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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.

Temptations of Turkey: Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ciragan Palace Discover the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul (not Constantinople!), where modern meets ancient and East meets West in a vibrant cultural collision. As capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city was the center of it all. And to this day, Istanbul remains a lively and exciting city, enticing travelers with spice markets, excellent restaurants and nightlife, and the signature minarets and domes of numerous architectural wonders. Stake your claim to a room at the glamorous Ciragan Palace Kempinski, formerly a grand palace for the sultan, now lovingly restored with marvelous historical details intact. Right on the banks of the Bosphorus, the Ciragan Palace offers the pinnacle of Turkish elegance. (Make sure to choose a room with a waterfront view.) Luxurious facilities are matched by impeccable service, including a personal butler for all guests. After a day exploring the mystical city, enjoy a swim in the infinity pool and feel like you're floating on the Bosphorus. Relax in the authentic Hammam, as the sultans once did, before indulging in the hotel's award-winning cuisine.


Dazzling Dubai: Waterfront Opulence at Madinat Jumeirah


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Madinat Jumeirah In a city of hyperbole (and myriad over-the-top attractions), Madinat Jumeirah stands apart as a monumental destination that exudes the city's vibrant and exotic spirit. A self-contained sanctuary of Arabian style, this luxurious oasis is comprised of three grand hotels-- Mina A' Salam, Al Qasr and Dar Al Maysaf-- along with 29 stand-alone traditional summer houses and the region's first Six Senses Spa. This sun-drenched waterfront property sprawls over beautiful gardens and waterways. Translated as the "City of Jumeirah," the Madinat Jumeirah is so named because of the sheer variety of the resort; guests enjoy the Quay Healthclub, five tennis courts, and no less than 42 restaurants and bars. The heart of the resort experience is Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a unique retail and leisure hotspot with 75 shops and restaurants.


Sun and Snow in Dubai at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kempinski Mall of the Emirates At Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, you get a big taste of both worlds: desert sun and Alpine slopes. Overlooking Dubai's indoor ski resort, attached to the biggest shopping mall outside of North America, the luxurious Kempinski is one of the hottest attractions in the booming tourist destination of Dubai.

Kempinski Mall of the EmiratesFrom your sprawling guest room-- equipped with large plasma screen TVs with international satellite channels, DVD players, and cutting edge technology-- you can check out the snow falling on the slopes of Ski Dubai. (You can also dine at the restaurants overlooking the wintry ski slopes.) But step outside your Ski Chalet, and you can bask in Dubai's tropical setting at the swimming pool and tennis courts.


The Jumeirah Hotel at Beetham Tower: London’s Major New Landmark


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jumeirah Hotel at Beetham Tower The Jumeirah portfolio is about to get even more impressive. Regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative hotels in the world, the Dubai-based luxury hospitality group encompasses the Burj al Arab, the world's only seven star hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah, and New York's Jumeirah Essex House (to name a few). Now Jumeirah is coming to London, with a breathtaking hotel situated in a 51-storey curving glass tower in Southwark overlooking the Thames. The Jumeirah Hotel at Beetham Tower will be 180 meters high, with a planned observation deck sitting 45 meters higher than the famed London Eye. What's in store? 261 spacious rooms and suites, a ballroom that will accommodate large-scale conference and banqueting events catering for up to 800 people, a variety of restaurants and bars and a cutting-edge spa, health and leisure facility that will be located on the 26th and 27th floors of the hotel. Slated to open in 2011, the hotel is expected to be a big attraction for visitors to the 2012 Olympics.


Raffles Dubai: Top Hotels of the Year


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles Dubai The moment we've all been waiting for. The Raffles experience has arrived in the Middle East. When Raffles Dubai opens its doors in October 2007, visitors will be blown away by what's been called "the hottest hotel of the year." It's not just the exciting architecture, inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt. Raffles promises an over-the-top, high octane dose of luxury: 11 distinctive restaurants and bars with culinary delights from all over the world, 248 opulent state rooms and suites, the one-hectare Sky Garden (perfect for outdoor celebrations), and the seriously decadent RafflesAmrita Spa. Located in Wafi City, adjunct to Wafi Mall, just 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport, Raffles Dubai offers the latest technology and blissful pampering. In a city that changes by the minute, Raffles Dubai is a prominent landmark, built to last.


Five Star Alliance Selects World’s Best Luxury Hotels 2007


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peter Island It's official. Five Star Alliance, the leading online travel agency for luxury hotels, has released the annual "World's Best Luxury Hotels" lists. Our crew of somewhat obsessive luxury hotel fans gives recs so often, we decided it's important to share that info with the world. Along with the company's expertise, the criteria used to select the World's Best Luxury Hotels includes honest feedback from Five Star Alliance clients and the popularity of hotels. Since Five Star Alliance only focuses only luxury hotels, these picks are truly la crème de la crème.

The world's most luxurious hotels are selected for eight categories, including Luxury Beach Resorts, Business Hotels, Luxury Honeymoon Resorts, Luxury Golf Resorts, Luxury Spa Resorts, Luxury Ski Resorts, Luxury Resorts for Families, and Romantic Resorts.

Do you have a favorite that didn't make our lists? After checking them out, come back and discuss your favorites with us! (You'll find a link for comments at the bottom of each list.)


Celebrate the Grand Opening of Movenpick Resort Bodrum, Turkey


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Movenpick Bodrum Turkey's most popular seaside destination, white-washed, bougainvillea-drenched Bodrum, just got a luxury addition. The exclusive five-star Movenpick Resort Bodrum opened its doors at the beginning of July. From its vantage point on a hilltop overlooking Gumbet Bay and the Aegean Sea, the Movenpick offers breathtaking vistas over the harbor. Known for its happening nightlife and its historic sites (including St. Peter's Castle and the Mausoleum), Bodrum is also a yachtsman's dream, a jumping off point to discover the myriad small islands along Turkey's incredible Aegean coastline. In fact, the Movenpick has a sailing yacht which can be chartered by up to 18 people. The resort's 92 rooms are decorated in a Mediterranean style with light wood colors and Spanish shutters. Guests can take in the spectacular sunsets from the private balcony or terrace. Facilities include two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor pool, restaurant and bar, Fitness Center, and a Wellness Center, where guests can relax in the Turkish hammam and sauna. Take advantage of a limited time special offer for the hotel's grand opening: rates start from just EUR 122 until September 1, 2007. Three night minimum required.


Trendspotting: Luxury Hotels Get Serious Technology Overhauls


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn Las Vegas A regular size TV will no longer cut it. The digital revolution during the age of TiVo means business travelers are used to home entertainment systems far superior than the technology found on the road. But now the tide has turned. Luxury hotels are upgrading rooms with high definition TVs, iPod docking stations and a wide selection of programming, personal entertainment systems with movies, music, and games, and more. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, in the hotel industry, the technology race is on. There's been a "paradigm shift more toward the lifestyle traveler." The good news for this new breed of road warriors: with on-demand programming, you'll never miss another episode of Entourage again.


Announcing the New Rosewood Corniche, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rosewood Corniche Hotel Like its sister hotel in Riyadh, the new Rosewood Corniche hotel will provide unrivaled luxury in Saudi Arabia. The third Rosewood property in the Kingdom, the Corniche is located in the heart of this bustling urban center by the Red Sea. (The city is the second largest in Saudi Arabia, a major business capital, and a principle gateway to Mecca.) But Jeddah is also touted as Saudi Arabia's own St. Tropez, a resort town for sun-seekers. In the middle of all the action, the new luxury hotel will attract both business and leisure travelers. Business women will appreciate the dedicated Ladies' Floor, created exclusively for female travelers, a "first" in the Kingdom. Here, female butlers will unpack luggage, provide travel information, and assist with special requests 24 hours a day. In fact, all guests enjoy the benefits of 24-hour butler service, along with the latest in technology in their luxurious guest rooms. Doting hotel staff will be decked out in uniforms designed by international fashion icon, Yahya Al Bishri, whose couture collection has been worn by Saudi Royals and the Prince of Wales. For a truly regal experience, book the Royal Suite located on the top two floors of the hotel, complete with private cinema, magnificent bathrooms overlooking the sea, two personal butlers, and opulent master bedroom and relaxation lounges.


Etihad Airways’ Luxury Pearl Zone


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Etihad AirlinesAbu Dhabi is emerging as a bright, thriving, cosmopolitan city with lush green parks and a bustling commercial hub and Dubai claims it is "the City built for Tourism all around the year." With these two major cities, and others, the United Arab Emirates continues to consistently top "Best of" lists for its attractions, business, and accommodations. In addition to the impressive number of super-luxury hotels, the United Arab Emirates features Etihad Airways as its National Airline. With three Guest Zones on each flight for passengers to choose from - Diamond, Pearl or Coral - there are new levels of comfort and luxury for travelers.

Etihad's Pearl Zone guests enjoy luxurious seating, extensive entertainment options, ambient mood lighting and signature cuisines. The new Pearl Zone seat (pictured) reclines 180 degrees into a fully flat 6 ft and 1-inch Business Bed. The Pearl Zone seat offers plenty of space and privacy with an 88-inch pitch and direct access to the aisle. A built-in massage facility helps passengers relax. Learn more about the Pearl Zone entertainment, communication, dining and service here.

Until July 28th, click here to enter your contact details for a chance to win 2 tickets to any Etihad destination - with over 43 international destinations across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania and North America - you're sure to find somewhere you would like to travel in comfort and style.