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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 Sales in Florence, Italy at Rocco Forte’s Hotel Savoy

May 5, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Savoy, FlorenceLocation, location, location. The five-star Hotel Savoy has an unbeatable address in the heart of Florence, not far from the famous Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. The stylish hotel offers 88 rooms and 14 suites appointed with carefully chosen ceramics, artworks and fabrics. You'll find beautiful mosaics in the marble bathrooms. Brimming with luxury and style, Rocco Forte's Hotel Savoy promises impeccable service (how about guaranteed tix to the Uffizi?) and the highest standards of cuisine at L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant where you can dine alfresco on the piazza. Hotel Savoy has put together a special summertime package for when the Summer Sales start on July 14, 2008. They run until the first week of September, and this is your chance to secure some great bargains at the most fashionable boutiques. Starting from EUR 315 in a Classic Double room, the offer includes Daily Buffet Breakfast, a welcome gift by a renowned Italian designer in the room, and an after shopping aperitif at the fashionable L'Incontro Bar.


Great Price with Free Amenities Included at Hotel Claris, Barcelona

April 16, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Claris, BarcelonaA stay at one of the prettiest boutique hotels in Barcelona, complete with a rooftop swimming pool and a museum-quality art collection, can be yours starting from just EUR 219. Hotel Claris has a fantastic location on Paseo de Gracia smack dab in the middle of the city. The two-night "Enjoy Barcelona" package includes all sorts of free add-ons-- like daily buffet breakfast, a bottle of Spanish red wine, use of a Mercedes Smart car for 1/2 day to enjoy Barcelona at your own pace, daily newspaper, parking, late-check out, and tickets to the Barcelona Egyptian Museum with the possibility of a guided tour with an Egyptologist. And that's not all. Lucky guests will also enjoy a themed guided tour in the city center accompanied by a team of professionals passionate about Barcelona. Choose either the Modernist Tour (admire the master works of the modernist architects like Antoni Gaudí at the Eixample), Picasso Tour (follow in the footsteps of Picasso), Gothic Tour (discover the city's history as you stroll through one of the best preserved medieval districts in the world) or Gourmet Tour (enjoy a flavor-filled journey through the old town and discover Barcelona's gastronomic culture).


Hopper and Homer at the Art Institute of Chicago with The Conrad Hotel

April 3, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ChicagoNow's the time to check out the Hopper and Homer exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago-- running until May 10, 2008. Check into the Conrad Hotel, a bastion of contemporary luxury smack dab on the Magnificent Mile and within walking distance to the Art Institute, and you'll be spoiled rotten by the cool amenities on offer. Unleash your inner artist and book the special "Homer and Hopper" package. Starting from $420 per night and available for a limited time, the package includes accommodations, an in-room interpretation of the works of Homer and Hopper amenity prepared by the hotel's Executive Chef, two tickets to the Homer and Hopper Exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago, audio tour for two for the exhibit, and a gift certificate for $25.00 to Blick Art Supply. [Map]


Historic Views at the InterContinental Sydney

April 3, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Perhaps no other address offers the prestige, historic significance and convenience you'll enjoy at InterContinental Sydney. Renovated in 2004, the hotel features a heated indoor pool and onsite health and fitness facility.

Five Star Alliance client Christine N., of Perth, Scotland said the following about her stay at the InterContinental Sydney:

    "The view of Sydney Opera House and Watson's Bay was fantastic - enhanced by the huge windows and very comfortable window seats (I didn't want to leave). The room itself was tremendous with many little touches that were much appreciated. Hotel staff very helpful with restaurant reservations - would recommend the Cafe Opera for the buffet."

Click on the images above or below to watch a video and tour the spaces of the InterContinental Sydney Hotel >>

Make reservations for the InterContinental Sydney here >>


Suite Luxury: Fabulous Faena’s 3 New Lavish Suites in Buenos Aires

March 24, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Faena Hotel + UniverseThe opulent and gorgeous Faena Hotel + Universe in Buenos Aires is just one distinctive part of the Faena Art District in BA, Argentina. With lavish restaurants and bars, authentic theater spaces, an exceptional wine cellar, world-class spa, and top-tier accommodations, the hotel has topped itself once again. At the end of 2007, 3 over-the-top, extremely lavish suites were introduced to the property – F Suite, Tower Suite, and Imperial Suite (click on the images below for the bigger pictures).

F Suite Living Room The F Suite, the most exclusive suite in Latin America, is a wholly private and impeccably appointed 1,291 square foot residence located on the 6th floor of Faena Hotel + Universe featuring two bedrooms (1 pictured), three bathrooms, living (pictured) and dining rooms, a kitchen, a library and outstanding panoramic views of the Faena Art District, embankment and city center of Buenos Aires. Additional amenities include a marble bathroom with rain forest shower and Jacuzzi and a state of the art in-room entertainment center with three 42-inch plasma screens.

Atop Faena Hotel + Universe is the Tower Suite, a triplex suite with exceptional views of Rio de la Plata and the MicaelaBastidas Park. The centerpiece of the suite is a fiber optic teardrop crystal lamp that shifts from amber to blue to green to purple, located at the foot of the stairway and specially created for the suite. Imperial Suite terrace The two bedroom, two bathroom suite also includes living and dining rooms, marble bathroom with jacuzzi and relaxation area, an outdoor terrace and flat screen home theaters in the living room and bedroom.

Imperial Suite living room.jpgWith two outdoor terraces, offering double 180-degree views that face east and west, supplying idyllic panoramic views of city and river, sunrise and sunset is the Imperial Suite. Inside, a spacious living/dining room with sliding glass windows, kitchen, cloakroom and one super king-sized bedroom and bathroom make the Imperial Suite perfect for honeymooners or any other romantic escape.  Imperial Suite bathroom The marble-floored bathroom features a Philippe-Starck designed jacuzzi and separate shower, while the living room and bedroom each boast home theaters with flat screens and surround sound.

All suites include one of Faena Hotel + Universe's famous personal Experience Managers, high-speed wireless internet connections and automatic red velvet curtains with Venetian blinds.

Faena Hotel + Universe is known for ultimate luxury and the F Suite, Tower Suite and Imperial Suite continue the tradition of welcoming guests with exceptional service and luxe comforts.


An Interview with the General Manager: Marco Novella of Hotel Gritti Palace

March 19, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Prior to the Hotel Gritti Palace, Mr. Marco Novella was most recently at the St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome. Before that, he worked at the Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo and the Four Seasons Hotel Milano. He took some time to answer a few of our questions about Venice, the hotel, and what visitors should know.

Marco Novello Gritti PalaceFive Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?

Marco Novella: After a 4 year experience including being involved in the re-opening of the St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome.

Five Star Alliance: What best describes the personality of the Hotel Gritti Palace?

Marco Novella: A residential Palace with a true Venetian feeling to it.

Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel?

Marco Novella: The history of its 16th century building and its fine art collection. The hotel’s superb location on the Grand Canal and its beautiful views from the hotel terrace.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Marco Novella: During the opening week of the last three editions of Venice’s Biennale of Art exhibition, Christie's has invited its most important guests to our hotel ballroom for a preview of its most prestigious auction of the year. Hotel Gritti Palace's terrace is the most sought after place to be, to see and be seen both during this prestigious event and during the Venice Film Festival in September.

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages?

Marco Novella: Our guests’ favorite rooms are those with the incomparable views of the Grand Canal and the S.M della Salute Church.

Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel? Perhaps a bit of history? Any special events that have taken place on property?

Marco Novella: From the time it was built, the Gritti Palace has been the residence of Doge Andrea Gritti’s family, and of many noble Venetian families and prominent authorities.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Marco Novella: That the hotel fully reflects the atmosphere of the city which I am visiting and that the size of the hotel would make me feel more like I am a guest in a private home (or Palace) rather than in a hotel.

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Marco Novella: Our guests come from all over the world, in particulare from Europe, USA, Middle East, India and China.

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Marco Novella: Hotel Gritti Palace faces onto the waters of the Grand Canal, with breathtaking views to S.M. della Salute Church. It is in a very peaceful corner of Venice, with some of the best shopping in the city just a few steps away. Walking in the area is interesting because of the many historical attractions, the numerous museums, and the beautiful views of the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge. It is a very safe area.

Five Star Alliance: What is the hardest part about being General Manager? If you could change one thing about the hotel, what would that be?

Marco Novella: I am very satisfied with the associates of Hotel Gritti Palace and its guests are among the best I have encountered in my professional life.

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Marco Novella: The St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome is special because of its history and of its present state. It was created by the legendary hotelier Cesar Ritz. Today, after its refurbishment completed in 2000, it offers an extremely high level of service and an excellent sense of hospitality.

Five Star Alliance: Anything else you would like our readers to know about your property?

Marco Novella: Hotel Gritti Palace is the most sought after hotel for art collectors during the Biennale. Its terrace is the best place in Venice for enjoying a tasteful Venetian meal or a cocktail. It is an excellent place for socializing and encountering interesting people.


Marie Antoinette Offer at the Hotel de Crillon, Paris

March 19, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de CrillonNow showing at the glass-roofed Grand Palais in Paris: the Marie Antoinette exhibition. The public's obsession with the big-spender of a Queen continues to this day, and Sofia Coppola's film did a fine job dreaming up the Queen's world in all its excessive finery. Running through June 30, 2008, the exhibition showcases 300 works from all over Europe to illuminate the personality and destiny of Marie-Antoinette. While visiting the City of Light, book a stay at the city's exceptional address at the Place de la Concorde in the very heart of Paris. The world-famous Hotel de Crillon, the palace hotel that was designated a unique historical monument, is as good as it gets. Choose the Marie Antoinette offer and you'll enjoy breakfast served in the comfort of your own room or at the fine dining restaurant, 2 tickets for the exhibition, daily international newspaper, access to the fitness center, and free wireless internet. Starting from EUR 670 in a Superior Room. Available until June 16, 2008.

P.S. A meal at the Crillon's Michelin-starred Les Ambassadeurs is not to be missed.


Exclusive Amenity at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris - The Five Star Alliance Cocktail

March 17, 2008
By: Courtney W. May

Five Star Alliance Cocktail at Hotel de Crillon Paris Only a few steps away from the Champs-Elysees, the Faubourg Saint Honore shopping area and all major museums, the Hôtel de Crillon is the place to stay in Paris. Five Star Alliance clients making a reservation at the Hôtel de Crillon will receive a brand new, exclusive amenity. The Hotel de Crillon is now serving the "Five Star Cocktail" - and Five Star Alliance guests will get the opportunity to enjoy one per person, per stay, in the Crillon Bar. The voucher will be provided at the time of check-in.

    Five Star Alliance Cocktail

    In a cocktail shaker mix:

    1 cl of Jasmin syrup

    2 cl of Mirabelle spirit

    3 cl of Peach juice

    Shake

    As a final touch, add Champagne rosé

    Garnish with 1 redcurrant strand, 1 blackberry

Make your reservation, and enjoy a cocktail, at the Hotel de Crillon now >>


Hotel Ritz, Madrid: See the Goya Show at the Newly-Renovated Prado Museum

March 13, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel RitzMadrid's world-famous Prado Museum completed an incredible $208 million expansion project in 2007, incorporating various nearby buildings into the Prado in the creation of a Museo del Prado Campus. The old Cloister of the Jerónimos was restored and connected to the Prado, creating new exhibition space. Check out the newly-expanded Prado Museum while staying at Madrid's legendary luxury hotel situated just across the street from the museum. Since its opening in 1910 under the personal supervision of Cesar Ritz, the sumptuously-decorated Hotel Ritz has been a favorite of kings, heads of state, and film stars. The Hotel Ritz is offering the "Cultural Experience in Madrid" package just in time for the major Goya Show. Available from now until December 23, 2008, the two-night package for two persons starts at about $1,317 in low season and $1,476 in high season and includes:

*Two nights accommodation in a classic room

*Entrance to the Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofía Museums

*One three-course dinner, excluding beverages, in the Goya Restaurant

*Daily buffet breakfast with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) at the Goya Restaurant

*One bottle of Cava in your room

*Afternoon tea in the Lounge

*Roundtrip airport transfers in a private chauffeured car

*Complimentary Art Guide to the Prado

*Welcome amenities in room upon arrival

*Free access to the Wellness Center

Private guided visits to the Prado after hours and chauffeured tours of the city can be arranged by the hotel for additional charges.


Maintaining the Rich History of Les Trois Rois in Basel Switzerland

March 7, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Les Trois RoisAfter extensive renovations, Les Trois Rois has opened once again, maintaining its long-standing reputation as one of the finest luxury hotels in Europe. Located along the Rhine, the hotel offers exceptional views of the river and surrounding countryside from its rooms, and from the restaurant and bar. The renovations have given Les Trois Rois a more modern look while still retaining its age-old splendor. While each guest room is fully equipped with modern luxuries such as heating air conditioning, television, radios, all individually controlled by a touch panel, as well as high speed wireless Internet.

Les Trois RoisYet the historic icons of the hotel, including the facade, the figures of the Three Kings, the Salle Belle Epoque ballroom, atrium and main staircase, and the Napoleon Suite, remain intact, preserving the rich history of the Basel area. Les Trois Rois continues to be a member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels, a collection of the finest five-star hotels in Switzerland. With the grandeur of the guest rooms, the gourmet food offered at the restaurant and the spectacular views from the hotel grounds, it is no wonder Les Trois Rois continues to be one of the finest hotels in Europe.