May 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
When the national title association was handing out the allotment of letters to the Villa Spalletti Trivelli, there must've been a 2-for-1 deal on ls. Either that or it is secretly run by a pack of llamas. In any case, the Villa Spalletti could certainly be described as lilliputian. The tiny hotel rests in the heart of Rome and has but 12 rooms and suites to its name. Many hotels champion their large inventories as a great strength, singing the praises of the customizability that the options deliver. I find that such an experience doesn't necessarily guarantee my perfect satisfaction though. By the same token, size can lead to a kind of standardization, where while you can pick between a number of five-star restaurants all the on the property, you still succumb to a feeling of sameness. You lose a sense of the specific charm of the city you've come to see.
In this regard, the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's small stature is precisely its strength. The hotel simply feels like Rome. You're nestled downtown, just moments from the Fontana di Trevi, Quirinale, and the Spanish Steps, and the rooms and public spaces are filled with genuine antiques. Private gardens allow for you to experience a genuine moment of quietude away from the bustle of the city; and, with only a few other guests, that silence won't be interrupted. The on-site Health Center is a source of rejuvenating and relaxing wellness therapies. Elegant dining is available at the Papier Peint Dining Room, and it is just that, an intimate experience closer to a private meal than a night out, only with the freshest traditional Italian ingredients that you could only get at the finest restaurants. The next time you're headed to Rome, think about foregoing some of the bigger brand names for the authentic experience at the Villa Spalletti Trivelli.
May 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
We at Five Star Alliance know that you, our loyal travelers, are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you, so be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!
The St. Regis Grand Rome is perfectly located in the heart of Rome within walking distance of many historic sites including the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and Via Veneto. The Colosseum and the Piazza Navona are also located nearby, and each of the 138 guest rooms and 23 suites feature a unique identity and are beautifully decorated in Empire, Regency, and Louis XV styles.
Taste of Luxury Package
This package is available for a Superior room with 1 king bed, Deluxe room with 1 king bed, or an Imperial room with 1 king bed. It includes breakfast for 2, and the 4th night is free for travel between November 2011 and March 2013. The free night is applied upon check in. (This special package must be selected to receive the 4th night free.)
Luxury Romance Package
This package is available for a Superior room, Deluxe room, or Imperial room option with 1 king bed, and it includes daily room service breakfast for 2, beautiful flowers, and champagne upon arrival. Dive into a romantic escape with this package that’s perfect for an anniversary, birthday, or just a weekend away.
Vivendo Dinner Package
This package is perfect for the food connoisseur and it is available for either a Superior or Deluxe room. Included in this package is a buffet breakfast and a phenomenal 3 course dinner from the Grand menu at Vivendo Restaurant.
These packages and specials are based on double occupancy, subject to availability, and exclusive of tax.
Be sure to make your travel plans today to take advantage of the incredible packages and deals that await you in Rome!
March 29, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
Certain hotels have a beautiful romance to them, an elegant charm that sweeps you off your feet and leaves you feeling like you’re floating on a cloud. Whether you’re planning an anniversary, a birthday, or simply hoping to have a romantic weekend with your significant other, we certainly have the perfect hotel in your city of choice. Check in with us often as we will be featuring our favorite hotels for a romantic getaway all over the world!
Our first feature is the Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie. This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Rome on the fashionable Via del Babuino, next to the Piazza del Popolo and near the Spanish Steps. This 122 bedroom property is a favorite amongst the Hollywood A list and it has gained fame for its beautiful terrace gardens. These so called “Secret Gardens” are hidden behind the building and offer guests the perfect place to enjoy each other’s company in tranquility, away from the bustle of Rome. Enjoy al fresco dining at ‘Le Jardin de Russie’ restaurant and take advantage of the hotel’s health club and spa with a hydro pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish steam bath, and much more. Make your reservations at this romantic gem in Rome and get ready for a phenomenal time with your loved one!
March 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky
The Relais Santa Croce is a luxurious 5-star hotel that has a special package that allows you to experience the incredible food of Florence. It is situated in the historic center of Florence, and it is the ideal location for those seeking the intimacy of a private setting. Your passion for art, beauty, and delectable cuisine will certainly be met due to this hotel’s proximity to historic paintings, beautiful sculptures, architectural masterpieces, and this incredible package!
8 Star Gourmet Emotional Experience
This special package includes a welcome cocktail, a welcome gift upon arrival, one dinner at the exclusive Relais Santa Croce Florence “Guelfi & Ghibellini” restaurant, including the wine selection of their sommelier, one dinner at the “Enoteca Pinchiorri” restaurant including their Sommelier wine selection, late check-out, and a one way transfer from or to Florence railway station or airport.
March 9, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Bucket lists. We've probably all got one, and I can't get over my slightly morbid fascination of the idea of making the list of the things you'd like to live framed around dying. Maybe it's that the finitude of life creates a sweet sense of urgency that makes experience all the more poignant. But I'm not here to philosophize; I leave that to the well-bearded among us. I'm here to tell you about the second edition of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die with the much more uplifting subtitle: A Traveler's Life List.
A coffeetable book if there ever was one, 1,000 Places lays out some of the most unique and gorgeous places the world has to offer. And one of the things about the luxury hotel industry is that we've done a pretty good job of making sure that most of these places have the accommodations for you to experience them. Heading to the Amalfi Coast? Why not stay at the Palazzo Sasso, which has a breathtaking view of the ocean stretching out from its feet, 350 meters below. Or perhaps you're interested in Paris. The Plaza Athenee or Hotel de Crillon have you covered. It's really quite incredible when you step back to think how easy it is to experience the unique gems this blue-green sphere has to offer. So pick up your copy of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and pick out your next vacation destination. We have certainly have some suggestions for you.
February 29, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.
Starting off this series is a relatively new kid on the block, at least as far as Five Star Alliance is concerned. The JK Place Firenze has just joined our collection, and we're more than excited to bring them on board, we're...more excited? Weighing in at just a 20-room property, it's almost more a home than a hotel, and that, in my opinion, is what the boutique hotel is all about. Some go the flashier, avante garde route, but the JK Place Firenze has firmly defined itself as the kind of property that immediately sets you at ease as you walk through its front doors. The neo-classical decor is reminiscent of the collection one might build up in a home with a lot of history. Intentionally ecclectic and always tasteful, the antique collectibles and 50s and 60s furniture lend an air of panache to the intimate setting.
The hotel plays home to the J K Lounge, which offers some wonderful dining, and you'll be well within reach of the all the finest establishments in Florence. It's the perfect outpost to explore the city from, a home away from home. So be sure to check out the JK Place Firenze for the kind of personal attention that only a boutique hotel can offer.
January 20, 2012
By: Christopher Roney
Valentine's Day is coming up, and, as such, it's time to think about where you'd like to spend the day with that special someone. Whether you're enjoying a cozy night in or an adventure on the town, a night in a luxury hotel can be the perfect gift to the both of you, a chance to escape to another world where no expense will be spared in giving you the night of a lifetime. What follows is just one in a series of our favorite romantic hotels, and, we think, a great place to take him or her this February the 14th.
No list of romantic hotels would be complete without an entry from perhaps the most romantic city in the world (although Paris would certainly like to dispute that fact). The Bauer Il Palazzo is everything you'd imagine from Venice's most intimate boutique hotel. Overlooking the Grand Canal and just steps from St. Mark's, the Palazzo is the perfect staging point to explore the winding streets and canals.
Its 76 rooms and suites make liberal use of the finest in Venetian workmanship, including iconic Murano glass chandeliers. A word of advice: If you're looking to pick up a piece of this truly unique artwork, it's worth a trip on the ferry to the island of Murano itself, where the glass is made behind the very shop from which you're purchasing it. When you're ready for a waterfront meal, make sure to return to the Palazzo's very own Settimo Cielo, where you can enjoy views as stunning as the fresh Italian cuisine. The Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure Award-winning Bauer Il Palazzo represents the pinnacle of the opulent Venetian lifestyle, and there is, in my opinion, no better way to see one of the most romantic and cultured cities in the world.
December 31, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.
Our countdown has come to an end, and it is time to announce the number one hotel as chosen by our discerning travelers and determined by sophisticated algorithms and more than a little bit of voodoo magic. Five Star Alliance's #1 hotel for 2011 is
- On the shore of Lake Como, one of the most secluded and breathtaking lakes in Italy, the Villa d'Este was originally the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio and is just a short trip north of Milan, one of Italy's most romantic cities.
- Its 152 rooms, divided between two palatial residences, each offer a unique feel, a result of the meticulously maintained renaissance decor of the original residences built in 1568. Live in true luxury, in rooms once occupied by the royal guests of the Cardinal and preserved in their original glory.
- The Villa is perfectly self-sufficient: included in its amenities are eight tennis courts, several dining options, including sushi and classical Italian, a Turkish bath and sauna, winery tours by chaffeur, and one of the most challenging par 69s in Europe only seven miles away.
- If you want a change of scenery from your grand room, simply head outdoors to enjoy the 25-acre park, which is perfectly designed and continuously manicured in its original Renaissance style: the entire park molds nature into a work of art.
- Its hotel pool was featured in our Ten Best Hotel Pools in the World for its floating pool, literally on the lake, not to mention an additional kids pool to keep them away from your relaxation:
"The pool at Villa d’Este on Lake Como would make Archimedes blush. Floating above the very lake that the Villa rests against, the pool features a built-in Jacuzzi and fantastic view of the surrounding mountains. It’s like swimming in the lake just inches below your feet, but it’s always the perfect temperature."
- Four reception rooms hold up to 400 people alongside another 250 in nine different meeting rooms, all to the same standards of luxury as rest of the classical Renaissance hotel.
- As if that weren't enough, it's also a Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure Award Winner.
View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at Villa d'Este > >
Be sure to keep up with our countdown! See below for the full list of Top Hotels for 2011!
#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen
#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
#18 – The Peninsula Chicago
#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua
#16 - Auberge du Soleil
#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel
#14 - The One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah
#13 - The Hotel de Crillon
#12 - Peninsula Hong Kong
#11 - Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
#10 - Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona
#9 - Jumeirah Essex House
#8 - Atlantis the Palm Dubai
#7 - Hotel Le St. James
#6 - Half Moon, a Rock Resort
#5 - Charleston Place
#4 - King George Palace
#3 - La Tremoille
#2 - Don Cesar Beach Hotel
#1 - Villa d'Este
December 10, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
The Hotel Cipriani officially has the most atmospheric massage spa I've ever seen. And that's because the spa is Venice! That's right, the Hotel Cipriani offers its patented Gondola Massage, a massage spa treatment on a boat drifting through the world's most iconic canals. It's relaxing, revitalizing, and certainly rare. The next time I head back to Venice, I'll be sure to make my boat ride the one that works out all the tension from my flight with deft hands and a centuries-old backdrop. The 15th century hotel itself overlooks the Piazza San Marco and the two ancient palazzos that make up the hotel offer only the finest in cuisine, not to mention a private butler. That's service I could make a trip to the Hotel Cipriani for.
November 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
For his first eponymous hotel, Giorgio Armani didn't exactly go about it quietly. He chose the tallest building in the world-- the towering Burj Khalifa-- as the setting for the sleek Armani Hotel Dubai, which embodies the fashion mogul's sophisticated style even in the tiniest of details. Now Armani has done it again-- this time with a brand new "palazzo" hotel in his home town of Milan. Situated on via Manzoni in the city's designer shopping district, the Armani Hotel Milan recently held a star-studded opening gala where celebs like Jessica Alba donned their finest Armani apparel.
Conde Nast Traveller says: "Giorgio Armani has created a home from home, or casa della casa, for suitably stylish guests in Milan. Interiors are perfectly in keeping with Armani/Casa's sleek style and his clothing line; a continuation of his ocean-inspired Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection - think silver and sophisticated gold." Luxury Travel Advisor is smitten with the suites that come with private gyms and personal kitchens. "Each guest is assigned his or her personal "lifestyle manager," (think 24/7 butler). There is a rooftop spa with Japanese onsen-style Jacuzzi and gym overlooking the Duomo and La Scala (posh indeed!)."