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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.

The First Legoland Hotel to Open in the U.S. This April!

January 22, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Legos, original barbie dolls, and beanie babies send us all back to our childhoods, so we certainly squeeled like little kids when we heard about Legoland Hotels. Set to open on April 5th 2013 in Carlsbad California, this will be the first Legoland Hotel in the United States and the third in the world with the two already up and running in the United Kingdom and Denmark.

We’re looking forward to having life-sized, lego built employees including bell hops and dragons dispersed throughout the property. All of the 250 rooms are decorated in accordance with one of Lego’s three most popular product styles (Kingdom, Adventure, or Pirate), and feature perks like mini-fridges and in-room treasure hunts. Rooms also feature free Wi-Fi, flatscreen televions, and all of the lego bricks you could ever want in a lifetime!

If a visit to Legoland Park is all you need, be sure to explore the 2 luxury hotels in Carlsbad for a vacation full of kid-friendly fun and luxury!


Newly Renovated El Encanto Opening Soon!

January 18, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

We’re holding our breath for the opening of the new and improved El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California! This Orient Express property has been undergoing a major renovation for the last few months, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see all of the upgrades and modifications! Opening day is currently set for March 18th, 2013, and this luxury hotel will stand out from the rest in more ways than one! A few additions to look forward to include:

- El Encanto will have its very own cow, Ellie whose milk will be used to make a special cheese only to be found at this hotel. (cool, huh?)

- This hotel will be serving unpasteurized beer brewed nearby to go with the special cheese.

- The coffee served for breakfast will be El Encanto’s own brand, and their on-site herb and vegetable garden will ensure only the very best greens make it to your table.

- For the eco-friendly travelers, El Encanto has added various energy saving and preservation techniques to reduce overall consumption. Guests are encouraged to leave their cars behind and hop on one of the complimentary electric bikes and mosey their way to the beach or into town.

- Accommodations will include 92 intimate bungalows that are scattered throughout seven acres of grounds.

Explore details and photos of El Encanto here, and be sure to make your reservation for this stunning property in March!


Insider’s Look into Park Hyatt Chicago’s New Bottega Veneta Suite

January 8, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Park Hyatt Chicago has been recognized as one of the top 20 ‘World’s Best Hotels’ by Institutional Investor, so it’s no surprise that its 198 rooms meet a high level of luxury, but its Bottega Venta suite certainly exceeds our expectations! This 1400-square foot suite offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and its design is sleek and refreshingly simple. The bedroom, open living room, kitchenette, and two bathrooms are spacious and maximize the light and dramatic views of Chicago’s expansive lakefront. A few elegant touches include leather pillows, hand-carved Venetian glassware, and cashmere throws, and objects from Bottega Veneta’s home collection.

Explore the Bottega Veneta suite and other room options at the beautiful Park Hyatt Chicago here!


Have a Better Time than the President this Inauguration at the Georgetown Four Seasons

January 2, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Inauguration is only two and a half weeks away which means hotels are filling up fast. For folks looking for an exceptional luxury hotel in the heart of it all, we encourage you to explore the 39 luxury hotels in the Washington DC area! If, however, you’re looking for something above and beyond luxurious and have $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket, then be sure to explore the Royal Suite in the Georgetown Four Seasons.

The Royal Suite has served as a home away from home for celebrities such as Oprah, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and others. It’s going rate for Inauguration night is $20,000, and this gets you a stunning bedroom, dining room, kitchen, small gym, small office, large terrace, bulletproof windows, and an expansive living room featuring ample seating areas and televisions. With a suite like this, we can only imagine the occupants will skip the parade and watch the excitement of the Inauguration with their closest friends and family on one of the many televisions.

Photo courtesy of the Georgetown Four Seasons


The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #2 Charleston Place

December 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #2 spot is Charleston Place which is located in the heart of the historic district on renowned King Street. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- Evokes the feeling of a grand 17th century residence from the Italian marble lobby with its signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier

- A total of 22,000 square feet of meeting space within the hotel, including the Grand Ballroom (14,000+ square feet), ten more function rooms, six hospitality suites, the Grand Hall, and several other outdoor courtyards

- The spa features a stunning horizon edged swimming pool

- The hotel's spa was voted the "Best City Hotel Spa in North America" by Travel & Leisure Magazine

- Hotel can provide beach accessories and picnics to ensure a pleasant stress free day

- Golfers can select from more than 21 courses

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Charleston Place here >>

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #4 Auberge Du Soleil

December 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #4 spot is the Auberge Du Soleil which is located just off the Silverado Trail, outside of Rutherford, overlooking Napa Valley. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- All accommodations at Auberge du Soleil feature Mediterranean-inspired decor with original contemporary art

- Auberge du Soleil began as a restaurant created by visionary restaurateur Claude Rouas

- Maintained its legacy as a culinary destination, where innovative menus inspired by the bounty of Napa Valley are paired with wine in ways that delight and inspire longtime devotees

- Auberge Spa occupies a 7,000 square feet stucco building, overlooking the Napa Valley

- Napa winery tours can be arranged in advance

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Auberge Du Soleil here >>

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #6 Waldorf Astoria Chicago

December 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #6 spot is the Waldorf Astoria Chicago which is located in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood with exclusive shopping, dining, nightlife and the Windy City's most famed attractions. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- 4,500 square feet of meeting rooms/event space

- Two exceptional restaurants as well as in-room dining and catering

- Indoor lap pool adorned with thousands of mosaic titles is available for leisure or intense swims, as well as for water classes

- Expanding over 14,000 square feet, the Spa and Health Club at Waldorf Astoria Chicago features a wide-ranging menu of personalized services as well as a nail spa, barber suite, and relaxation areas

- Located steps from Michigan Avenue and the famed Oak Street shopping district

- Health club offers specialized Pilates and Gyrotonic classes as well as complete line of cardio and strength equipment

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago here >>

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12 Days of Hotels: Top 12 Presidential Inauguration Luxury Hotels

December 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Five Star Alliance is having its own countdown featuring 12 Days of Hotels! We unfortunately don’t have a song to go along with our countdown, but we will be focusing on a variety of categories. To start us off, we’ll be featuring 12 Presidential Inauguration Luxury Hotels!

1. Fairmont Washington DC

Located in Washington's fashionable West End, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. surrounds you with comfort and luxury.

2. Ritz Carlton Washington DC

This distinctive luxury hotel is located the heart of the District and features convenient access to business districts, theaters, world-class shopping and stunning historical landmarks.

3. The Willard Intercontinental

The Willard is where Abraham Lincoln and his family resided prior to his Inauguration, where Julia Ward Howe wrote the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic', where President Grant coined the term lobbyist, and where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. finished his 'I Have a Dream Speech'.

4. Park Hyatt Washington

This hotel is ideally situated on the edge of stylish Georgetown, and conveniently located near Embassy Row, the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Museums and National Monuments.

5. The Jefferson Washington DC

Located at the corner of 16th and M Streets, Northwest and four blocks from The White House

6. Sofitel Lafayette Square

Housed in a completely refurbished and updated historic landmark building, and it features 237 guestrooms including 17 suites, all tastefully designed by the renowned French designer, Pierre-Yves Rochon.

7. W Washington DC

Next door to the White House, the oldest hotel in town has been reinvented into W Washington D.C., revitalizing historic traditions into contemporary sophistication.

8. Mandarin Oriental Washington

Ranked by Institutional Investor magazine as one of the top 100 hotels in the world, Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC creates memorable experiences for any traveler to the most powerful city in the world.

9. The Fairfax at Embassy Row

The luxuriously quiet 259 classically appointed rooms and suites within this exquisite hotel in Washington, D.C. offer sweeping views of Embassy Row, the National Cathedral, or the Washington Monument.

10. The Madison Washington DC

Just four blocks from the White House and walking distance to Embassy Row, National Mall, Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian and more, the Madison is the quintessence of political power mingled with genuine hospitality.

11. The St Regis Washington DC

Built in 1926, two blocks from The White House and the Corcoran Gallery, the gracefully reimagined The St. Regis Washington, D.C. presents itself as the most prestigious hotel for royalty, presidents and prime ministers in the nation's capital.

12. The Hay-Adams Hotel

The Hay-Adams, a luxury boutique hotel, is as close as you can get to staying at the White House without a personal invitation from the President.


The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #8 Don CeSar Beach Resort

December 24, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #8 spot is the Don CeSar Beach Resort which is a beach front resort that’s located on the island of St. Pete Beach in Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- Features 277 newly renovated guestrooms including 2 penthouses and 40 suites

- Seven-and-a-half miles of beaches

- Two beachside pools

- Kids program with counselors overseeing the activities, allowing parents to rejuvenate at the Pink Palace

- After the sun goes down, romantic lighting sets the ambiance for the new whirlpool accented with a mosaic of tiffany glass, and surrounded by a lush garden and overlooking the Gulf shores

- Famous for their ocean front sunset couples massages in tiki huts on the beach

- 6,349-yard (5,777 m) golf course features narrow, palm-lined fairways, tightly manicured greens and Gulf breezes

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Don CeSar Beach Resort here >>

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #14 The Umstead Hotel and Spa

December 18, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #14 spot is the Umstead Hotel and Spa which is conveniently located in Cary, North Carolina for those who want to get away or stay near the heart of it all. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- With its surrounding 12 acres of wooded land, gardens, and lake, The Umstead Hotel is a destination in itself with the cultural, corporate and recreational opportunities of the Triangle area moments away

- 24 hour business center available for guest use

- 10,000 square-feet of elegant meeting and event space featuring natural light and original artwork

- Signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Herons, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch

- Dogs are allowed with an additional cleaning fee

- Seasonal outdoor pool

- The Umstead Spa, a 14,000 square-foot spa featuring ten treatment rooms, men’s and ladies relaxation lounges including sauna, steam and whirlpool and a coed relaxation lounge and meditation garden

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Umstead Hotel and Spa here >>

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