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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.

Top Summertime Hotels for a Family Vacation

July 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

With school out for the summer, now is the perfect time to take that much-needed family vacation to reconnect with your kids and have some fun all together. While certain luxury hotels are not kid-friendly, it’s a misconception that traveling with kids means you have to give up luxury. Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few of our favorite kid friendly luxury hotels perfect for a family getaway!

Today’s feature is the Four Seasons Chicago. Conveniently located on the Magnificent Mile near the shopping and dining areas, the Four Seasons Chicago is like a residential palace with eagle-eye views of the Windy City. According to familyvacationcritic.com, the Four Seasons Chicago goes above and beyond to make families feel welcome. Upon arrival, kids will find a stuffed animal, cow-shaped cookies, chocolate milk, a bucket of popcorn, books, and games in their room. The bathroom has a footstool to help kids reach the sink along with bubble bath soap, toys, and even plush kid-sized terry robes. These little touches and extra amenities will certainly make your kids feel welcome and right at home. The Four Seasons Chicago also has its very own ice cream man who can come to your room between 4 and 6pm with a cart of delicious ice cream with fun toppings. Looking for a few activities outside the hotel perfect for the whole family? The Four Seasons Chicago offers the following complimentary off site activities:

 

Cultural Center with mini-concerts

Grant Park

Lincoln Park Zoo

Museums (on selected free days)

Navy Pier

Oak Street Beach

Millennium Park


Keep Your Windows Closed in Chicago to Steer Clear of Spiders!

July 12, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Yes, you read that correctly. The high rise flying spiders’ annual migration takes place in the spring and summer, so Hilton Chicago is requesting that guests do not open their windows during the next few months. According to a memo sent out by Hilton, baby spiders release silk to create balloon-like contraptions which are then used to hitch rides on uplifting air current from the lake. In natural environments, these spiders live on rocks overhanging water, but in the city, these spiders have found their new home in tall buildings and high-rises. The last thing we want is tiny spiders crawling through our window, so be sure to keep those windows closed and that AC blasting to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay! Traveling to Chicago? With 36 luxury hotels, we certainly have you covered!


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: The James Royal Palm

July 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The James Royal Palm is opening in the fall of 2012 and it is currently accepting reservations. Featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s “top 10 most anticipated openings of 2012,” this luxury hotel is an oceanfront beach retreat topping everyone’s must-visit lists. Located in the heart of South Beach, the James Royal Palm is perfectly situated in a vibrant and energetic setting. The hotel will feature two swimming pools and cabanas, a full service spa with salt-infused treatments, two dining options, a poolside bar, and Lil James offerings for kids. Just a few steps from Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, you will certainly have ample opportunities to wine, dine, shop, and unwind at this new luxury kid on the block, the James Royal Palm!


It's Business Time: The Conrad Best Business Hotel Chicago

July 5, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

There's a very interesting split in the travel industry between business and leisure travelers. And if you're one of the business types, you know well that you're on the road constantly and the things that matter to you, travel convenience, efficiency, and connectivity, are almost the opposite of what a leisure traveler might want. If the word 'secluded' ever appeared in a hotel description, you'd cross it off the list immediately. So I'm here to use some adjectives you might appreciate hearing in describing some of the world's best business hotels. Today? Chicago.

There's a clear desination for business travelers to Chicago, and that's the Magnificent Mile. Right in the heart of the prestigious McGraw-Hill building, the Conrad Chicago gives you easy access to the city's financial district and just about anywhere else you might have a meeting.  A 2,000 sq ft fitness center keeps you in shape while you're on the go, and its business center is naturally open 24 hours with full executive services.  12,000 sq ft of executive meeting space means no matter how many people you're hosting for that important meeting, you'll be sure to have the perfect arrangement, looking as sharp and professional as you would in your own office.  The rooms are high-tech and connected, so you'll never feel out of touch if you don't want to be.  And when you're done for the day you can relax with a soak and massage at their health club and spa or with a drink at the Rendez-Vous Bar and Lounge.  The Conrad Chicago is definitely on our list of best business hotels.


Inn at Harbour Town is a Hotspot for Eco-Tours

July 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Ecotourism has been growing in popularity with more and more luxury travelers searching for hotels that support conservation efforts and encourage socially responsible travel. Taking advantage of natural activities is a positive way to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries while remaining active. Prepare for an exciting adventure and get ready for countless beautiful photo opportunities and a few fun facts learned along the way!

The Inn at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina is a charming and intimate European style hotel that has 605 acres of forest preserve for exploration. Hop on a hard-bottom inflatable boat for a guided tour through Calibogue Sound. Get ready to see shore birds, sea turtles, and bottom nose dolphins, and be sure to hop off at an island beach to find beautiful shells. If you’re hoping for something a little slower paced, check out the Alligator Wine and Cheese tour. Sail away on a sunset cruise on the freshwater lakes and discover native plants and animals while sipping on complimentary wine and nibbling on complimentary cheese. Whether you’re looking for exploration, relaxation, or a little bit of both, the Inn at Harbour Town has abundant ecotourism opportunities for a range of interests.


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: SLS Hotel South Beach

June 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The SLS Hotel South Beach opened on June 14th, 2012, and this new and swanky luxury hotel is located on the beach in the heart of South Beach, Florida. A few key highlights worth exploring are the hotel’s day club and nightclub, Hyde Lounge, located on Hyde Beach as well as The Bazaar, a world-renowned restaurant by James Beard and award winning chef Jose Andres. Hyde Lounge features 8,000 square feet of pool, beach, and a mix of indoor and outdoor space. Along with its incredible lounge and restaurant, the SLS South Beach has a Philippe Stark designed Salon offering the finest pampering options for the body and soul. Be sure to check out this new hip and trendy luxury hotel for your next visit to South Beach!


Celebrate the Fourth of July in DC!

June 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We can’t think of a better place to celebrate our country’s Independence Day than our nation’s capital! Take advantage of the mid-week holiday by taking an extra-long weekend to explore and take in everything DC has to offer. With 37 luxury hotels located in various parts of the city, Washington DC certainly has the perfect hotel for your individual stay. Take advantage of the free Smithsonian Folk Life Festival which celebrates unique cultures with music, food, demonstrations, and more on the National Mall as well as the patriotic programs put on at the National Archives, the National Cathedral, and the Smithsonian Museums. For more information about the happenings in Washington DC, check out washington.org. Explore the various hotel options and make your reservations in Washington DC to ensure you’re in on all the action this Fourth of July!


In Charleston, A Place Like Home

June 22, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Undoubtedly one of our most popular resorts in the Charleston area is none other than Charleston Place, a 17th century residence complete with open-arm staircase and crystal chandelier that make you feel as if you've stepped off the street into a high society ball. Outside the threshold of that entrance is Charleston's historic downtown, which is filled with classic southern homes with more historical significance than Lord Wellington. Golf is easy to find, with over 20 courses, ranging from the Arnold Palmer signature course at Rivertown to the Kiawah and Wild Dunes. Dine at the Charleston Grill, a recipient of both a Forbes four-star rating and the AAA Four Diamond Award, so you know you're getting possibly the best food in the entire state. If you like things a little more casual, the Palmetto Cafe should be your choice for breakfast and lunch as its open-air design takes advantage of a landscaped courtyard for a calming ambiance that only makes the food taste all the more delicious.

Special rates abound at Charleston Place. To see exactly what is available, simply enter your dates of travel here. Currently rates are available with a range of amenities, including a $75 spa, restaurant, or bar credit, so you can enjoy everything Charleston Place has to offer. Select the special Five Star Alliance rate for wine and breakfast, and for stays until August 23rd, you'll also get a free upgrade the next room category! Before booking, see here for more details. This summer is the perfect time to explore one of the South's most storied cities, and what better place to stay than its historic heart and soul, Charleston Place.

 


Azul Beach Hotel Debuts Vassa Spa

June 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Hotel renovations are nothing new in this business. In fact, luxury hotels update so often to stay at the cutting edge of service and amenities that it's barely even news when an iconic hotel redoes its rooms. What really gets the writers out in droves is a completely new addition, and the Azul Beach Hotel has everyone with quill and ink scrambling to cover the Vassa Spa, theirly newly constructed spa facility. The 8,075 square foot spa supports guests at any of the 90 newly renovated rooms at this family-oriented boutique hotel. Even better, Azul Beach Hotel is famous for its all-inclusive rates, so you can be greeted upon arrival with a relaxing hydrotherapy routine without a care in the world. From there, move on to its spa suites where facials, massages, and aromatherapy are just par for the course while you enjoy the natural food supplements and healthful fruit waters. 

Kids are never forgotten, as alongside the Vassa Spa is Perfectly Pink, a place for young girls to get child-safe versions your treatments. Your daughter can get her nails done while you relax your cares away. A full kid's club provides parent support and even loans out baby equipment, so that families are always taken care of. If you're looking for a more romantic outing, the Azul Beach Hotel offers a full program for you as well. Beachfront Sky Massages and Junior Swim Up Suits, which have direct access to the property's relax river. Whatever your style, the Azul Beach Hotel is looking better than ever with the addition of the Vassa Spa.


New Ownership for the Grove Park Inn, Hotel Del Coronado Renovations

June 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

KSL Resorts have made a couple of new additions to their collection in 2012, and a change in ownership is always an exciting time for guests of a hotel. New ownership means a new philosophy, and often most importantly, an infusion of investment that allows for extensive renovations. KSL has taken over the iconic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, and invested in renovating the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA.

The Grove Park Inn is a huge attraction for locals and travelers alike, a perfect getaway for a weekend of relaxation for anyone on the East Coast or even just visiting the area. Its spa is top-notch, and it has a real down-home authentic feel to both the rooms and the hospitality. We're excited to see what KSL is doing with their newest addition.

While the Grove Park Inn epitomizes southern luxury, Hotel del Coronado has its feet firmly planted in west coast culture. The 368 have also been completely redesigned and purposed for rejuvenation. The resort itself rests on Coronado Island, sunning itself on the picturesque California beaches. With a distinctly Victorian atmosphere coupled with California's standard of relaxation, its no wonder that the Travel Channel has rated it the number one wedding destination in America. The Hotel Del Coronado is already a great resort, and we're looking forward to trying out the redesigned rooms.