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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.

Announcing the New W Hotel Marrakech


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kasbah TamadotW Hotels is on a quest to bring its swanky Living Room experience and Whatever/Whenever service to every corner of the globe. This past year saw openings in exciting worldwide destinations and now Starwood's global lifestyle brand has just announced plans for its entry into Morocco with the W Marrakech. Scheduled to open in mid 2010 just minutes from the Medina (the city's historical center), the property will include a 150-room hotel and 68 whole-ownership villa residences as part of a luxurious, mixed-use development overlooking an 18-hole championship golf course. The W Marrakech will feature all of the W's signature comforts, like WOW suites, W beds with feather-top mattresses and 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, destination bar, and luxury spa. W has become the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world, with hotels slated for North America (including Austin, Downtown Atlanta, Philly, and Scottsdale), Europe (Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul, Milan and St. Petersburg), Asia (Bangkok, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama) and in the Middle East (Amman, Doha, Dubai-Festival City and Dubai-The Palm).


Winter Golf Special at The Heritage Golf and Spa Resort, Killenard, Ireland


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Heritage Golf and Spa Resort, KillenardPlan a winter escape to the gorgeous Irish countryside and get pampered at the luxurious Heritage Golf & Spa Resort located in the picturesque village of Killenard, just an hour from Dublin. Experience the renowned 72-par Championship golf course and lavish accommodations for just EUR 190 per person (sharing) with the Winter Golfing Break. Available until April 30, 2008, this special includes one night bed & breakfast in a Deluxe guest room, a round of golf, and one evening meal in Greens or So Oriens Restaurant. Set in the beautiful rolling countryside of Co. Laois with the Slieve Bloom Mountains as a backdrop, the golf course was designed by Seve Ballesteros and Jeff Howes with five lakes and a stream meandering through the greens. Don't miss the luxury spa at The Heritage, featuring 20 treatment rooms and a selection of over 70 spa treatments with the Pevonia botanical skincare line.


Golf Course Views in Naples, Florida at the Ritz Carlton


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The palatial Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, FL offers deluxe accommodations and extensive greens. Use a Segway to scoot around or bring your furry friends - they have a Pet Program!

There are 2 Ritz-Carlton's in Naples, Florida - make sure you book the right one. The Ritz Carlton Naples Golf Resort is inland with two Greg Norman-designed golf courses, while the Ritz Carlton Naples sits on three miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches.


Wynn 100 Point Wine Weekend to Benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn 100 Point Wine WeekendYou are invited to an extraordinary private event that unites lovers of wine, fine food and philanthropy for an unforgettable Wynn experience. On April 25- 26, 2008, Wynn Las Vegas will host this important weekend event. Guests will enjoy an exclusive Vintners Reception in the Penske/Wynn Ferrari Showroom on Friday evening, mingling with master wine-makers while sipping world-class wines (and surrounded by cool cars on display). On April 26, guests will attend the 100 Point Wine Dinner featuring full pours of legendary 100 point wines. Each vintage will be paired with a mouth-watering dish that is part of a five-course extravaganza prepared by internationally-renowned chefs. Among the items to be auctioned at the dinner are some rare wines including:

*Balthazar 2000 Chateau Haut-Brion, one of a limited edition of only five bottles ever produced.

*Balthazar 2000 La Mission Haut-Brion, the first and only Balthazar of the 2000 vintage ever released and one of only five in existence. Viewed by many as "The Wine of the 2000 Vintage," and recipient of a 100-point rating from Robert Parker.

*Double Magnum 2000 Petrus direct from the chateau.

Wynn Las Vegas

Saturday will also feature a course on wine buying and investing by Sotheby's and afternoon events hosted by Wynn retail. All guests will enjoy a two-night stay in the Wynn Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas. For the second consecutive year, the Towers Suites is the only casino resort in the world to earn both the Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards and recently received Michelin's highest hotel rating of Five Red Pavilions. Guests will have access to all that the Wynn has to offer including the Tower Suites pools and cabanas, Tom Fazio-designed golf course, Wynn Golf Club, full-service spa and the spectacular casino and private high-limit gaming areas.

Ticket prices are $5,000 and include the 100 Point Wine Dinner, the private Vintners Reception in the Penske/Wynn Ferrari-Maserati Showroom, admission to all the special events, and Tower Suite accommodations.


Limited Time Special Offer: Five-Star Delight at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Sanctuary at KiawahAfter the recent announcement of the winners of the prestigious Mobil Five Star Award, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort-- a first-timer on the list-- has decided to celebrate. Only 41 hotels, resorts and inns in North America can claim this distinction, so The Sanctuary has a right to celebrate! Plus, The Sanctuary's Spa also achieved a separate, spa-specific Five Star rating, one of only three hotel spas in the country with the designation. To fête this achievement, The Sanctuary is offering an exclusive two-night "Five Star Delight" package for two that is only available for a limited time. Priced at $555 per person, per night, the package will expire on 5/5/08. Enjoy ocean-view concierge level accommodations on the 5th floor with a private concierge and access to the concierge lounge with complimentary gourmet food and drink selections. (Warning: More 5's to follow...) Plus, you'll get a round for two at Pete Dye's Ocean Course (one of the resort's 5 world-championship golf courses and rated 5 Stars by Golf Digest), an intimate 5-course tasting dinner for two at the Ocean Room (The Sanctuary's signature restaurant), and "Take 5" at the 5-Star Spa with a relaxing one-hour couples massage. Available starting 3/1/08.


Loews Lake Las Vegas Serves Up Replacements for High-Mercury Bluefin Tuna


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Lake Las VegasIn light of the recent findings of high mercury levels in sushi-grade tuna, this news from Loews Hotel Lake Las Vegas is most welcome. Since its opening at the end of 2006, this desert oasis has been wowing its clients. (Just 17 miles from the Vegas Strip, the 25-acre resort has it all: shimmering pools, championship golf courses, a superb Moroccan-style spa, water sports on the lake.) And now Master Sushi Chef Osama "Fuji" Fujita, the only sushi chef in the U.S. to earn the Japanese Chefs Association's recognition of achievement in 2006-2007, has rolled out a handful of safe seafood suggestions for tuna lovers at the hotel's Marssa restaurant. Chef Fuji's Bluefin "Altunatives" include Hawaii's Bigeye Tuna, Yellowtail and Albacore. Other tips for tuna lovers: consider other lower-mercury choices such as shrimp, salmon, sea-eel, sea urchin, squid and scallops; opt for veggie selections; avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, which have the highest mercury levels.

Photo Via Courtney May


Winter Warm-Up at Keswick Hall: Third Night Free in Charlottesville, Virginia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Keswick HallHibernate in style at Keswick Hall, the magnificent estate managed by Orient Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises. Enjoy a winter sojourn in a destination that Thomas Jefferson called "Eden," just minutes from Jefferson's historic Monticello in the heart of the Virginia Piedmont. Explore the antique shops and delightful boutiques of Charlottesville, and go wine tasting in the surrounding vineyards. Return for an epic meal at the award-winning Fossett's Restaurant, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase a magnificent vista. Curl up with a good book in front of one of the many fireplaces. When you book the "Winter Sojourn" package, you pay for two nights and get the third night for free. Rates starting from $295 per night in a Signature Room.


Caribbean Escapes: Fifth Night Free at Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa de CampoEscape the winter chill and get a 5th night free at Casa de Campo, the Dominican winter playground that boasts just about every single recreational activity on the planet. Tennis? The luxurious La Terraza Tennis Center awaits you-- with its 13 har-tru courts overlooking the resort and sea. Polo and horseback riding? You bettcha. Golf? Only some of the most celebrated, Peter-Dye-designed greens in the world. The spa offers a slew of rejuvenating services including exfoliating clay baths. Plus there's a dual-level pool with cascades and a swim-up bar, plenty of water sports from the beach, and an extensive children's program. Enjoy all this, while soaking up the Caribbean elegance and abundant natural beauty of the resort. Did we mention that it's all-inclusive?


L’Escalier Wine Series at The Breakers, Palm Beach


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The BreakersAhhh, The Breakers. South Florida's bastion of style is truly the ideal winter escape. Since 1896, this Italian Renaissance-style palace has been welcoming chilled winter guests to thaw in luxury on the ocean. And with the gorgeous $15 million beachfront redevelopment, The Breakers continues to delight its guests with its indulgent beachfront experience. L'Escalier, the hotel's AAA Five-Diamond award-winning restaurant, is presenting its wildly popular wine dinners this winter. Master Sommelier Virginia Philip has partnered with celebrated winemakers to present magnificent food and wine pairings. A reception with tastings is followed by a four-course dinner artfully prepared by L'Escalier's culinary team. On Thursday, January 24, 2008, guests will be delighted by winemakers from Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron and Chateau Suduiraut. Priced at $450 per person. [Map]


Spotlight On: Eco-Friendly Kitchens at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Le Chateau FrontenacGood news from Fairmont's eco-friendly luxury hotels... Not only is Fairmont Hotels and Resorts committed to energy-efficient practices, but also green kitchen operations. When the trendy talk these days is all about lessening our carbon footprint on the planet, Fairmont is actually taking action. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is devoted to organic and sustainable local menus, as well as finding ways to run an environmentally responsible kitchen. Case in point: Fairmont locations in the Pacific Northwest which partner with Rodney Strong Vineyards, an organic wine producer that operates with solar power and takes steps to ensure soil and water conservation. And Ottawa's beautiful Fairmont Chateau Laurier is connecting local producers with businesses by hosting events such as "Farmer-Chef Meet and Greet." In British Columbia, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and The Fairmont Empress were the first hotels to join the Ocean Wise program run by the Vancouver Aquarium which promotes the use of sustainable seafood. In Bermuda, the chefs at The Fairmont Southampton and The Fairmont Hamilton work closely with local fishermen to source a variety of line-caught fish. Even the staff cafeteria at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise creates eco-friendly menus focused on locally-grown and organic ingredients. And get this-- starting this year, the Fairmont Newport Beach will hire a "local forager" to visit local organic produce markets to buy choice goods for the hotel. Bravo.