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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.

Celebrate Bastille Day with a Trip to France

July 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Royal Monceau ParisIn honor of Bastille Day, we're taking a look at some of our favorite hotels in Paris. (If you happen to be celebrating the French National Holiday in Washington D.C., Zagat has some great suggestions- like French wines at BLT Steak and crêpes and live music at Willard InterContinental's Café du Parc.) Woody Allen's latest film may have you jonesing for a trip to the City of Light, and the summer is a grand time to do it. There's jazz in the park, outdoor movie screenings, and the 10th edition of Paris Plages means sun-bathing on a splendid manmade beach on the Seine (complete with ice cream stands and sprinklers).

The Mandarin Oriental just opened on the Rue Saint-Honoré and it's causing quite the stir for its gorgeous spa and food by uber chef Thierry Marx. Le Royal Monceau- a glorious palace designed by Philippe Starck- is *the* place for cocktails and pastries. Meanwhile Mon Hotel-- a designer boutique hotel not far from the Champs-Élysées-- is offering a special summer deal. And the Hilton Arc de Triomphe has put together a three-night break that includes a Paris Museum pass, a Champagne cruise on the Seine, a specially prepared picnic to enjoy by an iconic landmark, and city tour in a vintage style Citreon 2CV car. For more Paris accommodations recommodations, check out Five Star Alliance's directory of four-star and five-star hotels.


A Journey Through Cambodia with Raffles Hotels

July 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles Hotel Royal, Phnom PenhIs a trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia on your bucket list? Do it right with a five-day itinerary offered by Raffles Hotels. Indulge in the fabled luxury of two of Asia's finest historic hotels, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap and Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, while experiencing the country's natural attractions and historic sites, like the magnificent UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Along the way, personal butlers will arrange sightseeing and recreational activities (like Khmer cooking lessons, shopping for local crafts, "honey hunting" eco-tours). The inclusions at each hotel are generous. Check 'em out below:

* Complimentary roundtrip airport transfers by luxury limousine

* Daily buffet breakfast for two in the colonial themed restaurants

* Unlimited internet access and round-the-clock Raffles Butler Service

* One High Tea for two

* Two buffet lunches for two at Café Monivong, Phnom Penh, One buffet lunch for two at Café d’Angkor, Siem Reap

* One four course a la carte fine dining dinner for two [excluding beverages] at Restaurant Le Royal, and at Restaurant Le Grand * One 90 minutes Spa treatment (choice of massage or beauty) per person at Raffles Amrita Spa

* An afternoon tour. Choose from: the Royal Palace, National Museum and Russian Market or S21 and Killing Fields memorial in Phnom Penh; and in Siem Reap: additional Temple visits, Tonle Sap Lake (the largest in Southeast Asia), Honey Hunting, a Jeep tour through the country, or an Elephant Safari

Additionally at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, you'll enjoy a tour of Angkor Thom, a sunrise experience at Angkor Wat, and a culinary class with lunch. Rates for the 5-day journey through Cambodia, excluding taxes and service charges, begin from US$6,300 for two guests.


Get More NYC This Summer at Andaz Wall Street

June 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz Wall StreetCheck into the Andaz Wall Street, the boutique, lifestyle hotel from Hyatt, and experience Lower Manhattan's renaissance in style. Since the Andaz Wall Street opened in early 2010, it's had groupies flocking for a taste of the thoughtful amenities (like free Internet, nonalcoholic mini-bar drinks, and espresso in the lobby)-- wishing for more global Andaz locations to open up stat! You'll swoon over the cutting-edge guest rooms, relaxed check-in process, and farm-to-table cuisine. Take advantage of the "Get More NYC" package this summer and you'll get a 3 pm late check-out plus two downtown Cultural passes featuring three days admission to attractions like The 9/11 Memorial Preview Site, The Museum of American Finance, and the Skyscraper Museum. Valid until September 6, 2011, subject to availability. Black-out dates may apply.


What's Hot: Glasgow's New Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid

June 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Glasgow's Riverside MuseumA happening music scene, farm-to-table cuisine and hot hotels... Glasgow is the place to be. And another tempting reason to jet to Scotland ASAP: This UNESCO City of Music will be opening the Riverside Museum on June 21, a dazzling building by Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. Sprawling along the River Clyde, the museum is dedicated to transport and travel, paying homage to Glasgow's history as a shipbuilding capital. The inside is just as dazzling as the outside, showcasing every type of transportation imaginable. (Trust us- we had a peak inside before the official opening date.)

Looking for the best digs in Glasgow? Check out the properties in our Five-Star and Four-Star collection. Tip: We're smitten with the entirely renovated Blythswood Square Hotel, the spa is a destination itself.

Related Article: Jumeirah Sets its Sights on Glasgow


Sponsored Article: Family Time in New York with a Special at The Surrey

June 10, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The Surrey, New YorkSpend family time in luxury this summer with a stay at The Surrey, nestled in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Built in 1926 as a residence hotel, the original Surrey was home to many of New York's most famous celebrities over the years (think JFK, Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert) who loved the hotel for its exceptional, discreet service. The recreated Surrey captures today's imaginations as well. A magnificent rooftop garden on the 17th floor, spa, and dynamite cuisine by Chef Daniel Boulud make The Surrey an exceptional Manhattan address.

With the "Family Time" special offer, you'll get a complimentary guest salon for your children or nanny when you book a one-bedroom suite with a king bed. (The guest room connects to the suite.) The kids will adore The Surrey- both for its location steps from Central Park, and also for the fun amenities provided with your stay: a coloring book of New York City's best attractions, along with two complimentary passes to experience a family program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The "Family Time" offer is based upon availability and is valid through March 31, 2012.


Paris Secrets and Insider Addresses with a Stay at Le Meurice

June 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meurice, ParisSometimes planning a trip to Paris can be overwhelming. With so many incredible restaurants and attractions, how to choose what to see and do? Le Meurice to the rescue. The iconic palace hotel facing the Jardin des Tuileries gives guests insider access to the City of Light with the "My Little Paris Passport"-- 24 hours of exploration of lesser known hot spots accessed by your Smart Phone. What's more, Le Meurice offers free Dutch-style bikes and scooters for guests, styled in the hotel's signature green. (You may find yourself so enamored with your cycle that you want to take it home with you. And you can! The bikes and scooters are available for purchase.) Book "The Parisian" package for a summer jaunt to Paris and get all kinds of goodies at Le Meurice:

* A VIP welcome toast with Champagne

* daily American breakfast

* Dinner for two by the three-Michelin star Chef Yannick Alléno at Le Dali (beverages excluded)

* Two "speedy mani" hand treatments at the Spa Valmont

* Use of a Le Meurice scooter or bicycle for touring the city

* A VIP kit from Printemps Paris, a leading luxury department store

* A garment bag for all of your purchases

* My Little Paris Passport to discover secret addresses

* Arrival airport transfer

Rates start from 805€ per night for two nights based on double occupancy. Two night minimum stay required. Package is available until December 31, 2011.


Summer in Paris: Free Museum Pass with a Stay at The Ritz

June 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz ParisWhat could be better than a summer in Paris? Sipping aperitifs at sidewalk cafes, shopping in the Marais, checking out the excellent new exhibits at the city's world famous museums... Best of all: The Ritz Paris is spoiling guests with a special treat when they book a two-night stay. You'll get a complimentary "museums pass" to visit as many museums as you like. And for the fashionistas: The Ritz Paris is collaborating with Galeries Lafayette (the landmark department store) to offer you a 10% discount on all your purchases, plus VIP services (like a bellboy who'll carry all your shopping bags back to the hotel). You'll also enjoy High Tea with scones and tasty treats for the ultimate pick-me-up after a day of sightseeing or shopping. Rates for the "Summer in Paris" offer start from 660 euros per night for two in a Superior Double room with Continental breakfast, the two-day "museums pass," Galeries Lafayette privilege card, and High Tea. Available July 15- September 15, 2011. News: The luxury hotel on the Place Vendôme recently opened its Terrasse Bar for the season, a wonderful spot for al fresco cocktails and conversation.


Sponsored Article: A New Parisian Palace at Le Royal Monceau- Raffles Paris

May 2, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Le Royal Monceau- Raffles ParisIf you're looking for a very Parisian atmosphere, discover Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris. Re-opened in October 2010, after a two year transformation, Le Royal Monceau has created a new style of palace.

Located between the Arc de Triomphe and the Parc Monceau and few steps away from the Champs Elysées, the hotel, entirely renovated by Philippe Starck, is the perfect place to experience the rich and vibrant atmosphere of Paris.

Art and culture are predominant in the hotel: "La Librairie des Arts" - the hotel's bookstore with a large selection of 700 different types of contemporary art, design and architecture books, "Art District" - the art gallery, "Le Cinéma des Lumières" - the screening room and the photography collection displayed in the rooms and the public areas. In addition to all this, Le Royal Monceau is a pioneer in the domain of the arts offering a unique service of an art concierge.

Le Royal Monceau-Raffles ParisWith its 149 rooms, suites and apartments, Le Royal Monceau has the largest number of suites and apartments in the City of Light. Inspired by the 1940's and 1950's, the atmosphere reflects the ambiance of a friend’s home with original furniture and an acoustic guitar.

Experiencing Le Royal Monceau is also discovering the two restaurants run by the executive chef Laurent André. The French restaurant “La Cuisine”is an expansive and elegant dining room while Il Carpaccio serves fine Italian cuisine. Pastries and desserts throughout the hotel are created by the renowned "Picasso of pastry" Pierre Hermé. "Le Grand Salon," the beating heart of the hotel, serves all day dining and is the ideal location to meet for business or pleasure. In the evening, "Le Bar Long" awaits guests around the luminous table d'hôtes which create a friendly interaction between the guests. This effervescent bar and its cocktails reflect the sparkle of Parisian society parties from the 1930’s.


Suite Deal: 3rd Night Free at Fairmont Washington D.C.

April 27, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Fairmont Washington DCHurry! You still have a few more days to take advantage of a suite deal in the nation's capital. The Fairmont Washington, D.C.-- home to a fitness center, indoor pool and tranquil courtyard garden-- is giving guests a 3rd night on the house when they book any suite before April 30, 2011. They'll even provide a big breakfast for two to start your day off right. While in town, check out the museums, galleries, monuments, and fine shopping that attract millions of visitors each year to D.C. Rates from $399 per night. Suites at this four-diamond hotel are plush pied à terres decked out with original artwork and all kinds of luxurious amenities.

Related Article: Fete the Cherry Blossom Festival with a Stay at the Fairmont Washington D.C.


A Dose of Art in St. Petersburg: Special with the Renaissance Vinoy Resort

April 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance Vinoy Resort, St. PetersburgSun, sand, golf, and tennis... St. Petersburg, Florida has got its bases covered as a resort destination. But with the opening of the Chihuly Collection in summer 2010 and the addition of the new Salvador Dalí Museum in January 2011, St. Petes has become something of a cultural destination, too. To encourage you to discover the art on offer, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is inviting guests on an Art Retreat. Priced from $174 per night, the getaway package includes an upgrade to a newly renovated bay view guest room; dinner for two at Marchand’s Bar & Grill from the 1925 Classic Dining Menu; and a choice of two tickets (valued at up to $42) to the Salvador Dalí Museum or the Chihuly Collection and the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio & Hot Shop. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is also a work of art, showcasing Mediterranean Revival architecture from the 1920's, and its very own Chihuly sculpture in the Grand Ballroom, comprised of 750 pieces of individually hand-blown glass.