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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 Escapes: Sundance Resort, Utah

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sundance Resort

Created by Robert Redford, Sundance Resort is an intimate preserve that balances art, nature, and community. Situated at the base of 12,000 foot Mount Timpanogos, the resort consists of 95 luxurious guest cottages and 6,000 acres of pristine mountain wilderness to explore. Though rooms may be all booked for the celebrated Sundance Film Festival (January 18-28, 2007), superb winter packages entice guests to indulge in a luxurious hideaway at Sundance. Dine in the highest Zagat-rated fine restaurant in the state of Utah, the Tree Room. Pamper yourself at the Native American-inspired spa, which utilizes all organic products in its sumptuous treatments. Take a class at the artisan center: jewelry making, photography, painting, pottery, and recycled glass blowing demonstrations. And explore Utah's beautiful terrain with a vast array of mountain activities including biking, hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. For a limited time, enjoy a one-night escape at an amazing value, starting at $160.25 (based on double occupancy). Package includes a luxurious night in one of the mountain cottages and a full American breakfast for two in the Foundry Grill. Available until December 7, 2006. Sundance Resort offers another excellent package: Stay 3 Ski Free. If you book three or more nights in a cottage suite, enjoy two all day lift passes per day. Also includes breakfast for two. Package starts at $927 based on double occupancy.


A Swinging New Year at the Art Deco Hotel Montana, Lucerne, Switzerland

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Art Deco Hotel Montana

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is-- you guessed it-- a celebration of everything Art Deco. Since its opening in 1910, the stylish hotel has dazzled guests with its vistas and fun bravura design. Originally built as a palace hotel, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is within walking distance to the picturesque city center of Lucerne. The 62 guest rooms and suites are individually designed with flair: salmon, turquoise, and sienna yellow bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, original art deco bars and spiral staircases in the Tower Suites, bold and modern touches throughout. From your balcony, enjoy fantastic views across Lake Lucerne to the Swiss Alps. (There's even a cable car from the lobby to the lake promenade.) This New Year's, escape to Switzerland for a fun end-of-year bash, and welcome in 2007 in style. The Art Deco Hotel Montana is hosting a celebration with a Hula Hoop theme, so grab a hula hoop and hit the dance floor. Package includes three nights accommodations, breakfast, and five-course gala dinner plus entertainment on New Year's Eve. Rates starting from CHF 1,386 per room inclusive of tax and service charge. Minimum three nights stay, available from December 30, 2006 to January 5, 2007.


The Best Restaurants in LA: The Belvedere at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Belvedere

It’s really no wonder The Belvedere is so good. It's located in the only hotel in So Cal to earn the distinction of an AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil Five-Star rating for 13 consecutive years. Its sophisticated ambience, impeccable service, and outstanding American cuisine have distinguished The Belvedere as one of the finest restaurants in LA. In fact, readers of Travel and Leisure recently voted it the "Best Hotel Restaurant in the Continental US and Canada." Star chef Sean Hardy has created a beautiful menu which includes signature items like the famed "Macaroni and Cheese", Elbow Pasta with Taleggio Cheese, Shaved Truffles, and a Parmesan Tuile, or Potato-Crusted California Sturgeon. Guests can dine on the patio and soak up the California rays while indulging in the exemplary cuisine. One can even get their food to go (*gasp*) with the Pen-Air menu, originally designed to accommodate guests on their flights home. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The Sunday brunch is especially popular.


Wine Tasting at The Milestone Hotel, London

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Milestone Hotel

The Wine Dinners at The Milestone Hotel, compiled by famed Cellar Master, Nicolas Clerc, are sumptuous affairs, tailored for connoisseurs of fine food and wine. Each wine dinner begins at 7 pm with aperitifs, followed by a four-course dinner paired with different wines. Upcoming events are on Wednesday, November 22, with David Powell from Torbreck Estate, Australia (GBP 75), and Wednesday, December 13, with London's foremost Burgundy importers who seek out small, family owned domaines (GBP 90). Take advantage of the Wine and Dine Package at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments and enjoy a luxurious guest room, full English breakfast, personal wine tasting with the Sommelier, and an elaborate four-course gourmet dinner.


Winter Getaway at The Merrion, Dublin: Truffles, Irish Coffee, and Literary Inspirations

November 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Merrion

The Merrion-- Dublin's finest five-star hotel-- is the place to be this winter season. A crackling fire lights the Drawing Room, and the bar and restaurant buzz with action. The luxurious Georgian surroundings of the Merrion-- comprised of four restored townhouses-- are filled with warmth and good cheer. At the vibrant Cellar Bar, fashionable patrons sip the ultimate Irish Coffee, or choose from one of fifty select wine vintages, now served by the glass. On the evening of November 14, 2006, The Cellar Restaurant will be showcasing an indulgent truffle menu guaranteed to dazzle even the most serious of gourmands. The experience will start with an introduction to truffles before the exceptional six course menu created by Executive Chef Ed Cooney in conjunction with the world renowned Urbani family.

During the winter months, curl up with a good book and unwind in style at The Merrion. The hotel has created a Literary Inspirations Experience for guests to soak up Ireland's literary heritage while being pampered in luxury; the package includes overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, and the rare opportunity to see the collected works of WB Yeats in the nearby National Library with a private curator tour.

And of course, there are myriad festivities and events to celebrate the holiday season: feasts, family entertainment, traditional menus, and a trip to Dublin's premiere race: Leopardstown Christmas Race Festival. After all that merry-making, detox at the luxurious Tethra Spa, a favorite of Dubliners and guests from around the world, which offers a variety of sumptuous treatments, an infinity pool, and fitness center.


Fine Dining in Orlando: Victoria and Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

November 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Victoria and Alberts

"The best splurge in Orlando," claims Zagat, and most diners who experience this elite eatery will agree. Adored by the nation's top food critics, this formal American restaurant offers an excellent six-course prix fixe menu paired with exceptional wines. The Victorian ambience may seem a bit contrived (harpist? long-stemmed rose for the ladies? maid and butler duo to attend to your every whim?), but this is the Magic Kingdom we're talking about. The doting service and sheer opulence of the establishment will certainly make you feel like royalty. The menu is customized daily with fresh seasonal produce; diners indulge in a culinary experience akin to a "one-of-a-kind pampering of the palate." Though there's a six-month wait to sit at the Chef's Table located right in the kitchen, it's worth it. Evening attire required (jackets for men). Located in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.


Suite DC Weekend Upgrades

November 10, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Madison, A Loews Hotel Guestroom

The Madison, a Loews Hotel is offering a sweet suite deal for guests staying with them on Thrusdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. The hotel's special "Fall and Winter Weekend Special" offers a complimentary suite upgrade to guests during the weekends between November 15th and January 7th, 2007.

What's going on in DC during these weeks to help entice your visit? For one you can visit the "Pageant of Peace" on the Ellipse at the White House (the official lighting of the living National Christmas Tree is on December 7th), or you can visit one of the many magical winter shows at The Kennedy Center (including 'The Nutcracker' over Thanksgiving and a show for their New Year's Eve celebration), or visit the brand new US Air Force Memorial which was unveiled and dedicated in October 2006.

This offer is based on availability, so make sure you reserve your nights now. Check availability at The Loews Madison in Washington, DC.


Family Christmas in Montreal at the Hotel Place d’Armes

November 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Place d'Armes

Historic streets wrapped in a blanket of snow, lively restaurants and warm cafes, boutiques and art galleries... Old Montreal is the perfect destination for a magical Christmas. The sophisticated boutique hotel Le Place d'Armes, the first ever Canadian hotel to be awarded the International Star Diamond award, has designed a Christmas package for the whole family to enjoy the holiday spirit of Montreal. In addition to its elegant rooms, the historic luxury hotel features the Rainspa (which boasts the city's first hammam) and the award-winning restaurant Aix Cuisine Du Terroir. The Family Christmas Package includes accommodation for two, full Continental breakfast daily, wine and cheese cocktail every evening, gourmet dinner for two at the gastronomic restaurant, turndown service with gingerbread man for the whole family, a visit to Atelier Toutou (Plush Factory) where guests can make two stuffed animals, and tickets to the Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port. Available seven nights a week, from December 16-29, 2006. Starting at $618 for two adults and two children.


The New Beach House at the Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples, Florida

November 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz Carlton Beach House

The five-star, five-diamond Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples has got it all: seven different restaurants, world-class spa, pool and beach activities, golf, tennis, kids programs, and a wide selection of water sports. It's no wonder The Robb Report lists The Ritz-Carlton Naples as one of the "100 Best Places to Stay in 2006" (May 2006). But now there's another reason to check out the beachfront resort: the Beach House. Located on the pristine sand of the Gulf of Mexico, the $4.5 million beach house is a 3,000 sq ft, two-storey, multi-use facility for weddings, private dinners, business functions, or parties. (It can host 120 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 for cocktail receptions.) The Beach House sports mesquite hardwood floors, Caribbean wicker ceiling fans, plantation shutters, state-of-the-art technology, and a full service kitchen for on-site catering needs complete with black granite bar. And of course there are remarkable views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.


Pacific Northwest Thanksgiving at Rosario Resort, Puget Sound, Washington

November 8, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rosario Resort

Situated on Orcas Island in Puget Sound, Rosario Resort and Spa is blessed with a privileged location to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The waterfront resort is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, its centerpiece the 1906 Moran Mansion, which houses the restaurant, spa, lounge, music room, library and museum. The 116 guest rooms are spread out on the hill overlooking Cascade Bay and the lush evergreen forest of Orcas Island. (Some feature gas fireplaces, sunken Jacuzzi tubs, and private balconies.) There is an abundance of activities on the island and Puget Sound (whale watching charters, kayak tours), though some guests prefer to relax at the Avanyu Spa, with its two pools, fitness room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and host of pampering and rejuvenating spa treatments. Celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional feast and some pampering at Rosario Resort and Spa. The all-inclusive Thanksgiving package includes two nights accommodations, breakfast, Thanksgiving dinner for two, welcome amenity, and complimentary use of Avanyu Spa facilities. Starting at $359 in a Gardenside room, based on double occupancy. Two-night minimum stay required. Available for travel November 22-24, 2006. Package prices include all taxes, resort fees and gratuities.