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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.

The World’s Best New Hotels 2007


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bauer Il Palladio, Venice ...brought to you by the good folks at Travel and Leisure, who just published their "It List" of hot new hotel properties. Of the 25 chosen elite, the luxurious newbies include Trailblazers like Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece, a sparkling mass of twisting metal in the midst of the Rioja's celebrated vineyards, Beachcombers like Vietnam's gorgeous Nam Hai hotel, New Urbanists like the dazzling Mandarin Oriental in Prague, and Healers, like the swanky Bauer Il Palladio Hotel & Spa in Venice and our favorite Four Seasons Westlake Village, created in partnership with the California WellBeing Institute.


Luxury Cruises: “The World” Cruise Liner Gets a Banyan Tree Spa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The World The World, the impressive private yacht owned (or rented) by folks from over 40 different countries, is a floating residential community that circumnavigates the globe, checking out diverse ports of call for 2-5 days at a time. Managed by ResidenSea in Miami, The World is outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities including a full-sized tennis court, jogging track, gym, five restaurants, move theater and library, and beautiful spa. Banyan Tree Spa has recently announced a collaboration with The World and will soon launch its Sanctuary of the Senses onboard the cruise ship. Banyan Tree's signature Asian-inspired treatments will be available at sea for the first time. Located on Deck 5 in "The Village," The World Spa by Banyan Tree features four single treatment rooms and a Beauty Garden that incorporates a Hair Salon and Manicure Station.


New and Noteworthy: Four Seasons Hotel Opens in Alexandria, Egypt


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Alexandria Jet to Egypt and soak up the Mediterranean sun in style-- in the ancient city where Mark Antony and Cleopatra got all dramatic. Perched over the sea, the new Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano is a glamorous addition to the mythical city. Full of architectural treasures, Egypt's second largest city is also an economic and industrial hub for one of the world's oldest civilizations. Alexandria is the setting for Pompey's Pillar, the Roman Amphitheather, awesome underwater ruins, and the legendary Library of Alexandria, reborn in 2002 as Bibliotheca Alexandria . As to be expected at a Four Seasons hotel, rooms are classically elegant (with 180-degree sea views), dining options are numerous, and the spa is world-class. Located within the stately Grand Plaza shopping and residential complex, Four Seasons Alexandria at San Stefano is now accepting reservations for September 1, 2007 arrivals.


The Palm Jumeirah: Over-The-Top in Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palm Jumeirah And to think we used to be mesmerized by The World in Dubai. The resort-city's truly miraculous engineering feat is The Palm Jumeirah- the world's largest man-made island built in the shape of a palm tree with 17 fronds. The self-promoted "Eighth Wonder of the World" will be home to over 30 beachfront hotels by the end of 2009, including the Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower. Trump's 50-storey giant is being billed as the "luxury centerpiece building of the Palm Golden Mile, located on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah." Looks like the trunk's where the action's at.

Image Via Luxury Launches

Related Articles:

Luxist, How You Get To The Hotels At The Palm Jumeirah

Globorati, Size Does Matter

Vagablond, Tunnel To Resort Nears Completion: The Palm Jumeirah


Play Polo in Dubai at Desert Palm Retreat


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Desert Palms Retreat Dubai Discover an oasis in the middle of Dubai. Desert Palm polo estate, with four championship polo fields, riding school, stables for over 300 horses, and vast green landscapes, is the setting for a chic boutique resort and spa. The grounds are meticulously manicured; beautiful gardens and swaying palm trees rise from the dramatic desert landscape. The resort is impossibly cool, with ‘naturally modern’ guest rooms and villas, a sensuous spa experience at Lime, gorgeous infinity pool, and excellent dining (fresh produce is flown in daily from around the world). But polo fans will really swoon. (After all, the owner's Dubai Polo Team has won both the two most prestigious and world-renowned high goal events in England: The Queens Cup and The Gold Cup.) Desert Palm Retreat showcases Dubai as a key destination in the world of international polo, hosting key polo tournaments such as the Cartier International Challenge Cup.


Suite Luxury: Desert Palm Retreat Dubai


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Location: Desert Palm Retreat consists of a main building with 13 Palm suites overlooking the polo field, 4 private one bedroom Pool Villas, 6 private three bedroom Pool Residences and the two bedroom presidential "Villa Layali". Each villa offers complete seclusion, with 9 ft. privacy walls encircling the gardens, a large swimming pool, outdoor dining area and sun-bathing deck.

Desert Palm Retreat Presidential SuiteSize/Sq. Footage: 585 square meters (bigger than all other villas in Dubai) or 6,260 square feet.

Interior Designer: IMA Singapore

The Presidential Suite - Villa Layali: is compromised of two master bedrooms each with a master bathroom, one mutual living and dining room/area in between which overlooks the polo field. The courtyard features a big private swimming pool with a sunbathing patio and pantry.

Description: This exclusive two-bedroom presidential villa, surrounded by lush grass and colossal palm trees, is a walled sanctuary. Built from Jordanian stone, this villa is centred around on open-air courtyard with a large swimming pool and water features, perfect for private sunbathing or outdoor entertaining. Parallel to the swimming pool is a long and spacious living room incorporating the lounge, dining and surround sound theatre system. The two bedroom suites each feature a private courtyard garden, king sized bed, personal business and "Bang & Olufsen" entertainment system with CD/DVD player, wi-fi internet access, "Sony Bravia" flat screen, Apple iPod, flat screen and sitting area. Behind a hidden doorway guests will discover an airy dressing room and bathroom with luxurious amenities from "Ren"...

Rate: "Villa Layali" starts at USD $2,800 during summer time for two people, it runs at USD $3,900 during the year and goes up to USD $5,850.00 during the New Years Eve period and is inclusive of an a la carte breakfast served in "Epicure" gourmet market and deli cafe - plus tax and service charge.

Fun Fact: The private rooftop terrace is ideal for viewing the excitement of polo chukkas daily at sunset (polo season runs from November until April) and for relaxing under the stars with friends. It is an ideal location for photo shots and weddings.

Check Availability >>

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Spotlight On: Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Al FaisaliahThe kingdom's leading luxury hotel is mind-blowing. First, there's the 875-foot office tower which is the tallest building in Saudi Arabia. There's the gargantuan ballroom, designed to host up to 4000 guests. The on-site stained glass window which is the largest such work ever produced. With dedicated 24-hour butler service, the hotel has proved a pioneer in Saudi Arabia's luxury hotel market with this elevated standard of personalized service. And, last but not least, the incredible Globe restaurant. Encapsulated in the stunning golden geodesic orb that tops Al Faisaliah Tower, the restaurant features staggering views of Riyadh. The three-story restaurant is topped by the city's first cigar lounge while scenic glass elevators and a staircase on the interior rim of each of the three floors bring guests to a truly unrivaled destination. Al Faisaliah, a Rosewood Hotel, sets the standard for elegance in the Middle East.


Louvre Heads to Abu Dhabi


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Louvre

Hot on the trail of Guggenheim, which last year announced ambitious plans for a new museum in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, designed by celebrity architect Frank Gehry. As reported by the New York Times, the French government recently confirmed that it will rent the Louvre name and art treasures to a new museum in Abu Dhabi, for a sum rumored to be between $800 million to $1 billion. The new Louvre will be one of five museums slated for the tourist development on Saadiyat Island, opening in 2012. The new museum will be managed by a new International Agency of French Museums, which will also manage the Musée d'Orsay, the new Musée du Quai Branly, the Château de Versailles, and the Pompidou Center. This is a monumental decision, and signifies a serious directional change in the marketing of the oldest and most famous art museum in the world. Is Chirac selling out?

Photo via Wikipedia


Le Royal Beirut and the Dead Sea Mud Bath Package


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Royal Beirut

Beirut's most luxurious hotel, Le Royal Beirut, has recently opened. Situated on a hill overlooking the city, just 15 km from the International Airport, the five-star hotel is blessed with beautiful views of the azure Mediterranean from its 231 guest rooms and rooftop restaurant. Guests can now enjoy the hotel's excellent restaurants and bars, state-of-the-art health club (with personal trainers), outdoor pool and terrace, and the exclusive Royal Spa, spread out over four floors with panoramic vistas. The Spa offers lavish treatments, including the famed Dead Sea Mud Baths. The Dead Sea Mud Bath Package includes one night's accommodation in a Deluxe Sea View room, breakfast at Le Jardin du Royal, Dead Sea Mud Bath (45 minutes), late check-out, and complimentary access to swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness facilities. Priced at $250 for two persons.


Town House Galleria: Europe’s First Seven Star Hotel in Milan


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Town House Galleria Milan

Move over, Dubai. Europe's getting its very own seven-star hotel, the Town House Galleria, in Milan. The hotel's developers opened its doors on Friday, December 15 for the general public to view the premises before the March 2007 opening date. Overlooking Milan's Duomo Cathedral and La Scala opera house, Town House Galleria is located in the second and third floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan's world-renowned historic shopping arcade. After a large renovation, the landmark building still showcases historic architectural features like the hand painted vaulted ceilings and large shuttered windows. The hotel will feature only 24 suites, and promises the highest level of personal service. Currently the world's only seven star hotel exists in-- where else?-- Dubai. (The sail-shaped Burj al Arab has been the scene of many ingenius photo ops: Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi practicing their game from the helipad, 692 feet above the Arabian Gulf.)

Old-school luxury hoteliers bemoan this latest marking gimmick of the seven-star hotel; after all, there is no standard worldwide hotel rating system, and European hotels officially can only earn five stars. But apparently this is just the beginning of a new flood of "seven star" hotels which will glut the luxury market as the super-rich elite strive to distinguish themselves among the top-tier echelons of high-rollers. Versace fashion house is scheming to open a dozen worldwide.

Related Articles:

Gridskipper, "7 Star Luxury in Milan"

Reuters, "Milan joins hotel star wars with new top rating"