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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.

Buzzworthy: Bauer Il Palladio Opens its Spa in Venice, Italy

June 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bauer Il Palladio As recently featured on Travel and Leisure's "It List," Bauer Il Palladio is the hottest new hotel in Venice. Though the hotel is housed in a former convent, there is nothing austere about this place-- decked out in Murano-glass lanterns and the finest tapestries and paintings. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece of original 16th century brick walls and terrazzo floors, complemented by antique furnishings. The hotel is aptly called a "rare jewel in Venice," as its location on the exclusive island of Giudecca ensures stupendous views of the city. A cool perk: guests are transported by solar-powered boat to and from Venice's other islands. This summer, the five-star hotel welcomes its luxurious spa, which will offer a slew of first-class wellness therapies along with a Turkish hammam and saunas.

Related Articles:

The Newest Hotel in Venice, Italy: The Bauer Palladio Hotel and Spa


Nine World Wonders by Private Jet with Abercrombie and Kent

June 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Abercrombie and Kent private jet Visit nine wonders of the world-- from the Egyptian pyramids to the incredible carved sculptures on Easter Island-- with Abercrombie & Kent's globe-spanning journey by private jet. The luxury tour operator enlists expert guides to accompany their programs; these professionals are the ideal traveling companions who work hard to ensure an unforgettable journey. Privileged guests can choose from an array of sightseeing excursions, sport, shopping and spa options at selected destinations. And with Abercrombie & Kent, guests experience privileged access to these nine landmarks of world culture-- a real insider's perspective. As to be expected, the accommodations on this circumnavigation are the finest, like the elegant Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco, the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, and the luxurious Four Seasons First Residence in Cairo. For 2008, the itinerary spans Miami, Lima, Easter Island, Apia (Samoa), Sydney, Siem Reap (Cambodia), Yangon (Myanmar), Jodhpur & Agra (India), Muscat (Oman), Petra (Jordan), Cairo, and New York. Dates are January 13- February 6, 2008 and February 7- March 2, 2008. There are a limited number of seats on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. The private Boeing 757-200 is limited to just 50 guests, so make your reservations today.


21C Museum Hotel Will Open in Austin, Texas

June 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

21C Museum Hotel This is the best news we've heard in awhile. The 21C Museum Hotel, the extraordinary Louisville hotel that knocked everyone's socks off with its opening in 2006, is coming to Austin. Developers have announced a $200 million project which will dramatically change Austin's skyline: the 44-storey tower will rank among the city's tallest. Inside this soaring landmark, there will be a contemporary art museum, luxury hotel, spa, and stylish residences. Say hello to the second 21C Museum Hotel, set to open in 2010 at Third and Brazos streets. The contemporary art museum will offer free admission year-round to the general public (guaranteed to be mind-blowing). Each room in the hotel will also feature original works of art-- in addition to the luxurious amenities, cutting-edge technology, and contemporary furnishings. Straight from the horse's mouth:

21c Museum Hotel was born out of a love of contemporary art; a desire to create livable downtown spaces that prevent urban sprawl; a belief that art should be accessible, interactive and without pretense; and the conviction that art drives commerce.

The restaurant will become a hot spot, no doubt. The menu will be created by acclaimed restaurateur and author Michael Bonadies, the founding partner of the New York-based group that owns and operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu and Rubicon. Specializing in contemporary American cuisine, the restaurant will emphasize local and sustainable agriculture.

Related Articles:

Gridskipper, 21C Museum Hotel


The Hotel Boom in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

June 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gaslamp Quarter The hottest ticket in California right now is San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, where new hotels are opening a mile a minute. The long-awaited Ivy Hotel, about which we first reported last December, is finally ready to make its debut in August. Guests can expect 24-hour butler service, a fitness center, rooftop pool, and Cadillac Escalade courtesy cars. Fun, whimsical dishes will be the mainstay at The Quarter Kitchen, the hotel's on-site restaurant. Think caviar tacos and lobster pot pie. Hot on the heels of this sexy hotel's opening, the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is scheduled to open in the fall. Book one of the rock star suites-- rumor has it that the Black Eyed Peas even designed one-- and enjoy LCD televisions, CD/DVD with iPod connections, and a martini bar.

It's no wonder this historic hood is attracting the eye of hoteliers. Experiencing a renaissance of sorts, the place is packed with boutiques, bistros, beautiful galleries, excellent restaurants, and happening nightlife spots. And of course as we sing the area's praises, we can't forget the signature old-fashioned gaslamps lining the sidewalks of the West's trendiest neighborhood.

Related Articles:

The Keating Hotel, San Diego: Celebrate the Grand Opening


Fourth Free Night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at Casa Velas

June 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa Velas Follow your bliss to the soft sands and roaring surf of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where Casa Velas provides a peaceful, secluded oasis. Tucked away on the beautiful Marina Vallarta golf course, Casa Velas is an adults-only boutique hotel. Relax in your private plunge pool or hit the sand at the beach club. Retreat to the spa for an indulgent massage overlooking the ocean. In the evening, enjoy live music and a fabulous meal at the gourmet restaurant, Emiliano. This is the ultimate romantic hideaway. With the One More Night promotion, stay for three nights and get the fourth for free! And since this hotel is all-inclusive, you get all your meals, premium beverages, and round-trip airport transfers for free. Rates are for a Master Suite, and start at $540 per couple per night. (Rate is pro-rated to reflect savings for the four-night stay.) Available until December 20, 2007.


What a Hotel! Intimate Country Home

June 22, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.

What a Hotel!

Helpful Hints: 2,500-acres, Orvis-endorsed, 4 distinct seasons ...

All 4 contestants were correct in guessing Last Week's Hotel Contest:
What a Hotel!

The Hotel Le Meurice, Paris, France


Hot Dining in Hong Kong: Spoon by Alain Ducasse at the InterContinental

June 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Spoon by Alain Ducasse Savvy gourmands flock to the InterContinental Hong Kong for the best dining options in the city. The STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill lures meat lovers with prime cuts of the world's finest steaks on Hong Kong's only charcoal grill; the new Nobu restaurant was named one of the world's Hot Tables by Conde Nast Traveler. And then there's SPOON by Alain Ducasse, the high concept restaurant designed by the world's most awarded chef. This innovative hot spot gives guests the freedom to mix and match food and cooking styles, and select different sauces and side dishes. The best ingredients from around the world-- think French foie gras, lobster, the freshest fish and vegetables-- are incorporated into exciting, contemporary dishes by SPOON Executive Chef Tjaco van Eijken who moved to Hong Kong in June 2005 (from Mr. Ducasse's Il Cortile (1-Michelin star) restaurant in Paris).

Tony Chi designed the interiors to showcase the panoramic views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong island. The leather and chrome bar area is complemented by modern French chairs with eel skin upholstery and sofas with mink cushions. 550 hand-blown Venetian Mercury glass spoons adorn the ceiling, reflecting the custom-designed open kitchen and harbor views. The huge international wine selection (4,800 bottles with 450 different vintages) is dramatically showcased within the restaurant.

SPOON offers one of the most sought-after dining experiences in the city. Hong Kong residents easily make up half of the restaurant's clientele. Open daily for dinner and Sundays for lunch. Located on the Lobby Level of the InterContinental.


Mii Amo at Enchantment Resort: Spas in Sedona, Arizona

June 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mii Amo Spa at Enchantment Resort Escape to Red Rock country for some serious relaxation (and inspiration). Surrounded by the majesty of towering rock formations and the pristine desert landscape, the Enchantment Resort is situated within an unbelievable setting. And at 4,600 feet, the resort experiences cooler, pleasant temperatures-- an oasis away from the hottest Arizona summers. For thousands of years, Native Americans considered this an area of sacred healing. It's no wonder that the resort’s Mii Amo spa, inspired by the magic of the setting and named after the Native American word for "Journey," was voted Number 1 Destination Spa in America by Travel and Leisure readers. The stunning adobe architecture seems to blend into the red rock cliffs of Boynton Canyon. Mii Amo offers a full menu of spa services like the High Desert Facial, Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment, Milk and Honey Bath, Sedona Clay Wrap, and massage. Other progressive spa services include Tarot card readings and Astrology.


Chillin’ by the Black Sea at the Grand Hotel Rodina, Sochi, Russia

June 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Hotel Rodina Now you can stay next door to Vladimir Putin's summer house on the Russian Riviera. When he's not hazing the new French president, Vlad hangs out here in Sochi, the historic seaside resort on the Black Sea. Stein Hotels opened Grand Hotel and Spa Rodina in May 2006 and the media's been abuzz ever since. Set within 15 hectares of gardens that lead down to a private beach club, the hotel has dramatic views of the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains, sandy beaches of the Black Sea, and Putin's official summer residence. Joseph Stalin originally created the resort in the 1950s as a retreat for the party elite. For over two centuries, the country's rich and powerful flocked to these shores, now also known for its annual film festival held in June. The subtropical climate-- the most northernmost like it in the world-- means lush terrain and lots of leafy palms. (You can swim from April through October, and hit the ski slopes from October into May.) Discover the magnificent botanical gardens, the only tea plantations in Russia, and the magnificent canyons and waterfalls of the nearby Caucasus mountains.

Grand Hotel Rodina is an exclusive property of only 42 rooms and suites, some with private terrace Jacuzzis. Soak in the oversized swimming pools (the best in the area), catch a flick at the private cinema, dine al fresco on the rooftop terrace, stake your claim to a piece of paradise at the exclusive Beach Club. The facilities are truly presidential, with tennis and basketball courts, a helicopter pad, boathouse, billiard room, and fully-equipped gym and spa. The best part of all? The cigar room located in the 50 year old bomb shelter.


Cocktails on the Terrace at Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, New York

June 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

View from Ritz Carlton Battery Park Rooftop bars abound in Manhattan; outdoor boozing is a favorite urban pastime when the mercury rises (and that blanket of humidity shrouds our favorite city). For the best views in New York, head downtown to the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park to cool off on the Rise Bar & Terrace, located on the 14th floor. After all, this high-energy hot spot was chosen by Zagat as the Best Rooftop Bar in NYC. Sample a cocktail and the tasty small plates while gazing out at the Statue of Libery and New York Harbor. This extraordinary location means that the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park is the only luxury waterfront hotel in the city.

Via Vagablond