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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.

Charles Gibson Retires from ABC News – Luxury Hotels Ideas for Retirees

December 22, 2009
By: Daniel L. Moses

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Charles Gibson, who has been an ABC News stalwart since 1975, aired his final network primetime news show for the Disney-owned network on Friday evening. With his famous sign off, simply, that his viewers have “had a good day,” Gibson filled the anchor seat for the last time. Now, starting a much deserved retirement, the world is Charles Gibson’s oyster, and like for any new retiree, there are plenty of luxury hotel options that can fill his days and nights to come.

The first thing I think of when pondering retirement is golf. And, frankly, there are few golf resorts more ideal than the sun-drenched luxury of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. This amazing island resort near Charleston, South Carolina boasts an incredible 5 courses, all done by masters of golf architecture! A true delight for retirees or duffers of any age.

For a more physical enterprise, retirees the world over are known indulgers in skiing, and I have to believe Charles Gibson and his ilk would choose the Badrutts Palace Hotel nestled amongst the Swiss Alps in world-renowned St. Moritz. The Badrutts Palace has something for everyone in all seasons, but in the place where winter sports became a favoured pastime, the skiing speaks for itself.

Sporting activities aside, the beach is the place to sun your retired bones, and the stunning La Samanna resort in St. Maarten, French West Indies is amongst the world’s best. There are few better words to describe than paradise.

So best of luck to Charles Gibson in retirement, and may this next chapter be filled with luxury!


Five Star at the Movies – Week of Dec 14-20, 2009

December 17, 2009
By: Daniel L. Moses

Grand Wailea This weekend at the North American box office, two new films are opening in wide release to tantalize viewers, and another lauded film has just arrived on DVD. So without further ado, here are some recommendations for where to stay if these movies inspire you to hit the road!

First up, for fans of such disparate titles as Titanic and Terminator comes James Cameron's latest, Avatar. This big-budget extravaganza is set in a new and distant world, one that is currently devoid of luxury hotels... But filming for this special-effects driven masterpiece took place, in part, in a place a bit closer to home: Hawai'i. For your next trip to the islands, try the paradise-on-earth bliss of Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa in sunny Wailea, Hawai'i. You may not see alien creatures teeming about, but you'll certainly enjoy a luxury golf, dining, and spa resort that is out of this world!

For those interested in a slightly different approach, the romantic comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans? stars the always appealing Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. The film finds our heroes witnessing a murder in New York City before entering the witness protection program in rural Wyoming. One of America's most beautiful states, Wyoming is the kind of backdrop that inspires open mouth stares at the beautiful power of its wilderness. To take it all in, visit the Snake River Lodge and Spa in Teton Village. This resort will put you at the foot of the Grand Teton mountains, with unrivaled panoramas.

Finally, new on DVD this week comes Quentin Tarantino's latest, Inglorious Basterds. This sometimes gruesome movie recounts the tale of a rogue band of heroes fighting against the Axis powers during World War II. The German backdrop has certainly changed a lot since the early 1940s, and there are plenty of luxury hotel options. One such place is the Schlosshotel Im Gruenwald in Berlin. This is one of Berlin's finest luxury offerings, and will tempt the traveler with its classic European style, as the Schlosshotel is set in a historic castle.


Free Lift Tickets with a Stay at the New St. Regis Deer Crest Resort

December 14, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Deer Crest ResortRevel in unabashed luxury at the just-opened St. Regis Deer Crest Resort which, according to The New York Times, "may be Utah's most exclusive new resort this winter." The facilities are nothing short of magnificent: 30,000-square-feet Remède Spa, Athletic Club, split-level heated infinity pool and adjacent hot tubs, and a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant. Situated in the private Deer Crest community, the resort offers ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley's famous slopes. Plush guest rooms have private or Juliette balconies, fireplaces, and signature St. Regis Butler Service. Be among the first to experience The St. Regis Deer Crest Resort with a stay between December 18, 2009 and April 15, 2010, and the resort will throw in two free adult lift tickets daily with your accommodations. Also included in this special offer: a welcome amenity and daily breakfast. Two-night minimum stay required.


In the News: Ski Vermont at Stowe, After a $400 Million Renovation

December 11, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Topnotch Resort and SpaStowe gets a shout-out in the weekend New York Times as "the grande dame of Green Mountain ski resorts, with a Main Street that is as folksy as a yellowed New England postcard." Interestingly, Stowe is owned by AIG, which the NYT points out could explain the $400 million recent makeover, "with a shiny gondola and a new pedestrian village with a private club and outdoor fire pits galore." Can't make it to the Rockies this winter? The "quaint Vermont town" of Stowe offers an excellent East Coast ski destination with top lodgings, to boot. Our pick? Topnotch Resort for its stellar spa (recently renovated) and outdoor hot tub, not to mention the warm cookies and crackling fire that greet guests on arrival.


Ski the Tetons with Amanresorts: Announcing the New Amangani Ski Club

December 9, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmanganiAmangani-- hailed the No. 1 Ski Resort in North America by Condé Nast Traveler's 2009 Readers' Choice Awards--has a killer location on top of East Gros Ventre Butte, surrounded by the snow-capped glory of Grand Teton National Park. The ultra-luxury resort known for its top-notch après-ski scene (hot toddy anyone? heated pool with a view?) has announced the newly-launched Amangani Ski Club:

This Winter enjoy exclusive membership privileges with the newly-launched Amangani Ski Club. Stay at Amangani for four nights or more and you will receive access to the Amangani Ski Lounge, two adult ski passes for three days of skiing, daily Continental breakfast and complimentary airport transfers. A special inclusion this season is a complimentary night at Aman's newest US resort, Amangiri.

Did you catch that? All those goods plus a night on the house at the talked-about Amangiri in Utah?


Skiing in Mongolia: The New Sky Resort Outside Ulan Bator

December 8, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sky resort, MongoliaThat's right. The world's newest ski destination-- however unlikely-- is Mongolia, with the opening of the brand new Sky Resort, the country's first, just outside the capital city of Ulan Bator. Though a YouTube video shows some flat looking terrain, The New York Times touts the cheap lift tickets. We're talking $11 a day. (Plus some serious, bumper-sticker bragging rights, ie "I've skied Mongolia.") Sky Resort has nine ski runs on the slopes of Bogd Khan Uul mountain, all serviced by snow-making machines as the region sees very little actual snowfall.


Skiers’ Escape to Colorado: Fourth Night Free at Capella Telluride

December 8, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella TellurideNow's your chance to usher in the winter season and stay at the Telluride luxury hotel that everyone's talking about. Escape to Capella Telluride for ski-in/ski-out access to some of the best terrain in the Rockies and take advantage of a package that throws in lift tickets, full breakfast for two each day, a $100 spa credit, and a fourth night free. (The "Skiers' Escape" is available from December 19, 2009- April 4, 2010.) Hit up Telluride's 84 ski trails then warm up in the hotel's Nordic Lounge, where a staffer will remove, warm and store your ski boots. At the Spa at Capella, you can indulge in a massage after a day on the mountain; the resort features two couples' mountain view treatment suites, where you can enjoy treatments for two, followed by a hydrotherapy soak, steam shower and a romantic fireside spa meal. While you're staying at Capella Telluride, don't miss a meal at The Onyx Restaurant, where decadent meals are prepared with locally sourced produce and meats.


Winter in the Adirondacks at The Point, Saranac Lake

November 25, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The PointPlanning a winter vacay in the Adirondacks? Do it right and stay at The Point, the exclusive, 11-room property that was a Rockefeller Adirondack Great Camp back in the day. Now, it's racked up the awards for providing guests with the ultimate civilized wilderness experience. Head off on an invigorating outdoor adventure-- perhaps cross-country skiing on snow-covered Upper Saranac Lake or on the nearby trails-- then cozy up by the fire with a good book. Or retreat to The Point's Adirondack pub for a game of pool or darts. The list of winter activities is endless: downhill skiing on Whiteface Mountain (the 3,216-foot vertical drop is the highest in the East), ice skating on the lake or on the indoor rink in Lake Placid, snowshoeing through the magical wintry landscape, even ice fishing. The chef at The Point will prepare your catch for you. Most fun of all: the snow barbecues out on the point. Wear warm clothes and get geared up for an unforgettable lunch. The best part of all? The Point is all-inclusive (meaning all meals and activities are included in your room rates).


Winter in the Alps at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

November 16, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Skiing at ZermattCraving an alpine adventure this winter season? For exceptional skiing, it's hard to beat Zermatt-- where three ski areas are easily accessible from the charming, car-free village with the Matterhorn as the dramatic backdrop. The après-ski scene is hopping, and you can bed down at a noble hotel like the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof for a dose of luxury and elegant hospitality. Excellent snow conditions make for the longest ski season in the Alps, and in this white wonderland you can explore some 313 kilometers of ski runs. With a long tradition of attracting well-known personalities, the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof has a number of ski packages available for the winter season. For the ultimate ski experience, book the Matterhorn Skiweek 2009/2010 which includes 7 overnights from Saturday to Saturday, generous buffet breakfast, a 5-course dinner, ski lessons for 6 days and ski passes for 7 days (for all ski areas in Zermatt and the Italian ski area, Cervinia), free access to the indoor swimming-pool, sauna, steam bath, whirlpool and to the fitness room. Priced from CHF 2289 per person in a double room (7 nights) from November 28-December 19, 2009.


Hotel Specials: Eleventh Hour Escape Package at Nemacolin Woodlands, Pennsylvania

November 9, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nemacolin WoodlandsThis just in. Nemacolin Woodlands, the ever popular resort situated on 3,000 acres outside Pittsburgh, is giving away $200 in resort credit with the Eleventh Hour Escape Package. The facilities are extensive at this four-season vacation spot, so imagine all the ways you could spend that $200: dining, shopping, golf, spa treatments, and more. Room rates for this special package start at $339, which is $100 less than normal room rates.