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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.

Presidential Perks Package at the InterContinental Chicago

January 14, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental ChicagoWe couldn't resist writing up one more Inauguration Package (last one, we promise). After all, this one is in Obama's own Chitown, and the Windy City beckons with lots of fun to do on a winter getaway (even with the current Arctic temperatures). Check into the InterContinental Chicago, billed as the only hotel with a front entrance on the famous Magnificent Mile, and "salute the good old U.S. of A." The patriotic Presidential weekend is priced at $209 per night, per couple, and is available January 1 through March 31, 2009:

In addition to luxury accommodations for two, you and your "VP" will get a front row seat to learn about our nation's history with two tickets to the fun and educational Freedom Museum. Sate your presidential appetite with a full American breakfast buffet for two, and enjoy complimentary valet parking for your motorcade and free access to the fitness club and the hotel's historic indoor swimming pool. That's change you can believe in.


Edgar Alan Poe Bicentennial in Richmond; January Getaway at The Jefferson Hotel

January 9, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond2009 is the bicentennial of the birth of one of America's most popular writers. Edgar Allan Poe spent more than a third of his life in Richmond, and the city's Edgar Allan Poe Museum has the world's finest collection of letters, first editions, and personal items. Though exhibitions and performances will be happening across the East Coast (Baltimore competes with Richmond to claim this literary great as its own), Richmond is the place to go this year. Book a room at the city's grandest hotel, the AAA-Five-Diamond Jefferson, and you'll delight in the elegant décor and flawless service. Take advantage of the January Getaway Package and you'll get full American buffet breakfast and valet parking included in your room rates. Starting from $195 in a Superior Room; available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through the end of the month.


2009 Art Basel Dates Set for Switzerland

January 5, 2009
By: Ruthanne Terrero

If you're just aching to build up your already-extensive collection of contemporary art, we say you need to plan to be in Switzerland for Art 40 Basel, which takes place June 10 – 14, 2009. Considered the world's premier international art show for modern and contemporary works, Art Basel annually presents works from nearly 300 galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. More than 2,000 artists, ranging from the masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show's multiple sections. To give you a sense of its importance amongst art lovers,
 60,000 people attended Art 39 Basel; The New York Times has even called the annual confab "the Olympics of the Art World." We say Basel itself is worth the trip for culture junkies; this stellar Swiss city is filled with world-class museums, outdoor sculptures, theaters and concert halls. For touring, there's even an idyllic medieval old town. Set on the banks of the Rhine, at the border between Switzerland, France and Germany, Basel is easily navigated by foot and trams. If you're going, arrange to fly into EuroAirport. For more information, visit www.artbasel.com.


Hot Destinations for 2009: Visit Vilnius, Lithuania and the Hotel Stikliai

December 30, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel StikliaiVilnius has been designated a European Capital of Culture for the year 2009, which means a slew of arts and culture events. Lithuania's capital has lined up some 120 major projects and 900 events. And it gets even better than that. Lithuania will also be celebrating its millennial in 2009. (1,000 years since the first written record of the country!) Don't miss Street Musician Day on May 2, or "Culture Night: Let There Be Light" on June 20, when the city parties all night long with concerts, open-air movies, fashion shows, museum exhibitions, and more. Another reason to check out this beautiful city in 2009? Lithuania doesn't use the euro, so traveling is wholly affordable. Check into the luxurious Stikliai Hotel, housed in an elegant 17th century residence, and you'll be in the heart of historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You'll love dining in the atmospheric Tavern (the hotel's restored vaulted cellar) where you can taste traditional dishes while enjoying a live folk music show.


In Case of Nuclear War, Check-In at West Virginia’s Greenbrier

November 28, 2008
By: K. Clare Johnson

Just in case the House and Senate have to flee Washington, it's good to know they won't have to bunk at a local no-tell motel. No, nothing short of the luxurious retreat to the stars The Greenbrier in WVA will do for the elder statesmen and women of this country. The Greenbrier See, in 1958, at the height of the cold war, the U.S. government secretly began building what they dubbed U.S. Government Relocation Facility at the recently renovated resort. Finished in 1961, the 112,544-square-foot bunker was built 720 feet into the hillside under The Greenbrier's West Virginia Wing.

The bunker was a secret for thirty years, but trust The Washington Post, those Watergate exposers, to spill the beans, which they did in 1992. The government gave up its lease on the space in 1995, and since then, The Greenbrier has led tours of the super-secret area. You can see the 25-ton blast door, decontamination chambers, clinic with 12 hospital beds, cafeteria, power plant, and 18 dormitories designed to accommodate over 1,100 people. The Greenbrier worked with Dr. Jim Kelly and the Virginia Historical Society on an exhibition gallery. This area features artifacts and reproductions, as well as numerous photos of the facility, a video on the history of the Cold War and other materials relevant to the bunker. You can even host a James Bond or spy-themed party at the bunker.


Art in Florence, Italy at the Villa Olmi Resort

November 12, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa Olmi ResortThe best way to experience the art mecca of Firenze is with a private guide (forget standing in line to see the David!) Villa Olmi Resort, the Renaissance villa situated on six hectares of perfectly manicured gardens outside the city, is itself an artist's dream come true. The property features original murals and beautiful artwork, and with their "Morning of Art" package, art lovers can visit the Academie of Fine Arts (and ogle David) with a professional guide. The package also includes accommodation for three nights (in either a Classic Room or Junior Suite), buffet breakfast daily, a bottle of Tuscan wine upon arrival, a three-hour walking tour of Florence with a private guide, two tix to the Academie, and a wine tasting with cured hams and cheese in the hotel's cantina.


Spend the Night at the Guggenheim: “Revolving Hotel Room” Installation Welcomes Guests

October 20, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Revolving Hotel Room at the GuggenheimStarting October 24th, visitors can snag a room at the Guggenheim. The museum will even hook you up with towels, robes, slippers, and bath amenities. Just like the one-room hotel that opened for museum guests at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Guggenheim has opened its doors to paying overnight guests. The upcoming group show, entitled "theanyspacewhatever," allowed artists to really lay claim to the exhibition space. Lo and behold: Brussels-born Carsten Holler who's created the "Revolving Hotel Room" art installation. Rumor has it that fashionista Chloe Sevigny has already booked a night's stay. Here's the skinny from the New York Post:

For up to $799 a night, two guests can privately snuggle in the artwork itself - a luxury double bed with a wet bar mounted on one of four revolving glass discs that makes a complete rotation every two hours. Better yet, they can roam the museum alone all night in their jammies... It's partly funded by the Waldorf-Astoria, so for the slumber partiers there's room service. A breakfast of croissants and coffee will be served in bed - but before the 8:30 a.m. checkout time, because housekeeping needs to tidy up before the museum's doors open at 10 a.m. Bathrooms and showers are available, too.

Alas, it appears "Revolving Hotel Room" is already booked solid.

Image Via Gothamist


Specials with the Hotel de Crillon: See the Picasso Exhibit Everyone’s Talking About in Paris

September 8, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de CrillonThere's been quite the buzz about the upcoming Picasso exhibition at the Grand Palais Museum in Paris. Opening on October 8, 2008 and running until February 2, 2009, the prestigious exhibition will showcase an exceptional collection of works from each era of Picasso's career-- loaned from the Louvre, Orsay and Paris Picasso Museums-- to illustrate the influence of great masters like Manet, Delacroix, Renoir, and Titian on Picasso. Stay at the world-famous palace hotel on the Place de la Concorde and luxuriate in the very heart of Paris, while getting fast track tickets to the Picasso exhibit. The Hotel de Crillon has designed a special Picasso Offer so that guests can discover the legendary artist at what promises to be the blockbuster exhibition of the year. The Picasso Offer includes Continental or American Breakfast, brochure of the Picasso Exhibition, 2 fast track tickets to the exhibit, daily international newspaper, access to the fitness center, and free high speed (and wireless) internet. Priced from EUR 647 for two people in a Superior Room. Available from October 8, 2008 to February 2, 2009.


Art Immersion in San Francisco at the St. Regis Hotel

August 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Regis San FranciscoThe views alone are worth a stay at this extraordinary SOMA hotel in San Francisco. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame unobstructed vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. Cutting-edge and sophisticated, the St. Regis San Francisco has been the talk of the town since its 2005 debut. Impeccable service (St. Regis butlers) and unrivaled facilities (spa-like bathrooms) make it easy to love. As befits a hotel situated next to the Museum of Modern Art, the ultra-luxurious St. Regis has put together an art package so guests can come see how this "West Coast gem blends a historic building and the Museum of the African Diaspora into a modern day interpretation of the St. Regis legacy." The Society Package includes overnight accommodations, complimentary upgrade on arrival subject to availability, daily continental breakfast for two and two tickets to SFMoMA. From $479 per night.


Castello del Nero August Breeze Offer

July 24, 2008
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Castello del NeroHaven't you ever wanted to stay in a 12th century castle? Castello del Nero, is a fully restored castle with modern luxuries is located in Tuscany between Florence and Sienna. With many unique features such as a beautiful frescoed chapel and garden, Castello del Nero has 50 rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the estate olive groves and vineyards that are inhabited by peasant, deer and wild boar. The August Breeze package offers a minimum 2 night stay with complimentary buffet breakfast, sweet in room and mineral water, welcome 4 course dinner for 2 (excluding beverages), courtesy shuttle to and from the center of Florence, use of the gym, tennis and outdoor swimming pool (summer months) and daily newspaper. With this as a base you can explore the vineyards or take a cooking class or visit the many fine museums and art galleries of Florence.