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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.

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.


Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Pool Entrance Package, Dubai

May 2, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

You'll find tranquility for the whole family with Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort Dubai's Pool Entrance Package. Located amongst the impressive sand dunes, guests can enjoy the 250 sunloungers available beside the luxury infinity pool. And don't worry about the kids! With entrance children have full access to the waterfall at the children's pool, complimentary camel rides, a falcon show and access to Sinbad's Kids Club. Parents can sit back and relax, in the sun or the shade and enjoy lunch from one of the hotel's fantastic restaurants, with all-inclusive soft drinks. In addition guests have access to the changing rooms, unlimited towels, and the variety of extra activities available at the pool, including putting green, tennis, volleyball and aqua aerobics classes. Open from 9am to 6pm, children under the age of 6 earn free admission, children 6 to 12 are AED 300, and adults 12 years or older are AED 500. (Rates subject to change on holidays.) The all day price includes: * All day access to the pool and sunloungers * Lunch of your choice from our superb restaurants, Al Forsan restaurant, Masala Indian restaurant and Pizzeria Le Dune, or a la carte service available at the pool-side. * All inclusive of soft drinks during meal time (juices and all other beverages are charged additionally) * Use of the changing rooms, showers and personal secured lockers, and unlimited towels * Cold towels and use of local newspapers and magazines * Camel, pony riding and falcon show available in the late afternoon * Use of Sinbad's Kids Club * A variety of games and fitness activities, including a 9-hole putting green, croquet, petanque, table tennis, volleyball, bicycle tours, aqua aerobics * Amenity services around the pool


Vertical Marathon on May 16th at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Dubai

April 25, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Jumeirah Emirates TowersClimbing a simple step could change a person's life. Climbing 1,334 steps, 52 floors, 265 meters will help even more.

Put your running shoes on for the sixth Vertical Marathon at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Dubai - hosted in association with The Big Apple and take this challenge in the shortest time. In aid of Medecins Sans Frontieres (also known as Doctors without Borders) and those in need around the world, conquer the Office Tower of Jumeirah Emirates Towers on Friday, 16 May 2008.

To take part in this event - register with MSF along with your pledge of a minimum of AED 500 per person. Individuals and teams of 3 to 4 persons are welcome.

Can you reach the top?


Waldorf-Astoria Luxury Hotel Will Open in Jerusalem

April 21, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JerusalemHot off the press. The Waldorf-Astoria Collection, whose spectacular global properties include the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa on the Isle of Maui, La Quinta Resort and Club in Southern California, New York's legendary Waldorf-Astoria and the sumptuous palace hotel Qasr Al Sharq in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will introduce its first luxury hotel in Israel. Scheduled for the end of 2010, the historic Customs Building and Palace Hotel will be transformed into a 220-room property dubbed The Palace Jerusalem- The Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Plus, there will be 30 luxurious residences, three restaurants, a spa and fitness center, and extensive meeting and conference facilities. The location is superb, just a short distance from the Old City, at the intersection of King David, Agron and Mamilla Streets. After an estimated $100 million in renovations, the building will still retain its marvelous historic façade with decorative arches and stone carvings.

Photo Via National Geographic


Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort

April 9, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort in Muscat, is much like Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah Resort in that it is comprised of three distinct hotels. At Barr Al Jissah, travelers can choose to stay at the Al Waha, Al Bandar, or Al Husn depending on their rooming needs. The complex is set on 124 acres, providing excellent views of both the desert and the sea, and only 15 minutes drive from Muscat's city center.

Al Waha, or "The Oasis", is family friendly and has several swimming pools surrounded by date palm trees. Located at the base of a mountain range, a tunnel was created to allow visitor access by car. There are 262 guestrooms in Al Waha, with room sizes starting at 37 square meters. All rooms have a balcony or patio, and most importantly, all are sea-facing.

The central point of the resort is Al Bandar, or "The Town", a hotel that features eight restaurants and cafes, 11 meeting rooms, and the Barr Al Jissah Ballroom. This hotel was inspired by old Muscat and looks as though it was composed from several different buildings, of different heights and styles. Al Bandar has 198 sea-facing guestrooms, with their starting room categories being a little larger than Al Waha's at 45 square meters. The guestrooms at Al Bandar are also sea-facing and have balconies or terraces.

Al Husn, "The Castle", is known as being the most exclusive of all the properties. All rooms and suites have direct views of the Gulf of Oman, and access to the secluded Mahhara Beach and Beach Bar are reserved only for guests at Al Husn. The 180 guest rooms are the largest, not to mention the most luxurious, in all of Oman. Complimentary in-room high speed internet access, Ipods, and DVD entertainment systems are available to guests at Al Husn. If you choose to reserve on of their suites, you will be able to enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail and canapés service as well.

Good luck trying to pick just one! No matter which one you choose, all Five Star Alliance guests visiting the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort will receive a complimentary upgrade to next room category upon check-in, subject to availability.


Eos Airlines Launches Flights Between London and Dubai

April 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos AirlinesFans of the luxury airline will be pleased about this one. Starting July 6, 2008, Eos will start daily service between London Stansted and Dubai's international airport. So now lucky passengers can enjoy the Eos Class experience when heading to the world's most outlandish, over-the-top destination. We've talked up the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, but now Dubai's also getting one of the biggest malls in the world-- a gargantuan, 12-million-square-foot development complete with an indoor aquarium and an Olympic sized ice skating rink. Tickets to Dubai onboard Eos will be available starting in April.


Enter a World of Timeless Well-Being at The Harbour Hotel & Residence

April 2, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Harbour Hotel DubaiThe Harbour Hotel and Residence is extending its already extensive repertoire and welcomes the opening of its new Timeless Spa. The Timeless Spa consists of six elegant treatment rooms, and offers over thirty body treatments, massages, and skin, beauty and health treatments. Timeless Spa is unique in directing its various services to deal with today's fast paced society, with treatments such as the After Sun Skin Soother, Jet Lag Recovery, Eye lifting Gel, as well as traditional Swedish and Hot Stone massages. What is truly innovative about Timeless Spa is its range of products available to guests. In collaboration with Babor AG of Germany, Timeless Spa has created three separate ranges of products all designed to rejuvenate and heal the patient without interfering with the skin's natural processes. harbour hotel dubaiProducts are preservative and coloring free, with a balance of needed nutrients and dietary value for the skin. Each treatment is specifically developed for the patient's individual skin and body needs.

Be sure to take advantage of the upcoming specials that Emirates Habour Hotel & Residences' Timeless Spa has to offer! In April, guests can enjoy a full body massage and take advantage of a complimentary pore cleansing treatment.


Burj Dubai: New Seven Wonders of the World?

March 27, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Dubai The Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, has just been selected by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the "new seven wonders of the architecture world" in the April issue. Designed by Chicago-based architect Adrian Smith, the towering skyscraper will be 2,111 feet high and 160-plus stories when it opens next year (that's 1.5 times the size of the Sears Tower):

Its completion will mark the first time the Middle East has been able to claim tallest-building rights since the early fourteenth century, when England's Lincoln Cathedral surpassed Egypt's Great Pyramid-- a point of pride for local backers.

And here's another record-breaker: the elevators will catapult visitors to the top at a speed of 40 miles per hour.


What’s Hot: The New W Hotel Istanbul

March 26, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel IstanbulNow accepting reservations beginning April 1, 2008, the new W Hotel is the hottest thing to hit the scene in Istanbul. The hotel brand known for its chic, contemporary style has opened a sexy new property in the ancient city of gilded domes, minarets, and dynamic modern towers. Crossroads between old and new, East and West, the cosmopolitan metropolis of Istanbul welcomes a hotel as dynamic as the city itself. Designed by Geomim, the hotel is the centerpiece of the historic Akaretler Row Houses. You'll find all the signature W touches like iPod docking stations and flatscreen TVs, munchie boxes and mini bars, the luxurious W bed, separate showers and tubs in the bathrooms, and the cozy Living Room for cocktails. Plus, all rooms and suites have gardens, terraces, or cabanas. Indulge in all the decadent facilities on offer: chow down on the Southeast Asian plates at Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market before getting pampered with a massage at the spa. Talk about Turkish Delight.


The Perfect Combination - Astrology and Park Hotel Weggis

March 26, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Park Hotel Weggis If you faithfully read your horoscope each day and know the signs of all your friends, then you’ll want to visit the Park Hotel Weggis for their Park & Stars Package. It includes welcome champagne, accommodation including buffet breakfast, an individual astrological reading on the day of your arrival or a couple analysis, an astrological five course dinner (created around your astrological sign!), as well as a keepsake to take home with you. The astrological consultations are given by Doris Vollenweider, a counselor for astrological psychology. Park Hotel WeggisAll readings are given in German so unfortunately you are out of luck if you don't speak that language. When you reserve, you will need to give the hotel your exact date, time, and location of birth for your astrological reading. Packages are also available without the overnight accommodation for those who would just like to spend an astro filled day at the Park Hotel Weggis.