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.

Tequila Tastings at The Tides Riviera Maya

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides Riviera MayaVisitors to the sexy Tides Riviera Maya, perched on the white sands of the Yucatan Peninsula, will be delighted by the new Tequila 101 Tastings at the Tequila Bar. This ain't Jose Cuervo. You'll taste at least three high-end tequilas including blancos, añejos and reposados, accompanied by different Sangritas, the elixir that serves to extinguish tequila's fire and complements the various tequila flavors. The charming Tequila Maestro, Eduardo Gonzalez, explains the origins of blue agave-- how it is grown and how it is processed into Mexico's world-famous spirit. Plus, he'll give you the skinny on the proper way to drink tequila. Priced at $50 per person, per tasting.

Wind Down in the Windy City: Spa at Conrad Chicago

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Chicago bath butlerBath butlers, in-room massages, and pillow menus... Piqued your interest? The Conrad Chicago, the contemporary urban oasis housed in the historic McGraw-Hill building on the Magnificent Mile, offers the perfect getaway for a weekend of indulgence. The SPA break includes a complimentary room upgrade, breakfast at The Restaurant at Conrad, and a relaxing hour-long Swedish or deep tissue massage for each guest that you can enjoy in the privacy of your room. Of course The Conrad also offers a host of complimentary amenities including the hotel's unique pillow menu, daily newspaper menu, WIFI and the well appointed fitness center with spectacular views of the city skyline from the 11th floor. Guest rooms at The Conrad are downright decadent: 42 inch flat screen HD plasma televisions, Pratesi linens, towels, bath robes, and premiere luxury amenities by Molton Brown abound. Enhance your stay with the bath butler service, and you may never want to leave the comfort of your room. The rate for the SPA break is $375 per room, per night and is available until December 31, 2007.

Sutton Place Vancouver: British Columbia’s Leading Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sutton Place VancouverThe Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver's most stylish address, was voted B.C.'s best hotel at the 2007 World Travel Awards in New York City. No surprise there. After all, this CNT Gold List favorite has the best five-star digs in the city. For 18 consecutive years, the Sutton Place Hotel has maintained the AAA Five Diamond certification-- no small feat. The hotel doesn't rest on its laurels, but constantly seeks to improve with multi-million dollar renovations, environmentally friendly policies, world-class amenities, and flawless service. Here you'll find European elegance in the spectacular setting of downtown Vancouver. The dedicated staff strive to make each guest stay a pampered, personalized experience-- and it shows.

Vail on Sale at Sonnenalp Resort

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

SonnenalpNow's the time to head to Colorado and discover the charms of Vail's award-winning alpine resort, Sonnenalp. For a limited time, you can score rates as low as $195 per night which also includes a coupon for your choice of golf, a spa treatment, a Sonnenalp Guided Adventure, or dinner in one of the resort's fine restaurants. This Adventure Package is only available until November 20, 2007. For four generations, this all-suites hotel has epitomized the friendliness and hospitality of its Bavarian namesake. The pristine slopes of Vail are only steps away in the heart of Vail Village.

One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah Tops Conde Nast Traveller Reader’s Travel Awards

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Maldives at Reethi RahThe annual CNT Reader's Travel Awards have been released, so now we can ogle these gorgeous properties to our hearts' content. Perusing the list, you may wonder: Just why did the One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah get top honors, scoring the number one position on the chart? Conde Nast Traveller readers voted this the top hotel in the world, with a score of 96.45 percent out of 100 (the magazine's index of satisfaction). So what makes this spot so special?

Blissful spa? Check. A truly dreamy tropical setting? Check. Decadent cuisine? Check. Sleek over-water villas from where you can go for a dip in the crystal clear sea? But of course. But more than the standard fare at luxury hotels, the One&Only Maldives offers a level of privacy and exclusivity which is truly unprecedented. In other words, this resort is the pinnacle of tropical luxury.

You've seen the ads. Impossibly good-looking couple disembarks from a private plane, while the grinning One&Only staff greet them, gracefully balancing designer luggage and trays of chilled cocktails. Enough said.

The Ultimate Valentine’s Indulgence from Red Carnation Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

De Beers Diamond30,000 will buy you the Valentine's Day indulgence of a lifetime. (But we're not talking dollars. Nope. British pounds! which means a paltry 60,000 dollars.) Red Carnation Hotels-- the stellar global collection of boutique luxury hotels-- has recently announced the ultimate Valentine's Day experience available for the month of February 2008. And it seems that diamonds trump hearts. You'll get a chauffeur-driven Bentley, a bath filled with pink Champagne, twelve dozen red roses, and a box of handmade chocolates. *Yawn, how humdrum.* But did we mention the makeup and hair session in a top salon for the lady and a haircut at one of London's most celebrated barbers for the gentleman? Plus a bespoke tailored suit for him and a designer evening dress for her? Followed by a 7-course tasting meal with butler service in your suite, with a different wine to complement each dish, served as a harpist plays melodious tunes in the corner? And to top it all off: ten grand's worth of diamonds from De Beer's! Now, that's more like it. The Diamonds Package may be extravagant, but of all the days in the year, this evening is surely worth the splurge. Red Carnation Hotels is offering this package at all six of their London properties: "41" opposite Buckingham Palace, The Milestone by Kensington Gardens, The Egerton House in Knightsbridge, The Montague in Bloomsbury, The Chesterfield Mayfair and The Rubens next door to "41."

New Years Eve in Bangkok at the Shangri-La Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La BangkokWhat better way to celebrate New Year's Eve than on the banks of the Chao Praya River at one of the world's best hotels? The Shangri-La Bangkok ushers in 2008 with a poolside gala dinner party on New Year's Eve with special dance shows, entertainment, and a splendid array of delicious dishes. Not to mention the grand fireworks display! Book the New Year's Eve Package and enjoy a two-night stay in a luxurious Executive Suite with complimentary daily buffet breakfast for two, full Horizon Club access, a complimentary one-way transfer from airport to hotel, and the big countdown party! This New Year's Eve Package is priced from $609 per night, based on a two-night minimum stay, and is available from December 30, 2007- January 1, 2008.

PS. The Horizon Club (Krungthep Wing) provides lucky guests with a slew of benefits including access to a private lounge, all-day tea and coffee, juices and soft drinks, afternoon high tea, early evening cocktails and a range of business amenities.

Luck of the Irish: Ritz-Carlton Opens its Doors in County Wicklow

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Powerscourt GardensThe brand new Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, Ireland's first, is tucked in the gentle green hills of Country Wicklow, located just 16 miles outside of Dublin on the east coast. The Palladian estate is destined to become a magnificent destination hotel. Here you can enjoy both the tranquility of country living and the city chic of cosmopolitan Dublin. Set in the beautiful formal gardens of the famous Powerscourt Estate, the hotel is the ideal retreat in County Wicklow (aka "The Garden of Ireland"). As to be expected at a Ritz-Carlton, the surroundings are sumptuous: dignified accommodations, an outstanding spa, 36 holes of championship golf, and three exceptional restaurants including Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt, a signature restaurant from the esteemed chef. Plus, with 10,000 square feet of meeting space, this place is bound to be a meeting planner's dream.

The Fairfax: The First Luxury Collection Hotel in Washington D.C.

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Fairfax, Washington DC, Luxury CollectionWe're thrilled to break the news on the D.C. hotel scene with an inside scoop. Washingtonians will bliss out over this one. Starwood's Luxury Collection-- that otherworldly mélange of exceptional hotels-- will welcome its first D.C. hotel into its fold come February 2008. Currently dubbed the Westin Embassy Row (and a Ritz-Carlton in a previous incarnation), this historic hotel sits on some prime real estate near Dupont Circle-- with sweeping views of Embassy Row, the Washington Cathedral skyline, and the twinkling lights of Georgetown. The hotel is currently undergoing a dramatic historic renovation until January 31, 2008 and will emerge as an elegant destination on par with the other swanky Luxury Collection properties that cater to an elite clientele in the world's most sought-after destinations. The first choice for Washington society for generations, the stately hotel first opened in 1927. This D.C. landmark will open as The Fairfax on February 1, 2008.

Winter Escape at the Bayerischer Hof, Munich

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bayerischer HofWhen the temperatures dip this autumn, get cozy at Munich's finest hotel, Bayerischer Hof, and enjoy an unforgettable holiday in Bavaria. Jazz enthusiasts will flock to the hotel's Night Club for the New York Concert Series, where famous artists perform musical highlights from soul to jazz. Sunday mornings mean an indulgent Jazz Brunch Buffet at the Palais Keller with savory starters, seasonal salads, and delicacies from the sea. Book the Winter Package at this world-class luxury hotel and enjoy excellent rates and a bunch of extras: Warm up with a hot winter cocktail at the crackling fireplace in the Blue Spa winter garden. Indulge in champagne breakfast in the roof garden. Savor a four-course menu at the Garden Restaurant. Plus two nights of luxurious accommodations, all for EUR 308 per night (double room). Available from October 26, 2007- March 13, 2008.