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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.

Keeping it Chilly at the W Los Angeles Westwood

November 21, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

We can definitely see the humor and fun in ice skating without heavy winter clothes holding you down, so we’re thrilled that the W Los Angeles Westwood has recently re-opened its signature ice rink for the third year in a row! This hotel’s 1600 square foot ice rink is made with environmentally friendly ice hybrid and is open for use by hotel guests until January 1st, 2012. This ice rink will also be the hot spot for access to the Ice Bar, serving signature food and cocktails, a skate-up cabana, a gingerbread cookie decoration station for kids, and regular Saturday performances by the BH Cabaret Theater. The ice rink is open from 3pm – 10pm on weekdays, 10am – 10pm on weekends, and $10 gets you a full hour of skating and includes a skate rental. The gingerbread cookie decoration station is open on weekends from 11am – 1pm, and the BH Cabaret Theater puts on a show at 6pm.

The W Los Angeles Westwood is conveniently located between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches, and it is surrounded by beautiful boutique shops and beaches. Be sure to add this hotel to your list of places to stay and practice your ice skating tricks.


I Declare: Exclusive Rates at the Keswick Hall at Monticello

November 21, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

We’re proud to announce that the Keswick Hall at Monticello is now offering specially exclusive Five Star Alliance rates, and I, for one, am tickled pink at the thought of heading down there. Located in Monticello, Keswick makes its home in a region fit to hold the house of many a founding father in its rolling landscape. The father found the most around Keswick is Thomas Jefferson himself, the author of the Declaration of Independence and famous as a collector of books. Keswick reinvigorates the 18th century equestrian lifestyle with modern amenities, supplementing hiking, biking, and fly fishing with its very own 18-hole golf course and luxurious spa. Framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll never feel more at home at a traditionally American hotel.

And these special rates just sweeten the deal.  We know you love free things, so good through 2012, Five Star Alliance guests who book our rate get a free room upgrade on arrival and a wine tasting for two. The room upgrade is subject to availability, of course, and the wine tasting is subject to your desire to enjoy some seriously fine American wines in the Virginia tradition. So if your idea of a vacation is getting away with that special someone and enjoying a glass of fermented grape, look no further than the Keswick Hall at Monticello.


Grand Opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto

November 18, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto officially opens January 31, 2012. This luxury hotel sets a new standard for refinement and unrivaled opulence offering incredible views, unique design, and all of the signature Trump services and amenities.

This hotel delivers a superior level of contemporary convenience including 2 floors of meeting and event facilities as well as 2 floors devoted to Toronto’s most luxurious spa.

Be one of the first to experience what this luxury hotel has to offer.  Make  your reservation for a superior room between now and November 31st and enjoy a complimentary upgrade to a suite accommodation and a $50 credit redeemable at the signature spa or restaurant for stays January 31 – April 30, 2012.


Exclusive Perks Offered for Five Star Alliance Travelers at the Maroma Resort and Spa

November 17, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

It’s definitely the little things that set good hotels apart from great ones. We at Five Star Alliance understand that an enjoyable stay at a luxury hotel not only depends on the extravagance of a room, but rather the personal touches and the service you receive. That’s why Five Star Alliance is thrilled to make your trip extraordinary by offering exclusive perks at select hotels for Five Star Alliance travelers.

The Maroma Resort and Spa in Mexico is offering extra amenities for a variety of rooms. Check out the ‘Five Star Alliance’ packages and make a reservation for a variety of rooms ranging in size and luxury for two to eight occupants to receive additional perks. All of the ‘Five Star Alliance’ packages offer an upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability), welcome drink upon arrival, full a la carte menus for 2 each morning, one snorkeling trip per person to the second largest reef, and wake up morning coffee service in room. This resort is set beside a white, sandy beach where you can spend days lounging by the calm ocean, diving in mysterious underwater caves, or going on a shopping spree. This resort has it all, and now it has even more to offer!


Luxury for Less: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hotel Deals

November 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lorien HotelGearing up for Black Friday? Planning your strategy for Cyber Monday (the biggest online shopping day of the year)? Expect deals galore, especially if you're looking to travel. Hotels are catering to travelers looking for internet savings. We've been keeping tabs on the great online deals available. And the offers keep flooding in! Here's a sampling.

Marriott’s Florida Resorts (like Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach and Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort) are joining together to offer up to 25% savings on Cyber Monday with rates starting from $95 to $186 per night. Available online on Monday, Nov. 28 only, the savings can be applied on stays from Nov. 29, 2011 through Jan. 8, 2012.

Kimpton is holding a 72-hour Cyber Monday Sale, starting 12 am on Monday, November 28, 2011, for 12 Mid-Atlantic region hotels in DC, Virginia and Maryland, giving away top suites and specialty rooms for the price of a standard guestroom. Hotels include Hotel Palomar Washington DC and the Lorien in Alexandria, where you can nab an overnight stay in the one-of-a-kind Diplomat Suite, featuring a 550-foot private furnished balcony, wet bar, and oversized bathroom for just $159 per night.

Trump ChicagoThe newly-renovated Warwick New York Hotel is offering a four-day Black Friday deal of 30% off the best available rate with savings extending through Feb. 29, 2012.

The Trump Hotel Collection is offering 30% off all suites that are booked on November 28, 2011 only. Available for travel January 1- March 31, 2012 at all Trump Hotel Collection properties – New York (Central Park and SoHo), Chicago, Las Vegas, Waikiki, Panama and Toronto (opening Jan. 31, 2012).


Squaw Valley Offers More than Just Skiing

November 14, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The winter months are rolling in, and that means it’s time to put away the shorts and start waxing your skis and snowboards. Squaw Valley, an incredible world class resort offers 4,000 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of various ages and skill levels. My family is a group of avid skiers, and I have had the opportunity to ski at most of the resorts surrounding Lake Tahoe, so I can confidently say that Squaw Valley is one of the best resorts with some of the toughest runs, but it’s also a resort that offers a lot more than just incredible slopes.

Come spring and summer, Squaw Valley offers access to its Umbrella Bar, the only mountain top bar in the United States with a pool and hot tub. This favorite drinking spot offers a relaxed environment to spend time with friends while making new ones. The Umbrella Bar is surrounded by breath-taking mountain views, making it the perfect place to relax after a day of outdoor adventures.

Hop on to the Cable Car and ride 2,000 vertical feet to High Camp. Check out the Olympic Museum and learn about the 1960 Olympics which took place at Squaw Valley. High Camp also serves as the gateway to beginner terrain, allowing visitors to enjoy access to plenty of wide, gentle slopes perfect for beginners developing their skills.

For luxurious accommodations located steps from the slopes, consider the Resort at Squaw Creek. This hotel provides ski-in/ski-out access, on-site cross country ski center, 18-hole championship golf course, heating swimming pools, waterslide, and beautiful hiking and biking trails.


Renaissance Austin Hotel Offering Incredible Packages at Incredible Rates

November 14, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Renaissance Austin Hotel is currently offering package deals that take the stress out of planning and offer a perfect escape for business travelers, shoppers, and couples. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a shopping excursion, this charming Austin, Texas hotel has something for you.

Shopping Package: The Renaissance Austin Hotel is conveniently located within the Arboretum Market Shops area, and it’s the perfect place to unwind while enjoying a shopping excursion with family or friends. This package offers an overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, complimentary regular Starbuck’s coffee for two, complimentary valet parking, and a $50 gift card to the arboretum shops. This package is starting at $209 per night, and it has come just in time for the holiday season.

Romance Package: Enjoy a quiet night with your special someone and take some time just enjoying each other’s company. This package includes a deluxe room, complimentary bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, full American breakfast for two in Banderas or room service, complimentary valet parking, and late check-out at 2:00pm. This package is starting at $219 per night.

Wired for Business Package: This package is for the business traveler who is looking to escape the hustle and bustle and get work done. This package includes an overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, internet access in your room, complimentary coffee at Ustinbytes Cyber Café, and complimentary valet parking. This package is starting at $239 per night.

Pick the package that's right for you, and have an adventure!


Calling All Food Lovers in D.C. and New York

November 11, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

If you’re a food connoisseur looking for a true epicurean experience, then check out the East Coast Travel package put on by the Westend Bistro, a Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C. restaurant and Le Bernardin, Chef Ripert’s New York restaurant.

The dine and travel weekend will kick off with a 3-course lunch at Le Bernardin in New York City. After an incredible meal by Chef Ripert, participants will hop on the Acela Express train to D.C. and check into the Ritz-Carlton with accommodations on the hotel’s Club level. For dinner, participants will enjoy dishes at Westend Bistro, which is located in the lobby of the hotel. Guests will savor a 3-course meal with a behind the scenes view into the kitchen to participate in an intimate and stimulating dining experience.

This package is priced from $1,025, and we encourage you to visit www.westendbistrodc.com for more information.


The World's Best Hotels: Announcing the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011

November 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel-AirLooking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.

New & Noteworthy- The Year's Best New and Reinvented Hotels: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Mondrian Soho in NYC, Hotel Bel-Air & The Redbury in Los Angeles

Grande Dame- Legendary Hotels with Superlative History and Service: The Carlyle in NYC, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel du Russie in Rome, The Savoy in London

Casual Chic- Effortlessly Stylish Hotels with Rustic-Modern Appeal: Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, Bardessono in Napa, The Allison in Oregon

Design- Cutting-Edge Boutique Hotels at All Price Points: Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Jia in Hong Kong

Cavo Tagoo, MykonosLocal Flavor- Go-To Hotels for a Truly Authentic Experience: Fairmont Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Evason Ma'in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan

Clubby Atmosphere- Hip Urban Pied-à-Terres: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, The Liberty in Boston, The Augustine in Prague

Luxurious Retreat- Top Choices for a Complete Escape: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Trusted Brand- World-Class Examples of International Hotel Chains: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, The Peninsula Bangkok


Get Steeped: Fairmont Celebrates Tea Around the World on Nov 12

November 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Celebrates TeaFairmont has declared November 12, 2011 an official "tea day"-- celebrating all things tea-- and being tea fans ourselves, we're thrilled about the "tea-rrific" events they have planned at hotels and resorts around the world. From tastings with a tea sommelier at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria to tours of a neighboring tea estate at Kenya's historic Fairmont The Norfolk, the festive events celebrate Fairmont's historic connection to the traditional afternoon ritual. Other fun, noteworthy celebrations: get discounts for wearing fancy hats at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; imbibe signature "Tea-quila" cocktails at The Fairmont Dallas; try Swiss-style tea at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace featuring finger sandwiches made with local Gruyère cheese; partake in a multi-cultural tea celebration at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. For the full run-down of activities, check out the official website. And if you're in need of a little Tea Etiquette, the experts at The Fairmont Empress have some top tips.

Pssst. You can also try some tea-infused cocktails from the hotel brand's top mixologists.

Image via Fairmont Hotels/ Everyone's an Original