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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.

Suite DC Weekend Upgrades


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Madison, A Loews Hotel Guestroom

The Madison, a Loews Hotel is offering a sweet suite deal for guests staying with them on Thrusdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. The hotel's special "Fall and Winter Weekend Special" offers a complimentary suite upgrade to guests during the weekends between November 15th and January 7th, 2007.

What's going on in DC during these weeks to help entice your visit? For one you can visit the "Pageant of Peace" on the Ellipse at the White House (the official lighting of the living National Christmas Tree is on December 7th), or you can visit one of the many magical winter shows at The Kennedy Center (including 'The Nutcracker' over Thanksgiving and a show for their New Year's Eve celebration), or visit the brand new US Air Force Memorial which was unveiled and dedicated in October 2006.

This offer is based on availability, so make sure you reserve your nights now. Check availability at The Loews Madison in Washington, DC.


Why Winter in Whistler: North America’s Top Ski Destination


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Whistler

Eager skiers are anxiously counting down the days until the November 23, 2006 opening day of ski season at Whistler Blackcomb. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the best-- judging by the number of accolades it's racked up recently. According to Conde Nast Traveler's annual readers' choice awards, Whistler hotels are the best in Canada: the Pan Pacific Mountainside, Four Seasons Whistler, and Westin are the top three. Luxury Spa Finder magazine ranked the The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler as the third best spa in the world. Australia's Luxury Travel Magazine (Summer 2006) named Whistler the best overseas ski resort, and Forbes Traveler (along with Skiing Magazine) voted Whistler Blackcomb as the number one resort in North America. With the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres), it's little wonder why Whistler has swept up the awards.


Exclusive Thanksgiving Offers from Kor Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Campton Place

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with up to 20 percent off select Kor Hotels in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Washington DC, San Francisco, and West Hollywood. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a luxurious getaway while award-winning chefs prepare your Thanksgiving dinner. At the Campton Place Restaurant (San Francisco), Executive Chef Peter Rudolph offers a four-course dinner with veg options available. (Adults $105, kids $35, 12pm-8pm.) The culinary creations include butter poached Maine lobster, Red Kuri squash soup, and roasted turkey breast and gravy with blue lake beans and potato puree. And Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica will host a decadent Thanksgiving extravaganza with delicious selections from Executive Chef Warren Schwartz that include pan seared New Zealand salmon and baby pumpkin filled with mascarpone polenta. (Adults $75, kids $37.50, 1pm-8:45 pm.) Taste buds tempted?


Spa Trends: “Spadominiums” from Miraval Living and Canyon Ranch


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Miraval

In today's article "Living in Zen: The Spa Life, 24/7" the NYT identified the latest trend in lifestyle community living: "spadominiums" brought to you by Miraval, the Tucson-based destination spa, and Canyon Ranch, its chief competitor. Spa lifestyle communities have been springing up rapidly across the country in recent years; most of them are second-home condos at destination resorts. But now Miraval and Canyon Ranch are creating condominium projects in major cities to help foster a balanced urban life dedicated to wellness and healthy living.

Beginning in early 2008 those who choose to relocate to 515 East 72nd Street will be able to experience Miraval’s spa, fitness, nutrition and general wellness programming from the comfort of their own high-rise condominium homes. The project will be known as Miraval Living; the company is billing it as New York City's first "inspired living residence" and the first of what John Vanderslice, the chief executive, said would be 10 to 15 similar developments in the next decade in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Washington.

Canyon Ranch has similar spa-living condos under development in Miami and Chicago.

Related Articles:

Dr. Andrew Weil Presents Healthy Aging at Miraval, Life in Balance, Resort


Five-Star Dining in Phoenix, Arizona: Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

Kai, the renowned restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa on the Gila River Reservation, was recently awarded the covered five-diamond award from AAA. Located within the rugged expanse of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, the resort is designed to be an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community's cultural heritage. Its restaurant, Kai (meaning "seed" in the Pima language) is tribe-owned, and offers a menu rich in Native American culture. In fact, Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd and Native American Chef de Cuisine Jack Strong have masterfully created an indigenous menu focusing on locally farmed ingredients. (James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder is consulting chef for Kai.) Sample menu items include Tenderloin of Buffalo from the Cheyenne River Tribe (with Smoked Corn Puree, Barbeque Scarlet Runner Beans, Saguaro Blossom Syrup, Cholla Buds and Seasonal Mushrooms) and Sugpiaq Black Cod with Los Palacios Chorizo and Red Lake Wild Rice (accompanied by Plantain Creme Brulee, Guava Nectar, Caramelized Young Pineapple Wild Rice and Yucatan Coconut Cream). Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, reservations are recommended.

Via AZCentral.com


Discovery at Marigot Bay, St. Lucia: The Caribbean’s Upscale Design Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Discovery at Marigot Bay

This weekend NYT Travel profiled the new, high design hotels that are making waves in the Caribbean. These uber-luxe hotels boast private plunge pools, Egyptian cotton sheets, the best five-star service, and luxurious guest rooms designed by high-profile designers. One such hotel is Discovery at Marigot Bay, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, located on the breathtaking island of St. Lucia. Prized as "the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean" (to quote James A. Michener), Marigot Bay is surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, tropical rainforests, and secluded beaches. The boutique resort offers 57 suites and 67 rooms overlooking the sea and the yachts anchored in the harbor. Rooms are the height of luxury (plunge pools, balconies, cable TV, wifi, espresso makers, huge bathrooms with walk-in drench showers, Italian kitchens…) In addition, there's the luxurious Lapli Spa, fitness center, numerous watersports, bars and restaurants. The Special Opening Offer includes daily breakfast, a USD500 credit to spend in the resort, and a 7th night complimentary. Valid until December 21, 2006.


Sherman’s Travel Magazine: Smart Luxury Splurges


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sherman's Travel Magazine

It's here. The new, beautiful glossy from Sherman's Travel is a feast for the senses, jam-packed with savvy travel tips, thrilling photography, and entertaining features. Published by the travel experts at the beloved website, the quarterly magazine focuses on the best luxury values of the season-- the "smart splurges" for today's sophisticated, value-conscious traveler. Here's a sampler of the good stuff in the premiere issue: the Top Ten Emerging Wine Regions in the World, New York's New Burger Bistros, Off-the-Path in Romania, and an in-depth feature on Maui. Noteworthy signature sections (and my favorites) include: the Luxe List (the season's best luxury-value deals include the Pavillon de la Reine in Paris and Aspen's Hotel Jerome) and the Sweet Spot (places to go for Fall value, like Curacao and New Zealand's South Island). Also noteworthy: handy tear-out sheets about the best hotels, restaurants, and nightlife at a given destination. Available online.


The World’s Hottest Hotel Bars: The Plaza Athenee, Paris


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Bar at Plaza Athenee

Le Bar at Plaza Athenee is the place to be in the City of Light. Fashionable and sexy, Le Bar has become the city's contemporary and trendy meeting spot. Designed by hot Parisian designer Patrick Jouin, a former protégé of Philippe Starck, Le Bar is distinguished by a long illuminated bar-- sculpted with curve-shaped glass with an ice-blue lighting, resembling a luminous, glowing iceberg— and leather club chairs and large paintings whose frames allow patrons to actually sit inside and become part of the art. The drinks are likewise innovative; the bartender crafts delicious concoctions like Rose Royal (raspberry and champagne), Flower Power (flower elixir distilled in an oxygen-enriched 'eau de source'), and ice-cream drinks. A word of caution: celebrity-sightings galore.


The Peninsula Chicago Cooking Classes


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Chicago

Embark on some exciting culinary adventures at The Peninsula Chicago, where Shanghai Terrace (specializing in Shanghainese and Cantonese delicacies) and the newly-renovated Avenues (contemporary cuisine served from an exhibition kitchen) woo diners with discriminating palates. With the Peninsula Chicago Cookery Classes, learn superb culinary skills from two of the top chefs in Chitown. The classes provide guests with the opportunity to prepare four signature dishes from either Shanghai Terrace or Avenues, recently named "Restaurant of the Year 2005" by the Chicago Sun-Times. Learn how to prepare mouth-watering dishes served in Avenues under the professional guidance of Graham Elliot Bowles, recently named one of the "Ten Best New Chefs" by Food and Wine magazine, and nominated as a Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2006. Or master the craft behind Shanghai Terrace's delicious dishes-- from classic dim sum to kung pao chicken-- with Executive Chef Terry Crandall.


Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years at The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead

Since 1766, The Homestead has provided a luxurious escape for Princes, heads of state and sports fanatics. Located in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, the National Historic Landmark is now ranked among the world's top Spa and Golf resorts. Folks have been flocking here since the 1700s to "take the waters" at the historic hot springs and naturally-heated pools. And they continue to flock to this timeless retreat to enjoy the world-class facilities and beautiful setting. It's the ideal spot to start or preserve a family tradition (The Homestead makes it easy with endless activities for the whole family to enjoy). Here's the skinny on all the fun holiday happenings:

Big Band Weekend: November 10-12, 2006. Dining, dancing and absolute luxury packages starting at just $314

Thanksgiving and Christmas Celebration: Special dining, holiday events and plenty of holiday spirit. Packages starting at $295.

New Year's Eve Celebration: A year that starts this way is sure to be a great one. Dance, dine and celebrate the arrival of 2007! Packages start at $375.