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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.

Look No Further: All-Inclusive Properties in North America

April 1, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Blackberry FarmNorth American all-inclusive luxury hotels are hard to come by, but there are a select few located throughout the continental United States. These resorts are great for those looking to get away to five-star accommodations and indulge in gourmet meals while enjoying services and activities without ever having to leave the comfort of their hotel. The following North American all-inclusive luxury hotel properties are vacation destinations in their own right, and are a fantastic alternative to traveling to Caribbean destinations for all inclusive hotels:

With eleven rooms, The Point in Saranac Lake, NY, is the most exclusive and smallest of all. Rates booked at this luxury retreat include use of sports equipment and facilities, as well as three meals, afternoon tea, unlimited wine, liquor, and liqueurs from help-yourself bars which are open 24 hours a day.

Blackberry Farm is a boutique property in Walland TN, famous for its impressive food and wine. Rates at this hotel include nightly accommodations, pantry snacks and three meals per day of their celebrated Foothills Cuisine.

The Lodge and Spa at Woodloch in Hawley Pa, Canyon Ranch Lenox , and Canyon Ranch Health Resort Tucson, are all-inclusive spa destinations that promote holistic well being. Set in serene locations, these properties offer accommodations along with daily gourmet meals, group fitness classes, access to resort facilities, and even resort credit towards spa services.


Stay 4 Nights for the Price of 3 at Regent Bal Harbour

March 31, 2009
By: Alison Victor

Regent Bal HarbourExclusive, stylish, and luxurious are three words that come to mind when you think of Bal Harbour, Florida. Just a short distance from both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Bal Harbour is the fashion capital of South Florida. This mecca of upscale boutiques includes everything from Valentino to Armani. There is no better place to stay while there than The Regent Bal Harbour. After a long day of upscale shopping and people watching on palm tree-lined streets, you can easily walk to The Regent Bal Harbour or have the hotel pick you up in their private luxury car. Book now and you can enjoy four nights for the price of three, which will give you even more reason to shop til you drop.


The Suite Life: Two-Tiered Patio with Outdoor Jacuzzi at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

March 26, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

You can get a real luxury value in Tucson at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort-- which is giving out complimentary food credits with great rates. But if you're in the mood to splurge, look no farther than the two Presidential Suites, each boasting its own baby grand piano, indoor Jacuzzi-tub, and two-tiered private patio where you can soak in a Jacuzzi while taking in the views of either the 80-foot waterfall or the Canyon Golf Course set against the backdrop of the Catalina Mountains. Unwind to the view of the inspiring Arizona landscape, or stretch out on your king-size bed with pillow-top mattress, 300 thread-count sheets, and 100 percent cotton bed linens.

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Outside your sumptuous suite, you'll find a dozen recreational activities at your doorstep: two 18-hole, Fazio-designed PGA golf courses, a 7,000-square-foot Spa & Tennis Center, two swimming pools with Jacuzzis, eight lighted tennis courts, hiking, bicycle rentals, croquet court, ping-pong, and basketball.


History and Culture Collide at The Tsitouras Collection Hotel

March 26, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Tsitouras Collection HotelWhen historian Dimitris Tsitouras decided to turn a five house villa property on the island of Santorini into a luxury hotel that captures the beauty of Greek culture, he resulted in creating the Tsitouras Collection Hotel. Now an exclusive vacation destination, the Tsitouras Collection Hotel consists of five houses. Guests to this Santorini property are offered a unique luxury hotel experience as each of the houses offers villa-style accommodations and feature their own distinct name and personality representing various facets of Greek history. Perched on sky high cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, the five houses of the Tsitouras Collection Hotel -- The House of Nureyev, The House of the Sea, The House of Porcelain, The House of Winds, and The House of Portraits-- all contain priceless relics, famed art and stunning décor that represent personalized touches inspired by their signature names.


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.