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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.

Reasons to Love The Jefferson Hotel Richmond

September 6, 2006
By: Courtney W. May

The Jefferson - Room 606 - Turn Down Service

I stayed at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia on the night of July 15th in Guest Room 606 (a deluxe room). I admit I got an awesome rate last minute and because I have a travel agency IATA card (for full disclosure I must mention that), I got a nice rate, but it wasn't free and I made no promises about my reviews. Now I'll cut to the chase and just list for you all of the good (and maybe bad) things to consider on your trip to Richmond.

* The rooms (at least all of the ones I saw) are HUGE (ceilings are tall, windows are large, and the closest had tons of space).

* The city of Richmond is not the absolute greatest view to have -I am not saying it's not bad)- but most importantly - none of the rooms at The Jefferson have views that are into walls, parking garages, or anything like that.

* The hotel pool is indoors, which might be nice in the winter, but Richmond is incredibly hot and in the summer a nice outdoor pool would be really, really nice.

* The Sunday Brunch is everything, plus more, that you've heard about.

* Again, let me say, Richmond is really, really hot in the summer.

* The employees are some of the best I've ever come across (they couldn't have been more helpful).

* I was able to walk to all of the locations I wanted to visit while in Richmond, but if I didn't want to the hotel would have provided a town car free of charge.

The Pool

* Although not associated with the hotel, the Shockoe Slip area of Richmond is a lot of fun and has great restaurants.

* The guest rooms have a strange layout and you can never expect two rooms in the same room category to be exactly equal - but that is because the hotel was built in 1895.

* It is really hard to get reservations for the Sunday morning brunch - so make sure you reserve early.

* Make sure to ask for a non-smoking room if you don't smoke - you're in tobacco country.

The end result is that I definitely want to go back. I traveled from the DC area (which prices for everything are much, much higher) and wouldn't mind spending two or three weekends in the fall, winter and spring in the Richmond area. Rates for this five star hotel are lower then you will find in more places - yet provide you with some of the best services I have experienced. You may not think you have a reason to visit Richmond, but The Jefferson is it.

More candid photos from the trip can be found in my Richmond, VA Photoset on Flickr.


Fourth Free Night at Hotel de la Cite, Carcassonne, France

September 5, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de la Cite

The Medieval walled city of Carcassonne, standing high on a hill above the River Aude overlooking the Minervois vineyards in Southwest France, appears to be out of a fairytale. Europe's largest fortified citadel is a amalgam of ramparts layered in history, beginning with the Gauls, Romans, Visigoths, and added to by the Moors, Franks, and Cathars. La Cite is breathtaking, the dramatic witches' hat turrets and ramparts illuminated dramatically by night. The crowds in the summer can be overwhelming; over two million tourists flock to see Carcassonne's fortified walls every year. Thus the Fall is the perfect time to visit this enchanting historic city.

Hotel de la Cite, the luxurious hideaway from Orient-Express Hotels, has designed a special Autumn Leaves fall promotion that is too good to pass up. Standing between two historic landmarks, the Roman Chateau Comtal and the Gothic Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, in the heart of the old city, Hotel de la Cite is an exquisite structure of stone walls, wood paneling and stained glass windows set amidst gardens and terraces. Each of its 40 guestrooms and 21 Suites is individually furnished, with several boasting balconies and terraces with spectacular views of the medieval ramparts, the Castle, and the narrow cobble-stoned streets of the Citadel. In addition, the hotel's La Barbacane Restaurant offers a heavenly gastronomic experience in a fantastic setting with fireplaces, high ceilings and cathedral chairs. With the Autumn Leaves package, book three nights and get the fourth for free! Available from September 1 to October 31, 2006, the package also includes complimentary daily buffet breakfast at Brasserie Chez Saskia, and one special package dinner for two - The Chef's Choice - at La Barbacane Restaurant (excluding beverages). Savings of up to 40 percent off.

Via Travel and Leisure Hot Deals


Oktoberfest and Cooking Classes at Sea Island Resorts, Georgia

September 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sea Island Cooking School

The German-born executive chef of The Lodge at Sea Island will be teaching a delicious array of authentic German specialties, including sauerbraten (a savory, marinated German pot roast), spätzle (handmade German noodles), and schnitzel (crispy pan-fried veal cutlets with aromatic herbs). The next session of the Sea Island Cooking School takes place on September 18 and 19, 2006, starting with the Friday evening private reception and dinner with Chef Johannes Klapdohr in The Lodge Wine Cellar. Also includes Saturday morning cooking school with lunch prepared by the participants, Sunday brunch, and your very own monogrammed chef's jacket. The "Cook Together" package starts at $850 per night, with a two night minimum stay. (If you miss the cooking school, there's always the annual Oktoberfest celebration at Sea Island on October 10, 2006.)

"Add some sizzle with schnitzel," Chef Johannes Klapdohr says. And here's a teaser for your next Fall tailgating picnic, for Southern German Potato Salad:

Ingredients:

2 lb. Potatoes

1 lg. Onion, finely diced

2 c. Chicken stock

6 tbsp. Vinegar (mild vinegar like apple, with 5 percent acidity)

1 tbsp. Mustard

1 tsp. Salt

4 tbsp. Oil

1 tbsp. Parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp. Chives, finely cut

Pepper and Nutmeg to taste

Preparation:

Boil the potatoes in their jackets and peel while still hot.

Sweat onions with one tablespoon of oil and deglaze with chicken stock. Set aside.

Slice potatoes thinly in large bowl.

Season potatoes with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add mustard, vinegar, parsley and chives.

Pour chicken stock over potatoes and add oil.

Mix carefully and let rest for 1 hr.

Serve warm.

Related Articles:

A Recipe for Romance: The Cook Together Package at The Lodge at Sea Island, Georgia


The Best Hotel Restaurant in the USA: The French Room in The Adolphus Hotel, Dallas

September 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The French Room

According to Zagat anyway. "There aren't enough superlatives to describe it," Zagat gushes about this elegant Grande Dame located in the Hotel Adolphus in downtown Dallas. The ambience of this French-American restaurant is decidedly romantic: with hand-blown crystal chandeliers and a soaring 18 foot high ceiling with hand-painted frescoes. The $72 fixed price, three-course dinner menu is spectacular, and features seared tuna, roasted Colorado rack of lamb, and vanilla and raspberry creme brulee. Jacket required.


Epicurean Masters of the World (Second Course)

August 29, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

lebua at State Tower offers a wide range of of fine dining options, all of which are congregated under one roof - The Dome. Mezzaluna at The Dome at State Tower The Dome at the State Tower is the award winning hotel in Bangkok, with titles such as 'Best Western Restaurant 2005,' three Thailand entries as the exclusive winner in the Condé Nast Traveler's 2005 Hot List, 'Best New Al Fresco Dining', and 'Best Lounge Bar' (amongst others). From November 28th to December 2nd, 2006, The Dome at State Tower will host a remarkable 1,000,000 baht (US $25,000 +) per head gala dinner. The dinners are an unprecedented extravagant grand finale for 'Epicurean Masters of the World' - a gourmet food and wine extravaganza. This will be the second event after the successful launch last November - and this year sees seven Chefs de cuisine of Michelin Three-Star restaurants (including the world’s first female to achieve the revered culinary distinction), congregate under one roof over the course of 5 days, to create a culinary extravaganza never before seen in Thailand and rarely experienced anywhere in the world. In addition to featuring remarkable food from the world’s finest chefs paired with equally remarkable wines, the 1,000,000 baht (US $25,000 +) per person price will include overnight suite accommodation at the lebua at State Tower hotel; a personalized designer jewelry gift; a collection of personalised Riedel sommelier glasses; and a signed commemorative Limoges plate from the event. Click here to read more about the event from eHotelier, or contact The Dome at State Tower for reservations by calling + 66 2624 9555, or e-mailing: reservation@thedomebkk.com. You can also visit the following websites: www.epicureanmasters.com and www.thedomebkk.com.


The Best View on the California Coast: Pacific’s Edge Restaurant at the Highlands Inn, Carmel

August 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pacific's Edge

This award winning, glass-walled restaurant is, by far, the ritziest resort restaurant in Carmel. Terraced on an ocean bluff overlooking the dramatic seascape of the Big Sur coastline, at the Highlands Inn Park Hyatt, Pacific's Edge provides incomparable ocean vistas. As guests dine on spectacular French-New American fare and savor bottles from the 1,700-label wine list (a perennial Grand Award winner from Wine Spectator), they can watch whales and sea otters playing just offshore, and the sunset dip below the Pacific's horizon at the most picturesque spot on earth. And to top it all off—the staff is elegant and attentive, ensuring a fantastic dining experience.


Fine Dining in Hamburg, Germany: the New Jahreszeiten Terrace at the Raffles Hotel

August 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles Hamburg

At the Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten—conveniently located on the western side of the Inner Alster Lake shore, in the heart of the city's retail and commercial district—visitors find peerless service, a distinguished and elegant ambience, and some of the best restaurants in Hamburg. In addition to the Jahreszeiten Grill, Doc Cheng's, and the Michelin-star awarded Haerlin Restaurant, the hotel recently opened an al fresco cafe on the Binnenalster. The charming Jahreszeiten Terrace was created on the new pier, which had been constructed for passengers to embark and disembark directly in front of the hotel. While dining outside in the sunshine, guests enjoy gastronomic highlights from the patisserie, Jahreszeiten Grill, Doc Cheng's and Cafe Condi. The terrace offers seating for 80 guests and operates daily from 10 am to 10 pm.


Fine Dining in Boston: Clio at the Eliot Suite Hotel

August 18, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Clio

Ken Oringer is the superstar chef who is not afraid to take risks in the kitchen at the James Beard award-winning Clio Restaurant. He is established in Boston as a force to be reckoned with. To quote Zagat: "With "a genius" and "madman" like Ken Oringer in the kitchen, this Back Bay "showstopper" "continues to reign supreme", converting most critics of "la-di-da dining" via "wonderfully strange" New French "masterpieces" showcased against an "understated" backdrop." (How's that for a review?) The innovative Asian-influenced French cuisine features dishes like the runchy sauteed halibut with citrus-ginger broth, served with the signature tomato-water martini. The sashimi bar, Uni, is located in the restaurant's lounge, and foodies claim it serves the freshest fish in Boston. Clio is housed in the Eliot Suite Hotel, voted "best boutique hotel" by Boston Magazine and "one of the world's best places to stay" by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel and Leisure. Located in fashionable Back Bay, steps away from the boutiques and restaurants of Newbury Street, the luxurious hotel is the essence of hospitality and refinement.


Super Savings at Eden Rock, St. Barts, French West Indies

August 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eden Rock

Off-peak destinations—a glamorous Fall holiday in the Caribbean-- provide a world of savings for the savvy traveler. One such steal is a five-day escape to Eden Rock, one of the hottest hotels on the fashionable island of St. Barts. The award-winning boutique hotel is situated on a heavenly stretch of sand in a secluded spot next to the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The individually designed accommodations are breathtakingly beautiful—the height of luxury and design. Guests enjoy the latest addition to the hotel: a well equipped fitness center where personalized fitness programs, yoga, and pilates can be arranged for guests. At the restaurant On the Rocks, enjoy delicious dishes such as the home-made terrine of fois gras with a quince and lime chutney, lasagna of mushrooms and tiger shrimp served with tempura vegetables and black truffles, and the sea-bass glazed with soya and served with potato and leek parmentier. Or sip a cocktail and dine beachside at The Sand Bar. Take advantage of the "Good As New" package for a five-nights stay at Eden Rock, with a savings of up to 33 percent until November 14, 2006. The package includes five-night accommodations, a daily breakfast, a five-day car rental, and airport transfers. Package prices are based on double occupancy and range from EUR 1,900 for a cottage to EUR 3,750 for a Premium Ocean View Suite.


Tour de France for Wimps

August 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cycling in France

Brought to you by Breakaway Adventures, a South Carolina-based tour company specializing in walking and cycling tours in Europe. Discover the delights of the French countryside along the same route as the Tour de France race participants, but at a much more human pace. (Try 86 miles over the course of a nine-day cycling holiday, instead of 115 miles a day.) Enjoy vineyards, cherry orchards, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance squares, and charming villages. Cycle through country lanes, stop for wine-tasting every day, dine at Michelin-recognized restaurants, and stay in exceptional accommodations. The trip begins in Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region of northeastern France, continues to Germany, and then returns to France. The tour costs $1759-$1855 per person, until September 23.

Via Associated Press