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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.

In with the New: Ritz-Carlton to Vienna


By: Christopher Roney

Vienna get even ritzier than it already is?  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, it's just crazy enough to be true because the Ritz-Carlton is making its way to Vienna in the second quarter of this year.  On the city's iconic central street, the Ringstrasse, the hotel is within walking distance of just about everything you'd want to see, except Schloss Schonnbrunn, which is only a few metro stops away.  The Ringstrasse is possibly the most opulent street in Europe and certainly the only one to come close to rivalling the Champs d'Elysees.  If you slap Neo- in front of it, the street plays host to just about every architectural style imaginable, and is full of iconic palatial residences, national museums, and gorgeous churches.  And just a few stops off the ring, you can find the iconic Cafes that define Viennese cuisine, like the Sachertorte (which may actually be better at Cafe Demel than Sacher itself, but don't tell anyone I said that).  

The hotel itself will feature 207 rooms and suites and brings the standard that we've come to know from Ritz-Carlton properties to a city with so many royal empires in its past, you could call it an empirical fact that Vienna has luxury down to a science.  Keep on the lookout for this hotel opening, and in the meantime, check out our other five-star hotels in Vienna.

Photo via WienVienna.com


An Insider’s Guide on Where to Stay in Paris


By: Oksana Balytsky

Paris, a thriving, bustling city with over 70 luxury hotels located throughout its districts can be a bit overwhelming for folks deciding on where to stay to get the most out of their experience. We understand that travelers visiting Paris for the first time have different interests and desires than frequent visitors, so we’ve put together a short, sweet and to the point guide for you to ensure that you choose the perfect hotel for your trip!

Hotel du Louvre

Hotel du Louvre is the perfect luxury hotel for first time visitors to Paris looking to be in the heart of the attractions. The beautiful décor of the hotel was inspired by the Napoleon III style, and all of the guest rooms have modern comforts while retaining a traditional feel. The draw of this hotel is certainly its location, perfectly situated in the heart of old Paris with easy access to the fashion and business districts, steps from the Brasserie du Louvre, and immediately opposite the Comedie Francaise. Just steps from the Louvre Museum, certain rooms and suites at the Hotel du Louvre offer views of the exhibits! The Opera Granier is set to one side of the hotel, and the Palais Royal is on the other side. The area is busy with authentic cafes and is a short walk from the bustling shopping street of Rue St. Honore. It also offers interconnecting rooms, perfect for a family vacation.

Hotel Lutetia

Hotel Lutetia is a phenomenal hotel option for travelers who have been to Paris before, who have explored the famous areas in Paris, and who are looking for a much more detailed look into the city. It’s a very modern hotel with a contemporary style and artistic surprises. The bustling lobby has an edginess with displays of art by renowned contemporary artists including Arman, Cesar, Perrin, and Thierry Bisch. The Hotel Lutetia has an artistic and elegant culture that is clearly visible in the Art Deco architecture, period furniture, crystal chandeliers, and live jazz music flowing through the Lutetia Bar. It’s located on the left bank in Saint-Germain des Pres, in the heart of the fashion, art, and literature district. What sets this hotel apart is that if you make a reservation for a suite, you are guaranteed an Eiffel Tower view! (We do ask, however, that you request an Eiffel Tower view ahead of time)

Hotel de Crillon

Hotel de Crillon is a very royal, elegant 18th century style luxury hotel situated in the famous Place De la Concorde in the heart of Paris. This hotel is for new travelers as well as frequent visitor to Paris, perfect for those who are looking for the absolute best and most royal hotel in the City of Love. It is only a few steps from the Champs-Elysees and the Fabourg Saint Honore. It is decorated in a Louis XV style, and its guest rooms and suites are decorated to represent the rich history and culture of Paris. Similar to the Hotel du Louvre, the Hotel de Crillon has connecting room options as well, making it another perfect hotel for a family or group vacation.


France Comes to Berlin, and It Doesn't End in a Headbutt: The Hotel Concorde Berlin


By: Christopher Roney

It's long been said that in heaven the French are the cooks, and while Germany has its own national specialties, like the Currywurst that you simply have to try at Konnopke's Imbiss, you might find after a few days that you'll be lusting after the luxury of French delicacies.  And the Hotel Concorde Berlin certainly delivers on the French flair we've come to expect from all the Concorde Hotels.  La Faubourg is a modern take on the traditional brasserie and even offers al fresco dining on the terrace once the city warms in May. With a visible sightline to the famous Gedächtniskirche, elegant in its preserved, broken beauty, the Hotel Concorde is ideally located in Berlin's ritzier and more glamourous southwestern corner.  Just steps from the Kurfurstendamm, the main Allee that is home to much of the city's upscale shopping establishments, you can also sneak away into more secluded spots with the real personality that makes Berlin so special.  Check out the nearby A-Trane Jazz Club, a hole-in-the-wall joint that has supported the underground Jazz scene for two decades and has played home to some of the greats and up-and-coming stars, like Toumani Diabate and Matthew Shipp. 

The hotel itself has 311 rooms, including 44 suites, and each brings a unique take on its sleek, modern style.  The whole building was designed by German architect Jan Kleihus and built just in 2005, and his cutting-edge style is infused in the very foundations. The Hotel Concorde Berlin understands the contemporary demands of luxury, coming from a nation with a long history of defining the European standard, and transplanting that cultural expectation to Berlin has created the perfect fusion of the modern, bustling metropolis with the storied tradition of French dining and hospitality.  It's bucket list material for sure.


Special Five Star Alliance Package at Le Burgundy Paris


By: Oksana Balytsky

Le Burgundy Paris is a 5-star boutique hotel located where the rue Duphot meets the rue Saint-Honore, in the Golden Triangle of Champs Elysees-Madeline-Opera. This historic property was built in 1800, remodeled in 2010, and has 59 luxurious rooms including 8 suites. Aside from inspirational architecture, a phenomenal restaurant offering delectable cuisine, and a relaxing spa, Le Burgundy Paris is also currently offering a special Five Star Alliance package, providing the perfect reason to make your travel plans today!

The Five Star Alliance Package provides the perfect way to pamper yourself for 1 hour and 30 minutes with a facial or body care option for ultimate relaxation. This package is available for 1 person and is not valid with groups or conventions. Take advantage of this incredible package and treat yourself to a much needed and deserving escape from it all!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Royal Crescent Hotel


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 Royal Crescent Hotel is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. It is the most impressive hotel located in the beautiful city of Bath, United Kingdom. This luxury hotel occupies the two central buildings in the entire crescent, and it has some of the most breathtaking features in one of the world’s most enchanting cities. Take in the stunning setting and marvelous architecture that has remained unchanged since the 18th century. The hotel is much more than a remarkable pair of buildings; it allows you to experience a style of extravagant living from the age when Bath was the heart of the civilized world. Certain accommodations feature a working fireplace and four poster beds, and the renowned Bath House spa and fine dining restaurant offer the finishing touches to this perfectly located hotel!

Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Royal Crescent Hotel!


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: Four Seasons St. Petersburg


By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The Four Seasons St. Petersburg is expected to open mid 2012! This brand new Four Seasons hotel is located within a 19th-century royal palace whose entry is guarded by 2 marble lions. This beautiful hotel is located just 2 blocks from the Hermitage Museum and near the Nevsky Prospekt. It features 177 luxurious guestrooms, including 26 suites, offering phenomenal views of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Alexandrovsky Garden, and the landmark Admiralty. The Four Seasons St. Petersburg also has 2 restaurants and a glass-topped spa, so you’ll have everything you need conveniently accessible. Can’t quite wait until opening day? Then be sure to check out the other luxury hotels in St. Petersburg!

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona


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 Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambience and design. This luxury hotel offers some of the most exclusive accommodations in Barcelona with only 98 rooms and suites. Its modern designs incorporate subtle reflections of their oriental heritage, and it is a staple hotel in the Mandarin Oriental collection. Views are either of their interior garden or the Passeig de Gracia, a stylish boulevard. A number of guest rooms have a balcony or terrace allowing guests to take in the sweeping beauty of Barcelona. The charm behind this hotel is certainly in its design, for it has the feel of a small, personal boutique hotel, but provides the amenities and service expected from an established, large hotel.

Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona!


Conrad Sells Seashells by the Iberian Seashore: New Conrad Algarve Opening 2012


By: Christopher Roney

I'm afraid of new things.  When someone gives me a food that has even an accent mark over the vowels, I scuttle back into my shell like a timid hermit crab.  But something's got me poking my little eyestalks out of my snail shell home. Just on the horizon is the opening of the next Conrad hotel in the Algarve region of Portugal and the crabby world of its sun-soaked southern coast is is all atwitter with talk of its guest rooms that would put any shell to shame. Coming in fall of this year, the new luxury hotel will be right at home in the Ria Formosa National Park, home to as many Roman ruins as it is sandy barrier islands. 158 rooms leave ample space around lakes and gardens that play host to the very best in Iberian flora.  Moving inside, you'll find balconies and marble bathrooms aplenty.  Eat with Gusto at the signature restaurant (guess the name?), offering the only grilled-to-order meat and seafood that the region is so famous for.  And would it be a luxury hotel if it didn't have a spa that claims to be one of Europe's best? You'll just have to come try it out to see if it stands up to the hype when this regional beauty opens its doors.  I might even come out of my shell to visit.

In the meantime, why not check out our other hotels in the Algarve region?


Hotels with a History: Hotel Alfonso XIII


By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

 Named for the king who commissioned in in 1928, the Hotel Alfonso XIII is located in the heart of Seville, and it was designed to be Europe’s most luxurious hotel. It symbolizes the city’s Moorish influences and provides easy access to the Guadalquivir River and the Santa Cruz neighborhood. Its 151 rooms pay tribute to the various eras in Seville varying from Isabelline Baroque, Castilian, and Moorish-style. Every room has lively walls covered with a blend of silk and linen, and the rooms are adorned with beautiful, authentic antiques. It’s phenomenally located minutes from the Reales Alcazares and Plaza de Espana, among the arches and arabesques of the historic downtown. This hotel has an Olympic size seasonal pool; it offers private massages, babysitting services, and easy access to Calle Sierpes and other wonderful cobblestone shopping streets in the phenomenal city of Seville.


Conde Nast Platinum Circle 2012: Hotel de la Cite


By: Christopher Roney

We've been spotlighting a list of Conde Nast's award-winning Gold List Hotels for 2012, and each one is amazing in its own right. In a clear case of never enough of a good thing, Conde Nast has yet an additional level to their awards, the meta-prestigious Platinum Circle Hotels, distinguished for being consistent Gold List winners for the last five years. Perhaps it could have been more aptly named the Conde Nast Award for Continued Excellence in the Having of Conde Nast Awards, but that's probably just my jealousy talking. It takes a certain level of cachet to be able to recognize someone for being recognized by you, and the Conde Nast Awards carry that weight. Regardless, the Platinum Circle hotels are undoubtedly some of the best of the best and have the mark of consistency that other hotels can only aspire to.

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.

Though some of us may have visited Carcasonne on our very own dining room tables, there's certainly reason enough to see one of the most storied feudal regions of France.  To collect double points, the proprieters completed Hotel de la Cite in 1909 on the site of a former Bishop's palace in a neo-gothic style.  Stain-glass windows and mosaic patterning adorn a hotel that echoes the sensibilities of 12th century France, and views of Saint Michel cathedral give it an eerily medieval quality.  From within the circular citadel walls, Hotel de la Cite overlooks the surrounding farmland with all the commanding presence of the original fiefdom.  Itself a UNESCO world heritage site, the fortified castle represents one of the most idyllic historic locations you could visit.  If you're looking to get out of Paris to explore the rich history of a medieval France, there's nowhere better than Hotel de la Cite.

Check rates, availability, photos and more of the Hotel de la Cite here!