The 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.
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.
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.
InterContinental Hotels Group-- the world's largest hotel company-- has just announced a big promotion. Earn a free night by registering at getafreenight.com and then staying two nights at any Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites or Candlewood Suites around the world between May 4th and July 3rd, 2009. Voila! A free night is yours for the taking at any IHG hotel-- like the luxurious InterContinental Beijing Financial Street (pictured at right)-- until December 26th, 2009.
This just in. Starwood Hotels and Resorts has announced a rewarding new promotion for new and existing members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program (SPG). When you stay two times at any of Starwood's hotels between May 1 and July 31, 2009, you can earn one free weekend night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). There are no limits to the number of free weekend nights that can be earned, and earned nights can be combined to make a longer weekend stay. The best part? No blackout dates (!) and the nights are redeemable through the end of September. Starwood encompasses 875 hotels around the world within nine different brands (like St. Regis, Westin, The Luxury Collection, Aloft and Sheraton), including the likes of the Royal Hawaiian (pictured) and the opulent Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice. Talk about a travel stimulus program!
Sky diving, 4x4 desert safaris, hot air balloon adventures, aerial desert tours, camel and horse racing, a kid friendly water park, and excursions to an indoor ski resort await at the Desert Palm Dubai. Guests who stay at this ultra-luxurious "Arabian avant-garde" desert hotel have the opportunity to embark on thrilling adventures, and for those who prefer something that won't get the heart pumping too loud, there toned-down activities as well, like polo matches, horse riding, cooking tutorials, wine tasting, and rare bird watching at the Desert Palm Dubai.
This just in. Starwood's sexy brand of W Hotels is giving away a third night free when you book two nights. Embrace the cutting-edge and cool at W Hotels across the country and around the world (and now in Doha, to boot). You'll dig the hip Living Room Lounges-- the W Wonderland-- and Whatever/Whenever service (translation: your wish is their command). Some of our fave W properties include the W New York Union Square, the W San Francisco, and the W in Seoul.
Those who love nature, art and crave the allure of the Middle East should head to Israel this month. March is the month to observe the spring migration of birds as well as visit the International Spring Migration Festival held March 20-23 in southern Israel. Visitors can partake in free guided daily tours to the prime birding hotspots in southern Arava just north of Eilat, a hands-on ringing demonstration and bird-identification workshops in the field. The second annual Artists for Nature Festival is also taking place until March 16 in Israel's Hula Valley and will offer nature tours, lectures, workshops and a painting demonstration by Israeli wildlife artists.
After a tough day of negotiating peace in the Middle East, where does Hillary Clinton lay her golden locks down to sleep? At the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, of course. The former First Lady and Senator turned Secretary of State stayed at the luxury hotel on her first official visit to Israel. King David Hotel has played host to many a celeb, and made headlines of a different sort in 1946, when it was bombed by a Zionist group. The rest of her sizable entourage could give some rappers a run for their street cred. The Clinton group took up a whopping 154 of the 203 rooms. No word on whether she took advantage of the poolside dining or why Clinton stayed in the Royal Suite, not the Presidential Suite.
Regent Bal Harbour: Boasting floor to ceiling views of the Atlantic Ocean, the fabulous showers also have custom "toe testers." Each shower has a faucet groove for guests to dip their toes in to test the temperature of the water before turning on the head to enjoy a relaxing shower.
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya: One of the hottest hotels in the world has some pretty fabulous bath facilities. Nestled on 36 acres of beaches and tropical mangrove forests on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the Mandarin Oriental has garnered abundant praise and accolades since its debut. One of the coolest features? Baths placed in open-air private gardens, called "bath patios."
St. Regis Resort Bali: Notice the exotic materials in the pic? The bathrooms are all about the sense of ritual (and luxury, of course.) You can bathe in a deep soaking tub built for two while gazing out the window. Floors are made from locally-sourced beige marble, and the decorative white limestone and Bangkerai timber are also locally harvested.
Raffles Dubai: A landmark on the city's skyline, the pyramid-shaped hotel is known for its opulent suites with private butler service. The Fire Suite has a Jacuzzi tub situated at the top of marble steps-- facing a window overlooking glitzy Dubai. The over-the-top bathroom was designed with 24-karat gold in a sprawling space measuring 50 square meters.
For a different take on the dining experience, those heading to Israel this year can enjoy a meal with friends in, of all places, a crane plunging out into the sky. No joke. The Dinner in the Sky attraction allows thrill-seekers the opportunity to book private parties for the adrenaline rush of being lifted 164 feet in the air by a large crane. What's on the Menu: A gourmet meal of foie gras rolls, lamb ribs and cherry pie prepared by Israeli chef Frank Azulay.
Art-lovers might enjoy the modern ceramics display at the Haaretz Museum in Tel Aviv. The Fifth Israeli Ceramics Biennale presents the works of 57 ceramic artists influenced by new-age Israeli ceramics. The exhibition will be open to the public throughout May.
Is the Middle East market ripe for Market? Chef Jean-Georges Vongericthen sure hopes so. The acclaimed culinary maestro has opened Market by Jean-Georges and Spice Market at the new W Hotel Doha. This is Jean-Georges' first foray into the Middle East; let's hope it's a success.
Chef Jean-Georges says he will bring many of the restaurant's signature dishes to the restaurants, but looks forward to infusing the varied ingredients found in the Middle East into the dishes.
Here's what we know: Décor at market is reminiscent of a traditional souk, which we hope doesn't mean that the waiters will constantly badger you to buy their wares. We kid! The space is divided into a series of raised perimeter seating areas and there will be an open kitchen. Meanwhile, Spice Market is perched at the top of the mosque-like living room at the hotel and has great views of the Persian Gulf.
W Doha opened for business at the beginning of the month.