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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.

Did You Know? Hotel Balzac

May 14, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Balzac


In 1853, Hotel Balzac was built for the director of the Paris Opera. It was home to its namesake, the 19th century French writer Honore de Balzac. The hotel is reminiscent of town houses of that period.

In 1846 Balzac acquired the property to give to Countess Ewelina Hanska, who he married in May 1850. He spent his last days in the house and died a few months later without ever having paid the purchase price.

His writing influenced many famous authors, including the novelists Marcel Proust, Emile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Marie Corelli, Henry James, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino as well as philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. 

Balzac's spirit lives on in the luxury hotel where collections of antique books as well as lithographs depicting the writer, and scenes from his work can be found.

 

View rates, details, and more images of Hotel Balzac >>

 

 


Did You Know? Villa San Michele

May 13, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Villa San Michele

Villa San Michele is nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, enjoying unparalleled vistas of Florence, stretched out before it in all its classic splendour. Dating from the 15th century, the Villa's facade is attributed to Michelangelo. The hotel's largest and most romantic suite, the Michelangelo Suite, stretches the whole length of the façade of the hotel. Once the monastery library, it also served as Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's headquarters in Florence.

View rates, details, and more images of Villa San Michele >>

 


New to Five Star Alliance: Museum Hotel Cappadocia

May 5, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Situated in a very special geographic region, Museum Hotel Cappadocia has been designed and created from a distinctive combination of the land and historical features and ruins, some intact and some beautifully restored to their original glory. The hotel features 30 rooms and suites—each of them exceptional in their own inimitable way. No room is alike, with each bringing its own special ambiance, contributing to Museum Hotel’s character and charm. There are 55 specially trained staff members who cater to guests' every need to ensure their stay is a truly unique experience.

Museum Hotel Cappadocia 

View rates, details, and more images of Museum Hotel Cappadocia >>


Dining al Fresco: Dunbrody Country House Hotel

May 4, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Dunbrody Country House Hotel

Dunbrody Country House Hotel
 is a small luxury hotel in Wexford located on the dramatic Hook Peninsula on Ireland's south coast.  The hotel's award-winning restaurant The Harvest Room is less of a hotel dining room and much more of a stylish, atmospheric restaurant. The Harvest Room Restaurant has been the recipient of numerous awards. Emphasis is always on the freshness of the ingredients and the enhancement of them through the simplicity of combinations. All the ingredients are locally sourced with many of the fruits and vegetables and all of the herbs from their own kitchen & herbs gardens.

Located just opposite Dunbrody Country House where the restaurant has received numerous awards the simple philosophy of under-stated but delicious food follows on in the Dunbrody Cookery School. Dunbrody Cookery School has been designed to cater for all levels of cooks, from budding enthusiasts (Back to Basics) to the experienced gourmet (specialised courses). 

View rates, details, and more images of Dunbrody Country House Hotel >>


Did You Know? Soniat House

May 4, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Soniat House

Between 1829-1833 French sugar plantation owner Joseph Soniat Duffossat and his eldest son Robert built three French Quarter townhouses. The custom of the day, for those with means and social standing, was to have a residence in town. Such homes were built both for their convenience, and most importantly, to entertain and receive guests.  In 1982 the townhouses began their new life as Soniat House. The 31 guest rooms are furnished and decorated with French and English antiques and custom European fabrics. Hotel guests are especially fond of sitting in one of the two courtyards and soaking up the atmosphere. 

View rates, details, and more images of Soniat House >> 


Five Star Alliance Recommends Ten Little-Known Honeymoon Locations

May 1, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Lounging on the beach for a honeymoon is nothing to sneeze at, but the newlyweds who want something different should try staying at one of these luxury hotels in an these unusual honeymoon locations.

Five Star Alliance recommends these unusual post-nuptial spots:

Cappadocia, Turkey
Why Visit
This Anatolian region is a UNESCO world heritage site known for its cave structures. Dwellings have been hewn from the rock as far back as 4,000 B.C. During Byzantine times chapels and monasteries were hollowed out of the rock, their ochre-toned frescoes reflecting the hues of the surrounding landscape. It is 30 kilometers from Nevsehir Airport.

Where to Stay
Cappadocia Cave ResortCappadocia Cave Resort and Spa (pictured right) is built right into a mountain and offers a spectacular view over the dramatic landscape. The exclusive spa area offers all kinds of treatments, from steam baths to an experience shower with sound and light effects, to a couples massage.

Cappadocia Museum Hotel has just 30 rooms and suites. The unusual living museum concept means the cave rooms and specially restored traditional rooms are decorated with antiques and have wonderful views of Cappadocia.
 

Hue, Vietnam
Why Visit
The city is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, just a few miles from the East Sea. Hue has various points of interest, such as the Citadel, the royal tombs of Tu Duc, Khai Dinh, and Minh Mang, Thien Mu pagoda, and Dong Ba market. Other attractions include Bach Ma national park, Lang Co beach, Truc Lam Zen monastery, and Thuan An beach.

Where to Stay 
Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa is nestled on the shore of a peaceful and serene lagoon, with stunning views across one of the largest lagoons in Southeast Asia. It offers stylish interior decoration on an area of 27 hectares of undulating land and lagoon.

Pilgrimage Village is ideally located in the quiet countryside in rustic village setting surrounding by lush tranquil gardens, yet near to famous historical landmarks. With 99 rooms and villas, the resort is warm and inviting. Hue airport is just 20 minutes away.
 

Cuzco, Peru
Why Visit
Cuzco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is one of Peru's most visited spots as it is a convenient city from which tourists can begin visits to Machu Picchu. It is located 7,000 feet above sea level and is nestled in a small hilltop between the Andean Mountain Range with a generally dry and temperate.

Where to Stay 
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness (pictured right)is located in the Urubamba Valley on the banks of the river Vilcanota. The hotel’s property spreads over 10 hectares. Unno Spa includes a hyperbaric chamber, hydrotherapy pools, Vichy shower treatment rooms and meditation, and aromatherapy oxygen.Aranwa Sacred Valley

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a former palace and convent set in a tranquil plaza behind Cuzco’s main square. This intimate urban retreat has just 55 suites, each enriched with oxygen and with its own private bar where guests can create drinks using the fresh ingredients grown at and around the hotel.

Umag, Croatia
Why Visit
With a coastline filled with stunning beaches, Umag is an established summer destination in Europe. It is known as the town of tennis because it hosts many tennis camps and the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open. Beautiful architecture, delicious restaurants, and unrivalled scenery add to the city's undeniable charm. The international festival of chamber theatre Golden Lion is a popular local event.

Where to Stay
Hotel Monte Mulini is situated in a beautiful and quiet location, but close to the town of Rovinj. Maistra’s boutique hotel Monte Mulini is the perfect starting point for sightseeing in Croatia, a wine trail tour, or time in the sun and sea.

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic is surrounded by picturesque olive groves and vineyards, and offers breathtaking views over the Adriatic Sea. Things to do include treatments at the 3,000 square foot duplex Spa, and a few rounds at the first professional 18-hole golf course in the region.

Doha, Qata
Why Visit
Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, the modern Doha skyline contrasts with the surrounding desert. Things to do in Doha include playing world-class golf, off-road desert cycling, beach trips, and fossil hunts. Popular attractions include the City Centre Doha Mall, the Corniche Promenade and the acclaimed Museum of Islamic Art. The city will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Where to Stay

The Torch DohaThe Torch Doha (pictured left) is 300 meters high and has panoramic views of the city. It is located on Al Waab Street, 30 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the city center. Hotel guests have private walkway access to Doha's largest shopping mall Villaggio.

Sharq Village and Spa's fourteen courtyard houses are located on one thousand meters of private coastline. Guests can tour the village streets, cool off in the two pools, recline on an outdoor majlis, or shop at the village souq. The hotel is operated by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, B.V.

Other Recommended Locations:

-Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates: A destination with year-round sunshine, white sandy beaches, and world class resorts. It’s just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

 

-Lanai, Hawaii: 9 miles from Maui, the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii is all unspoiled beaches and serenity.

-Port Antonio Jamaica: A quiet and beautiful haven with both jungle trails and impressive museums.

-Almaty Kazakhstan: The largest city in Kazakhstan has a spectacular mountain backdrop and is a winter sports haven.

-Herzliya, Israel: 10 minutes from Tel Aviv, this coastal city offers water sports, boating, and hiking.

 

 


Did You Know? Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna

April 29, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna was originally built as a hotel for the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873. It is perfectly located in the heart of Vienna, right at the famous Ring Boulevard.

Today it is a glamorous 5 star superior Palais Hotel with 152 elegant rooms and suites, two restaurants and three bars including a Night Bar & Cigar Lounge, a Kempinski The Spa and fitness area, as well as conference rooms and a ballroom.

Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna

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New to Five Star Alliance: Cromlix

April 28, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Tennis champ Andy Murray spearheaded the rebirth of Cromlix. Close to his home of Dunblane, he has bought the property and reinventedthe glorious era of grand country house living. Following extensive refurbishment, the US Open and Olympic champion has now transformed the elegant Victorian Perthshire mansion into a luxury 15-bedroom and Gate Lodge, five star destination, ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup, which is being staged a short drive away at Gleneagles.

Cromlix

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A Night at the Opera with Four Seasons Hotel Prague

April 22, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Four Seasons Hotel Prague


Opera lovers are in for a real treat, courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Prague. The hotel has arranged for select guests to enjoy a private performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the famed Estates Theatre. The famous opera had its premiere at the theatre in 1787.

The Theatre of the Estates is one of the most beautiful historic theatre buildings in Europe. The theatre was officially opened in 1783 with a first performance of the tragedy Emilia Galotti by Lessing.

After the spine-tingling performance, a chauffeur will bring the guests back to the hotel in a vintage Rolls Royce. The music lovers will then toast Mozart from the hotel's rooftop terrace Then these lucky guests sup on a gourmet meal on the rooftop terrace. The music continues through dinner via a live orchestra consisting of members of the Estates Theatre Orchestra. 

Four Seasons Hotel Prague

The luxury hotel in Old Town Prague has a  contemporary main building consisting of three historic edifices – classical, renaissance and 18th-century baroque buildings. The 161 Old Town luxury hotel guest rooms, including 20 suites, are among Prague’s largest. The one-of-a-kind building concept creates a variety of guest room layouts, even within the same category. 

The experience is available from May 15 until September 15 in 2015 and is priced for up to six persons at EUR 60,000. It includes the luxurious accommodation in the Presidential Suite for two nights, private performance of Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre, transfer from the theatre to the Hotel in vintage Rolls Royce and private dinner on the Hotel's rooftop terrace. Six months' advance reservation is required and some blackout dates apply. 

Sadly, the Marx Brothers are not included. 

Check rates, details, and more images of Four Seasons Hotel Prague >>

 

 


Charleston Place Caters to the History Buff

April 20, 2014
By: K. Clare Johnson

Charleston Place
Located at the very heart of downtown Charleston, in the historic district and within walking distance of all the major attractions, Belmond Charleston Place makes every guest feel part of this great Southern city. A gathering point for local society, this luxury hotel blends gentility and old-world charm with a leading-edge spa and innovative cuisine.

Belmond Charleston Place is the perfect hotel from which to explore the city. From historic houses and plantation tours, to Federal forts and museums, Charleston is steeped in a rich, colorful and sometimes controversial history. The hotel has set up itineraries for travelers interested in exploring Charleston's historic past.

Charleston Place

DAY 1
-Start the day with a delicious gourmet breakfast in the hotel's garden-style Palmetto Cafe before meeting your small group for a walking tour of the city. Be sure to make an advance reservation, because these tours sell out almost every day!

-After the tour, enjoy afternoon tea at Thoroughbred Club while you discuss all the new things you have discovered on the tour.  

-After tea, join one of the many antebellum historic house tours. The hotel recommends the Nathanial Russell, Aiken-Rhett, or Edmondston-Alston homes.

-End the day with a fabulous dinner in the highly acclaimed Charleston Grill.


DAY 2
-Start off with a boat ride to Fort Sumter—the famous Federal port in Charleston Harbor where the American Civil War began.

Charleston Place-Take a hotel prepared pinic lunch to a plantation. Middleton Place is ideal for seeing what farmstead life was really like through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, with reenactments, plus tours of the preserved manor houses and slave quarters. Enjoy lunch under an oak tree overlooking the river.

-In the evening, stroll around the cobblestone streets of the historic district, passing
many art galleries, museums and restaurants. Be sure to see the famous "Rainbow Row"—a row of painted historic houses.


DAY 3
-Explore personal interests. Try a Gullah Tour, which offers a unique insight into the native language and culture of the slaves in South Carolina and Georgia. There's also historical carriage tours, a stop aboard the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, or a visit to the Slave Museum.

Charleston Place-Indulge in a pampering treatment in the hotel spa and unwind over lunch at the hotel.

-Stroll to the famous Battery sea-wall defense, passing many hidden gardens, and enjoy the sunset from a swing on Waterfront Park.

Sounds like a pretty wonderful way to spend a long weekend. 
 

Nightly spring rates at Charleston Place start at $298 >>