The 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 German-born executive chef of The Lodge at Sea Island will be teaching a delicious array of authentic German specialties, including sauerbraten (a savory, marinated German pot roast), spätzle (handmade German noodles), and schnitzel (crispy pan-fried veal cutlets with aromatic herbs). The next session of the Sea Island Cooking School takes place on September 18 and 19, 2006, starting with the Friday evening private reception and dinner with Chef Johannes Klapdohr in The Lodge Wine Cellar. Also includes Saturday morning cooking school with lunch prepared by the participants, Sunday brunch, and your very own monogrammed chef's jacket. The "Cook Together" package starts at $850 per night, with a two night minimum stay. (If you miss the cooking school, there's always the annual Oktoberfest celebration at Sea Island on October 10, 2006.)
"Add some sizzle with schnitzel," Chef Johannes Klapdohr says. And here's a teaser for your next Fall tailgating picnic, for Southern German Potato Salad:
2 lb. Potatoes
1 lg. Onion, finely diced
2 c. Chicken stock
6 tbsp. Vinegar (mild vinegar like apple, with 5 percent acidity)
1 tbsp. Mustard
1 tsp. Salt
4 tbsp. Oil
1 tbsp. Parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Chives, finely cut
Pepper and Nutmeg to taste
Boil the potatoes in their jackets and peel while still hot.
Sweat onions with one tablespoon of oil and deglaze with chicken stock. Set aside.
In the very heart of the French Quarter, Hotel Monteleone is a historic gem, with a long history of exemplary Southern hospitality and a vibrant contemporary flair. Family owned and operated for over a hundred years, the newly-renovated hotel has earned a reputation for excellence in its extraordinary accommodations, world class cuisine, rooftop pool, fitness center, Carousel bar with live pianist, and private spa, Aria. Visit New Orleans before September 30, 2006 and take advantage of the hotel's "Suite Summer Deal." Book a suite for two nights, and the third night is free, with rates starting at $265 per suite, per night.
Escape to the private Hawaiian island of Lana'i at the new Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, a gracious retreat situated in the island's dramatic central highlands amidst manicured gardens and Hawaii's incredible natural beauty. After an extensive renovation, the resort will reopen on November 15, 2006. Guests enjoy activities such as horseback riding, hiking and world-class golf on two courses, including the new Greg Norman-designed championship course overlooking mountains, lush greens, and cascading waterfalls in awe-inspiring landscapes. Watersports, and a full service spa, are available at the companion resort, Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay, so pampered guests on Lana'i can experience the best of both worlds: highlands and ocean. Savor peaceful tranquility at the pool, surrounded by rolling hills and landscaped gardens, where Four Seasons poolside services include ice water, Evian spritzes, and chilled towels offered by pool attendants. The 901 square foot fitness center is state-of-the-art, with weight room, spa treatment room, and men's and women's lockers. Now taking ressies.
The beautiful Basque city of San Sebastien—situated on two sweeping beaches bathed by Atlantic surf—is a glorious combination of natural landscapes and urban treasures. Green mountaintops (one crowned by an enormous statue of Jesus, reminiscent of Rio de Janeiro) look down upon an awesome crescent of boat-dotted harbors and grand boulevards with tall art nouveau architecture. The Parte Vieja, its narrow alleys lined by packed tapas bars and beautiful boutiques – promises the liveliest and most entertaining nightlife in Basque Country (and possibly, in all of Spain.) Where to stay? The Hotel Maria Cristina—part of Westin's Luxury Collection—is a five star masterpiece overlooking the Urma River just minutes from the beach. Guest rooms boast ocean views from balconies, fine furnishings, marble, and all the modern amenities you'd expect in a world-class luxury hotel. After all, the Maria Cristina is a prominent fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List and Reader's Choice Awards. The spa is superb.
Good news for spa clients, bad news for spa mediaFrom our friends the SpaQuest spa professionalsIt is always interesting to us when magazines create ‘top’ lists for spas, because for us the perfect spa vacation cannot be defined by general criterion, but instead by whether or not an individual’s specific set of needs has been fulfilled. There is no cookie cutter mold that fits all spa experiences, or clients.
A spa vacation that is rich in holistic immersion, for example, might be intentionally meager on luxe amenities in order to encourage guests to focus on achieving intrinsic goals without distractions.
Likewise, pampering spas with endless arrays of treatment options and mega facilities tend to soft pedal a focus on goal attainment in favor of the delight of almost instant gratification.
Of course both have their place in the spa industry because they cater to very different types of clients, or even the same clients seeking different experiences at different times.
Luckily for die-hard spafanatics, in recent times the industry has been undergoing a form of upgrading of spa retreats. Destination spas, the holy grail of holistic experience, have been melding age-old philosophies of weight-loss, detoxification and stress management with modernized spa facilities and engaging outdoor activities.
The latest destination spa to enter the category we fondly refer to as ‘holistic luxury’ is the Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. Founded in very strict dietetic/fitness philosophies – older clients will remember it as the National Institute of Fitness, a spa that would have fallen into the boot camp category years ago – the ages old spa is always in flux in order to meet the demands of the new, more discerning spa consumer. The holistic resort’s new Sage Stone spa is a haven of treatments that incorporate elements of the local minerals and flora.
Spas such as Miraval located in Tucson, and the Canyon Ranches (Lennox, Massachusetts and Tucson, Arizona) had the foresight to offer holistic luxury for years now. As industry leaders, both properties have not only become brands, but also usually top those lists we mentioned earlier. And each of these experiences is tailored to appeal to different types of clients with the Canyon programs fulfilling a Type A demand while Miraval cultivates a “balanced” vacation.
Newer spas added to our roster, such as the Lakeview at Fontana, North Carolina and Sivory Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, were created with this amalgamation of mind, body, spirit and sensuality in mind. They are destination spas with a pleasing balance of philosophy and pampering.
We embrace this evolving model of spa experience, one that is sure to throw a wrench in the cogs of print media machines and their fanciful ‘top’ lists, because it will prove increasingly difficult to determine which spa is ‘best’ when the delineations are less black and white.
The lists may also prove irrelevant with the new and newly upgraded spas and also better educated and sophisticated spa clients that understand that spa experiences cannot be judged simply by star rating or celebrity sighting, that the intangible benefits are just as important as the physical ones, if not more so.
Visit SpaQuest at http://spa-quest.com/
Rocco Forte's icon of Swiss hospitality is located in the heart of Geneva, facing the famous Brunswick Gardens and overlooking the Alps, Lake Geneva, and the Old Town Cathedral. Spring 2007 will celebrate the reopening of the prestigious hotel, which will start taking bookings in November 2006. Just minutes from the business and shopping districts of Geneva, Le Richemond will blend stylish contemporary design with traditional elegance in its 109 rooms and suites. In addition to its superb restaurants and meeting facilities, the hotel is planning the largest suite in Geneva, situated on the seventh floor and featuring three bedrooms, dining room, living room, and two sunny terraces. Le Richemond will also offer a new fitness center, spa treatments, sauna, plunge pool, and business center. With the impeccable service which is a trademark of Rocco Forte hotels, the newly renovated Le Richemond promises to be an exclusive and luxurious respite from the bustling city.
The posh canvas tents at The Resort at Paws Up are more akin to a five-star hotel than camping out. And with the resort's superior five-star amenities, this is the way to experience Montana's epic wilderness in style. Opened in June 2005 on 37,000 acres in Blackfoot Valley, just outside of Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice in this slice of heaven: saddle up and go horseback on the hundreds of miles of trails, take your best shot at the sporting clays course, cast a fly with an expert guide with the best kind of Montana fly-fishing experience, or go swimming in the lake, boating, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, or play a round at the nearby championship golf course. This is the ultimate wilderness adventure playground. After a day enjoying the country, return to a sumptuous in-room spa treatment. Soak up the rustic elegance at Tent City, with featherbeds, fine linens, and all the modern conveniences offered at the resort's other luxury vacation homes, overlooking the grandeur of the Montana wilderness. The Resort at Paws Up offers a truly unique western experience.
Halfway between Miami and Key West in the heart of the Florida Keys, Tranquility Bay is a 12-acre hideaway of palm-dotted white sand beaches overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Opened in January, the resort features 87 charming two-story cottages on the ocean, surrounded by lush landscaping and towering coconut palms. The pristine sandy beach is one of the largest in the Keys, with endless watersports and activities (including Hobie Cats for rent), and the nearby Tilden's Scuba Center outfits divers keen to explore the sunken Thunderbolt wreck. Other fantastic Keys attractions are also nearby, including Bahia Honda state park, convenient shopping, great dining, and awesome sports fishing outlets. Pamper yourself at Island Spice Private Spa, or relax by the lagoon-style pool, tropical drink in hand. In addition to the luxurious accommodations, beach houses are also available for rental and ownership.
from Jennifer Ehrman, Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour
Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour is one of only 3 luxury hotels that Five Star Alliance has chosen as the best hotel luxury in the Bahamas. The resort features all beachfront suites, a full-service marina, 3 restaurants, and a host of events and boating activities. In addition to the resort's 67 oceanfront and oceanview junior suites, they offer 6 spectacular oceanfront 2-bedroom suites.
Why You Should Go Now
1. You can make last minute reservations and be there in time for check-in because the resort and yacht harbour is located just 56 miles from the Florida coast, on the westernmost tip of Grand Bahama Island. The 228 acre resort is 26 miles from Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport which is serviced by American Eagle, Continental Connection, Bahamasair, AirTran, Delta, as well as several charter operations. Direct service to Freeport is available from Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Orlando, the New York area, Atlanta and Charlotte, NC.
2. Fall into Old Bahama Bay for Free 4th Night Package
Between now and September 30th, 2006 - guests making brand new reservations to stay during this time period will receive a 4th night free on any type of suite or on a dock slip. (This offer cannot be combined with other packages).
Just 55 minutes from Singapore by high-speed catamaran, the Banyan Tree Bintan is situated on a spectacular island in the Riau archipelago, its Balinese style villas overlooking the South China Sea. Private outdoor swimming pools and Jacuzzis complement the exquisitely modeled villa-accommodations. And this world-class resort also boasts two adjacent world-class 18-hole golf courses. The Banyan Tree Bintan has just unveiled its signature Double Tee Off package for golfing enthusiasts to enjoy a weekend of relaxed island golfing. Available until December 21, 2006, the package comprises one round of 18-hole golf at Laguna Bintan Golf Course and one round of 18-hole golf at Ria Bintan Golf Course, both inclusive of green and buggy fees. Guests can enjoy attractive rates, starting from $405 for the Bayfront Villa and $485 for the Villa-On-The-Rocks. Includes return land transfers from the ferry terminal, VIP Express Clearance upon arrival and departure at the Bintan Ferry Terminal, and one complimentary Golf Massage session, located at the Laguna Bintan Clubhouse and specially tailored for every golfer's pre-game conditioning and post-game therapy. Two night minimum stay required.