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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.

Did You Know? Fairmont St Andrews

August 16, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Fairmont St Andrews, which opened in 2001, is home to some of the world's greatest golf courses. 

Fairmont St Andrews

Fall rates at Fairmont St Andrews start at GBP 179>>

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Image of the Day: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

July 25, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Golf enthusiasts will think they have died and gone to heaven once they get on  the greens at The Farm At Cape Kidnappers. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers 

View rates, details, and more images of The Farm at Cape Kidnappers >>

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The Story of The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, recently acquired by Omni Hotels, set atop Sunset Mountain features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course and is is one of the South's best-loved resorts. Celebrating its Centennial today, the luxurious Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Here's the story of how it all began: 

The Grove Park Inn - Then and Now"Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the "Father of Modern Asheville" was born in 1850 on a small farm in Tennessee. After serving in the Civil War he had a very definite plan for his life and career – the pharmaceutical business and the determination to rise from his early poverty to great wealth and success.

He purchased a pharmacy in Paris, Tennessee in his mid-twenties. He put all of his energy into formulating a tasteless quinine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease that permeated the South in the 19th century (he suspended quinine in liquid form). After experimenting for several years, Grove introduced Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic and experienced immediate success. In the late 1890's Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove had sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. 

Grove himself was often ill, afflicted with periods of bronchitis and exhaustion and his doctors recommended the clean mountain air of Asheville, NC to relax and recover. He spent time in Asheville throughout the year and that is where he would realize his next big dream.

While still pursuing new pharmaceutical inventions, Grove met Fred Seely in Detroit, who was making a name for himself in the pharmaceutical business. While working together in Detroit, the two sparked a friendship and mutual admiration. Grove invited Seely to his summer home in Asheville. One week later he left his position in Detroit to work for Grove and his Paris Medicine Company. But business was not the only thing that interested Seely. When Grove introduced his daughter, Evelyn, to the bachelor, within 24 hours Grove had given Seely permission to wed her.

Grove Park Inn and SpaSeely began working for the Paris Medicine Company in June 1898 and in October of that year married Evelyn. Both men ventured into other businesses including real estate. In Asheville Grove began purchasing property, he had successfully developed residential neighborhoods in Atlanta and was considering doing the same in prospering Asheville. With the expansion of the railroad and publicity surrounding the opening of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House, Grove was positioning himself as a serious investor in the future of Asheville. In 1909 Grove purchased 408 acres in north Asheville, including what would become The Grove Park Inn. But he would concentrate on residential neighborhoods before ever considering building a hotel.

Two years later Grove began to plan the building of a hotel on Sunset Mountain. In 1911 Seely became involved with the plans. After reviewing the plans of several prominent architects, Grove did not find any of them satisfactory. The consummate visionary, Seely presented a sketch of the proposed hotel to Grove and he not only accepted the plan but gave Seely the enormous task of building the hotel.

Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel. Seely kept his promise to be open for business in less than one year from the ground breaking.

Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. 

Another version of this story is available at http://www.groveparkinn.com/the-grove-park-inn-story

View more photos and check rates and availability for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa >>


The Arizona Biltmore - Then and Now

July 8, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Arizona Biltmore Resort in PhoenixBuilt as one of Phoenix's first resorts in 1929, the Arizona Biltmore was constructed in grand form by brothers Albert, Charles and Warren McArthur. Frank Lloyd Wright served as the consulting architect, and the Arizona Biltmore remains one of the only existing hotels in the world to benefit from his influence. The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since its opening on Feb. 23, 1929 when it was crowned "The Jewel of the Desert."

In 1930, when the estimated $1 million construction cost doubled, Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., one of the original investors in the project, became the sole owner. Over the next 44 years, the Wrigley family owned and operated the Arizona Biltmore and it became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers.

Arizona Biltmore Hotel Pool DiverDid you know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes, including "White Christmas" while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore? Or that the pool was first built by the Wrigleys in 1930 and was host to diving competitions as well as fashion shows? Marilyn Monroe called this her favorite pool. A Who's Who of rockers have vacationed at the Arizona Biltmore – Elton John, Eric Clapton, U2, Steely Dan, Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. 

Today, the luxury hotel features 740 hotel guest accommodations; 78 one-and two-bedroom villas; eight swimming pools; seven tennis courts; a full-service resort spa, salon and fitness center; and five dining options across 39 acres. The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in Phoenix: The Links and The Adobe.

The Arizona Biltmore offers 1.5 hour long History Tours three times per week - free to registered guests or $10 for the general public.

More archival photos available here: Arizona Biltmore Archive Photos

Learn more about the hotel and check rates and availability here: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona


Did You Know? Inn at Pelican Bay

May 20, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 
There are literally dozens of golf courses in Naples, FL. The Inn at Pelican Bay is just blocks from pristine Paradise Coast beaches, award-winning golf courses, and fabulous shopping opportunities, this hotel in Naples, FL provides a delightfully serene retreat.

The Inn at Pelican Bay 

 

View rates, details, and more photos of The Inn at Pelican Bay >>

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Tee It Up at Charleston Place

April 16, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Charleston PlaceCharleston, SC is a golfer's paradise.  According to Golf Magazine, Charleston is home to two of the "100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World." There are more  than 20 courses in the Charleston area to choose from; from the Rivertowne Country Club, which offers 13 holes along the Wando River and Horlbeck Creek to Charleston National, an 18 hole championship course designed by the renowned golf course architect Rees Jones,  to the Links at Stono Ferry, which  is a championship par 72 golf course located along the Intracoastal Waterway. Many golf architects have proclaimed their Charleston area courses as some of their best, including Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye, Gary Player, Tom Fazio and Rees Jones.

Unlike some other golf destinations, Charleston is generally not crowded with golfers, which  results in a greater array of  tee times and golfers who can take their time hitting the links.  Morevoer, it's always a good time of year to play golf in the Charleston area, where average high temperatures range from 57°F to 89°F. The 94th PGA Championship was one of many tournaments played in Charleston, so you know the golfing is good.  

Kiawah Island Golf Resort The Ocean Course

 
 
Pictured: Charleston Place refers guests to The Ocean Course, part of Kiawah Island Golf Resort

 

 

So where to stay to take advantage of all this golf? May we suggest Charleston Place? Located at the very heart of downtown Charleston, in the historic district and within walking distance of all the major attractions, this luxurious hotel makes every guest feel part of this great Southern city. At Charleston Place, you can take advantage of all the city has to offer in addition to great golfing. Renowned as Charleston’s finest accommodations, it is a standard bearer of Orient-Express style. Leisure activities include relaxing by the rooftop pool, dining in the award-winning Charleston Grill and browsing the exclusive boutiques both at the hotel and in the shopping areas nearby. 

View rates, details, and more photos of Charleston Place >>

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Image of the Day: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa

April 11, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Nestled amongst 35 acres of tropical gardens, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa is the sole destination resort on Natadola Beach - the only stretch of natural, white sand beach on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu.

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa

View rates, details, and more photos of InterContinental Golf Resort and Spa >>

 

 

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Your Questions Answered: Turks and Caicos Family Friendly Hotel

January 7, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We’re planning a family vacation in February to Turks and Caicos. There will be 2 adults and 2 kids age 9 and 12. What hotel has rooms that can accommodate all 4 of us?

Answer: The Regent Grand Turks and Caicos has the following room type available that will accommodate your family of 4: 1520sq 2beds 2baths, Separate Kitchen, Lounge Dining Area, Wi-fi, Breakfast for 1225 USD per night plus 21% tax. At the time of booking, a deposit of 3 nights plus tax will be taken. The cancellation policy states that it must be received 21 days prior to arrival for a deposit refund. To reserve this room type, simply visit this website, enter your dates of travel, select the room type, and fill in the booking form. Please add 'traveling with 2 kids ages 9 and 12' in the Special Requests field so the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival. Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

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12 Days of Hotels: The 2 Best Gold Resorts

January 4, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Five Star Alliance is having its own countdown featuring 12 Days of Hotels! We unfortunately don’t have a song to go along with our countdown, but we will be featuring a variety of categories. Today’s feature is 2 of the World’s Best Golf Resorts!

1. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Tee off at 2 18-hole champion Tom Fazio designed golf courses.

2. Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Play the Five championship courses including the world-famous Ocean Course.


12 Days of Hotels: 6 Best Irish Castle Hotels

December 31, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Five Star Alliance is having its own countdown featuring 12 Days of Hotels! We unfortunately don’t have a song to go along with our countdown, but we will be featuring a variety of categories. Today we’re featuring the 6 Best Irish Castle Hotels!

1. Adare Manor Hotel And Golf Resort

The Manor House offers 62 elegantly decorated bedrooms, Fine Dining Oak Room Restaurant offering the finest produce from Ireland, Cocktail Bar, Late Night Tack Room Bar where many a sing song can be heard nightly orchestrated by our Resident Pianist and Singer.

2. Dromoland Castle Hotel

With an extraordinary history stretching back to the 5th Century, Dromoland Castle was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic Royalty; direct descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland.

3. Waterford Castle

One of the most acclaimed castle hotels in Ireland, Waterford Castle has welcomed and charmed the most discerning travellers for decades. The castle is a legendary luxurious retreat of world class standing, offering superb castle accommodation.

4. Solis Lough Eske Castle

Here, at the water's edge of Lough Eske, near the fabled Blue Stack Mountains, you escape into a luxurious world of relaxed elegance and attentive service.

5. Ashford Castle

Originally built as a crenellated castle in the 13th century and rebuilt as a hunting and fishing lodge in the 1800s, today Ashford Castle is one of the finest and most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland.

6. The Lodge at Doonbeg

With every small detail carefully considered, the standard of accommodation at Doonbeg is unprecedented, offering a distinct departure from generic hotel offerings and raising a new benchmark for the discerning guest.