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.

Luxury Hotels near the San Diego 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 San Diego Convention Center is our center of focus for this blog post. The following are 5 star hotels located less than a twenty minute walk away from the Convention Center. We’ve listed them in order of proximity, starting with the hotels located a 10 minute walk away to hotels a 16 minute walk away from the Convention Center.

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego – located 0.5 miles from the Convention Center.

W San Diego – located 0.5 miles from the Convention Center.

Andaz San Diego – located 0.6 miles from the Convention Center.

U.S. Grand Hotel – located 0.6 miles from the Convention Center.

The Westgate Hotel – located 0.6 miles from the Convention Center.

Hotel Palomar San Diego – located 0.7 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, and Washington D.C.

Word to the Wise: Stay and Save at the Hotel Plaza Athenee New York

By: Christopher Roney

If you're sitting at work thinking, boy it's really about time I got that promotion I deserve, you need wait no more.  The Hotel Plaza Athenee New York is offering you not just one but five promotions, all available through March 31st.  They might not come with a raise, but they might as well, since you'll be saving a good chunk of cash while staying at one of the top hotels in New York.  

First up are the straight money-saving specials.  Stay three or more nights in an executive room and save 30% off the BAR (not including amenities).  If you're looking stay just three nights, then go ahead and book two and get the third free in either Superior or Deluxe rooms. 

If you'd rather just be getting more for your investment, then the Winter Nights, City Lights promotion offers a guaranteed upgrade from Classic to Superior and Superior to Deluxe on any length stay.  Or go for Serenity in the City and wake up every morning to a delicious continental breakfast for two and receive 25% off BAR.  The Classic Suite Special is a similar 20% off BAR and free breakfast for the suite-minded folks.  It's hard to go wrong when such a great hotel, just a short stroll from Central Park and all of Midtown, is ushering in the New Year with some great specials.  I know I resolved to travel more this year, and this might just be what gets me out the door.  So maybe I'll see you at the Plaza Athenee New York!

Claude Monet Exhibit Opening at Bellagio las Vegas

By: Five Star Alliance

Known for exhibitions that showcase exceptional art in an unrivaled setting, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) presents “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” opening Feb. 18, 2012.

Organized in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), this landmark exhibition will feature works that illustrate the height of Claude Monet’s engagement with color and light. BGFA will showcase 20 pieces by Monet, the founder of French Impressionist painting, accompanied by eight additional canvases by the master’s predecessors and contemporaries. All of these works are drawn from the MFA, which holds one of the largest collections of paintings by Claude Monet outside of Paris.

“Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art’s mission has always been to present exhibitions that engage and excite lovers of all genres of art, from classical to modern to contemporary,” said BGFA Director Tarissa Tiberti. “Exhibiting Monet and the French Impressionists provides historical background to some of the more contemporary shows we have presented over the last three years.”

Spanning four decades of Monet’s career and featuring many of the artist’s most celebrated and recognized paintings, “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” will also highlight paintings by other masters of the genre including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Camille Pissarro and Eugene Louis Boudin. It was from Monet’s collaboration with these painters, along with his solitary explorations of the French countryside, that his own signature style eventually emerged.

After exploring Monet's incredible masterpieces, check into the Bellagio and take in the beauty of the Lake Bellagio, the pristine pools, and the stunning courtyards. 

This article information originally appeared on our sister website, Travel Agent Central.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.