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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.

Easter at the Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca, Spain

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter at Son Net

This Easter, think Spain. The gorgeous Mediterranean isle of Mallorca, awash with flowers and olive groves, is home to the 17th century hacienda-turned-boutique hotel: Gran Hotel Son Net. Its 25 rooms are each unique, lavishly and individually decorated; the suites boast large windows overlooking the countryside, and private terraces, gardens and swimming pools. The Easter special includes four nights luxurious accommodations, four Son Net breakfasts, cava and fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, traditional Good Friday dinner and Easter Buffet-Brunch at the L'Orangerie Restaurant, and private transfer service from and to Palma airport. Starting at EUR 1,670, valid April 13-18.

Gran Hotel Son Net, Official Site

Gran Hotel Son Net, Five Star Alliance


Going to Buenos Aires: the Grand Alvear Palace Hotel

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alvear Palace Hotel

Welcome to the most elegant hotel in Latin America. The awards are numerous--Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report ("Among the World's 20 Best"), Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler (Top Hotels in the World)-- and the service, impeccable. Among the wide avenues, magnificent architecture, and splendid boutiques of the elegant Recoleta neighborhood in the "Paris of South America," the Belle Epoque Alvear Palace is a city historical monument. Furnished in the style of Luis XV, the rooms and suites are adorned with antiques and crystal chandeliers. Amenities include Hermes de Paris bath products, personal butler service, 500 thread Egyptian cotton sheets, telephone with intelligent screen to regulate AC, Wifi, and DVD players. Bathrooms are nothing short of magnificent, often equipped with jacuzzi and sauna. Guests are treated to the best buffet breakfast in the city, at Orangerie Restaurant, and the fine-dining restaurant-- La Bourgogne—is considered the best in the city, awarded "Latin America's Best Restaurant" by Wine Spectator. Indeed, the Alvear Palace Hotel is itself a symbol of Buenos Aires.

Alvear Palace Hotel, Official Site

Alvear Palace Hotel, Five Star Alliance


South Beach Hot Spots: the Delicious and Daring Delano

March 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Delano Hotel

I know, I know, I'm a sucker for the white beds in the bar at the Delano. The fact is—I'm a sucker for everything Delano. The chic white bedrooms, the private beach, the magnificent pool, the elegant Indoor/Outdoor Lobby. This is the very best kind of luxurious urban resort, smack dab in the middle of South Beach. With fabulous dining (and did I mention the bars?), this is the place to see and be seen. Paradise could be the cool poolside bungalows, with custom Starck-designed furnishings, luxurious marble bathrooms, and billowing white curtains.

The Delano, Official Site

The Delano, Five Star Alliance


W Hotels Reopens New Orleans Hotels

March 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W New Orleans French Quarter

You may have missed Mardi Gras, but Jazz Fest is on the horizon. And both W hotels—which had sustained serious wind and water damage from Hurricane Katrina—have recently reopened in time for the best of spring festivals. W French Quarter is contemporary and full of sleek technology—as all W Hotels are—yet plenty romantic and old-world European at the same time. Plus, as its name suggests, it's in the heart of it all in the French Quarter. Its restaurant Bacco is considered one of the best in the city. Hot and hip, the other W New Orleans is equally well-located, a trendy and fashionable hotel that is the home of Rande Gerber's happening bar Whiskey Blue.

W New Orleans, Official Site

W New Orleans, Five Star Alliance

W French Quarter, Official Site

W French Quarter, Five Star Alliance


South Beach Spring Special at the Setai, Miami

March 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Setai

The art deco landmark and oceanfront South Beach destination is surrounded by tropical gardens and turquoise pools overlooking the Atlantic. Originally built in the 1930's as the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, Adrian Zecha's Setai opened to much fanfare in 2005. In the hot South Beach scene, The Setai stands out for its intimacy, impeccable service, and elegant Asian touches. 75 guestrooms and 50 suites are detailed with exquisite amenities: espresso machines, in-room bars, Bose surround-sound DVD/CD systems, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, luxurious bath amenities, and flat screen LCD and plasma TVs. Enjoy a deep therapeutic massage at the luxurious spa overlooking the sand and sea, and then savor the gastronomic delights at the Crustacean restaurant. With the South Beach Spring Special, take advantage of special rates starting at $675.

The Setai, Official Site

The Setai, Five Star Alliance


Upscale Dining in Las Vegas: Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in the MGM Grand

February 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Joel Robuchon

Upscale Vegas dining at its finest. Brought to you by the legendary Joel Robuchon, whose phenomenal Paris restaurant earned the highest honor from Michelin (three stars) in a mere three years, the fastest of any chef on earth. Named "Chef of the Century" by French guidebook Gault Millau, Robuchon has created an epic, gastronomique restaurant sure to delight the senses in a once-in-a-lifetime dining extravaganza. Indeed, the tempting 16-course menu is stacked with heavenly delights. Ready to start salivating? How about a fresh scallop cooked in its shell with a lemon and seaweed butter, duck foie gras and spring vegetables in a green cabbage ravioli, sea urchin flan flavored with fennel, or Brittany lobster under a disappearing saffron hostie in a seafood bouillon... Reservations are highly recommended-- book ahead. After all, there is only one seating of 60 for dinner. Priced at $275 per person.


Roast American Rack of Lamb Recipe from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York

February 23, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

Regency Lamb

Following the success of the Penne with Vodka Sauce Recipe - The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City, has sent us their recipe for Roast American Rack of Lamb. Worried about making it yourself? You can always visit The Regency and try it - they have three restaurants to check out.

See the recipe below:

Roast American Rack Of Lamb with Spinach & Brie Potato Cake, Red Wine Jus

1 ea. Frenched Rack of Lamb

1 ea garlic clove(minced)

1 ea tomato (chopped)

1 ea shallot (chopped

1 cup Idaho Potato(shredded)

1/2 cup brie cheese(diced)

1/2 cup baby spinach

Baby Vegetables --blanched

1/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt black pepper

1 cup brown gravy

1/4 cup mint jelly

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 stick unsalted butter

Method

Rack of Lamb

Heat sautee pan with 1/2 the olive oil. Once hot sear rack of lamb on both sides until brown -approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Finish in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrrees.

Potato Cake

In small omellete pan heat olive oil until hot. In seperate bowl mix potato ,tomato, onions, brie, spinach and salt & pepper. Mix well. Add to hot pan and cook until crisp on both sides approximately 6-8 minutes or until brown. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Mint Jus

Bring brown gravy to boil in saucepan. Add chopped mint, mint jelly and butter. Bring to simmer and serve with warm cut lamb chops.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance


San Diego Hotspots: Hotel Solamar, Jsix Restaurant, and Jbar

February 22, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Solamar San Diego

Kimpton, of course, is the mastermind hotelier behind this delightfully quirky, luxurious and fun hotel hotspot in the heart of San Diego's happening Gaslamp district. Decorated in vibrant pink and green tones, energetic and modern furnishings, and a very pretty clientele, the Hotel Solamar also stocks its minibars with fun and original amenities like flip-flops and art supplies. Jbar, located on the 4th floor rooftop deck of the hotel, has become a trendy urban oasis complete with fire pits, poolside cabanas and awesome views of downtown San Diego and the bay. In an exotic setting, Jsix restaurant specializes in Coastal California cuisine, with a menu showcasing innovative, regional flavors inspired by the region's Baja coastline.

Hotel Solamar, Official Site

Hotel Solamar, Five Star Alliance


Special Offers: Spring Indulgence at Kingsbrae Arms Relais and Chateaux, New Brunswick, Canada

February 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kingsbrae Arms

Think Spring. Flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the ultimate country house inn from which to witness nature's reawakening. Named one of the Top 50 Romantic Spots in the World by Travel and Leisure, Kingsbrae Arms is Relais and Chateaux's only Eastern Canada property. And though this country inn is a perfect hideaway, it’s not much of a secret—this spot is a two-time Andrew Harper Hideaway Grand Award winner, Mobil Four-Star, and listed in Fodor's Top Twenty Hotels in the World. Overlooking the sea, harbor and the historic seaside resort of St. Andrews, Kingsbrae Arms is surrounded by historic, salt-air gardens. Sumptuously appointed suites are the essence of romance. But the best part of a stay at the inn is the unforgettable evening dinner party, where gorgeous organic cuisine is paired with selections from the Wine Spectator Award winning cellar. These evenings are legendary. Available throughout the month of May, the Spring Indulgence Package includes two nights luxurious accommodations with spring flower bouquet, full country breakfasts each morning, and four-course dinner for two with Champagne cocktail reception. Starting at $750 per couple, standard guestroom.

Kingsbrae Arms, Official Site

Kingsbrae Arms, Five Star Alliance


Recipes from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York

February 20, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

You have three choices when dining at The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City. Whether it is a power breakfast, light lunch, afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres, pre-theater dinner, or late night candy - you can indulge in it all without leaving The Regency.

First. Feinstein's at The Regency - Yes, it's that Feinstein. The world-famous, Grammy-nominated, pop vocalist, songwriter, and music archivist, Michael Feinstein. He is the owner of the restaurant which brinds fine dining together with cabaret. Second. The Library. It's a place packed with literary legends - well, in spirit, at least. Shelves of books and comfy banquettes grace The Library where menus and wine lists make for some of the best reading around. Lastly, 540 Park which has long been regarded as the home of the power breakfast. 540 Park is also a serious contender when it comes to memorable dinners. The entrees, environment, and service are always exquisite. In fact, all that's missing is the pretention.

Mr. Stram at the hotel was nice enough to share with us three recipes that are just screaming to be recreated. See the first of the three after the jump ...

Pasta Leaf

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Equipment Needed

1 - 10 quart stock pot

2 - 8 quart sauce pot

1 colander

1 - 10" saute pan

1 - cutting board

1 - 10" chef knife

1 wooden spoon

Ingredients Needed

2 lbs of Penne Pasta (Either Penne Spinach Rigate or Penne Rigate)

1 - 32oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with basil

1 - 32oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 head of garlic, thinly sliced

1 Spanish Onion

1 bunch of fresh basil, julienne

1 bunch of fresh thyme, chopped fine

1 bunch of fresh, oregano, chopped fine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

White Pepper

6 oz of a Premium Brand of Vodka (Grey Goose or Absolute)

4 oz of Burgundy Wine

1 quart of heavy cream

Preparing the Sauce and the Pasta

1. Boil 1 gallon of water in the Stock pot and add 3 oz of kosher salt, and 3 oz of olive oil.

2. While the water comes to a boil, preheat the sauce pot and oil and butter.

3. Add the diced onion, and sweat, than add the sliced garlic.

3. Add the herbs and add the Burgundy Wine and reduce by half.

4. Add the canned tomato product and allow to simmer for 45 minutes

5. Allow to rest.

6. Add the 2lbs of pasta and stir constantly

7. Allow to cook about 8 minutes which is a little under al dente.

8. Pour into the colander

9. Toss with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil

10. In the other sauce pot put on a low heat, take the pot off the heat, add the 4oz vodka.

11. Add the Heavy Cream and reduce by half and add the tomato sauce.

12. Combine the Pasta with the Vodka Sauce and portion into your favorite dish.

Enjoy.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance