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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.

Au Revoir, Hotel Ritz Paris!

August 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Hotel Ritz Paris has closed its doors for an extensive 2 year renovation period on August 1st, 2012. Built in 1898, this stunning hotel has served as an opulent home away from home for familiar faces such as Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel, Elton John, and Oscar de la Renta. Below is a letter from the general manager sent out to guests:

The legendary Ritz Paris has closed its doors to embark on a two-year restoration program. Rooms, suites, restaurants and bars, the spa and the famous Ritz Escoffier cooking school will all be carefully restored and recreated under the direction of the internationally renowned interior designer Thierry W. Despont. We will ensure that the charm and personality of the Ritz Paris is kept alive and that we continue to satisfy even the most discerning travelers. We certainly hope that you will follow our progress on www.ritzparis.com or through our social media channels. All of us at the Ritz Paris are looking forward with great anticipation to welcoming you back in 2014 for the reopening of your home in Paris.

Sincerely, Christian A. Boyens, General Manager

Frank J. Klein, President

We hope the Ritz Paris can update its look without losing its classic French style and feel, and we certainly look forward to seeing how the renovations progress. Planning a trip to Paris now? Not to worry; we have 72 luxury hotels waiting just for you!


A Sneak Peak into the James Royal Palm in Miami Beach

July 31, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s “top 10 most anticipated openings of 2012,” the James Royal Palm is certainly making a splash in the Miami Beach hotel arena. This luxurious beachfront property is situated in the heart of South Beach, Florida and is immersed in a new and vibrant scene. Aside from a new and swanky luxury hotel popping up in South Beach, we’re especially exited for the hotel’s pools (yes, that’s plural), its beautiful interior design, and its full service spa with salt-infused treatments. The interior of the James Royal Palm was created by Rottet Studio, and here’s what Lauren Rottet had to say about her inspiration in Boutique Design magazine: "After eating in some Cuban cafes and talking with local artists, I started thinking about Jean-Michel Basquiat (the late graffiti/neo-expressionist artist) meeting Virginia Woolf at the James and staying up long into the night talking about art and poetry." Not quite what we would imagine to be the driver of inspiration, but we certainly love the outcome and encourage you to make your reservations come this October to be among the first to experience the James Royal Palm!


Lights, Camera, Action at the Peninsula New York

July 27, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Peninsula New York is launching a monthly rooftop French film series starting this Monday, July 30th. The series is called “Ciné Sous Les Étoiles,” and it will feature classics such as A Very Long Engagement, Chocolat, The Artist, and Amelie, a 2001 romantic comedy which will kick start the series this Monday. The movies will be shown at Salon De Ning’s West Terrace the last Friday of every month, and cocktails as well as snacks such as popcorn, hotdogs, nachos, and ice cream will be served throughout the screening. No reservations are needed, but there is a one cocktail minimum requirement. We can’t think of a better way to generate buzz for Peninsula’s next big luxury hotel opening in Paris than creating a Parisian feel in the heart of New York City!


Hotels with a History: The Driskill Hotel

July 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

Cattle baron Jesse Driskill built his hotel in 1886 to serve as the “Frontier Palace of the South” in the capital city of Texas. The Driskill Hotel was opened during a time when the United States longed for architecture that represented the American dream, and Jesse Driskill’s strong attention to detail created an icon that served and continues to serve Texas proud, openly welcoming guests from all over the world. It has remained a landmark of Texas hospitality and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, offering guests an elite level of luxury. This historic hotel is located in downtown Austin and provides easy access to the convention center, opera, symphony, fine dining, shopping, and the 6th street music scene. Make your reservations at this baron’s luxury hotel and feel the pride and history that emanates from its walls for yourself.


Gotham City Getaways

July 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the much anticipated premiere of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, we certainly want to go beyond just seeing the films. For all of the Batman aficionados who hope to experience some of the scenes first hand, we bring you the numerous faces of Gotham City.

The Dark Knight had scenes shot in Chicago, Hong Kong, and London. The opening robbery of ‘Gotham National Bank’ by the Joker takes place at the Old Chicago Post Office, the offices of Harvey Dent and the boardroom of Wayne Enterprises are in the IBM Building in Chicago, and the restaurant where Bruce Wayne crashes Rachel’s and Harvey’s date is the Criterion Restaurant in London. The theater where Harvey attempts to take Rachel to see the ballet is the Chicago Theater on 175 North State St, and the meeting with the crooked financial tycoon is held in Hong Kong’s IFC2, the tallest building in the city. The views over the Chicago River from Bruce Wayne’s penthouse are actually taken from the 39th floor of the 71 Hotel, which is also where the bedroom of Wayne’s penthouse was filmed.

Want more? Check out the other pieces of Gotham City here!

Hoping to view all of these movie destinations in person? Make your reservations for London, Chicago, and Hong Kong here!

Photo of the 71 Hotel exterior


New Luxury Hotels Opening: A Thompson Hotel in Chicago

July 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

Chicago is quickly becoming a thriving hotspot for new hotels to pop up, and it seems like the trend will continue for the foreseeable future. The Chicago Athletic Association will be converted into a 240-room hotel in 2014, and it’s certainly the perfect building for a boutique luxury hotel. The historic building used to serve as a hangout spot for affluent Chicago bachelors in the 1990s. According to the Chicago Tribune, it was a spot where “one could exercise, enjoy a fine meal in a beautiful setting, and then retire to a comfortable room for the evening, all under one roof." Sounds to us like it already has a few of the key qualities of a luxury hotel, and we can’t wait to see how this repurposing develops! Hoping to visit Chicago a bit earlier? Check out the other luxury hotels in the area here!


Top Summertime Hotels for a Family Vacation

July 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

With school out for the summer, now is the perfect time to take that much-needed family vacation to reconnect with your kids and have some fun all together. While certain luxury hotels are not kid-friendly, it’s a misconception that traveling with kids means you have to give up luxury. Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few of our favorite kid friendly luxury hotels perfect for a family getaway!

Today’s feature is the Four Seasons Chicago. Conveniently located on the Magnificent Mile near the shopping and dining areas, the Four Seasons Chicago is like a residential palace with eagle-eye views of the Windy City. According to familyvacationcritic.com, the Four Seasons Chicago goes above and beyond to make families feel welcome. Upon arrival, kids will find a stuffed animal, cow-shaped cookies, chocolate milk, a bucket of popcorn, books, and games in their room. The bathroom has a footstool to help kids reach the sink along with bubble bath soap, toys, and even plush kid-sized terry robes. These little touches and extra amenities will certainly make your kids feel welcome and right at home. The Four Seasons Chicago also has its very own ice cream man who can come to your room between 4 and 6pm with a cart of delicious ice cream with fun toppings. Looking for a few activities outside the hotel perfect for the whole family? The Four Seasons Chicago offers the following complimentary off site activities:

 

Cultural Center with mini-concerts

Grant Park

Lincoln Park Zoo

Museums (on selected free days)

Navy Pier

Oak Street Beach

Millennium Park


Experience London This Summer without the Olympics Crowds

July 11, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Being in the city hosting the Olympics can be an exhilarating experience, but at times you may feel like you need to take a step back and experience the beautiful city you’re in on its own without the chaos and crowds that come with a competition. The Dukes Hotel in London is located in a quiet courtyard in the heart of St. James’s, and it’s within walking distance from Jermyn St, Bond St, The Royal Academy of Arts, and Buckingham Palace. Take advantage of the custom-made picnic hampers and the bicycles available to guests perfect for taking a ride through the park or exploring London. We invite you to experience the best of both worlds and take advantage of everything London has to offer by staying at the Dukes Hotel this summer!


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: The James Royal Palm

July 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The James Royal Palm is opening in the fall of 2012 and it is currently accepting reservations. Featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s “top 10 most anticipated openings of 2012,” this luxury hotel is an oceanfront beach retreat topping everyone’s must-visit lists. Located in the heart of South Beach, the James Royal Palm is perfectly situated in a vibrant and energetic setting. The hotel will feature two swimming pools and cabanas, a full service spa with salt-infused treatments, two dining options, a poolside bar, and Lil James offerings for kids. Just a few steps from Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, you will certainly have ample opportunities to wine, dine, shop, and unwind at this new luxury kid on the block, the James Royal Palm!


Your Questions Answered: Best Room Types at La Perouse in Nice, France for a Family of 6

July 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: Please let me know of availability and room types at Hotel La Perouse, Nice, France, for October 7th 2012 through October 14th 2012 for 3 adults and 3 children (ages 11, 7, 4).

Answer: For 3 adults and 3 children, we would suggest making a reservation for a Junior Suite and a Superior Room with either 1 double or 2 twin beds. The Junior Suite has 1 double bed and a sofabed, and it can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, while the Superior Room can have either 2 twin beds or a double bed and can accommodate 2 adults and 1 child. (an extra bed can be added to this room upon request. Please be advised that extra charges may apply.) These room options add up to more than 6 individuals, so you would likely be able to adjust who stays in which room to fit your needs best. To make a reservation for two rooms, simply visit the this website, enter your dates of travel, and select the room type of your choice. Once you complete the first reservation, simply repeat the process to make the second room reservation. Please fill in the Special Request field of both reservations requesting that the two rooms be interconnecting or adjacent. This cannot be guaranteed but the hotel would certainly do its best to accommodate this request. To view full nightly breakdowns and to make your reservations, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, and select a specific room type. Please be sure to fill in the special request field of each room reservation stating the number of kids and the ages of the kids that will be staying in each room so that the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.