Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

Get Photographed by an Official Royal Photographer at London's Milestone Hotel

July 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Milestone Hotel and Apartments, LondonEver since Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, interest in the Royals has been at record highs. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now taking North America by storm in their first public engagement as a married couple. (They've become "the toast of Canada and California.") Looking to take a jaunt to London this year to revel in the glory of the British capital? The Milestone Hotel-- the award-winning boutique property overlooking Kensington Gardens-- has put together a buzzworthy special package that will thrill royal watchers. Imagine having your photograph taken by an official royal photographer whose commissions have included Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Princes William and Harry, the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and the late Queen Mother. Ian Pelham-Turner has also photographed all the big names in Hollywood, and now it's your turn! You'll spend 2-3 hours having a series of photographs taken, both in the hotel and in the grounds of nearby Kensington Palace:

Not only will you receive a full set of wonderful images but Ian will share with you his many stories – taking the first photographs of Prince William as a baby, how the Queen almost knighted him in Hyde Park, how the Queen Mother held the Royal train for Ian and how Princess Diana helped him at the Royal Ballet...

Priced from £430 per night and subject to availability, the "Royal Photographic Experience" package includes:

* Two nights accommodation in a luxurious room or suite

* A 2 hour photo-session in the hotel and grounds of Kensington Palace

* The opportunity to enjoy Ian’s many stories about the personalities he has worked with

* A full unlimited set of images of the photographs

* A scroll certificate authenticating that the images have been taken by a royal photographer

* Tutorial on how to use your own camera on holiday

Look out, London: Bulgari Hotel Set for Spring 2012

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bulgari Hotel MilanAfter the successful opening of the Bulgari Hotel Milan and Bulgari Resort in Bali, the brand is readying for the Spring 2012 debut of the Bulgari London- just in time for the Olympic Games. The British capital has seen a slew of fabulous hotel openings recently- from the dramatically renovated Savoy and the happening W Hotel Leicester Square to the Corinthia and the ultra-high-tech Eccleston Square Hotel. So the Bulgari London-- a posh pad with 85 rooms and suites equipped with ample Bulgari bath amenities-- will be in good company. HotelChatter reports that the hotel "will be located in the uber-posh Knightsbridge nabe" on the site of the old Knightsbridge Palace Hotel, and that the hotel's penthouse will have a nightly price tag that "only Russian billionaires can afford." What else is in store? Seven Bulgari suites, a destination restaurant and bar, a large ballroom, a private cinema and a 2,000 square meter Spa and fitness center with 25 meter indoor pool.

Pictured: The Bulgari Hotel in Milan.

Choose Your Own In-Room Aroma at the New Montcalm London City at The Brewery

June 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Montcalm London City at The BreweryThere's been lots of buzz about the luxury hotel that recently opened in a historic brewery in London. Dating back to 1750 when Samuel Whitbread first started making beer at his Whitbread & Co brewery, the Grade II listed building has morphed into The Montcalm London City at The Brewery. The hotel-- located in Barbican in London City-- unveiled its beautiful renovation with a soft opening of 100 guest rooms on May 23. (The official launch party will take place in September 2011, when all 235 guest rooms, along with the wellness center and gastro pub, are open.) The style is sleek and contemporary, with nods to the building's heritage. There's also a contemporary restaurant called the Chiswell Street Dining Room, "run by ETM, the team behind The Botanist and The Cadogan Arms." The collection of luxury suites sound downright swanky. They come with complimentary Internet and butler services, and sport marble bathrooms with Gessi rain showers and soaking tubs. Best part of all? You get to choose your own in-room fragrance. Think lavender, grapefruit, or fresh grass.

Table Talk: Exclusive Champagne Pol Roger Dinner at The Ritz London

May 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Ritz Hotel LondonWhat did the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drink in toasting their new marriage? Why Champagne Pol Roger, of course. A favorite of Sir Winston Churchill, Champagne Pol Roger was founded in 1849 and awarded a Royal Warrant in 2004. These fine Champagnes are the bubbly of choice to mark special occasions for the British Royal Family and the aristocracy. Buzz: The Ritz in London has teamed up with Champagne Pol Roger to offer guests an exclusive dining experience where a sumptuous five course menu prepared by Executive Chef John Williams will be paired with the best Champagnes, including the famous Tête de Cuvée: Sir Winston Churchill.

The Pol Roger Dinner (£225 per person) will be held on Wednesday, June 8th in the magnificent 18th century surroundings of William Kent House, commencing with a Champagne and canapé reception in the Marie Antoinette Suite and followed by dinner in The Music Room. Mr James Simpson, M.A. (Cantab), M.W, Sales Director and Marketing Director for Pol Roger, will be on hand to advise how best to appreciate the differing styles of the Champagnes which, combined with the culinary expertise of the Chef’s menu, promises a unique and memorable dining experience.

For reservations, contact Natalie Jones in The Ritz Events Department at +44 (0)20 7300 2233 or at Make a night of it by booking one of the hotel’s opulent Louis XVI inspired guestrooms or suites- guaranteed to be a memorable experience.

Anniversary Afternoon Tea for 11 cents at The Langham London

May 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Langham LondonHere's your chance to indulge in the Afternoon Tea that was named "Top London Afternoon Tea 2010" by the Tea Guild- for just seven pence (or U.S. 11 cents). (Trust us- the sandwiches and scones are to die for.) But is there a catch? The short answer: no. The Langham London is celebrating its 146th birthday by bringing back the original price of afternoon tea, ie. the cost when the hotel opened in 1865. This special tea will be offered on June 10, 2011. To obtain a reservation in London, guests must submit their table reservation request online at: Requests are being accepted until midnight on May 31, 2011. Guests names will then be chosen at random and the lucky recipients will receive their reservation notifications by e-mail on June 3, 2011.

Now Open: The Corinthia Hotel London

May 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Corinthia Hotel LondonThere's been lots of talk about the brand spanking new Corinthia Hotel London. (Just how many millions of pounds were invested?) But one thing's for certain: the grand hotel has opened its doors in London and it's causing quite a stir. The lobby says it all. Its Full Moon chandelier-- created by Parisian designer Chafik Gasmi and produced by Baccarat-- is composed of 1,001 crystals. Then there's the small matter of ESPA launching its flagship ESPA Life at the Corinthia. A four-floor paradise with a whopping 17 treatment rooms, nail studio, ice fountain, indoor pool, private sleep pods, gym, and Daniel Galvin hair salon... There's two incredible restaurants: The Northall, helmed by starred chef Garry Hollihead, and Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar, overseen by the renowned Italian chef patron Massimo Riccioli. We could wax on and on. But you've got to see it to believe it. Check out the photos and start planning your next London getaway.

Sightseeing in London with Hotel 41

May 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel 41, LondonAll the Royal Wedding hype may have you lusting for London. Hop over the pond to be part of the action; trendsetting restaurants and (arguably) the world's best shopping await. Not to mention Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and all those royal attractions. What hangover? London is still celebrating after the big nuptials and the capital will be center stage next year during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. Keen to see the sights? Book a stay with Hotel 41-- the chic, club-like hotel overlooking The Royal Mews-- and they'll set you up with a guided trip with the Big Bus Sightseeing Company to see all the famous landmarks from an open top bus:

"The hop-on, hop-off facility means you can visit 50 places of interest, have a good look around, then take the bus again when you are ready. The tour also offers you a choice of a recorded commentary or a live commentary delivered by entertaining guides. Your sightseeing tour of London even includes a free cruise on the river Thames and three guided walking tours for you to enjoy, plus Big Bus Reward Vouchers which offer a range of discounts at attractions, shops and restaurants."

Priced from £312.34 (excl. VAT) based on two adults sharing a Executive Double room, the "Discover London Package" at Hotel 41 includes: two nights in a beautifully appointed room or suite; full English breakfast on both mornings; three course evening dinner on one night for two in The Library Restaurant, next door at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel (excluding drinks); two Big Bus 24-hour tickets

Take the Family to London: Special Offer with The Milestone Hotel

April 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Milestone, LondonLondon offers a wealth of fun attractions when school lets out for the year. Take the kids on a family vacation across the pond and check out the pirates exhibition at the Museum of Docklands, picnic in Hyde Park, learn princesses' secrets at the Enchanted Palace at Kensington Palace, and see Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. Book a stay at The Milestone Hotel-- the intimate five-star hotel overlooking Kensington Palace-- and take advantage of the "We are Family" package, which gives both grown-ups and little ones the time of their lives without breaking the bank. There's an extensive list of complimentary extras (see below), and the kids eat for free. Starting from £370.00 per night (excl. VAT) based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Studio and £600 for a Family Room. Children must be 12 years or younger. Package and rates are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.

Here's the exhaustive list of freebies included with the package: *Welcome glass of champagne and fruit for mum and dad *Mocktails and ice cream or hot chocolate for the kids on arrival *Complimentary gift for the kids on arrival *Complimentary dining when eating with parents *Complimentary in-room entertainment including the latest blockbuster films *Complimentary use of children’s DVD library, assorted children’s board games, and aWii gaming console with the latest games *No Tears' children bathroom amenities *Children’s bathrobes and slippers *Milestone mini experience during which children go on a supervised behind-the-scenes tour of the hotel *At the end of the tour children are given a small task to perform and will then receive their very own Milestone Certificate

The Dorchester Plants Trees, Toasts with Cocktails, for 80th Birthday

April 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Dorchester cocktail in LondonThe Dorchester in London knows how to throw a good party. Just check out the photo of the classic Dorchester cocktail they've revived in order to toast their 80th birthday. Created by famous bartender Harry Craddock in the 1930's, the "Dorchester of London" was made with rum and an exclusive "Forbidden Fruit" liqueur which is no longer in use. Bob's Bitters has helped recreate the secret mixer, and the drink will be available on The Dorchester's cocktail menu for a year.

In an even grander gesture, The Dorchester is celebrating this big birthday by planting 80 "future grand trees," as the 80-year-old plane tree in front of The Dorchester's entrance was designated one of the Great Trees of London by TfC in 1997. To quote Conde Nast Traveller: "The famous hotel opened its doors to the public on Monday 20th April 1931. Promoted as a venue for 'aristocrats and industrialists, high finance, ambassadors and statesmen, pleasure-seekers and the Beautiful People,' The Dorchester continues to be revered for its high-end service and luxurious events." Stop by the hotel for a cocktail and all proceeds will go towards funding The Dorchester's 80th Anniversary 'Future Great Trees' project.

Image via Conde Nast Traveller

Hot in London: The Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

April 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel LondonHold on to your hats. Acclaimed chef Marcus Wareing is opening a second restaurant and it's going to be good. In fact, its going to be "a great British brasserie" to quote the official website. Come May 5, The Gilbert Scott will debut at the newly renovated St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London and we can hardly wait. As befits its setting inside one of London's great architectural landmarks, the eatery will showcase smart interiors by the David Collins Studio that reference grand railway stations. The restaurant is named, in fact, for the building's original architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Gilbert Scott will "celebrate the very best of the UK's regional culinary history, subtly modernizing traditional dishes to unusual effect." Now taking online reservations. To learn more about the dramatic £150 million transformation of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, check out our article here