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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.

Winter Wonderland in Austria: Vienna Balls and Royal Digs at the Grand Hotel Wien

September 22, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Hotel WienThe yuletide season is just around the corner and Austria is gearing up for another fun-filled winter of Christmas markets, concerts by the Vienna Boys' Choir, and balls, of course. (Vienna could be the walz capital of the world.) "The Vienna Balls are seen as the epitome of glamour and decadence," says Frommer's, and "the traditional opener is the Kaiserball at the Hofburg palace." Immerse yourself in the city's beautiful winter atmosphere during ball season, and bed down at the Grand Hotel Wien, the very hub of Viennese social life since the turn of the century. For truly royal accommodations, take advantage of the Grand Sweet Suites promotion, and get 20-40 percent off your suite until January 31, 2009.


Opera Every Saturday at the Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel, Barcelona

September 17, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel, BarcelonaFrom its perch in Barcelona's Port Vell, the Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel-- part of the World Trade Center compex- looks like the bridge of a large ship looking out to sea. From your room, you'll find panoramic views of the city and the sparkling Mediterranean. Later set out to discover the historic city you viewed from above; the hotel's setting provides a great jumping off point for visiting the Gothic Quarter and the Cathedral. Eurostars Grand Marina HotelEvery Saturday, the five-star hotel invites guests to opera in its Lobby Bar, performed by the International Group Operissimo, whose repertoire includes some of the main operas by Verdi, Bizet, Offenbach, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, and Gershwin. Starting at 8:15 pm, Saturday nights are filled with arias, vibrators, and contrapuntos.


Celebrate with the Locals at The Venice Historical Regatta

August 26, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

The Westin Europa and ReginaAn Italian vacation would not be complete without a stop in Venice to admire the intricate canal system that runs through the city. Rightly so the venetian canals have long been revered for their charm, as well as their efficient method of transport. This is why the first Sunday in September locals and visitors alike revel in a historical tradition dating back to 1315 celebrating the political and economical greatness of Venice on the seas, as well as the sport of rowing at The Venice Historical Regatta. This day-long event begins with a colorful procession of impressively crafted gondolas followed by three exciting regatta races all which take place right on the Grand Canal. If you want to partake in this festive and exciting tradition, Five Star Alliance can provide you with a stay in one of our 15 luxury hotels in Venice, such as the Westin Europa and Regina so that you can indulge in wonderful amenities and regal accommodations while experiencing the festive atmosphere on the Grand Canal.


Bid Farewell to Summer at Lugano’s Annual Autumn Festival

August 25, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Grand Hotel Villa CastagnolaWith the beginning of the autumn season just weeks away, the lakeside village of Lugano is gearing up for their own fall kick-off with The Autumn Festival. This annual celebration is held the first weekend in October, with a large fair dedicated to local products, and annual grape harvest. The festivities are marked by a large open-air festival in the main streets and squares of Lugano and this year will commence from October 2-4 2009. Admission is free and welcome to all, and spectators can enjoy an array of local culinary delights, wine, and folklore entertainers while strolling through the charming piazzas of Lugano. Let Five Star Alliance help you with your luxury accommodations, and book a stay at the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola or one of our other 5 recommended luxury hotels. You'll be sure to find a top-rated retreat, while enjoying the beautiful sights, and festivities in Lugano!


The Peninsula Beverly Hills Offers Hollywood Bowl Picnic Baskets

August 14, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Beverly HillsPlanning an outing to the Hollywood Bowl for a concert under the stars? Picnic in style with help from The Peninsula Beverly Hills, the sophisticated urban resort on Santa Monica Boulevard. Executive Chef James Overbaugh has designed a gourmet picnic basket with a mouthwatering menu. You can customize your very own three-course meal of culinary delights. You'll also get some Peninsula snacks for pre-dinner cocktail time: truffle popcorn or caramel popcorn.


Watch the Venice Historical Regatta from the Westin Europa and Regina

August 3, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Europa and ReginaYou can't beat this location for a bird's eye view of the Venice Historical Regatta on September 6, 2009. Situated directly on the Grand Canal, the Westin Europa & Regina occupies a position of privilege, housed in five centuries-old palaces, the oldest of which belonged to the Tiepolos. You'll be spoiled rotten at this five-star hotel, where the 24-hour Clefs d'Or concierge can take care of any request. But most importantly-- you'll be spoiled with the gorgeous views that inspired Claude Monet. Don't miss the Regata Storica which takes place on the first Sunday in September-- you'll witness a beautiful gondola parade, followed by fiercely-competitive races and an incredible fireworks display. Here's the skinny from the official website:

This unique sport has been practiced in the Venetian lagoon for thousands of years and today it is particularly well-known for the spectacular historical water pageant that precedes the race. Scores of typically 16th century-style boats with gondoliers in period costume carry the Doge, the Doge's wife and all the highest ranking Venetian officials up the Grand Canal in a brightly coloured parade. An unforgettable sight and a true reconstruction of the glorious past of one of most the powerful and influential Maritime Republics in the Mediterranean. The Regata Storica dates back centuries, probably as far back as the mid thirteenth century when the Serenissima needed to train the crews of its huge navy in the art of rowing.


Music and Wine Take Center Stage at Napa Valley’s 2009 Festival De Sole

July 9, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

The Carneros InnCalifornia wine country's top summer festival, the Festival De Sole, runs from July 17-25. Taking place at venues throughout Napa, the festival combines classical music -including a recital by American Soprano, Renee Fleming- with wine tasting, five-star cuisine, and art exhibits. This highly-anticipated cultural festival has become one of the "hottest tickets" of the summer in Napa. If you want to partake in the festivities, Five Star Alliance offers wonderful lodging at top rated, ultra luxurious hotels in the Napa Valley region. Book a stay at The Carneros Inn (pictured above) or at any one of our seven recommended luxury hotels in Napa, and participate in the wonderful celebration of the "art of life" at the 2009 Festival De Sole.


Tomato Fight! La Tomatino Festival in Spain; Stay at the Eurostars Gran Valencia

July 8, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Tomatina, tomato festivalGeared up for the world's largest tomato fight? Spain's La Tomatina festival is famous worldwide for its tomato-hurling merriment in Buñol, 30 kilometers from Valencia. This year's will take place on August 26th, and some 50,000 revelers are expected to descend on the town to throw 125 tons of tomatoes at each other. After getting sufficiently soaked in tomato juice, return to your luxe lodgings at the Eurostars Gran Valencia to clean up. Just don't do it in the sparkling outdoor pool.

Image Via USAToday


Aleenta Resort and Spa Gives You a Reason to Smile

June 5, 2009
By: Alison Victor

Aleenta Resort and SpaThis year marks a momentous occasion in Thailand, as the country will be hosting the World Comedy Film Festival 2009, the first ever of its kind in Asia. Featuring over 50 comedies from around the globe, there will be an heavy focus on Asia. In celebration, and in conjunction, the Aleenta Resort and Spa will be hosting its own red carpet event on Tuesday, June 10th. Hosted by Australian celebrity Bianca Dye, there will be a red carpet arrival, cocktails and dinner, and of course, a premiere of a film featured in the festival. Aleenta Resort and Spa calls this event "A Night With the Stars at Aleenta," and it promises to be a night filled with laughter as well!

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Guests who make their reservations through Five Star Alliance for Aleenta Resort and Spa will receive a 30 minute stress and tension relieving massage for 2 in Aleenta's KA Spa once during stay.


Rock Out In Luxury at Hotel Sax Chicago

June 5, 2009
By: Alison Victor

Hotel Sax ChicagoSummer not only promises beautiful weather, but also signifies the beginning of the concert festival season, as apparent with many big shows happening around the U.S. Lollapalooza has really become the standard of the great American festival, with Perry Farrell organizing the massive music event in Grant Park, Chicago at the beginning of August. This year will be no different, with diverse headliners ranging from The Killers to Snoop Dogg. A great place to rest your head after a long day of music is the Hotel Sax Chicago. Formerly a House of Blues, Hotel Sax Chicago is the newest downtown Chicago luxury hotel. Intriguing settings mix with energizing spaces in this luxurious oasis located in the heart of the city. Come stay during Lollapalooza, taking place August 7th through the 9th, and you can book a lavish king room for around 200 USD a night.