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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.

New in Park City: Dakota Mountain Lodge and Golden Door Spa, The Waldorf Astoria Collection


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dakota Mountain Lodge and Golden Door SpaThere's a new luxury hotel on the block in Park City and there's been quite the buzz about its $159 introductory rates. As the only ski resort in The Waldorf Astoria Collection, the new Dakota Mountain Lodge promises to up the luxury ante in Utah. What's so hot about the 175-room resort? For starters: the new Frostwood Gondola, which offers ski-in/ski-out convenience just adjacent the resort, with assistance from the doting ski valets. Another plus: The 16,000 square foot Golden Door Spa, where you can soothe tired muscles after a day on the slopes. Also on-site: the Spruce restaurant and lounge, sister to the award-winning resto in San Francisco. Each of the accommodations is uniquely appointed with custom designed furniture and designer carpeting. Big bathrooms have large jetted tubs, most with separate glass-enclosed showers. Large kitchens are fully-equipped and boast stainless Viking appliances and abundant granite counter space. In addition to the low rates, the special introductory offer means a fourth night free when you stay three consecutive nights.


Whistler Village: A Reality Show and the 2010 Olympic Games


By: Alison Victor

Pan Pacific Whistler Village CentreAny fan of Fox's reality program "Hell's Kitchen" tunes in for the novice chefs battling their way through kitchen services under the watchful, and many times irate, thumb of Chef Gordan Ramsay. This year's cycle has the ambitious contestants vying for a coveted position at Araxi Restaurant. Why is this such a great prize? Well, Araxi Restaurant happens to be a top dining destination in the heart of Whistler, B.C., and the winner of "Hell's Kitchen" will begin their tenure under Executive Chef James Walt just in time for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. It seems that a little humiliation for the sake of good television may be worth it in this case. Now you will just need to tune in to find out who will win the comparative Gold Medal of reality show prizes!


A Look Inside the Small Luxury Hotel of the Year 2009, The Kristiania Lech


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kristiania Lech

At the 15th International Conference for the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, held in Paris in May, The Kristiania Lech was awarded Small Luxury Hotel of the Year. A favorite of the "skiing glitterati," the 29-room hotel has a prime position in the Austrian Alps for a first-class ski adventure. Above the village of Lech the runs are world-famous, and the hotel's ski butlers will make sure you have everything you need for a day on the slopes. The après-ski scene is just as good. After relaxing in the sauna and jacuzzi, head to the bar which serves a fine array of Schnapps, Austrian Malts and ports. If you book your stay with Five Star Alliance, you'll get an extra perk: a pre-dinner or after-dinner 'petit Austrian Schnapps' tasting at the bar.

Kristiania Lech


Heli-Skiing in New Zealand with Blanket Bay Luxury Lodge


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Blanket Bay'Tis the season to hit the slopes down under. Adrenaline hounds can explore New Zealand's snow-covered mountains via helicopter with Blanket Bay's "Ultimate Luxury Alpine Adventure." Leave it to one of the world's finest luxury lodges to arrange the adventure for you. From the hotel's front lawn on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, you'll take off in a chopper with a private guide for a day. Ski some pristine pistes and Alpine Heliski will even set up a lunch table for you in the mountains. Return to pampering and pure luxury at Blanket Bay. Priced from $2700 per person (roughly), the package includes two nights accommodation in a luxury suite.

Related Articles: Blanket Bay's Heli-Fishing School


Whistler’s Summer Enticements: Dine Out with the Pan Pacific Mountainside


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Whistler MountainsideWhistler is not just heaven for skiers and snowboarders. The top ski destination in North America is also a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit in the summer months when the snow melts on the peaks revealing a veritable playground for young and old alike. Golf enthusiasts take to the links (including four championship designer courses) and adrenaline hounds get their thrills on the Mountain Bike Park (over 115 single-track trails plus guided 5000-foot descents to the valley floor). There's fishing, horseback riding, heli-adventures, zip trekking, bungee jumping, float plane tours, white water rafting, jetboating, and more. Whistler Village-- modeled after a village in the Swiss Alps-- has a plethora of award-winning restaurants. Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside has re-introduced their Dine Out Dinner Package so that you can take advantage of Whistler's world-class establishments. An excellent value at CAD $199 per night, the package includes accommodations in a luxurious suite complete with kitchen, fireplace, and balcony PLUS a CAD $100 dining credit at your choice of one of their top restaurant partners. Valid until November 19, 2009.


Climbing, Fishing, and Hiking, Oh My! Activities at the Four-Season Capella Telluride Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella TellurideYes, the talked-about Capella Resort is steps from the gondola in Telluride for superb skiing in the winter. But the spring and summer months are just as exciting at this all-season resort. Your personal assistant at Capella Telluride-- a perk for every guest-- can arrange myriad excursions for you to get out into the wild. Grab a bike and hit the trails around Telluride. Try your hand at fly-fishing in the nearby lakes, rivers and streams just minutes away. Test your climbing skills on the Adventure Climbing Rock located in Mountain Village. Play a game of golf on some of the most challenging terrain in the world. Spend the day hiking through spectacular forests and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. Take a Jeep Tour through the Wild Wild West, or explore the old town of Telluride on Segway. Or go on an exhilarating adventure white-water rafting. The choice is yours. Don't miss the Summer Sunset Concert Series in Sunset Plaza Mountain Village on Wednesdays, and a host of fun Telluride festivals throughout the summer.


Third Night Free at the Solis Cambrian Hotel in Abelboden, Switzerland


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Solis CambrianFrom your south-facing balcony or terrace at the Solis Cambrian Hotel, you'll take in extraordinary views of mountain peaks and the Engstligen waterfalls, the second longest falls in Switzerland. But the views are not limited to the exterior. The hotel's interiors likewise turn a lot of heads; gorgeous public spaces are designed in a contemporary style with natural stone and wood, and guest rooms are outfitted with custom-made furniture and artwork. Nestled in the charming traditional village of Abelboden, the Solis Cambrian offers a world of mountain sports and outdoor adventures at its doorstep. This summer, take advantage of an exclusive "3 for 2" offer. Stay two nights at the Solis Cambrian Hotel and Spa and enjoy a third night on the house. Plus, you'll get a complimentary breakfast buffet daily, free use of the spa, mountain bike rental, DVD library, and wireless laptop rental. Rates starting at CHF 550 for two people.


The Spa is On Us: Free Treatments with Your Room at Topnotch Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Topnotch ResortMelt away your stress with a weekend getaway to the mountains of Vermont and forget your cares with complimentary spa treatments from Topnotch Resort. Surrounded by 120 scenic acres in the resort town of Stowe, Topnotch has racked up the awards for its recreational diversions and marvelous spa. (The Tennis Academy gets high marks, too.) For a limited time, Vermont's premier luxury resort is enticing guests with two 50-minute spa treatments with their accommodations. Select from Swedish, Combo, Aroma Mountain, Thai, Shiatsu or Reflexology Treatments. This includes access to the impressive spa, and gratuities, to boot. "The Spa is On Us" package starts from $306 and is available until June 18th, 2009.


Exclusive 72 Hour Sale Starts Tomorrow: The Homestead Gives Away a Free Night


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The HomesteadStarting tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21st) at 10 a.m. EST, The Homestead is launching a 72-hour sale with a limited-time special offer: guests get a free third night when booking a two-night vacay. This destination resort in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains has drawn visitors to its hot springs and gorgeous setting since the 1700s. Resort diversions run the gamut from falconry to bowling. The offer is available for travel through December 22, 2009.


Hot New Spas: The Westin Riverfront’s Spa Angali Uses Organic Products


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin Riverfront Resort and SpaSince it opened last year in Beaver Creek, the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa has been getting rave reviews. (Just check out what folks are sayin' on TripAdvisor!) With easy access to Beaver Creek Mountain via the Riverfront Express Gondola located outside the resort's front door, the Westin Riverfront is the ideal base to explore the incredible mountain scenery. The list of resort activities is impressive-- from fishing to downhill and cross-country skiing. But it's the 23,000-square-foot spa and fitness center that really inspires. Indulge in a mountain-inspired spa treatment with local ingredients, and enjoy a swim in the 25-meter saltwater lap pool. Try a spin class or enhance your workout with a personal trainer, then soak in one of three Jacuzzi tubs overlooking the river. The spa is environmentally-friendly, to boot. In its April issue, Conde Nast Traveler gives a shout-out to the Spa Anjali for its green practices: "The brand-new spa... has organic bamboo sheets, cups and plates made from corn, and organic products-- and guests who arrive in their hotel robe (saving the spa from using an additional robe) receive a small discount."