LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
August 11, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
Just off Berkeley Square in an exclusive neighborhood close to the Bond Street designer boutiques, The Chesterfield Mayfair offers regency style and an elegant setting. For a limited time, the hotel's Butlers Restaurant is offering the "Charlie and the Afternoon Tea" service, which features a whimsical and sweet twist to traditional afternoon tea. Read more below from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor.
Candy lovers are in for a sweet treat at The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel thanks to the launch of their new afternoon tea, inspired by the Roald Dahl beloved classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Piled high with Wonka Bars, Everlasting Gobstoppers and even golden tickets, Charlie and the Afternoon Tea transports guests from London to Wonka’s very own Chocolate Factory.
Other indulgences guests can snack on include Oompa Loompa cupcakes, Golden Eggs, blueberry macaroons, Fizzy Lifting cake, chocolate chip scones and fruit scones served with clotted cream and jam.
Along with the treats come savory finger sandwiches and a golden ticket, granting each guest the opportunity to win prizes ranging anywhere from a two-night weekend stay in a Junior Sweet to complimentary magnums of Champagne. Every ticket is a guaranteed win, but keeping with the mystery and tradition of the Factory, tickets may only be opened on the guests’ next trip to the hotel.
And if you and your sweetie are still craving more after your time at the Chesterfield, we suggest a trip to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the stage musical, now playing at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, having opened this June.
The tea, held at Butlers Restaurant, is available through September.
Learn more about The Chesterfield Mayfair >>
August 10, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Bali is a true tropical paradise, and the Viceroy Bali takes the meaning of a romantic hideaway to a new level. The all-villa property offers 25 private villas each with their own heated pools, luxurious Balinese furnishings including island-produced natural bath products, and views of the Valley of the Kings. Read more below.
The resort's award-winning CasCades Restaurant offers an idyllic, poolside fine dining experience with a menu that combines contemporary French cuisine with exotic Asian flavours. Plus, a one-of-a-kind setting overlooking the Petanu River Gorge, and an extensive wine menu for a truly memorable evening.
To end the night, the Viceroy Bar offers artfully served cocktails, unbeatable views, and an extensive selection of fine wines and spirits from around the world. Continue reading below.
To recover from the long journey, or to feel truly pampered, the Lembah Spa offers a calm and soothing tropical open-air environment. Guests can choose from a variety of treatments created by a certified Swiss therapist, that combine traditional Balinese wellness techniques with Western knowledge and natural products.
Check rates and plan your escape to Viceroy Bali >>
August 9, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
WASHINGTON, DC ─ Five Star Alliance, the leading site for luxury hotel recommendations and reservations, has recently partnered with leading luxury consortia Signature Travel Network.
Through this partnership, Five Star Alliance will tap into Signature's collection of member hotels and resorts worldwide to enhance the "Five Star Alliance Perks" program, which offers clients added value amenities to their bookings. Examples include breakfast for two daily, a dining or resort credit, spa credits, complimentary round of golf, airport transfers, in-room/welcome gifts, VIP welcome and more.
Courtney W. May, General Manager of Five Star Alliance, said the partnership is a key strategic move for the brand.
"We are delighted to collaborate on this advantageous endeavor with Signature Travel Network," said May. "As one of the strongest luxury communities in the marketplace, the pairing of our two luxury brands together will help us offer greater travel opportunities around the world to our discerning audience of travelers - including new cruise and tour packages."
Signature Travel Network is a member-owned cooperative comprised of the travel industry's leading retail agencies representing more than 6,000 professional travel consultants — and generating more than $7 Billion in annual sales.
Part of the Questex Travel Group, Five Star Alliance launched in 2005 as the leader in luxury hotel and resort recommendations worldwide and offers a comprehensive editorial listing of reviews, rates, reservations at more than 3,000 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
August 8, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Nestled amongst the Carolina Pines just a few miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, The Umstead Hotel and Spa offers a peaceful retreat-like setting. Surrounded by 12 acres of wooded land, with gardens, fine art, and a shimmering lake encircled with a trail, the property feels worlds away from it all, yet it's just minutes away from the Triangle.
Five Star Alliance was invited to visit The Umstead Hotel and Spa to discover all the property has to offer. Read more below.
Walking into the entrance, we were greeted by friendly doormen, along with a soothing lobby featuring a view of an exquisite piece of art by glass artist, Dale Chihuly, piano music, and sunshine flowing in from the hotel's expansive patio.
Our spacious spa-inspired guest rooms offered a peaceful setting with large windows, plush beds with fluffy goosedown comforters, and a neutral color palette. The large marble bathrooms have soaking tubs complete with a bath caddy and bath salts, separate showers, and an array of Lather bath products, plus a special black towel designated for makeup removal. Continue reading below the guest room images.
The Umstead Spa is an ideal setting for relaxing and melting away the stresses of daily life. Featuring a variety of massages, skin treatments, the air is filled with soothing botanical fragrances and soft music. Visitors are provided with a plush robe, along with access to separate men's and women's relaxation lounges with therapeutic whirlpools, eucalyptus saunas and steam rooms, and an outdoor meditation courtyard. There are teas and fruit-infused waters, along with cool towels and cucumber slices to add to the overall rejuvenating environment. Plus, a boutique filled with pampering products to add to one's spa experience.
Surrounded by trees and overlooking a 3-acre lake, the Umstead offers a retreat-like feel with manicured gardens and a lakeside 1/4-mile walking/jogging trail. There are bicycles, helmets, and trail maps available to explore the trails around the property leading to the William B. Umstead State Park. For added relaxation, the hotel's outdoor swimming pool is set amongst the serene setting with large sundeck, lounge chairs, cabanas, and poolside food and beverage service.
For an elegant dining experience, Herons, the hotel's signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. On select days, afternoon tea service is served in the lounge area along with a harp serenade. If you're looking for casual dining, there's an outdoor patio overlooking the gardens and lake. During the evenings, there is live music and crafted cocktails in the bar & lounge - an ideal spot to sip and reminisce about the day's events. Feeling like staying in? We recommend room service.
Tip: Be sure to inquire with the concierge about morning yoga, bike, and art tours as the property offers a variety of events for guests.
On a side note, we noticed the hotel is very pet-friendly, with special accommodations for canine guests and the DogWoods enclosed play area.
Check rates and plan your relaxing retreat at The Umstead Hotel and Spa >>
August 6, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Watch in-room movies like never before within the Screening Suite at the W London Leicester Square. This unique and seductive space offers a private bedroom cinema with a Sony 3D HD video projection system, 3-meter screen, ambiant ceiling lighting, in-bed movement system, media hub with surround sound, and open movie pass. (Read more below)
When you're not lounging in bed watching movies, you can relax in the suite's contemporary spa-inspired bathroom which includes a deep-soaking tub, separate steam shower, and Bliss bath products. Plus, plush robes and slippers to add to the overall spa-like feel. (Continue reading below the photos.)
If you're ready to hit the town, the hotel's designer wardrobe room service can assist you with just the right look for exploring London in style.
The W London Leicester Square is 192-room contemporary boutique hotel in London's West End. Steps away from the city's theater and entertainment hub, the property is ideally located for exploring London's cultural scene.
August 4, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
In honor of the U.S. National Parks 100th Anniversary, the Enchantment Resort is offering an “Over-the-Top Grand Canyon Adventure Package”, which includes a private helicopter ride for four people from the resort to the Grand Canyon. Ideal for families, the Sedona Resort is surrounded by natural vermillion-colored rock formations, with hiking trails, Camp Coyote kid's club, Mii amo spa, outdoor swimming pool, golf, and tennis. Read more below about this special package from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, written by Ruthanne Terrero.
A Southwest getaway for the family should include active experiences plus some quality downtime. We say Enchantment Resort in Sedona might just fit the bill, especially with the program it's created for the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. The “Over-the-Top Grand Canyon Adventure Package” provides for a private helicopter ride for four people to take a flight from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. When it's time to come home, a clay wrap spa treatment is included, at Enchantment's sister property, Mii amo. Which room works best for families? We're thinking it's the two-bedroom “Full Hacienda Suite,” which has a living room (think high ceilings and a fireplace) with two queen pull-down beds. If a family member likes to barbecue, a nice big deck has a built-in grill and lots of seating for the family to sit around and critique the cook. There's a kitchen inside as well and a dining room area for six. There's no arguing over who gets the best bedroom since both are masters (some with king beds, some with two queens, just ask). All told, there are plenty of private bathrooms for all, including one off the living room.
Enchantment, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, has a program for children ages four to 12, which provides nature walks, pottery classes, star gazing, scavenger hunts, cooking classes and yoga. Older children and teens can also participate in tennis camp clinics. They can also take a Pink Jeep tour and visit Native American ruins in the area.
Family Dining Tip: Enchantment has two restaurants. Tii Gavo has a more casual Southwestern vibe while Che-Ah-Chi is the fine-dining venue. Reservations can be made at any time for either, but do know that both have great views of the red rock canyon. We suggest making reservations at least two weeks out for a window seat or outdoor table for optimal views.
Good to know: Families sometimes want to relax and not worry about disturbing guests around them, so, we suggest a private room at Che-Ah-Chi for parties of six to 12. Another fun option is to request in-room dining served on your private patio. Enchantment has plenty of other venues for larger groups.
Tip: Spring and summer are peak seasons at Enchantment Resort, so management recommends booking six to 12 months in advance.
Check rates and learn more about Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa>>
NINE-TEN Restaurant, located at the landmark Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla, California, was recognized by the California Restaurant Association with "San Diego's Best Hotel Fine Dining Restaurant Award". This is the seventh consecutive win for NINE-TEN, recognizing the restaurant's excellence in Evolving California Cuisine. Celebrating more than a decade of service, NINE-TEN offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance. Diners enjoy the best of the harvest from local farmers, where produce is selected daily for the restaurant's farm-to-table menus.
Welcoming guests since 1913, The Grande Colonial Hotel is a 93-room historic hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean. One-block from the beach, the property offers can outdoor pool, meeting space, and the award-winning NINE-TEN Restaurant featuring a Wine Spectator-recognized wine list.
*The content of this sponsored article was provided by Grande Colonial Hotel.
Savor Life Slowly at SLS South Beach. Indulge your senses at The Bazaar by José Andrés, featuring a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and a playful indoor-outdoor environment. The Bazaar menu blends Andrés' Spanish heritage, tradition and ingenuity with influences from South Beach's local Latin flavors. Read more below.
Katsuya South Beach infuses traditional Japanese cuisine with a provocative twist as Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi unleashes his culinary artistry with a menu of innovative sushi and robata dishes uniquely adapted for the American palate. For the perfect nightcap, Bar Centro by José Andrés is where cocktails become adventurous undertakings with a variety of fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables, as well as modern tools of liquid nitrogen and organic emulsifiers to create Manhattans with liquid cherries and margaritas with salt air that accompany delightful selections of caviar and Andrés' signature snacks. Continue reading below.
Set in the heart of South Beach, the SLS Hotel combines impeccable design, imaginative dining, and a luxurious atmosphere with an outdoor pool that transforms into a chic evening lounge. Offering direct beach access and city views, the high-style property is steps away from upscale boutiques, dining and nightlife.
Five Star Alliance Perk: Guest that book through Five Star Alliance receive a $50.00 resort credit during their stay.
*The content of this sponsored article was provided by the SLS South Beach.
Wow, what a view at The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Courtesy of instagram user /Safarianne, the boutique hotel sits on a mountainside 1,000 feet above the Arenal. The tropical resort has 28 thermal spring pools with the highest quality mineral content in the area, the famous "Monkey Slide" at Perdidos Springs, and the Club Rio Outdoor Center set on one-mile of the Arenal River with on-site adventures such as water tubing, rock climbing, and horseback riding. There's also a wildlife sanctuary with more than 100 rescued animals including monkeys, deer, sloths, toucans, jungle cats, and crocodiles.
As you can see, guest rooms feature views of the volcano and surrounding valley, with hardwood floors and ceilings, carved wood furniture, marble bathrooms with dual sinks, and sitting areas.
August 2, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
If you are a first timer, or even a seasoned traveler, looking for a swanky villa within a luxury resort, we've got the best option for you in the Caribbean at the uber chic Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao. Nestled amidst tropical gardens and caressed by the azure water of the Caribbean Sea our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, has the following insight:
Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao is a great fit for LGBT guests and all seasoned Caribbean travelers looking for an island where everything is accepted and celebrated. The local airport, Curaçao International, is about a 25-minute drive from the resort, which also has a helipad. Hint: Guests can opt for a VIP transfer, and a chauffeur will pick them up inside Curaçao International Airport, allow them to pass through customs and immigration more quickly, bypassing the lines, and then take them to the property in a luxury car. Note: There is a private jet center at the Curaçao International airport.
More below >>
Even though the Ocean Front Villa is the most requested accommodation here, but we were told families cannot go wrong in booking the Private Pool Villa, the Superior Private Pool Villa and the Master Villa (the only one with butler service).
Note: The resort doesn't have a spa. However, guests can request treatments ranging from traditional massages and body scrubs to manicures and pedicures on the property's private beach. In-room group treatments are also available for wedding parties. Tip: Guests are advised to book spa treatments at least two days in advance.
The resort’s Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant is open to locals. The most popular fare here is "The Chef’s Menu," a full seven-course menu, which changes constantly and makes use of fresh ingredients. Additional recommended dishes include tuna tartare, lionfish and ginger cheesecake. Nice Touch: All of the seating at this restaurant is beachfront. Although it is fairly easy to get a reservation at the resort, we were told guests should book two weeks in advance to be on the safe side.
More below >>
For VIPs tying the knot, the resort can do everything from buyouts to ceremonies for 10 guests and rehearsal dinners. The property can accommodate almost any over-the-top request. For instance, A-listers can hire a private jet to drop rose petals during the ceremony. Other extravagant needs that the resort has fulfilled in the past include delivering 100 flowers to a couple's room during their honeymoon, and flying in wagyu beef from Japan to meet a guests request for dinner.
Additional experiences include a bottle of champagne upon arrival; a four-course “Surprise Menu” created by the chef in a romantic gazebo set up on the beach; and private picnic on the beach.
Tip: For those VIPs looking to get some shopping done, there are some high-end jewelry shops in Punda, which is roughly a five- to 10-minute drive from the resort. The property can provide VIP transport to and from the shops.
Check rates and availability at the Baoase Luxury Resort in Curaçao >>