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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.

Hotel Monteleone New Restaurant Details Revealed

January 24, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Hotel Monteleone is one of only a few French Quarter hotels rated Four Diamonds by AAA. This luxurious 5-star property is located on Royal Street, one block from Bourbon Street, in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana. After much anticipation, the Hotel Monteleone has revealed the name of its new restaurant, Criollo Restaurant and Lounge, and it is expected to open March 2012. Criollo will offer a fine dining experience that will feature contemporary Louisiana cuisine. It will infuse traditional Creole flavors of Spanish, French, Italian, and African with new spices to create Louisiana Fusion dishes. In additional to phenomenal cuisine, the restaurant will also offer a selected variation of wines and spirits chosen to compliment the flavors in each food. According to Joseph Maynard, the Chef de Cuisine at the Criollo Restaurant and Lounge, “the dishes on the menu present a balance between rich foods and lighter options to cater to a variety of diners.” Located next to the Carousel Bar and Lounge right inside the Hotel Monteleone, the Criollo Restaurant and Lounge will bring some new flavors and fun to the already incredibly vibrant city of New Orleans!


National Works Project: National Hotel South Beach's New Year's Resolution

January 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The National Hotel South Beach is playing a game of Keep-Up-with-the-Joneses with its neighboring hotels, and this can only turn out well for everyone.  After getting approval in November, the National is beginning the redesign work that will change the interior and exterior of the hotel.  As HotelChatter reports, the renovations include a new entrance canopy, a one-story building by the pool deck and most crucially a whole new addition to their backyard. 

That addition?  A definitely-not-a-food-truck (illegal by Florida law) that will be serving some kind of deliciousness.  Bets on it?  I'm thinking maybe some delicacies travelling northward from the caribbean, but it could also be the American classics.  In any case, it's a welcome addition to one of South Beach's older and more charming boutique hotels.  We're glad to see that the National Hotel is making an effort to revitalize the property to build on its already lustrous and historic past.


Top 5 Romantic Valentine's Day Hotels: #4 Gramercy Park

January 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Valentine's Day is coming up, and, as such, it's time to think about where you'd like to spend the day with that special someone. Whether you're enjoying a cozy night in or an adventure on the town, a night in a luxury hotel can be the perfect gift to the both of you, a chance to escape to another world where no expense will be spared in giving you the night of a lifetime. What follows is just one in a series of our favorite romantic hotels, and, we think, a great place to take him or her this February the 14th.

#4 Gramercy Park

Gramercy, as well as being what you show me every time I'm not called out for missing a comma, is a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Manhattan with an artsy soul and vivid decor. In selecting hotels for this list, we tried to capture the soul of the city.  Just as the Bauer Il Palazzo makes you feel Venice, Gramercy Park Hotel feels like New York. It's love and passion with attitude, the kind that stands outside your window with a boombox or fights an escaped lion for your affection. From the front door onwards, you'll be greeted with the joie de vivre of the New York  well known by romantic comedies. The best food, the best art, the best wine; New York wants to be the best in the world, and the Gramercy Park will show their best effort to give you your romantic New York fantasy.

The lobby itself plays host to an art exhibit featuring the likes of Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Julian Schnabel, among many others.  Its 184 rooms and suites are decorated in a vivid Renaissance color palette, and hand-tufted rugs, mahogany cabinets, and velvet drapery complete the extravagant scene.  Big tubs and dark room are just what the doctor ordered for an intimate evening in.

If you're looking to head out, the candlelit Rose and Jade Bars downstairs are reservation only after 10pm, so you'll be guaranteed a more private experience.  And if you'd prefer the more intimate feel of a private club to the edgier downstairs bars, the Gramercy Terrace 17 stories above the city combines the finest of London clubs with the vibrancy of a Viennese coffeehouse.  

So if this Valentine's Day you're looking to declare your love clearly and boldly, show him or her the best of the New York nightlife.  Gramercy Park is vibrant, vigorous, and passionate, and staying there would be a night you wouldn't soon forget.


Special Rates at the Peninsula New York!

January 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Peninsula New York is offering a few special rates and packages perfect for brides-to-be, families, business travelers, and folks looking to get the best value from their luxurious stay. The Peninsula New York is centrally located on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, in the heart of New York City’s shopping, business, and cultural neighborhood. It’s a 23 story, 1905 landmark building that offers 185 rooms and 54 suites all of which combine modern accents with world class elegance.

All of the rooms are designed to fit the needs of business travelers and come equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The newest edition to this luxury hotel is the Peninsula Spa, a 35,000 square feet facility including 12 treatment rooms, glass-enclosed pool, fitness center, and outdoor sun deck. The bars and restaurants at the Peninsula New York draw in an extensive crowd, and the Salon de Ning Rooftop Bar & Terrace is a popular spot that offers sweeping views of New York City.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, a family vacation, a business trip, or a weekend getaway, the Peninsula New York certainly has the perfect package for you!

Stylish Bridal Package

This is the perfect package for a bride-to-be shopping for her wedding dress and seeking a personalized experience. Enjoy a relaxing stay at the Peninsula New York and a day and a half of shopping in the ‘bridal fashion capital of the world’ with a renowned bridal stylist, Julie Sabatino. This package includes accommodations for two people for two nights, one and a half days shopping with Julie Sabatino in a private sedan, a welcome cupcake and a ‘Bridal Shopping Tote by the Stylish Bride,’ one bottle of champagne to enjoy at the Salon de Ning rooftop bar, and two 60-minute massages at the Peninsula Spa.

This offer is valid through December 31st, 2012, and the following terms and conditions apply. This package is subject to availability and must be confirmed with the hotel. Hotel reserves the right to offer alternative value-added benefit should the request not be available. Rates are seasonal and subject to service charge and local government tax, per room per night, and based on single or double occupancy. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions and is not valid for groups. Advance reservations are required and black-out dates may apply. In case of dispute, the hotel reserves the right to make the final decision. Additional terms and conditions may apply.

Family Retreat Package

The family retreat includes complimentary dining for children 10 years and younger, from the kid’s menu at Fives Restaurant and room service, daily continental breakfast for two adults, one complimentary movie through the hotel’s in-room entertainment system, and child-friendly welcome amenity and Peninsula robe and slippers.

This offer is valid from January 1st, 2012 until March 31st, 2012. Valid only for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday arrival, the rate is subject to availability and black-out dates may apply. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions and is not valid for groups. In case of any dispute, the hotel reserves the right to make the final decision. Additional terms and conditions may apply.

More Time Package

This package allows you to stay 2 nights, and enjoy a complimentary third night!

This offer is valid from January 1st, 2012 until March 31st, 2012 and requires a minimum stay of 3 consecutive nights. Rates are subject to service charge and local government tax, per room per night, and based on single or double occupancy. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions and is not valid for groups. Advance reservations are required and black-out dates may apply. In case of dispute, the hotel reserves the right to make the final decision. Additional terms and conditions may apply.

Be sure to check out the Peninsula New York and enter your dates of travel to view rates and availability!


Monteleone's Cocktail Bar is Back in Town

January 20, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Starting on January 25th, if you're going to be in the New Orleans area, make sure to check out the newly reopened Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone.  Hotel Monteleone is maybe the iconic hotel of the Bourbon Street area, and the reopened bar is being celebrated with quiet the kickoff event.  Starting the six month countdown to the Tales of the Cocktail festival, the reopening will feature  special previews of the coming 10th anniversary event, including the festival's first book, Tales of the Cocktail from A to Z.  Not only that, the world-record centerpiece by bead artist Stephan Wanger will be on display and you can view the fine artwork while sipping from your very own complimentary Old Fashioned.  Continue the festivities with a performance by Robin Barnes.

Alongside the reopening, Hotel Monteleone has announced the coming year's regular performers, always free at the Carousel Bar whether you're staying at the hotel or just in the area.  Joining Robin Barnes will be the Luther Kent Quartet, Eudora Evans & Band, the George French Jazz Quartet, and legacy showing Lena Prima, daughter of the Monteleone regular, Louis Prima, in the sixties.  While other hotels might give you similar luxury, none will be closer to the Jazz culture at the heart of New Orleans than the Hotel Monteleone.


Changing Their Tune: Whistler Expands Its Post-Olympic Offerings

January 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

As our friends over at Travel Agent Central report, Whistler is one of this year's most popular wintertime destinations, and that's in part because they've greatly expanded to the attractions that skyrocketed Whistler to international fame following the Winter Olympics.  New this year, you can live the experience of a professional bobsledder, even taking a turn on the last third of the Olympic course.  Reaching speeds of up 84 mph with a professional driver, of course, you'll get to experience the thrill of Olympic bobsled for yourself without the years of exacting and dangerous practice.  The biathlon course has added 43 miles of ski trails, and you can even try your hand at the shooting range.  Coming off the third snowiest November on record, there's plenty of powder to go around, so tourists and ski bums alike can enjoy the thrill of cutting through a fresh course.  Check out Whistler Sport Legacies for more information on the best winter activities.

If you're looking to warm up to a cup of hot cocoa after a day on the slopes, there are plenty of great luxury options in Whistler. Four Seasons, Westin, and Fairmont all have local outposts, and the Pan Pacific Whistler offers a Mountainside resort as well as in the Village Centre.  


Shop ‘Til You Drop at the Gramercy Park Hotel

January 19, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of marveling at the furniture and décor of your room at the Gramercy Park Hotel, you can now take it all home with you! This luxury hotel in New York has rooms designed for you to shop, and everything you see from the nightstand to the bathrobe is for sale. Make your reservation, bring your checkbook, and get ready to furnish your home with all of your favorite findings at the Gramercy Park Hotel!

The Gramercy Park Hotel is located right on Gramercy Park, a short walk from Greenwich Village, Union Square, and the meat packing district. It has 184 rooms, suites, specialty suites, and a beautiful Penthouse all created by a collaboration of artists and designers. Each room has a distinguished and unique layout, embracing vivid colors and featuring distinctive art and objects. Guests enjoy rooms decorated with imported rugs, velvet drapery, custom hand-made furniture, and stunning photographs. Rooms are appointed with leather-topped desks, a mahogany English drinking cabinet, and top of the line bathroom products and amenities.

Don’t miss out on this luxury hotel mall, and make your reservation for the Gramercy Park Hotel today!


Dine at the Best for the Best Prices: Restaurant Week in Las Vegas

January 17, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Restaurant week is coming to Las Vegas' top dining establishments to help usher in springtime, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the leap year. Courtesy of Adam Leposa at our sister publication, TravelAgentCentral:

The LA Times reports that Las Vegas is launching a new, spring iteration of its Restaurant Week 

from February 27 through March 4. Previously, the event had only run in the summer from August 27 to September 2.

The event offers diners the chance to experience fixed-price menus at top Vegas restaurants costing $20.12, $30.12 or $50.12. $4 to $6 of each meal goes to benefit Three Squares, a charity dedicated to providing food assistance to residents of southern Nevada.

Restaurants who have currently announced their participation include:
Aureole at Mandalay Bay - $50.12
Brand Steakhouse & Lounge at Monte Carlo - $50.12
Charlie Palmer Steakhouse at Four Season Las Vegas - $50.12
Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo - $30.12
Fix Restaurant & Bar at Bellagio - $50.12
Stack Restaurant & Bar at Mirage - $50.12
The Steak House at Circus Circus - $50.12

More restaurants are expected to join them in the coming weeks- keep visiting the event’s website at www.helpoutdineoutlv.org/restaurants/menus for further details.

Read the LA Times’ full story here.


Hotels with a History: Carolina Inn

January 17, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Built in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill, a successful businessman and alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Carolina Inn was constructed “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni and University visitors.” In 1935, John Sprunt Hill donated the Inn to the University under the condition that all profits to go towards “the maintenance and support of the University library, and especially for the support of the collection of books and papers known as the North Carolina Collection,” and his wish is still carried out today.

The Carolina Inn is centrally located in downtown Chapel Hill within walking distance of shopping, art galleries, and the historic Franklin Street district, and it architecturally embraces the rich history of the south. The Inn was originally designed after the Potomac River front of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon, and it has elements of Southern plantation houses as well as Georgian neoclassical attributes. The Carolina Inn is a member of the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America, and it is beautifully furnished with antiques and historical images. The history, culture, and warm story behind it make the Carolina Inn a luxury property worth exploring.


Win 2 Free Nights at the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York City!

January 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel is one of the incredible 5 star properties participating in the Five Star Alliance Giveaway! Located in the heart of Manhattan with incredible views of Central Park, the Carlyle is one of the best and most luxurious hotels in New York City. This hotel is a timeless classic and has been called home by industry leaders since its debut in 1930. The professional staff and the world class dining and entertainment provide guests with endless opportunities to take in everything New York City has to offer. Each of the Carlyle’s 180 rooms and suites has been individually decorated and appointed with the finest fabrics and furnishings. Certain accommodations feature private terraces, grand pianos, and breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel for a romantic weekend, a business trip, or a gathering with friends, the Carlyle certainly has every amenity and room type to meet and exceed your expectations.

The Five Star Alliance Giveaway is offering a chance to win 2 free nights for 2 adults at the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York City or 3 free nights for 2 adults at the 41 Hotel in London! The choice is entirely up to the winner. To enter, simply ‘like’ Five Star Alliance on Facebook by March 1st, 2012. For contest details, we encourage you to check out our Facebook page or visit the contest page on our website. We are absolutely thrilled to have partnered with the Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, and we cannot wait to award a lucky winner the opportunity to experience one of the best and most luxurious hotels in New York City!