Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

Daiquiri Master Class at Artesian Bar at The Langham, London

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Artesian Bar at The LanghamGet your masters at London's chic, new bar, Artesian. Designed by David Collins Studio with leather seats, a lilac marble bar, and a mirrored ceiling, Artesian at the Langham has been drawing a hip crowd for its exciting drink menu, specializing in rum. So why not learn the secrets of Daiquiri-making with the experts during an hour-long class? The bar's rum collection includes more than 50 varieties, including its own private label. Eight students max per class; Priced at GBP 30.

P.S. The Langham's Landau restaurant is another top destination in London; don't miss Chef Andrew Turner's culinary creations.

View and Tour the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

By: Courtney W. May

Hyatt Regency MauiThe Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is a beachfront resort with 3 connecting mid-rise buildings: the Napili Tower (8 Floors), Lahaina Tower (7 Floors) and the Atrium Tower (9 Floors). All rooms have a balcony with a garden, golf course, mountain or ocean views. Landscaped with tropical gardens, a Japanese strolling garden, exotic birds, streams and waterfalls, the Hotel also houses a collection of fine art from Asia and the South Pacific. Click on the link below to see videos, tour the rooms and public areas, and to decide if the Hyatt Regency Maui is the resort in Hawaii for you.

No Luggage Required at The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The JeffersonWhat could be better than a weekend spent luxuriating at Richmond's grandest hotel? The award-winning Jefferson offers an unmatched hotel experience in the heart of Virginia's capital. Known for its impeccable service and breathtaking architecture, the gracious hotel has put together a "No Luggage Required" package, so that you can spend your visit at The Jefferson just lounging in your very own Jefferson bathrobe and enjoying room service (if you want!) Don't pack a thing! Available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights only, the package includes deluxe guest accommodations, two luxurious Jefferson signature bathrobes for your enjoyment during your stay and to take home, his and hers toiletry kits, full American breakfast, valet parking, and a late check-out at 2:00 pm.

Note: The Jefferson is also offering a Garden Week Package for the 75th Historic Garden Week in Virginia. Starting at $235 in a Superior Room, this is a great value. Includes full American buffet breakfast in Lemaire Restaurant, Garden Week guidebook and a signature spring floral arrangement from Blooms at The Jefferson. Available April 19 - 27, 2008.

Hawaiian Tropics: Special Offers at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Big Island

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hapuna Beach Prince HotelEscape to Hawaii's Big Island for some serious fun in the sun. The Kohala Coast boasts the most sunshine, gorgeous white sand beaches and impressive resorts on the island. Swim with sea turtles, discover incredible marine life on deep-water dives, play a round of golf on the world-renowned greens, and check out the posh digs at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The recipient of multiple accolades from top travel magazines, this oceanfront resort is nestled into the bluffs above the silky-soft sands of Hapuna Beach, and offers much better rates than some of its neighbors. The "Spring into Summer" promotion means rooms starting at just $265 per night, with a daily resort credit of $50 thrown in for good measure. Or choose the "2 for 1" promotion, and get two rooms for the price of one, starting at $500 per night in a Partial Oceanview Room. (Valid April 1, 2008 until September 30, 2008.) Frequent shuttle service is provided to the Mauna Kea, the sister resort.

Related Article:

LA Times Daily Deal Blog, Pretty pictures of Hawaii guaranteed to make you drool...

An Interview with the General Manager: Luca Virgilio of the Hotel Baglioni London

By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Mr. Luca Virgilio has been the General Manager of the Hotel Baglioni London since October of 2004. Prior to his work in London, most recently Mr. Virgilio was the General Manager of the Hotel Carlton Baglioni in Milan, and the Resident Manager of the Hotel Eden in Rome.

Luca Virgilio Carlton LondonFive Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?

Luca Virgilio: The décor plays a very important role in determining the personality of the Hotel. So I would say décor is a unique feature that distinguish us from other Hotels in the City. It has a very glamorous and decadent feel, and a definite Italian chic appeal. It is n hotel with energy a great soul and spirit. This is given by the staff who are always there to help but the feel is relaxed and without an "attitude"… people that frequent us make the Hotel Baglioni London what it is.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Luca Virgilio: We have many A-listers in the entertainment business that are known world wide, however they one of our most treasured secrets and we do not like to divulge…..

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages?

Luca Virgilio: Definitely room 505. It is on the top floor has beautiful views over the park and in indeed a standard room. This said all our rooms are particularly spacious where the smallest is 300 square foot. My favorite rooms in the hotel are the '04 types. These are junior suites facing the park with beautiful contemporary 4 poster beds and working gas fireplaces.

Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel?

Luca Virgilio: Hotel Baglioni London is very well embedded in the London social scene. We have become a destination for the Londoners to meet for drinks or dinner. The restaurant and bar are very busy especially in the evening - lots of beautiful people around. We have held some of the most glamorous events and parties such as the Vanity Fair, Tatler, EMI after the Brits award party, Fashion Rocks, where many celebrities attended.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Luca Virgilio: If the style and décor would suit my desires.

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Luca Virgilio: Hotel Baglioni London is in a residential area facing Hyde Park. We are in the heart of the cultural part of London with the Victoria &Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Hall. We are at the cross roads between the touristy part of London and the London for the locals with bars, cafes, boutiques, art galleries. We can be in any of these 2 parts in 5 minutes and Kensington itself is a beautiful area where I just enjoy walking the streets window shopping or a little walk in the park.

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Luca Virgilio: The Carlyle in New York, The Eden in Rome, The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. They all have a very strong individuality, soul and charisma. This is invaluable in the days where many go for one rule fits all.

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Luca Virgilio: Age group is from 35 to 55 more or less and come from different geographic regions and background. From CEO of major international corporations, to the movie or rock star to a couple enjoying a romantic weekend, or a family traveling to enjoy quality time together. The main group of our guests come from the US, followed by England, Italy, France, Russia and Middle East.

Five Star Alliance: What is the hardest part about being General Manager? If you could change one thing about the hotel, what would that be?

Luca Virgilio: Is a fascinating job and I would not change it for anything in the world… indeed can be challenging, probably the hardest is to make sure you please every single guest as an individual, there is not one rule for all... change nothing add yes... a swimming pool.

Mr. Luca Virgilio is fluent in Italian, English and French, and has a fair knowledge of Spanish. He attended Cornell University, the University of Rome, Istituto Kennedy in Rome and Hotel Management School in Switzerland.

Buzzworthy: Gansevoort South Opens in South Beach

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gansevoort SouthThe South Beach branch of the celebrated New York hotel has officially opened its doors, but HotelChatter advises that a lot of facilities-- like the 42,000-square-foot David Barton Gym and Spa--are still closed during the soft opening phase. What's so cool about this place? A sprawling rooftop retreat with bar, lounge, and 110-foot long pool is billed as "the largest rooftop playground in the country." Beachside infinity pool, classy eateries, and an enormous shark tank in the lobby... And the coolest part of all? The celebratory opening for the Gansevoort South featured celeb tennis stars playing a match on the rooftop pool. Like, literally, *on* the water. Check out the pic on HotelChatter.

Image Via Snack

Hotel Zaza: Hipster Heaven in Houston

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Zaza HoustonWe can't stop talking about the glamorous Hotel Zaza and its cool, creative amenities. Houston's hottest hotel just got a shout-out from the Chicago Sun-Times travel blog:

ZaZa used to be the historic neoclassical Warwick hotel until a massive renovation turned it into swanky 315-room bastion of coolness. Especially funky are the themed suites decked out in clever motifs like the space theme in the "Houston, We Have a Problem" room.

The rooms are truly decadent. And the bar? "THE place to see and be seen."

The World’s Greatest City Views: Westin St. Francis in San Francisco

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin St. FrancisNational Geographic's Journeys of a Lifetime has the scoop on some of the top urban views in the world, and the elevator ride in the Westin St. Francis, the landmark hotel situated directly on Union Square in downtown San Francisco, is a once-in-a-lifetime must. There are 5 exterior elevators, and these are the fastest in the city-- hurtling upward at 1,000 feet per minute. The panoramic views of the City by the Bay are breathtaking.

PS. Don't miss dinner at Michael Mina, the award-winning restaurant housed in the hotel.

Related Article:

HotelChatter, "Westin St. Francis Unveils 'Meet Me at the Clock' Contest"

Vagablond, Is the Hotel Still For Sale?

What’s Hot: The New W Hotel Istanbul

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel IstanbulNow accepting reservations beginning April 1, 2008, the new W Hotel is the hottest thing to hit the scene in Istanbul. The hotel brand known for its chic, contemporary style has opened a sexy new property in the ancient city of gilded domes, minarets, and dynamic modern towers. Crossroads between old and new, East and West, the cosmopolitan metropolis of Istanbul welcomes a hotel as dynamic as the city itself. Designed by Geomim, the hotel is the centerpiece of the historic Akaretler Row Houses. You'll find all the signature W touches like iPod docking stations and flatscreen TVs, munchie boxes and mini bars, the luxurious W bed, separate showers and tubs in the bathrooms, and the cozy Living Room for cocktails. Plus, all rooms and suites have gardens, terraces, or cabanas. Indulge in all the decadent facilities on offer: chow down on the Southeast Asian plates at Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market before getting pampered with a massage at the spa. Talk about Turkish Delight.

The Perfect Combination - Astrology and Park Hotel Weggis

By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Park Hotel Weggis If you faithfully read your horoscope each day and know the signs of all your friends, then you’ll want to visit the Park Hotel Weggis for their Park & Stars Package. It includes welcome champagne, accommodation including buffet breakfast, an individual astrological reading on the day of your arrival or a couple analysis, an astrological five course dinner (created around your astrological sign!), as well as a keepsake to take home with you. The astrological consultations are given by Doris Vollenweider, a counselor for astrological psychology. Park Hotel WeggisAll readings are given in German so unfortunately you are out of luck if you don't speak that language. When you reserve, you will need to give the hotel your exact date, time, and location of birth for your astrological reading. Packages are also available without the overnight accommodation for those who would just like to spend an astro filled day at the Park Hotel Weggis.