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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 Arizona Biltmore - Then and Now

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

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

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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New to Five Star Alliance: The Olde Bell

By: Five Star Alliance

The Olde Bell is part of a family of modern coaching inns, set in historic timber framed buildings providing eating, drinking, gatherings and lodgings. Only 45 minutes from central London, with great access to Henley on Thames, Maidenhead and Marlow, with 50 bedrooms, a celebrated restaurant and 7 private rooms seating up to 150 people for weddings, parties and meetings.

The Olde Bell

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Meet The Greenbrier

By: Five Star Alliance


The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier
 is an award-winning resort located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. A National Historic Landmark, The Greenbrier represents 230 years of history with its classic architecture, exquisite interior design, carefully sculpted landscape, impeccable service and outstanding amenities. Our sister publication, the Luxury Travel Advisor, has an extensive profile of this historic Virginia hotel. Writer Lindsay Lambert  has the rundown on which room is the best for your stay:

Here’s the scoop on the best of the best at the revamped resort.
The Greenbrier is all about going over the top, so we say skip the entry-level Deluxe Room accommodations in favor of something more lavish. Junior Suites are the largest single rooms at the resort and are outfitted with one king bed or two double beds, as well as a separate seating area that includes a queen-size sleeper sofa.
If you plan to spend time with friends and family in your space, book one of seven luxury Deluxe Suites, which can be configured to feature two to seven bedrooms. These suites are also equipped with spacious parlors that are ideal for entertaining guests.
If your stay at The Greenbrier necessitates only the absolute best accommodations, book a suite in the Windsor Club, within the ultra-exclusive Virginia Wing. Its Presidential Suite is The Greenbrier’s most lavish rooming option. The two-story suite boasts its own private foyer, beyond which lies a library, a den with a half bath, a large living room with a grand piano, a reception foyer, a private patio, and a stately dining room. Each of the suite’s seven bedrooms is outfitted with a king-size bed. (Guests who book this room will be in good company: President Eisenhower held the North American Summit Conference here in 1956, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco are among its past occupants.)
Note that the resort also has cottage accommodations, but we preferred rooms and suites in the main hotel building to experience the full effect of the resort.

Learn more about this historic hotel >>

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Did You Know? Fuchun Resort

By: K. Clare Johnson

Fuchun Resort
Fuchun Resort
is named to honor a painting by artist Huang Gongwang, who lived from 1269-1354. "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains" is considered to be one of his greatest works and is a national treasure. The Chinese landscape painting, which is a depiction of the scenery along the Fuchun River, was burnt into two pieces in 1650. Today, one piece is in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum in Hangzhou, while the other piece is in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Fuchun Resort stands as a replica of this famous painting. In his honour, the Resort is named after his greatest artwork.

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Receive the Royal Treatment at The Raj Palace

By: Elaine Lee

The Raj Palace

A stay at The Raj Palace Hotel will leave you doused in luxurious elegance. This royal Indian palace turned hotel held the title of “World’s Leading Heritage Hotel” by the World Travel Awards consecutively from 2007 to 2011, so guests should not expect anything less than the royal treatment when visiting this opulent palace. The Raj Palace Hotel is home to one of the most luxurious hotel suites in the world, with their presidential suite priced at a jaw-dropping $45,000 USD a night. The room used to belong to a former Maharaja, and is one of the biggest suites in Asia. However, with high costs come high expectations which the Raj Palace Hotel fully delivers on. This four floor palatial suite comes complete with gold and ivory absolutely everywhere. If the design elements alone do not speak to its royal past, then maybe the historical artifacts inside a private museum located inside the suite would. Guests are pampered with top notch five star service and privacy, as a private roof terrace and swimming pool with breathtaking views of the city of Jaipur.

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Did You Know? InterContinental Marseille

By: Five Star Alliance


Intercontinental Marseille



InterContinental Marseille is housed in the former Hotel Dieu, a listed historical monument dating back to the 18th century, originally serving as a hostel for pilgrims to the nearby Basilica. It overlooks the Vieux Port, right beside the oldest district in Marseille known as the Panier. The renovations took 2 years, during which various archaeological sites were discovered. Guests can see some of the artifacts that were excavated in the dedicated cultural area of the InterContinental Marseille.



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Did You Know? The Rookery Hotel

By: K. Clare Johnson


Each of the 33 rooms at The Rookery Hotel are named after an inhabitant who lived there when the first census of the area was taken in 1832. Guests can stay in rooms named after Apothecary Dr Theophilus Garencieres, architect William Pettit Griffith, or prostitute Sally Salisbury.

The Rookery Hotel

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Grand Hotel Bordeaux Presses Lobster Just for You

By: K. Clare Johnson

Grand Hotel Bordeaux

Are you a lobster fan? If you'd like a real lobster treat, head to Bordeaux. Luxury hotel Grand Hotel Bordeaux is home to Pressoir d'Argent, a Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant. The Michelin-starred restaurant takes its name from a unique piece of kitchen equipment, a lobster press. The lobster press, one of only five in the world, reportedly cost 30,000 Euros, and weighs 90 pounds. 

The lobster press is used for Breton blue lobster dishes, one with a bearnaise sauce and one served with sweetbreads and summer vegetables.The "Brittany Blue Lobster" is presented alive to the diner then fried in the kitchen. It is then halved and the shell is removed. Then the lobster press comes in to play. The press is wheeled table side and the the legs and lobster coral (roe) are run through the press twice to get all the juice out of the lobster. The juice is then made into a bearnaise sauce. No word on the cost of this culinary experience

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