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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.

Retail Therapy in San Francisco: Holiday Shopping with the Four Seasons Hotel

October 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hotel San FranciscoThe holidays are right around the corner, and the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is getting in the mood with a holiday shopping spree and some festive cocktails. To the delight of guests, the luxury hotel in downtown San Francisco has partnered with Bloomingdale's to create a luxe holiday shopping package. Guests can indulge in some retail therapy with discounts, personal shopping services, and an après-shopping spa treatment. Bloomingdale’s flagship West Coast store is just two blocks from Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, a five-level shopping mecca of 300,000 square feet. Shop 'til you drop, then unwind with a complimentary Spiked Hot Chocolate at Seasons Bar and Lounge and a post-shopping massage at The Spa at the Sports Club/LA, located within the Hotel. (The enormous Sports Club/LA is a great place to burn off those pre-holiday calories.)

The Bloomingdale’s Luxe Holiday Package is available from November 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012 and includes:

    * Luxurious accommodations
    * $100 Bloomingdale’s gift card
    * 15 percent all-day savings certificate (see in-store certificate for details)
    * Signature Bloomingdale’s gift upon arrival at Visitor Center
    * Hotel delivery service for purchases
    * One-on-one makeup consultation and deluxe sample with Dior
    * Beauty Imaging System skin analysis and Facial Treatment Mask with SK-II
    * Appointment with a Bloomingdale's “At Your Service” personal shopper
    * Two specialty cocktails at Seasons Bar and Lounge
    * A 25-minute head, neck and shoulder massage at the Spa at Sports Club/LA

 


Sponsored Article: A Perfect Location in the City of Light at The Westin Paris-Vendôme

October 3, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The Westin Paris VendomeThe Westin Paris – Vendôme has an enviable location in the heart of Paris just off the Place Vendôme, next to the Place de la Concorde and immediately opposite the spectacular Tuileries Gardens. Just a stone's throw from the Louvre, the hotel is surrounded by famous landmarks and is minutes away from the city's best shopping on the elegant Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré. This is the capital's busiest and most fashionable neighborhood.

When the hotel was first opened in 1878 it was celebrated as the most exclusive property of its kind and was regarded as a national treasure of France's Second Empire. Over the years, it has been renovated and restored many times, most recently in 2008. But important historic details remain: a courtyard fountain with a white marble water nymph, and a spectacular glass roof from 1878. This is where Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, took up residence during her husband’s exile from 1898 to 1919, as commemorated by an inscription near the front entrance. This is also where Victor Hugo held three large banquets celebrating his 79th, 81st and 83rd birthdays in the lavish Imperial Salon on the ground floor. The most celebrated fashion houses such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Hanae Mori, Nina Ricci, Torrente, and Ungaro regularly hold their shows in the hotel’s historic salons.

Six Senses Spa at Westin Paris VendomeWith 440 rooms, The Westin Paris - Vendôme has the largest number of suites of all the traditional Parisian luxury hotels in its category. From their Second Empire classicism, the majority of the suites at the hotel offer exceptional views of the capital- truly one of the best panoramas of the Paris skyline. The famous designer Sybille de Margerie refurbished the rooms in a sophisticated contemporary style. Taking inspiration from the history of the hotel, Sybille de Margerie created an ambience of renewal and relaxation with muted color schemes of plum–mauve to taupe, with splashes of light green and Bordeaux reds. Of course all the rooms at The Westin Paris - Vendôme are equipped with the sleep-inducing Westin Heavenly Bed, one of the great innovations developed by Westin. The bed has proved so popular with guests that the Westin Heavenly Bed is now for sale at the Westin online store.


Vamos a Sevilla!

September 28, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is a historic city with tiny, winding, bustling streets and a rich culture symbolized by Moorish influence. If you’re in search of an energetic nightlife or a cultural excursion to discover some of the most renowned monuments in all of Europe, consider visiting the heart of Southern Spain.

In the center of Seville lies Hotel Alfonso XIII, named after the king who commissioned it 83 years ago. This luxurious hotel offers rooms with varying themes and styles including Isabelline Baroque, Moorish, and Castillian. Hotel Alfonso XIII is situated downtown, just minutes from the Royal Alcazar Palace and the Plaza de España, making this hotel the perfect, centrally located destination.

Seville has an incredible charm emanating from the streets, and the people have a very relaxed attitude about life. I encourage you to fully embrace the culture and see a flamenco show, or try the pairing of green olives with beer, or sip on a Tinto de Verano, which is a light, refreshing blend of red wine and lemon soda.

Be sure to get your shopping done in the morning or evening, as many store owners close down their shops for a few hours in the afternoons for a siesta. My recommended hotel is currently closed for renovations, but it’ll reopen in March 2012, just in time for the beautiful spring months and Semana Santa, which is one of the most significant, traditional events in Seville. Can’t wait that long? Consider some of the other incredible resorts located all over Spain, and get ready for a fiesta!


Blue for the Sky, Yellow for the Grain, Visit Ukraine!

September 27, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Ukraine (or Ykraina, as it is pronounced in the majority of the world), is a country that has some of the most incredible, lush hills rolling throughout its countryside and beautiful cobblestone roads throughout its cities. Granted, being Ukrainian myself, I’ll admit that I’m slightly biased, but I guarantee you’ll be awestruck by all Ukraine has to offer. Still don’t believe me? I challenge you to visit the Breadbasket of Europe and see for yourself!

Kiev, Ukraine’s capital offers everything and anything from fascinating museums, theaters, and ancient ruins, to contemporary buildings and breathtaking cathedrals. A wonderful hotel to consider for your stay in Ukraine is the Hyatt Regency Kiev. This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of the capital and is surrounded by the culture and history of Kiev’s Old Town. Consider exploring Saint Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery and one of Kiev’s most recognized landmarks, Saint-Sophia’s Cathedral. Both attractions are walking distance from the Hyatt Regency Kiev. After a day of exploring the most beautiful monasteries and cathedrals in the world, consider perusing the diverse boutiques and shops on Kreshchatyk Street, where you’ll find gifts and articles of clothing unique to Ukraine. Hoping to bring your kid(s) on your travels? The Hyatt Regency Kiev offers a phenomenal brunch on Sundays, complete with a children’s playground, paint lessons, magicians, clowns, puzzles, and toys. Speaking of food, be sure to order pierogies (cheese and potato dumplings), and olivye (salad) during your visit, two of Ukraine’s typical dishes that will complete your stay in the best country in the world!


Free Stuff with Your Stay at Opus Hotel Vancouver

September 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Opus Hotel VancouverPaint the town red in Vancouver; the Opus Hotel is inviting you to treat yourself to a deluxe evening out with a bevy of free add-ons with the "Lights Out" package. We're talking $170 worth of inclusions! Kick off the good times with free martinis in your stylish OPUS Suite as you primp for an evening out with priority access to Vancouver’s most desirable restaurant, One Hundred Nights. They're open until 3am so of course you'll get late 2pm check out the next morning and breakfast for two. Priced from $279, the package includes these complimentary perks:

* Martinis for 2 | mix or drink it straight up

* OPUS Perks Card | Exclusive offers at 14 Yaletown Retailers

* 15% off Deluxe and Executive Suite room rates

* VIP access to OPUS Bar/One Hundred Nights | flash your room key

* Breakfast for two in One Hundred Nights

PS. The Opus Hotel Vancouver is part of Five Star Alliance's four-star hotel collection. For other four-star hotels, browse the Five Star Alliance site...


'Sandsational' Summer in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands

August 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Marina Bay Sands, SingaporeYou've heard about Marina Bay Sands and it's sky-high infinity pool and plant-filled Sky Park... Now here's your chance to see it with your very own eyes, and tell all your friends back home about one of the sexiest new hotels on the planet. Located along the Marina Bay waterfront, Marina Bay Sands opened in 2010 and has already become a premier entertainment destination in Singapore. It has a lotus-inspired Museum, countless retail stores, trendy restaurants by celebrity chefs, theaters and happening night clubs, and a Las Vegas-style casino. Stay anytime til September 30, 2011 and you can take advantage of the "Sandsational Summer" package which includes:

* Two complimentary drinks from Ku De Ta—in the iconic Sands SkyPark.

* A S$50 nett destination credit per day. (Simply charge to your room and they'll waive the first S$50nett daily.)

* A 10% discount off Disney's musical "The Lion King" for all categories except Platinum

* A 23% discount off admission for two at ArtScience Museum. 

Book now to enjoy this package from $339 per night on weekdays, and $399 on weekends. Does not include daily breakfast nor the 10% service charge and 7% GST.


Summer Sun and Shopping Spree: Macy's Gift Cards at Westin Gaslamp Quarter

August 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San DiegoBlue skies, 70 miles of beaches, and a year-round Mediterranean climate... San Diego makes for a sunny summer getaway. The newly renovated Westin Gaslamp Quarter is inviting guests to stay and play with a number of enticing packages. Until September 5, 2011, you can get a third night free. Or if you book the "Summer Sun and Shopping Spree" package, you'll get a $100 Macy’s gift card for each night of your stay! The Washington Post points out that regular rates start at $169, so the package rates of $199 (plus $25 per night in taxes), translates to $70 you get for retail therapy. Another hot deal: AAA members and California residents can score $99 room rates! Located next to San Diego's historic and vibrand Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel offers a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, WestinWORKOUT Gym, and 450 guest rooms with flat-screen TVs and Heavenly Beds.

 


Summer Promotion at the Swank Armani Hotel Dubai

July 5, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Armani Hotel DubaiWe found ourselves daydreaming about Giorgio Armani's pad in Dubai (you know, the one the fashion mogul designed himself- inside the world's tallest building), then the next thing we knew, we were checking out room rates for a summertime trip. Imagine our surprise when we found out that the Armani Hotel Dubai is running a special promotion. Stay two nights and save AED 400 per night in the Deluxe and Classic Rooms, as well as the Premier Suite room category. Book a Fountain Suite (with spectacular views of the sound and lights of The Dubai Fountain) for four nights and save AED 1,000 a night. Channeling minimalist elegance, the hotel's 160 rooms and suites were designed with sophisticated colors and unique textures. From the hand-made Florentine leather to the bathrooms made with Brazilian green bamboo marble-- every detail was personally chosen by Armani. Facilities, including eight restaurants, an indoor gold souk, and a decadent spa, reflect the Armani lifestyle.


Destination Deauville: Where to Stay in Normandy's Chic Seaside Town

June 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal Barriere, Deauville, FranceJust two hours by train outside of Paris, Deauville is a sublime seaside destination. Since its creation as a resort in the 19th century, Deauville has lured the chic and the fashionable for weekend jaunts on the beach boardwalk. After all, this is the spot where Coco Chanel first opened a boutique in 1913, and fashion designers like Yves Saint Laurent used to come to unwind. (Deauville hits the spotlight each September for the annual American Film Festival, and was the recent host of the G8 Summit, when the world's leaders gathered in Normandy for a few days of meetings in May.) For a town of just 4,000 year-round inhabitants, there's not much Deauville doesn't offer. Horse races at the Hippodrome, gambling at the casino, sun-bathing on the beach, shopping the cornucopia of couture boutiques, sailing the high seas, relaxing at the thalassotherapy spas, and teeing off on the scenic golf courses...

*The* place to stay in town is the Royal Barrière, home to Deauville's only Michelin-starred resto. Smack dab on the seafront, the five-star hotel is a favorite of Hollywood stars and Parisian society. (The walls are lined with autographed photos of A-listers.) Sister hotel, the Normandy Barrière, a masterpiece of Tudor architecture, is another splendid option. Indeed, the Lucien Barrière Hotels Group has been a central part of the Deauville scene since the early 20th century, and is a frequent sponsor of cinema, music and equestrian events.


Buzz in Paris: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Opens Soon

June 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental ParisOne of the most talked-about hotel openings of the year is the Mandarin Oriental Paris, debuting on the fashionable Rue Saint-Honoré in a matter of days (June 28th). A high-profile team of architects and designers (including Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Sybille de Margerie, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku) worked their magic on the building, which now offers an indoor garden, spa, and restaurants overseen by super chef Thierry Marx, the Michelin-starred "Bruce Willis lookalike" who champions molecular cuisine and is a judge on Top Chef. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the "J’aime Paris" opening offer is now available for stays between July 17 and August 28, with rates from $1,110 a night inclusive of a $435 credit per room and $725 credit per suite that can also be redeemed at the hotel’s spa or restaurants.