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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.

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.


Paris Secrets and Insider Addresses with a Stay at Le Meurice

June 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meurice, ParisSometimes planning a trip to Paris can be overwhelming. With so many incredible restaurants and attractions, how to choose what to see and do? Le Meurice to the rescue. The iconic palace hotel facing the Jardin des Tuileries gives guests insider access to the City of Light with the "My Little Paris Passport"-- 24 hours of exploration of lesser known hot spots accessed by your Smart Phone. What's more, Le Meurice offers free Dutch-style bikes and scooters for guests, styled in the hotel's signature green. (You may find yourself so enamored with your cycle that you want to take it home with you. And you can! The bikes and scooters are available for purchase.) Book "The Parisian" package for a summer jaunt to Paris and get all kinds of goodies at Le Meurice:

* A VIP welcome toast with Champagne

* daily American breakfast

* Dinner for two by the three-Michelin star Chef Yannick Alléno at Le Dali (beverages excluded)

* Two "speedy mani" hand treatments at the Spa Valmont

* Use of a Le Meurice scooter or bicycle for touring the city

* A VIP kit from Printemps Paris, a leading luxury department store

* A garment bag for all of your purchases

* My Little Paris Passport to discover secret addresses

* Arrival airport transfer

Rates start from 805€ per night for two nights based on double occupancy. Two night minimum stay required. Package is available until December 31, 2011.


Summer Retreat in Hong Kong at The Upper House

June 3, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Upper HouseAmong Hong Kong hotels-- some of the most glorious on the planet-- The Upper House stands out for its sleek, contemporary design, secret garden and grassy lawn on level 6, and top-notch technology. Did we mention the panoramic views over the city skyline and Victoria Harbour? Bed down at The Upper House as a "Summer Retreat," starting from HK$3,400 (US$437), and you'll get luxurious accommodations, daily breakfast for two at Café Gray Deluxe, a one-way arrival transfer in a hybrid Lexus, access to the fully-equipped gym, complimentary wifi and local calls, plus a fully-stocked in-room bar that's free. Summer is a great time to visit Hong Kong with the Dragon Boat Carnival, International Film Festival, and sales on high-end fashion.


Summer in Paris: Free Museum Pass with a Stay at The Ritz

June 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz ParisWhat could be better than a summer in Paris? Sipping aperitifs at sidewalk cafes, shopping in the Marais, checking out the excellent new exhibits at the city's world famous museums... Best of all: The Ritz Paris is spoiling guests with a special treat when they book a two-night stay. You'll get a complimentary "museums pass" to visit as many museums as you like. And for the fashionistas: The Ritz Paris is collaborating with Galeries Lafayette (the landmark department store) to offer you a 10% discount on all your purchases, plus VIP services (like a bellboy who'll carry all your shopping bags back to the hotel). You'll also enjoy High Tea with scones and tasty treats for the ultimate pick-me-up after a day of sightseeing or shopping. Rates for the "Summer in Paris" offer start from 660 euros per night for two in a Superior Double room with Continental breakfast, the two-day "museums pass," Galeries Lafayette privilege card, and High Tea. Available July 15- September 15, 2011. News: The luxury hotel on the Place Vendôme recently opened its Terrasse Bar for the season, a wonderful spot for al fresco cocktails and conversation.