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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.

California Escapes: Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena

April 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Huntington Sunshine seekers, botanists, landscape lovers: pay heed. The LA Times Daily Deal Blog has highlighted an excellent getaway for visitors to SoCal. Discover the rugged beauty of the spectacular Desert Garden at Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. Celebrating its 100th birthday, the Desert Garden showcases magnificent cacti and rare specimens, some of which are no longer found in the wild. Shack up at Pasadena's landmark hotel, the splendid turn-of-the-century Ritz-Carlton Huntington, and take advantage of the Ritz-Carlton Cultural Escape Package, starting at $305. Available through December 28, 2007, the package includes accommodations for one night, breakfast for two on the Terrace, complimentary valet parking, and tickets to either the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens or the Norton Simon Museum.


Special Offers in Hawaii: Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele

April 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Lodge at Koele As if you needed an excuse to plan an escape to Hawaii. Four Seasons Lodge at Koele has announced a spectacular special: Get a fourth night free when booking three consecutive nights until December 19, 2007. Luxuriate in style at this opulent outpost surrounded by gardens and reflecting pools, ancient pines bordering expansive greens, and a magical orchid greenhouse. Hidden within the central highlands on Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele is the place to be to savor Hawaii's natural beauty. In addition to the spectacular golf courses, pool, and in-room spa services, the resort offers a slew of activities-- from archery to horseback riding. Rooms start at $295 per night.

Related Articles:

Fodor's, "Luxury for Less: 4 Nights for 3 Special on Lanai"

Vagablond, "Luau For Less: Four Seasons Lana'i Lodge at Koele"


Golfing Gals Boot Camp at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

April 18, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kiawah Island Get your game on at Kiawah, selected as the "Best Golf Resort in the US" by Travel and Leisure Golf. (The awards list isn't exactly short.) Golfers flock to Kiawah for unmatched play on the five championship courses designed by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston. The world-famous Ocean Course-- ranked third in the "Top 100 You Can Play" by Golf Magazine-- recently got a $4 million makeover. Plan a girl's getaway and enjoy some of the best golf in the world as well as the beautiful beach, fantastic spa, shopping and natural beauty that has made Kiawah such a sought-after destination. The two-night Golfing Gals Bootcamp is designed for two people and includes ocean-view accommodations, champagne and chocolate covered berries on arrival, daily breakfast, dinner at Jasmine Porch, round of golf (not the Ocean course), half day golf school, nine holes of on-course instruction (for three people), and two Kiawah visors. Kiawah's team of instructors will cater the package to suit every skill level-- from beginners to pros looking to refine their game.


Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa

April 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Plettenberg Get ready. The 2010 World Cup promises to be one of the biggest sporting events of the century (over a billion people are expected to follow the month-long tournament). And this is the first time in history when the World Cup will be hosted by an African nation. Here's the skinny on the ten proposed stadiums for World Cup South Africa: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Pretoria, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Orkney, and Bloemfontein. Relais & Châteaux's got it covered, with some seriously swanky (and unique) properties to discover. Check in, and then check out the nearby soccer matches, glorious surroundings, and exciting experiences that await in South Africa. A sampling of properties includes the ocean-facing Plettenberg, which seems to float above the sky and sea (check out the photo), and the award-winning Singita Lebombo & Sweni hotel located within the stunning game reserve north of Joburg.


Now Open: The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

April 6, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Greenbrier The Greenbrier is back, and better than ever. The world-renowned resort has re-opened its doors after a $50 million renovation. How could this legendary spot-- the pinnacle of elegance in the Allegheny mountains-- get any more luxurious? Here's what's in store for lucky guests: 63 updated guest rooms with spa-like bathrooms and updated décor, sumptuous new bedding and linens for all guest rooms, and lots of new technology: large plasma-screen TV's , new electronic locks, improved cell phone and Internet service. Coming in summer 2007: an entirely new culinary experience with the opening of Hemisphere restaurant and 38°80, a unique cocktail lounge. The Greenbrier has long been a favorite hideaway for politicians and celebrities; the resort has a distinguished history (this is site of the famous Bunker, the former U.S. Government Relocation Facility where Congress was to be housed in the event of a nuclear attack in the '50s). The historic resort offers over 50 recreational activities to its guests, including indoor and outdoor tennis, golf on three championship courses, rock climbing, 40,000 square foot spa, and even the ancient sport of falconry.


Easter Savings at The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia

April 2, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead It's not too late to plan a fun-filled Easter weekend the whole family will enjoy. The Homestead is offering bargain rates and a slew of themed activities-- Easter brunch, egg dyeing for the kids, traditional Easter Egg Hunt with more than 4,000 eggs filled with toys and candy, and of course, a visit with the Easter Bunny-- for the coming weekend. Rates begin at just $249 for the weekend of April 6-8, 2007. Nestled in Virginia's beautiful Allegheny mountains, The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark which is ranked among the world's top Spa and Golf resorts. Since 1766, the historic hot springs have enticed guests to the naturally-heated pools at The Homestead, where one can also indulge in world-class facilities and an endless array of recreational activities.


Luxury for Less at the Spa at The Biltmore, Coral Gables

March 27, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Biltmore, Coral Gables Ahh, The Biltmore: the sprawling national historic landmark which showers guests in a good dose of nostalgic elegance right outside Miami. Step into the lobby and you'll catch my drift. Marble columns, massive arches, painted ceiling, colorful Oriental rugs, and of course, High Tea. Guest rooms are likewise luxurious (spruced up after the hotel's big renovation). Grandiose and majestic, The Biltmore is world-famous for its facilities: enormous health club, on-site golf course, and the largest hotel swimming pool in the continental U.S. As recently featured in Luxury Spa Finder magazine, The Biltmore is also the spot to find a spa experience that's "high luxe at half off:"

For $750 (taxes included) the Biltmore Spa Splendor package seems too good to be true: a junior suite for two nights and a $250 spa credit.

Located on the seventh floor, the Spa is an oasis of water cascades, flowing rivers, fountains, and bamboo floors. Treatments run the gamut-- from massages to rejuvenating body treatments, deep cleansing facials to Terme Spa baths.


Mont Tremblant: Quebec’s Perfect Ski Town

March 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mont Tremblant As recently featured in the New York Times, Mont Tremblant offers mountain chic just 80 miles from Montreal. Second-home owners are attracted to this beautiful ski resort, fashionable but not overly glamorous; the NYT raves:

Tucked into the Laurentian Mountains less than 80 miles north of Montreal, Mont Tremblant is a stunning Quebec ski town perched at the southern tip of Lake Tremblant. It somehow manages to blend the kitsch of a Disney-like ski resort, the elegance of a small cosmopolitan city and the serenity of fir-and-pine-covered mountains.

The place to stay is the Fairmont Tremblant, situated in the heart of the picturesque village at the base of the majestic Laurentian peaks. Here, you can climb aboard a high-speed chair lift directly at your doorstep. The facilities at this award-winning hotel are state-of-the-art: heated outdoor and indoor pools, spa and health club, golf, excellent culinary options, and beautiful guest rooms.


Raffles Comes to St. Lucia, West Indies

March 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Lucia Hot off the press. Raffles will open a spectacular luxury resort in St. Lucia. What to expect at Raffles' latest dazzling property? Exquisite fine dining, five pools, the 10,000 square foot RafflesAmrita Spa, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the centerpiece of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club St. Lucia, with stunning views of the Caribbean and the island's dramatic coastline. St. Lucia is a logical choice for the setting of the newest Raffles Hotel. The idyllic island-- an undeveloped tropical paradise with lush mountainous landscapes and picture-perfect beaches-- is the latest "it" spot in the Caribbean. New properties like The Discovery at Marigot Bay have been making waves in the region.

P.S. The opening date has not yet been announced.


California Dreaming: Spring Break Fun for the Family at Estancia La Jolla

March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Estancia La Jolla Escape to the San Diego sunshine for a Spring Break the whole family will enjoy. Consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world, Estancia La Jolla is a California Rancho-style coastal retreat surrounded by lush gardens, only minutes from San Diego's attractions and the beaches of La Jolla. At this garden oasis by the sea, indulge in memorable meals, pool-side lounging, and excellent spa services. The world-class facilities and gracious hospitality ensure an extraordinary spring getaway. The Spring Break Getaway, priced from $795 for the family of four, is available from March 30-April 14, 2007, and includes:

*Three nights in a luxurious double queen Verandah room

*Family Picnic Lunch and Beach Bundle For Four (includes sand toys, beach blankets, and umbrella)

*Estancia Classic: 2 hour on-site kid's golf clinic hosted by a Torrey Pines Golf Course Instructor. Available for children 7 and up.

*Flick & Float movie tickets for family movie night by the pool (Each Saturday Night at 6:30pm)

*Complimentary Valet Parking