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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.

Escaping the Heat in Florence at the Bars of Five-Star Hotels

September 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Hotel Savoy, FlorenceWhat to do when it's broiling in Florence? When battling record-setting temperatures in August, one city visitor came up with a brilliant solution: five-star cocktail hour! As Zofia Smardz recounts in an article in The Washington Post Travel section, the best way to beat the heat is to retreat to the ritzy spaces that are cool as cucumbers (air-conditioning isn't the norm in Europe). She and her husband headed to the Hotel de la Ville, "the blissfully cool bar at the posh Hotel Lungarno," Hotel Brunelleschi, and the Hotel Savoy:

“Buona sera, signora!” call out the desk clerks as we enter the Savoy lobby. Everybody’s so welcoming! In the elegantly plush modern bar, the waiters hop to and we’re soon basking in climatic comfort. We raise our martini glasses in a toast to our smarts, then sip the drinks verrrrry slooooowly as the sweat evaporates from our skin. The waiter brings a tray of treats — mini-crostini, olives, cheeses — for us to munch on. And a second when we finish that one. We relax. We feel very cool. In every sense. This is the life!

The only downside to a week-long spree? When the credit card bill arrives back home.


Open-Air Massages with Views of Florence at the Villa San Michele

September 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa San MicheleOne of our top picks for lodgings in Florence, Italy? The Villa San Michele, an Orient-Express property housed in a former monastery that boats a 15th century facade attributed to Michelangelo. The location is killer; the hotel is nestled on a hilltop amid terraced gardens with unrivaled views across the Arno Valley to Florence. From the panoramic swimming pool, you can soak up the stunning views over the Tuscan hills. And that's not all. A brand new Massage Gazebo at the Villa San Michele is the perfect place for open-air massages with a view. Special offers: The hotel is currently running the "One More Night" offer where you get a third night for free when you stay two consecutive nights. Your daily room rate is pre-discounted by 33% and includes Full American Breakfast daily. Rates are valid only during selected periods and are subject to availability.

Related Article: Buon Appetito: Italian Cooking School in Florence at the Villa San Michele


Rooftop Yoga in Florence at the Continentale Hotel

August 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Continentale Hotel, FlorenceYogis traveling to Florence will want to check into a Lungarno Collection hotel. Owned by the Ferragamo family, this group of boutique hotels-- all stylish and divinely luxurious-- has debuted a new service for guests: Tuesday and Thursday morning yoga classes on the roof of the Continentale, ideally situated in the center of Florence, next to the Ponte Vecchio, with rooms overlooking the River Arno. To quote The Globe and Mail: "Sessions in the highly meditative, energy releasing Kundalini yoga are led by Amanda May, a graduate of L.A.’s Golden Bridge centre where lithe Hollywood celebs such as Madonna, Ellen Pompeo and Cindy Crawford have practised their poses." The hotel also has a dreamy sky lounge for cocktails under the stars.

Other Lungarno Hotels include Lungarno Suites Florence and the Hotel Lungarno.