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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? 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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Your Questions Answered: What Accommodations Do You Recommend for 4 Adults & 3 Kids at The Bonerowski Palace?

July 11, 2013
By: Betsy LeTourneau

The Bonerowski Palace
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 accommodations do you recommend for 4 adults and 3 kids (8,6, & 2) at the The Bonerowski Palace in Cracow, Poland?

 

ANSWER: The Bonerowski Palace is situated in the heart of Krakow, on the corner of SW. Jana Street and the Old Market Square. It is seated in a meticulously restored and richly refurbished UNESCO edifice of the Middle Ages. The elegant interior of the palace contains both unique polychromes and beams, gothic columns, an antique stone safe, as well as modern forms and technologies serving to the safety of the guests. The palace also prides itself on Europe's longest chandelier, which is 22-meters long. The palace windows face an incredible sight of St. Mary Basilica, Drapers Hall (Sukiennice), St.Wojciech’s Church, and a statue of Polish national poet and political activist Adam Mickiewicz.


Opened in 2007, The Bonerowski Palace has 15 luxury Rooms and apartments in total with WiFi access in all public space and guest rooms. Suites at the Bonerowski Palace overlook the main square. A suite Of 88-167 Sqm overlooks the main square. There is no charge for rolloways.Each apartment is equipped with a plasma TV, comfortable stylish sofas and a King size bed. Triple glazed windows offer complete silence, so that not even the slightest noise from the lively Market will bother you even during holiday times. Rooms are 200 x 200 cm and are stylish with comfortable chairs and couches provided perfect relaxation. Apartments are light filled, spacious, and breathtaking of 99 to 167sq m is size. Bathrooms are of Italian white marble, with a large comfortable bath.

 

 

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.

 

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Did You Know? Vidago Palace

July 11, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Commissioned by King Carlos of Portugal in 1908, Vidago Palace was originally conceived as an opulent holiday residence for His Majesty and his entourage, who, since the late 1800s, had been regular visitors to the region in order to enjoy the therapeutic effects of Vidago's famed mineral waters. Assassinated later that year, King Carlos never saw his project completed. Nor, in an ironic twist of fate, did his son and successor, King Manuel II, who was deposed in the republican revolution that swept across Portugal on October 5th 1910 – the day before Vidago Palace was meant to open. Although it would never host its intended royal residents, Vidago Palace became a favoured destination among Portuguese and European aristocracy and was considered to be the most luxurious hotel on the Iberian Peninsula.

Vidago Palace 

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The Arizona Biltmore - Then and Now

July 8, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Arizona Biltmore Resort in PhoenixBuilt as one of Phoenix's first resorts in 1929, the Arizona Biltmore was constructed in grand form by brothers Albert, Charles and Warren McArthur. Frank Lloyd Wright served as the consulting architect, and the Arizona Biltmore remains one of the only existing hotels in the world to benefit from his influence. The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since its opening on Feb. 23, 1929 when it was crowned "The Jewel of the Desert."

In 1930, when the estimated $1 million construction cost doubled, Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., one of the original investors in the project, became the sole owner. Over the next 44 years, the Wrigley family owned and operated the Arizona Biltmore and it became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers.

Arizona Biltmore Hotel Pool DiverDid you know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes, including "White Christmas" while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore? Or that the pool was first built by the Wrigleys in 1930 and was host to diving competitions as well as fashion shows? Marilyn Monroe called this her favorite pool. A Who's Who of rockers have vacationed at the Arizona Biltmore – Elton John, Eric Clapton, U2, Steely Dan, Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. 

Today, the luxury hotel features 740 hotel guest accommodations; 78 one-and two-bedroom villas; eight swimming pools; seven tennis courts; a full-service resort spa, salon and fitness center; and five dining options across 39 acres. The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in Phoenix: The Links and The Adobe.

The Arizona Biltmore offers 1.5 hour long History Tours three times per week - free to registered guests or $10 for the general public.

More archival photos available here: Arizona Biltmore Archive Photos

Learn more about the hotel and check rates and availability here: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona


Dining al Fresco: Xara Palace

July 6, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 The 17 rooms and suites at Xara Palace overlook the ancient city of Malta. After your meal, take a romantic soak in the hot tub. 

 Xara Palace

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Did You Know? QT Sydney

July 5, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

QT Sydney, a boutique hotel in the city's central business district, is set within the heritage-listed Gowings department store and the State Theatre. Pairing stars from stage and screen that have performed in the State Theatre over the past 80 years, and the classic retail of the Gowings department store, the QT Sydney captures the intrigue and excitement of the past in an edgy, contemporary design style.

QT Sydney

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