Connaught. Lastly, check out the specials being offered during Easter week with reduced rates at The Berkeley, Claridge's, and The Connaught.

Maybourne Hotel Group, Official Site

Claridge's, Five Star Alliance

The Connaught, Five Star Alliance

The Berkeley, Five Star Alliance


Spring Skiing the French Alps: Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Courchevel

March 8, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de Charme Les Airelles

March is upon us, and for serious skiers (but those who prefer not to jet to the Southern Hemisphere during the other half of the year), this means the last days of the season on the slopes. And for some of the finest skiing in Europe-- away from Turin's still dissipating crowds-- the French Alps beckon. And the elegance and exceptional location of Hotel de Charme Les Airelles prove temptingly attractive. A grand chalet of the past, this place still embodies the prestigious old-world days of opulence and grandeur. During the 1992 Winter Olympics, Les Airelles served as home to the International Olympic Committee. Basking in its beautiful setting, with ski runs at the door, the hotel boasts an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and Turkish bath.

Related Article:

NYT, "In the Alps, Wide-Open Slopes and Crowded Bars"

Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Official Site

Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Five Star Alliance


Ritz-Carlton to Manage Hotel Villa Padierna, Costa del Sol, Spain

March 8, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Did they neglect to read National Geographic's damning assessment of the Costa del Sol? In Traveler's yearly Destination Scorecord-- ranking the integrity of places by creating an index of Destination Stewardship-- Spain's coast has gone to the dogs. The pressures of development, pollution, globalization, and mass tourism have held sway:

...[in] Spain's Costa del Sol—the overbuilt "Costa del Concrete," which caters to package tours from northern Europe... you can hear more English or German than Spanish. As with many uncontrolled seashores, a nonstop line of characterless hotels blocks off the coastline.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has assumed management of one of these hotels: the 112-room luxurious Villa Padierna. Though the place has got a golf course, spa, Beach Club, and rooms full of antiques, I'm still skeptical. Good luck, Ritz-Carlton. Let's see if they can turn the tide and bring back the glamor.


Special Offers: Easter at the Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland

March 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beau-Rivage Palace

Easter egg hunt, cookie baking, flower-arranging classes, treasure hunt…activities galore! Enjoy the best kind of spring family vacation at Switzerland's stunning Beau-Rivage Palace. Easily one of the most beautiful palace hotels in the world, overlooking Lake Geneva, the historic Beau-Rivage is consistently ranked as one of the world's best (Conde Nast Gold List, Travel and Leisure World's Best.) This spring, take advantage of the "Easter Break" Package with savings of 20 percent for parents, and 50 percent for the kids. Available from April 13-18, the Package features special Easter rates of CHF 375 per night for a double room and CHF 235 for the children's room. The package includes daily breakfast, taxes, an Easter Egg Hunt for the children, and complimentary access to use the Cinq Mondes Spa and the tennis courts. The children's treasure hunt challenge leads eager kids throughout different parts of the hotel, where they may run into the hotel's mascot, Bori the fox. Additional special amenities include children's bathrobes and slippers.

Beau-Rivage Palace, Official Site

Beau-Rivage Palace, Five Star Alliance


The Athenaeum Hotel London’s Redesign

March 3, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Jonathan Critchard, General Manager, The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments

Mr. Critchard at The Athenaeum Hotel in London sent us the following note aimed at new or returning guests, to make sure they are aware of some changes the hotel is undergoing.

Athenaeum Hotel London

January 2006 sees the start of a stunning redesign of our ground floor, incorporating the lobby, lounge, restaurant and bar. Led by the vision of Martin Hulbert, responsible for the award winning interior design of our sister property, The Grove, the existing interiors will be entirely replaced by a new scheme. Renowned for his inspirational creativity, he will be developing a style that is both quintessentially English, but also modern in its opulence and feel.

During this period,we are temporarily relocating our entrance to the side of the hotel on Down Street. However, the show goes on!

Our reception and concierge are operating from the First Floor. Alex, Donald, Duncan, Jim, John and the rest of our team are still here to ensure you enjoy your stay and your time in London.

The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Official Site

The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Five Star Alliance