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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.

Take a Girls Getaway to Santa Fe’s Inn and Spa at Loretto

March 19, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Inn and Spa at LorettoThe Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe's historic luxury boutique hotel, is offering a fabulous package ideal for girl weekends, relaxing spa getaways, and bridal shower celebrations. Enjoy some bonding with your best girlfriends and indulge in fantastic food, holistic pampering, and free in room movie by booking the Girls Getaway Package. Based on double occupancy, this package includes a $40 Breakfast dining credit at the hotel's signature restaurant Luminaria, as well as a $200 credit to use towards any spa treatment offered by the Spa at Loretto. After an afternoon of pampering, you and your gal pal can retreat to wonderful accommodations and enjoy a free on demand movie, along with chips and salsa before heading out and enjoying the eclectic Santa Fe nightlife, or stay in and make it an old fashioned pajama party! Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests staying at the Inn and Spa at Loretto will receive a complimentary upgrade in room type (based on availability) plus two welcome beverages in the Living Room Bar. [Map]


A View From the Top: The Setai, Miami Beach

March 5, 2009
By: Alison Victor

The SetaiLocated in the heart of South Beach, in the North End of the Art Deco District of Miami, The Setai literally stands alone as an intimate, luxurious beachfront resort. The Setai, with its glass tower stretching upwards of 40 stories, gives you the best view on South Beach. Asian culture influenced the architecture and decor of The Setai, and natural materials were used, making use of light and space. The Setai was built with the idea that luxury and privacy go hand in hand. Take advantage of the exclusive spa by getting an in-room treatment, and relax in luxury on the beach in one of the hotel's private day beds. Let the exceptional staff take care of your every wish, from beverages to iPods, while soaking up the sun. The Setai also includes three azure pools, each at different temperatures to ensure every guest will be comfortable. There is really no better place to enjoy the white sands and blue water of South Beach than at the super luxurious Setai. Book now through Easter, and take advantage of some special rates and spa packages.


Luxury on a Grander Scale: The Cove Atlantis

March 4, 2009
By: Alison Victor

The Cove AtlantisThe Cove Atlantis does what most resorts aim to do: Give you everything you would ever want in a vacation, but on a much larger scale. Grand design and grand architecture are just two of the components that make up this wondrous resort. The Cove Atlantis sits atop two of the most beautiful beaches in the world: the Cove and Paradise Beaches. You can enjoy the view from one of 600 over-sized suites spread throughout 22 stylish floors.

There is never a shortage of things to do at The Cove Atlantis. Cool off in the Aquaventure water park, or take your chances and gamble in the Caribbean's largest casino. If relaxation is what you crave, get pampered at the 2,500 square foot Mandara Spa. Begin and end your trip in the Nave, the open-air lobby of the The Cove Atlantis, where beneath a dramatic 35-foot teak ceiling you can feel the energy and spirit of this resort.


Great Honeymoons: Sandy Lane in Barbados, Royal Livingstone in Zambia, Waldorf=Astoria in NY

February 23, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

Sandy LaneAt Sandy Lane in Barbados be sure to secure a stay in one of the Dolphin Suites for lovebirds; since they offer a separate living area and kitchenette. However, for more space, and bragging rights to boot, the 7,300-square-foot Villa can't be beat. The Digs: This prime pick has its own private entrance and his-and-hers bathrooms, complete with their own dressing rooms; unmatched ocean views present newlyweds with a pretty backdrop while you prepare for a romantic night out on the town. For a cozy night spent in, the Villa also features a private pool with an oversized Jacuzzi. Romantic Touch: The veranda, off the main living room, leads to a gazebo, where you can toast your new union with a private dinner. The resident chef can cater to every whim.

If you are all about the view, we hear that the Seahouse, Turtle and Dolphin wings all lend themselves to postcard-perfect views of the ocean or an awe-inspiring Caribbean sunset. Pampering should be a top priority regardless of the vacation type. Couples can enjoy the Signature Sandy Lane Romance Ritual, which just so happens to be a couples' massage, in the property's 11-treatment-room spa.

For romantic dinners, Bajan Blue, part of the property's recently-unveiled culinary program, features indoor and outdoor dining and a beach bar with sea views. Bajan Blue also includes a wine bar, great for post-dinner drinks. For an ultra-luxurious, off-site dining experience, try The Cliff  with its perched setting and modern cuisine.

For a more exotic take on the honeymoon experience, try The Royal Livingstone Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zambia. All standard rooms offer a balcony or terrace, which have views of the lawn leading down to the Zambezi River, as well as butler service. If you want to celebrate your nuptials with a little more luxury, the three standard suites have a separate living room, and the Presidential Suite is about double the size of a standard room. Presidential Perks: This top suite also has a telescope—perfect for viewing the majestic African landscape—a patio with a table that seats nine, a Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a private veranda. Numbers to Know: We hear that room Nos. 5079 and 5080 have the best views of the sunset, pool, river and the mist off of the falls.

The property's peak period is from February to June, and it encourages bookings to be made as far in advance as possible. For pampering, the property's spa includes treatments on the riverbank at the Zambezi or in the garden gazebo. Top Treatment: Try a traditional Zambian massage, which uses warm towels to relax and soothe the muscles, before beginning a Swedish massage. Adventurous couples can earn bragging rights with friends by taking in a meal at Royal Livingstone's restaurant, where we hear the signature dish is Crocodile Curry. For a luxurious dining experience, dine while riding The Royal Livingstone Express, a recently restored train that glides along Zambia's old railway through the countryside.

If you would rather enjoy a romantic escape with the fast pace of a metropolitan city as the backdrop, look no further than the venerable Waldorf=Astoria in New York. There are several room types that will cater to your every whim; however, the top picks are the Presidential Suite and Royal Suite. We hear that every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover has stayed in these quarters, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The View: Waldorf=Astoria Luxury Suites are spacious corner suites that overlook tony Park Avenue. For expansive views to the eastern part of the city, as well as the Chrysler Building, opt for the Grand and Premier Suites, which are situated in the upper corners of the Waldorf Tower. Another good option is the 42H Suite, which has a living room, dining room and master bedroom.

For the utmost indulgence, head to the Waldorf's spa, which uses products by Guerlain. The most popular treatment is The Waldorf Impériale, a two-hour experience that combines a facial with massage. We hear that Brianne Polack, who specializes in Swedish, deep tissue, pre- and post-natal massages, reflexology and lymphatic drainage, garners the most requests. Foodies can look forward to an evening at either The Bull and Bear Steakhouse or Oscar's American Brasserie. The property also offers open-kitchen dinners in the Waldorf kitchen.


Riyadh’s Al Faisaliah Making “Suite” Additions

February 11, 2009
By: Dave Eisen

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is taking millions of dollars and using it to expand on its Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A new wing at the hotel will increase the room count from 224 rooms and suites to 330 units. Among those 106 new rooms will be 700-square-foot entry-level suites and a duplex Royal Penthouse Suite. These moves are in addition to a new Italian/Med restaurant and a new ladies-only spa (dudes already have their own men-only spa) with 12 treatment rooms. At The Globe, the hotel's iconic restaurant, which overlooks Riyadh, Simon Probst has been appointed chef de cuisine.


Exclusive Use of Number 22 Cadogan Gardens, London’s Draycott Hotel

February 6, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Draycott HotelLondon's The Draycott Hotel has a super-swank, super-exclusive luxury offer for you. Number 22 Cadogan Gardens used to be a private home, but it is now available for corporate events and private functions. Number 22 has its own separate entrance from the street. It has 9 rooms and suites along with the breakfast/dining room. This breaks down to one suite with full kitchen and study, three suites with separate study, three garden view suites with kitchen, and two deluxe double rooms. Your guests will be impressed with the private entrance, 24-hour on-call butler service, pre-arranged menus prepared by a personal chef, chauffeur, and private dining for up to 16 lucky people. Have a meeting in the Donald Wolfit Suite or in the Peter O'Toole room. The cost? We don't know. To enquire, you'll have to speak to the Draycott directly.


Suite Luxury: Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris Unveils New Eiffel Suites

January 30, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eiffel Suite at Hotel Plaza AtheneeBook your very own Haussmannesque residence in the City of Light. Utterly luxurious, fabulously decadent, you can't beat these three Eiffel Suites for top-notch accommodations in Paris. Believe it or not, these digs are even an upgrade over the suite Carrie Bradshaw checked into at the chic Hotel Plaza Athenee. The spacious suites boast elegant, custom-made furniture and Eiffel Tower views. Pictured here, the lounge in the Eiffel Suite 361 is appointed in pink, silver, and pearl.

Eiffel Suite at Hotel Plaza AtheneeIt comes with its own grand piano, fully-equipped office, and game table. In the bedroom, the marble bathroom-- decorated with beautiful mosaics-- is flooded with natural daylight. Did we mention the enormous dressing room, just waiting for all your shopping bags after hitting up all the glamorous boutiques along the avenue Montaigne?


Cultural Cravings in the Caribbean: Art at Eden Rock in St. Barths

January 30, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

Art in St. Barths

A cultural outing should be part of any ultra-fab vacation. If you are headed to St. Barths, of course you should take advantage of this tropic paradise. However, if you are a culture-craving traveler, check out Eden Rock - St Barths, which just unveiled a seven-painting collection called "Guerrilla Villa" by New York City-based artist Delia Brown. Brown's paintings are on exhibit at The Eden Rock Gallery through March 2009. All pieces are for sale to the public. This property's cultural offerings aren't just confined to the fine arts. Musically inclined guests can now enjoy one of Eden Rock's newest digs: Villa Rockstar. The villa, with an optimal location on the beach in St. Jean, opened last month and boasts a recording studio. This ultra-luxe pad is in good company; the "Eden Rock Estates," the new six-star villa product, also includes Villa Nina, which opened in January 2008, and will soon include Glen Affric Estate, in the Highlands of Scotland.


$237,508 Price Tag for a Luxury Suite at the Super Bowl

January 28, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

No joke. The U.S. News and World Report's Luxe Life blog is reporting insane rates for Super Bowl XLIII this weekend, when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa.


Update on the Renovations at Baur au Lac, the Luxurious Palace Hotel in Zurich

January 21, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baur au LacAs if you could improve upon perfection, Baur au Lac began a renovation last year to create 15 new suites out of 25 guest rooms. A founding member of Leading Hotels of the World, Baur au Lac has long been a magnet for the world's glitterati on the shores of Lake Zurich. But this 19th-century palace hotel doesn't rest on its laurels (it's a fixture on the Conde Nast Travel Gold List). Instead, Baur au Lac constantly refreshes and modernizes to stay ahead of the demands of a discriminating international clientele. Expected to be completed by this summer, the new suites are coming along nicely. In fact, the River Suite will take your breath away, a generous 100 square-meter space that has the air of a regal residence with elegant furnishings and contemporary comforts. We've also heard great things about Le Pavillon and the summer restaurant La Terrasse, opulently designed by Paris's celebrated interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, the man behind Joël Robuchon's restaurants in Paris and New York.