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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.

Fourth of July Celebration at the Tides Inn, a Chesapeake Bay Tradition


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides Inn I was fortunate enough to tour the Tides Inn during a glorious afternoon. Allow me to sing its praises. For sixty years, discriminating travelers and yachtsmen sailing the Eastern seaboard have flocked to the Tides Inn, a well-guarded secret. Today, the AAA four-diamond resort is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, and visitors enjoy the sparkling pool, spa, boating excursions, tennis, and world-class golf on the Golden Eagle course.

As I walked towards the Inn's entrance, I was greeted by a valet and bellhop who offered lemonade and freshly baked cookies, along with a smile. How's that for Southern hospitality? This gracious hospitality is standard at an Inn long celebrated for its genuine Southern charm. Perched over Carters Creek with an unobstructed view to the sparkling waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the Tides Inn commands a setting like no other. Under a clear blue sky, I strolled out in the flowering gardens to gape at the view. Next to the manicured croquet lawn, guests sipped drinks beneath the shade of a tall cedar, watching the boats dock in the marina. Everywhere I turned, the staff beamed smiles and greetings.

Though the Inn has a long history as the premier hotel in the Mid-Atlantic, there is nothing faded about this place. After extensive refurbishments in 2001, the Tides Inn emerged in all of its contemporary splendor, but with all its traditions intact. Guest rooms are elegant and comfortable, outfitted in British colonial style with dark wood trim and custom fitted marble for the wet bars. You'll still find the wooden lockers in the Chesapeake Club, the resort's fine dining restaurant, where guests during the "dry" years stored their bottles after a whiskey run to nearby Urbanna (a "wet county") aboard the Miss Ann. And you'll still find an impressive attention to detail: guests are pampered with complimentary bottles of champagne and hand-written cards when celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.

The Fourth of July week at the Tides Inn promises to be a fabulous celebration, packed with festive activities and events. Plus, if you stay three or more nights during the week, you'll qualify for a special rate of $295 per evening. Here's a taste of what's in store: a phenomenal fireworks display right on Carters Creek, night golf, a boat building competition on the Windsor Lawn, kayaking tours on Carters Creek, Irvington's Main Street Parade complete with Antique Cars, family scavenger hunts, garden tours, and movie nights in the Bryant Garden, the Inn's own natural amphitheater.


Wedding Travel Trends: New Cruise Packages at Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon Now you can tie the knot in style with the best of both worlds: a Caribbean cruise and a destination wedding in paradise at Half Moon. The prestigious resort has just introduced Cruise Day Wedding Packages, so that cruise passengers arriving at Jamaica's Montego Bay Cruise Ship Pier can be whisked away to Half Moon for a luxurious and memorable wedding. The Shore Romance package, priced at $3,900, includes all the amenities needed for the perfect wedding: marriage officer, professional videographer and photographer, two chilled bottles of champagne, chef's selection of hot and cold d'oeuvres for up to ten persons, wedding cake, two witnesses, plus the services of a June Wedding Incorporated certified wedding planner. Valid until December 14, 2007, includes a day use room at the resort. You can really go all out with the Shore Paradise package, which includes all the amenities of the Shore Romance package, plus professional make-up for the bride, lavish floral arrangements, Swedish massage for the bride and groom, a flautist or violinist, all for $6,200. Rest assured-- there's an army of event staff on-site (including a romance specialist) to handle all the planning logistics.


Fourth Free Night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at Casa Velas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa Velas Follow your bliss to the soft sands and roaring surf of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where Casa Velas provides a peaceful, secluded oasis. Tucked away on the beautiful Marina Vallarta golf course, Casa Velas is an adults-only boutique hotel. Relax in your private plunge pool or hit the sand at the beach club. Retreat to the spa for an indulgent massage overlooking the ocean. In the evening, enjoy live music and a fabulous meal at the gourmet restaurant, Emiliano. This is the ultimate romantic hideaway. With the One More Night promotion, stay for three nights and get the fourth for free! And since this hotel is all-inclusive, you get all your meals, premium beverages, and round-trip airport transfers for free. Rates are for a Master Suite, and start at $540 per couple per night. (Rate is pro-rated to reflect savings for the four-night stay.) Available until December 20, 2007.


Stay One or Two Nights Free at Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Loews Lake Las Vegas ResortBilled as the only true "family-friendly resort in the area", the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort is offering families the opportunity to visit the new luxury hotel on the lake for some fun in the sun. With a club just for kids, two championship golf courses, a pampering poolside concierge, exhilarating water sports on a magnificent desert lake, full-service spa and exquisite dining, the entire family will never want the summer to send. Visit the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort between May 23rd and September 4th this year to take advantage of the free nights offer. Stay 2 nights and get the 3rd for free, or stay 3 nights and get the 4th and 5th nights for free. The offer is subject to availability and based on consecutive nights stay so check availability for the dates you are interested and book now.


Summer Special at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Southern California


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Take advantage of a special discount of 35 percent off published rack rates from July 1 through September 15, 2007 at the AAA five diamond Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Located in a charming Spanish-style town just 35 miles south of Santa Barbara on the Gold Coast, Ojai is considered one of California's best kept secrets. Housed in a whitewashed adobe building, draped in bougainvillea blossoms, with fountain courtyards and working fireplaces, Ojai Valley Inn is impossibly romantic. Rated in the top 25 of US resorts by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, the historic resort recently emerged from a $90 million renovation and expansion. Many of the 308 guest rooms have fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the golf course and nearby Topa Topa mountains. Amenities include two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, ranch, Art Studio (with classes in a variety of media), Camp Ojai for the kids, the 31,000 square foot Spa Ojai, one of the top 10 spas in America, and the classic 1923 golf course which has been the host site of Senior PGA Tour events.


Celebrate Your Fourth of July at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, Vail, Colorado


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lodge and Spa at Cordillera Buy two nights and get a third for free at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, the beautiful, award-winning hotel situated on a mountain top in the Vail Valley, boasting sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains. This Fourth of July, enjoy a luxurious escape to the Lodge and experience the acclaimed Avanyu Spa and six signature golf courses, designed by several of the greatest names in golf (Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Tom Fazio, Dave Pelz, and Greg Norman). Plus, Beaver Creek hosts a free July Fourth concert and fireworks show.


Father’s Day Special at Wynn Las Vegas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn Las Vegas Tee Dad off for Father's Day at Wynn Las Vegas. Treat him to a stay at Wynn with Resort Rooms starting from just $199. While soaking up the decadent luxury (this is the Wynn we're talking about), Dad can enjoy a $100 Resort Credit towards a round of golf, a hot shave at the Barbershop, tickets to see Monty Python's SPAMALOT, or a delightful dinner at one of the many fine restaurants. Two night minimum stay required. To book your Father's Day Getaway, call (888) 770-7968 and mention "promotions" code EMSM07.


Alpine Summer at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz, Switzerland


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutt's Palace Hotel St. Moritz's most sophisticated winter address is likewise fun in the summer sun, with oodles of seasonal activities, cultural events, and gourmet dining experiences. (Culinary events this year include August's Palace Chocolate Cult and the Soirée Bourguignonne celebrating Burgundian cuisine and wine.) Situated amidst the most breathtaking natural scenery, the hotel is a historic symbol of St. Moritz. Now is the time to book a stay at the legendary Badrutt's Palace Hotel and enjoy summer in the Swiss Alps at unbelievably low rates starting from just CHF 345 a night, a savings of up to 57 percent off rack rates. Check out the list of Special Summer Getaway Packages after the jump.

Alpine Summer Feeling: Two-night package for two in a Superior room including a free upgrade upon availability, welcome amenity and flowers in room upon arrival, daily buffet breakfast, two set dinners in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), and ticket for Corviglia mountain train. From CHF 960 for double occupancy.

Simply St. Moritz: Three-night package for two in a Superior room including daily buffet breakfast, three set dinners in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), horse-drawn carriage ride into Fex Valley including transfer to Sils and back, and ticket for Corviglia mountain train. From CHF 1,820 for double occupancy.

Family Summer Indulgence: Seven-night package for two in a Superior room including daily buffet breakfast, daily set dinner in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), Palace Picnic basket, one boat trip on Lake Sils including return transfer to Sils, horse drawn carriage trip into Fex Valley including return transfer to Sils, free use of Palace Tennis courts & Tennis lessons at a 30 percent discount, complimentary childcare services at the Kids’ Club "Palazzino," additional room at a 50 percent discount on standard daily rate (bed & breakfast). From CHF 4,250 for double occupancy.

Golf Delight: Three-night package for two in a Deluxe room including welcome amenity and flowers in room upon arrival, daily buffet breakfast, Palace Golf present, 2 set dinners in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), 2 Green fees at golf courses Zouz Madulain or Samedan, return transfer from hotel to golf course, 1 full body massage (55 minutes) at Daniela Steiner Beauty Spa, and ticket for Corviglia mountain train. From CHF 2,340 for double occupancy.


Hit the New Spa at Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort Provence Say bonjour to the newest thing to make waves in the south of France. Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche, the glamorous hilltop hideaway overlooking fragrant fields of lavender and wild thyme in Provence, has just announced the opening of its new spa. Framed by cypress and olive trees, the spa is an indulgent haven boasting beautiful panoramas: rolling Mediterranean valleys dotted with charming French villages. Here, guests can enjoy pampering treatments which utilize local ingredients such as Camargue sea salts, lavender buds, wild thyme and rich Provençal olive oil. (The unique treatments also use innovative products from ESPA, TERRAKÉ and LPG Solutions.) The two-level facility features 12 treatment rooms (four with private terraces), saunas, steam rooms, whirlpool baths, steam showers, and the dedicated spa café, Infusion.


Trump Discovers the Little Piece of Heaven Called Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sivory Punta Cana The cat's out of the bag about Punta Cana, the celebrity favorite hot spot in the Dominican Republic known for its white sand beaches edged by the crystal clear Caribbean sea. Located on the eastern-most tip of the DR, the region has been quietly edging out the other Caribbean destinations as the best beach bargain. Luxury boutique hotels-- like the fabulous, all-suite Sivory Punta Cana-- are now getting some competition. Recent growth has been staggering, with new hotels including the Golf Suites in Punta Cana, Agua Resort & Spa, and the Hotel Bavaro Real Arena and Hotel VIP Real Arena, two luxury properties to be launched by the Spanish NH Hoteles chain. That's more than 1,100 rooms to be added to the market in the next two years.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has joined the fray. His new development venture, the 30,000 acres called Cap Cana, will be one of the largest in the Caribbean. The $2 billion project will feature four luxury hotels, three Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, a mega yacht marina with 1,000 slips, and 5,000 residential units.

Related Articles:

Vagablond, "Fairway Play on Father’s Day: Punta Cana Resort & Club, Dominican Republic"

Announcing the Sivory Punta Canta in the Dominican Republic