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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.

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


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.

Great Honeymoons Sandy Lane in Barbados Royal Livingstone in Zambia WaldorfAstoria in NYFor 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.

Great Honeymoons Sandy Lane in Barbados Royal Livingstone in Zambia WaldorfAstoria in NYIf 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


By: Dave Eisen

Riyadhs Al Faisaliah Making Suite AdditionsRosewood 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


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


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


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


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


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.


Celebrity Honeymoon Watch!


By: K. Clare Johnson

Where in the world are Fergie and Josh? Atlantis The Palm The celebrity couple, who married in a star-studded affair earlier in the month, embarked on a honeymoon to destinations unknown. But news reports have spotted the Black-Eyed Peas gone solo singer Fergie (aka Stacey Peterson) and her new hubby actor Josh Duhamel (late of NBC's Casino) in the Maldives at One and Only Kanuhura Resort. Of course, they have also been spotted at Dubai's Atlantis the Palm. No matter where they are, one thing is for sure. They have great taste in luxury hotels.


Escape the Winter Chill with Free Rooms and Added Amenities at Peninsula Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula TokyoBack by popular demand... Peninsula Hotels-- with a star-studded roster of legendary hotels in Asia and the U.S.-- is running some fab wintertime promotions through March 2009. With the "Winter Escapes" package, you get to choose a free added amenity thrown in with your luxurious accommodations: an enticement like a room upgrade, spa treatment, a multi-course meal, afternoon tea, or airport transfer. You'll also enjoy complimentary Internet access and daily newspapers. Book the "Suite Life" and you get a free second night when you reserve a suite.


Check-in to Luxury with Gwyneth Paltrow!


By: K. Clare Johnson

Okay, so it's just that you will get to lay your head in the same spots as Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. But that's something right? The Berkeley Paltrow has posted on her much-maligned site, Goop, a list of her favorite hotels in London and Los Angeles. Among those in la-la land that made the cut for the blonde thespian? Shutters on the Beach, Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air, and London West Hollywood.

Speaking of London, good old Gwyneth has some favorites there too. Blakes Hotel London, and The Berkeley are both deemed worthy of the Iron Man star's golden slumbers. Even movie stars need a luxurious place to lay their weary heads.