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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.

Where to Stay in Dubai for the Middle East’s Top Tennis Tournament


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival CityTennis fans, thinking of heading to the UAE in February for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships? The top tennis tournament in the Middle East will feature star talent like Swiss sensation (and 16-time Grand Slam winner) Roger Federer, Andy Murray, World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, and defending champions Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams. The region's only ATP 500 tour event and a favorite of top ranked female players on the WTA's Premier-Event calendar, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will take place at the Dubai Tennis Stadium at the Aviation Club on February 14, followed by the men's tournament from February 21-26. Tickets can be purchased online at Time Out Tickets. Need a place to crash while in town for the matches? The closest five-star hotels are the Al Bustan Rotana and the InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City (pictured at right).


Buzzworthy: New Hotel Missoni Kuwait Introduces “Dry Sommelier” Concept


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Missoni KuwaitHotel Missoni Kuwait will debut in just a few weeks now, and we can hardly wait. Come March 1, the design hotel will be shaking things up on the Arabian Gulf. Gorgeous interiors, an inspiring spa by Six Senses, tasty eats at the Cucina Missoni restaurant, a pool decorated with tile in the signature Missoni pattern... In short: a glamorous destination sure to dazzle its guests. There's also the all-inclusive aspect that has tongues wagging; services like Wifi, in-room movies, and mini-bar items are included in the room rates. We expect nothing less from the Milan-based fashion house.

News: We've just learned about an innovative service that the Hotel Missoni Kuwait will be introducing on the premises. To honor both local Kuwaiti culture as well as Creative Director Rosita Missoni's passion for pairing wines with meals, the "Dry Sommelier" will suggest specialty "mocktails"-- think fresh fruit juices, homemade Missoni syrups with infused ices, and mineral waters-- to go with each guest's meal.


Say Hello to the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial CentreHave you heard? The biggest news out of Dubai these days is the opening of the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, featuring an enormous waterfall in the lobby. Cascading down the building into the hotel's courtyard, the 10-storey waterfall is one of eight cool water features in the hotel. Not only does the hotel get props for its design, it's also in the spotlight for its ballroom (the biggest in Dubai's financial district), swanky 13-room spa, fully-equipped health club, and restaurants. From the official press release:

A dramatic 100-foot wine wall that is home to 3,000 bottles of the finest varietals in the world is a focal point for gourmands and wine connoisseurs. Other dining selections include Blue Rain, the signature Thai fine-dining restaurant; Can Can, a French all-day dining brasserie and the Center Cut steakhouse, providing multiple settings for the enjoyment of the cuisine made famous by The Ritz-Carlton chefs. The Lobby Lounge & Terrace offers a casual elegance for the enjoyment of afternoon tea. Each restaurant boasts an expansive outdoor terrace.

The 341-room hotel is the second Ritz-Carlton in Dubai, and the only hotel to be directly linked to the Dubai International Financial Centre.


Oman on My Mind: Anantara Al Madina A’Zarqa Resort & Spa Opens in 2011


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Al Madina A'Zarqa Resort, OmanWe've long had our eye on Oman as a destination to watch. Travelers who return from the Middle Eastern oasis spin tales of mysterious landscapes, rugged natural beauty, and ancient historic sites- untouched by tourism. We love that you can arrive by hang-glider at the Six Senses Hideaway at Zighy Bay. Though not far as the crow flies from over-the-top Dubai, the Sultanate of Oman is investing in a different type of tourism with a sustainable, long-term approach to economic diversification. In fact, the government is now investing $20 billion in the tourism sector to diversify the economy now dependent on oil production. The goal is to attract 12 million upscale visitors annually by 2020. The official Tourism Ministry website says it best: "Beauty has an address." Convinced yet?

Come 2011 there will be another exciting luxury hotel on the scene, the latest property from Bangkok-based Anantara Hotels & Resorts. Just an hour outside Muscat, the Anantara Al Madina A’Zarqa Resort & Spa is situated on a natural peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Oman. The 122-room luxury resort showcases traditional Arabian architecture, reminiscent of an ancient Omani castle on the beach. Facilities will include a fitness center, Anantara spa, business center, beach club bar, wine cellar and top-notch restaurants.


Special Five Star Alliance Rates at the Armani Hotel Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Armani Hotel DubaiThe first hotel designed and developed by Giorgio Armani, the Armani Hotel Dubai has been turning heads in over-the-top Dubai since its debut earlier this year. The setting alone is impressive; the hotel is located on floors 0-8 (along with 38 & 39) of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. Inside, it's a feast for the senses. Armani himself designed the eight on-site restaurants; the guest rooms are Armani through and through-- from the Eramosa stone floors to the zebrawood panels. Hot rates: Book the Armani Hotel Dubai with Five Star Alliance and you'll be privy to best available rates plus value-added extras: a bountiful buffet breakfast plus two complimentary tickets to KidZania, an innovative children's theme park in the Dubai Mall that's a kid-sized replica of a real city, where kids play at being grown-ups (and even don uniforms).

For more details on the opening of Armani Hotel Dubai, one of the most buzzed about hotels of the year, click here.


Last Day to Book Starwood’s Global Holiday Sale


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President Wilson, GenevaThe big two-week global sale from Starwood Hotels & Resorts is coming to an end. Act fast to score savings of up to 30% on best available rates this holiday season across all nine Starwood brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element. The offer is valid for stays between November 4, 2010 and January 17, 2011 at more than 750 hotels and resorts worldwide; valid at participating hotels over weekends and at participating resorts all days of the week.

Pictured: The world-renowned Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, part of the Luxury Collection.


Suite Escape: Book 2 Nights at St. Regis Hotels and Get the 2nd Night for $4


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Bahia Beach ResortSt. Regis Hotels & Resorts have just unveiled a special offer worth booking ASAP. To celebrate their expanding portfolio-- and the November debut of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico*-- the brand has rolled out the "Suite Luxury, Legacy Rates" offer. Book a suite for at least two consecutive nights at participating St. Regis hotels around the globe, and you'll get the second night's stay for only $4, the price of a suite at the brand's flagship, The St. Regis New York, when it originally opened in 1904.

*The new resort in Puerto Rico marks the brand's first foray into the Caribbean market. The resort will be home to the Caribbean's first and only Certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary.


A View Over the Persian Gulf at the Grand Hyatt Doha


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Hyatt DohaOn your way to Qatar? Or stuck in the capital city's airport? Doha certainly merits a stop over, so plan accordingly by booking a room at the Grand Hyatt Doha, located on the shore in the new West Bay Lagoon district just 20 kilometers from the international airport. Most rooms and suites have balconies or terraces with sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf. While you're checking out the city, you'll be cocooned in luxury at the Grand Hyatt, featuring a full-service business center, 400-meter private beach, indoor & outdoor pools, and the Jaula Spa. Book the "Explore" package and you'll learn about local life in Doha. Along with your accommodations, you'll get full breakfast for two, a full day guided city tour with a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art, and a 2:00pm late checkout (5:00pm on Friday and Saturday).


72 Hour Sale at Atlantis, The Palm: Book Now for the 2nd Birthday Package


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

A stay at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai means an up-close look at the world's largest man-made island, Palm Jumeirah, shaped like a palm tree in the brilliant blue waters of the Persian Gulf. An extraordinary setting, indeed. Needless to say, the island's flagship resort has oodles of over-the-top amenites, including the third largest aquarium in the world where guests can participate in shark feedings. There are 16 restaurants, the Aquaventure water park chock full of fun, and an on-site dolphin education center. Atlantis, The Palm is currently having a 72-hour sale where you can save over AED 2,000 with the resort's 2nd Birthday Package. Get a room for AED 1,695 and enjoy the following: 2 for the Price of 1 Dolphin Experience, 2 treatments for the price of 1 at the spa, 2 cocktails/mocktails at Seafire, dinner for two at NOBU (a AED 1,000 value!), entry for 2 to Sanctuary Nightclub, plus breakfast for 2. Hurry, must book by September 24th for stays from September 25- October 22, 2010!


Find Your Inner Nermal at The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi


By: Daniel L. Moses

Yas Hotel, Abu DhabiTwenty years ago, the only time I ever heard of Abu Dhabi was while reading the Garfield comic strip. For some reason, known only to that irascible cat and Jim Davis himself, Garfield often tried to ship his erstwhile companion Nermal, aka the world’s cutest cat, to what was then perhaps a fledgling outpost in the distant conglomeration of the United Arab Emirates. Well, UAE is a fledgling outpost no more, and doggone Nermal might actually jump at the chance to be shipped to the shimmering oasis that is modern Abu Dhabi.

Nothing exemplifies that modernity more than the The Yas Hotel, uniquely located adjacent to the Persian Gulf. Well, adjacent isn’t really the right word. The Yas actually sits straddled half over the land and half over water. It’s a unique amphibious wonderland that could only be dreamed up by the visionary firm Asymptote Architecture, the lead designers of what has become a crown jewel destination. In fact, The Yas Hotel is so amazing, and with so much to offer including nearly 500 rooms, incredible dining and golfing options, and a luxurious placement next to Yas Marina, you might be forgiven for calling it the Yes hotel. As in, yes, they have that too!

So while somewhere out there in our imaginations Garfield is still trying to send Nermal to Abu Dhabi, you can get there for real. And while you’re at it, you can enjoy everything that Nermal is missing at The Yas Hotel.

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