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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.

Image of the Day: Fairmont Hamilton Princess

July 29, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, affectionatelly known as "The Pink Princess" by Bermudians, has been a hotel since 1885. 

 Fairmont Hamilton Princess

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Did You Know? Hotel Lutetia

July 27, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

Hotel Lutetia was the first Art Deco hotel in Paris. Situated in the literary and artistic centre of Paris, many painters, writers and stayed or made their home at the luxury hotel. Perhaps you've heard of hotel guests named Matisse, Andre Gide, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Josephine Baker and Picasso? The adventurer, Alexandra David Neel stayed here after her expedition to the Far East, and General de Gaulle spent his honeymoon here.

Hotel Lutetia

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Image of the Day: Gritti Palace

July 24, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The newly renovated Hotel Gritti Palace was originally commissioned in 1525 as the residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti. It was later used as the official residence of the Vatican's ambassadors to Venice. Guests may enjoy their meals on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal from May or even earlier, weather permitting, until October.

Gritti Palace

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Pre-Packaged Florence Experiences At Your Fingertips!

July 23, 2013
By: Elaine Lee

Hotel Il Salviatino
If you are planning on visiting Florence, Italy and tired of surfing the Internet on places to go and things to do in order to maximize your experience in the area, look no further than Il Salviatino! With the property being just as beautiful as the views it provides, also takes the guess work out of planning your trip with their pre-packaged experiences that cater to different types of guests. Their Dine Around package is ideal for foodies on the hunt for a Tuscan gastronomical experience. The package comes complete with hand-picked restaurants to help tourists discover the best of Florence through the best Italian fare.

For those looking for a romantic way to propose, look no further than the Perfect Proposal package Il Salviatino provides. It even comes up with a backup plan option, providing guests with an all-night open-bar if their proposal is rejected.

Hotel Il Salviatino

Not ready to get engaged? Il Salviatino has a Romantic Getaway package for you, complete with romantic activities for you and your loved one to participate in while enjoying Florence and each other. If you are looking to vacation in the more relaxed side of things, try the Relax and Enjoy Florence package, ideal for spa enthusiasts.

 

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Did You Know? Schlosshotel Velden

July 21, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Schlosshotel Velden began as the Castle Velden in 1590. A fire in 1762 burned the castle, and it was then rebuilt and opened as a hotel in 1890.

Schlosshotel Velden

 

 

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Did You Know? The Park Lane Hotel London

July 20, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel mogul and future London Mayor Bracewell Smith started building the The Park Lane Hotel London from 1924 to 1927. World War I halted construction, and the hotel was an unfinished steel frame until 1940. During the 13-year delay in building, the hotel was nicknamed "the birdcage."

The Park Lane Hotel London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Did You Know? Wheatleigh

July 19, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Wheatleigh was built in 1893 by Henry H. Cook as a wedding present for his daughter, Georgie, who married Carlos de Heredia, a Spanish Count. Cook was a New York financier, banker, director of railroads and real estate tycoon. He was a descendant of Captain Thomas Cook, founder of Portsmouth, R.I., and the son of Constant Cook, who helped build the Erie Railroad. It is said that Cook built Wheatleigh as a summer cottage for his daughter because she had brought a title into the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dining Al Fresco: Palace Hotel do Bussaco

July 13, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Guests of Palace Hotel do Bussaco can enjoy seasonal dining on the large outdoor terrace overlooking the breathtaking gardens and woodland.

Bairro Alto Hotel Lisbon

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Image of the Day: Hotel Excelsior

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Hotel Excelsior overlooks the seaside promenade of elegant Naples, close to the city's most famous shops and attractions.

Hotel Excelsior

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The Story of The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, recently acquired by Omni Hotels, set atop Sunset Mountain features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course and is is one of the South's best-loved resorts. Celebrating its Centennial today, the luxurious Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Here's the story of how it all began: 

The Grove Park Inn - Then and Now"Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the "Father of Modern Asheville" was born in 1850 on a small farm in Tennessee. After serving in the Civil War he had a very definite plan for his life and career – the pharmaceutical business and the determination to rise from his early poverty to great wealth and success.

He purchased a pharmacy in Paris, Tennessee in his mid-twenties. He put all of his energy into formulating a tasteless quinine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease that permeated the South in the 19th century (he suspended quinine in liquid form). After experimenting for several years, Grove introduced Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic and experienced immediate success. In the late 1890's Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove had sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. 

Grove himself was often ill, afflicted with periods of bronchitis and exhaustion and his doctors recommended the clean mountain air of Asheville, NC to relax and recover. He spent time in Asheville throughout the year and that is where he would realize his next big dream.

While still pursuing new pharmaceutical inventions, Grove met Fred Seely in Detroit, who was making a name for himself in the pharmaceutical business. While working together in Detroit, the two sparked a friendship and mutual admiration. Grove invited Seely to his summer home in Asheville. One week later he left his position in Detroit to work for Grove and his Paris Medicine Company. But business was not the only thing that interested Seely. When Grove introduced his daughter, Evelyn, to the bachelor, within 24 hours Grove had given Seely permission to wed her.

Grove Park Inn and SpaSeely began working for the Paris Medicine Company in June 1898 and in October of that year married Evelyn. Both men ventured into other businesses including real estate. In Asheville Grove began purchasing property, he had successfully developed residential neighborhoods in Atlanta and was considering doing the same in prospering Asheville. With the expansion of the railroad and publicity surrounding the opening of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House, Grove was positioning himself as a serious investor in the future of Asheville. In 1909 Grove purchased 408 acres in north Asheville, including what would become The Grove Park Inn. But he would concentrate on residential neighborhoods before ever considering building a hotel.

Two years later Grove began to plan the building of a hotel on Sunset Mountain. In 1911 Seely became involved with the plans. After reviewing the plans of several prominent architects, Grove did not find any of them satisfactory. The consummate visionary, Seely presented a sketch of the proposed hotel to Grove and he not only accepted the plan but gave Seely the enormous task of building the hotel.

Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel. Seely kept his promise to be open for business in less than one year from the ground breaking.

Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. 

Another version of this story is available at http://www.groveparkinn.com/the-grove-park-inn-story

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