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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.

A Room with a View in Venice at Londra Palace

April 3, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Londra Palace

You can't beat this setting in Venice, the sybaratic "Queen of the Adriatic." Looking out onto St. Mark's Basin, just a few steps away from the Doges' Palace-- the magnificent residence of the city's one-time rulers-- and the Bridge of Sighs, Londra Palace is smack dab in the middle of the Riva waterfront. Boasting no fewer than a hundred windows looking out on the lagoon of Venice, Londra Palace offers unparalleled views from the Salute Basilica to the island of Giudecca. The urban landscape here is dotted with Gothic spires, Renaissance palaces, and galleries brimming with works by Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto and Canaletto. Like the sensual city where it makes its home, Londra Palace is full of aesthetic delights.

Londra Palace

The bar is full of Murano glass, the award-winning restaurant has beautiful views of the Lagoon, and the floors throughout the hotel feature Venetian mosaics. The 53 guest rooms blend the best of the past and present: Biedermeier furniture and antiques juxtaposed with all the latest technology. Be sure to book a Deluxe Room or Junior Suite for the water views. You may have missed the annual Carnevale in February (what a bacchanal!), but Venice has a plethora of permanent attractions and seasonal festivals, like the Biennale modern art festival in June and film festival in August.


Get a Piece of the Original Berlin Wall: Ritz-Carlton Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Wall’s Fall

March 23, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton BerlinIt's a big year in the hip German capital. We recently reported on Berlin's swanky hotel offerings and their packages commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Another special offer to add to the list-- and one of the coolest we've seen-- is the Ritz-Carlton's "Remember the Wall" package. Good for travel through Dec. 29th and priced at about $385, the package includes one night in a superior room, breakfast, a ticket to the Berlin Wall Museum, a DVD of the film "Goodbye Lenin," welcome Gorbachev cocktails, chocolates and Rotkaeppchen sparkling wine  -- as well as a souvenir piece of the toppled wall. Guests can book special city tours separately, such as the "Trabi-Safari," in which visitors can go sightseeing in a Trabant, a car produced in what was formerly East Germany. There is also a guided tour along the traces of the former border, either on foot or by bike.

Image Via LA Times Daily Travel & Deal Blog


Experience Pop Art in True Parisian Fashion from the Hotel Du Louvre

March 17, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Hotel Du LouvreBeginning March 18th and running through July 13th, the Grand Palais in Paris invites you to view a timeless collection created by world renowned avant-garde artist, Andy Warhol. Featuring impressions by the founder of the "pop art" movement, the exhibition will showcase over 250 of Andy Warhol's creations. Immerse yourself in the full artistic experience by staying at the Hotel Du Louvre, and book the Timeless Warhol Package which includes two priority tickets to "The Great World of Andy Warhol" exhibit, and also receive a Warhol special candy box in your room, as well as daily breakfast for two.

Package rates vary according to availability, and certain terms and restrictions apply.


20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Where to Stay in the European Capital of Cool

March 11, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, BerlinArguably the most moving historic moment in the 20th century, the fall of the Berlin Wall-- 20 years ago this year-- was an unforgettable triumph. It's no surprise that Germany has scheduled a slew of exciting events to commemorate this momentous occasion. The country's cool capital-- a haven of creative design and hip cultural delights-- is throwing a year-long party. Here's the run-down: We may have missed the Berlin Film Festival in February, but May will see the launch of an open-air exhibit on Alexanderplatz (formerly in East Berlin) about the fall of East Germany's communist government. The three-day "Festival of Freedom" will take place at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin from November 7 to 9, "culminating in a multimedia recreation of the wall coming down."

Ritz-Carlton BerlinWhere to stay in the German capital? Here's a run-down of some of our favorites:

Hotel de Rome: Housed in a historic bank building (with the bank vault converted into a pool) and boasting panoramic views of the city's attractions, this hotel is a member of the prestigious Rocco Forte Collection. Enough said.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski: A fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, this illustrious hotel is actually offering a special package to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's demise, which includes a guided city tour of Berlin's historic sites.

Kempinski Hotel Bristol: The first five-star hotel to be rebuilt after the war and a symbol of Berlin.

Ritz-Carlton Berlin: The posh hotel's La Prairie Spa pool is pictured at right. Bathrooms in the guestrooms are just as sumptuous and spa-like.

Radisson SAS: Stocked with 2,500 exotic fish, the enormous lobby AquaDom is the world's largest cylindrical aquarium.

Hotel Concorde: The sleek hotel is all about design with stylish minimalist interiors with lots of contemporary art.


Goya’s Art Up Close and Personal: Explore the Prado Museum with Google Earth

March 10, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Armchair travelers will be thrilled to learn about the latest 3D tours accessible on Google Earth. You don't have to buy a ticket to Madrid to check out the treasures from the Prado Museum. Delve deeply into the Prado's collection with Google Earth technology:

In Google Earth, you can get close enough to examine a painter's brushstrokes or the craquelure on the varnish of a painting. The images of these works are about 14,000 million pixels, 1,400 times more detailled than the image a 10 megapixel digital camera would take. In addition, you'll be able to see a spectacular 3D reproduction of the museum.


Art Treasures of Rome with the Splendide Royal Palace Hotel

March 6, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Splendide Royal RomeThe dollar's rise from the abyss, coupled with dramatically falling airfares, means a jaunt to Europe could be in the cards this spring. Hit up the Eternal City in the springtime and you can experience Easter at St. Peter's. The sidewalk cafes come alive, and moreover, Rome is simply brimming with artistic treasures to be discovered-- from ancient Rome to the present. (For a "mini Grand Tour of Rome's art treasures," click here.) Check into the luxurious Hotel Splendide Royal-- an authentic 19th century palace morphed into five-star hotel-- and you'll be just a stroll away from the famed Via Veneto. If you can tear yourself away from your swanky digs (think Baroque decor, fine antiques, marble bathrooms, and terraces with sweeping views over the city and the gardens of Villa Borghese), you'll find the city's arts and culture at your doorstep. In fact, the hotel has put together a package so you can experience a fabulous exhibition at the Art Gallery "Complesso del Vittoriano" entitled "Giotto 1267-1337 La rinascita della pittura in Italia." With the Splendide Giotto package, you'll get two nights accommodation, free tickets to the gallery, buffet breakfast, and a panoramic dinner at the Mirabelle Restaurant.


Spend the Night with King Tut at Fairmont Dallas, Home to Lone Star Luxury

March 6, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

King TutKing Tut is back. The global tour of Tutankhamun's golden artifacts has returned to the U.S. and will be in Dallas until May 17, 2009. Since Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of the boy Pharaoh in 1922, the artifacts have captivated the world. Now's your chance to see the 3,000-year-old treasures from the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, an amazing exhibition that first left the Cairo Museum three decades ago to dazzle millions of visitors worldwide. Just one block from the Dallas Museum of Art (Tut's home in North Texas), the legendary Fairmont Dallas wants you to get the most out of your King Tut experience. Leave it to the only hotel in the Dallas Arts District to put together some special packages so you can get a sense of life as a Pharaoh. Starting at $249 per night, the "Spend the Night with Tut" package includes a luxurious stay in a newly-redecorated Fairmont Room, 2 VIP Tickets to King Tut valid for any date/time (including sold out dates), expedited access line at the Exhibition, and complimentary overnight valet parking. Choose the "Dine with Tut" package and you'll also get a gourmet dinner thrown in-- for two in the elegant, four-star Pyramid Room.


Things to See and Do in Israel

March 5, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

For a different take on the dining experience, those heading to Israel this year can enjoy a meal with friends in, of all places, a crane plunging out into the sky. No joke. The Dinner in the Sky attraction allows thrill-seekers the opportunity to book private parties for the adrenaline rush of being lifted 164 feet in the air by a large crane. What's on the Menu: A gourmet meal of foie gras rolls, lamb ribs and cherry pie prepared by Israeli chef Frank Azulay. Art-lovers might enjoy the modern ceramics display at the Haaretz Museum in Tel Aviv. The Fifth Israeli Ceramics Biennale presents the works of 57 ceramic artists influenced by new-age Israeli ceramics. The exhibition will be open to the public throughout May.


Explore Insider’s Tuscany with the Exclusive Villa La Massa in Florence

February 25, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa La Massa

Leave it to the Villa La Massa-- the darling of celebrities, and sister property to the celebrated Villa d'Este on Lake Como-- to provide guests with exclusive access to the cultural riches of Tuscany, the living expression of the Italian Renaissance. Florence is one of the world's most coveted destinations (for good eats, the best shopping, and Michelangelo's David, need we say more?), and Villa La Masa arguably has the town's best accommodations. Just a stone's throw from Florence, nestled in the Tuscan countryside along the famed Arno River, Villa La Massa dates from the 16th century: a marvel of ancient frescoes, gorgeous art, and the most luxurious furnishings. It's a given that the Villa La Massa can hook you up with guided tours of the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia di Belle Arti, or shopping excursions to pick up the best handicrafts and fashion. But what's more: Villa La Massa can arrange private tours of the countryside so that guests can discover Tuscany's secrets, delighting in authentic cuisine and gaining access to Florentine Palaces. Tip: The hotel opens for the season on March 26, 2009.


Hotel Molina Lario Offers a Date with Picasso

February 23, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Hotel Molina LarioHotel Molina Lario, located in Malaga, the capital city of Costa del Sol, wants to get you up close and personal with Pablo Picasso. The luxury hotel's "Picasso Package" includes a 2 night stay, buffet breakfast, welcome gift, and tickets to the nearby Picasso Museum. The hotel, inaugurated in August 2006, has two completely refurbished buildings, keeping the original 19th Century façade, and the third absolutely new, together comprising a unique hotel set in the heart of the city.