Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

The Caves, Negril, Jamaica: The Sports Illustrated Models Hang-Out

March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Caves, Negril Beyonce's cover shot for the Sports Illustrated 2007 Swimsuit Issue sure generated a lot of buzz. But even more buzzworthy is the Jamaican setting for the photo shoot. Where exactly were the Sports Illustrated models cooling off by the ocean? Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coral reefs, The Caves in Negril provided the beautiful sanctuary and luxurious accommodations for the magazine's 2007 issue. Ten handcrafted cottages are nestled in lush gardens at the edge of the sea. Within a grotto in the cliff overlooking the ocean, the restaurant is impossibly romantic, lit by candles and strewn with flower petals. There's even an Aveda mini-spa. The Caves is a favorite for high-profile events, but also adored by couples who value their privacy. On the island's westernmost tip, Negril entices with the best beaches in Jamaica and miles of coral reef just offshore, teeming with marine life for excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors are drawn to Negril's laid-back roots, and casual, cool attitude.


Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colorado: Luxury Eco-Getaways

March 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Devils Thumb Ranch These days, we're all about sustainable luxury. And this spot--5,000 acres of raw and gorgeous Colorado terrain-- will take your breath away. Devil's Thumb Ranch is a year-round resort and spa with rustically upscale accommodations, fine dining, year-round swimming pools overlooking the mountains, and winter/summer outdoor recreational activities galore. It's been dubbed "the eco-getaway that leads the way." Outside Magazine applauds the geothermal heating, low-emissions chimneys, and the organic menu with free-range antelope steaks. Located 65 miles west of Denver, the resort ranch sits at the foot of the Continental Divide in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Thousands of acres of countryside means cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horse back riding, fishing, hiking, downhill skiing, river rafting, and more. After a day exploring this majestic wilderness, relax with a culinary feast and divine fine wines. (Check out the Barrel Room, a hand-crafted wine uncorking room, pictured at right.)


Spring Spa Escapes: Hotel Guanahani, St. Bart’s

March 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Guanahani The weather outside is (still) frightful, though Spring Break is just around the corner. Tempt yourself with a last minute vaca to the tropical idyll of St. Bart's: splashy, chic, and utterly fabulous. At the award-winning Guanahani Hotel, guests find the ultimate retreat in colorful cottages (yellow, indigo, purple, bright green) nestled within bougainvilleas, hibiscus, and coconut groves. Heaven-on-earth wouldn't be complete without a sumptuous spa, and the hotel's Clarins Spa fits the bill: a sophisticated hideaway of pure indulgence. And for those seeking the ultimate sanctuary... check into the Wellness Suite, the former top-floor couple's spa suite which is now available for overnight accommodations. Talk about pampering! Enjoy 180 degree views of the turquoise sea from a covered terrace, plus private access to the spa's pool and relaxation area long after closing time. Since the spa is right downstairs, the therapists come to you for in-room treatments.

Via Luxury SpaFinder Magazine


Orient-Express in the Real Estate Business

March 19, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Orient-Express - famous for their luxury hotels, trains, and cruises - has also introduced a range of property developments linked closely with some of their most popular hotels and resorts. La Samanna St. MaartenCupecoy Yacht Club, Saint Maarten is a rare opportunity for 5-star condominium ownership on Saint Maarten and is linked with La Samanna - the luxury resort. The Cupecoy Yacht Club & Villas will feature 169 luxury condominiums, ranging in size from 750 to 3,000 square feet. Owners of these one to four bedroom homes can choose from a variety of styles designed by leading interior designers who have put their stamp on some of the most renowned luxury hotels in the world. At the Residences La Samanna, St. Martin, the first villa at La Samanna officially opened in December of 2006. The Residences will include eight Mediterranean style villas ranging in size from 4000 to 4500 square feet. The Estate Keswick Hall When Orient-Express Hotels purchased the 600-acre Keswick Estate in 2000, they knew that it would be a great accompaniment to Keswick Hall. The Estate features two to eight acre wooded home sites in a secured, gated community - some homes with lake views, others nestled in mature woodlands, and many bordering on the Arnold Palmer signature golf course. MaromaThe Villas at Maroma offer the unique opportunity to own one of 25 exclusive residences at Maroma. The 3 to 4 bedroom villas at Maroma will begin pre-sell in late 2007. Owners will enjoy all the luxuries of this boutique hotel including two restaurants, three pools, two bars and the award winning Kinan Spa.


Luxury Travel Trends: Glamping

March 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Forget mildewed tents and crummy sleeping bags. Today's luxury travelers are opting for glamorous camping experiences, called "glamping" in a recent AP article. As I've oohed and ahhed about before, Four Seasons has opened a tented camp in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, where lucky guests are pampered with wifi and multi-line phones in their "tents," seductive spa services, five-course dining, and a free-form pool. Another example of this trend in "rustic luxury" travel: glamping it up at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, where tents are outfitted with Persian carpets, down duvets, antique dressers, pressed-glass oil lamps, heirloom accessories, and-- in addition to wireless Internet-- a remote-controlled propane wood-stove.

Related articles:

Welcome to the Jungle: Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand

Luxury Camping at Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts in Tofino, British Columbia


The Octagon Bar at The Clarence, Dublin: World’s Hottest Hotel Bars

March 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Clarence Hotel The Octagon Bar has been a favorite Dublin watering hole throughout the hotel's 15 year history. After all, this joint belongs to Bono and The Edge of U2. (They purchased the hotel in 1992 and restored it into the city's premier boutique hotel. The Clarence is now on Conde Nast's Gold List. It's got the U2 stamp all over it.) The hotel's chic bar, which features an octagon-shaped dome, is adored by both locals and visitors. The award-winning cocktails are flavorful and fun, and run the gamut from Bubbly to Clarence Cocktails. (Highly-recommended: the apple strudel martini.) Of course there are plenty of tasty nibbles to accompany the libations.


Castello di Vicarello, Tuscany: Off the Beaten Path in Italy

March 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Castello di Vicarello As featured in Vogue magazine, the twelfth century Castello di Vicarello is a hidden gem nestled within olive groves, lavender fields, and vineyards in Maremma, the heart of Tuscany. Travel like royalty and discover this magical retreat. For the ultimate in privacy, there are only five suites, distinguished by thick stone walls and wood beams, and furnished with antiques and art from the owner's extensive travels. The property features two infinity edge pools, orchards cultivated since Roman times, and beautiful gardens from where vegetables are picked for exquisite meals. (Most of the food is grown on the grounds, following strict organic guidelines.) At Castello di Vicarello, enjoy traditional Tuscan fare with only the best and freshest ingredients.


Shelling Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

March 13, 2007
By: Courtney W. May

"I have a hobby. I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen some of it." - Steven Wright Coastal Living Magazine has come up with their list of the top 10 shelling beaches in North America - "Winter storms stir up a bounty of prize specimens. Here's where to hunt." See if you agree with their assesment: Shell Map1. Sanibel Island, Florida 2. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina 3. Bandon, Oregon 4. Galveston, Texas 5. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii 6. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby, Maryland 7. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia 8. Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas 9. Great Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York 10. Stinson Beach, California Read more about each location over at Coastal Living or leave us your own thoughts below.


Welcome Back Spring at the Hay-Adams (with Sake!)

March 12, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Hay-Adams is almost exactly a mile from the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin and on the walk over you'd get to pass 1) The White House, 2) Old Executive Office Building, 3) Washington Monument and 4) The National World War II Memorial. This year, the predicted peak bloom will be April 4th (although they start to bloom around March 30th). Hay-Adams Cherry BlossomsThe Hay-Adams "Cherry Blossom Package" includes a minimum of 2 nights, Cherry Blossom Fesitval information, a special amenity, and complimentary parking (normally $35.84 per night with the valet). Rates start at $369 for the package and will sell out quickly (check real-time availability here). Other packages available to welcome back spring to the area include "Spring Break" (low rates, breakfast and accommodations) and the "Sake Dinner Package" (five-course Asian influenced dinner, 5 different Japanese sake, breakfast, free parking, and of course the room). If you live in the area or are visiting and not staying at the Hay-Adams (shame on you) but want to partake in the "Sake Dinner" the night before the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival, the cost for two is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Call the Lafayette Room at 202-220-4853 to make reservations - 6:30 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Dinner.


Cherry Blossom Package at The Madison, A Loews Hotel, Washington DC

March 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms See the nation's capital at its best, when the famous cherry trees are abloom. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, the annual citywide event featuring daily cultural performances and special events, celebrates the 95th anniversary of the Japanese gift of the cherry blossom trees and the ongoing friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan. This year the festival will be held from March 31-April 15, 2007, with a parade on April 14, 2007. The Madison, A Loews Hotel, celebrates the spring season with a special Cherry Blossom Package, from just $229 per night, based on double occupancy (excluding taxes). The package includes overnight accommodations for two in a Deluxe guest room, complimentary parking, and a special turn-down amenity.