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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.

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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


Spring Breaks: Bonus Nights at The James Chicago


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James ChicagoMarch 21 has come and gone, which only means one thing: time for a spring break. The strikingly stylish James Chicago is inviting you to turn a business trip into pleasure by extending your stay with bonus nights. Get three nights for the price of two, four nights for the price of three, or seven nights for the price of five. With the extra savings, get out and enjoy Chitown: a show at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, or shopping on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Though you may be attraction-ed out, in which case, there are plenty of reasons to stay in at The James Chicago. The hotel suggests "a personal training session designed by celebrity trainer Jim Karas, a 60-minute massage from The Spa by ASHA, an award-winning dry-aged steak from David Burke’s Primehouse."


Get the Inside Scoop on Paris with “Eye Prefer Paris” Walking Tours


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Spring Flowers in ParisIf you saw the wonderful article on Paris in The New York Times Travel section this past weekend, you might be pining for a trip to the City of Light. And you couldn't have picked a better time. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and there's not a cloud in the sky. In fact, the temps have been in the 70s and it feels almost balmy. Take a stroll through the city's glorious gardens and you'll find the air fragrant with flowers, the sidewalk cafes packed with people-watchers. For some insider tips on Paris, book a private tour with Eye Prefer Paris. A transplanted New Yorker, Richard Nahem delights visitors on tours through his Marais neighborhood and other prime spots around town. Each three-hour walking tour is individually tailored, so if you're interested in jewelry and fashion, Richard can point out secret addresses and cutting-edge boutiques; if you're a die-hard foodie, he's got the skinny on local food shops, markets, and restaurants. Price for the private tour is 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each individual person. Check it out! www.eyepreferparistours.com Photo of "Spring Flowers in Paris" courtesy of Eye Prefer Paris


Swing Music by the Olaf Olsen Quartet: Teatime at Le Meurice in Paris


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Dali at Le Meurice, ParisLe Meurice is celebrating the arrival of spring in Paris with some music-filled afternoons. The Olaf Olsen quartet-- comprised of a bass player, drummer, pianist and the famous singer-- will be jazzing up Le Dali, the Philippe Starck-designed restaurant and lounge, on April 15th, 16th, and 17th from 4- 7 pm. Perfectly located between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre museum, opposite the Tuilleries Gardens, the palace hotel is the ideal place to stop to recharge with a cup of tea after shopping on the Rue Saint Honoré or gazing at the Mona Lisa. The Afternoons called "Swing in Meurice" consist of three sets of about 35 minutes each. The quartet play old jazz and swing classics, and also delight guests with songs from Broadway musicals and films. The Dali-inspired setting alone is worth the trip. Beneath a giant canvas painted by Ara Starck (the famous designer's daughter), the restaurant is filled with whimsical designer pieces like Dali-esque chairs with feet in the form of ladies shoes, lamps with drawers, and lobster-shaped telephones.