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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.

Summer of Love: Package Deals at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel

June 19, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews PhiladelphiaPhilly fans, there's a whole lot going on in the "City of Brotherly Love" this summer. From concerts to art exhibits, from the historic past to the vibrant present, the city is living up to its recently-launched tourism marketing campaign: "With Love, Philadelphia XOXO." (Maybe you've seen the ads? A series of love letters acting as invitations to visitors, all finished with the affectionate sign off.) The Loews Philadelphia is offering you the first-class digs to relax during your city visit, coupled with a slew of different packages catering to different museum exhibitions: there's the Galileo exhibit at the Franklin Science Museum, along with exhibits on Napoleon and Star Trek. Book with Five Star Alliance and you'll get a special amenity celebrating local ingredients and supporting a local farmer as part of the Loews Adopt-A-Farmer program.


Have a (Free) Night in the Museum (er, Athens Life Gallery)

June 10, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Athens Life GalleryThe charming luxury hotel Athens Life Gallery, with a unique glass building and rotating exhibit of modern Greek artists, is offering a great deal. The boutique hotel is offering 3 nights for the price of 2, staring at EUR 149. You'll get one of the 24 deluxe rooms, a view of the mountains, and a working desk in the room. Enjoy one of the 2 outdoor pools, fitness center, and meditation center. Have a drink at the Pisco Sour Bar and enjoy the DJ's global spinning, or sample one of the approximately 450 bottles of wine available at the Wine Gallery restaurant. Stay during the summer, and enjoy al fresco dining at the hotel.


Private Tours of the Met with The Carlyle Hotel, New York

June 1, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Carlyle Hotel, New YorkThe Carlyle has been a New York tradition for over 70 years, its name synonymous with elegant hospitality. Of course a hotel of this caliber-- home to world-famous Bemelman's Bar and Sense, a Rosewood Spa-- bends over backwards for its distinguished guests (there's even a white-gloved elevator operator on staff). The latest special amenity? Private tours of The Metropolitan Museum of Art customized to each guests' interests, so you can experience the Francis Bacon show at the Met, for example, and also take home a limited-edition lithograph of a 1990 Francis Bacon wine bottle label designed for Mouton Rothschild. Called "The Art of Discovery: World Tour at the Met," the package includes luxury accommodations for two, breakfast buffet in The Carlyle Restaurant, your private tour of The Met, and 15 percent off at The Met Store on purchases over $75. Available until Sept. 7, 2009.


Early Bird Special at Hotel Murmuri in Barcelona

May 27, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Hotel MurmuriThe early bird gets the gusano at Barcelona's Hotel Murmuri. Actually, they get to take advantage of the Early Bird Prepaid special the luxury hotel is offering, which is a lot better than an earthworm. Starting at just EUR 124.91 per night, guests stay in a classic room with queen or twin bed, and wifi access/ipod station. Hotel Murmuri is centrally located on the Eixample, beside the Passeig de Gracia, the commercial and cultural nerve center of the city. Guests can walk to the Ramblas, Diagonal Avenue, Sagrada Familia, and many of the other cultural attractions that Barcelona has to offer. But make sure before you book. This special low-rate requires full payment at time of booking and no changes or refunds are permitted.


Get Some Culture at Prague’s Hotel General

May 22, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Hotel GeneralAttention! Prague's Hotel General, the small luxury property with a distinctly military feel, wants you to enjoy the cultural offerings of Prague.

At Hotel General, each of the 20 rooms is inspired by the deeds and lives of famous generals and military leaders throughout world history. The furniture and decoration of each room is designed to offer a unique opportunity to taste the ambiance of the various historical periods of these generals. The hotel's "Two-Night Cultural Package," which starts at EUR 142.50, offers 2 tickets for the State Opera or National Theatre, a double deluxe two twin beds room with Internet, a welcome drinks, a limosine pick-up from the airport or railway station, breakfast buffet or an a la carte dinner. But book now, because availability is limited, and certain terms and restrictions apply.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests at Hotel General receive a welcome drink upon arrival, complimentary parking and room upgrade based upon availability.


Spend an Artful Summer in Madrid

May 21, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Westin Palace Madrid If you are an art lover, you might want to make plans for a stop-over in Madrid this summer. Two major exhibits showcasing two of the world's greatest artists will be opening in the Spanish city. From May 26-September 6, the Prado will feature Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923), the first major monographic exhibition devoted to the artist since 1963. One of the key figures in the history of Spanish art and the most internationally-known artist of his day, Sorolla worked in a realistic style and captured the magical light of Valencia’s Mediterranean coast. Opening June 9 and running through September 20, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will present a major exhibition, Matisse: 1917 – 1941. Designed to showcase a little-studied period in the artist's life and work, the show will present some 80 paintings, sculptures and drawings from two critical dates. Marked by the shadow of World War I and the forebodings of the next world conflict, the period was one of rapid ascent for Matisse, and this exhibition aims to present the artist's central role in the flourishing of modern art during this era.

Where to stay? There's a plethora of choices: Hotel Santo Mauro, Hesperia Madrid, Urban Hotel Madrid, Eurostars Madrid Tower, Mirasierra Suites Hotel, The Westin Palace Madrid, and AC Palacio Del Retiro are just a few of the great luxury properties you can book at Five Star Alliance.


The Best of Music City at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville

May 12, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel NashvilleCountry music fans, budding songwriters, wannabe music stars: head to Nashville and discover the best that Music City has to offer. You'll get the star treatment and enjoy lively entertainment at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, the 340-room luxury property that has a fitness center, art gallery, and day spa on-site. The hotel has created a package so that you get the most out of your trip to Nashville. When you book the "Music City" package, you'll get two tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame along with your accommodations. Dedicated to the history of country music, the Hall of Fame has fun interactive exhibits (sing along with the stars!) and a permanent exhibit, Sing Me Back Home, sprawling over two floors of the museum. Priced from $189 per night, the package also includes overnight valet parking.


Hotel Sofitel on Renmin Square: Where to Stay in Xian, China

May 8, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Xian on Renmin SquareHeading to Xian to see the Terracotta warriors?  One of the oldest cities in Chinese history, situated at the eastern end of the Silk Road, Xian boasts more than 3,100 years of history and a slew of interesting sites. Of all the pagodas, museums, and temples, the most touristed is the world-famous Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army-- a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's not-to-be missed. The place to stay in Xian is the Sofitel on Renmin Square, easily the most luxurious hotel in town, and close to all the major sites. Recognized as one of the world's top business hotels (as Xian is also an important business capital), the Sofitel has myriad dining options and a spa and indoor pool, along with swanky accommodations.


Hotel Claris: Rooftop Swimming Pool, Dazzling Art Collection in the Heart of Barcelona

May 8, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Claris BarcelonaThe rooftop swimming pool is reason enough to book a stay at the Hotel Claris, the charming boutique hotel smack dab in the middle of it all in Barcelona, an easy jumping off point to discover the magic of Gaudi's architecture and the most exciting urban beaches in the world. From the hotel's rooftop, you can take in marvelous views of the sun-bleached city, and in the evening, bliss out to live music and creative cocktails. The 124 luxury bedrooms are outfitted with all the latest technology, decorated with original Egyptian, Roman and Hindu art. In fact, the hotel itself is like a museum, boasting an art collection of over 400 works: original Egyptian art from the Egyptian Museum, engravings commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, mosaics and Roman sculptures from the 2nd and 3rd centuries.


Trends: Art Collections at Hotels like Gramercy Park, New York

May 4, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gramercy Park HotelThe latest hot trend in hotels across the country? Art installations that are a fundamental element of hotel design, to quote The New York Times, "challenging guests to think more deeply about their experience." Extensive collections of art can be found in hotels from Minneapolis to Miami Beach. Case in point: the Gramercy Park Hotel, "whose total refurbishing by Mr. Schrager debuted in 2006, has so much high-caliber artwork that the Museum of Modern Art once took a tour group there." With design that's a feast for the senses, the Gramercy Park Hotel is an artistic vision (with happening bars and a Private Roof Club and Garden, to boot). Guests can gape at original pieces by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Fernando Botero-- among others.