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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.

Best Rooftop Hotspots: The Betsy Hotel

August 21, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has gone through its collection of 520 luxury hotels in over 70 countries and put together a list of its top hotels with the best rooftops. Ranging from a rooftop restaurant to a rooftop pool with stunning city views, be sure to check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring these happening hotels with rooftops worth exploring.

The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida tops the list with its rooftop solarium and wellness garden which offers incredible views of the ocean and allows guests to take in the soothing environment. The sole surviving example of Florida Georgian architecture on Ocean Drive, the Betsy Hotel is a distinguished historic landmark featuring 61 intimate rooms that are private beachside havens. Be sure to explore the spa facility which is located in the rooftop solarium and features three cabanas providing a personalized treatment experience. Make your reservations at the Betsy Hotel here! Be sure to check in with us again to discover the other luxury hotels with happening rooftops that made the list!


A Hogwarts Halloween at Ashford Castle

August 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Have a ‘Harry Potter’ filled adventure this Halloween at Ashford Castle in Ireland. For one incredible week, Ashford Castle will be under a magical spell with Hogwarts activities perfect for the whole family. Ashford Castle’s hidden rooms, soaring ceilings, and hundreds of years of history give it a wizardly feel that kids will surely appreciate. Go on a ‘Forbidden Forest’ treasure hunt, visit the hiding place of Ashford Castle’s own, Dingle, take a ‘Chamber of Art’ painting class, and of course, watch a ‘Harry Potter’ movie screening. What an incredible way to bring Hogwarts to life! Make your reservations between October 26th and November 3nd at Ashford Castle for an unforgettable adventure for you and your family!


Check Out the Newly Improved Halekulani

August 8, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years, but even the most hip and trendy luxury hotels need a face lift every now and then. This beautiful Hawaiian hotel has earned its reputation for its gracious hospitality, impeccable service, and incredible cuisine, and with its updates, the Halekulani is now that much more stunning and reputable. For the past year, the Halekulani has been sprucing all of its rooms and suites as well as enhancing guest experiences, services, and amenities. The hotel has also added a new French Bar, L’Aperitif at La Mer, and a new Afternoon Tea experience. Each guestroom has been improved with new furnishings, accessories, amenities, new lighting design, bedding, and enhanced in-room technology. We simply love the new look and feel of the Halekulani and admire how a stunning property can undergo a major improvement period without losing its historic and charming feel. Explore the new look of the Halekulani for yourself and let us know what you think!


5 Brand New Suites at the Hotel Splendido in Portofino

August 8, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

After an intensive renovation, the top floor of the Hotel Splendido has been transformed into 5 breathtaking new suites - three Deluxe Suites and two Junior Deluxe Suites. 

All of the new suites at this cliff side retreat offer light-flooded interiors that are decorated in a contemporary style with color schemes that evoke the sea and sky. Spacious bathrooms feature separate shower cubicles, bathtubs and twin vanity basins. Fine Italian furniture includes exceptional pieces such as mirrors, lamps and vases that add accents of color to the cool palette. The two new unique Junior Suites Deluxe on the top floor boast and the three Deluxe Exclusive Suites on the fifth floor offer spectacular sea and town views from their large balconies.

Hotel Splendido Junior Deluxe Suite

Hotel Splendido Junior Deluxe Suite

Hotel Splendido Deluxe Suite

View more photos and then check rates and availability for the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy >>

 


Au Revoir, Hotel Ritz Paris!

August 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Hotel Ritz Paris has closed its doors for an extensive 2 year renovation period on August 1st, 2012. Built in 1898, this stunning hotel has served as an opulent home away from home for familiar faces such as Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel, Elton John, and Oscar de la Renta. Below is a letter from the general manager sent out to guests:

The legendary Ritz Paris has closed its doors to embark on a two-year restoration program. Rooms, suites, restaurants and bars, the spa and the famous Ritz Escoffier cooking school will all be carefully restored and recreated under the direction of the internationally renowned interior designer Thierry W. Despont. We will ensure that the charm and personality of the Ritz Paris is kept alive and that we continue to satisfy even the most discerning travelers. We certainly hope that you will follow our progress on www.ritzparis.com or through our social media channels. All of us at the Ritz Paris are looking forward with great anticipation to welcoming you back in 2014 for the reopening of your home in Paris.

Sincerely, Christian A. Boyens, General Manager

Frank J. Klein, President

We hope the Ritz Paris can update its look without losing its classic French style and feel, and we certainly look forward to seeing how the renovations progress. Planning a trip to Paris now? Not to worry; we have 72 luxury hotels waiting just for you!


Hotels with a History: The Driskill Hotel

July 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

Cattle baron Jesse Driskill built his hotel in 1886 to serve as the “Frontier Palace of the South” in the capital city of Texas. The Driskill Hotel was opened during a time when the United States longed for architecture that represented the American dream, and Jesse Driskill’s strong attention to detail created an icon that served and continues to serve Texas proud, openly welcoming guests from all over the world. It has remained a landmark of Texas hospitality and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, offering guests an elite level of luxury. This historic hotel is located in downtown Austin and provides easy access to the convention center, opera, symphony, fine dining, shopping, and the 6th street music scene. Make your reservations at this baron’s luxury hotel and feel the pride and history that emanates from its walls for yourself.


Hotel Castello di Casole Now Open!

July 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We are thrilled to announce that the Hotel Castello di Casole in Siena, Italy is now open and accepting reservations! This luxurious, 5-star property in Tuscany is the centerpiece of a stunning and historic 4,200-acre estate. Commanding the highest point on the property, this restored castle dates back to the 10th century. While it underwent extensive renovations, the Hotel Castello di Casole has preserved its original and historic culture. This boutique hotel offers impeccable suites, world-class service and amenities, and breathtaking Tuscan countryside views. Take advantage of the fine and casual dining opportunities available on site, the luxurious spa, pool, and fitness center, and the various adventures made available to guests varying by the seasons. Make your reservations today and experience this incredible and romantic Italian property for yourself!


The Villas of Villa d'Este in Lake Como: Villa Malakoff

July 6, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Villa d'Este in Lake ComoVilla d'Este, the classic and opulent hotel overlooking Lake Como, is a former 16th century princely residence turned resort destination. In addition to the 152 guest rooms, the luxury hotel offers two magnificently renovated 19th Century villas within the 25-acre park. Villa Malakoff and Villa Cima are available for short term tenancies with amenities ranging from housekeeping to full hotel service. (Click the image at right to view a larger format.)

Guests are able to use all of the facilities and amenities of the hotel, while maintaining the privacy and exclusivity that their own private villa can offer.

Villa Malakoff

Villa Malakoff - private villa at Villa d'EsteBuilt in 1860, the Villa takes its name from one of the fortresses around Sebastopol, conquered by the French General MacMahon. Standing on a small hill within the grounds of Villa d’Este, it offers splendid views of Lake Como and is where you will feel most at home. Its rooms are distributed over 3 floors and offer 300 square metres of living space (3200 sq. ft.).

The rooms are tastefully and luxuriously appointed, and the warm tones and informal ambience of this grand yet hospitable residence will immediately put you at ease.

A stay at the Villa Malakoff is truly the best of both worlds: a private home where you can enjoy discretion and privacy, yet one provided with all the amenities and creature comforts offered by the world class service of a Villa d’Este Group property. A stay at Villa Malakoff is truly a gift to yourself, a once in a lifetime experience.

 

More images of Villa Malakoff here>>

Read more about the second private villa at Villa d'Este - Villa Cima here >>

View availability, rates and make reservations at Villa d'Este here >>


The Villas of Villa d'Este in Lake Como: Villa Cima

July 6, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Villa d'Este in Lake ComoVilla d'Este, the classic and opulent hotel overlooking Lake Como, is a former 16th century princely residence turned resort destination. In addition to the 152 guest rooms, the luxury hotel offers two magnificently renovated 19th Century villas within the 25-acre park. Villa Malakoff and Villa Cima are available for short term tenancies with amenities ranging from housekeeping to full hotel service. (Click the image at right to view a larger format.)

Guests are able to use all of the facilities and amenities of the hotel, while maintaining the privacy and exclusivity that their own private villa can offer.

Villa Cima

Villa Cima at Villa d'Este

Standing on the banks of the Lake, this Villa was built on the grounds of Villa d’Este in 1814 by Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales and future Queen of England, to house Count and Countess Pino, the Villa’s former proprietors.

The accommodations in this stately 650-square-metre (7,000 sq. ft.) residence are distributed over three floors. Luxurious décor is the keynote in the living room, dining room, sleeping quarters, and in the spacious, luminous kitchen.

No two rooms are exactly alike and each is filled with antiques and art. The views from the Villa’s spectacular windows are simply breathtaking and frame memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. Many subtle touches, the utmost discretion, and impeccable service are the hallmarks of the Villa d’Este Hotels.

More images of Villa Cima here>>

 

Read more about the second private villa at Villa d'Este - Villa Malakoff here >>

View availability, rates and make reservations at Villa d'Este here >>


Five Star Alliance Photo Submission Contest!

June 27, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We love having a relationship with our luxury travelers, hearing about your adventures, and seeing your vacation photos, so we invite you to submit your favorite vacation photo to us by August 1st, 2012 to be entered to win a free iPod shuffle! Your photo can be of your favorite hotel, a beautiful sunset, a shot of you drinking out of a coconut on the beach, etc. We certainly encourage creativity and would love to see what sort of vacation destinations you enjoy. We’ll post your photo in an album on our Facebook page, and our team of luxury travelers will choose a winner based on location, quality, style, and creativity, so hook up that digital camera and submit your favorite vacation photo to us today here!

Terms and conditions: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing information to Five Star Alliance, not Facebook. Liking or commenting on a photo on Facebook will not increase your chances of winning, but we certainly love and encourage participation! A photo must be attached to your entry to be eligible to win. The photo must be your own and free from third party copyright restrictions. Only one photo submission per person. Five Star Alliance reserves the right to delete any photos it deems inappropriate without notification. By participating in this competition, you authorize Five Star Alliance to announce your first name and use your image on our Facebook page. We will not share or sell contact details or use full names. The winner will be contacted on August 3rd, 2012 via email from an @fivestaralliance.com email address and will have seven (7) business days to respond or the prize will be forfeit.