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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.

Now Taking Reservations: Four Seasons Resort Vail


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort VailGet ready, Vail. Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is prepping to open a sexy new alpine hotel at the gateway to Vail Village. Now confirming reservations for arrivals from December 11, 2010, the Four Seasons Resort Vail promises to shake things up in the Colorado Rockies with decadent facilities and exclusive ski concierge service featuring private lockers, a lounge and a full-service ski shop. Blending contemporary design with mountain tradition, the resort will offer 121 "high-tech" guest rooms, each boasting a furnished balcony, a gas-burning fireplace and a spacious bathroom with free-standing oval tub. After a day on the slopes, hit the spa for some head-to-toe pampering. The organic treatments are specially designed for high altitudes. Get this: Two of the treatment rooms are designed for couples with their own whirlpools and fireplaces. While noshing on nutrition-conscious cuisine in the restaurant, you'll be able to check out the expansive mountain views. Take advantage of the "Stay Longer" offer which provides a fifth night free plus two 50-minute massages per room, per stay. From $380 per night after free night applied.


Hotel Discounts with Voluntourism: Give & Getaway with RockResorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Landings St LuciaAcross the globe, voluntourism projects are taking off. Hotels from Texas to the Maldives are giving discounts on accommodations when guests sign up for volunteering projects. Another example: the Give & Getaway program with RockResorts. They'll arrange an environmental conservation project for you-- such as light trail maintenance or working on an area community farm-- and you'll get a reduced rate on your stay plus complimentary swag like hydration packs. Give back to the environment and get rewarded for your efforts! Participating hotels in the RockResorts portfolio include:

The Arrabelle at Vail Square & The Lodge at Vail - Vail, Colorado

Guests have the option of two different dates doing trail restoration work in the Vail area.

Snake River Lodge & Spa - Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Snake River Lodge & Spa is partnering with Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation to remove miles of old buck and rail fence surrounding Grand Teton National Park.

The Landings St. Lucia – Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Spend the day harvesting locally grown fruits with St. Lucians on a working warm and end the day sampling locally caught seafood at the Anse La Ray Friday Fish Fry!


Sail Lake St. Moritz, Switzerland with Badrutt’s Palace’s New Sailboat


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutts Palace sailingAnother way to take in the alpine majesty of the Swiss Alps? Sailing! Badrutt's Palace-- the historic hotel famous for its celebrity-studded guest list and après-ski scene-- recently acquired a sailboat for guest use. Sail Late St. Moritz aboard a sleek 26-ft Blu26 called (what else?) The Badrutt's Palace-- and take in the Swiss mountain panorama with or without your own personal skipper. We've just learned about a special package that combines the thrill of sailing with some downtime at the hotel's new Palace Wellness luxury spa. Details for the 3-night package (Superior Room) are below:

Including: Upgrade to next room category upon availability at time of check-in; sweet welcome gift from our patisserie upon arrival; extensive buffet breakfast; free use of refreshment bar, movie channels, WiFi Internet access in all areas and free newspaper; two set dinners in cosy “Chesa Veglia” or in one of the Palace restaurants (each excluding beverages); 2 hours of sailing on the Badrutt’s Palace with skipper; full body massage per person (50 minutes); tickets for all mountain railways and public transport in St. Moritz and surrounding area; transfer to/from Corveglia mountain railway and Sailing Club St. Moritz.

Superior single room from CHF 1,320

Superior double room from CHF 2,010


Family Vacation in Canada’s Banff National Park with Fairmont Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseIt's not too late to plan the ultimate summer/autumn family vacation in the heart of Canada's Rocky Mountains. Discover the alpine majesty of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can go hiking, mountain bike The Great Divide, take a Bow River float trip, and let the kids embark on a photo expedition. After a fun-filled day, unwind at a Fairmont spa and reconnect with your family over dinner. Fairmont makes it easy with a special themed package at its two Banff hotels: the Fairmont Banff Springs, styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a resort recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism. The Mountain Adventure package gives you the freedom to enjoy activities with a $100 CAD resort credit, plus kids eat for free. Available until December 20, 2010, the package starts from $339 CAD per night at the Fairmont Banff Springs and $299 CAD per night at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.


Hot Deal: Outdoor Adventure with a Resort Credit at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has one of the most dramatic settings imaginable-- nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, a four-season playground with breathtaking scenery. From skiing at North America's no. 1 ski resort with true ski-in/ski-out convenience to championship golf on the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed course, the resort has it all. You can enjoy all this, while discovering the Fairmont's high standard of luxury, and get a great deal with the "Mountain Adventure Package" which balances outdoor excursions in Whistler with indoor pampering. Priced from just $249 CAD, the package includes a $100 CAD resort credit (per day/room) for use at the restaurants and/or your choice of popular mountain activities (activities vary by season). Think tours via ATV, horseback, canoe or Hummer in the summer, or snowshoeing, sleigh rides, snowmobile and dog sled tours in the winter. You can also apply your daily credit to items signed to your guest room from:

o The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club

o Mountain Adventure Centre (bike and ski rentals)

o Vida Wellness Spa

o The Wine Room for perfectly paired food & wine

o The Wildflower for casual dining

o Portobello's fresh market and bakery

o The Mallard Lounge & Terrace with slope-side outdoor fire pits

o The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Clubhouse

This offer is valid year-round, subject to availability.


Geocaching Treasure Hunt at Four Seasons Jackson Hole (Get Tips from the Outdoor Adventure Concierge)


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Jackson HoleOf course the country's top ski-in/ski-out resorts have ski valets to warm up your boots and provide hot drinks after a day on the slopes. But the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole goes one step further with a full-service outdoor adventure concierge at its Base Camp, located on the ground floor of the Resort. Here guests can get hooked up with a Jackson Hole ski package, of course, along with itineraries for four-season recreational activities around the resort: from white water rafting and hot air balloon rides to llama treks and hiking. This special concierge can provide all sorts of ideas and equipment so you can discover the extraordinary natural beauty surrounding the Four Seasons Jackson Hole. Here's an idea: why not try a high-tech treasure hunt around the resort? Geocaching is a worldwide adventure game using a GPS device to find caches, or hidden nooks, that contain fun prizes — and directions to your next location. Embark on a scavenger hunt to discover 10 caches hidden around the resort, set against the backdrop of the Teton Mountains, winding rivers, and fields full of wildflowers.


The Return of the 96-Hour Sale: $96 Rates at RockResorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Osprey at Beaver CreekRockResorts is on sale. Book your stay before Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. MDT (for travel through January 12, 2011) to take advantage of this exclusive offer: rates starting from just $96 in prime destinations in North America-- from Vail to St. Lucia. Note: 96-Hour Sale reservations must be fully pre-paid and are non-cancelable and non-refundable. Participating resorts include Aspen's Hotel Jerome, The Osprey at Beaver Creek (pictured), The Pines Lodge, The Arrabelle at Vail Square, La Posada de Santa Fe, and The Landings St. Lucia.


Spring Skiing in the Swiss Alps: Last Minute Getaway to Badrutts Palace


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Badrutt's PalaceSo maybe you didn't get your snow fix this year and you're looking to get in some last minute spring skiing before it's too late. Badrutt's Palace to the rescue. We've just learned about a 4-night special on offer at this historic hotel in St Moritz, the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, famous for its glitz, glamor, and legendary après-ski scene. Available between March 21st – 25th, 2010 and March 28th – April 6th, 2010, the "Best of Spring in the Snow" package combines luxury lodging with meals and special extras. Priced from CHF 2,600, the package includes 4 nights accommodations, sweet welcome from the Pastry Chef, daily buffet breakfast, daily set dinner, complimentary refreshment bar and internet access, palace shuttle to/from the main ski lift Corviglia, and a membership card for King's Club.


2010 Olympic Winter Games: Four Seasons Whistler Invites You to Ski with an Olympian


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons WhistlerLucky guests of the Four Seasons Whistler are being invited to "Ski with an Olympian" during the 2010 Olympic Games-- literally. Not only will guests experience one of North America's top mountain resorts and easy access to the awesome slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, but they'll also get to hit the pistes with current and former Olympians. When Vancouver hosts the Games from February 12-18, ski champs Cary Mullen (World Cup champion and speed record-holder) and Erik Schlopy (three-time winter Olympian) will be on hand at the Four Seasons Whistler. Ski sessions are tailored to each individual- whether you're wanting to improve your technique or get some tips on speed. Here's what the three-day package includes: a day of skiing on Whistler Blackcomb mountain with the pros, access to the VIP lounge to watch the day's races, and a VIP lift line priority. The Ski with an Olympian package starts at CAD $2,010 per person.


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


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!