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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.

Christmas Recipes from Sea Island Resorts, Georgia

December 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sea Islands Resorts

Georgia's Sea Islands Resorts-- renowned for its championship golf, incredible dining, legendary Southern hospitality, and exclusive accommodations-- offers a wonderful holiday escape this Christmas season for the whole family. Scheduled events include ballroom dancing, classical concerts, themed Christmas trees, gingerbread castles, spiced cider and hot toddy toasts, nightly elf tuck-in for the kiddies, crafts workshops, holiday bingo, and the Reindog Parade for pets with prizes awarded for the most festively costumed pet. Plus, the resort guarantees a White Christmas, with a special delivery of blown snow at the Beach Club for a seaside Snow Day. For a holiday treat, enjoy these favorite recipes from Sea Islands Pastry chefs:

Spiced Pumpkin Cheescake

Crust

1 cup Graham crumbs

5 TBSP melted butter

1 cup All-Purpose flour

1-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Cheesecake Batter

1-1/2 lbs cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 TSP nutmeg

1/2 TSP ginger

1/2 TSP allspice

1 TBSP cinnamon

1/4 TSP cloves

1-1/4 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

4 egg yolks (mixed well)

Procedure

Press crust into pans. Fill to the top with batter. Bake in a waterbath at 250 F until done. Freeze until set hard. Release from the pans. Yield: 2 9-inch Cakes

Chewy Gingersnaps

Batter

2/3 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Primex

3 TBSP Molasses

1 Egg

1-3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

2 TSP Baking Soda

1/2 TSP Cinnamon

1 TBSP Ginger

1/2 TSP Cloves

1/2 TSP Nutmeg

1/4 TSP Salt

Procedure

Cream together the Fat, Sugar and Molasses. Add the egg and mix well. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Scoop using desired ice cream scoop. Sprinkle with grain sugar and bake. 350 F for 20 minutes.


Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas: Five-Star Vegas Luxury

December 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn Las Vegas

Congratulations to Wynn Las Vegas, the first Vegas resort in history to win the coveted Mobil Five Star Award for its Tower Suites and one of only 37 hotels in the US to receive this rating. Since its opening in 2005, Wynn Las Vegas has epitomized over-the-top luxury in Sin City. The utterly decadent facilities include 19 fine dining establishments with celebrity chefs, superb spa, incredible casino, lots of retail and convention space, and its own 18-hole championship golf course (the only place on the Strip where guests can tee up right outside the front door). And in a place where the rooms are nothing short of magnificent, the Tower Suites are truly over-the-top. Private VIP check-in at the exclusive Tower Suites lobby. Floor-to-ceiling windows. A whopping 640 square feet of comfort and convenience. The latest technology, including VOIP telephones, fax, high speed Internet access, automatic bedside drapery and lighting controls, and flat screen LCD high-definition televisions. Luxurious bedding and spa-like bathrooms. In-room massage and beauty treatments. A terrace with private pools.

Related Articles:

Chicago Sun-Times, "Tower Suites first Vegas hotel to earn Mobil's 5-star rating"


Winter Golf and Spa Package at Quail Lodge, Carmel, California

November 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Quail Lodge

Tee-up, Relax and Rejuvenate at Quail Lodge, located on the sunny side of the Monterey Peninsula in scenic Carmel, California. Situated on 850 scenic acres overlooking the rolling green fairways, Quail Lodge is only minutes from the white sand beaches and galleries in charming Carmel By The Sea. This resort property is an ideal jumping off point to discover the magical Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, and the magnificent Big Sur Coast. Beloved for its championship gold and luxurious spa, Quail Lodge also offers great dining options within this idyllic natural environment. The Winter Golf and Spa Escape Package includes accommodations and breakfast for two plus choices of either two rounds of golf OR two 50-minute spa treatments, OR one round of golf and one spa treatment. It is an incredible value starting at $335 nightly. Available until March 31, 2007.


Winter Fun Package at The Homestead, Virginia for only $109

November 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead

The Homestead is the winter playground for generations of families. Ranked among the world's top spa and golf resorts, the National Historic Landmark is located in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, where a plethora of outdoor activities are at your beck and call: skiing (with the excellent Sepp Kober Ski School and its staff of international instructors), snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, snowmobile tours, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Indoors, there's the world-class spa, bowling, movies, video games, heated pool, billiards, and family games. Folks have been flocking here since the 1700s to "take the waters" at the historic hot springs and naturally-heated pools. And they continue to flock to this timeless retreat to enjoy the world-class facilities and beautiful setting. The Winter Fun Package at The Homestead starts at just $109 and includes luxurious accommodations, breakfast daily, use of fitness center and outdoor pool, and afternoon tea in the Great Hall. Children 12 and under eat breakfast free. Children 18 and under stay free.


Christmas at The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

November 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Sanctuary

Kiawah Island Resort, outside Charleston, South Carolina, is oft considered the best golf and tennis resort in the United States. Kiawah debuted its luxury hotel, The Sanctuary, in recent years and the hotel has quickly gained a loyal following of distinguished guests. Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report named it "Best New Resort Hotel" for its personalized service, extraordinary accommodations, and luxurious facilities. The crown jewel of a special resort island, The Sanctuary is easily the finest oceanfront hotel to open on the East Coast in the past 20 years. Celebrate the holiday season at The Sanctuary with month-long festivities, beginning with the tree lighting ceremony and including special breakfasts with Santa and the elves, afternoon teas and storytelling with Mrs. Claus, cookies and hot chocolate, local chef Gingerbread House competition, and holiday music filling the lobby as carolers sing old favorites. It's truly a magical experience for the whole family. The Christmas Eve Package, priced at $485 per room, includes accommodations (Ocean View), full buffet breakfast for two, Christmas Eve Dinner for two at Jasmine Porch or Turtle Point, and a keepsake Sanctuary Christmas Ornament. The Christmas Feast Package, priced at $620 per room, includes a lavish Christmas Eve dinner for two at The Ocean Room, and a Christmas Day Buffet for two at Jasmine Porch.


The Surf Concierge at Four Seasons Resort Aviara, San Diego

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Aviara

Surf's up. Welcome to San Diego, where it's always sunny and seventy degrees, and the leading luxury resort-- the AAA five diamond Four Seasons Aviara-- has a surf concierge. That's right. This concierge dude hangs out in a poolside surf shack and relays the latest wave conditions and ocean temperature to interested guests. A Surf Shuttle departs from the resort daily at 10:30 am to transport guests to Moonlight Beach, one of San Diego's top surf spots, where lessons are held. The surf concierge-turned-instructor gives personalized two-hour lessons, which includes wetsuit and board. (Never fear: s/he's a professional, and life-guard-certified.) The ultimate goal of the surf concierge: help you catch your first wave.


Four Seasons Great Exuma at Emerald Bay, Bahamas: Golf and Spa Package

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Great Exuma

Escape to the secluded Exuma cays, a beautiful tropical oasis just a short flight from Florida. At the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, indulge in luxury while surrounded by crystal-clear Bahamian waters and silky sand beaches. Lounge poolside at the free-form Active Pool, amidst the lush landscaping, while attendants provide iced water, cold towels, and refreshing chilled spritz. Play a round of golf on the breathtaking championship 18-hole course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, or hit some tennis on one of six Hydro Har-Tru courts (all lit for night play). Or indulge in an indulgent spa treatment at the beautiful open-air spa, followed by relaxation in the tranquil spa garden. The Golf and Spa package at Four Seasons Great Exuma has been designed for couples to make the most of their vacation in paradise. For each night you stay, choose either a 50-minute spa treatment or one round of golf, for the perfect combination of recreation and pampering. Package includes luxurious accommodations and choice of one round of golf (inclusive of cart) and one 50-minute spa treatment (for up to two persons, per room, per night). Starting at $628 per night in a Garden View Room. Valid until December 16, 2006.


The New Beach House at the Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples, Florida

November 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz Carlton Beach House

The five-star, five-diamond Ritz-Carlton Resort Naples has got it all: seven different restaurants, world-class spa, pool and beach activities, golf, tennis, kids programs, and a wide selection of water sports. It's no wonder The Robb Report lists The Ritz-Carlton Naples as one of the "100 Best Places to Stay in 2006" (May 2006). But now there's another reason to check out the beachfront resort: the Beach House. Located on the pristine sand of the Gulf of Mexico, the $4.5 million beach house is a 3,000 sq ft, two-storey, multi-use facility for weddings, private dinners, business functions, or parties. (It can host 120 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 for cocktail receptions.) The Beach House sports mesquite hardwood floors, Caribbean wicker ceiling fans, plantation shutters, state-of-the-art technology, and a full service kitchen for on-site catering needs complete with black granite bar. And of course there are remarkable views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.


New England Thanksgiving: A Free Night at The Equinox Resort, Vermont

November 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Equinox Resort and Spa

The award-winning Equinox Resort and Spa is cooking up a delicious, New England style Thanksgiving feast. Escape to Manchester Village, Vermont for a fall getaway and celebrate Thanksgiving with a free night. Situated on 2,300 acres between the Green and Taconic Mountains, the Equinox dates back more than 200 years. Enjoy deluxe accommodations, a recently renovated Avanyu Spa, and year round outdoor activities. The Thanksgiving package includes four nights accommodations for the price of three, daily breakfast, daily dinner, complimentary use of the Avanyu fitness spa, and Thanksgiving dinner in either the Colonnade Dining Room or the Marsh Tavern. The four-night package is $918.50 per person, based on double occupancy. Available November 22-November 26, 2006.


Heavenly Hawaii: Shaken, Not Stirred Package at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel

November 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mauna Lani

After the recent earthquake in Hawaii, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows has devised a perfectly delicious Shaken, Not Stirred Package, to tempt wary visitors to return to the islands. In the quake's aftermath, the AAA five-diamond luxury property is undamaged (and everything is a-ok), but lucky guests can now score rates of up to 40 percent off. Located on the Big Island's Kohala coast, Mauna Lani is surrounded by a lush volcanic landscape chock full of waterfalls, rainforests, active lava flows and even snow-capped mountains. The beachfront resort is recognized worldwide for its 25,000 sq ft spa, two championship Hawaii golf courses, top tennis facilities at the Sport and Fitness Club, and three miles of white sand beach, where guests can witness the whale migration just offshore. This is easily one of the most romantic spots in the world.

With the Shaken, Not Stirred Package, "discover first-hand that the tranquil beauty of Mauna Lani has not been stirred." Package includes two pineapple martinis, daily buffet breakfast for two, daily use of snorkeling equipment, access to the Mauna Lani Sports and Fitness Club, nightly Hawaiian entertainment, tours of Mauna Lani's historic fishponds and petroglyph fields. Rates start from $390 per night, available until December 19, 2006.