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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.

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

January 16, 2008
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

January 15, 2008
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

January 9, 2008
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.


Now Open: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Dazzles After $160 Million Renovation

January 7, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton KapaluaThis winter, make it Maui. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua officially opened today after a massive makeover. A dramatic new design and added amenities mean an unparalleled guest experience surrounded by championship golf greens, brilliant beaches, and the crashing Pacific surf. What's in store? The 463 guest rooms and suites are equipped with all new furnishings, travertine bathrooms, area rug designs with Kukui florals, and Hawaiian artwork framed with Koa wood. All the latest technology means LCD flat-screen televisions, iPod Docking Stations, DVD players and wireless Internet access. But that's not all. The resort's restaurants have been redesigned, and the signature Banyan Tree restaurant has a new destination outdoor bar and lounge with spectacular views of the Pacific and an innovative menu by Chef de Cuisine Jojo Vasquez. There's a new children's pool and enlarged cabanas by the 10,000 square foot, three-tiered pool, and the spanking new Fitness Center, open 24 hours a day, overlooks the ocean. An Environmental Education Center will be open by mid year. And there will be a new Ritz-Carlton Spa opening in May 2008, to boot. (Never fear-- there's a temporary spa offering spa and salon services until this gem opens.) Book now and be one of the first to experience the new digs at this AAA Five-Diamond oceanfront property.


Special Opening Offer at Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

January 4, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

MayakobaIt's here. Rosewood Mayakoba has opened its doors on the coast of Mexico's Riviera Maya, where ocean, jungle and sky meet. Consisting of five top-tier properties, Mayakoba is a new kind of eco-friendly luxury community of upscale resorts committed to sustainable development and environmental protection. The Rosewood is nestled on a mile-long arc of white sand, 30 minutes south of Cancun and just north of the charming seaside village of Playa del Carmen. The resort's 128 suites-- modern in design yet crafted from local indigenous materials-- are built along a network of gorgeous lagoons and the Caribbean Sea. Upon arrival, guests are whisked away to their own personal sanctuary by luxury boat or golf cart. The resort complex boasts championship golf at the signature Greg Norman El Camaleon 18-hole course, infinity-edge and spa lap pools, myriad water sports, snorkeling and diving excursions to the world's second largest reef or in the crystal-clear cenotes that spring from subterranean rivers, day-trips to explore Mayan ruins, horseback riding, daily yoga, and more. Sense, A Rosewood Spa, will debut in February 2008. If you book by January 31 (for a stay between February 1-April 30, 2008), you'll get $100 off regular rack rates (which start at $595 per night) plus daily breakfast.


Winter Warm Up in Miami at The Conrad

December 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad MiamiWinter blues got you down? Take a weekend trip to Miami, where the luxurious amenities of the Conrad await: dazzling contemporary guest rooms with all the latest technology, tennis courts and hot tub surrounding the rooftop pool, the Spa Conrad with breathtaking views from the 24th floor, and the Sky Lobby overlooking Biscayne Bay and the city's glittering nightlife... Located in an innovative building of concave glass and steel in the heart of Miami's financial district, the Conrad Miami provides quick and easy access to South Beach, Coconut Grove, and Key Biscayne. Improve your swing this winter with the "Winter Warm Up" package, which includes two nights accommodation, decadent daily breakfast, one round of golf at the stunning 18-hole Crandon Golf course in Key Biscayne, complimentary transportation to and from the golf course and a 50 percent discount on purchases and rentals from the pro shop. Also included in the package are two 60-minute wellness treatments of your choice at the new Spa Chakra, a complimentary rejuvenating foot bath upon arrival at the spa and the luxury of a late 3 p.m. check-out. Starting from $549 per room, per night.


Escape the Winter Blues at Half Moon, Jamaica and Get Resort Credit

December 19, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon, JamaicaHalf Moon has been delivering the picture-perfect vacation for over fifty years. And recently, Half Moon has been the talk of the Caribbean with the opening of its dreamy Fern Tree Spa. Celebrate the good life in a magical setting: sandy crescent beaches dotted with palms, white washed cottages surrounded by fragrant gardens. Stretching across 400 lushly landscaped acres, the resort boasts top-notch facilities: a championship, 72-par Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, 18-hole putting green, 13-lit tennis courts, a full range of water sports, an exclusive natural Dolphin Lagoon, six gourmet restaurants and over half a dozen informal snack bars, and shopping village.

Book the Winter Escape package and receive big-time resort credit: $1,000 resort credit for a 5-bedroom villa, $1,200 for a 6-bedroom villa and $1,400 for a 7-bedroom villa to be used at restaurants, activities and other services at the resort. The package includes daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfers. The villas offer a grand home away from home for your friends and family-- with a personal staff of a butler, housekeeper and a cook, private pool, 2 golf carts, and all the amenities of a luxury resort. The Winter Escape package is also available for guests staying in any of Half Moon's 201 hotel rooms and suites and offers $200 in resort credit. 5-night minimum stay required. Valid for stays January 5- April 15, 2008 with blackout dates Feb. 14- 22, 2008.


Kids Ski Free at The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia

December 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The HomesteadEnjoy endless winter activities-- skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice-skating and guided snowmobile tours for the whole family-- at The Homestead, one of the most celebrated and storied Virginia resorts. Reward the whole family with a getaway in the mountains and discover a winter wonderland. Outdoors, days are filled with fun in the snow. Indoors, you'll find a world-class spa, fitness center, bowling alley, historic movie theater and indoor pool. Rooms start from just $199 per night, plus kids under 12 ski for free! Available from January 2- March 15, 2008.


Extraordinary Rates for a December Golf Date at Sea Island, Georgia

December 12, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sea Islands GeorgiaLooking for a quick getaway? Escape the busy holiday season for a last-minute retreat at Georgia's exclusive Sea Islands, where championship golf, elegant dining, and charming Southern hospitality will restore your body and mind. Act fast! This last-minute offer is available until December 16, 2007. Starting from just $395 per night, enjoy luxury accommodations at The Cloister or The Lodge plus one round of green fees, cart, forecaddie, and range balls per person, per night. (Based on availability during these dates only. Play on Seaside incurs a $50 surcharge. Forecaddie gratuity is additional.)


Hit the Slopes this Saturday at Mystic Mountain, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

December 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nemacolin WoodlandsEast Coasters, grab your skis and snowboards. Snow is falling in the Laurel Highlands and winter weather is in the forecast. Mystic Mountain-- 25 acres of fun, short lines, friendly trails and experienced instructors-- will be open to welcome skiers of all levels on Saturday, December 8, 2007. This is Western Pennsylvania's ideal learning environment for first-timers, but there is also plenty of terrain for the pros. There are 10 slopes, ranging from beginner to expert, with a 300 foot vertical drop, three lifts-- 100 percent illuminated for night skiing. Easily accessible and incredibly popular during its 20 year history, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is your indoor and outdoor winter destination. With winter weather on the horizon, you'll find all sorts of activities at the resort: dog sledding, surrey rides, snow-tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. But if snowsports aren't your thing, head inside and indulge in some special holiday treatments at the world-class Woodlands Spa or fine dining with French flair at the AAA Five-Diamond Lautrec restaurant.