The 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.

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here.  Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more. 

QUESTION:  What are some family friendly resorts in Crete, Greece for a family of 4, children ages 8 and 11 

ANSWER: There are a number of resorts that fit the bill. Here are the top 3 that we recommend:


Blue Palace Resort and Spa – Elounda Crete, Greece. Blue Palace Resort and Spa

The Blue Palace Resort and Spa offers a variety of suites where a maximum of 4 occupants can comfortably stay and they are child-friendly. 

The Deluxe Suites with Sea View and Private Pool  are luxurious bedrooms with elegant décor. In addition they offer a separate living room which leads to an oversized veranda with a corner infinity pool of 44 square meters (473 square feet). These suites can accommodate up to four guests and are 68 square meters(732 square feet).  A Corner suite has a slightly smaller private pool, impressive sea views, a veranda with sun beds and umbrella, and a separate living room. 

Island Luxury Suites with a Sea View and Private Heated Pool have amazing sea views, enlarged private heated pool of 30 square meters (322 square feet) and an outdoor patio with privacy. Two to four guests can be accommodated and they are 72 square meters (775 square feet). These suites include a spacious patio with sun beds, umbrella, separate living room, four poster bed, egg-shaped bathtub or Jacuzzi. 

At Blue Palace Resort and Spa,  guests 12 and under are considered children and sleep for free in the existing bedding of a room shared with a paying adult. (Rollaways, child rollaways and cribs may incur extra charges.)

Kids Only: The Blue Palace Resort and Spa is pleased to provide extensive children facilities and amenities. In addition to an indoor and outdoor playground and two children's swimming pools, they offer a wide range of engaging activities including theater, fishing, painting, and Greek dancing, creating fun-filled times during their stay with great memories to take home.  Baby-sitting can be arranged for the day or night upon request at a charge. The Kids Club is available only to children aged 3 to 12-years-old. 

View photos, read descriptions and check availability at Blue Palace Resort and Spa >>


Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites – Crete, GreeceElounda Gulf Villas and Suites

Stylishly designed Two Bedroom Deluxe Family Suites have an area of approximately 100-120 sqaure meteres and can accommodate up to 5 guests. All Two Bedroom Deluxe Family Suites feature two master bedrooms, spacious bathrooms and a cozy living room equipped with tea and coffee facilities. Beautiful large windows offer views to the azure sea. Tromp l' oeil hand-painted ceilings adorn the spacious marble bathrooms featuring makeup mirror, hairdryer, pool towels, soft bathrobes and slippers and luxury toiletries for a truly comfortable stay. Families can enjoy a refreshing swim at the main stunning pool of the hotel and specially designed children’s pool located only a few steps away from the suites. All Two Bedroom Deluxe Family Suites are ideal for groups of friends and relaxing family vacations.

View photos, read descriptions and check availability at Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites >>


St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas – Aghios Nikolas, Greece

St. Nicholas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas offers interconnecting rooms and family suites, club suites and villas with private pool for families up to 6 persons, The St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel has a fully serviced private beach that has been distinguished with an EU Blue Flag rating. The protected sandy cove is ideal for kids and their parents alike. Children can enjoy a seawater paddling pool next to our large outdoor swimming pool just few steps from the sea

Penelopi  Suite: a two bedroom suite with a private pool, offers great privacy and superb seaviews from privileged location with large private swimming pool heated in colder months. The bedrooms have ensuite marbled lined bathroom with Jacuzzi, an elegant living room and spacious terrace.  St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas

Apollo  Suite: a two bedroom Club Villa with a private pool: Centrally located offering generous space and a cool contemporary feeling with elegant open plan lounge leading to a beautiful terrace garden and a large private pool (heated during the colder months). Privacy and tranquility meet panoramic sea views and your own sun loungers, sunshades and open-air dining table for four persons. Two bedrooms offer direct access to two spacious marble lined bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtub. 

Poseidon House: a two bedroom, 2 story Villa with a  private pool: With a privileged seafront location, this delightful villa combines indoor and outdoor living with spacious rooms, terrace garden with an extra sized swimming pool (heated during the colder months), large patio with dining table, sunshades, daybeds and sun loungers and commands spectacular views to the Mirabello Bay. Centrally located in two levels it is composed with 2 bedrooms, separate living room, dining room area and kitchenette on the mid level. Master bedroom features a french double bed, ensuite marble lined bathroom with Jacuzzi while the upstairs bedroom has separate shower and balcony with sea view.

St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas welcomes Kids at the Hotel's Mini Club every day and the complimentary kids's program is available for children from 4 to 11 years old under the supervision of dedicated and fully certified staff. Children’s menus and high chairs provided in all restaurants, except “Minotaure” restaurant by the pool. 

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.   

View photos, read descriptions and check availability at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas >>

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In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #30 spot is King George Palace which is located in the heart of Athens, Greece. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- Certain rooms above the fourth floor feature stunning views of the Acropolis.

- Located on Constitution Square, within steps of the Greek Parliament, the hotel is near the historical city center blended with the financial, commercial and business districts.

- Located within walking distance from the Acropolis, the old city (Plaka), and most of Athens' sights and attractions.

- The Tudor restaurant on the 7th floor features an impressive view of Athens and the Acropolis.

- Private pool for royal presidential suite.

- Fulfills the need of every type of traveler with a spa facility, fitness center, and a business center on site.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the King George Palace here >>

We understand that an incredible view is of utmost importance to luxury travelers. After a day of exploring a new city, there’s nothing more enjoyable then returning to your luxurious accommodations and taking in the miraculous view before calling it a day. For others, there simply is no time to enjoy everything a city has to offer, and the only exploration one has time for is to take in the view from the hotel. We’d like to introduce you to our new blog series, which will be featuring incredible hotels with incredible views! Whatever your travel reasons or however much time you have to enjoy your trip, we hope you leave thinking wow what a view!

Our feature hotel is King George Palace in Athens, Greece. It has been distinguished as the best hotel in Greece and it has been called home by Kings, Presidents, and travelers since the 1930s. This unique boutique hotel has 102 rooms and 22 suites, each gracefully designed with classical and modern concepts in mind. King George Palace is located on Constitution Square, within steps from of the Greek Parliament and near the historical city center. The most stunning feature of this hotel is certainly the views it offers. Some of the rooms offer breathtaking views of the Acropolis, and the rooftop restaurant, the Tudor features remarkable views of the Acropolis and the city of Athens. Check out this phenomenal hotel and get to have your breath taken away!

Be sure to keep up with our blog series to discover various luxury hotels all over the world with the best views!

Peloponnesia is only known for a couple of things:  A long, bloody war against Athens and super awesome beaches.  We'll be focusing a little bit more on the latter in this article because Amanresorts is opening a new boutique hotel on the Aegean Sea.  I can promise you that the only thing spartan about the 38 rooms here will be their location.  Its spa will offer the epitome of personalized service for the few guests this small property makes room for, and you'll be free to tour the historical sites of Ancient Greece or simply relax and take in the views of the pristine Mediterranean landscape.  Amanresorts already has a couple properties on the Mediterranean, but you'll find the bulk of their beautiful boutiques further east in Asia, such as the Aman New Delhi, or Aman at Summer Palace Beijing. Specializing in the personal experience, where staff practically outnumbers the guests, Amanresorts are usually great places to relax and escape.  We're looking forward to the Amanzoe this summer.  In the interim, make sure to check out our other resort on the Peloponnesian peninsula.


I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

 I'm not sure what it is about the Mediterranean. Maybe it's the fresh sea air or the cradle of Western civilization lying under your feet, but it always feels like coming home.  And in the spirit of carrying an analogy too far, if the Mediterranean is like home, then the Thalassa Boutique Hotel & Spa is being curled up in your bed under the covers on a cold winter's night.  Except with a view.  And spa treatments.  So it's completely unlike that analogy.  Another thing it's unlike is my writing ability, which is slowly collapsing like a flan in a cupboard. But what the Thalassa Boutique is like is an island oasis, a heavenly spa, where every suite is served by a personal butler and you can slough off the cares of the world as the pigment in your skin darkens from the soft, Mediterranean sun.  It's six millenia of relaxation crystallized into a seaside retreat, begging you to forget yourself in its warm embrace.  And when I'm looking to run away from the world, I want a spa hotel where every room gives a perfect view of the sun slipping under or out from the horizon and kids are rarely seen (and none under 12).  Surrounded by sea on three sides and with the sandy beach just steps away, I can't imagine a better place to get away than the Thalassa Boutique Hotel & Spa.  In fact, just writing this convinced me to go there right now.  Bye.

We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions and managed to stop going to the gym or taking those cooking classes come February. This year, make a commitment to a simpler, more fulfilling resolution: travel more. Take in what the world has to offer, and do it in style. Be sure to keep up with our new blog series where we’ll be featuring an incredible destination everyone should visit in his/her lifetime. Consider this list a tool to give you a few ideas and inspiration on exciting places to go, where to stay, and what to see!

Our second feature destination today is Santorini, Greece.

About Santorini:

Santorini is an incredible island in the Southern Aegean Sea, and it has been said that Santorini sunsets are some of the best in the world. With breathtaking views of the volcano and neighboring islands and miles of beaches, it’s an island worth exploring in your lifetime. The famous, cliff side white-washed houses with sky blue roofs are iconic of the Greek Islands, and they will open your eyes to beauty and awaken the intrepid spirit in you.

Things to do:

Be sure to visit the Santorini volcano, hop into the hot springs, take a donkey ride, and then watch the beautiful sunset in Oia. Explore the Boutari winery, the first winery on the island to open its doors to the public in 1989 and spend the day in Oia, where all of the beautiful white houses can be found.

Local Cuisine:

Be sure to try Fava, a puree made from Fava beans, white eggplant, the ‘national’ course in Santorini, and of course, their seafood options including octopus.

Luxurious Accommodations:

Santorini has 11 luxurious hotels. A few worth checking out are the Tsitouras Collection Hotel and Vedema Resort. The Tsitouras Collection Hotel has served as a school, post office, and private home over the centuries, and now it’s an exclusive hotel full of history and culture. It has been renovated and converted into 5 units, each with a separate theme and embrace Greek culture and tradition. The Vedema Resort is constructed in a traditional style and features an authentic look inspired by the colors of the Greek Islands. This resort boasts 10 pool suites and a luxurious Presidential Villa, and it overlooks a vineyard, which hosts nightly wine tastings.

Have you been to Santorini? Where did you stay? Be sure to keep up with our blog series and check out our first featured destination, Prague.

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #4 spot we have King George Palace, one of the most famous landmarks in Athens, Greece, ideally located on Constitution Square.

Quick facts about King George Palace:

- Distinguished as the best hotel in Greece, and is ranked among the top 20 best hotels in the Overseas Leisure Hotel Section for Europe.

- Unique, luxury boutique hotel has been home to Kings, Princes, and Presidents since the early 1930s.

- Located steps away from the Greek Parliament, near the historical center.

- Combines the exquisiteness of a historic landmark with modern amenities and personal attention.

- Certain rooms have a breathtaking view of the Acropolis, and the Royal Presidential suite has a private outdoor pool.

- The Tudor Restaurant features an impressive view of Athens and the Acropolis.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the King George Palace.

Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Athens

It's official. The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide. The latest property to join their expansive portfolio? The Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Athens- which will open in a matter of weeks in the Greek capital. Formerly called the Athens Park Hotel, the 152-room property is located opposite the "Pedion Areos," Athens' largest park, and is next to the National Archaeological Museum. This address in the northern part of the city center is convenient to museums, shops, and restaurants, with the Acropolis just a short walk away. Guests of the Radisson Blu can enjoy a rooftop swimming pool with staggering views over Athens. The hotel also has the Gallo Nero restaurant, the Oak Room bar, St'Astra rooftop restaurant, and two conference rooms. This is the first Radisson Blu in Greece, and Rezidor now has properties in 65 countries across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Up next: the Radisson Blu Grand Canaria Resort, Spain and Radisson Blu Uppsala, Sweden in 2012.

InterContinental PragueEurope in winter is positively enchanting-- from November's JazzFest in Berlin to the twinkling lights on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and the rich hot chocolate served in Vienna's cafes. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is inviting you to book in advance and save on your winter escape for stays between November 1, 2011- February 29, 2012. Enjoy rates starting from €101 per night, including breakfast for two, at fab hotels like the InterContinental Vienna, the InterContinental Budapest, the InterContinental David Tel Aviv, the InterContinental Paris Le Grand, the InterContinental Geneva, the InterContinental Prague (pictured), Portugal's brand new InterContinental Porto-Palacio das Cardosas, and more. Not only will you score a discount, but also tons of insider tips shared by InterContinental's famously connected concierges! The "Winter Offer" is valid on new bookings only, subject to availability.

Nafplia Palace Hotel and Villas, Greece

The views from the ancient Bronze Age acropolis in Nafplion are breathtaking. From your perch above this white-washed village on the Greek mainland, the Bay of Argolis sparkles turquoise far below. The Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas-- aka the "jewel of the Pelaponnese"-- occupies a prime piece of real estate, built within an archeological site dating from the 3rd century BC. Designed to blend in to its surrounding environment, this uniquely-situated hotel offers stunning views from each and every one of its chic rooms, some equipped with balconies, private swimming pools, or outdoor jacuzzis. The hotel has three restaurants, two bars, a chic spa, and beautiful pools. There's even an elevator that carries guests down through the ancient bedrock of the acropolis to access the town beneath.

Nafplia Palace Hotel and Villas, Greece