The 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.
One of our favorite Mediterranean resorts-- the new Verdura Golf & Spa Resort-- is a bastion of luxury on the sun-splashed island of Sicily. Recently added to the Five Star Alliance hotel collection, this Rocco Forte resort has it all-- from smashing interiors to its destination spa and Kyle Phillips-designed golf courses. For a first-hand review, check out this article in Luxury Travel Advisor. We've just learned about a special offer at Verdura that coincides with the best possible time of year to visit Sicily (September and October). The exclusive Verdura Late-Summer Package is available from September 3 to October 30, 2010 and includes the following:
• 3 nights' accommodation or more
• Welcome cocktail upon arrival
• Fresh fruit on the arrival day
• Daily breakfast
• A 3-course dinner every night in one of the restaurants
• A complimentary spa treatment or one round of golf, per person per stay
• Complimentary full board for children 11 and under when sharing room with their parents
• Complimentary access to Spa with use of Sauna, Hammam, indoor pool, tennis courts and bikes.
Eric Ripert, celebrity chef and judge on this season’s Top Chef – Washington, DC, currently airing on Bravo, said it best when speaking about contestant Kenny Gilbert of PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "I love garlic, and I use it a lot." Wait, hold on, that’s not the quote I’m looking for. Wasn’t there one about Kenny, and how brilliant he is…?
I’ll keep searching, but this might be a time where, and pardon the cliche, the food speaks for itself. Yes, Kenny Gilbert… IS… THAT… GOOD!
And he’s proven it, week after week, on the latest season of Top Chef.
Yet if those dazzling concoctions that you see every week don’t draw you into the culinary master world of Kenny Gilbert, than perhaps his long history as an outstanding chef will. At only 23 years of age, Gilbert became the youngest African-American chef to ever run a Ritz-Carlton hotel restaurant, and he just keeps getting better.
Now in his mid-30s (peak years for chefs), Kenny Gilbert is mesmerizing diners everyday as the Executive Chef at the PGA National Resort & Spa. The food is so good that patrons are forgetting that the PGA National Resort & Spa. is most famous for award-winning golf on a luxurious setting. Heck, you’ll even be forgiven if you only shoot nine holes so you can have more time for dinner.
But don’t take my word for it… What does Eric Ripert have to say about Kenny's food? "For us, it’s the grand slam!" Thanks, chef. That’s more like it!
A corner of Caribbean paradise is yours for the taking with exclusive Five Star Alliance rates at Half Moon, the legendary resort nestled on two miles of white sandy beach on Jamaica's Montego Bay. Score a great luxury value starting from just $250 per night in a Garden View room. Snag these discounted rates by booking at Five Star Alliance, then vacation in style with a host of luxurious resort amenities at your fingertips: from the Fern Tree Spa to the 13-lit tennis courts.
Travel to Scotland and get a taste of both the town and the country with a lavish gourmet experience offered by two legendary hotels: The Balmoral, the landmark in Edinburgh that's part of the Rocco Forte Collection, and The Gleneagles Hotel, a five-star destination for golfing & spa-ing in scenic Perthshire. The two hotels have teamed up to offer "A Taste of Scotland," spoiling guests with a bounty of epicurean delights. Start your vacay in Edinburgh with two nights at The Balmoral and enjoy a complimentary upgrade to an Executive Room, complete with a bottle of Bollinger on ice and dinner at the Michelin-starred number one, recognized as one of Scotland's best restaurants for its trendsetting cuisine using only the freshest Scottish ingredients.
Once you've sampled city life, head to the countryside to relax at Gleneagles. Check out your sprawling Estate Room before indulging in a Whisky Tasting for two in the bar, followed by dinner at the two Michelin-starred Andrew Fairlie for superb French cuisine with a Scottish twist. (Don't miss the signature "Smoked Lobster" dish, "which involves smoking lobster shells over old whisky barrels for up to twelve hours.") The package is priced from £1200 for two people sharing with two nights at each hotel (consecutive nights). £1382 for two people sharing with two nights at each hotel valid from April 1- September 30, 2010, excluding August. August is priced from £1702 for two people sharing with two nights at each hotel.)
$109 nightly rates at the fabled Boca Raton Resort & Club may sound nice, but we've found another offer that's even more tempting. Part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection, the village-style resort is nestled on 365 acres bordered by a half-mile private beach along Florida's Gold Coast in Palm Beach County. Until September 30, 2010, you can experience the "Best of Boca" package-- with a host of inclusions, like breakfast and unlimited golf greens fees-- for just $199 per night. This package deal means savings of up to 50%. Here's the skinny: along with your luxurious accommodations, you'll get valet parking, daily breakfast for two, late check-out, a two-hour "Fun in the Sun Catamaran Sail" on the Intracoastal Waterway, IBeach Umbrella rental for a day, plus 25% discounts on spa treatments, tennis, and Camp Boca. Resort fee included. Subject to availability.
Turnberry Isle is the place to be this summer. Not only will you find something for everyone at this 300-acre Mediterranean-style resort, but you'll also find some great deals. Like free golf for all guests (no joke), a string of spa specials at the award-winning Willow Stream Spa (a 90-minute treatment for just $99!), plus kids eat for free. Did we mention you can find rates from just $116.50 per night (through September 30, 2010)? Located midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort is also home to a private beachfront Ocean Club right on the Atlantic, a tennis facility with four clay HydroCourts, three pools including a new lagoon-style pool featuring a waterslide and lazy river, plus Bourbon Steak restaurant, the only South Florida experience from famous restaurateur Michael Mina. (Don't miss the new Chef's Market Menu, a three-course special menu for just $49 created specially for summer.)
The Grand Del Mar is San Diego's newest AAA Five Diamond resort, where summer brings warmth and splendor. Home to the city's only Tom Fazio-designed golf course, an acclaimed day spa and Addison, Southern California's only Five-Star/Five Diamond restaurant, this premier resort simply has no peer.
This summer, you can discover the resort's enviable array of award-winning amenities, all at the best rates of the season. There's a variety of enticing specials to choose from, including The Grand Life package, which features a $100 resort credit good for spa treatments, shopping, dining and golf. Rates start at just $366 per night.
Summers at The Grand Del Mar offer something for every enthusiast: endless days by the pool, brisk hikes through pristine canyon trails, and visits to San Diego's sunny beaches, a mere five miles away — complete with beach service that includes roundtrip transportation, chair set-up, umbrellas, beach towels and bottled waters.
Fourth of July, in particular, offers an unprecedented collection of weekend activities: wine tastings, golfing, hiking, kayaking, surfing, family pool parties & scavenger hunts... the list is virtually endless. Or, revel in the non-stop excitement of the famous Del Mar Horse Races (July 21st – September 8th) with complimentary transportation to and from the track, followed by classic cocktails upon your return.
So pack your sense of adventure (or just a good book) and visit The Grand Del Mar, where summer memories last a lifetime.
Within easy reach of the glitz and glamor of the Vegas Strip but a world away on the shores of a 320-acre lake, Loews Lake Las Vegas offers a resort experience for wholly affordable prices. (Rates average $160 per night.) You can loll on the resort's white sand beach, grab a kayak (or hop in a gondola) for lake exploration, swim in one of the two signature pools, taste master sushi chef Osamu Fujita's culinary creations, or escape to the Moroccan-style Spa Moulay for some soothing body treatments. Loews Lake Las Vegas also caters to golfers with a special package at The Golf Club at SouthShore. Named by Golf Digest one of the "Top 10 New Private Golf Courses in America" when it debuted in 1996, SouthShore's 6,917-yard championship course was designed by Jack Nicklaus on the shores of Lake Las Vegas. For a limited time, two players can play for the price of one on SouthShore's Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. All rental equipment and luxurious accommodations are included with rates starting as low as $299/night. Rate is subject to availability and YouFirst Benefits apply. 2 for 1 rates available until September 6th, 2010.
Saved from bankruptcy, The Greenbrier will soon return to glory, hopes new owner Jim Justice, a West Virginia coal baron. Extensive renovations are underway in an attempt to regain a fifth star for the storied resort, which lost its acclaim in recent years. Justice decided to hire interior designer Carlton Varney, who owns Dorothy Draper Inc., in a nod to the designer who originally styled the resort, leaving her trademark of signature floral patterns and bold colors. The biggest change of all for The Greenbrier? The addition of a 90,000-square-foot casino. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports onThe Greenbrier's new era:
With the sounds of cranes and jackhammers behind him, Justice surveyed the work and discussed the massive renovation project. "It's going to be an entertainment area. It's not going to be a casino like you think of in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. It's even going to be better than Monte Carlo. I just sent a whole team of people there, and they came back and said we think we are going to be the best place in the world." There will be a strict dress code and no-smoking policy. The area will include eight mezzanine-level shops, the Twelve Oaks lounge and the Infusion Sushi Bar.
The Grand Opening of the Casino Club will take place on July 2, 2010. From the official website: "The Greenbrier is making history again! Be there when The Greenbrier unveils the grandest casino experience in the world. This celebration of epic fashions includes an entire evening of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a live performance by Lionel Richie."
Arizona's Grand Dame-- built as one of Phoenix's first resorts in 1929 with Frank Lloyd Wright as the consulting architect-- has hosted its share of U.S. presidents and celebs. Part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection, the Arizona Biltmore continues to dazzle guests with its eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, full-service spa, and two 18-hole PGA golf courses (adjacent to the resort at the Arizona Biltmore Country Club). This summer, the landmark resort is staging a summer-long "Hollywood & Wine" festival featuring celebrity bands and winemakers, Hollywood behind-the-scenes shows, blockbuster dive-in movies, theater productions and culinary events. While June has been all about "Hollywood Live On-Stage," with live theater performances by the Southwest Shakespeare Company and music from celebrated bassist Miles Mosley, July focuses on "Hollywood Blockbusters." There will be screenings of classic American movies and a synchronized swim show featuring the Aqualillies. On July 4th, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra Pops and fireworks will salute America. Talk about serious summer fun. The best part of all? Blockbuster rates at the Arizona Biltmore starting from just $119.[Map]