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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.

Don’t Miss in London: The Serpentine Gallery Temporary Pavilion

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Serpentine Gallery Temporary Pavilion

Leading Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa designed the temporary pavilion this year at the Serpentine Gallery. Built in Kensington Gardens, the Pavilion commission is an ongoing program of temporary structures made by internationally-acclaimed architects whose work has not yet been built in England. Last year the architect was Frank Gehry. Open daily to the public until October 18, 2009, the structure is floating aluminum, resembling "a reflective cloud or a floating pool of water." The architects describe it this way: "The reflective canopy undulates across the site, expanding the park and sky. Its appearance changes according to the weather, allowing it to melt into the surroundings. It works as a field of activity with no walls, allowing uninterrupted view across the park and encouraging access from all sides. It is a sheltered extension of the park where people can read, relax and enjoy lovely summer days."

Serpentine Gallery Temporary Pavilion

See the New Acropolis Museum in Athens with the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, AthensThe new Acropolis Museum has been turning heads-- and causing a stir-- since it opened in June. Be among the first to visit this cultural gem, boasting expansive views of the Parthenon, with a special package from the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, the luxurious spa hotel that's well-situated in the city's business district. (Just check out the Acropolis views from the rooftop restaurant, pictured at right.) The Athenaeum is known to have the biggest rooms in Athens. With the "Acropolis Museum" package, you'll get two tickets to the four-hour guided tour at the museum. Enjoy spectacular views of the Acropolis itself from your Deluxe Acropolis View room and indulge in Club Lounge delights. The package also includes access to the new sauna, steam bath, foot bath and event showers in I-SPA by Algotherm. Reservations must be made five days prior to arrival, minimum two-night stay required, full pre-payment required. Guests are entitled to 1 tour for a two-nights stay.

Check into Myanmar at the Governor’s Residence

By: K. Clare Johnson

Governor's ResidenceDiscover Yangon with the The Governor's Residence. Surrounded on three sides by water, Yangon, Myanmar's capital city, has a unique charm with its old colonial buildings, tree lined streets, bustling markets and tranquil lakes. The 1920's era colonial mansion-turned-luxury hotel has just the package for those wishing to explore the ancient city. Check in early and stay for two nights in one of the luxuriously decorated deluxe rooms (complete with marble bath). You'll get welcome fruits, roundtrip transfers to and from the airport, and a late check-out. The concierge will help you tailor a tour of Yangon to your preferences. You won't want to miss the Shwedagon Pagoda, a monument dating from the 11th century. It is plated with more than 8,000 solid gold slabs and its tip is set with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and topaz.

Deals in Spain: Have a Historic Stay at Palacio de Santa Paula, Granada

By: K. Clare Johnson

Palacio de Santa Paula GranadaGet a unique taste of history when you check into Palacio de Santa Paula. The luxury property, located in Granada, Spain, has combined three historic properties into one hotel. The main part of the hotel is a 19th century palace. There's also an old convent, medieval cloistered courtyard and a 14th century Moorish house. While the outside is old, the inside is ultra-chic, mixing old and new together seamlessly. The restaurant is located in the old convent, and features the finest in local produce and delectables, along with the best local wines. Visit during July and August, and you'll dine to the sounds of live classic music. Rates start at just EUR 132 per night.

Summer in Paris at the Hotel De Crillon

By: K. Clare Johnson

Hotel de CrillonBring your summer to a close with a Parisian flourish. Hotel de Crillon is offering a Summer Promotion from now until September 15. Book a two night stay, and receive a 100 Euro dining credit. Book a four night stay and receive and 100 Euro dining credit plus a one way transfer. Plus, guests who book with Five Star Alliance can sip on the Five Star Cocktail at the bar, gratis. Availability is limited, and additional restrictions apply, so book now. Celebrating 100 years as a luxury hotel, the Hotel de Crillon offers luxurious views of the Concord bridge, Rue de Rivoli, the fountains in the square and the Obelisk of Luxor. With 103 rooms, 39 suites and 5 luxury apartments, the Hotel de Crillon offers a wide range of accommodation while retaining the intimate atmosphere of a private residence.

Special Van Gogh Meal in Basel: Dine on Van Gogh’s Table at Hotel Les Trois Rois

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Les Trois RoisInspired by the exhibition "Van Gogh: The Landscapes - Between Earth and Heaven" taking place in Basel this summer, the Hotel Les Trois Rois-- the oldest hotel in Switzerland-- has launched a unique offering in their Brasserie: "At the table with Vincent van Gogh." The hotel has actually imported the authentic table from the French inn called Auberge Ravoux in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise where van Gogh once rented an attic room for 1 franc a day. After an extensive renovation, the Auberge welcomes visitors to see the place where the artist painted some 80 pictures (and found his final resting place). The Hotel Les Trois Rois entrusted FedEx with the responsibility of shipping the historic table to Switzerland. On this table, lucky guests can experience a special "Van Gogh" menu, inspired by traditional dishes served by the Auberge Ravoux since 1876:

Van Gogh's table offers food for body and soul: every meal is accompanied by an explanation of a myth that surrounds Van Gogh’s life and work. 1. Van Gogh was not unjustly neglected. 2. Van Gogh did not sell one painting during his lifetime. 3. Van Gogh was not poor. 4. Van Gogh was not mad.

Diners can partake in the experience until September 27th, 2009, the final date for the Van Gogh exhibition in Basel. For reservations, call +41 61 260 50 02.

P.S. The Hotel Les Trois Rois will donate CHF 10 for each guest to the Van Gogh Institute.

Brussels is One of Europe’s Great Secrets

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Brussels is One of Europes Great quote Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel guru, who sings the city's praises in a recent article for Tribune Media Services:

Six hundred years ago, Brussels was just a nice place to stop and buy a waffle on the way to France. Today, it's a city of 1.8 million, the capital of Belgium, the headquarters of NATO, and the political center of the European Union. It may be easy to skip as you zip from Amsterdam to Paris by train, but its rich brew of food and culture pleasantly surprise those who stop. Its magnificent grand square, rightly named La Grand Place, alone makes a visit worthwhile.

Even the New York Post is "liking Brussels more and more these days," most notably for its new Magritte Museum, which recently debuted on the Place Royale and boasts the largest collection of Magritte paintings in the world. Looking to get your fries fix? (The world's best-- deep-fried in duck fat-- can be found in the Belgian capital.) Bed down in Brussels at any of these fine properties in the Five Star Alliance portfolio, including the beautiful Hotel Amigo, part of the Rocco Forte Collection.

Pictured: Le Meridien Brussels, ideally located in the city's historic heart near the Grand Place.

Check out the New Acropolis Museum, Athens: 99 Eur Rates at St. George Lycabettus Boutique Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. George Lycabettus Hotel, AthensHead to Athens to check out the new Acropolis Museum that everyone's talking about (The New York Times calls it "one of the highest-profile cultural projects undertaken in Europe in this decade"). At the foot of Acropolis Hill, the striking contemporary building houses the Parthenon's collection of classical sculpture-- all except for the frieze still located in the British Museum. Just minutes from the Acropolis in the heart of the exclusive Kolonaki neighborhood, the St. George Lycabettus Boutique Hotel has a killer location. At night, you can see the Parthenon illuminated with lights. In fact, sublime views of the Acropolis are visible throughout the hotel. There's a rooftop pool and restaurant, to boot. Check into this stylish property this summer and you could snag rates of just EUR 99 on select dates.

Summer of Love: Package Deals at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel

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)

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.