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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.

New in the Friendly Skies: Etithad Airways Launches New Diamond First Class Cabins

July 24, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Etithad AirwaysThe economic climate may be tough, but Etithad Airways is planning to launch new first-class cabins in August: 12 individual suites of pure luxury. What's in store for lucky travelers to Abu Dhabi (and beyond)? For one, a huge seat that converts to a flatbed, equipped with a built-in massager, lumbar support and adjustable headrest, as well as power sockets. The bathroom even has a full-length mirror. What's more: the suite boasts its own personal wardrobe, mini bar, and 23" wide-screen LCD screen TV with more more than 600 hours of "on demand" entertainment.


Discounts in Dubai: Summer Days at the Burj al Arab

July 20, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj al ArabEven the opulent Burj al Arab-- billed as the world's most luxurious hotel-- is doing its part to attract guests during the economic downturn. Designed to resemble a large sail billowing over the Dubai skyline, Jumeirah's seven-star hotel has quickly become a city symbol, legendary around the world. Guests are whisked from the airport in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce* to arrive awestruck at the hotel, where they are pampered with discreet in-suite check-in, private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers. Book the "Jumeirah Summer Days" package and you'll get a AED 200 daily room credit, complimentary buffet breakfast, complimentary internet, and complimentary Wild Wadi Waterpark entrance. Plus children eat and stay for free.

*In fact, the hotel just added a few new bespoke vehicles to its luxury fleet.


And The World’s Best Hotel is…

June 29, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Villa d’esteThe Forbes Traveller 400 has spoken, and Villa d'Este has come out on top. The luxury Lake Como resort took top honors in the poll, besting world-class hotels such as

The Peninsula Bangkok, Hong Kong's

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental,

Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and

Burj al Arab in Dubai. The poll was conducted among top travel connoisseurs-professionals who stay in five-star luxury properties at least 20 times per year- and the ratings were based on room quality, service, decor and cuisine.


What a Hotel! Luxury Buisness in the Heart of a Bustling City Center

June 12, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Here’s a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.

Helpful Hints: This city center luxury property has been named Best Business Hotel in the Middle East by two prestigious business travel magazines...

What a Hotel
Lana correctly guessed our Previous Hotel Contest:

Alden Hotel Splugenschloss Zurich, Switzerland


Tantalize Your Taste Buds at Dubai’s Al Murooj Rotana

June 10, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Al Murooj RotanaAl Murooj Rotana wants its guest to have some variety in their dining. The Dubai luxury hotel hosts daily theme nights at its Pergolas Restaurant.

Monday: Orient Express features signature dishes from the countries captured by this famous route

Tuesday: Seafood @ Pergolas means a lavish seafood buffet.

Wednesday: Far Feast

Thursday: Al Dente Italian night, where the main focus is made on Pasta dishes with variety ten different types cooked live.

Friday: Sabor Latino means with authentic Latino dishes from ceviches to empanadas.

The buffets range from AED 169 per person to AED 250 per person. Bon Appetit!


Summer Days with Jumeirah Hotels: Free Stuff in Dubai, London and New York

May 27, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Al ArabMusic to our ears. Jumeirah's making it easier to take the fam on vacation this summer. Whether you choose "Big Apple, Big Ben, or Big Beaches," Jumeirah's got your back with big summer value. Bunk down in the award-winning hotels in three of the world's great cities, and your kids will stay for free, and you'll get a complimentary daily room credit. In addition, you'll get a bunch of complimentary goodies: Complimentary Wild Wadi Waterpark entrance (in Dubai), Internet access, movies, and buffet breakfast. Starting from $385 in New York, GBP 373 in London, and AED 1150 in Dubai. Below you'll find the deets on the hotels:

Bab Al ShamsHit the beaches on the Arabian Gulf in Dubai, while staying at one of the following luxury hotels from Jumeirah:

Jumeirah Beach Hotel-- all about beachside indulgence

Burj Al Arab-- the world's seven-star hotel

Bab Al-Shams-- a desert retreat with festive Arabian entertainment

Emirates Towers-- high technology in the heart of the city

Madinat Jumeirah-- The Arabian Resort of Dubai consists of three boutique hotels (Mina A' Salam, Al Qasr & Dar Al Masyaf), 23 waterfront cafes, bars and restaurants, 75 boutique shops in a traditional Arabian souk, 1 km of private sandy beach leading directly to the Wild Wadi Waterpark and the largest Spa in the region.

Jumeirah Carlton TowerTake tea and crumpets in London (the best time of year for a visit) and stay at either of the Jumeirah luxury hotels:

Jumeirah Carlton Tower-- situated amidst leafy parks in the heart of Knightsbridge on Sloane Street

Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel-- a chic, contemporary retreat in historic Belgravia Village

Or enjoy an afternoon picnic in Central Park in Manhattan, booking the "Summer Days" package at the exquisite Jumeirah Essex House (you'll also get a Complimentary Bloomingdales Benefit Pass).


What a Hotel! Luxurious Arabian Oasis

May 22, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.

Helpful Hints: Genuine Arabic artifacts decorate this opulent desert hotel which is named after a semi-precious stone.

What a Hotel
Lana correctly guessed our Previous Hotel Contest:

Clift Hotel

Clift Hotel, San Francisco, California


A Free Night and a Chic Picnic in the Park with Sofitel Hotels

May 18, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Munich BayerpostIt's back. Sofitel Hotels is bringing back the wildly popular "Chic Picnic" offer, so that Sofitel guests worldwide-- whether visiting the Pyramids in Cairo, taking an urban vacay in New York or Chicago, or getting romantic in Rome-- can explore their chosen city and indulge with a sumptuous picnic of local delicacies prepared by the hotel chef. When you book the "Chic Picnic" package, available June 1 - August 31, 2009, you get luxurious accommodations, a guaranteed late check-out, a delicious picnic basket packed to the brim with gastronomic delights (and personalized for each specific city), and-- as an added benefit for those booking before July 5-- a free night for all four-night stays (or two free nights for eight-night stays). At each hotel the staff is on-hand to recommend the perfect spots for guests to enjoy their picnics. So at the stately Sofitel Arc de Triomphe, guests can discover the charms of Paris, either relaxing in the biggest and oldest formal gardens in Paris at the Jardin des Tuileries or unwinding on the lawns at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The Sofitel London St. James is set in the heart of the city, the perfect location to explore London's greatest attractions like the nearby Royal parks: Green Park, St James Park, Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park. The Sofitel Marrakech, designed as a Moorish palace with ochre walls and gorgeous pools, has a prime setting for exploring the city itself-- its gardens, souks, and art-- and the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains beyond. And the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost offers guests the best of Bavaria (beer gardens and majestic castles galore-- including the region's prettiest castle, Nymphenburger Schlosspark, boasting a botanical garden perfect for a picnic).


What’s Hot: Mardan Palace Debuts on the Turkish Riviera

May 14, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mardan Palace

The Mediterranean coast around Antalya has long lured visitors to Turkey's "Riviera." Sun-worshippers and history buffs alike flock to this ancient coast, dotted with Roman and Ottoman sites. Needless to say, this shore is brimming with luxury resorts, and the new Mardan Palace promises to outdo them all with over-the-top luxury and facilities fit for a king.

Mardan Palace

Think four aquariums, a 900-seat amphitheater, an artificial "Swim Reef" packed with fish, and one of the biggest swimming pools in the world. Did we mention the nighttime laser show in front of the waterfront lagoon pool? The spa has it all-- from Hot Stone Massages to Thalasso Treatments. We hear you can even get botox treatments. Rooms are decadently designed with gold leaf and exclusive Hermès amenities. Each guest of the Mardan Palace will be pampered with personal butler service.


Hot Spots: The Sultanate of Oman and the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat

May 5, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La

The latest "it" spot for travelers on the planet? The Sultanate of Oman-- where fjords, peaks, and beautiful beaches lure folks to the Arabian Peninsula. But this is not just a paradise for adventure travelers. Oman has seen a slew of luxury hotel openings, like the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in the capital of Muscat. We've been keeping our eye on this beautiful oasis since it opened in 2006. Designed as a three-hotel resort village, Shangri-La's property boasts a dramatic desert setting next to the  sparkling bay of Al Jissah.

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, Oman

You'll find a scuba diving center, marina, a wide range of dining outlets, three expansive pools, a luxurious spa, and private beaches with butler service. Special Offers: When you stay three consecutive nights, you'll get a fourth night on the house. Book with Five Star Alliance, and you'll receive a complimentary upgrade to the next room category upon check-in, subject to availability.