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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.

Photo Roundup: The Bahamas

July 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Each week we’ll be rounding up a few of our favorite luxury hotel photos. This week’s photo roundup features the Bahamas. Check them out and let us know what you think!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One and Only Ocean Club is a playground of world-class golf, tennis, spa indulgences, and the beautiful ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bimini Bay Resort and Marina features 217 luxury suites including one/two/three bedroom suites, one/three bedroom treeouses, and three/four bedroom oceanfront/bayfront villas!                        


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


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 Luxury Hotels in Singapore for a Family of 3

July 6, 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: We are looking to book a 2 night accommodation, checking in 26th July and checking out 28th July. We are a party of three, 2 adults and our 6 year old daughter. We are looking to book a 5 star hotel either in the Marina District or Orchard Road District. Can you please advise on the best hotels to visit with our 6 year old daughter? It is difficult to determine from a web site which rooms are suitable for an additional bed for a child.

Answer: Overall, when traveling with kids you want to look for either a Junior Suite with a separate living area, a Suite with a separate living area, or a room with 2 double or 2 queen beds. Two great options are the Mandarin Oriental Singapore and the Four Seasons Singapore. The Mandarin Oriental is located in the heart of Marina Bay, and it has an Ocean Grand Room with 1 king or 2 twin beds which has a separate sitting area. The Four Seasons Singapore is steps from Orchard Road, and it has a few room options that can accommodate 3 people. It has a Deluxe Room with a king size bed or 2 twin beds, which start from 420 SGD per night, its Premier Corner Room with a king or 2 twin beds starting from 500 SGD per night, or its Boulevard Room with 1 king or 2 twin beds which has a separate sitting area and starts from 450 SGD per night. To view full nightly breakdowns and to make your reservations, simply click on the hotel name links, enter your dates of travel, and select a specific room type. Please be sure to fill in the special request field stating that you'll be traveling with a child 6 years of age 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.


Inn at Harbour Town is a Hotspot for Eco-Tours

July 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Ecotourism has been growing in popularity with more and more luxury travelers searching for hotels that support conservation efforts and encourage socially responsible travel. Taking advantage of natural activities is a positive way to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries while remaining active. Prepare for an exciting adventure and get ready for countless beautiful photo opportunities and a few fun facts learned along the way!

The Inn at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina is a charming and intimate European style hotel that has 605 acres of forest preserve for exploration. Hop on a hard-bottom inflatable boat for a guided tour through Calibogue Sound. Get ready to see shore birds, sea turtles, and bottom nose dolphins, and be sure to hop off at an island beach to find beautiful shells. If you’re hoping for something a little slower paced, check out the Alligator Wine and Cheese tour. Sail away on a sunset cruise on the freshwater lakes and discover native plants and animals while sipping on complimentary wine and nibbling on complimentary cheese. Whether you’re looking for exploration, relaxation, or a little bit of both, the Inn at Harbour Town has abundant ecotourism opportunities for a range of interests.


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: Palacio Nazarenas in Cuzco, Peru

June 29, 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 Palacio Nazarenas is Peru’s newest luxury hotel, opening its doors in June 2012. Located in a peaceful plaza between the city’s central square, Plaza de Armas, and the lively neighborhood of San Blas, this former palace and convent has undergone extensive renovations to become one of the city’s most exclusive luxury hotels. With a boutique style, the Palacio Nazarenas offers only 55 suites each equipped with its own private bar. The hotel has a luxurious spa, the city’s first outdoor pool, and an incredible fine dining restaurant serving authentic Peruvian cuisine. Be sure to make your reservations at this stunning property to be one of the first to experience Cuzco in true luxury!


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: SLS Hotel South Beach

June 28, 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 SLS Hotel South Beach opened on June 14th, 2012, and this new and swanky luxury hotel is located on the beach in the heart of South Beach, Florida. A few key highlights worth exploring are the hotel’s day club and nightclub, Hyde Lounge, located on Hyde Beach as well as The Bazaar, a world-renowned restaurant by James Beard and award winning chef Jose Andres. Hyde Lounge features 8,000 square feet of pool, beach, and a mix of indoor and outdoor space. Along with its incredible lounge and restaurant, the SLS South Beach has a Philippe Stark designed Salon offering the finest pampering options for the body and soul. Be sure to check out this new hip and trendy luxury hotel for your next visit to South Beach!


Azul Beach Hotel Debuts Vassa Spa

June 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Hotel renovations are nothing new in this business. In fact, luxury hotels update so often to stay at the cutting edge of service and amenities that it's barely even news when an iconic hotel redoes its rooms. What really gets the writers out in droves is a completely new addition, and the Azul Beach Hotel has everyone with quill and ink scrambling to cover the Vassa Spa, theirly newly constructed spa facility. The 8,075 square foot spa supports guests at any of the 90 newly renovated rooms at this family-oriented boutique hotel. Even better, Azul Beach Hotel is famous for its all-inclusive rates, so you can be greeted upon arrival with a relaxing hydrotherapy routine without a care in the world. From there, move on to its spa suites where facials, massages, and aromatherapy are just par for the course while you enjoy the natural food supplements and healthful fruit waters. 

Kids are never forgotten, as alongside the Vassa Spa is Perfectly Pink, a place for young girls to get child-safe versions your treatments. Your daughter can get her nails done while you relax your cares away. A full kid's club provides parent support and even loans out baby equipment, so that families are always taken care of. If you're looking for a more romantic outing, the Azul Beach Hotel offers a full program for you as well. Beachfront Sky Massages and Junior Swim Up Suits, which have direct access to the property's relax river. Whatever your style, the Azul Beach Hotel is looking better than ever with the addition of the Vassa Spa.


New Ownership for the Grove Park Inn, Hotel Del Coronado Renovations

June 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

KSL Resorts have made a couple of new additions to their collection in 2012, and a change in ownership is always an exciting time for guests of a hotel. New ownership means a new philosophy, and often most importantly, an infusion of investment that allows for extensive renovations. KSL has taken over the iconic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, and invested in renovating the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA.

The Grove Park Inn is a huge attraction for locals and travelers alike, a perfect getaway for a weekend of relaxation for anyone on the East Coast or even just visiting the area. Its spa is top-notch, and it has a real down-home authentic feel to both the rooms and the hospitality. We're excited to see what KSL is doing with their newest addition.

While the Grove Park Inn epitomizes southern luxury, Hotel del Coronado has its feet firmly planted in west coast culture. The 368 have also been completely redesigned and purposed for rejuvenation. The resort itself rests on Coronado Island, sunning itself on the picturesque California beaches. With a distinctly Victorian atmosphere coupled with California's standard of relaxation, its no wonder that the Travel Channel has rated it the number one wedding destination in America. The Hotel Del Coronado is already a great resort, and we're looking forward to trying out the redesigned rooms.

 


Luxury Travel Advisor Tours The Brand New Palace Hotel Tokyo

June 15, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Palace Hotel TokyoFive Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor recently had the pleasure of touring the brand new Palace Hotel Tokyo.  Travel Guru Joe Pike (you can read more from Joe here: http://www.thejoepikeblog.com/) offers the following details about his recent stay:
 

Demolishing an iconic hotel isn't always a smart decision for a tourism-entrenched city to make, but when you replace it with a new, luxurious, $1.2 billion, modern chic hotel bearing the same name, it quickly turns into one of the best business decisions a destination can make.

Luxury Travel Advisor toured Wednesday the new Palace Hotel Tokyo, which officially reopened on May 17. It replaced the previous Palace Hotel Tokyo, which opened in 1961, was located at the same site and knocked down in 2009.

Here's what you need to know to pitch one of Japan's hottest new hotels.

The Rooms

All of the rooms face one direction, meaning every VIP, no matter what category they are staying in, gets view of the city.

Luxury Travel Advisor stayed in room no. 2207, a Club Deluxe Room W/ Balcony. Note: not all of these rooms have balconies, so be sure to request a balcony. Without a balcony, the room simply lacks one of our favorite features. There is nothing like seeing the city lit up at night, while enjoying a beverage on the terrace.

The best room here is the Palace Suite, which is the hotel's version of a Presidential Suite. The room is roughly 2,200 square feet. It comes with one bedroom with double beds, but can also connect. There are a lot of powerful colors in this room, including a lot of black and gold throughout the bedroom. Note: This room is a traditional Japanese style room and it's typical for Japanese couples to sleep in separate beds. There is also a very large balcony, 60-inch televisions in both the bedroom and the living and a separate kitchen and dining area. Tip: The dining area can be used for private dinners, including wine and sake pairings.

Restaurants and Bars

All of the restaurants are open to locals, which is why it is very important for advisors to book reservations for VIPs at least two weeks in advance since there is a huge local contingent of businessmen who frequent the hotel's restaurants.

The Grand Kitchen is located on the first level and where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Nice Touch: There is a small garden area outside that seats roughly 25 guests while another outdoor terrace area can seat up to 40 guests. Tip: Both outdoor areas can be rented out for small groups. The Grand Kitchen serves a number of cuisines from pasta to pizza to paelle. We ordered the "Hirata Farm" Pork Loin with mash potatoes, mushrooms and sage.

The Palace Lounge is a great place to have a cocktail. It has a very living room type feel and feels very homey. The lounge also has a piano with live performances nighty. Afternoon tea is served here from 2 - 4p.m. with more than 45 different teas offered.

The Royal Bar, located on the first floor is a very sophisticated bar with an impressive piece of abstract art occupying an entire wall. Fun Fact: The piece of an abstract dragon is meant to be an ode to the year the hotel reopened.

Wadakura is the hotel's signature restaurant, serving such Japanese favorites as sushi and tempora. It seats up to 118 people but is so scattered that it doesn't feel so large. In fact, there is a separate Tempora bar, called Tatsumi, located within Wadakura. Nice Touch: The restaurant offers nine private rooms, serving anywhere from four to 10 people. Note: We were told these are usually the first rooms to be reserved so be sure to book this at least two weeks in advance as well. Also, located within Wasakura is a separately managed sushi bar as well as Go, an area dedicated to teppanyaki.

The Crown restaurant is the hotel's French dining option. This restaurant has a strong art deco feel with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering an incredible view of the city.

Prive is another impressive lounge. It's very similar to the Palace Lounge except its a bit sexier, a bit more modern chic. Like the Palace Lounge, it also offers tea, but with a more French inspiration. The ambience of this lounge is designed to give VIPs a forest-like feel. Its basically a really chill, relaxed environment. Nice Touch: There is also a small outdoor lounge area with black leather seats and couches.

Amber Palace is the hotel's Chinese restaurant. There are a lot of amber hues throughout the restaurants, hence the name.

The Spa

The hotel is home to the Evian Spa, which takes the name of the famous brand of bottled of water. In fact, Evian water is handed to VIPs along with a fresh towel as they workout in the fitness center, which is open 24 hours a day and offers city views from all of its treadmills. The spa is made up of just five treatment rooms and one spa suite. VIPs who pay for a treatment can use all of the spa's facilities. There is a modest fee to use the pool, however, if VIPs don't have a spa treatment. The fitness center is free for everyone. Note: Club Members, those staying on floors 18-23 and also in some select rooms on the 16th and 17th floors, have free access to the pool regardless of whether they have a spa treatment or not.

Weddings

The hotel is home to a Western-style chapel, which can have up to 12 weddings a day. There is also a Japanese shrine for more traditional weddings, but we were told roughly 80-90 percent of the guests use the Western-style chapel.

Who to Book For

Roughy 60 percent of the VIPs here are business travelers while the remaining 40 percent are leisure travelers. There are roughly 15-20 percent Americans here. We would suggest the hotel for business travelers or couples and families looking for a hotel just 20 minutes away from the famous Ginza shopping district.