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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.

High Fashion Meets Luxury Accommodations at the Langham Hong Kong

May 19, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Langham Hong KongHigh fashion meets luxury accommodations at The Langham, Hong Kong. Located in close proximity to flagship stores of Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Dior, The Langham Hong Kong offers a plethora of activities, and now guests can take advantage of their Suite Deal. The top notch Langham Suite is available now until December 31st for HK$3000 per night, and comes with plenty of perks. Guests who book the suite get round trip transfer to and from the airport, check in and checkout in the Langham Hotel Club Lounge as well as daily breakfast, internet connection and daily afternoon tea and cocktails in the Club Lounge. Guests also have access to the 24 hour Health Club, use of the Victoria meeting room, laundry allowance of HK$400, and frequent flier miles with participating airlines. Take full advantage with all Hong Kong has to offer with this limited time offer.


Boston’s Only Five Star Waterfront Hotel - The Harbor Hotel

May 13, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Boston Harbor HotelNow recognized as one of only 41 properties nationwide with the Mobil Five Star rating, The Boston Harbor Hotel is offering special packages to celebrate their achievement. The "Five Stars on the Harbor" package includes a stay in a spectacular Harborview room overlooking Boston's historic waterfront, a five course wine pairing for two and the hotel’s signature Four Star Restaurant, and breakfast for two either in room or at the Intrigue Café - all for only $555 per night. Or you can celebrate Harbor Hotel's Five Stars with the "Harbor SPA-tacular" Package. Guests enjoy Harborview accommodations, two 50 minute massage treatments, and a three-course Spa luncheon for two at the Pool Lounge or the Intrigue Café. Guests also have access to the Pool and Health Facilities. Rates start at $595 per night.


Raffles Dubai: Best Hotels in Glitzy Dubai

May 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles DubaiLooking for an over-the-top getaway in the heart of Dubai? Look no further than Raffles Dubai, the stunning 19-storey pyramid that has become a landmark on the city's skyline since its debut at the end of 2007. Easily one of the hottest hotel openings of the year, Raffles Dubai has it all: an extraordinary location in Wafi City, Dubai's ultra-exclusive lifestyle complex (read: shopping like you've never experienced), blissful pampering at the RafflesAmrita Spa, the one-hectare 'Raffles Botanical Garden', depicting the four 'Elements of Life' (earth, wind, fire and water). Don't miss Khan Murjan in Wafi City, a recreation of a 14th century souk where artisans and craftsmen display stunning gold products. Luxury abounds at Raffles Dubai, but for the ultimate indulgence, book the Royal Suite, a palatial 650 square meters of sheer opulence. You'll enjoy two separate "his and her" en-suite bathrooms, a huge master bedroom with four-poster bed, an elegant dining room, featuring a separate kitchenette with a discreet access for butlers, and an entertaining room with a gentlemen's bar. The best part of all? A terrace boasting sweeping views over Dubai.


Special Opening Rates at The Regent Bal Harbour, Florida

May 2, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Regent Bal HarbourCheck in to unrivaled luxury in the affluent enclave of Bal Harbour Village and score special seasonal rates at Regent's new flagship in the Americas. This ultra-luxury hotel-- the first to open in Bal Harbour Village in 50 years-- entices guests with privacy and exclusivity, the likes of which the area has rarely seen. Just 15 minutes from Miami's airport and a hop from the world-renowned designer shops at Bal Harbour, The Regent Bal Harbour boasts dramatic ocean views from each of its 124 guest rooms and bathrooms, never more than two guest rooms per floor; a $4 million, privately-commissioned art collection with works by established and emerging American artists; the first Guerlain Spa in North America, standing at 10,000 square-feet; as well as the signature 1 Bleu restaurant. Above all, The Regent is getting rave reviews for its highly personalized and anticipatory service. Experience The Regent Bal Harbour and enjoy The Regent Opening Rates starting at $375 per night on weekdays and $425 per night on weekends May 1 – September 30, 2008, including superior accommodations for two and breakfast in 1 Bleu. Considering that rack rates start at $750 per night, this is a hot deal.


A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore Hotel

May 2, 2008
By: Guest Writer

From Victoria Winters

This past April I attended my girlfriend's bachelorette party in Miami, and naturally we stayed in South Beach. I had been to South Beach once before (for a the World Adult Kickball Competition I was in ... I kid you not), but was looking forward to a more upscale and relaxing vacation this time around with just the girls. We booked 2 rooms (414 and 416 at around $500 total per room) at The Sagamore Hotel for 8 women, each room was equipped with two double beds and a pull out couch. We arrived on a Thursday and stayed through Sunday.

Known as "The Art Hotel" I have to begin with the hilarious art work in the lobby. My friend and I probably spent the first 30 minutes at The Sagamore looking at photos upon photos of naked people. Don't get me wrong this is tastefully done, but you would be amazed by how many people stripped down to their birthday suits for these photos….good way to avoid tan lines, I guess! Throughout the hotel (hallways, bathrooms, elevators…etc) you will constantly be engaging in new art mediums which makes for a really cool and interesting stay to say the least.

Besides staring at nudes... I also managed to experience the hotel restaurant, Social; lounge by the pool (and eat and drink poolside); go for a run at the gym; and take in some rays at the beach. The following is a list of pros and cons from my experience with the girls:

Pros:

    Excellent location (close to Lincoln Ave and all the hot night spots)

    Nice size suites (heard they are larger than the Delano)

    Excellent beds and comfortable bedding

    Pull out couch in each room

    Large L-shaped couches in rooms great for large groups and entertaining

    ipod docking station in each room with great speakers

    Separate toilet from bathroom

    Refrigerator with a good size freezer

    Excellent kitchen space for entertaining

    Excellent service all around

    Relaxing pool environment, not a pool “scene”

    Poolside bar & grill serves great drinks and food

    Private/designated beach area for guests

    Beach chairs (2 per room, additional chairs $15) and umbrella (1 per room)

    Interesting artwork throughout the hotel

Cons:

    Darks halls

    Single and shallow pool

    Odd layout of furniture in the rooms

    Weak hairdryers, if traveling with 2 or more women bring an extra

    Bad lighting in the bedroom near the mirrors which made getting ready with a group difficult

    Small gym with little equipment

    Good number of children at the pool (although if traveling with children this might be a pro)

    Social – restaurant is very cool but over priced for the food they serve

Would I go back to the Sagamore Hotel with the girls? Definitely! We loved that it wasn't "the place to be seen" which was exactly what you want the morning after a bachelorette party.


Suite Deal! The Fullerton Hotel Singapore Offers 50 Percent Off

May 1, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

The Fullerton Hotel is offering 50 percent off selected suites for a two night stay in their spectacular hotel. Guests can choose from one of the two-story Loft Suites, Palladian Suite, or the deluxe Fullerton Suites with outdoor terrace. Guests taking advantage of this great offer may also enjoy breakfast for two at the Town Restaurant, an in-room light meal, and all the benefits of the top of the line Straits Club. The exclusive executive club offers guests daily champagne breakfast, cocktails, afternoon tea and full use of the lounge with Internet access.

Plus, guests at The Fullerton making reservations with Five Star Alliance will receive a platter of fresh fruit.


Deluxe Food, Spa and Views at The Aerie in Victoria BC

April 29, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Aerie Victoria BCThe next time you visit Victoria, BC, perhaps to the grand Fairmont Empress right above the Inner Harbor, you may want to compliment your city stay with a visit to The Aerie Resort and Spa. Named Best Hotel in the Continental US and Canada by Travel and Leisure Magazine as well as voted the Best North American Resort by the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, it is truly a word class escape. The Aerie is set 1500 feet above the Pacific Ocean allowing for views of Victoria, as well as the San Juan Islands and Washington State. The Aerie Victoria BCGuests can enjoy days filled touring local organic farms and wineries, whale watching, hiking, sailing, or mountain biking. Of course, some may choose to luxuriate in the spa with one of The Aerie's signature body or facial treatments. No one, however, should miss out on the gourmet cuisine that their executive chef creates out of fresh local ingredients. Room rates start at 175 CAD in the winter months and 285 CAD during the summer.


An Interview with the Concierge: Hotel Gritti Palace Venice

April 29, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Hotel Gritti Palace VeniceDirectly overlooking the Grand Canal, with an incomparable view of Venice, the Palace of the Doge Gritti is one of the most celebrated hotels in the world. The Hotel Gritti Palace continues to attract elite guests, with luxuriously appointed rooms, attentive service, and the savoury cuisine of the Restaurant Club del Doge. The attentive service is embodied by the hotel concierge staff - who answered our questions below.

What activity do you recommend the most often?

A walking tour of the city with private guide; A tour of the lagoon Islands by water taxi; visiting all the most important museums; countryside excursions by private limousine, and visits to the Palladian villas.

Which restaurant do you recommend the most often and why? Who is it best for?

The Hotel Gritti Palace restaurant "Club del Doge" mainly for fish and Venetian dishes but also for deliciuos pasta; Osteria "Santa Marina" (Venetian, fish); "Met" (creative Venetian), or "Da Ivo" for a change ( tuscan food meat & fish).

What are the scariest requests you've gotten from guests?

On 9-11, the high number of requests from Guests to go back home and the impossibility to solve all the Airline tickets due to congestion.

What is the funniest request you've gotten from a guest?

A big knife from the kitchen to open a bottle of Champagne.

What is the strangest request you've gotten from a guest?

Request of parachute for a launch ...

Do you have any regular celebrity/famous guests?

We would upset many if we mention even a few of them.

What types of things have you been unable to do for guests?

Hard to remember... but only the illegal ones!!

What is your personal favorite part of the hotel?

The Terrace on the Grand Canal.

What are the things that you wish guests knew about the Concierge?

The Concierge is the best informed person in town, always aware of all events that are taking place in Venice; a miracle maker.

Because you are in a major international tourism destination, what kinds of language problems come up?

English and French are known by everybody. The upcoming market of China is raising interest in the oriental languages which until now have been quite unknown

How big is the Concierge staff at the hotel?

Twelve persons in total.

Are there any specialty concierges or all generalists for everyone?

Each one has to be able to fulfill the same specialist requests and general duties.

What is the average number of requests a day?

Depending on the season, on average 1 request per minute.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

To serve the most important people of the World.


Family Friendly in Paris at Le Meurice

April 28, 2008
By: Lucy LeTourneau

Le Meurice ParisThe legendary Le Meurice is a luxury hotel in the heart of Paris with a prestigious location between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre on the fashionable rue de Rivoli. Le Meurice has played host to international royalty, fashion designers and countless public figures, through the centuries. It's classic French style , but with modern flourishes recently unveiled in the reception area by designer Phillipe Starck. The hotel has your family in mind with a large number of connecting rooms upon request. Take advantage of the Le Meurice Family Package by booking two Superior or Deluxe rooms now through December 31, 2008 and receive:

* Accommodations and daily American breakfast

* Upgrade to a two Bedroom Suite upon availability (only available if Deluxe double rooms booked)

* Petits fours in the parents' room and Sweets in the children's room

* Meurice children bathrobe and slippers and a Kid's kit: Pistache "stuffed animal", cartoon DVD for use in room, puzzle, coloured pencil

Le Meurice Kids* Treasure hunt through the hotel and Use of custom-made toy wooden boat to sail in the boat pond in the Tuileries, plus two Carousel rides in the Tuileries Garden per child

* Free access to sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi and fitness center for the parents

In addition to this package, Le Meurice has created a Passport given to the Children at their arrival taking their family on a (re)discovery of Paris' little-known delights. Their very own passport maps out a trail of city's most magical sights. There are also bicycles available for rent for the inviting paths in the Tuileries Gardens nearby.

No kids? Hotel Le Meurice is also pet-friendly... Plus, Book with Five Star Alliance and receive a complimentary bottle of champagne with any reservation.


April is “Suite” Month at the Sunset Tower Hotel

April 22, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Sunset Tower Hotel RoomApril is a "Suite" month at the Sunset Tower Hotel. The hotel has a special promotion for reservations in the month of April made through Five Star Alliance: all room reservations upgraded to a suite. The usual policy is an upgrade upon availability at check-in, but for the month of April any reservation booked through Five Star Alliance will be automatically upgraded to a suite at check-in. This is a guaranteed upgrade at check-in and all reservations in April will be honored with this special promotion. There are only 74 rooms and suites, so make sure you reserve now and stay in April 2008 to be guaranteed a Suite at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles, CA..