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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.

The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations in 2012: #9 Sydney


By: Christopher Roney

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

                                         Park Hyatt Sydney

 As of today, Five Star Alliance features 25 luxury hotels in Sydney, Australia. Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, is the biggest and most populous city in Australia. Sydney is one of Asia-Pacific's most popular tourist destinations thanks to its sunny weather, fine beaches and landmarks like the Sydney Opera House (pictured above). 

What makes our guests love Sydney?

-Of the approximately 10,000 beaches in Australia, 70 of them are in Sydney. Bondi Beach, arguably Sydney's most famous sand spot, is  more than 100 meters wide and stretches for well over a kilometer.

-Beach, mountain, or city? No matter what type of vacation experience you like, Sydney has it.  Relax and take in the stunning views at Echoes Resort Blue Mountain (pictured), stay harbourside at The Darling Hotel Sydney, or be in the heart of the CBD (Central Business District) at The Westin Sydney

-November to February is the most popular time to visit Sydney.

Where to stay?

-As of this writing,  New Year's Eve was still available at select Sydney luxury hotels. Nightly rates range from $385 at  Blue Sydney to $622 at Westin Sydney $1646.20 at Wolgan Valley Resort.

-Planning ahead for Valentine's Day? The gorgeous Park Hyatt Sydney (pictured at top) is available for nightly rates starting at $1,102. The Langham Sydney also has city view rooms available for nightly rates starting at $369.

Did you know?

-The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 and is still the largest steel arch bridge in the world measuring 1,149 metres in length and 134 metres from sea level to the top of the arch.

 

Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Sydney>>

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The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: #9 Clift


By: Shannon Sullivan

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 
San Francisco's Clift is the #9 hotel on our list!  Steps from Union Square shopping and the legendary Nob Hill, Clift is perfectly located for sightseeing, shopping and socializing. Here's a few fun facts about Clift:

-363 guest rooms are generously proportioned and elegantly decorated with luxurious fabrics- silks, leathers and velvets, all in tranquil shades- ivories, greys and lavenders.

-Digital art exhibitions located in its celebrated and legendary Redwood Room.

-Designed by Philippe Starck, the soaring lobby contains one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California, with chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali, a surreal stool by Renee Marguerite, and a sculpture custom made by William Sawaya.

-The Private Apartment is Clift Hotel in San Francisco's most sumptuously appointed guest accommodation, boasting the original wood paneled walls and fireplace, as well as beautiful custom Starck-designed furnishings.
- An inspired fusion of old-world hotel elegance with distinctly contemporary energy and glamour.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Clift>>

 

 

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The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: Honorable Mention Amanjena


By: Jordan Schultz

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! But there were a few more hotels we absolutely had to mention. Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Here are a few fun facts about Amanjena:

-Amanjena's 18 rose-toned Pavilions, six Pavilions Bassin, eight Pavilions Piscine, six two-story Maisons and the two-bedroom Al-Hamra Maison all radiate from the ancient bassin (irrigation pool) which lies at the heart of the property.

-Amanjena (peaceful paradise) is the first Aman resort on the African continent and is located just outside the ancient city of Marrakech.

-The Restaurant is open for dinner and specialises in authentic Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Amanjena>>

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The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: #10 Parrot Cay Turks and Caicos


By: Jordan Schultz

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!


#10 on our list is Parrot Cay Turks and Caicos.  Here are a few fun facts about the hotel:

-Set on its own private island and features 1,000 unspoilt acres and mile-long beach.

-Villas and houses have their own private pools, and many have direct beach access as well as the 24-hour services of COMO’s acclaimed butlers.

-COMO Shambhala menus are available. The menus use organic ingredients rich in living enzymes, vitamins and sea minerals . Salads, steamed and grilled foods alll play a prominent role. Unprocessed honey replaces other sweeteners, and when fat is needed, olive oil stands in for butter.

-Wellness facilities include a sweeping yoga room aired by natural breezes, nine treatment rooms, an outdoor Jacuzzi garden, a Pilates studio, double massage rooms and Japanese baths—all in low-lying pavilions overlooking the North Caicos Channel and the surrounding wetlands.

-Parrot Cay offers unforgettable activities, including waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, deep-sea fishing and sunset cruising.

 

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Parrot Cay Turks and Caicos>>

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The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations in 2012: #10 Bangkok


By: K. Clare Johnson

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels! 

As of today, Five Star Alliance features 36 luxury hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. The populous capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is a bustling city with vibrant street life, historic temples and palaces, and an emerging fashion scene. Tourists will have a hard time choosing from among the vast amount of things to do. Sample regional cuisine or take a canal trips through Bangkok, "The Venice of the East." Or pay a visit to Siam Ocean World and swim with the sharks. The latest looks are available in the fashion center of Siam Square and bespoke tailoring is widely available in the city. Sports fans can take in a Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing) match or play some indoor soccer.

What makes our guests love Bangkok?

-Travel + Leisure has named Bangkok the World's Best City so many times (including this year), it's now in the magazine's Hall of Fame.

The great diversity of places to stay. From riverfront opulence of the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel to the post-Colonial 12-suite retreat of The Eugenia to the 338 rooms nestled in an 8-acre tropical park at Swissotel Nai Lert Park. There's also the dramatic city views found at the all-suites Tower Club at lebua and uniquely designed Peninsula Bangkok (pictured), located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. 

-Bangkok is one of the world's top tourist destination cities and is ranked third after London and Paris in MasterCard's Global Destination Cities Index.

Where to stay?

-As of this writing, several luxury properties have availability for New Year's Eve.  Nightly rates range from $208.71 at The Dusit Thani to $716 at The St. Regis Bangkok. One of our partner properties, Tower Club at lebua, has a special Bed and Breakfast rate for $774 per night.

-Think ahead and plan for Valentine's Day. As of this writing, nightly rates start at $176 at the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok (pictured below) to $235.40 at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and $462.60 at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.

Did you know?

-Wat Kalayanamit temple is home to Thailand's largest indoor sitting Buddha,which is a soaring 49 feet high!

Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Bangkok>> 

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #11 Inn of the Anasazi


By: Five Star Alliance

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 
#11 on our list of top hotels is Inn of the Anasazi.  Here are a few fun facts about this property:
 

-The Forbes four-star, 58-room boutique hotel is an elegant expression of Southwestern style with massive hand-carved doors, sculptured stairways and sandstone walls that whisper of prehistoric Pueblo living.

-The Library houses a generous collection of books on Southwestern art, history & culture.

-Private dining is offered in the award-winning Anasazi Wine Cellar. Located on the lower level of the hotel, the intimate venue is an unforgettable setting for hosting up to 12 guests.

-Golf, skiing, mountain biking, fishing, white-water rafting, hiking and day trips to nearby Taos or Bandelier National park are just a few of the many activities to choose from in or nearby Santa Fe.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Inn of the Anasazi>>

 

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The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: Honorable Mention Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul


By: Shannon Sullivan

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! But there were a few more hotels we absolutely had to mention. Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Here are a few fun facts about Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul:

-Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, once the residence of the last Ottoman Sultans, has been restored to its former glory and is the only luxury hotel on the European shores of the Bosphorus.


-The architectural grandeur of the palace  is blended with the modern comfort of a deluxe hotel

-Resort ambience in the center of the city with 315 rooms.

-Within walking distance of the Hotel is the harbor side district of Ortakoy, a fascinating area full of seafood restaurants, specialty antique, ceramic and jewelry shops. 

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul>>
 

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #12 Le Palais de la Mediterranee


By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #12 spot is the Le Palais de la Mediterranee which is situated in the most prestigious location in Nice - the Promenade des Anglais, Le Palais de la Mediterranee is perfectly placed for visitors wishing to explore the many charms of the city known as the gateway to the French Riviera. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- Overlooking the Baie des Anges and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, the hotel is only a short distance from the famed Cote d'Azur and the cool majesty of the French Alps

- The third floor is the heart of the hotel with a beautifully conceived indoor/outdoor pool, gastronomic restaurant, fitness rooms, cosy lounge and a sun terrace with stunning views

- Mediterranean cuisine is at its finest in Philippe Thomas's signature restaurant Le Padouk

- A spectacular heated pool surrounded by parasols and loungers overlooking the Baie des Anges

- A multifunctional casino and concert hall hosting various concerts

- All of the rooms that have balconies and are facing the sea

- Room 901 has a particularly wonderful view and a full size terrace

- Executive rooms come with a choice of sea view or city view, from a private terrace

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Le Palais de la Mediterranee here >>

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The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations ins 2012: #13 Napa


By: K. Clare Johnson

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

                                                    

As of today, Five Star Alliance features 15 luxury hotels in Napa, California. Napa, or Napa Valley  is the term used for an area of Northern California known for its regional wine industry. Cities in the Napa Valley include Yountville, Calistoga, St. Helena, and Napa.

Why do our guests love Napa?

- Napa Valley is home to more than four hundred wineries, including well-known producer Mondavi. Grape varieties grown include Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  

-The famous hot springs found in Calistoga are known for their relaxing and restorative properties. There's also the Old Faithful geyser, which erupts every 40 minutes. Solage Calistoga (pictured below) has a 20,000 square foot spa and is offering nightly rates as of this writing that start at $350.

-Visitors enjoy the creative ways to taste the grapes, like the Napa Valley Wine Train. Ride and quaff in restored 1917 Pullman train cars.

-The accommodations in Napa range from LEED Platinum-Certified Bardessono to the sophisticated urban boutique style of Andaz Napa to the foodie paradise that is Auberge Du Soleil.

Where to Stay?

-The peak time for wine tasting in Napa Vallye is May through October.  As of this writing, a mid-May stay at Carneros Inn (pictured at top) starts at $466 per night.  Yountville's Vintage Inn has nightly rates starting at $370. Plan a bit further ahead for a mid-August stay and nightly rates start at $299 at the Westin Verasa Napa, or splurge at Calistoga Ranch, where a deluxe lodge with private fireplace and outdoor shower is $850 a night.

Did you know?

-About 5 million people visit Napa Valley each year. 

Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Napa >>

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #13 The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel


By: Jordan Schultz

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 New York's The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, is #13 on our list! Here are a few facts about the luxury hotel:
 
 

-Located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan's Upper East Side overlooking Central Park, which makes it central to New York activities such as strolling Museum Mile.

-This timeless classic has been around since 1930. Its 187 elegant rooms are fit for royalty,and 64 out of the 187 rooms are their brilliant sui

-The Carlyle owes its refined interior style to an inimitable roster of designers, including past greats Dorothy Draper and Mark Hampton to present-day stars Thierry Despont and Alexandra Champalimaud.

-The Carlyle is the exclusive U.S. source for Rubinacci neckties. Both the classic seven-fold tie and the signature Carlyle tie are available for purchase at the concierge desk.

-In-house boutiques at this Manhattan luxury hotel include the Kenneth Rendell Gallery, H.M. Luther antiques, Helly Nahmad art gallery, Blain|Di Donna art gallery, florist L'Olivier and Yves Delorme linens, as well as designer boutiques Vera Wang, Stubbs & Wootton and Perrin Paris 1893.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel>>

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