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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.

Fall Leaf Peeping in Vermont at The Equinox Resort and Spa

September 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Equinox Resort and Spa Celebrate autumn at The Equinox and enjoy spectacular fall foliage, luxurious accommodations, and a host of activities the whole family will enjoy. This resort has served as one of America's most historically significant lodgings; it predates America's independence (!) since its first opening in 1769. Situated on 2,300 acres between the Green and Taconic Mountains, this Manchester Village resort has hosted legends like Ulysses S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt. The setting is truly captivating: colorful landscapes and pristine countryside within minutes of the quaint boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops of the village. The AAA Four-Diamond resort offers an abundance of recreational activities. Relax with the rejuvenating treatments at The Spa. Test your game on the world-class golf course. Discover the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the resort on a mountain bike, on a hike, or while fishing. There's even a British School of Falconry.


Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort: Experience the Old West in Style

September 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort Escape to Santa Barbara wine country and the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, where the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort welcomes you to the romance and majesty of the old west. Set on a 10,000 acre working cattle ranch, California's premier guest ranch transports you to a bygone era. Surrounded by wide open spaces and unspoiled natural beauty, Alisal has served as a hideaway for generations. Leave behind your cell phone (guest cottages are telephone and TV-free!), and hit the 50 miles of horseback riding trails which surround the ranch. Or play a round on one of the two eighteen-hole championship golf courses. There's also tennis, and lots of water sports on the 100-acre spring-fed lake (like fly fishing, canoeing and kayaking.)

And coming soon (May 2008): a spectacular new fitness center, with weight/cardio room, five massage therapy rooms, group fitness room (with yoga and Pilates classes), and locker rooms with steam saunas, and a spacious lobby with a fireplace and fresh juice bar.


Special Fall Getaways at Keswick Hall, Virginia

September 5, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Keswick Hall Steal away to Virginia's hunt country to celebrate summer's end in style at Keswick Hall, the gorgeous luxury hotel managed by Orient-Express Hotels. With the "Ultimate Breaks" special you can score room rates as low as $295 a night this fall. Enjoy some of the country's finest fall foliage and leaf-peeping in the Blue Ridge foothills near Charlottesville and Jefferson's historic Monticello estate. From the horizon edge infinity pool, gaze out over the Arnold Palmer designed golf course and rolling green hills of the Piedmont.


Mandarin Oriental is Coming to Costa Rica

August 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Guanacaste, Costa Rica The beloved luxury hotel brand is making waves with a host of new hotel openings in the next few years, and it looks like Costa Rica--the world's premier destination for eco-tourism-- is getting a luxury addition. Mandarin Oriental, Costa Rica will open in 2009 in the Guanacaste province, known for its beautiful Pacific coastline, stunning volcanoes, excellent hiking, and bird (and monkey) watching. Situated just 25 minutes from the Liberia airport, the 130-room beach resort will be the cornerstone of a gated golf and residential development called Rancho Manzanillo. Leisure activities will include an 18-hole Fred Couples Signature Championship golf course, 20,000 square foot spa, multi-level outdoor swimming pools, water sports from the resort's natural beach, and exotic wildlife viewing from the property's 200 acres of protected tropical dry forest. The best part of all? The Tree House Suites, nestled high in the canopy of Guanacaste trees.


Special Event Weekend at The Homestead: Southern Accents Showcase

August 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead The National Historic Landmark of The Homestead, ranked among the world's top Spa and Golf resorts, is a family favorite. Nestled in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, The Homestead boasts historic hot springs and naturally heated pools, in addition to its myriad recreational activities. Enjoy the elegance and style of Southern Accents Magazine and the 2007 Southern Accents Showhouse all wrapped into two special weekends at The Homestead Resort. The Homestead Preserve and The Homestead Resort have teamed up with the magazine to offer two distinctively different weekends that both feature design seminars and tours of the Showhouse. The Showhouse is conveniently located just two miles from The Homestead Resort. The weekend rate starts at $980; September 21-23 and November 2-4, 2007.


Stay and Spa at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Pennsylvania

August 17, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nemacolin Woodlands Book a spa package at the popular Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and indulge in a complimentary, 50-minute Hot Stone of Swedish Massage. The Stay and Spa package starts at just $299, available Sunday-Thursday until October 31, 2007. The world-class Woodlands Spa is just one of the fabulous facilities on-site at this Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond resort situated on 3,000 beautiful acres outside Pittsburgh.


Spotlight On: The Equestrian Center at Half Moon, Jamaica

August 15, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon, Jamaica Horse folks are welcome at Half Moon, one of only three resorts in the Caribbean with its own equestrian center. Led by passionate trainers, the center offers excellent programs for all ages and skill levels. Enjoy the signature Beach Ride, which takes riders for an exhilarating swim on horseback into the sea. Budding equestrians can partake in the Jungle Jaunt, which leads riders through paths on a scenic hillside. More proficient riders can take advantage of private lessons. Plus, there are pony rides for the kiddies. Surrounded by sandy crescent beaches, the elegant Half Moon resort features an exclusive dolphin lagoon, championship golf, first-class tennis, a variety of water sports, and delectable specialty restaurants.

PS. Fall breaks at Half Moon are a steal, with nightly rates starting at $149 per night in a Superior Room. (Double occupancy; three night minimum stay required.) Available September 6 - October 31, 2007.


Luxury Eco-Resorts from AOL Founder, Steve Case

August 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Costa Rica First stop: Costa Rica. Steve Case is launching a new luxury resort company, Revolution Places, with an eye on environmental and cultural preservation. Only natural for a guy who grew up in Hawaii and feels passionately about not paving over paradise. The first environmentally-friendly project is an $800 million, 650-acre development in Cacique, Costa Rica, on the northwest Pacific coast. What's in store? A 120-villa One&Only resort by Sol Kerzner, who developed Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas; a 180-unit Miraval: Life in Balance-branded destination spa resort; a Tom Doak-designed golf course; and a tennis and fitness center designed by Andre Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf. Expected to open in 2010, the resort will be designed to reduce water and energy waste, with renewable energy sources and on-site treatment facilities to reuse waste water.

Photo Via Washington Post


Boar’s Head Inn, Charlottesville: Virginia Hospitality in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Foothills

July 31, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Boar's Head Inn Most visitors to the Boar's Head Inn (myself included), find themselves drawn to the Old Mill Room, quickly enchanted with the impressive wood beams lining the ceiling, the large fireplace and cozy ambience of the fine dining restaurant. The Inn has a long and impressive history, and the Old Mill Room is the heart of it all.

The Boar's Head Inn was built from the timbers of an abandoned gristmill, formerly located along the banks of the Hardware River. Dating back to 1834, the mill had survived burning despite the orders of Generals Grant and Custer during their Civil War march. The old mill, a treasured Virginian artifact, was carefully dismantled and reconstructed on the Inn's site. The original fieldstones, pine beams and planks, and massive grist stones are displayed throughout the Inn, prominent reminders of the past.

For 19 years running, the Old Mill Room has earned the AAA Four-Diamond Award for culinary excellence. The menu spotlights heirloom vegetables, wild game, Chesapeake Bay fish and seafood, and wines from the region's finest vineyards and wineries, as well as from around the world.

From the property's early days as the site of Terrell's Ordinary in the 1730's to its development in the 1960's as a quintessential Virginia inn, Boar's Head Inn has enjoyed a reputation as a welcoming place to stop (anything but ordinary!) Indeed, the Boar's Head Tradition has endured since Shakespeare's day, when London's Boar's Head Inn was synonymous with good food and warm hospitality, a tradition maintained in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of a 573-acre estate just outside Charlottesville, Boar's Head Inn combines the grace and hospitality of a country inn, with the luxurious amenities of a full-service resort. There's championship golf, top-rated tennis, a luxury spa, sports club, swimming pools, and four restaurants. The meeting facilities-- newly revamped-- are unrivaled in the region. When I recently attended a conference sponsored by Whole Foods Market (regional summits encourage local growers to get their products on the stores' shelves), I was impressed by both the venue (beautiful ballroom) and the delicious lunch.


Family Fun Discount at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

July 30, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Get a $200 resort activity credit and complimentary breakfast for two when you book three nights or more at The Sanctuary, the beautiful seaside mansion within Kiawah Resort. Awarded five diamonds by AAA, the exquisite luxury hotel is located just thirty minutes from downtown Charleston, and embodies all of the grandeur and warm hospitality of the American South. Kids adore the range of activities on offer at Kiawah (unspoiled beaches, tennis, bike riding), while their parents enjoy luxurious spa indulgence and championship golf outings. The Family Fun Offer also applies to villa stays; book two or more nights in a villa and receive 20 percent off the nightly rate. Offer available from August 12- September 30, 2007.