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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.

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.


Small Luxury Hotels Announces Photo Competition: Win Cool Trips and Prizes!

March 24, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hostellerie Les Frenes, ProvenceSmall Luxury Hotels of the World-- the exclusive brand of more than 440 independent properties in 70 countries-- recently launched its inaugural worldwide photography competition with some incredible prizes. The idea is for travelers to share their most inspired moments and experiences "caught on film" during their trips-- whether biking through the Tuscan hills or watching the sunset over a beach in the Indian Ocean. The possibilities are limitless! Running from March 17, 2008 through July 31, 2008, the contest will take place completely online via a dedicated competition website. You can register with the site and then upload up to 10 of your favorite photos that capture a sense of place and experience. All submitted photos will be viewable in an online gallery. Four overall winning photographs will be chosen by a panel of judges including celebrity photographer Andy Earl (who shot Madonna, Prince and Pink Floyd for their album covers). And get this: anybody who registers and submits at least one photo will be automatically entered into a prize draw for a five-night stay at any of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties.

The top prize winners will all receive a brand new Nikon D80 SLR 10.2 Camera with an 18-135mm zoom lens, plus, choose one of four incredible prize getaways including two round-trip tickets on American Airlines. The available prize packages are:

* A six-night Costa Rican Adventure spent at both Hotel Punta Islita and Gaia Hotel and Reserve

* A five-night English Town and Country Experience spent at both The Capital Hotel in London and Luton Hoo Country Estate

* A four-night Mexican Escape at Esencia on the Riviera Maya

* A three night Big Apple Experience in New York City at The Iroquois New York


Taking the Hassle out of Choosing a Dubai Luxury Hotel

February 6, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Dubai Luxury Hotel Many of our clients seem to get overwhelmed when researching hotels in Dubai. With so many luxury hotel choices, in a city that is relatively new on destination hotspot radar, visitors are often unsure where to start. Hotels in Dubai can basically be broken down into three categories: beach, city and desert. People traveling to Dubai for leisure will most likely want to stay at one of the beach properties such as Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and the Madinat Jumeirah properties (pictured) - Al Qasr, Dar al Masyaf, Mina A' Salam. Other beach properties include Ritz Carlton Dubai, One and Only Royal Mirage, and the Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa.

Dubai Luxury HotelWhen visiting Dubai for business, most people choose one of the hotels in the heart of the city because either they are attending a conference at a hotel downtown, or they need to be near the World Trade Center or the Dubai Convention Center. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Raffles Dubai (pictured), Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Shangri-La Dubai, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Fairmont Dubai, Taj Palace Hotel or Traders Hotel Dubai are all close to the airport and located in the business district. If you tire of sitting in meeting rooms, many of these hotels provide shuttles to the beach, or you can spend your free time in their world-class spas, restaurants, pools, or shopping malls.

Dubai Luxury HotelOne thing to consider: If you need to be in the city center but would like to be near the water, choose a hotel on Dubai Creek. The creek comes in from the Persian Gulf and splits the city almost equally in two. Hotels such as Radisson SAS, Dubai Deira Creek, and InterContinental Dubai Festival City line the creek. Or choose the Grosvenor House Dubai which is situated on the Dubai Marina and overlooks the Persian Gulf. While it does not have a beach itself, guests are welcome to use the beach at the adjacent sister property, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa.

Dubai Luxury HotelVisitors are so excited to experience the glamor of Dubai's beaches and city center that they sometimes overlook the beautiful desert resorts that are just outside the city. These resorts provide a peaceful alternative to the hustle and bustle of Dubai, and give visitors a chance to take in the unique desert landscape. Two excellent choices are the Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa and the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. If your trip itinerary allows, we recommend planning a weekend in the desert at the end of your trip.


Qasr Al Sharq, Jeddah: Sumptuous Saudi Arabia

February 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Qasr Al SharqBusiness in Jeddah? The place to stay is the Qasr Al Sharq, the opulent "Palace of the Orient" managed by the new Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Designed by the folks behind Dubai's seven-star Burj Al Arab, the all-suite hotel epitomizes extravagance. Pure gold, handpicked crystal and porcelain, exquisite mosaics, cultured marble, the finest art... Luxury is in the details. As befits a palace this grand, some of the suites are more than 10,000 square feet in size, and come with massage tables and private gyms. Service is exceptional, as the personal butlers are members of the International Guild of Professional Butlers. Facilities include a traditional Hammam, magnificent pool with a fully retractable glass roof, and ladies-only spa with Jeddah's only Aquamedic pool that pumps underwater jet streams specifically designed to massage the body. For business meetings, there are seven boardrooms themed to reflect the world's economic powerhouses (think: British Windsor Room, Japanese Kyoto room). Plus, all the suites are equipped with laptops that wirelessly connect to the Internet anywhere in the building.

Image via Conde Nast Traveler Hot List