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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.

The Cake is Not a Lie: Queen Cake at Hotel Le Meurice

December 14, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

It's cake time! The Hotel Le Meurice in Paris is offering a special cake to bring in 2012 with style.  The Galette des Reines, as the cake is called, is a rich and decadent chocolate cake with a special surprise in it.  Evoking the spirit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of the slices hides a Tiffany & Co charm in the shape of a golden key.  The charm is further incentive to savor ever bite of your dessert, which comes in it an exclusive 14 euros a slice.  Only ten cakes will be made over a 20-day period, so it's worth jumping on this one early, since they could easily run out.  In our mind, it's certainly worth it after a meal by three-star Michelin Chef Yannick Alleno.

And staying in the hotel itself, opposite the Teuleries garden, is an experience in itself.  With a storied history back to 1835, the hotel has been called home by a number of greats, including Salvador Dali, whom the new restaurant, Le Dali, is named for.  If you're looking to stay in Paris this January, the Le Meurice is certainly one to look at, with its signature Queen's Cake and chance at a Tiffany Charm.  

Tip via HotelChatter


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #19 The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

December 13, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

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 #19 spot we have the Fullerton Hotel Singapore located in the heart of Singapore’s art and financial district.

Quick facts about the Fullerton Hotel Singapore:

- This luxury hotel was transformed from the Fullerton Building which was built in 1928.

- Located a 25-minute drive from Singapore Changi Airport, 12 minutes from the Singapore Cruise Centre, and 10 minutes from the Malayan Railway Station.

- Voted the best hotel in Asia in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2006.

- 400 spacious rooms that blend the old and new to provide luxurious accommodations suitable for business and leisure travelers.

- Nine furnished function rooms which can be customized to suit your requirements.

- 25-meter outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Singapore River.

- The presidential suite was formerly the card room of the elite Singapore Club. This 199 square meter suite is furnished with a baby grand piano and has a private elevator for discreet access, and the living and dining room extends out to a spectacular verandah.

- The 8 loft suites, all two-storey duplex suites, line the building and feature French doors leading out to a balcony with a view of the Marina Bay Waterfront.  

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here’s our #20 feature hotel, the St. Regis Resort Aspen.


Inn at Perry Cabin Offers Jazz Nights

December 12, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Inn at Perry Cabin is a quiet hideaway in Maryland, and this waterfront estate is located on the edge of the Victorian town of St. Michaels. Just an hour and a half drive outside Washington DC, this charming Inn provides guests with incredible opportunities to take part in garden tours, boating, sailing, fishing, and crabbing excursions.

This quiet, luxury resort is also celebrating the season by offering weekends filled with wonderful food and live jazz by the Eric Felten Trio. Be sure to make your reservations for any of the following dates to enjoy the legendary food and fun. The winter jazz weekend series will be on Saturdays, and the band will perform at Sherwood’s Landing, the hotel’s incredible restaurant, from 7:00 – 11:00pm.

January 14th and 28th, February 18th and 25th, and March 10th and 31st


A Gifted Gondola: Hotel Cipriani Offers Massage on Venetian Canals

December 10, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

The Hotel Cipriani officially has the most atmospheric massage spa I've ever seen.  And that's because the spa is Venice!  That's right, the Hotel Cipriani offers its patented Gondola Massage, a massage spa treatment on a boat drifting through the world's most iconic canals.  It's relaxing, revitalizing, and certainly rare.  The next time I head back to Venice, I'll be sure to make my boat ride the one that works out all the tension from my flight with deft hands and a centuries-old backdrop.  The 15th century hotel itself overlooks the Piazza San Marco and the two ancient palazzos that make up the hotel offer only the finest in cuisine, not to mention a private butler.  That's service I could make a trip to the Hotel Cipriani for.


Very Bad Santa Is Very Good: Hotel Monteleone for Christmas

December 8, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another article from yours truly! Don’t know who I am? That’s okay, sometimes I wake up in a fit of existential angst and ask myself the same the question. But regardless, I have some great news that I’m sure you’ll be excited to hear: The Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans has a suite of featured events for the hotel seasons, including the grand reopening of its cocktail bar. And with signature drinks such as the Joyous Noel or Papa’s Nightcap, they’ll warm your heart and your belly. I’m not even going to tell you what happens during the Very Bad Santa Crawl, but needless to say, if you’re even thinking of staying there on December 10th, it’s a must-see. If you’d rather be a good Santa, they’re offering a children’s holiday tea time. And Christmas day things really cut loose, gourmet-style. And by that, I mean a family feast prepared by their signature chefs. If you’re looking to get away to more cajun climes for the holidays, I can’t think of a better place than the Hotel Monteleone.


Bunker-in-Chief: The Greenbrier Gets Presidential Patronage in War and Peace

December 6, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Here’s an interesting tidbit, courtesy of Dan Lewis of Now I Know: Having hosted 26 U.S. presidents, the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia is a traditional home away from home for America’s Commander-in-Chief. However, with fears of the Cold War looming, it became much more than that. When it sought to expand into a new “West Virginia” wing, Congress stepped in and had them construct a secret bunker underneath to house them in case of impending nuclear war. Not only that, in order to remain in a state of emergency readiness, Congress set up a nearby dummy corporation to house the staff that would support them in case of emergency. Ultimately, it was discovered in 1992 by the Washington Post and Congress had to discontinue it as a site, since its usefulness depended on its secrecy. They had even had it constructed such that broadcasts out mirrored the backdrops of their broadcast offices in DC, so that it would appear as if they had not relocated. It was never used, and now the Greenbrier is only prepared to offer service to presidents and other luxury-minded travelers in peacetime. So I’d advise checking out The Greenbrier on your next vacation, both for its quirky top-secret government hideaway and for the wonderful accommodations that lured generations of presidents in the first place.

 

 


New York Hotels near Central Park

December 5, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

New York City can be a bit overwhelming, and we understand the desire to be located near the trees, grass, and open spaces. We’ve received a number of inquiries about which hotels are located near Central Park, and which of those hotels we would recommend to our luxurious travelers. You ask, we listen and respond, so here are five of our favorite hotels near Central Park!

The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel is located in the heart of Manhattan and offers sweeping views of Central Park. The Surrey New York is nestled in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and it’s both a familiar destination and unexpected delight. The Jumeirah Essex House is perfectly located at Central Park and it’s recognized throughout the world as a model of graceful elegance. The Trump International Hotel Tower overlooks Central Park, and it is the only Forbes Five-Star hotel with a Five-Star restaurant in New York. The Mark New York is just steps from Central Park, and it is sophisticated, chic, and stylishly comfortable.

Looking for something different? With 93 luxury hotels in New York City, we guarantee you’ll find a hotel perfect for you!


Cities You Should See: Munich is More than Beer, But It’s That, Too

December 1, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

I’m not sure there’s a city in the world that gets stereotyped more than Munich. While it’s certainly iconic for the fine German beer that flows freely from its taps, Munich is so much more than gardens of alcohol. Long the seat of Bavarian culture, Munich is the center of German tradition. For a lot of us that means fine beer and maidens donning dirndls, the traditional Bavarian dress you’ve seen in every German tourist brochure since Gutenberg invented the printing press. But as much as Munich has been reduced to stereotype of itself by the outside world, once you get beyond that, there’s a real heart to it. The medieval town is remarkably preserved, down to the clockwork performance of the city hall’s belltower. The English garden the accompanies is the royal residence is glorious to walk around in and even boasts its own outdoor Biergarten around a Chinese tower built in the center of it.

Of course, as much as I’d like to get beyond the stereotypes of the beer maidens handing out liters like it’s nobody’s business, I would be remiss if I didn’t go into just how the beer culture pervades this uniquely German city. Munich has embraced its stereotype, and beer houses like the iconic Hofbrauhaus offer everything that you could want out of a kitschy but simultaneously authentic drinking experience. The waitresses can carry at least eight liters of alcohol at one time, and you would be hard-pressed to find a vegetable on the menu that’s not a potato. In many ways, Munich is the distilled essence of all that is traditional about Germany.

The city itself is not large and almost any hotel will give you great access to all that it has to offer. Most of the big brands have left their mark on the city and some great independent hotels like the Bayerischer Hof join them in offering luxurious beds to sleep off your hangover. Munich is a city that revels in its wholehearted kitschiness, and there’s a certain honesty to that that draws you in the ritual of the city.


A Heli-Skiing Adventure in the Swiss Alps with Badrutt's Palace Hotel

November 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutt's Palace HotelAdrenaline-loving ski hounds looking for adventure should head over to Europe to brave the snow-covered pistes in the Alps. (Tip for travelers: the dollar-euro exchange rate hasn't looked this good in years.) Head to St. Moritz in Switzerland, long considered the birthplace of alpine tourism, to experience the "Holy Grail" of classic downhill skiing-- with 200 miles of groomed runs in four large skiing areas. Book a stay at Badrutt's Palace Hotel-- known for its glam après-ski scene and exceptional facilities-- and you'll be living large in the lap of luxury. The hotel has organized a fabulous “Heli Adventure” package with a helicopter guide through the white peaks to let passionate skiers make their own tracks in untouched snow. In addition to the exclusive helicopter trip, this package includes a three-night stay with half board and a ski pass for the whole region, as well as a classic relaxation massage to help soothe tired muscles. The package starts at CHF 2,140 (approx $2,338 US) per person for a double room.


Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.: Middleburg and More

November 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Goodstone Inn and Estate, MiddleburgJust an hour west from Washington D.C., the rolling hills of Virginia's Piedmont make for a fantastic day trip or weekend outing from the nation's capital. A number of vineyards offer wine tastings (in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahannock Counties), and for those seeking adventure, excellent hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains abound. This is horse country (read: you should dress the part) so pick up some threads in the charming stores that line Middleburg's main drag, where you'll also find all kinds of organic goodies at the Home Farm Store (Ayrshire Farm's gourmet retail shop). For a sweet treat and an excellent cup of coffee, Warrenton's Red Truck Bakery is *the* place to go.

Looking for a place to stay in the countryside? Folks make pilgrimages to The Inn at Little Washington in Rappahannock County for some of the best food you'll eat in the US of A. Another good bet: The Goodstone Inn and Estate, recently profiled by the good folks at Daily Candy. To quote: "Pretend you’re visiting a rich uncle’s estate at the welcoming Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. Book a room in the carriage house for breathtaking views or gather a weekend party group to rent an entire house (bonus: A chef can make your meals using local ingredients and freshly picked veggies from the garden). Then unwind in the spa or stroll the grounds to visit with farm animals."

For more information about visiting Virginia, check out Virginia is for Lovers, the Official Tourism Website of the Commonwealth of Virginia.