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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.

Langham’s Big Anniversary: Original Home of Afternoon Tea Serves Tea at 1865 Prices


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham LondonOn June 10, 2008, lucky Langham guests can sit down for a luxurious afternoon tea for exactly 1 shilling 6 pence. (That's 15 US cents, 7 English pence and just over 1 Hong Kong dollar.) Langham hotels around the world will pay homage to that lovely ritual of Afternoon Tea, that quintessentially British institution, by turning back the clocks to 1865, when the Langham London, Europe's first grand hotel, was opened by the leading royal of the day, the Prince of Wales. Legend has it that the indulgent tea ritual was created in 1840 by Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford, who created this afternoon snack to ward off the hunger pangs between lunch and dinner. Soon she began to share tea with her friends, and the ritual took off. Back in 1865, The Langham London served up the world's first afternoon tea in a luxury European hotel-- consisting of simple but dainty items including cakes, sweets, bread and butter and, of course, tea. Nowadays guests can still experience this stately ritual, a truly luxurious affair. Don't miss out on the celebratory 1 shilling tea on June 10, 2008 at Langham Hotels in Auckland, Boston, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne and now Pasadena.


Luxury Hotel Specials in Europe: Fourth Night Free at the Grand Bretagne, Athens


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand BretagneNow's your chance to snag a free night at the most prestigious hotel in Athens. Long considered the city's most exclusive place to stay, the Grand Bretagne occupies a prime block of the city center, just across from Constitution Square, the House of Parliament and the National Gardens. The hotel of choice for heads of state and celebrity royalty, the Grand Bretagne has a stunning rooftop pool, renovated Spa, and a Rooftop Garden Bar restaurant with sigh-inducing views. Travelers will be thrilled to find out that Starwood's Luxury Collection is offering a fourth night free with three paid nights for its European hotels, including the Grand Bretagne. The booking deadline is May 30, 2008, and the special applies for the months of May, October, November and December.


Live Like a Star at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Santa Monica Beach HotelCruise the streets of Hollywood, shop and dine in style on Rodeo Drive, search for celebs in the Hollywood Hills, and speed down the Pacific Cruise Highway, wind in your hair, for some fun in the sun on the beaches of Malibu. LA is yours for the taking with the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the gorgeous luxury hotel that occupies a prime spot in Santa Monica just a block from the sprawling white sandy beach. This place has it all-- from an Ocean Spa and Fitness Center to the breathtaking views from the guest rooms and lounges. Choose the "Live Like A Star" package and you'll enjoy a one-night stay in a Premium Room and also get a one-day car rental (luxury convertible, of course) with a map of stars homes and LA attractions. Priced from $405, available until May 25, 2008.


Fourth Night Free at Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Copacabana PalaceHead down to Rio for a relaxing break at one of the most glamorous hotels in the world. Setting of the famous film 'Flying down to Rio' where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced together for the first time, Copacabana Palace offers the ultimate in sophisticated luxury-- just steps from the white sands of the most famous beach in the world. This is the hide-out of the rich and famous. Make the Copacabana Palace your home as you explore the delights of the fascinating city: sun yourself on Copacabana or Ipanema beach and visit Corcovado or Sugar Loaf Mountain and marvel at the beauty of Rio nestled in the series of bays below you. With the "Stay Another Night" package, you get the fourth night for free when you stay three consecutive nights. Rates start at $487, and you also get complimentary access to the fitness center, tennis court, and sauna.


Steal Away to Barcelona: Special Rates at Gran Hotel La Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gran Hotel La FloridaInsiders know that the best panoramic views of Barcelona (and the Mediterranean Sea) are from Gran Hotel La Florida, the sexy urban resort located just 25 minutes outside the city. Filled with contemporary master works of art and beautiful sculptures, this spectacular hotel boasts every possible amenity. For a truly unforgettable stay, choose one of the Design Suites- like the Sky Terrace Suite, which-- as its name suggests-- features sweeping mountain and city views. Book your stay with Five Star Alliance and you can find rates as low as EUR 175 this summer. Five Star Alliance guests staying at Gran Hotel La Florida will receive a room upgrade based upon availability at check-in, late check-out at 2pm and a bottle of specially customized Gran Hotel La Florida extra virgin olive oil. Plus, you get free wireless Internet and access to the ZenZone Spa including Sauna, Steam Bath, Pressure Showers, Ice Fountain, Jacuzzi, Hydrotherapy and treatment cabins.


Savor the Start of Summer with Sunset Tower Hotel’s Memorial Weekend Special


By: Courtney W. May

Sunset Tower HotelCentrally located on the famed Sunset Strip, the Sunset Tower Hotel is only minutes away from Beverly Hills and Hollywood - guests can stroll to the Sunset Plaza with its boutiques, bookstores, and outdoor cafes. Spend Memorial Day Weekend savoring the best that Los Angeles has to offer with the Sunset Tower's Memorial Weekend Special. Stay a total of three nights between May 24 and May 27 (inclusive) and get 50% off the rate of your third night.

As a reminder, guests making reservations at the Sunset Tower Hotel through Five Star Alliance will receive a complimentary 30-minute Turkish Hammam at the hotel Spa, room upgrade based upon availability and a late 2 pm check out. In addition, a 20 percent discount on Spa and Salons services is offered to all Five Star Alliance guests during their stay. As always - please reserve your Hamman session in advance prior to arrival.


Buzz: Movenpick Resort and Thalasso Opens in Crete


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

CreteThe latest luxury resort to open on the Med is the Mövenpick Resort & Thalasso Crete. After an extensive, two-year renovation, the upscale resort opened its doors on the northern coast of Crete along Amoudara Beach. This is the first property for Mövenpick in Greece. What's in store? "An exquisite combination of typical Greek hospitality and the traditional Swiss passion for efficiency, reliability, punctuality and precision," touts the hotel. We are most excited about the Aegeo Spa Center. If it's anything like the Zara Spa at the Mövenpick on the Dead Sea, spa-goers are in for a real treat. Mövenpick has an impressive portfolio of specialized spa resorts, and this Greek oasis is a beautiful addition. Sized at 4,500 square meters, the Spa Center offers classic wellness services including Thalasso and beauty therapy. The large seawater spa complex has various baths as well as a sauna, sanarium, solarium, whirlpools and steam rooms. Other resort facilities include a fitness center, two floodlight tennis courts, table tennis, squash, billiards, beach volleyball, and a wide variety of water sports. And of course all the 285 guest rooms offer divine sea views.

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Five-Star Fling in Auckland, New Zealand at the Langham Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham AucklandThe place to stay in New Zealand's City of Sails is The Langham Auckland. Situated in the heart of NZ's largest city, The Langham is within walking distance to the dazzling waterfront. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, The Langham epitomizes the elegant design and innovative hospitality for which the brand is famous. Guests have full access to the health club with heated rooftop pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym. All 410 guest rooms have large business desks and Internet access, while the Langham Hotel Club offers exclusive privileges: access to the comfortable Hotel Club lounge with complimentary evening drinks and canapés, the pressing of three items on arrival and a complimentary shoe shine as well as access to the business centre and butler service. And the best part of all? A luxury experience at The Langham Auckland is a great value, as the dollar is still strong against the NZ dollar. So guests can take advantage of the "Passionate about Prada" package and get overnight accommodations with a complimentary upgrade to an Executive Room, a 50ml bottle of Prada Parfum, and an indulgently late checkout of 1 pm-- all for just NZ$299 per room. Or choose the "Five-Star Fling" and get luxury accommodations, buffet breakfast for two people in the SBF Brasserie, a complimentary bottle of Méthode Champenoise, and a late checkout of 1pm-- for just NZ $239 per room. Or the equivalent of USD187!


Hot Dining in Philadelphia: 10 Arts by Eric Ripert at the Ritz-Carlton


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eric RipertChef Eric Ripert's sexy new restaurant is the talk of the town, its debut awaited by foodies for months. The genius behind Manhattan's celebrated Le Bernardin is slated to open 10 Arts by May 20th. (The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia is located at 10 avenue of the Arts-- get it?) The City of Brotherly Love can't stop talking. Housed in the Ritz-Carlton's marble rotunda, the restaurant is modern and sophisticated, set against the hotel's grand traditional background. The cuisine will be American with an emphasis on the organic and utilization of products from local farmers and the Chesapeake. We also like the sound of the Perfect 10 cocktails.

Image via New York Magazine


Summer Break on the Amalfi Coast at Hotel Raito


By: Courtney W. May

Hotel RaitoThe exclusive and prestigious Hotel Raito is located at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast among the blue sky, sea and lush green mountains embedded between vast citrus plantations and intense scents of lemon. Recently renovated with elegance and refined furnishings, Hotel Raito will make your stay unique and unforgettable with its enchanted view overlooking the Bay of Salerno and the Faraglioni in Vietri sul Mare. This summer, enjoy the Amalfi Coast with Hotel Raito and their special Summer Break package for 5 or 7 nights. The Summer Break package includes: 5 or 7 nights in a double room, Buffet breakfast, dinner (daily menu, beverages excluded), 1 free SPA entrance per person (indoor swimming pool, turkish bath, sauna, relax area, emotional showers), and 10% reduction on SPA treatments.