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.

Le Meurice in Paris Bestows 4th Annual Prize for Contemporary Art

September 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meurice, ParisIn just a few short weeks, Le Meurice in Paris will announce the winner of its 4th Annual Prize for Contemporary Art. The luxury palace hotel-- decorated with beautiful artwork and designer furniture by Philippe Starck-- created this annual art prize to highlight its commitment to young, up-and-coming artists who are shaking up the French art scene. Chosen from an exclusive group of 50 artists by a panel of acclaimed arts professionals, the winner will get to exhibit their work at Le Meurice, and they'll receive an endowment of 20,000 euros. There are now six finalists in the running, and we wish them luck!

* Nicolas Moulin (Galerie Chez Valentin), who will be exhibiting in Bratislava 2012

* Louidgi Beltrame (Galerie Jousse Entreprise), who will be exhibiting in Sao Paulo and Rio in 2010 and will also show at Zona Maco Contemporary Art Fair in Mexico in 2012

* Emilie Pitoiset (Galerie Lucile Corty), who will be exhibiting at Galerie Klemm in Berlin in 2012

* Didier Faustino (Galerie Michel Rein), who will be exhibiting at the Fine Arts Museum in Taipei in 2012

* Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc (Galerie Marcelle Alix), who will be exhibiting at The Serralves Foundation in Porto in 2012

* Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni (Galerie Loevenbruck), who will be exhibiting at the International Contemporary Art Fair "Art 43" in Basel in 2012

The Zurich Film Festival Honors Actor/Director Sean Penn

September 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baur au Lac, ZurichThe Zurich Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and the largest city in Switzerland will be welcoming filmmakers, critics, and movie enthusiasts from around the world to a beautiful setting on Lake Zurich with the Alps as a backdrop. The annual Zurich Film Festival will run until October 2, 2011, and this year's guest of honor is actor and director Sean Penn. If you're lucky, you might still be able to grab a room at the inn. The Baur au Lac, the award-winning hotel which dates back to 1844, is offering a "Film Festival" pacage that includes accommodations, fresh fruit and chocolates in-room, a daily buffet breakfast or in-room Continental breakfast, two tickets to the film festival, a five-course dinner in the newly renovated Pavillon restaurant, and unlimited use of the rooftop fitness club. Valid through October 2, 2011, priced priced from CHF 1,042, subject to availability.

VIP Access to the Venice Film Festival with the Molino Stucky Hilton

August 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Molino Stucky Hilton VeniceJet to Venice and experience the International Venice Film Festival in true Hollywood style. The Molino Stucky Hilton Venice has organized a glamorous package with VIP access to the Venice Film Festival terrace located just in front of the Palazzo del Cinema on Lido beach. You'll arrive by private water taxi just like all the A-listers. The offer includes:

*Accommodation for two nights (minimum) in a deluxe room

*Bottle of Prosecco and fruits upon arrival

*Buffet Breakfast

*Special VIP cards for the Venice Film Festival terrace and water taxi rides to/from the Venice Lido

*Two cocktails at the Red Carpet Terrace

The offer is valid from September 1-11, 2011 starting from 379 euros. Formerly a flourmill and granary, the Molino Stucky is perfectly situated on the Giudecca, the gondola shaped group of eight interconnected islands minutes away from Piazza San Marco and Venice's major attractions.

Picnic by Lake Geneva with Chic Treats from Hotel President Wilson

August 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President Wilson, GenevaThe annual Geneva Festival is in full swing, a 10-day extravaganza of concerts, sporting events, lakeside games and good eats. The best part of all is on August 13th, when thousands of spectators will be privy to one of the finest fireworks displays in the world. Lucky guests staying at the Hotel President Wilson, recently emerged from a full renovation in 2009/2010, should consider reserving a picnic basket to nosh on gourmet treats while taking in the spectacular light show over the lake and Mont Blanc! The luxury hotel, the choice of traveling dignitaries and celebs, offers chic picnics during the summer months. The "traditional" version features a tomato mozzarella delight, grilled artichokes with black olives, club sandwiches, lemon rice salad with tuna, fruit salad, chocolate bars, chocolate cookies, and four drinks per person. (Cost: CHF 45 per person.) There's also an "oriental" version with hummus, tabouli, tomato meatballs, Lebanese desserts and more... (Cost: CHF 50 per person.)

Summer Events in Aspen: 20% Off The St. Regis Resort

July 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Resort AspenThink Aspen is just for the snow-lovin' ski bunnies? Think again. Surrounded by stunning mountainous wilderness, this choice Colorado destination is just as happening in the summer months. The Aspen Music Festival runs for eight weeks (through August 21) with concerts and Shakespeare productions. The Aspen Arts Festival takes place on July 23rd and 24th when Wagner Park morphs into an open-air art gallery with over 175 exhibitors showcasing jewelry, pottery, sculpture, glass, ceramics, paintings and prints. August means the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, an intense seven-stage race which will put cyclists in Aspen on August 24, followed by the 2nd Annual Big Aspen BBQ Block Party on August 27th and 28th. The sister event of New York City's acclaimed barbecue block party (hosted by Danny Meyer's Union Square Events), the extravaganza in Aspen will take place at the base of Aspen Mountain, where some of the country's top pit masters will be serving up mouthwatering barbecue. Hot deal: The St. Regis Resort Aspen is offering 20% off their best available rates for guests in residence during one of these spectacular summer events. Available through September 5, 2011.

Experience the Montreal Jazz Festival with Hotel Le Germain

June 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Le Germain MontrealThe 32nd edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival is in full swing. With more than 3,000 artists from 30 countries performing 650 concerts for 2.5 million visitors, it's one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. Fret not- it's not too late to experience this sensational event! The star line-up will continue to dazzle the crowds through July 4, 2011. Stay at Le Germain Montreal, a trendy boutique hotel located downtown, and they'll even hook you up with VIP treatment! The Jazz Festival package includes accommodations for one night, breakfast at Laurie Raphaël Restaurant Montréal, parking for one vehicle, and a festival kit packed with two official t-shirts, a shoulder bag, access to Open House evenings and the Montreal Guitar Show, two $5 discount vouchers for the Old Montreal walking tour, and two compilation CDs from the 2010 Festival. Priced from $299 per night.

What's Hot: Glasgow's New Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid

June 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Glasgow's Riverside MuseumA happening music scene, farm-to-table cuisine and hot hotels... Glasgow is the place to be. And another tempting reason to jet to Scotland ASAP: This UNESCO City of Music will be opening the Riverside Museum on June 21, a dazzling building by Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. Sprawling along the River Clyde, the museum is dedicated to transport and travel, paying homage to Glasgow's history as a shipbuilding capital. The inside is just as dazzling as the outside, showcasing every type of transportation imaginable. (Trust us- we had a peak inside before the official opening date.)

Looking for the best digs in Glasgow? Check out the properties in our Five-Star and Four-Star collection. Tip: We're smitten with the entirely renovated Blythswood Square Hotel, the spa is a destination itself.

Related Article: Jumeirah Sets its Sights on Glasgow

Summer in Italy: The Famous Opera Festival in Verona with Byblos Art Hotel

April 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Byblos Art Hotel, Villa Amista

A jaunt to Italy in the summer months isn’t complete without taking in a performance at the world-famous opera festival in Verona. Now in its 89th year, the Opera Festival of the Fondazione Arena di Verona will feature a total of 50 performances between June 17 and September 3. It’s not just thousands of music lovers who relish Verona’s spectacular seasonal event. The Opera Festival attracts its share of opera newbies who are dazzled and delighted. There are six different operas this year: Verdi’s La Traviata, Verdi's Aida, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Verdi’s Nabucco, Puccini’s La Boheme, and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet.

Byblos Art Hotel—a magnificent luxury hotel occupying the 16th century Villa Amista—is welcoming guests with open arms for the festival. The hotel itself was conceived as a permanent collection of contemporary art, filled with pieces by artists who are revered around the world. (You’ll also find furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Aldo Ross.) The setting is positively magical. Sun-bathing by the pool, coupled with a massage at the spa Espace Byblos, is guaranteed to soothe the soul. Take advantage of the hotel’s “Arena di Verona” package and enjoy a pre-Opera dinner for two people at the Atelier restaurant, Opera tickets, private limousine service to the Opera, plus entry to the spa along with luxury accommodations for two nights. Priced from 604 euros per person, available June 17- September 3, 2011.

An Oktoberfest Hotel in Munich: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski

February 15, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses

Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski“In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus: Eins, zwei, g'suffa…” Every now and again, I can’t get this song out of my head. I can’t predict when the words come flooding in, usually when I take a drink of a fine German lager. My taste buds trigger an emotion that is pure happiness. Oktoberfest! Oh how I miss thee!

This year, I’m going back, and I hope you’ll join me. Munich, the beautiful Bavarian city in southern Germany, has more than just the annual beer drinking festival, but there isn’t honestly a better time to visit. The season is just changing, with the weather pleasant and calm, and the warmth of the German people never more evident. This is what makes Oktoberfest so enchanting!

I’ve stayed at many places in Germany, from home stays to hostels to ski chalets, but nothing compares to the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski. Can’t pronounce it? Don’t worry, I can’t either. But you won’t need to, because the world class staff at the Hotel Vier will do everything for you, including the speaking!

I do recommend doing one thing on your own though, and that’s drinking a liter of Hofbräu, and singing that famous old song… Prost!

Celebrate Virginia Wine Month at Keswick Hall, Charlottesville

September 22, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Monticello in the FallOctober could be the best time to visit the Commonwealth of Virginia; the peaking fall foliage draws plenty of leaf-peepers, and Virginia Wine Month means festivities and celebrations galore. From concerts to barrel tastings, hay-rides to artist displays, the month will be jam-packed with fun events. It all kicks off at Monticello (how fitting!) when The Governor's Cup for White Wines will be presented to one lucky Virginia winery as the opening event for October Virginia Wine Month. Looking to stay in the area? Check into Keswick Hall, the gorgeous 600-acre estate managed by Orient-Express, and you might just find yourself joining in the grape harvest (or stomping the resort's own grapes!) Plus, Keswick hosts a wine tasting every Thursday in Fossett's Bar with Keswick's Richard Hewitt, one of the few Master Sommeliers in Virginia.