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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.

Claude Monet Exhibit Opening at Bellagio las Vegas


By: Five Star Alliance

Known for exhibitions that showcase exceptional art in an unrivaled setting, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) presents “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” opening Feb. 18, 2012.

Organized in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), this landmark exhibition will feature works that illustrate the height of Claude Monet’s engagement with color and light. BGFA will showcase 20 pieces by Monet, the founder of French Impressionist painting, accompanied by eight additional canvases by the master’s predecessors and contemporaries. All of these works are drawn from the MFA, which holds one of the largest collections of paintings by Claude Monet outside of Paris.

“Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art’s mission has always been to present exhibitions that engage and excite lovers of all genres of art, from classical to modern to contemporary,” said BGFA Director Tarissa Tiberti. “Exhibiting Monet and the French Impressionists provides historical background to some of the more contemporary shows we have presented over the last three years.”

Spanning four decades of Monet’s career and featuring many of the artist’s most celebrated and recognized paintings, “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” will also highlight paintings by other masters of the genre including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Camille Pissarro and Eugene Louis Boudin. It was from Monet’s collaboration with these painters, along with his solitary explorations of the French countryside, that his own signature style eventually emerged.

After exploring Monet's incredible masterpieces, check into the Bellagio and take in the beauty of the Lake Bellagio, the pristine pools, and the stunning courtyards. 

This article information originally appeared on our sister website, Travel Agent Central.


Party Down, Vegas-style: Celebrity New Year's Appearances in Vegas


By: Christopher Roney

If you're interested in doing a little stargazing this New Year's Eve, Vegas.com has compiled a list of the top ten star-studded New Year’s Eve festivities, in order to help visitors plan their celebrations for the end of 2011.  Check out the highlights of the star-studded parties below, and make sure to check out the nearby five-star accommodations in Las Vegas to find a place to come back to once you're done partying in the New Year with some of the world's famous.

1. LAX Nightclub will feature hip-hop artist B.o.B.

2. Stevie Wonder will perform at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

3. The Bank will begin their celebrations with Grammy-winning artist, Bruno Mars.

4. The Second Annual Old School New Year’s Eve Party will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton. It begins at 9:30 p.m., in the ballroom, and will include music, dancing and a champagne toast.

5. LMFAO will perform at the ARIA nightlife venue, Haze Nightclub.

6. Visitors can attend the New Year’s Eve Bridge Bash at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

7. Fergie will host the grand opening of 10AK Las Vegas, Mirage’s newest nightclub. The celebration starts at 9 p.m. and will feature the music of DJ Jesse Marco.

8. Chris Brown will be the entertainment at PURE Nightclub, inside Caesars Palace. Guests will also be able to go to the outdoor area to see the fireworks display over the Strip at midnight.

9. Holly Madison, PEEPSHOW starlet, will be the host at the Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood Resort. Everything begins at 10 p.m.

10. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick will both be hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris on New Year’s Eve.

Thanks to Nicole Lowary from our sister publication, Travel Agent Central. Visit www.vegas.com/newyears/


Winter Wonderland in Las Vegas


By: Oksana Balytsky

This winter, the Venetian and the Palazzo will transform into the most beautiful winter wonderland Las Vegas has ever seen. Be sure to experience the special amenities and activities available from November 21st through January 8th. Glide, twist, and turn on the largest ice rink on the Strip, which is surrounded by magical lights, beautifully lit trees, and cheerful music. Enjoy seasonal treats including eggnog cupcakes, creamy hot chocolate, and delicious hot cider. And as the sun sets, enjoy the Nightly Holiday Spectacular light show which will surely dazzle you beyond expectation.

The Venetian allows you to experience the romance of Italy without leaving the heart of Las Vegas. This all-suite resort and casino provides guests access to 19 exceptional restaurants and 80 international boutiques. Rejuvenate at the Canyon Ranch Spa Club and enjoy its fitness center, full-service salon, and rock climbing wall.

The Palazzo is a 50-floor luxury tower next to the Venetian with approximately 2050 luxury suites. Each suite is designed with your comfort and convenience in mind. From marble-appointed baths to luxurious Egyptian linens, the Palazzo surely provides an incredible, luxurious experience.

Escape, explore, and embrace the excitement that awaits you in Las Vegas.


Hail Caesars! The New Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace Las Vegas


By: Five Star Alliance

Earlier this fall, Caesars Palace began accepting reservations for its newest Las Vegas property, the luxurious Octavius Tower set to open on January 2, 2012. The tower features 668 rooms, 60 suites and 6 luxury villas. The resort's sixth tower will offer a unique luxurious resort experience with a private entrance, separate hotel lobby and direct access to the Garden of the Gods pool oasis and gardens. 

Octavius Tower at Caesars Las Vegas

From the press release: Guest rooms start at 550 square-feet, and offer a modern, luxurious decor incorporating earthy shades of browns, grays, taupes and beiges, offset with pops of green and splashes of deep red. Designed by Michael Medeiros of KNA Design, the rooms feature marble floors and stylish patterned carpets that complement dark wood furnishings and brushed chrome fixtures. King-sized beds with sleek headboards, plush pillow top mattresses and luxurious Anichini linens provide ultimate comfort, while living areas create an inviting ambiance with plush velvet sofas, contemporary chairs and chic stone tables. Dark wood desks with granite overlays offer an ample workspace with custom cabinetry containing a premium mini bar. Accommodations include framed 42-inch flat panel, high-definition television screens, convenient media hubs with multiple outlets for easy connectivity, and bedside docking stations with iPod capabilities.

"The Octavius Tower is going to be a unique, luxurious experience," said D'Anna Malbrough, senior manager of partner marketing, Caesars Entertainment. "It has its own private entrance, a separate lobby, and will have the most direct access to the Garden of the Gods pool oasis. The rooms are all 550 square feet with all upgraded amenities. It is our sixth hotel tower, so we’re going to hit just under 4,000 rooms."

This marks the first step in Caesars' efforts to modernize its presence on the Las Vegas Strip. "Compared to the Augustus Tower, Octavius is a more boutique experience," said Malbrough. "You can be in a massive hotel but not feel like it."

High-tech amenities will also appeal to younger, more tech-savvy travelers.  

"With the iPad and iPod Touch, you'll be able to do things like order room service or even check out of your room," said Malbrough. "We're also opening the first Nobu hotel next year, which is a very exciting project that will complement and enhance the Octavius Tower."

Also In Time for the Holidays:

The Venetian Las Vegas and Cantor Gaming have opened the new race and sports book at The Venetian after the completion of a three-month multimillion dollar refurbishment project. It is equipped with the world's largest high-definition 4mm black video screens dedicated to multiple sports games and races.

A New Year's Eve gala will celebrate the grand opening of Hyde Bellagio, a new luxury lounge and nightclub at Bellagio. This spectacular 10,000-square-foot, indoor/outdoor venue is the first nightlife venture in Las Vegas by the award-winning SBE Entertainment Group.

This article was originally written for our sister publication: Travel Agent Central


Loews Hotels Prolonging the Thanksgiving Feast


By: Oksana Balytsky

If you, like us, wish that the incredible Thanksgiving feast could last longer than one day, then be sure to check out the following luxury hotels that have embraced the concept of leftovers. The Loews Hotels will offer a turkey sandwich menu addition all week long, and these properties can be found all over the U.S. and Canada. These hotels have found a way to embrace both the Thanksgiving tradition of turkey and a bit of creativity to offer creations such as turkey sushi rolls at the Loews Lake Las Vegas, a Cuban-style sandwich at the Loews Miami Beach, and a trio of sliders with gravy and mustard-cranberry mayonnaise at the Loews Regency in New York. Post-Thanksgiving travels not in the plan this year? Then check out Loews’ Facebook page for a full collection of their recipes and photos of each incredible dish!


Spend 11/11/11 in Las Vegas: Extravagant $11,111 Package at the Hard Rock Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

Get in on the 11/11/11 hype with a jaunt to Las Vegas. It's a once-in-a-lifetime date so why not splurge at the Hard Rock? The resort and casino has orchestrated an over-the-top experience for music lovers that they're aptly calling the "Extravagant Package." This special offer, only available for two nights (Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13), includes a two-night stay in the Paradise Platinum Penthouse, a multi-course menu (lobster and steak and truffles, oh my!) at the newly-opened 35 Steaks + Martinis steakhouse, VIP tickets to watch one of Carlos Santana’s three encore performances at The Joint, signature treatments at Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa, a VIP table with bottle service at the upscale Vanity Nightclub and one-of-a-kind photography prints from the Hard Rock Store. The price tag? $11,111.


Mandarin Oriental Hits the Suite Spot: Best Suites for Families and Groups


By: Oksana Balytsky

Whether you’re planning a family vacation, reunion with old friends, or an unforgettable bachelor/bachelorette party, the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas has the best and most luxurious suites to fit your specific needs. This luxury hotel is running a November special, so make your plans now, and get ready for an incredible weekend getaway to Sin City.

One of the most coveted suites the Mandarin Oriental has to offer is the Apex Suite, and it’s located on the highest floors and at the apex point of the building. If you’re looking for an unforgettable night on the town, consider the Apex Suite overlooking the Strip. If you’re more interested in exploring the unique culture Las Vegas has to offer, consider choosing the Apex Suite overlooking the architecture of CityCenter. The bedroom in the Apex Suites has two glass walls converging, giving two contrasting views of the room, while the private dining area is equipped with a bar and a separate entrance so you will not be disturbed by dinner preparations. Aside from an incredible view and incredible layout, the Apex Suite also comes equipped with plug and play iPod/video docking station, a DVD player and stereo bar with subwoofer system, a large screen TV, a valet closet for delivery without disruption, and so much more. With 1,625 – 2,125 square feet of space and $1,984 per night, for weekend nights in November, you’ll be ready for whatever Las Vegas throws your way!


Winter in Venice: $149 Rates at The Venetian and The Palazzo, Las Vegas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The VenetianThis holiday season, how about winter in Venice? Not Italy, but the Las Vegas Strip! The Venetian and The Palazzo are putting on a one-of-a-kind celebration that they say will be the "most majestic winter wonderland Las Vegas has ever seen." The five-diamond resorts will transform into a winter wonderland with an ice skating rink above The Venetian's outdoor Grand Canal-- complete with snowflakes, strung holiday lights, and a 65-foot LED holiday tree perched atop the Doge's Palace fountain. While you stroll around, you'll be entertained by a colorful cast of characters: magicians, carolers, puppets, jugglers, and candy cane stilt walkers. Enjoy seasonal treats like eggnog cupcakes, warm apple cider, spiced cocktails, and hot chocolate. And to cap off each day, you’ll be in for a treat: a "spectacular light show performance beyond your wildest imagination." Winter in Venice will take place from November 21, 2011- January 8, 2012. Special package rates are available for $149 per night in a luxury suite, two-night minimum required, with a bunch of add-ons included (hot chocolate for two, skate rentals, $40 off seasonal spa treatments).


Wild, Wild West: Blacktomato Offers Luxury Frontier Package


By: Christopher Roney

Tanque Verde Ranch

Think back to childhood. Picture yourself chasing after your friends, finger cocked into the shape of a pistol. “Bang, bang. I got you! You’re dead!” you’d yell, but your friends would never just fall down. They’d have a million reasons why not: “You missed me!” or “I’ve got armor!” or “I’m superman – bullets don’t hurt me!” or “Nuh uh!” You probably wrestled a bit until Mom told you to come inside and have your dinner already, it was getting cold.

Remember that? Now you get a chance to bring those childhood afternoons spent playing "Cowboys and Indians" to life. Blacktomato has created a 12-night luxury tour to showcase the modern Wild West adventure. Travel the edge of the Grand Canyon, wrangle cattle, and visit the most awe-inspiring of desert oases. It’s so authentic you might forget when you’re out in the wilds that you’re not spending your nights in a small, sweltering tent, but instead getting refreshed and rejuvenated at some of the world’s most prestigious hotels. They suggest, as we do, that you spend at least part of your stay at the Amangiri, a secluded resort so built to blend into the landscape that you’ll think it’s a mirage. Unlike most vacation packages, which offer you a set itinerary, Blacktomato recognizes that you want to take control of your own destiny, and their 12-night package is nothing more than a suggestion for things to see and do as you explore the western frontier:

  •  • Begin at Las Vegas and experience the strip in all its neon-bathed glory.
  •  • Leave the city to explore the rugged, scenic vistas of the Grand Canyon.
  •  • Continue on to the hidden desert oasis of Amangiri.
  •  • Experience the majestic red rock formations at the Enchantment Resort.
  •  • Live the life of a cowboy at the Tanque Verde Ranch.

Blacktomato will work with you to craft the perfect journey through America’s wildest of regions, and trust us; you can’t go wrong.


The Emperor's New Groove: Caesars Palace Opens New Tower


By: Christopher Roney

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV

As TravelAgentCentral reports, Caesars Palace is beginning to take reservations for its new 668-room tower, and its accommodations are certainly befitting an imperial residence.  The Octavius Tower, named after the given name of the Emperor Caesar Augustus, keeps with the Roman theme with elegant, austere marble floors made warm and inviting by extensive traditionally patterned carpets.

As with any good Roman palace, the rooms feature flat-screen tvs and plush velvet sofas.  In lieu of the more period-accurate public baths, however, private bathrooms feature whirlpool bathtubs and glass-enclosed showers.  

For a public space, the Tower expansion offers the appropriately understated Garden of the Gods, a pool and garden area perfect for lounging around as you munch on a bit of ambrosia.

So next time you’re looking to go to Vegas, go check out the new addition to Caesars Palace (laurel wreath not included).