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.

White Up My Alley: Bianca Opens at the Delano in Miami Beach

By: Christopher Roney

The notoriously blinding Delano Hotel in Miami Beach is opening the doors to its new restaurant, Bianca, this Friday.  Continuing the theme of its all-white guest rooms, Bianca promises to add to an already exclusive and delightful property.  Embracing the Slow Food movement, Bianca provides a gastronomical experience that supports local farming and organic produce, so you know that not only is what you're getting a top-notch holistic food experience, it also does its part to respect its origins. You'd better come prepared with your Visa Platinum, however.  Not only will its silvery sheen go well with the drapes, you'll need it to put back such highlights as All Natural Sirloin Bistecca at $46. 

If you can wait for a little while, then come February, the Ume Sushi and Sake Bar will be opening alongside its Italian counterpart for an experience in the best of Eastern cuisine.  Definitely worth a trip to the Delano, now for both the unique decor and the food.  


New York Renaissance: St. Giles Hotel The Tuscany Remodels, Reopens in August

By: Christopher Roney

Adopting the style of the classical renaissance and infusing it with a cool modernism, the St. Giles Hotel New York - The Tuscany brings the high culture of its namesake to bustling New York City. And right now it is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation to update and improve the luxury boutique experience. In many ways, its renovation is just another chapter in its storied history; feet firmly grounded in its venerated past, the St. Giles always looks forward, seeking constantly to innovate on the firm traditions that make it one of New York’s clear hotspots. Reopening in August 2012, guests will enjoy hardwood floors, modern over-sized bathrooms with LATHERTM Spa Shelf and products.

And if the room upgrades aren’t enough to entice you, look no further than the full-service upscale restaurant and in-room private dining or take your party up to the Penthouse suite, covering the 17th floor and encircled by a wrap-around terrace that looks out on the iconic New York skyline. All of the hotel’s 123 studios and lofts are quiet, comfortable, spacious, and sophisticated; qualities that I wish described more of my homes-away-from-home.

When you’re ready to head out for the night, simply step out the door into the heart of Manhattan. Just steps from Grand Central Station on 39th St. between Park and Lexington, you’ll be ideally located to experience everything New York has to offer. Don’t wait until too late to start thinking about your next stay at the St. Giles Hotel New York – The Tuscany.  We've got our eye on this one.


Luxury Hotels near the Las Vegas Convention Center

By: Oksana Balytsky

This blog series is for all of the business travelers who are looking for a luxury hotel that is located near the Convention Center of specific cities. We understand that you have places to be, people to meet, and conferences to attend, so we try to make your travels as stress-free and convenient as possible without forgoing luxury.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is our center of focus for this blog post. The following are 5 star hotels located less than two miles from the Convention Center. We’ve listed them in order of proximity, and they are all a speedy cab ride away!

Encore Wynn las Vegas – located 1.1 miles from the Convention Center.

Wynn Las Vegas – located 1.1 miles from the Convention Center.

Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas – located 1.3 miles from the Convention Center.

Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino – located 1.4 miles from the Convention Center.

Venetian – located 1.7 miles from the Convention Center.

Caesars Palace – located 1.9 miles from the Convention Center.

Traveling somewhere else? Keep up with our blog series and check out the luxury hotels located near the Convention Center in the following cities: Boston, Montreal, Washington D.C., and San Diego.

Hotel Monteleone New Restaurant Details Revealed

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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!