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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.

Winemaker's Kitchen Table at Hotel Healdsburg


By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Healdsburg
Located 67 miles north of San Francisco, Hotel Healdsburg encompasses the Sonoma wine country’s simplicity and charm. The Hotel is set on the western edge of Healdsburg's historic town plaza, and guests can enjoy some of the world's finest vineyards, restaurants and shops within minutes of the front steps.

Now, until May, guests can eat, drink, and be merry at the Winemaker's Kitchen Table.  Held in the Dry Creek Kitchen Dining room, this one-of-a-kind dinner series showcases the rich culinary and wine heritage of the region. Heald monthly, these community suppers are hosted by top vintners serving their prized wines and family recipes

Dining Schedule

March 6
Peter Michael | Peter Michael Winery


May 15
Peay Family | Peay Vineyards

Reservations available by calling Dry Creek Kitchen at 707-431-0330.

Book a stay at Hotel Healdsburg >>


La Savina at Mondrian South Beach is Now Open


By: Five Star Alliance

La Savina
The culinary wait is over. La Savina at Mondrian South Beach is open! The new 140-seat restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine inspired by the island of Formentera, Spain. The new restaurant features an award-winning culinary team led by Morgans Corporate Executive Chef Tien Ho (Momofuku, Best New Chef Food & Wine). Eliciting the spirit of these magical islands, La Savina offers a simple mix of fresh crudos, grilled meats and fish, artisanal charcuteries and the best seasonal vegetables in South Florida, served alongside Mondrian's unmatched views of Biscayne Bay.

Morgans Hotel Group's Design Team were inspired by the style and relaxed interiors of Formentera beach homes. The indoor, outdoor restaurant boosts a garden overlooking Biscayne Bay with multiple seating options filled with oversized planters, rattan lampshades, Beachwood tabletops, and intimate lantern lighting. The interior dining room brings the Beachwood and bohemian energy inside with concrete colored walls and reclaimed wood throughout the space.

Signature crudo offerings include Hamachi with Serrano chili, crispy shallot and lime; Tuna with romesco and cilantro; Scallop with yuzu, jicama and sorrel; and Crab Salad with espelette, grapefruit and Spanish olive oil. La Savina's beverage menu features a broad selection of Mediterranean wines and cocktails. The comprehensive beer list features American microbrews from local New York breweries and European craft brews. In addition, La Savina's red and white table wine is available by the glass or carafe. 

Located just off the entrance of La Savina is Cafe Savina. Open for breakfast, lunch and cocktails, Cafe Savina is a market-driven Mediterranean-inspired cafe and wine bar. As the sun sets, Cafe Savina transforms into a tapas bar similar to those of Barcelona. 

View rates, details, and more photos of Mondrian South Beach >>


PUBLIC Chicago Takes the Culinary Express Lane


By: Five Star Alliance

PUBLIC Chicago


Centrally located in the exclusive Gold Coast, steps from the shopping and nightlife of Michigan Avenue, The Magnificent Mile, Oak Street, Rush Street, Lincoln Park and the Lake Michigan Beaches, PUBLIC Chicago's fundamental attributes are effortless, and timeless purist design, spot-on, personalized service, lasting comfort with complete functionality, all at a tremendous value.

The hotel's restaurant, Pump Room, offers reasonably priced, delicious favorites in a relaxed, comfortable, and exciting environment. It was created by world-renowned chef and 2011 James Beard Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In conjunction with this restaurant, the hotel has recently introducted PUBLIC EXPRESS.

PUBLIC EXPRESS combines gourmet meals at great value with rapid delivery. Guests can enjoy specially designed gourmet, healthy meals by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the privacy of their room, 24-hours a day. Five well-balanced meals to suit every taste are offered for breakfast and lunch, as well as desserts such as donuts freshly baked daily on premises. Try a speciality pizza, organic turkey sandwiches, or a beef briskety and cripy onion sandwich. Kids can choose from such favorites as grilled cheese or chicken fingers.Specialty pizzas created for PUBLIC are also available. PUBLIC EXPRESS meals are also available on the go for the airport, a beach picnic, or wherever guests are headed. Guests-on-the-go can order via guest services and pick up their meals at The Library and Coffee Bar. 

Traditional room service is also offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Book a stay at PUBLIC Chicago >>


Fine Dining at Hotel Vitale


By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Vitale American Restaurant Private Dining
Given its proximity to Napa Valley and location in a thriving cutting-edge restaurant scene, San Francisco is home to a plethora of excellent culinary outlets. But where can you find many choices that are up to the standards of a luxury hotel? Check-in to Hotel Vitale, and you can do just that.

Here are your culinary choices located in and affiliated with Hotel Vitale

- Americano Restaurant (pictured). Sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay, a circular cocktail lounge, and an outdoor patio provide the perfect setting to enjoy Americano's handcrafted, soulful Italian menu. Its culinary style is rooted in lasting partnerships with local purveyors and seasonal flavors are showcased in every dish. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and hosts a daily happy hour. Try the County Line mixed baby lettuces, Banyuls vinaigrette, house-made ricotta crostini salad. 

- Chambers Eat + Drink. At Chambers, vintage rocker meets Mid-century modern style. Enjoy the sexy, low-key vibe and seasonal, market-driven menu drinks. Guests can dine in the restaurant, lounge, or poolside on the patio or in a no-reservations-required cabana. It serves everything from quick bites to a hearty meal. Try the Sizzling Kobe Tri-Tip.

- Gaspar. The Parisian-style brasserie showcases classic French dishes, with the local Northern California flourishes, and Rhone Valley vintages alongside local varietals. The upstairs bar focuses on Cognac cocktails and the downstairs one specializes in champagne. Try the Striped Bass & Scallops Duo.

- The Library Bar. Indulge your literary side at the Hotel Rex's Library Bar. What could be better than books, cocktails, a menu of American classics and live jazz on Friday nights? Enjoy satisfying American classics with unexpected European touches. Try the Croissant Bread Pudding.

Outdoor Dining patio at Americano Restaurant

- Izakaya Lounge. Hotel Kabuki's take on Japan's popular after-work izakaya houses, O Izakaya Lounge combines Asian flavors with contemporary American food in a menu of shared plates, salads, and entrees, as well as 20 varieties of sake. Try the Tempura Shishito Peppers.

- Swank Cocktail and Coffee Club. In keeping with its elegant Pacific Heights neighborhood, Swank offers up style at nearly any hour. Start the day off right with Blue Bottle coffee and locally made, artisanal pastries, or wind down for the evening with a perfectly mixed cocktail in front of a roaring fire at the lush, modern bar. Watch favorite sporting events and participate in the weekly Brainstormer Pub Quiz. Try the Bacon Wrapped Dates.

- Saha. Enjoy an unique blend of Yemenese, Arabic, and boundary-pushing Californian cuisine, with a few French hints thrown in for good measure. The space is inviting and intimate—perfect for a romantic dinner. Savor Yemeni/Californa fusion delicacies like Bastilla, Fasoulia Tagine, and Lobster Knaffe as well as an extensive selection of fine wines. Try the Spicy Seafood Tagine.

Book a stay (and a meal) at Hotel Vitale >> 


Dining al Fresco: Grand Hotel Villa Medici


By: Five Star Alliance

The Grand Hotel Villa Medici's two restaurants are an incomparable blend of the finest gastronomic traditions and culinary inspiration.
The Lorenzo de' Medici is perfect for fine dining evenings, and the cosy atmosphere in the Conservatory is an ideal choice for intimate lunches.

Grand Hotel Villa Medici 

Book a stay at Grand Hotel Villa Medici >> 


Did You Know? Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

pennyhill park hotel and the spa 
The earliest reference to Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa in Bagshot, Surrey, is found in the Tithe Land Registry of 1609. It was known as Pennyhill field and thought to have been common land used as a beacon-warning site aiding a national system, warning the arrival of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

James Hodges, a civil engineer, who had been born in Queensborough in Kent in 1814, began to build the first house on the site in 1849 and was completed in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition.

James Hodges died in 1879 and the next occupant of Pennyhill was Louis Schott, a banker born in Frankfurt but with British Nationalisation. He added the Orangery in 1881 – the site of the current 45,000 sqft Spa. Louis died in 1901 and the house was then occupied until 1922 by his nephew, Louis Floershim, also born in Frankfurt and a naturalised British subject. He extended the house in 1903 in neo-Tudor style using Bath stone. For a period during the 1st World War the house reputedly served as a rest house for officers.

Book a stay at Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa >> 


Dining in the Dark at Alila Diwa Goa


By: K. Clare Johnson

Alila Diwa GoaAlila Diwa Goa is offering a "Dining in the Dark" pop-up sensory dining event. On the last Thursday of every month, Spice Studio, the signature Indian restaurant at the resort, guests will explore their palates using taste, smell, sound, and touch. Guests will relish their choice of a vegetarian or non-vegetarian "thali" in pitch darkness. 

You will hear nothing but the soft clinking of cutlery and the silent whispers of patrons who are trying to guess what they are eating as you see the silhouette of your server in the distance. There are no rules in this delicious guessing game apart from savoring the flavorful delicacies in the dark. The Chefs at Spice Studio have given innovative twists to the dishes on the menu to let your imagination run wild and will also be changing the menu at every sitting to retain the element of surprise. Guests are provided with a copy of the menu at the end of the meal. 

Alila Diwa Goa first launched this concept during the International Earth Hour 2014 and rave guest reviews have brought it back as an Alila Dining Experience now happening on the last Thursday of every month till March 2015.

Book your nightly dinner at Alila Diwa Goa >>


Bernardus Lodge to Undergo Multi-Million Dollar Renovation


By: Five Star Alliance

Bernardus Lodge


Bernardus Lodge
 
has announced that it will be closed from November 30 through March 13, 2015 to undergo a multi-million dollar lodge restoration project. The renovation plans include upgrades to luxury accommodations, a stunning new lobby space, a reinvented pool experience and refreshed dining destinations. The new decor will offer contemporary design elements, state of the art technology, and spectacular new creative accents that match the beauty and charm of Carmel Valley.


Did You Know? Villa Armena


By: Five Star Alliance

Villa Armena, Buonconvento, is in the heart of the Crete Senesi. An astoundingly attractive area of unsurpassable historical interest, Buonconvento - whose name derives from the Latin "bonus conventus" meaning a good-natured, fortunate community - is a member of the prestigious "Most Beautiful Villages in Italy" Association.

Villa Armena

The Villa, whose construction is attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi, was built in the first half of the sixteenth century. It was the country residence of the noble Malavolti family from Siena who had the good fortune to number among their ranks nine Captains of the People, in other words the most important figures in Siena's political landscape at that time. Legend has it that the name Armena was given to the Villa and its immediate surroundings by a member of the Malavolti family who, returning from the Crusades in the Holy Land, stopped off in Armenia and fell in love with a beautiful local girl. He returned to Italy to get married and decided to devote his feud to his betrothed, calling it Armena as a sign of respect for the origins of the one who had entered his heart and his life so forcefully. 

View rates, details, and more images of Villa Armena >> 


Go Truffle Hunting at Castel Monastero


By: Five Star Alliance

Castel Monastero offers its guests an unique opportunity to get up close and personal with truffle hunting. Truffle hunting takes place in the morning, in Castel Monastero's fields and woods, an area famous in Tuscany for its black and white truffles. The excursion lasts approximately an hour and a half and the hunt will be led by an expert truffle hunter and his pack of dogs. At the end of the excursion guests can purchase the truffles they have foraged. The truffle hunt is followed by a truffle-based lunch at La Cantina restaurant. 

Castel Monastero

Get your truffle on at Castel Monastero >>