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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.

Ah, Gee, A Hotel! A'jia Is the Bosphorus Hotel of Choice

June 15, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

It's not possible to get any closer to the shores of the Bosphorus than the A'jia Hotel. It's just about literally on the water, and this jewel of the Mediterranean gleams with a particular lustre. The Ottoman mansion has only 16 rooms and you're basically guaranteed a wonderful view. The unique location of the property allows it to be both hidden away and easily accessible from the city of Istanbul, so you can tour the sites and head out on the town without skipping a beat. Of course, you might not want to head into the city for dinner, since the A'jia restaurant could go toe-to-toe with almost any in the world. And because the hotel is so small, you're sure to have an intimate dining experience. The A'jia hotel is a fusion of timeless elegance, maintaining the beauty of its original 1800s construction and merging it with all of the modern amenities. If you're looking to explore the beauty and wonder of the Mediterranean and have an experience of both an incredible luxury hotel and an amazing natural setting, the A'jia Hotel should be on your shortlist.


Impawsibly Luxurious: The Resort at Paws Up

May 31, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

If there was ever a hotel name that invited a pun, it's the Resort at Paws Up, and I'd like to pay proper tribute to that. Maybe your life has gotten a little hectic recently; things are moving a little too quickly, and it feels like everything is getting away from you. What you need is to take a step back and abandon the rat race; take a pause from your normal life. Or maybe you have a bunch of friends, and you're looking for a getaway to the Montana wilderness. Well, the Resort at Paws Up has room for your whole paws-e. Really, the pawsibilities are endless. Whew. That was exhausting. And I've even avoided making any pet jokes...

Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, we can move on to the business of describing exactly what makes the Resort at Paws Up unique besides the name. A lot of resort promise a wilderness experience, but you're really just two miles out of town and their wild forest is a five acre manicured lawn. Well, Montana is literally derived from the Spanish word for mountainous country, and the state animal is the grizzly bear. The wilderness in Montana doesn't mess around, and neither does Paws Up. The property has a number of different cabins avaiable from the meadow to the mountainside, and there's even an outdoor tent city if you want to really rough it. All this makes it sound like I'm describing something very different from the classic luxury resort, but don't let me fool you. The Resort at Paws Up constantly has luxury in mind; it just recognizes that even those who enjoy their five star dining and top-notch spa facility have come for the outdoors as much as the high thread count. In fact, I would argue that there's nothing lost on the luxury experience, but the surroundings are more real, highlighting the local freshness of cuisine homemade from local flora and fauna, like their unbelievable huckleberry toast. If you want your luxury to come with wilderness, or your wilderness to come with luxury, look no further than the Resort at Paws Up, where you'll get the best of both worlds.  


Hotels with a History: The Betsy Hotel

May 30, 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.

Opened in South Beach in 1942, the Betsy Rose Hotel stood out from the traditional style of architecture with its Florida Georgian façade in an Art Deco dominated neighborhood. This luxury hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2009 while maintaining its original design and timeless style. This boutique hotel has 63 private, beachside rooms and suites equipped with the latest technology. The Betsy Hotel offers its guests ample opportunities to relax on the white sandy beaches, play a round of golf, partake in water sports, and much more!  The Betsy Hotel has also gone green and is committed to making eco-friendly decisions without sacrificing luxury, ensuring that its guests get the most out of their stay while keeping the environment in mind. Be sure to check out this historic and beautiful luxury hotel for your next trip down to South Beach!


Sponsored Feature: Why the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's Small Size Is Just What You Want

May 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

When the national title association was handing out the allotment of letters to the Villa Spalletti Trivelli, there must've been a 2-for-1 deal on ls. Either that or it is secretly run by a pack of llamas. In any case, the Villa Spalletti could certainly be described as lilliputian. The tiny hotel rests in the heart of Rome and has but 12 rooms and suites to its name. Many hotels champion their large inventories as a great strength, singing the praises of the customizability that the options deliver. I find that such an experience doesn't necessarily guarantee my perfect satisfaction though. By the same token, size can lead to a kind of standardization, where while you can pick between a number of five-star restaurants all the on the property, you still succumb to a feeling of sameness. You lose a sense of the specific charm of the city you've come to see.

In this regard, the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's small stature is precisely its strength. The hotel simply feels like Rome. You're nestled downtown, just moments from the Fontana di Trevi, Quirinale, and the Spanish Steps, and the rooms and public spaces are filled with genuine antiques. Private gardens allow for you to experience a genuine moment of quietude away from the bustle of the city; and, with only a few other guests, that silence won't be interrupted. The on-site Health Center is a source of rejuvenating and relaxing wellness therapies. Elegant dining is available at the Papier Peint Dining Room, and it is just that, an intimate experience closer to a private meal than a night out, only with the freshest traditional Italian ingredients that you could only get at the finest restaurants. The next time you're headed to Rome, think about foregoing some of the bigger brand names for the authentic experience at the Villa Spalletti Trivelli.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons

May 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for food. This luxury hotel is nestled in the beautiful Oxfordshire village of Great Milton in Oxford, United Kingdom, which is renowned as one of Britain’s best gastronomic experiences. This luxury hotel is recognized for its two Michelin Star modern French restaurant for 27 years. The manor only has 32 rooms creating an extremely personal and intimate setting for guests. Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons has a 2 acre vegetable and herb garden which adds organic produce to the kitchen and allows the chefs to create phenomenal, epicurean experiences!

Make your reservations at Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons for a culinary and luxurious journey unlike any other!


Condé Nast Traveler Hot List 2012: Amanruya

May 14, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Conde Nast Traveler, purveyor of fine hotel reviews and travel advice, has just released its 2012 edition of the Hot List, a list of hotels that are setting the hotel world aflame with fresh designs and new concepts, or maybe just a solid new look at classic luxury. 41 reporters embedded themselves anonymously in hotels across the globe to review their targets. What results is a list of 121 hotels around the world that are so on fire they should be put on your watch list, just in case they end up burning down.

Aman Resorts are world-renowned for their ability to capture a special kind of serenity and bring it to all different parts of the world. Amanruya, on the Bodrum peninsula, is no exception, and its 36 seaside cottages are precisely the kind of escape that guests coming to Turkey hope for. Not only do the waters of the Mediterranean stretch out in front of the hotel, the resort is just a short drive from nearby Göltürkbükü, a hopping town for adventurous types to explore an active nightlife. While you're there, be sure to visit the excavation of Ephesus, where you can find one of the seven wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis. The flat-roofed cottages of Amanruya are the perfect place to stay for a weekend in one of the world's most historic regions.


Sponsored Feature: The Orient Express's Casa de Sierra Nevada and Observatory Hotel

May 4, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

What follows are impressions of two of our favorite Orient Express properties, the Observatory Hotel in Sydney and the Casa de Sierra Nevada, in many ways very different hotels, and in more than just their geography.  

Observatory Hotel, Sydney, Australia

I'll confess a fair bit of ignorance about why the Observatory Hotel is actually called the Observatory. Perhaps it was the site of a revolutionary astronomical discovery or it used to house the local planetarium in a forgotten back room. Maybe it just has a habit of flowering the walls at a party in order to better watch the crowd. It's a mystery as enigmatic as the stars in the sky, and we may never know. Well, it probably has something to do with the adjacent Observatory Park, but why spoil the hyperbole?

What I do know is that the Observatory Hotel is a perfect luxury hotel to use as jumping off point for exploring Sydney, a city that thrums with the heartbeat of a constantly evolving culture. Not far from the Rocks and Circular Quay, not to mention the Sydney Opera House, you're right in the middle of the action. As a break from experiencing all the city has to offer, you can retreat back to the quiet inner sanctum of the Observatory to enjoy an afternoon tea at the Globe Bar & Brasserie. For more substantial fare, head to Galileo in the evening, and you'll experience their amazing interpretation of fine French cuisine (the mystery of the name is quickly unravelling faster than the flat earth theory). If you're looking to stay in the utmost of style, make sure to book their gorgeous presidential suite, a study in aesthetics that makes extensive use of objects d'Art and features a four-poster bed. The Observatory Hotel is an extra-classy place to stay for the discerning traveler who finds themselves in Sydney.

Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Across the world from the Observatory Hotel, you'll find the Casa de Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende. Built in 1580, the Sierra Nevada is one of the smallest hotels in our collection. With just 33 rooms, the hotel is a serene escape from the bustle of everyday life. An inner courtyard is the perfect enclosure to keep the busy noise of the outside world at bay while you relax and refresh in one of the most historic towns in Mexico. Importantly, the hotel allows no children under the age of 11, so you won't be disturbed while you crack open the novel you've never gotten to or just soak up the rays of the sun. The National Institute of Anthropology and History was so enamored with the hotel's repurposed homes that they are designated historical landmarks. The surrounding mountainous landscape seems to be a backdrop that could only be dreamed up in a movie studio, but you can experience the unparalleled quietude and incredible service of the Casa de Sierra Nevada in real life. It's just one trip away.


Special Five Star Alliance Rates at the Palacio Nazarenas in Cuzco

May 1, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

We at Five Star Alliance know that our travelers are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you. Be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!

In celebration of the opening of Palacio Nazarenas on June 15th, Five Star Alliance is hosting some special rates for the intimate, 55-suite hotel. In the heart of Cuzco, Palacio Nazarenas is a restored convent converted into an urban retreat and home of the first outdoor pool in Cuzco, as well as great spa facilities and exquisite dining options. And for a limited time, Five Star Alliance rates include the following special amenities:

 - Daily Buffet Breakfast
 - A 30-minute massage for two
 - In-room beverages

These special rates are valid from their opening in June until December 2012. Just look for the Five Star Alliance rate description at the Palacio Nazarenas.

 


Conde Nast Platinum Circle 2012: Chewton Glen

April 17, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

We've been spotlighting a list of Conde Nast's award-winning Gold List Hotels for 2012, and each one is amazing in its own right. In a clear case of never enough of a good thing, Conde Nast has yet an additional level to their awards, the meta-prestigious Platinum Circle Hotels, distinguished for being consistent Gold List winners for the last five years. Perhaps it could have been more aptly named the Conde Nast Award for Continued Excellence in the Having of Conde Nast Awards, but that's probably just my jealousy talking. It takes a certain level of cachet to be able to recognize someone for being recognized by you, and the Conde Nast Awards carry that weight. Regardless, the Platinum Circle hotels are undoubtedly some of the best of the best and have the mark of consistency that other hotels can only aspire to.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The less-than-appetizingly named Chewton Glen is today's entry in our continuing exploration of the Conde Nast Platinum Circle.  Just 20 minutes from the English Channel, Chewton Glen is the epitome of classic English style. And the pinnacle of this epitome is the expansive croquet lawn that fronts the beautiful 18th century manor house. With only 59 rooms, the service at Chewton Glen is exceptionally personal and comes with the British flair for understatement that, like a nice crumpet, no afternoon tea is complete without. The 100,000 acre national forest on the edge of which the hotel sits offers miles of hiking trails and a 9-hole par three golf course and indoor/outdoor tennis courts mean you can also stay on the grounds to break a sweat. Its spa has been named the best in England, and its hydrotherapy pool is perfect for a refreshing soak. If you want all the gentlemanly sensibilities of a five-star London hotel but want to stay out of the city, Chewton Glen is the hotel for you. 


The Algonquin Maintains its Classiness

April 17, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Algonquin has been undergoing some serious upgrades and updates, but it hasn’t lost its true identity in the process. A beautiful 4-star hotel in Time Square, the Algonquin has been the destination for business and leisure travelers in midtown Manhattan. This luxury hotel is New York City’s oldest continually operating hotel, and it has recently updated its rooms with new furniture, paint jobs, decorations, etc. The lobby is being updated and the fitness center is getting moved and upgraded. With all of these updates and changes, the Algonquin is maintaining its poise by installing an exclusive series of black and white photos in all of its guestrooms featuring Manhattan during the 1900s to the 19050s. The photos are by Irving Underhill, and each photograph will depict a different scene around New York. Be sure to make your reservations at this historic landmark which will be reopening on May 1st, 2012, and take in the charm of the old New York City!

Check out the following tweet to see the black and white photos of New York City for yourself!