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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.

The World’s Best Skiers Compete in Austria’s Hahnenkamm Race

January 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hahnenkamm

This is it-- the big daddy of skiing competitions. On January 20-22, the world's top skiers attempt the gnarliest of downhill courses, staged by the Kitzbühel Ski Club. The 66th International Hahnenkamm Races include the Super-G and downhill on the Streif run, along with the slalom on the Ganslern course. Witness the incredible speed of downhill—up to 90 mph!—and the super-skills of the Hahnenkamm champion, who must outperform on both the downhill and slalom courses. (Past champs include Franz Klammer, who won this race four times.)


Stay on the Slopes at Amangani, Jackson Hole

December 19, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amangani

The creme de la creme of ski resorts, Amangani was voted first for its spa programs by Conde Nast Traveler readers, and ranked as the top apres-ski destination in the recent December issue of Men’s Health. This place oozes luxury in every detail-- from the Pacific redwood paneling to suites with deep soaking tubs and panoramic views to the gorgeous outdoor swimming pool warm enough to be enjoyed year-round. The setting? The 40-suite resort is set on the cliff of a butte, with a cedar roof that blends in with the surrounding natural outcropping. Conveniently located just below the Teton village’s Bridger Gondola, at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, Amangani enjoys sweeping views of the Teton peaks and the Snake River range and provides easy access to some damn good skiing. Amangani’s Ski Lounge is staffed with a ski valet to assist with rentals and other details, and provides boot and glove warmers, ski racks, baskets for ski gloves, mittens and goggles to ensure that all equipment stays dry and comfortable. Of course warm and cold drinks are available all day, and a complimentary ski shuttle can whisk you back to Amangani’s award-winning facilities at the drop of a hat.

Amangani, Official Site

Amangani, Five Star Alliance


Alternative Ski Destinations: the Julian Alps in Slovenia

December 15, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Slovenian Alps

Sick of the crowds on the slopes? Hop over the Austrian or Italian border to ski what the Alps used to look like. Imposing peaks blanketed in white, bordered by untouched forests and deep river gorges. The former Yugoslav republic is a peaceful gem just waiting to be discovered. Where to go? Kranjska Gora, which hosts an annual World Cup men's downhill competition, is next to a national park. Or Mount Kanin, the highest altitude in Slovenia, boasts the longest season: December-May 1. From Kanin, just 100 miles from the Adriatic, you can ski in three countries! (Austria's and Italy's neighboring resorts are right next door.)


Take Your Kids To Whistler (For Free)

December 13, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Whistler Slopes

From January 28-April 1, take advantage of a Whistler Ski Package where your kids stay and ski for free! 5 Night/4 Day Lift and Lodging Package from $660. Thanks, Sherman's Travel!


The Bar and Living Room at the Little Nell, Aspen

November 30, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Little Nell Living Room

After a recent redesign, the legendary apres-ski scene at the Little Nell is hotter than ever. Savor the delicacies from the fresh seafood bar, followed by some fondue, and of course there's drinks all night at the Bar. Thaw by a roaring fire in the Living Room, or "ski-watch" the day away.

The Little Nell, Official Site

The Little Nell, Five Star Alliance


Heli-Skiing in Alaska and Switzerland

November 14, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alaska Heli-Skiing

I admit it; I’ve never done it. But after a few beers the other night with a couple who lead springtime Heli-skiing tours in Alaska, I was well on my way out the door. Who needs the tropics when I could ski snow-capped peaks and glacier-carved mountains all by my lonesome?! (And I’m no ski junkie.) Up in Alaska, the winter season runs from late February until May. Heli-skiing operations like Points North Heli-Adventures (utilizing over 1,000 sq miles of skiable terrain in the Chugach mountains) provide an average of 20-25,000 feet of vertical per day. (Excursions average 6-10 heli runs and $850-900 a day.) I checked out a feature in Outside Traveler’s Winter issue, which was equally as convincing about heli-ski tours in the central Alps. Apparently heli-skiing trips in Switzerland used to be rather boring—a daytrip appended to a traditional lift-skiing vaca at the big resorts. But this season, adrenaline hounds can experience SwisSkiSafari’s Ultimate Journey, as described by the Outside author:

“a four-day, five-night, fine-wine-and-slide luxury tour that zips skiers around the country’s top resorts in privately chartered B3’s and Bell 407’s. You start in Verbier (about 1,000 miles east of Geneva), then fly east to Zermatt and Saas Fee, making backcountry drops in between—wherever the snow is best. Doing 5,000- to 7,000-vertical-foot runs in a single push can hurt, but returning every evening to top-notch digs and massages blunts the pain.”

Bring it on! Can anyone advise me-- additionally-- about good operators in the Rockies?


Announcing the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva

November 8, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Geneva

After 12 months of renovation, this legendary Geneva landmark has reopened as the first and only Four Seasons in Switzerland. Located in the city center on the shores of Lake Geneva, the hotel offers views of Geneva’s most prominent tourist attractions: the Jet d’eau (the world’s tallest fountain) and the Old Town, full of 16th century buildings, cobbled streets and designer boutiques. 83 guestrooms and 20 suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows, Louis-Philippe-style furnishings, ensuite marble bathrooms and LCD flat-screen TVs. Enjoy the finest northern Italian cuisine at Il Lago restaurant, or sip cocktails outside on the lakeside terrace of the Bar des Bergues. Take advantage of the special introductory offer! After all, skiing in the Swiss Alps is less than an hour away! From now until February 28, 2006, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva is offering an introductory rate starting at CHF 600 for a Superior Room, including breakfast for two, double occupancy.

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva, Official Site

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva, Five Star Alliance


New Spas in the Swiss Alps: Palace Luzern and Beau-Rivage Palace

October 21, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palace Luzern

Bliss out this winter in two spectacular Alpine spas. The Palace Luzern – a fixture on CN’s Gold List—is an elegant Belle Epoque hotel, perched on the edge of Lake Lucerne. The new Palace Spa includes 800 square meters of saunas, steam rooms, lifestyle showers and treatment rooms. After you hit the slopes, bask in an ESPA treatment such as ayurvedic hot stone massage, body wraps or detoxifiers, inspired by ancient cultures worldwide. Or ditch that snow bunny gear and choose a full-day program in the spa. The Private Spa Ritual is a totally personalized experience in your own suite facility, with sauna, two person steam shower and couples bath with floating flowers. Includes welcome foot ritual, three hours of treatment time per person, light spa lunch and herbal tea and fresh fruit. Euro 867 for two people.

The landmark Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne just spent CHF 12 million on development of their cutting-edge Cinq Mondes spa, set to open this autumn. The 15,000 square foot signature spa is novel in design; its concept derived from its creator’s 10-year global quest for treatments from some of the great healing traditions. Fully equipped with nine treatment rooms, including a private spa suite, and fitness center overlooking Lake Geneva, with a diverse range of holistic massage and treatments (like micronized marine algae body wrap and facials featuring the latest Swiss cosmetic treatments).

Palace Luzern, Official Site

Palace Luzern, Five Star Alliance

Beau-Rivage Palace, Official Site

Beau-Rivage Palace, Five Star Alliance