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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 Hottest Hotels: Where to Stay Now

April 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangiriConde Nast Traveler has released their annual Hot List 2010 "of the newest and most innovative hotels worldwide" and a quick browse is guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Best of all: 42 hotels that made the cut have rooms costing under $250 a night. We were pleased to see a few of our faves make the list. In North America, for example: the Capella Pedregal, Crosby Street Hotel, The Allison, St. Regis Mexico City, Amangiri, The Jefferson, The Betsy, The Elysian, W South Beach, and Viceroy Snowmass...


20% Off Best Available Rate at the Raffles Dubai

March 23, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles DubaiHeading to Dubai? When you book the Raffles Dubai 14 days in advance, you get 20% off the "Best Available Rate." Since it opened at the end of 2007, the glitzy pyramid-shaped hotel has become a landmark on the city skyline. Inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt, the opulent hotel has it all: 11 restaurants and bars, the divine RafflesAmrita Spa, and the one-hectare "Raffles Botanical Garden," depicting the four "Elements of Life" (earth, wind, fire and water).


Destination Jordan: Insider Tips for the Lost City of Petra

March 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Lost City of Petra, JordanEver dreamed of playing Indiana Jones and galloping off to the rose-red city of Petra? Is a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site on your bucket list? A year-round destination and a safe haven in the Middle East, Jordan offers a diversity of landscapes and historic sites, including the archeological wonders of Petra. When making your vacation plans, don't limit yourself to a few days exploring the "Lost City." What else should be on your Jordan agenda? A float in the Dead Sea (nominated as one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World) combined with spa pampering at Movenpick's sprawling Zara Spa, camping with bedouins under the stars in the Wadi Rum desert, snorkeling in the Red Sea, and exploring religious sites like Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized, and Mount Nebo, where Moses looked out over the Promised Land.

Petra By NightBut Petra is certainly the crown jewel in the country's archeological riches. Carved from sandstone canyons hidden deep within the mountains, Petra was "lost" to the western world for centuries. Mysterious and inspiring, this ancient city was built by the Nabateans in the 4th century BC, and flourished from profits made by controlling the region's caravan routes. Archeologically, the incredible ruins show the architectural influences of Assyria, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

Some tips:

--Many visitors falsely assume that Petra's highlight is the Treasury (pictured), the setting for Indiana Jones' discovery of the Holy Grail in the film. Not so. Petra sprawls over miles and miles of trails to follow through the sites. Don't miss a hike up to the Monastery. After climbing up hundreds of stone steps carved into the mountainside, you'll be rewarded with spectacular views across to Israel.

--Plan your trip to include "Petra by Night", an experience offered by the tourism office which leads visitors along a candle-lit path to the Treasury, lit by hundreds of flickering candles. You'll be served hot tea while listening to bedouin music.

--New maps are available at the visitor center, as are interpretative signs marking sites along the trails.

--Not far from Petra, enjoy another less touristed site called "Little Petra."


Where to Stay in Qatar’s Capital: Grand Hyatt Doha

March 9, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Spa entrance at Grand Hyatt Doha

Heading to Qatar and looking for a place to stay? Barely a year old, the Grand Hyatt Doha-- designed as an opulent Arabian palace-- is turning heads in Qatar's capital. Located on the shores of the new West Bay Lagoon district, the hotel is a quick taxi ride away from the city's financial district and and the new Museum of Islamic Art. From the palatial entryways to the oversized atrium and lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Grand Hyatt oozes luxury in its design. Facilities include three outdoor swimming pools, a fully equipped fitness center, and the Arabia-inspired Jaula Spa, reminiscent of a village with elegant gardens and tranquility pools. Best of all: The Grand Hyatt Doha has its own private beach. All guest rooms boast terraces or balconies, walk-in rain showers with separate tubs, and cutting-edge technology.

Grand Hyatt Doha


Breaking News: The Scoop on the New Hotel Missoni Kuwait

March 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Missoni Kuwait

Come September 2010, Kuwait City will be the site of one of the hottest resort openings of the year. Smack dab in the city center near the world-famous shopping district, the new Hotel Missoni Kuwait promises to lure quite a few fashionable globetrotters to the shores of the Arabian Sea. Why are we so effusive about this property? For one, the partnership of the Milan-based fashion house and the Rezidor Hotel Group seems to be a winning combo; glam interiors feature Missoni's iconic colorful prints and designer furniture, while the facilities encompass a Six Senses Spa, the Cucina Missoni restaurant and Choco Cafe, stylish meeting facilites, and a pool tiled with the signature Missoni patterned stripe. We also dig the complimentary wireless Internet access.

Hotel Missoni Kuwait


Trip Dreamin’: The Beauty of Muscat with Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort

February 10, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort, MuscatBringing you a daily dose of vacation exoticism during this coldest winter in recent memory... (whether you're under piles of snow in D.C.'s Snowmageddon, or bundled up against the cold in Chicago) Today we're traveling to a far-off, sun-drenched land at the edge of the glittering bay of Al Jissah in Oman. The word's out: Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, a luxe three-hotel resort village in the Sultanate's capital of Muscat, is a stunner. It's not just the setting that will take your breath away (though there's a lot to be said for the dramatic mountainscape edged against sandy beaches). The resort is an oasis of lush landscaping and expansive facilities from scuba diving center to the spa. Want to plop down and catch some rays on the beach? A private butler will attend to your every whim. The resort is currently offering an "Arabian Adventures" package from OMR 154 per night which provides a free fifth night plus daily breakfast and free Broadband Internet Access. Available until April 30, 2010.


Buzz: Victoria Beckham to Design a Hotel in Dubai?

January 27, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Victoria BeckhamUPDATE: Sources confirm that this newsworthy tidbit was just the Internet rumor mill at work...

Move over, Armani. Victoria Beckham may be getting her own hotel in Dubai. Word on the street is that Posh was invited (for a whopping 25 million British pounds) to design a luxury property:

The hotel would be on Isla Moda, a fashion-themed isle off Dubai being developed with the help of top designer Karl Lagerfeld... Isla Moda is one of nearly 300 islands in Dubais man-made archipelago called The World because the isles are arranged in the shape of a map of the globe.


Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opens as the World’s Tallest Building with First Armani Hotel

January 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Dubai, world's tallest buildingAt long last, the Burj Khalifa* has opened at a cost of $1.5 billion. We've been keeping tabs on its construction over the past five years as the spire reached higher and higher; Conde Nast Traveler has even nominated the building as one of the "new seven wonders of the architecture world." As the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa soars 2,717 feet above the ground, allowing views of 60 miles for lucky visitors to the top floor. Yesterday's opening ceremony unveiled the tower that's billed as a "global icon." Though other worldwide construction projects-- namely the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong-- may soon eclipse the Burj Khalifa. Home to the first Armani Hotel, the Burj Khalifa also houses "the world's highest swimming pool, on the 76th floor; the highest observation deck, on the 124th floor; and the highest mosque, on the 158th floor."

*The building was formerly called the Burj Dubai.


50 Percent Off Weekends in 2010 at Conrad Hotels and Resorts

December 30, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Mount JulietThis just in. Take advantage of a January sale with Conrad Hotels & Resorts and get 50 percent off weekends throughout 2010! Book by January 31st, 2010 at more than 200 destinations across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including the Conrad Brussels, Conrad Cairo, Conrad Centennial Singapore, and Conrad Mount Juliet in Ireland's County Kilkenny (pictured at right). Your Minibreak includes a lazy breakfast until 11 a.m. and a late checkout until 6 p.m. Kids stay and eat for free.


Ring in the New Year at the Kempinski Hotel Ajman in Dubai

December 7, 2009
By: Daniel L. Moses

Hotel Ajman The luxury Hotel Ajman in Dubai is offering a 5-night package for you and a guest to ring in the New Year in style. The package includes a Deluxe room, breakfast at the Cafe Kranzler, and dinner and drinks for two on New Year's Eve at one of three delectable on-site, award-winning restaurants. The New Year's bash will include a glass of premium champagne, and a fireworks display for the ages over Hotel Ajman's private beach. The package runs from December 29, 2009 – January 5, 2010, so book today for your luxury New Year's celebration.