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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.

Tee Off in County Wicklow: 3rd Night Free at Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton PowerscourtAssuming the notorious Iceland volcano cools off, Ireland is where we want to be this summer. The gentle green hills of County Wicklow are a huge lure, just a few miles away from Dublin on the east coast. You get the best of both worlds at The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, set in the formal gardens of the historic Powerscourt estate: close enough to the city for some urban adventures, yet surrounded by stunning countryside and two championship golf courses. Now a destination resort, the Palladian-style Ritz-Carlton has it all: a 30,000-square-foot luxury spa by ESPA, a resto by Gordon Ramsay, guest rooms with panoramic views, and those gorge golf courses. And here's the best part. When you book a two-night stay, you'll get a third night for free. The "Peace of Mind" package includes deluxe accommodations, daily breakfast for two in the restaurant, Internet access and local calls, a welcome glass of Guinness, and parking. In fact, you can score up to three complimentary nights with this package: stay 3 nights, pay for 2; stay 5 nights, pay for 3; stay 7 nights, pay for 4. Starting from €280 per couple per night, valid through December 31, 2010.


Savings in the Caribbean: 65% Off Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal Plantation Ocho RiosYou've heard about the lush northern coast of Jamaica: where the St. Ann Mountains sweep down to the sugary beaches on the Ocho Rios Riviera. Now is the time to experience this tropical paradise first-hand. Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, the refined plantation-style resort, is running an offer of "Up to 65% Off" for travel through 2011. (You must book by May 20, 2010, for stays of three nights+). What's more- you can combine this special offer with the "First Night Free" promotion, available for stays of five nights and more. With just 77 luxurious suites, the resort offers seclusion and intimacy with world-class facilities, to boot. A day spent on the sand attended by beach butlers* may be just what the doctor ordered, but there's also championship golf, a variety of fine dining options, and the exclusive Red Lane Spa. (Get this: you can even have a treatment while floating on top of the sea.) Act now and book your vacation to take advantage of unbeatable savings.

*Guests are also privy to the services of private room butlers, trained by the prestigious Guild of Professional English Butlers to cater to your every need.


4th Night Free Plus Discounts on Activities at South Seas Island Resort, Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

South Seas Island Resort, CaptivaLooking for the perfect spot for a family summer vacation? South Seas Island Resort-- located on Florida's Captiva Island-- snags all kinds of awards for being family-friendly. (Note: It was recognized on Parents Magazine list of "Top 10-rated Beach Resort for Families.") Spanning 2.5 miles of beautiful beaches, the resort village and wildlife sanctuary has facilities to appeal to young and old alike-- from the resort pool complex with H2Whoa! Waterslide to gulf-front golf. From May 1- September 30, 2010, South Seas Island Resort is inviting you to extend your summer escape with a free 4th night plus offers valued at $250* when you book a stay of at least three consecutive nights. You'll also get a Free Night Certificate for a future stay at a participating LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotels property.

*Here's a list of the other discounts you'll enjoy:

Save 20% on Food and Beverage at The Pointe, Harbourside Bar and Grille, Holy Smoke Barbeque and Better Burgers and Scoops & Slices.

Save 20% on Golf

Save 20% on Beauty Products at Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa and Boutique.

Save 20% on Tiva Kids Camp

Save 20% on Merchandise at South Seas Outfitters, Ship's Store, Captiva Provision Company, Captiva Blooms, Giggles, H2O Outfitters, Footloose and Regatta

Save 20% on Watersports at Holiday Watersports and Sailing Lessons from Offshore Sailing School.


Stay and Play in May: $100 Off Per Night at Grand Wailea Resort, Maui


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Wailea Resort, MauiJet to Maui in May and take advantage of a special offer at Grand Wailea Resort. You'll recharge your batteries in a Polynesian paradise, plus you may catch a glimpse of the humpback whales frolicking offshore, as mating season runs until May and the hotel's prime beachfront location is the ideal place to watch the whales' acrobatics. The "Play in May- Vacation Today" package gives you incredible savings of $100 off per night with no minimum length of stay. Valid on Ocean View and Deluxe Ocean View rooms only, until June 6, 2010, for new bookings only. (Advance purchase necessary.) Another nifty offer: Stay a week and you'll get the 7th night free. Talk about seventh heaven! Nestled on 40 acres of lush, tropical gardens fronting Wailea Beach, the luxury resort-- a member of the Waldorf-Astoria Collection-- offers an array of activities-- from pampering spa treatments to championship golf.


What’s Included at All-Inclusive Resorts: Salsa Dance Lessons and Wine Tasting at Paradisus Palma Real


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Paradisus Palma RealThere's a reason folks are falling head over heels for the all-inclusive resort experience at Paradisus Palma Real. When you check in to this Dominican Republic hot spot, you'll revel in luxury accommodations in a pristine beach setting-- with no added costs tacked to your bill. Included in your stay: recreational activities like kayaking, scuba diving, tennis, and wind-surfing; meals at your choice of five à la carte restaurants; a spectacular Kids Zone with games galore; nightly entertainement; and "life enriching activities" like wine tasting, salsa and merengue dance classes, massage lessons, painting, photography, and more. Feeling less adventurous? The pools are gorgeous; stake your claim to an exotic Bali daybed and soak up the sun.

Paradisus Palma RealOverlooking the palm-fringed sandy beaches, the accommodations are plush and spacious-- all oversized suites. Book The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, a boutique resort within the resort, and you can take advantage of added services and amenities in the Residential Concierge Suites and Family Concierge Suites. (The dedicated Family Concierge can coordinate all activities, handing out cell phones or walkie-talkie radios for all-day communication with the concierge.)


Hot Deal: Hop in the Hot Springs at Virginia’s Homestead Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia3,000 acres of fun awaits at The Homestead, the storied Virginia resort located in the town of Hot Springs. Surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains, this National Historic Landmark has welcomed presidents and princes to the countryside to check out the natural healing hot springs and abundant recreational activities. (Falconry, anyone?) Through July, guests can take advantage of a special discounted rate of $175 per night including a bountiful buffet breakfast and a third night free. For stays through May 5, you can score a free upgrade based upon availability. This offer is available Sunday-Thursday, and must be booked by April 24. (Meal plans can be added to save additional dough.) Get a dose of southern charm and treat the family to hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, fly fishing, and more. Of course, a soak at the pools in the spa are not to be missed.


Family Escape to Costa Rica: Special at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort, Costa RicaTake the kids on an adventure to Costa Rica. Discover unspoiled beaches surrounded by pristine nature where the whole fam can go for hikes, partake in ecological activities, and spy some exotic wildlife. Smack dab on the Pacific oceanfront in Guanacaste, the JW Marriott offers treasure hunts and kite-making for pint-sized guests, while their parents lounge by the pool (or secluded beach), sip tropical cocktails at sunset, or luxuriate in the spa. There's even an equestrian center and championship golf available. The 310 guest rooms feature furnished balconies with to-die-for views over the pool and the serene Pacific. The Family Escape package provides the fun after an activity-filled day; relax with a movie, pizza, and cookies with milk in your room. Priced from $269 per night and available through December 19, 2010, the package also includes accommodations in a deluxe garden view room and daily buffet breakfast.

Related Articles: Up Close: The New JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa, Costa Rica


Luxurious Ireland at Ashford Castle, Once the Home of the Guinness Family


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ashford CastleEver dreamed of lording over your very own castle? Learning the art of falconry and flying a hawk? Well you can at Ashford Castle, the castle-turned-luxury hotel in the picturesque Irish countryside. Dating back to 1228 and once the home of the Guinness family, the castle is situated on 350 acres on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake. In fact, the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle just featured Ashford in an article called "How the Emerald Isle has added polish." And certainly this posh estate allows its guests to luxuriate. From massages to fishing to golfing on the 9-hole course, Ashford Castle has it all. Best of all: Take a spring vacation for Easter and score your third night free, including full Irish breakfast daily, for a total of 390 euros.


Get Hitched in La Jolla, California: Weddings at The Lodge at Torrey Pines


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Lodge at Torrey PinesLooking for a wedding venue in So Cal? Look no further than The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Here's why. The setting is picture-perfect: adjacent to the 18th green of the Torrey Pines Golf Course overlooking the Pacific. Right next door: the Torrey Pines State Reserve with 2,000 acres of unspoiled beaches, forest, and a lagoon frequented by migrating seabirds. Plus, you've got over 13,000 square feet of meeting and wedding facilities that can be configured in a variety of ways, depending on the type of event you're throwing-- large, small, open, quiet or festive. Best of all: the Arroyo Terrace, 10,000 square feet of space where you can exchange your vows while surrounded by spectacular natural scenery. Of course at a resort of this caliber, also famous for its signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, you'll enjoy top-notch catering facilities, to boot.


Spring Break in Barbados: Free Stuff at Sandy Lane Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sandy Lane Resort, BarbadosCabin fever? Think ahead to a spring fling in Barbados. The exclusive Sandy Lane Resort is enticing visitors for some fun in the sun with a special "Spring Break" offer that includes a free night, full breakfast, Bentley luxury airport transfers, and unlimited non-motorized water sports. What's to love about this swanky hideaway on Barbados' Gold Coast? Rooms that average 900 square feet, eight restaurants and bars, two Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole golf courses, a sprawling spa, and oodles of activities for kids at the Treehouse Club. Book a six-night spring vacation for the whole family and get a free night with the Spring Break package. Available between March 1 and 26, 2010, the package is priced from $1400 in an Orchid Room.