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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.

What’s Hot: Le Gray Opens in Beirut in 2009, The Latest from Hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BeirutFrom Wallpaper* to HotelChatter, the Times UK to the New York Times, hotel authorities worldwide are in agreement about one of the hottest hotel debuts of the year: Le Gray in Beirut. From the mastermind behind One Aldwych in London and Carlisle Bay in Antigua, Le Gray promises to up the trend factor in this cool capital which is both coastal and urban. The sexy boutique hotel will have 80 rooms and a rooftop pool. Straight from the horse's mouth:

I was also excited by the quality of the restoration work I'd seen in Beirut following previous wars. I don't think any other city has ever brought together so many leading architects from around the world to get it right. Our 85-room hotel, Le Gray, is in Solidere, next to the Gardens of Remembrance, which is the area that was destroyed and completely rebuilt. The façades of the shell-damaged buildings were stunningly restored and the city was re-created down to the last detail, including the street furniture... The building is completely new; it was designed by Kevin Dash who did an amazing building in Beirut called Bank Audi. It will be eight storeys tall and made of beautiful yellow stone, with a restaurant, piano bar and an amber-coloured swimming pool on the roof. The piano bar will be housed under a huge glass dome that will change colour - you'll be able to see it for miles around. The pièce de résistance will be a refrigerated wall displaying violet peppermint cream chocolates that will co-ordinate with the slashes of violet on the chairs. (We will be serving only violet creams with coffee.) And there's a huge bronze wall in the lobby. The bedrooms will be very calm and sophisticated with an Islamic design, walnut ceilings and mosaics in the bathroom. It's one of our most exciting and sexiest designs yet.

Image of Beirut Via Nirmala Magazine

Do It All at Desert Palm Retreat Dubai

By: K. Clare Johnson

Exotic adventures await at the luxurious Desert Palm Retreat Dubai. Many luxury hotels have a spa, or golf course, or are near some great skiing. Or possibly on a beach. Desert Palm Resort Dubai But Desert Palm Retreat Dubai takes its activities to a whole other level. Hot air ballooning. Sky diving. 4x4 in the Desert. Flying in a microlight plane over the dunes. Riding a camel over the spectacular red dunes. Visiting Wild Wadi Water Park with its gravity defying speed slide. Schussing down the world's first indoor ski resort at Ski Dubai. Of course, there's world-class golf, scuba-diving in the Arabian Gulf, a plethora of restaurants to choose from, and the Lime spa. That's not even mentioning polo matches, horseback riding, cooking tutorials, wine tasting, infinity pool, rare bird watching, tennis and squash courts, and the jogging course. Whatever your tastes, you'll find something to do at Desert Palm Retreat Dubai.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests with a confirmed stay of 3 or more nights at Desert Palm will receive one 30 minute "Jet Lag" massage for 2.

Taste the Gold Life with Jumeirah Hotels: Lots of Perks and Enough Points for a Free Night

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Al Arab, DubaiJumeirah is currently running a splendid promotion. Stay in any Jumeirah Hotel or Resort before April 20th, 2009 for a taste of the Jumeirah Gold Life-- normally reserved for Sirius Gold Membership (Jumeirah's loyalty program)-- and you'll receive 2000 bonus Sirius Points, enough to return for a complimentary night's stay. You'll also enjoy a selection of Sirius Gold Benefits, including the best available rate (for a 2-night minimum stay), 2 p.m. late check-out, a complimentary room upgrade, free breakfast, a 10 percent discount on food, access to the Club Executive Lounge, complimentary Internet access and airport transfers.

(Pictured at right: Jumeirah's Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the world's only seven-star hotel.)

What’s Hot: The Hydropolis Underwater Hotel in Dubai

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hydropolis Underwater Hotel, DubaiIt's being hailed "the world's first luxury underwater hotel." Naturally, it's located in Dubai. And like it's neighbor, the swank Burj al Arab, this baby will have more than 5 stars. In fact, the Hydropolis Underwater Hotel is claiming 10 stars. Scheduled to open in early 2009, the hotel will have 220 suites sitting on the Persian Gulf floor (20 meters below the surface) and two domes (pictured) that break the water's surface; the ballroom dome will even have a retractable roof. Grandiose and attention-grabbing? This extravagant architecture is just par for the course in over-the-top Dubai. Price for a night's lodging? $5,500.

New Year’s Eve, Dubai-Style, at Burj Al Arab

By: Madelyn Giblin

Ring in the New Year with a roaring good time at the Burj Al Arab. Burj Al ArabStart off with a festive Champagne reception at Sahn Eddar followed by grand dinner gala. Musical entertainment will be provided by LoveTrain from the UK followed by Grammy winners The Commodores. It all leads up to a spectacular fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Guests can choose to stay at the Burj Al Arab for AED 139,000 with breakfast included in each morning of your stay, or attend the Gala Dinner for AED 10,000 per person.

Buzz: New Missoni Hotels in Edinburgh and Kuwait

By: Mary Winston Nicklin


After a long, painful wait, we've finally got some more juicy details about the Missoni Hotels. A partnership between the Milan-based fashion house and the Rezidor SAS Hospitality Group, the first two Missoni Hotels will debut in 2009 in Kuwait City (situated in the Symphony Complex overlooking the Persian Gulf) and Edinburgh (located on Royal Mile at Victoria Terrace and George IV Bridge). In fact, Hotel Missoni has *just* appointed the General Managers for the two properties. We can't wait to check out the "Missoni-branded facilities" like a stylish spa, lounge bar, and cafe. Here's the official word:

Hotel Missoni represents a new standard of design hotel that combines the style of the iconic fashion and interiors label with the expertise of one of the world's leading hotel operators. Spearheaded by Hotel Missoni Creative Director, Rosita Missoni and Rezidor Executive Vice-President of Brands, Gordon McKinnon, the partnership is creating a distinctive blend of fashion, function, form and service that adds up to a new genre of genuinely luxurious hotels. The Edinburgh and Kuwait properties will become the first city-center and resort hotels within the Hotel Missoni portfolio, which will see 30 hotels open or under development within 10 years.

Image Via Business Week

News: Leading Hotels of the World Announces Award Winners

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel CiprianiLeading Hotels of the World held its annual convention in Boston recently and doled out some pretty prestigious awards. Considering that the organization represents some 450 of the world's finest hotels, these accolades should not be taken lightly. And without further ado, the winners are:

Commitment to Excellence Awards: Hotel de l'Europe, Taj Boston, Brenner's Park

Commitment to Quality Awards: The Chedi Muscat, Al Maha Desert Resort, The Datai, Rambagh Palace, Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin, Hotel Caruso, One&Only Palmilla, Tortuga Bay, Island Hotel (Newport Beach), and SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand.

Sixth Annual Juan Gaspart Award recognizing an outstanding employee of a Leading Hotel pursuing a career in the hospitality industry:  Mr. Colin Field, head bartender at Ritz Paris.

(Pictured: Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin- which received the highest score overall during LHW's anonymous inspections.)

Diamond Experience at Anantara Spa at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Anantara Spa, Emirates PalaceUnlock your inner beauty with the Diamond Experience, available in the United Arab Emirates at the Anantara Spa in Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace. Based on ancient healing techniques, the treatment uses real diamond dust to rejuvenate skin and reveal your skin's true potential. The Diamond Magnetic body exfoliation is a peel made from diamond dust, iron and luminous mud, and cleanses the skin of daily toxins. This is followed by the fantastic facial from Natura Bisse Diamond Collection to reduce fine lines and wrinkles leaving your skin literally glowing like a rare gem. Experience the luxury and the beauty of the Middle East for AED 1,400 ++.

Image via Luxury Insider

Dine Al Fresco On the Ocean in Dubai: Private Chartered Yacht with Jumeirah Beach Hotel

By: K. Clare Johnson

Set on the shores of the Arabian Gulf and built in a stunning shape that mirrors a breaking wave, the award-winning Jumeirah Beach Hotel takes luxury to a whole new level. And now, they are taking their elegant touch to the high seas. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is offering a unique fine dining experience to its guests. Jumeirah Beach Hotel Your evening of luxury will begin when you board a private chartered yacht for an exclusive cruise around Dubai, with a personal butler on hand to meet your every requirement. Anchor in the lagoon to delight yourselves with a sumptuous five course candlelit dinner specially crafted by the chef, complemented by Bollinger Special Cuvee. At the end of your cruise you will receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers, as a momento of your unique culinary ocean experience. Prices start at AED 18,000 per couple.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests staying at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel will receive a USD $50.00 credit per room, per stay for The Spa.

Enjoying Dubai from Jumeirah Emirates Towers

By: Guest Writer

Courtesy of John May, Managing Partner of New Vantage Group

The economic times may be daunting, but the experience of a great hotel can mitigate the pain. On a recent speaking engagement in Dubai, I stayed in the Jumeirah Group's flagship property – Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The hotel sits in the downtown business district next to Dubai Investor Group building and it is less than a mile from the nearly complete world's tallest building. The facility was five star all the way, service was exceptional, and food was unlike hotel food I've had elsewhere. Staff knew your name within a day, they stood by elevators to punch your floor as you walked up, the drivers of "white cars" were readily available for side trips and at the large swimming pool with multiple lifeguards cold, not hot, hand towels were provided at the pool to cool you off in the October 100 Degree heat.

The rooms on the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Club Floors were large, marbled, quiet and had staff servicing the room multiple times a day! The view of downtown Dubai from the 42nd floor Executive Club – with its 24 hours of staff support, was stimulating. The entire skyline is dotted with building cranes and sunshine. ("When did it last rain? Oh, last winter sometime!".) The shopping mall and restaurants attached to the hotel office Towers provided diversion from the days work and the soaring hotel lobby provided a window on the constant flow of investors and Middle Eastern dressed executives.

This is a business person's hotel - few families, almost no children at the pool and restaurants, but the pools did have 3 life guards on duty. Jumeirah Emirates Towers even has a floor (The Chopard Ladies Floor) for women travelers only on the 40th floor. This is the first I have seen which supports traveling women executives. I can see why this property has earned accolades over the years since it opened in 2000. I plan to go back to Dubai to see their progress over the years and I would will look forward to staying in the Jumeirah Emirates Towers again.

More candid photos can be viewed here:

Jumeirah Emirates Towers IMG_1111 View from Jumeirah Emirates Towers Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Business Center Jumeirah Emirates Towers