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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.

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Amankora, Paro

February 29, 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.

The Amankora, Paro in the Kingdom of Bhutan is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. This luxury hotel occupies the high mountain valleys between China and India. Bhutan has maintained its traditional Buddhist way of life for centuries, and these traditions continue today. The word ‘Amankora’ combines the word ‘aman’ for peace with ‘journey,’ marking a unique entry into a secluded area whose incredible Himalayan landscapes have intrigued travelers all over the world. This luxury hotel is located about 2,520 meters above sea level, and the suites feature natural earth walls, sloping roofs, and wood paneled interiors. The views of the snow-capped Jhomolhari are simply breathtaking, and the serene and beautiful location of this hotel will surely bring you back in touch with yourself, allowing you to leave with a feeling of complete balance.


Hotels with an Incredible View! Istanbul, Turkey

February 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that an incredible view is of utmost importance to luxury travelers. After a day of exploring a new city, there’s nothing more enjoyable then returning to your luxurious accommodations and taking in the miraculous view before calling it a day. For others, there simply is no time to enjoy everything a city has to offer, and the only exploration one has time for is to take in the view from the hotel. We’d like to introduce you to our blog series, which will be featuring incredible hotels with incredible views! Whatever your travel reasons or however much time you have to enjoy your trip, we hope you leave thinking wow what a view!

Our third feature is the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus. It’s located on the European bank of the Bosphorus, which flows through Istanbul’s phenomenal history. This luxury hotel is a converted Ottoman Palace surrounded by indigo water and mountaintops. Its 145 guest rooms and 25 suites blend Ottoman design with contemporary furnishings and nearly a quarter of the rooms offer incredible views across the legendary Strait to the hills of Asia. Rooms located on the first and second floor offer straight views of the water and the Maiden’s Tower in Old Town. The hotel’s pool overlooks the Bosphorus, and the outdoor terrace of the hotel’s restaurant Aqua allows you to dine right on the water’s edge.

Be sure to keep up with our blog series to discover various luxury hotels all over the world with the best views!


An Insider’s Guide on Where to Stay in Paris

February 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Paris, a thriving, bustling city with over 70 luxury hotels located throughout its districts can be a bit overwhelming for folks deciding on where to stay to get the most out of their experience. We understand that travelers visiting Paris for the first time have different interests and desires than frequent visitors, so we’ve put together a short, sweet and to the point guide for you to ensure that you choose the perfect hotel for your trip!

Hotel du Louvre

Hotel du Louvre is the perfect luxury hotel for first time visitors to Paris looking to be in the heart of the attractions. The beautiful décor of the hotel was inspired by the Napoleon III style, and all of the guest rooms have modern comforts while retaining a traditional feel. The draw of this hotel is certainly its location, perfectly situated in the heart of old Paris with easy access to the fashion and business districts, steps from the Brasserie du Louvre, and immediately opposite the Comedie Francaise. Just steps from the Louvre Museum, certain rooms and suites at the Hotel du Louvre offer views of the exhibits! The Opera Granier is set to one side of the hotel, and the Palais Royal is on the other side. The area is busy with authentic cafes and is a short walk from the bustling shopping street of Rue St. Honore. It also offers interconnecting rooms, perfect for a family vacation.

Hotel Lutetia

Hotel Lutetia is a phenomenal hotel option for travelers who have been to Paris before, who have explored the famous areas in Paris, and who are looking for a much more detailed look into the city. It’s a very modern hotel with a contemporary style and artistic surprises. The bustling lobby has an edginess with displays of art by renowned contemporary artists including Arman, Cesar, Perrin, and Thierry Bisch. The Hotel Lutetia has an artistic and elegant culture that is clearly visible in the Art Deco architecture, period furniture, crystal chandeliers, and live jazz music flowing through the Lutetia Bar. It’s located on the left bank in Saint-Germain des Pres, in the heart of the fashion, art, and literature district. What sets this hotel apart is that if you make a reservation for a suite, you are guaranteed an Eiffel Tower view! (We do ask, however, that you request an Eiffel Tower view ahead of time)

Hotel de Crillon

Hotel de Crillon is a very royal, elegant 18th century style luxury hotel situated in the famous Place De la Concorde in the heart of Paris. This hotel is for new travelers as well as frequent visitor to Paris, perfect for those who are looking for the absolute best and most royal hotel in the City of Love. It is only a few steps from the Champs-Elysees and the Fabourg Saint Honore. It is decorated in a Louis XV style, and its guest rooms and suites are decorated to represent the rich history and culture of Paris. Similar to the Hotel du Louvre, the Hotel de Crillon has connecting room options as well, making it another perfect hotel for a family or group vacation.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Royal Crescent Hotel

February 22, 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.

The Royal Crescent Hotel is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. It is the most impressive hotel located in the beautiful city of Bath, United Kingdom. This luxury hotel occupies the two central buildings in the entire crescent, and it has some of the most breathtaking features in one of the world’s most enchanting cities. Take in the stunning setting and marvelous architecture that has remained unchanged since the 18th century. The hotel is much more than a remarkable pair of buildings; it allows you to experience a style of extravagant living from the age when Bath was the heart of the civilized world. Certain accommodations feature a working fireplace and four poster beds, and the renowned Bath House spa and fine dining restaurant offer the finishing touches to this perfectly located hotel!

Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Royal Crescent Hotel!


Hotels with a History: Hotel Alfonso XIII

February 16, 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.

 Named for the king who commissioned in in 1928, the Hotel Alfonso XIII is located in the heart of Seville, and it was designed to be Europe’s most luxurious hotel. It symbolizes the city’s Moorish influences and provides easy access to the Guadalquivir River and the Santa Cruz neighborhood. Its 151 rooms pay tribute to the various eras in Seville varying from Isabelline Baroque, Castilian, and Moorish-style. Every room has lively walls covered with a blend of silk and linen, and the rooms are adorned with beautiful, authentic antiques. It’s phenomenally located minutes from the Reales Alcazares and Plaza de Espana, among the arches and arabesques of the historic downtown. This hotel has an Olympic size seasonal pool; it offers private massages, babysitting services, and easy access to Calle Sierpes and other wonderful cobblestone shopping streets in the phenomenal city of Seville.


Conde Nast Platinum Circle 2012: Hotel de la Cite

February 15, 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.

Though some of us may have visited Carcasonne on our very own dining room tables, there's certainly reason enough to see one of the most storied feudal regions of France.  To collect double points, the proprieters completed Hotel de la Cite in 1909 on the site of a former Bishop's palace in a neo-gothic style.  Stain-glass windows and mosaic patterning adorn a hotel that echoes the sensibilities of 12th century France, and views of Saint Michel cathedral give it an eerily medieval quality.  From within the circular citadel walls, Hotel de la Cite overlooks the surrounding farmland with all the commanding presence of the original fiefdom.  Itself a UNESCO world heritage site, the fortified castle represents one of the most idyllic historic locations you could visit.  If you're looking to get out of Paris to explore the rich history of a medieval France, there's nowhere better than Hotel de la Cite.

Check rates, availability, photos and more of the Hotel de la Cite here!


Trump Comes to DC, but Maybe Not Like He Imagined

February 8, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The news broke at the Washington Post yesterday that ex-presidential hopeful Donald Trump has turned the long-reaching tendrils of his well-coiffed hair towards the Old Post Office in Washington, DC, by buying it up as a hotel property. While he may be moving in next door to his dream house like an overzealous ex-boyfriend, this is undeniably good news for the hotel industry and for DC as well. The Old Post Office, while home to a few government offices, is also well-known for being a just a little bit abandoned and run down. And since it's on prime real estate in the middle of the city, hearing that Trump and investors are willing to put down a cold $200 million to renovate and revitalize the building should put a spring in the step of anyone looking to stay near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or even just walk by on the way to work.

The hotel will likely open its doors to more than 250 rooms for guests in 2016. Importantly, the Vice-Trump, daughter Ivanka, who headed the acquisition, said that the reconstruction is committed to preserving the historic facade of the original 1890s post office. Making way for the hotel will be National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which probably holds some kind of metaphorical significance, but maybe they'll get swankier offices elsewhere. The hotel itself should be an interesting take on an unorthodox space. The pavilion in the interior makes for a central space that itself has a lot of aesthetic possibility but also limits the floor design. I'm intrigued to see what Mr. Trump's team will do with the place. In the meantime, there are plenty of other Washington hotels within a stone's throw of the White House. [Editor's note: Do not throw that stone.]

Photo via Old Post Office DC Pavilion


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa

February 6, 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.

The Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa in Salzburg, Austria is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. This luxury hotel is a renovated 15th-century castle that’s located on a peninsula in Lake Fuschl, facing the Alps and surrounded by 30 acres of nature. Its 110 beautiful rooms and suites overlook either the lake or the castle’s incredible park. This luxury hotel has received recognition for its leisure facilities which include opportunities to indulge yourself in the newly built spa, go hiking, biking, swimming, and a whole lot more!

Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa for a serene and relaxing adventure.


Hotels with Availability for Mardi Gras

February 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Mardi Gras is on February 21st this year, which is only a few short weeks away! From an incredible parade to mounds of beads and excitement, Mardi Gras is definitely an event worth attending at least once in your life. Check out the following luxury 5 star hotels that currently have availability during Mardi Gras to ensure you don’t miss out on the fun!

Windsor Court Hotel

This hotel is located in the heart of New Orleans, on the edge of the French Quarter near the banks of Mississippi. It recently underwent a $22 million restoration, redefining 5 star luxury, and now offers 316 newly designed guestrooms and suites.

W New Orleans French Quarter

This hotel is next to Jackson square and boutique shops, and it’s a short walk from the Riverwalk and Harrah’s casino. It was remodeled in 2000 and has 98 rooms and 2 suites.

Loews New Orleans Hotel

Located just 3 blocks from the French Quarter, across from Harrah’s casino, the Arts district, and Riverwalk, this luxury hotel has 285 rooms and 12 suites.

W New Orleans

This hotel is located in the heart of the French Quarter surrounded by the bustling Bourbon Street, boutique shops, and live entertainment. It was remodeled in 2000 and has 98 rooms and 2 suites.

JW Marriott Hotel New Orleans

This luxury hotel is located on Canal Street and it has 487 rooms and 7 suites.

Ritz Carlton New Orleans

Located on Canal Street a short walk from the French Quarter, this hotel allows guest to experience the most uniquely European city in the United States.

The Roosevelt New Orleans

This hotel is located in the central business district one block from the French Quarter. It was remodeled in 2009 and it offers 504 rooms and 135 suites.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel Imperial

February 2, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

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.

I have a question for the peanut gallery.  Ladies and gentlemen, what could possibly be better than gold?  Turning to the record industry for our answer, there is, of course, only one choice.  Platinum.  And the Gold List's gotten a silvery sheen, and like the American Express you may pay with to get in these places, the platinum club is just for the extra exclusive hotels who are more than just a flash-in-the-pan nouveau riche kind of hotel.  They've proven consistently over the last five years that they're Gold List material, so they've gotten the VIP upgrade.

Today's platinum contender is none other than the Hotel Imperial, one of only two hotels in Vienna to get this distinction, and boy is it something else?  The hypothetical boy, in this case, would have to answer with a resounding, "yes," because the Hotel Imperial does everything right.  Vienna is a city that never quite got past its imperial heritage and still longs for the days of the empire, and the Hotel Imperial harkens back to that era with a purity of character that's unrivalled in other Austrian hotels.  If you're looking for a stay where the Sacher torte is fresh and the after-dinner liquer subtle and full of flavor, then the Hotel Imperial is the one for you.