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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.

Did You Know? Balbirnie House

March 1, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Balbirnie House
Balbirnie House
dates back to 1777, having been commissioned by The Balfour family who were a very influential agricultural and coal mining family at the time.

The house was originally designed by the architect John Nisbet in 1777 and was then extended by Robert Crichton in 1815, and is now listed as Grade A of architectural and historical importance, most probably built as one of the largest and earliest Grecian style houses in Scotland.

The park surrounding Balbirnie extends to 416 acres of undulating scenery, and is landscaped in the style of Capability Brown, including many specimen trees and a collection of magnificent rhododendrons which is unrivalled in the East of Scotland. Views from the house extend over flowering garden lawns and trimmed yew hedges to woodland walks around the park. The first tee off for Balbirnie Park’s 18 hole golf course is a short amble from the hotel.

Also within the park is The Balbirnie Craft Centre, housed in the original old stable block just a few minutes walk away. Crafts sold include hand made jewelry, pottery, glassworks, and leather goods.

View rates, details, and more images of Balbirnie House >>

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Did You Know? Hotel Captain Cook

February 20, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Anchorage's Hotel Captain Cook is named for British explorer and cartographer whose three major voyages took him around the southern tips of Africa and South America, to Easter Island and, on his final voyage, along Alaska’s majestic coastline. Cook helped define Alaska in the 18th century by mapping its jagged coastline for the first time. In June of 1778, while looking for a Northwest Passage to Hudson Bay, he and his crew on the HMS Resolution dropped anchor in Turnagain Arm—within sight of the spot where the Hotel Captain Cook stands today.

Hotel Captain Cook

An earthquake in 1964 leveled much of downtown Anchorage. Businessman Walter J. Hickel, who was also Alaska's mayor, had already been investing in Alaska’s future for decades, building hotels and business centers as well as serving as Alaska’s governor, all with an eye to making Alaska the American gateway to the Pacific Rim. The Hotel has prospered and expanded with the times: the first Tower opened in 1965, followed by Tower II in 1972 and Tower III in 1978. Today, the 547-room hotel plays host to dignitaries, celebrities and people from all walks who love the grandeur of Alaska.


View rates, details, and more images of Hotel Captain Cook >>

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Sleeping with the Presidents

February 17, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

The Willard InterContinental
In honor of President's Day, we wanted to showcase some luxury hotels that are favorites of POTUS.

The Willard InterContinental - Washington, DC
Every president since Franklin Pierce has stayed or attended an event here. President Lincoln even lived here with his family before his inaguration. Just in case more than one Commander-in-Chief is in residence, the historic hotel has four presidential suites, named after Presidents Jefferson, Adams, Washington, and Lincoln. 

The Kahala Hotel and Resort - Honolulu, HI
This hotel has put to bed every president since Lyndon B. Johnson. Presidents and other VIPs stay in either the Imperial and Presidential Suite. Both 2,200-square-foot suites are on the top two floors, with views of Kahala Bay. 

The Jefferson Hotel Richmond - Richmond, VA
Named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the historic Richmond hotel has checked in 12 presidents, from Harrison and McKinley to both Bushes and Obama. Commanders-in-chief usually stay in the 1,400-square foot Presidential Suite, complete with a baby grand piano, dining room, and a marble balcony overlooking Franklin Street. 

Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa - Phoenix, AZArizona Biltmore
The one-bedroom Presidential Suite has hosted every president since Hoover, except Obama—though he stayed at the hotel on the campaign trail. Arizona Biltmore was also the honeymoon spot of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. 

Loews Madison Hotel - Washington, DC
President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy were hosts at the original opening of this hotel in 1963, and it has hosted every President since.

The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel - New York, NY
The Carlyle has hosted every American president since Harry Truman. Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter and Reagan stayed at The Carlyle so often, it became their home away from home.

Presidents haven't only stayed at hotels. According to legend, The Equinox in Vermont is thought to be haunted by the ghost of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. She and her sons spent summers there, although their last vacation was cancelled due to President Lincoln's assassination. The Mayflower Renaissance Washington DC was to play host to President Coolidge's Inagural Ball, but his son's death changed those plans. Consequently, he is said to haunt the hotel. 

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New to Five Star Alliance: Zero George

February 14, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Guests staying at Zero George are greeted upon arrival in the heart of the house, the original kitchen carriage house on the courtyard. This 1805 Carriage House has been transformed into the guest reception for the concierge desk, adjacent to the custom designed professional show kitchen, with a signature French enamel cooking range. Juxtaposing Charleston's period architecture, the hotel's decor is southern sophistication with a contemporary twist – reminiscent of a spacious, well appointed and comfortably furnished private home. The residences' private piazzas are furnished with wicker and wrought iron furnishings, allowing guests to casually lounge or breakfast while overlooking the Garden Courtyard.

Zero George 

View rates, details, and more images of Zero George >>

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Did You Know? Raffles Hotel Singapore

February 12, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Raffles Hotel Singapore
Raffles Hotel Singapore
has claimed itself to be the home of the Singapore Sling. The down to earth decor of the two-story Long Bar where the drink was said to originate was inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s. The bar has the safe where Sling creator, bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, locked away his recipe books. You can also see a version of the recipe from 1936, which a curious patron jotted down on a receipt. In addition to almost every alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoction imaginable, the bar also serves traditional pub favourites that are available as a meal or snacks. In the evening, a band performs a selection of contemporary and popular hits.

The recipe for the Singapore Sling varies widely, but here's one to try, courtesy of Imbibe Magazine

1 oz. London dry gin
1 oz. Bols Cherry brandy or Cherry Heering
1 oz. Benedictine
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. soda water
1 dash Angostura bitters
Tools: barspoon
Glass: Collins

Combine all ingredients except soda water and bitters in an ice-filled glass. Top with soda water, stir briefly and dash with Angostura bitters. Note: The original Singapore Sling appears to have been ungarnished. By the mid-1920s, they were adding the peel of a lime, cut in a thick spiral. By the late ’30s, they were also omitting the Benedictine and bitters and floating Sloe Gin on top.

View rates, details, and more images of Raffles Hotel Singapore >> 

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Dining al Fresco: Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch

February 5, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch

Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch is located in the historic area where Frankfurt’s nobility once met to hunt wild animals and to have a feast. The luxury hotel's restaurants have re-interpreted those feasts using a great variety of extraordinarily fresh, seasonal cuisine. From fine dining to rustic regional specialities, Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch’s three restaurants will serve everyone’s individual palate. Overlooking the hotel’s own extensive park area, meal become experiences. The terrace patio enables guests to relish hearing wind softly rushing through the tree tops while enjoying their meal.

View rates, details, and more images of Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch >>

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Did You Know? Hotel Raphael Rome

February 2, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

 

The stunning facade of Hotel Raphael Rome is covered in a cascade of woodbine and bouganvillea. Launched as a hotel in 1963 by Spartaco Vannoni (1922-1980), the Hotel Raphael is a real museum of art: paintings, lithographs, sculptures, antiquarian artifacts, a valuable collection of Picasso ceramics and Mayan art may be seen throughout the lobby. Overlooking the roofs, the terrace Bramante is waiting for you to enjoy gastronomic cuisine while contemplating the magnificent view of the eternal city.

The hotel is located just a few steps from Piazza Navona amidst some of the world's most admired monuments: the Pantheon, St. Peter's and the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum.
 

View rates, details, and more images of Hotel Raphael Rome>>


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Did You Know? Wedmore Place

January 29, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Wedmore Place
Wedmore Place
 is a historid farm that was settled in 1615. It was first called Archers Hope. In 1781, it was on the military maps of the French armies of Lafayette. It was identified due to its participation in the Revolutionary war against the British crown. At the time, the farm was owned by Maitre Bland, a reverend active American independence movement.

The 300 acre farm was acquired in 1983 as a virtually abandoned parcel by Patrick and Peggy Duffeler. They changed the name to Wedmore Place, a place conceptualized to feature art, history and culture in its stylistic design, its themes and decoration.

The first renovation project on the farm besides the reconstruction of a dwelling that was found out to have dated from 1736, was the start of the first planting of grapes in 1985 and the establishment of a winery.

View rates, details, and more images of Wedmore Place >>

 

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Did You Know? Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal

January 25, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

The splendid residence that houses Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal was built by the Coccina family. Sold in 1581 to the Florentine family of Luca Antonio Giunta, the palace was inherited by the Foscarini family after two of the brothers married descendents of Giunta. The Foscarini family lived at the palace in the eighteenth century, along with their most illustrious representative, Doge Marco Foscarini, who was responsible for the many rare manuscripts, all bound in red leather and stamped with the emblem of the Foscarini family. In the library of Foscarini Giovanelli Palace, nearly a thousand volumes collected by Marco Foscarini have been conserved for decades. Today, more than 500 of those historic manuscripts can be seen at the prestigious Imperial Library of Vienna. The books were a pledge for payment of taxes in arrears to the Austrian state by the declining Foscarini family.

Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal

View rates, details, and more images of Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli and Gran Canal >>

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Image of the Day: Rose Garden Palace

January 24, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

The rose bush in the external garden at Rose Garden Palace is responsible for the name of the luxury Rome hotel. 

 

Winter Rates at Rose Garden Palace Start at EUR 176 Per Night >>

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