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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.

New Years in Edinburgh: Hogmanay at the Balmoral Hotel

December 11, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is going off this holiday season. The traditional Hogmanay festival, a four day party filled with exciting events and traditional happenings, is one of the best New Year's parties in the world. The city itself is magical to behold during the festivities: charming cobblestone streets and squares, beautiful shop windows, sparkling lights and plentiful decorations. Things kick off with the Torchlight Procession on December 29; the revelry continues with the world-famous Royal Bank Street Party on New Year's Eve (along with The Concert in the Gardens, The New Year Revels, Seven Hills Fireworks, The Ceilidh in the Gardens, and the Candlelit Concert); the party concludes with the One O'clock Run on New Year's Day. Where to stay? Rocco Forte's award-winning Balmoral Hotel entices with roaring fires, seasonal lights, and luxurious accommodations and service. Overlooking the Edinburgh Castle, the hotel couldn't boast a more perfect location to enjoy the New Year's festivities. The Balmoral celebrates Hogmanay with a traditional Gala Ball, the most sophisticated and glamorous black-tie event in Edinburgh. Champagne and Canapés, a sumptuous four-course menu created by othe Michelin-starred Chef, Jeff Bland, dancing to a live band, and at the stroke of midnight-- the best views in town for the breathtaking fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle. The Gala Bala experience costs from GBP 555 per room, per night (two night minimum). Includes complimentary use of the Balmoral Spa.


Don’t Cook - Let the Conrad Chicago

December 11, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Conrad Chicago Cerise During the holiday season, keep your kitchen clean by dining at the Conrad Chicago instead. The Conrad Hotel is located at the heart of Chicago's financial district on Michigan Avenue, also known as "the Magnificent Mile", connected to Nordstrom and Westfield North Bridge shopping centers. Make your reservations for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day brunch, or New Years Eve dinner now to avoid being turned away. Plus, if you make overnight room reservations with Five Star Alliance at the Conrad, you'll also get a welcome amenity, continental breakfast for two (2) daily, and a possible upgrade upon check-in based upon availability. Christmas Eve (December 24, 2006) 3 Course prix-fixes Menu $55 Adult + Wine pairing additional $24 Christmas Brunch (December 25, 2006) Hours: 11:30a-3:00p $65.00 Adult / $25.00 under 12 New Years Eve Dinner (December 31, 2006) 7 Course dinner Hours: 7:00p-12:00a $90 per adult, optional wine pairings $56


L’Avion To Fly Paris-New York: The New Low-Fare, All-Business Class Luxury Airline

December 11, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

L'Avion

It's here. Joining the likes of Eos, Maxjet, and Silverjet, the new French carrier, L'Avion, debuts its transatlantic flights on December 28th. But unlike the other luxury airlines, which serve London and the East Coast, L'Avion is the first of its kind to link Paris and Newark. The promised perks? World-class French cuisine, of course, with multiple courses served as if in the finest Parisian restaurant. Accompanied by stellar French wines and award-winning Champagnes. Not to mention excellent entertainment and music on-demand. Take advantage of a special inaugural sale; the first 1,000 tickets reserved, starting December 1, will go for a mere EUR 1,000 roundtrip. Effective for travel until March 31, 2007.

Via MaxaBlog


Girls Getaway to the Chic Caribbean: La Samanna, St. Martin

December 8, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Samanna

The Caribbean resort of La Samanna is impossibly chic, a haven for discriminating international travelers seeking seclusion, relaxation, and attentive personalized service. Overlooking Baie Longue, a crescent-shaped, pristine white sand beach, La Samanna is St. Martin's most luxurious resort. The owners' inspiration came from the Greek Isles; the hotel's Caribbean architect designed the house based on sunny white-washed walls reminiscent of the Mediterranean. The resort is legendary for its Elyseé spa featuring indoor/outdoor tropical garden treatment rooms, Pilates studio, extensive wine cellar, and stellar cuisine (with provisions flown from France daily). Part of the famed Orient-Express Hotels, Trains and Cruises collection, the resort boasts 81 suites located on 55 acres of prime beachfront property. La Samanna has long been recognized as one of the finest hotels in the world. Now you can Shop to the Last Drop with Les Dames de Leisure package, designed as a girls getaway to enjoy paradise within paradise: the exclusive shopping of Marigot that was once the playground of Jackie O. Les Dames de Leisure package includes duty-free shopping in Marigot with a chauffeured car, two head-to-toe treatments at the Elyseé Spa, and a two-bedroom suite which includes spacious living room, two large bedrooms with king beds, terrace, and fully equipped kitchen. The day-long shopping spree includes special discounts in some of the most exclusive stores, and the services of the resort's personal shopping expert. Upon check-out, guests will receive VIP treatment as the concierge arranges to have guests escorted to the private airport lounge, far from the crowds. Priced at $2,450, per night for four people, minimum stay of four nights.


Winter at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole

December 8, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Convenient ski-in/ski-out access in Wyoming's incredible Teton Mountains, a dedicated Ski Concierge to simplify your planning and assist with all your needs, and incomparable Four Seasons lodging... Welcome to Four Seasons Jackson Hole, a luxurious mountain resort surrounded by unspoiled natural wilderness. Enjoy the ultimate ski vacation with the "Have It All" winter package, a four day all-inclusive extravaganza with lift tickets, ski rentals, unlimited dining and beverages, and as many spa treatments as your little heart desires (not to mention that impeccable Four Seasons service). Starting at $1,250 per night, the four-night package includes luxurious accommodations, three full-day lift tickets for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, three-day ski rental from the Ski Concierge, unlimited spa treatments (does not include salon treatments), and all meals in the Resort's restaurants (including beer, wine, and premium well drinks). Available from January 4 to February 14, 2007, and from February 25 to April 8, 2007.


New Years Eve at The Lodge at Torrey Pines and A.R. Valentien, La Jolla, California

December 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dining at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

The only AAA five diamond hotel in San Diego, The Lodge at Torrey Pines occupies a dramatic setting perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific, minutes from some of the most pristine beaches in Southern California and the picturesque Torrey Pines State Reserve. Just adjacent to the 18th green of the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course, the hotel features the 9,500 square foot spa (with 14 specialized treatment rooms), endless recreational activities, generously sized guest rooms with custom designed furniture, and the signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien. Views are sensational, but the food-- innovative California cuisine-- is even better. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson utilizes fresh, local ingredients to create menus that are ever-evolving depending upon the season, and what's on offer at farmer's markets. The restaurant is named for San Diego's great artist, Albert Robert Valentien, an early 20th-century Impressionist, whose works are now displayed at the restaurant (one of the largest collections of his early works in water colors and oils). Celebrate New Years Eve at A.R. Valentien and enjoy a five course meal and the Lodge's exquisite accommodations. The New Years Eve package, starting at $595 (tax and gratuity included), includes accommodations in a Signature room, pre-fixed five course dinner for two, complimentary parking for one night, and 2 pm late check-out. Includes tax and gratuity. Credit card prepayment required.


Winter Escapes at Peninsula Hotels

December 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Hong Kong

This winter, enjoy a luxurious retreat at any participating Peninsula Hotel and receive an additional benefit ranging from spa treatment, dinner, traditional afternoon tea, airport transfer, or room upgrade. At the award-winning Peninsula Hong Kong, for example, choose from a 50-minute massage for two by ESPA, room upgrade to Superior Suite, or a set dinner for two at The Lobby. (If you reserve a suite, you can choose a 15-minute helicopter flight-seeing tour for two.) At the Peninsula New York, choose between afternoon tea for two in the Gotham Lounge, room upgrade, or a bottle of Champagne and a selection of canapés at The Bar at Fives. Other participating hotels include the Peninsula Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, Beijing, and Manila. Available from December 18 to April 8, 2007. In addition, stay in a suite at select Peninsula hotels and enjoy a complimentary second night with the Experience the Suite Life package.


Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy: Fashionable Florence

December 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy

Located right smack in the historical center of Florence, steps away from the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery, Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy offers luxury, style, and the best personalized service. The exquisite hotel was fully renovated last year, and boasts contemporary Italian interiors styled by Olga Polizzi, with elegant decor and tributes to the designer fashion houses of Florence. Each one of the 102 rooms and suites at Hotel Savoy are stylishly designed with comfort in mind; beds are sumptuous, the technology is cutting-edge, and bathrooms are distinguished by classic marble and mosaic, and filled with Rocco Forte's exclusive range of Italian bathroom products. But perhaps what is most talked about is the panoramic view over the Piazza Republica and Florence, from L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant (one of the most popular restaurants in the city) and the state-of-the-art Fitness Center (where work-outs become sublime experiences). From now through April 2007, enjoy an unbeatable rate of EUR 240 per night with Leading Hotels of the World. Two night minimum stay required.


Last Minute Holiday Getaways: Palais de la Mediterranee, Nice, France

December 5, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palais de la Mediterrannee

Now is the time to visit the fabled Mediterranean coast of France. The sun is shining but the crowds have dissipated on the Cote d'Azur. And legendary luxury hotels like the Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice are offering excellent holiday packages, to help spur the decision to ditch the usual harried holiday season at home (caroling and shopping overkill) and take the fam on a delightful winter escape. The most fashionable palace in Nice, situated on the Promenade Des Anglais, offers the ultimate Riviera experience with its Art Deco ambience, award-winning Le Padouk restaurant, panoramic poolside terrace, and splendid accommodations. Recently rated among the "Top 75 European Hotels" in Conde Nast Traveler magazine's Reader's Choice Awards 2006, the Palais de la Mediterranee has devised two great value offers for a joyous Christmas and New Year's. The Magical Christmas Package starts at an unbelievable EUR 285 per night, and includes accommodations in a superior city view room, daily breakfast buffet, welcome gift, Christmas lunch or dinner at Restaurant Le Padouk on December 25, complimentary extra bed and breakfast for one child under 12 and unlimited access to the indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, sauna and steam room. Valid from December 22-26, 2006. Two night minimum stay. Sea view room is available for an additional EUR 25 per night. Likewise, the Cabaret Show Time New Year's Package is an excellent value, starting from EUR 425 per night. The package includes accommodations in a superior city view room, daily breakfast buffet, a VIP welcome, New Year's Eve gourmet dinner with beverages such as Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée 730, a French cabaret show and after dinner dancing, unlimited access to the indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, sauna and steam room. Valid from December 28, 2006 to January 2, 2007. Minimum two night stay required.


Christmas Recipes from Sea Island Resorts, Georgia

December 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sea Islands Resorts

Georgia's Sea Islands Resorts-- renowned for its championship golf, incredible dining, legendary Southern hospitality, and exclusive accommodations-- offers a wonderful holiday escape this Christmas season for the whole family. Scheduled events include ballroom dancing, classical concerts, themed Christmas trees, gingerbread castles, spiced cider and hot toddy toasts, nightly elf tuck-in for the kiddies, crafts workshops, holiday bingo, and the Reindog Parade for pets with prizes awarded for the most festively costumed pet. Plus, the resort guarantees a White Christmas, with a special delivery of blown snow at the Beach Club for a seaside Snow Day. For a holiday treat, enjoy these favorite recipes from Sea Islands Pastry chefs:

Spiced Pumpkin Cheescake

Crust

1 cup Graham crumbs

5 TBSP melted butter

1 cup All-Purpose flour

1-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Cheesecake Batter

1-1/2 lbs cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 TSP nutmeg

1/2 TSP ginger

1/2 TSP allspice

1 TBSP cinnamon

1/4 TSP cloves

1-1/4 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

4 egg yolks (mixed well)

Procedure

Press crust into pans. Fill to the top with batter. Bake in a waterbath at 250 F until done. Freeze until set hard. Release from the pans. Yield: 2 9-inch Cakes

Chewy Gingersnaps

Batter

2/3 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Primex

3 TBSP Molasses

1 Egg

1-3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

2 TSP Baking Soda

1/2 TSP Cinnamon

1 TBSP Ginger

1/2 TSP Cloves

1/2 TSP Nutmeg

1/4 TSP Salt

Procedure

Cream together the Fat, Sugar and Molasses. Add the egg and mix well. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Scoop using desired ice cream scoop. Sprinkle with grain sugar and bake. 350 F for 20 minutes.