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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.

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

...to 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.


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


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


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


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.