Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

Not Your Average Vacation in Madrid, Spain

August 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Visiting the Prado Museum, strolling through Retiro Park, and enjoying a few tapas at an outdoor café are all wonderful activities every visitor to Madrid should experience, but once you’ve checked these must-sees off your list, how should you spend your time? Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few fun places to explore and things to do during your visit to various cities around the world that you wouldn’t come across in every tour book.

Experience a new side of Spain by visiting the Alcala de Henares, one of the first designated university cities. Its located about 20 miles outside Madrid, and it’s the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the author or the world renowned book, ‘Don Quixote.’ The center of the city remains relatively medieval with beautiful, winding cobblestone streets and preserved, historic buildings. The city has a Moorish, Jewish, and Christian quarter, earning it its reputation of “the city of three cultures.” Make your reservations at any of our luxury hotels in Madrid and take a day trip to Alcala de Henares to fight windmills and rescue damsels in distress!

Photo of the Mirasierra Suites Hotel


Your Questions Answered: Best Luxury Hotels in Vienna for Family of 4

July 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We will be in Vienna from August 6th – 13th, 2012. It will be 1 adult and 3 kids ages 6, 9, 11. Can you please provide us with what room options would be able to accommodate us?

Answer: Unfortunately, the majority of the luxury hotels in Vienna have a maximum occupancy of 3 people. However, the Hotel Bristol Vienna has a 1 bedroom suite that is 830 square feet and features views of the Opera House that can interconnect with a Classic room with a king size bed. The 1 bedroom suite is currently $1,024 per night and the Classic room is $336.52 per night inclusive of taxes. The Hotel Sacher Wien has a 2 bedroom suite option that would be able to accommodate all 4 of you, and it currently has a rate of 2,400 Euros per night, inclusive of taxes and hotel fees. To make a reservation for either of these hotels, simply click on the hotel name links, enter your dates of travel, select your room type, and fill in the booking form. To make a reservation for 2 interconnecting rooms, simply complete one reservation after the other, and fill in the special request stating that you will be traveling with children and would like your rooms to interconnect. This request cannot be guaranteed but the hotels do their best to accommodate these kinds of requests.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as the extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Photo of the Hotel Sacher Wien


Your Questions Answered: Room Options for 5 at the Palace Luzern

July 18, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We are looking to book a 3 night accommodation, checking in September 6th and checking out September 9th. There are 5 of us, 3 adults and 2 kids ages 3 and 8. We are looking to stay at the Palace Luzern in Switzerland.

Answer: The Palace Luzern has the following room types and options available for your dates of travel. The hotel has a maximum occupancy of 3 people per room, so you would have to have 2 adults and 1 child stay in one room, and then have 1 adult and 1 child stay in the other room. The hotel unfortunately does not have any room options that can accommodate 3 adults and 2 children or 2 adults and 2 children in one room. The hotel does have interconnecting room options, so we would suggest making 2 reservations for the following room type and requesting that they be interconnecting. (This request cannot be guaranteed and is based on availability, but the hotel would do its best to honor this request.) One More Night 3 For 2 Amex Exclusive - Double Room With City View 25sqm - For 2 adults and 1 child, the nightly breakdown would be 377 Swiss Francs plus 6.09 Swiss Francs per day in taxes for an approximate total of 1,151.70 Swiss Francs, which is approximately $1175.81. (This rate includes the extra person charge) The second room, with 1 adult and 1 child would be 327 Swiss Francs and 4.60 Swiss Francs per day in taxes for an approximate total of 994.80 Swiss Francs which is about $1015.62. (Please be advised that the One More Night 3 for 2 deal is already factored into the price, and to receive this discounted rate you must pay with an American Express card.) Rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

To make a reservation for these room types, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, select the room type, and fill in the booking form. Please be sure to fill in the Special Request field stating that you will have a child staying in one room and request an extra rollaway bed to be added as well as request having your two rooms be interconnecting. Once you have completed the first reservation, simply repeat the process to make the second reservation and fill in the Special Request field requesting 2 twin beds and to have that room interconnect with your previous reservation.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Your Questions Answered: Best Room Type at Le Meridien Beach Plaza for Family of 4

July 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We are traveling to Monte Carlo, Monaco August 1st – 5th and would like to stay at Le Meridien Beach Plaza. Can you please tell us which room type would be able to accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids ages 4 and 11?

Answer: All of the room types at Le Meridien Beach Plaza have a maximum occupancy of 3 due to safety and fire regulations. This luxury hotel, however, does have 200 interconnecting room options perfect for a family. Classic rooms with either 2 double or 1 king bed can interconnect with other Classic rooms, and Deluxe rooms with 2 double or 1 king bed can interconnect with other Deluxe rooms. To view full nightly breakdowns and to make your reservations, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, and select a specific room type. To make two reservations, simply make one after the other. Please be sure to fill in the special request field stating that you'll be traveling with two kids ages 4 and 11 and that you’d like both of your room reservations to be interconnecting so that the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival. Please be advised that interconnecting rooms are based on availability and cannot be guaranteed, but the hotel certainly does its best to honor these requests especially for families traveling with kids. Please be advised that the rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.


Hotel Castello di Casole Now Open!

July 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We are thrilled to announce that the Hotel Castello di Casole in Siena, Italy is now open and accepting reservations! This luxurious, 5-star property in Tuscany is the centerpiece of a stunning and historic 4,200-acre estate. Commanding the highest point on the property, this restored castle dates back to the 10th century. While it underwent extensive renovations, the Hotel Castello di Casole has preserved its original and historic culture. This boutique hotel offers impeccable suites, world-class service and amenities, and breathtaking Tuscan countryside views. Take advantage of the fine and casual dining opportunities available on site, the luxurious spa, pool, and fitness center, and the various adventures made available to guests varying by the seasons. Make your reservations today and experience this incredible and romantic Italian property for yourself!


Experience London This Summer without the Olympics Crowds

July 11, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Being in the city hosting the Olympics can be an exhilarating experience, but at times you may feel like you need to take a step back and experience the beautiful city you’re in on its own without the chaos and crowds that come with a competition. The Dukes Hotel in London is located in a quiet courtyard in the heart of St. James’s, and it’s within walking distance from Jermyn St, Bond St, The Royal Academy of Arts, and Buckingham Palace. Take advantage of the custom-made picnic hampers and the bicycles available to guests perfect for taking a ride through the park or exploring London. We invite you to experience the best of both worlds and take advantage of everything London has to offer by staying at the Dukes Hotel this summer!


Your Questions Answered: Best Room Types at La Perouse in Nice, France for a Family of 6

July 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: Please let me know of availability and room types at Hotel La Perouse, Nice, France, for October 7th 2012 through October 14th 2012 for 3 adults and 3 children (ages 11, 7, 4).

Answer: For 3 adults and 3 children, we would suggest making a reservation for a Junior Suite and a Superior Room with either 1 double or 2 twin beds. The Junior Suite has 1 double bed and a sofabed, and it can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, while the Superior Room can have either 2 twin beds or a double bed and can accommodate 2 adults and 1 child. (an extra bed can be added to this room upon request. Please be advised that extra charges may apply.) These room options add up to more than 6 individuals, so you would likely be able to adjust who stays in which room to fit your needs best. To make a reservation for two rooms, simply visit the this website, enter your dates of travel, and select the room type of your choice. Once you complete the first reservation, simply repeat the process to make the second room reservation. Please fill in the Special Request field of both reservations requesting that the two rooms be interconnecting or adjacent. This cannot be guaranteed but the hotel would certainly do its best to accommodate this request. To view full nightly breakdowns and to make your reservations, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, and select a specific room type. Please be sure to fill in the special request field of each room reservation stating the number of kids and the ages of the kids that will be staying in each room so that the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Vienna: Franz Joseph Liked It, So He Put a Ring on It

June 7, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The Vienna Philharmonic just held its incredibly yearly outdoor concert in the gardens of Schloss Schoenbrunn, and it was quite the sight indeed. The concert draws out much of the city, who overflow from the sweeping promenades up onto the hill overlooking the whole of Vienna. It's a perfect showcase for the beauty of a city that still revels in its imperial past. Now that the concert's passed, it's probably a better time to see the gardens for yourself, as you might have a little bit more breathing room to explore the expansive estate. The Schloss is just west of the city center and the famous Ringstrasse where most of the luxury hotels are located, and you can get out there with just a short cab ride or metro trip. Commissioned by Leopold I and popularized by Maria Theresa, the Schloss was the centerpiece of courtly life for much of the reign of the Habsburg empire, the most famous of the ruling Austrian families. 

To see this jewel of the city, simply stay at any of our luxury hotels in the center city, on the architecturally varied Ringstrasse. Built around the Fin de Siecle as a testament to the city's opulence by Emperor Franz Joseph I, the buildings of the Ringstrasse attempt to capture the architectural style of just about ever major epoch, from neo-classical to renaissance to gothic. Taken together, they're a breathtaking experience. Vienna has to be one of your must-see destinations in a tour of Europe's hotspots.

Posted in: Europe, Austria, Vienna, Hot Spots

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Villa San Michele

June 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Villa San Michele is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel was a 15th century monastery which was converted into one of Europe’s most charming luxury hotels. Its located only a few minutes from the center of Florence, and it is surrounded by its own gardens and woodlands of the Fiesole hills. The Villa San Michele goes above and beyond to ensure that its guests are comfortable and have everything they need for a lavish and enjoyable stay.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Villa San Michele here!


A Boutique Critique: Ballyfin

May 30, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

There are few places in the world as storied as Ireland, and people travel there specifically for the romance of the countryside. Why then would one stay in a large city hotel when your accommodations can be as magical as the views? Ballyfin, at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, was restored in an eight year process that just finished in 2011 to allow it to open as a 5-star country house hotel with the pure Gaelic soul of the rolling hills. 600 acres of land hold just fifteen rooms, so you'll experience the greenery in perfect quiet. 

Open to children 14 and over, the all-inclusive resort maintains the original 1820s design, full of antiques and gorgeous art. Row boats are available on a nearby lake, and you can even go ice skating in the wintertime. This small boutique hotel is the perfect destination for a wedding or retreat, and, listed as a Forbes Top Life Hotel, it has the accolades to back up its reputation. If you want to experience Ireland as she's meant to be, then you should think about staying at Ballyfin.