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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.

Business Travelers Heart Historic Hotels (like The Peabody Memphis)


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peabody MemphisThe travel trend these days for business executives? Checking into historic hotels. After hefty renovations, these hotels have become destinations in and of themselves. And industry experts cite this category as a better-performing niche. Case in point: The Peabody in Memphis, famous for its parade of ducks at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. through the lobby. After a makeover a few years ago, the hotel sports ultra-luxurious rooms, an indoor pool and athletic club, and wireless access in-room-- not an easy feat for many landmark hotels which require rewiring for that 21st century amenity. What's the draw to the historic hotels like The Peabody and Manhattan's legendary Plaza? These hotels are distinctive, luxurious, and offer a sense of place, as explained by a spokesperson for the 210-member Historic Hotels of America.

(Props to the New York Times for an excellent analysis)


Sale! Sale! Sale! Kimpton Hotels Announces the Year’s Lowest Weekend Rates


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alexis HotelPlan a weekend getaway now at a Kimpton hotel and enjoy Internet rates starting as low as $99 per night, available exclusively Thursdays- Sundays until March 30, 2008. The Kimpton brand is known for its distinctive, one-of-a-kind hotels where guests enjoy hosted evening wine receptions and complimentary Wireless Internet access. Each hotel is different: colorful, vibrant and with lots of personality. (And most are pet-friendly.) Book a room at the high-style Hotel Monaco Denver, housed in the historic 1917 Railway Exchange Building and the 1937 Art Moderne Title Building, and you'll find rates starting at $129 per night. (2/14-2/16 are black-out dates.) The Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA is going for $129 per night. At the recently-renovated Alexis Hotel in Seattle, rates start at just $159 per night. Other Kimpton hotels priced at $159 per night: Portland's Hotel Monaco, San Diego's Hotel Solamar, and San Francisco's Hotel Palomar.


Girls Getaway Package at La Posada de Santa Fe


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Posada de Santa FeSteal away for a weekend with your favorite gals to historic Santa Fe, New Mexico and let La Posada de Santa Fe pamper you with the Girls Rock Package. The concierge will plan everything for your stay, so you and your girlfriends don't have to lift a finger. Situated in the very heart of the city, La Posada de Santa Fe's adobe-style accommodations sprawl over six landscaped acres. Indulge in some Southwest-inspired spa treatments at the Avanyu Spa, check out the art galleries and fine shops, and taste the signature cuisine at Fuego restaurant. Priced from $350 per person, per night, the package includes two-nights accommodations, one 50-minute Dancing Wind Massage or a 50-minute Essential Facial per person, tapas tasting with champagne at the Staab House, free museum passes to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, 10 percent discount in the museum shop and café, and complimentary coffee-table book and Georgia O'Keefe biography presented in-room upon arrival. Also includes parking and resort activity fees.


Le Soleil Hotel and Suites: The Sophisticated Choice in Vancouver


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Soleil Hotel and SuitesOn the downtown Vancouver hotel scene, Le Soleil stands out for its exemplary service. The knowledgeable concierge can arrange just about anything: from butler and shopping assistance to private trainer and masseuse. Personal preferences such as type of bed and pillows, room temperature, brand of beverage, favorite restaurants and special dates are noted by Le Soleil's staff on subsequent visits. To the delight of female business travelers, the AAA Four-Diamond hotel even has Elle Suites specifically designed with the female executive in mind. Sumptuously appointed with exquisite décor, this intimate, European-style hotel has a great location in the heart of the city. With the Bed and Breakfast package, you'll find an unbeatable value. Check into a luxurious one-bedroom suite and in the morning, wake up to a delicious hot breakfast, all for just $159 per night. (Available til April. From May- October, the package is priced at $229.) Plus, if you book with Five Star Alliance, you get complimentary Internet access during your stay.


A Special Valentine’s Day in Washington D.C. at the Hay-Adams


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hay-Adams HotelIt's not too late to plan an unforgettable Valentine's Day in D.C. The award-winning Hay-Adams hotel, the most prestigious address in the capital, has put together a fabulous Valentine's Weekend Package to spoil you and your special someone. Splurge with a luxurious stay at the Washington landmark overlooking Lafayette Square and the White House, where you'll enjoy plush accommodations (featuring ornamental fireplaces and intricately carved ceilings) and the hotel's famous personal service. Room rates include champagne and flowers, chocolate dipped fruits, special bath amenities, a romantic CD, and a full American breakfast for two. The package starts at $439 per night and is available February 14, 15, or 16th, 2008.


The Signature at MGM Grand Wins


By: Courtney W. May

MGM Signature TowerTripAdvisor.com has officially chosen The Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the No. 1 "Best Luxury Hotel in the U.S." The TripAdvisor's 2008 Travelers' Choice Awards also recognized The Signature among the "Top 100 Best Luxury Hotels in the World" and the "Best Hotels in the World's 25 Most Popular Destinations." What makes the win so interesting is that the Signature does not offer a casino, is non-smoking only, and all-suites - no standard rooms here. While it is true guests can still use the MGM Grand for gambling and smoking, by booking the Signature, they get to enjoy a gated entrance and suites with balconies.

Note Bene: At 550 square feet, the MGM Signature Junior Suites are big on style and are the most basic, standard room category.


Qasr Al Sharq, Jeddah: Sumptuous Saudi Arabia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Qasr Al SharqBusiness in Jeddah? The place to stay is the Qasr Al Sharq, the opulent "Palace of the Orient" managed by the new Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Designed by the folks behind Dubai's seven-star Burj Al Arab, the all-suite hotel epitomizes extravagance. Pure gold, handpicked crystal and porcelain, exquisite mosaics, cultured marble, the finest art... Luxury is in the details. As befits a palace this grand, some of the suites are more than 10,000 square feet in size, and come with massage tables and private gyms. Service is exceptional, as the personal butlers are members of the International Guild of Professional Butlers. Facilities include a traditional Hammam, magnificent pool with a fully retractable glass roof, and ladies-only spa with Jeddah's only Aquamedic pool that pumps underwater jet streams specifically designed to massage the body. For business meetings, there are seven boardrooms themed to reflect the world's economic powerhouses (think: British Windsor Room, Japanese Kyoto room). Plus, all the suites are equipped with laptops that wirelessly connect to the Internet anywhere in the building.

Image via Conde Nast Traveler Hot List


Take the Family to Brussels: VI’Kids at the Hotel Amigo


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Amigo, BrusselsShare a magical time with your family in the heart of the European capital. One step away from Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, and close to the city's key historic sites and attractions, the stylish Hotel Amigo is a newly-refurbished gem in the Rocco Forte Collection. Renowned for its five-star accommodations and impeccable personal service, the hotel is the ideal base for you and your family to discover Brussels. The Hotel Amigo has put together a VI'Kids program (how clever!) with all sorts of special amenities. After a generous buffet breakfast at the Ristorante Bocconi (or in your room), spend the day with your kids at the Natural Science Museum, checking out the impressive collection of dinosaurs. The VI'Kids program includes 2 Classic Rooms connecting or adjoining (for 2 adults and 2 children) with 50 percent reduction on your kids' room, full buffet breakfast, tickets to the Museum of Natural Science, a welcome basket filled with goodies and children's amenities, a "Bvlgari" present for kids, daily newspaper and access to the fitness center. Total price for 2 Classic Rooms is EUR 405. Available every weekend until April 30, 2008.

PS. The Hotel Amigo offers a Family Lunch with a special 3-course Children's menu, along with Babysitting service.


The Perfect Valentine’s Day at Villa Olmi, Florence


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa OlmiWhat could be more romantic than Florence for Valentine's Day? Savor the dolce vita at an enchanting Renaissance villa nestled on six hectares of beautifully-landscaped gardens. Just outside the gates of Florence, the Villa Olmi entices guests with its original murals, refined antiques, and contemporary amenities galore. (Marble bathrooms with jacuzzis, plasma TV screens, Wifi, the works...) The Italians certainly do things right for Valentine's Day. Escape to Florence and enjoy splendid accommodations with an essential oils Jacuzzi bath, fresh fruit and Italian "Spumante" in-room upon arrival, and a complimentary buffet breakfast. On February 14, there will be a sumptuous, candle-lit feast with live music (EUR 65 per person). Rates for the "Luxury Valentine Escape" start from EUR 295 for the Classic Room. Plus, if you stay for three-nights, you'll enjoy a wine-tasting session in the villa's impressive wine cellar. Available from February 11- February 17, 2008.


Limited Time Special Offer at Four Seasons Hotel Miami


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons MiamiImagine: you sink into a plush lounge chair in a private poolside cabana while a pool attendant spoils you with Evian spritzes, cool towels, and frozen fruit brochettes. Lush tropical foliage waves in the breeze. Just a block from glittering Biscayne Bay, in the heart of Miami, you've discovered an oasis of luxurious pampering. Indulge in a Vichy shower and spa treatment at the 50,000-square-foot Splash Spa. Did we mention the Sports Club/LA? The Four Seasons Hotel Miami features state-of-the-art fitness facilities (40,000-square-feet worth!) where personal trainers and fitness gurus teach the ultimate work-out programs (read: 14 different types of yoga, REV Group Cycling Studio, BodyArt Pilates Studio). Housed in a sleek 70-storey tower of glass and granite reflecting the sparkling bay, the Four Seasons Miami offers 221 spacious rooms including 39 suites. Take advantage of some exceptional rates for a two- or three-night getaway. From March 16- March 29, 2008, you'll find a two-night stay priced as low as $275 per night in a Superior Room. From June 1- September 30, 2008, rates start at $250 per night.