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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.

Impending Opening: Trump Tower Towers over Toronto on the 31st

January 3, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The grand opening of a new Trump Tower is certainly something to be excited about, and hopefully with the business mogul taking a tumble out of the presidential race, he'll have time to focus on unveiling the newest five-star hotel in his ever-growing collection.  Set to open on the 31st of January, now is the time to book the earliest rooms in this now-dominant feature of the Toronto skyline.  Each of the 261 rooms and suites features an elegant, cosmopolitan style and many look out over Lake Ontario.  

Ever looking to accommodate the businessmen among us, Trump's tower offers two full floors of meeting space and conference rooms to host your next big event.  Two additional floors house the nearby spa and wellness facility that dwarfs most others in the city.  If you're at all daunted by its comprehensive spa experience, never fear because the Spa Attache will be there to highlight the most revitalizing treatments.  Once you're done relaxing, head on down to the elegant signature restaurant led by an award-winning chef or the sleek, modern bar with signature cocktails that please both the traditionalist and the more adventurous imbiber.  You can even acquire kiddie cocktails and coloring books for the more youthful members of your party.

Reservations are available now, so make sure to check out Toronto's newest property, the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto the next time you're passing through.


New Hotel Openings in 2012: Kimpton Hotels

January 3, 2012
By: Courtney W. May

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants plans to open 3 new luxury boutique hotels during 2012. Located in distinctly different markets, they include a new Hotel Palomar, Hotel Monaco and a renovated Hotel La Jolla. 

The Lafayette Building aka Future Hotel Monaco PhiladelphiaThe Hotel Palomar Phoenix, AZ was originally planned to open in 2010, but with building delays the newest timeline shows a 2012 opening in the downtown Phoenix area's new mixed-use development CityScape. The 250-room luxury boutique hotel will anchor one end of CityScape in a 34-story tower including office space and a retail plaza.

Construction on The Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, PA began in spring 2011 to convert the 11-story Lafayette Building across from the Liberty Bell into the 271-room, four-star hotel. Built in 1906, the Lafayette office building is located directly across from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and projected to open in Q3 2012. According to the press release, Hotel Monaco Philadelphia will feature a "chef-driven, 120-seat restaurant and bar and approximately 12,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,200 square foot ballroom located on the ground floor with windows facing Independence Square. In addition, it will feature Philadelphia's largest rooftop bar. The hotel's 271 guestrooms will include 23 suites and 25 King Spa rooms." (Lafayette Building photo to the right courtesy of author MrFox at NakedPhilly.com.)

Hotel La JollaThe Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla, California just outside San Diego is a recently renovated 110-room property boasting the only view of its kind in the area. Reopening in Spring/Summer 2012 as a Kimpton property, Hotel La Jolla offers panoramic ocean views and is within a short stroll of the beautiful beaches of La Jolla Shores. According to Kimpton the "11-story property will feature a newly created lobby and reimagined top floor restaurant by Gulla Jonsdottir of Los Angeles based G+ Design. The top floor will also include dynamic, convertible event space that can accommodate up to 100 for parties of any style. The garden level will be transformed into an outdoor lounge area featuring an inviting, family friendly pool scene by day and enticing lounge space by night complete with fire pits and outdoor bar. This retreat just off the beaten path of the shopping district of La Jolla Village is a place where even being at work can feel like a vacation." (Pictured at right is a current photo of Hotel La Jolla.)

We'll update you with more information as construction progresses.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #7 Hotel Le St. James

December 25, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #7 spot we have the Hotel Le St. James in Montreal, Canada.

Quick facts about the Hotel Le St. James:

- This historic building is ideally situated in lively Old Montreal with easy access to shopping areas, restaurants, and the financial center.

- Located less than a mile from Central Station and just 12 miles from Dorval International Airport.

- Each room and suite has its own character and personal charm.

- The hotel’s restaurant, XO Le, is Montreal’s highest rated restaurant in 2009 by the Gazette.

- Le Spa, the hotels luxurious spa served as the Merchant’s Bank vault in the late 1800s.

- Pet friendly, allowing pets less than 30 lbs.

- Mobil Travel’s highest rated property in Quebec since 2003.

- The hotel’s original architecture dates back to 1870, with design features that have remained intact over the centuries.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Hotel Le St. James.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #9 Jumeirah Essex House

December 23, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Jumeirah Essex HouseWorldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #9 spot, we have the Jumeirah Essex House, a premiere Manhattan hotel.

Quick facts about the Jumeirah Essex House:

- With stunning views of Central Park, the hotel offers a uniquely quieter perspective on the bustle of New York City.  Its 509 guest rooms and suites range from 300 to 2,500 feet and newly include such features as interactive touchscreen displays to adjust lighting, mood, and temperature.

- Just north Broadway, the Essex House gives easy access to the world-class theater on display in the Big Apple.  

- The in-house spa offers personal trainers, a sauna and steambath, and full massage treatments to help you relax and enjoy the city.

One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah- The rooms, suites, and lobby were all recently renovated in an $90 million dollar project to revitalize the charming Art Deco style.

- The Essex House's storied history dates back to 1929 when construction first began just prior to the stock market crash. Opening finally in 1931, the hotel hosted a number of attendees of the 1939 World's Fair before being acquired for military use during World War II.  It is one of only 200 hotels in America recognized by the Historic Hotels of America for maintaining its historic and cultural integrity for its 80 years of operation.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Jumeirah Essex House >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown as we spotlight a new hotel every day until the New Year!


Public Displays of Affectation: Public Chicago's New Year's Party

December 21, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

A small avian recently alighted itself upon my desk and informed me of quite the New Year's party in the great city of Chicago.  If you're looking for the place to be while watching the ball drop, you might as well see it in one of Chicago's newest, and swankiest, hotels.  The Public Chicago has gotten a lot of buzz for its reimagining this year, and it's well deserved.  The sleek, modernized design hasn't forgotten its roots as a traditional Chicago hotel but has embraced everything great about modern convenience.

And its party is no slouch either.  For just $150/person, starting at 9pm, you get a 4-hour premium open bar in the Pump Room and Library, their signature dining options, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and a midnight champagne toast.  Live DJs will be supplying the music all night long, and if dinner is your idea of a warm-up, the Pump Room is offering a four-course prix-fixe meal for just $65 on top of it.  Simply book a room at the Public Chicago for New Years and you'll be ready to check out one of the hottest new hotels getting its groove on.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #11 Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

December 21, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts One & Only Maldives at Reethi RahWorldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #11 spot, we have the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, a charming Santa Fe retreat.

Quick facts about the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi:

- Every room at the Inn of the Anasazi evokes the creative spirit of the Anasazi people, the Native American tribe that once inhabited much of New Mexico. Handcrafted doors, sculptured stairways and sandstone walls all work together to create an intimate and traditional Pueblo atmosphere.

- Ideally located on Santa Fe Plaza, the hotel is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the unique, cultured charm of the surrounding city.  

- Kiva-shaped gas fireplaces, which warm the room to a cozy temperature during the cooler desert nighttime, are featured in every room, along with great four-post beds that even come with a special stepping stool to help release you from an unendingly downy sleep.

- The hotel offers daytrips to the Rocky Mountains and closer skiing at Taos and other local mountains.  

One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah- Similarly, explore the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and White Sands National Monument all within a few hours of the Inn.

- Take a trip through the skies and land at the Canyon de Chelly for a horseback ride led by a Navajo tour guide. 

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown as we spotlight a new hotel every day until the New Year!


Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Andaz Wall Street

December 19, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance know better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance, and design.

This entry in the Gold List is a special property indeed. The Andaz Wall Street is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, and it stands at the forefront of a design renaissance sweeping the area.  Rather than a traditional lobby, the Andaz features a lounge space that combines the check-in counter with a contemporary conversational feel. You don't check-in, you relax and even have a drink with a concierge.  This transformation from business to leisure is precisely what the hotel embodies; its clean lines and remarkable efficiency are always the result of impeccable design. In many ways, the Andaz Wall Street is the iPod of New York hotels: It's not that it's fundamentally redesigned the hotel experience, but at every turn it's just a little bit more intelligently designed, a little smoother, and a little more elegant.


Party Down, Vegas-style: Celebrity New Year's Appearances in Vegas

December 16, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

If you're interested in doing a little stargazing this New Year's Eve, Vegas.com has compiled a list of the top ten star-studded New Year’s Eve festivities, in order to help visitors plan their celebrations for the end of 2011.  Check out the highlights of the star-studded parties below, and make sure to check out the nearby five-star accommodations in Las Vegas to find a place to come back to once you're done partying in the New Year with some of the world's famous.

1. LAX Nightclub will feature hip-hop artist B.o.B.

2. Stevie Wonder will perform at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

3. The Bank will begin their celebrations with Grammy-winning artist, Bruno Mars.

4. The Second Annual Old School New Year’s Eve Party will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton. It begins at 9:30 p.m., in the ballroom, and will include music, dancing and a champagne toast.

5. LMFAO will perform at the ARIA nightlife venue, Haze Nightclub.

6. Visitors can attend the New Year’s Eve Bridge Bash at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

7. Fergie will host the grand opening of 10AK Las Vegas, Mirage’s newest nightclub. The celebration starts at 9 p.m. and will feature the music of DJ Jesse Marco.

8. Chris Brown will be the entertainment at PURE Nightclub, inside Caesars Palace. Guests will also be able to go to the outdoor area to see the fireworks display over the Strip at midnight.

9. Holly Madison, PEEPSHOW starlet, will be the host at the Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood Resort. Everything begins at 10 p.m.

10. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick will both be hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris on New Year’s Eve.

Thanks to Nicole Lowary from our sister publication, Travel Agent Central. Visit www.vegas.com/newyears/


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #16 Auberge du Soleil

December 16, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #16 spot we have the Auberge du Soleil, a lovely terraced boutique hotel in the heart of the Napa wine-country.

Quick facts about the Auberge du Soleil:

- The sophisticated hillside hotel takes advantage of its roots as a fine-dining establishment, and in the eyes of many, the Auberge remains a restaurant first and a hotel second, so high is the quality of its cuisine.

- The mediterranean decor, inspired by the European influences in California's wine-growing, sets apart the Inn of the Sun as the uniquely American experience: A cultural fusion of the best the occidental has to offer.  

- Limited to residents of the hotel, the Inn's 7,000 sq. ft. spa is guaranteed to provide a quiet and relaxed atmosphere for innovative and local body and facial treatments.

- The hotel is the perfect jumping off point for tours of Napa Valley's finest wineries.

- Private terraces offer an unparalleled view of the surrounding fields of grapes.  

- The hotel is entirely newly renovated and has even launched its own custom-made bath amenities including the softest plush robes and slippers you've ever felt.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Auberge du Soleil >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen

#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

#18 – The Peninsula Chicago

#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #18 The Peninsula Chicago

December 14, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #18 Spot we have The Peninsula Chicago, located on the Magnificent Mile, the heart and soul of Chicago.

Quick Facts about the The Peninsula Chicago:

-  Offers 339 rooms and suites that are decorated in a classical yet contemporary style which can be controlled using state-of-the-art interfaces located within the room.

- The Peninsula Spa was rated one of the top ten urban spas in the country, and houses an indoor pool and spa center that spans the top floors of the hotel, offering a breathtaking view of the city

- The Magnificent Mile is the shopping center of Chicago, with such amazing stores as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Co, and numerous other luxury brands.

- Three distinctive restaurants and a bar serve a variety of fine cuisine, including a chocolatier who concocts 25-40 different kinds of confectionary treats a night.

-The hotel offers children's packages that cater to the age of the child and the American Girl store next door.

- With a grand ballroom and six additional meeting spaces totaling over 14,000 sq. ft. of space, The Peninsula is a top-notch space for meetings and galas.

- The Peninsula has received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award and Mobil Five Star awards as well as the Forbes 5-star Award for nearly every year since its opening in 2001.

View photos, read more, and check availability at The Peninsula Chicago >>