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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.

Whimsical Wedding at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara


By: Five Star Alliance

This article originally appeared in our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, and was written by Nanci McArdle.

Exterior of the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara

Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara is one of our World's Best Destination Wedding Resorts for 2016. Find out why ...

Couples can celebrate their special day at the seaside sanctuary - Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara - that offers both romance and relaxation for newlyweds and their friends and families.

Bacara Resort & Spa is an ideal destination for couples that are California dreaming. The resort can accommodate wedding requests ranging from a private ceremony in one of the Mediterranean-style guestrooms to a ballroom wedding, hosting up to 1,250 guests and many options in-between.

The 11,300-square-foot Bacara Ballroom features 23-foot-high ceilings and six balconies and can be divided into three separate areas, each accommodating up to 350 wedding guests. The ballroom also has 8,700 square feet of additional event space, including a vaulted foyer with fireplace, an adjacent ocean-view terrace and an expansive lawn, where guests can enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres prior to the ceremony.

The Ocean Lawn at Bacara Resort & Spa affords panoramic ocean views for a wedding ceremony and is surrounded by the resort's lush landscaping.

Pictured: The Ocean Lawn at Bacara Resort & Spa affords panoramic ocean views for a wedding ceremony and is surrounded by the resort's lush landscaping.

Other options include the Rotunda and Rotunda Terrace, a 1,734-square-foot circular area atop Bacara's main lobby offering views of the ocean, along with an outdoor area perfect for an al fresco celebration. For a more intimate wedding, Bacara's wine cellar features a display of 12,000 wines from around the world, along with a private dining room that can seat up to 40. Those looking to take in the natural beauty of the resort can choose from The Bluff, an expansive lawn area with ocean views that can accommodate up to 300 guests for a seaside wedding ceremony or reception; the Ocean Lawn, which affords panoramic ocean views; or the Residence Lawn, a more intimate, oceanside venue that can be reserved in conjunction with The Residence, Bacara's 3,700-square-foot retreat. This option can accommodate up to 120 guests for outdoor wedding receptions and includes a two-night stay in The Residence. Finally, the Oval Lawn offers couples a private and enclosed garden area, accommodating up to 300 guests.

After the tying the knot, newlyweds can retire to one of the rooms right on property. The Residence, which is the closest accommodation to the ocean on the bluff and includes ocean views, three wood-burning fireplaces, a patio for private dinners and its own workout area, is one of the top two options for honeymooners. The other is The Terrace Suite, which features ocean views, a master bedroom area with a fireplace, a wrap-around terrace overlooking the ocean and a relaxing soaking bathtub.

Outdoor Pool at Bacara Resort and Spa, Santa Barbara

When the new couple is ready to venture out, many options are right at their fingertips, including a visit to the 4,200-square-foot, 36-room spa that offers private treatments, or they can reserve the roof deck area, where they can host a group get-together with their wedding guests, enjoying treatments such as a private mud bar and private massages, overlooking the ocean. While it is recommended to make reservations as far in advance as possible, the spa will do its best to make last minute arrangements.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Bacara offers a variety of ocean sports, including surfing, body boarding, ocean kayaking and sailing. Also available is horseback riding, cycling, mountain biking and hiking. Those looking to hit the links are in luck. There are three nearby 18-hole championship golf courses: Sandpiper Golf Club, Glen Annie and Rancho San Marcos.

For those with kids, Monarch Kids' Club offers fun activities and exploration options for children ages five through 12. The program was designed especially to reflect Bacara's surroundings and rich Chumash history.

Click here to learn more and check availability at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA >>


The New Villa One at One&Only Palmilla


By: Five Star Alliance

This article was first published in our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, by Natalie Maneval, under the title "The Villa Experience."

One&Only Palmilla Villa One

On the tip of the Baja Peninsula, discerning travelers now have a new villa accommodation to choose from when traveling to the One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos. Villa One is complete with four bedrooms and an additional Butler Suite (for that top-notch service). By day, the guests will have 14,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor space to venture through, complete with an infinity-edge pool and fire pit. Seeking a wellness experience? We suggest making an appointment with the villa's dedicated fitness trainer or spa therapist, who will, of course, provide treatments onsite.

For a taste of adventure, the Villa Team can plan custom experiences, including deep sea fishing excursions, full-day surf lessons and cruising on One&Only Palmilla's Catari Yacht. In fact, travelers that stay at least four nights in Villa One will get to choose between a complimentary private yacht cruise or art walk tour. During the cruise, guests will explore the Sea of Cortez complete with a spin to Medano Bay - the view of the coastline will amaze. Meanwhile, an Art Walk takes guests to San Jose del Cabo to check out the Gallery District from the months of November to June. Guests will peruse different galleries like La Sacristia and Galeria Corsica.

One&Only Palmilla Villa One

Back at Villa One, the culinary staff can create custom meals to fit all tastes. We suggest asking for a themed dinner like taco night or barbeque. Tip: Complimentary sunset margaritas and Mexican canapés are served daily.

This accommodation is ideal for multigenerational families - the bedrooms come in several configurations, including an 870-square-foot master suite, a second bedroom with a king size bed and a secluded sun deck, a third room with two queen size beds and private patio and a fourth guestroom with bunk beds. When it comes time for those special family moments, convene in the great room. There, the doors open 30 feet wide to reveal views of the infinity-edge pool, the gardens and the sea. The prime views continue throughout the guesthouse, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

Click here to learn more about One&Only Palmilla >>

One&Only Palmilla Villa One


Reviving Historic Charm in Charleston


By: Five Star Alliance

 A King Bed Club Room at the Belmond Charleston Place in Charleston, SCLocated in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, Belmond Charleston Place has long been revered as the city's landmark luxury hotel.

Now, having recently completed a $30 million, three-year renovation project, that distinction has never been more fitting. The hotel's 434 guest rooms and suites now embrace the historic beauty of Charleston as well as the innovative lifestyle of today. The rooms feature sophisticated, modern designs and slick, in-room technology like one touch lighting and high-speed wireless.

The redesigned Club Level is available by private access only and is located on the top two floors of the hotel. The Club Lounge offers a cosmopolitan space including an expanded marble bar, cozy banquette that spans an entire wall and complimentary all day food and beverage service while overlooking the historic Charleston skyline.

Belmond Charleston PlaceThe new Belmond Boardroom is a sophisticated space for your next corporate retreat while the newly renovated Fitness Center has doubled in size and includes all new cardio and weight machines, making it easier to stick to your workout while traveling.

Don't worry, the hotel still has the heated, saltwater pool on the roof top of the fourth floor. In addition to the stunning retractable glass roof,  there are striking 'porthole' windows which overlook downtown Charleston. Lush plants surround the pool and jacuzzi providing a private paradise. 

Belmond Charleston Place is the perfect place for you to experience the unrivaled charm of Charleston, SC in a setting unlike any other. They offer newly renovated, luxurious rooms and suites, Four Diamond restaurants, a full-service spa and rooftop pool, sophisticated shopping and unbeatable Southern hospitality.

Learn more >>

P.S. Check out the "Five Star Alliance Rate" which includes continental breakfast, sparkling wine, luxury accommodations, wireless internet access, and daily newspaper.


Tennis at Bacara Resort and Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

For your next tennis vacation, Bacara Resort and Spa is simply the best choice. Bacara's tennis facility offers
four Har-Tru clay composition courts along with private and semi-private lessons with a resident pro, adult and junior clinics,
match arrangements, and equipment rentals.

Bacara Resort and Spa

Book a stay at Bacara Resort and Spa >>


Did You Know? Fairmont Banff Springs


By: Five Star Alliance

Fairmont Banff Springs
The 
Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta is an internationally recognized symbol of Canadian hospitality. It was built during the 19th century as one of Canada's grand railway hotels, being constructed in Scottish Baronial style and located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The hotel was opened to the public on June 1, 1888. The likes of Helen Keller, Marilyn Monroe, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
visited the hotel.
 


Dining al Fresco: Fairmont Kea Lani


By: Five Star Alliance

Ko Restaurant at Fairmont Kea Lani Resort was voted 2013 Maui Restaurant of the Year. Executive Chef Tylun Pang leads the culinary masterpiece of Kō restaurant in Wailea, the only fine dining restaurant on Maui to offer cuisine inspired by Hawaii's sugarcane plantation era. Ko features island family recipes and includes farm-fresh Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese menu items.

Keiki (Children) five and under eat free at Kō through the Keiki Dining Program.

Fairmont Kea Lani

Book a stay at Fairmont Kea Lani Resort >>


Gambling Options at Caesars Palace


By: Five Star Alliance

Caesar's PalaceCaesars Palace brings you all the excitement of a Las Vegas casino in an ancient Roman setting. Enjoy lavish surroundings while playing slots and table games—including blackjack and poker—or take your chances at the race and sports book. Whether you're looking to win big or simply in it for the experience, Caesars Place always offers something fun to play.

POKER
The most action-packed Las Vegas Poker Room is perfect for recreational players and seasoned pros alike.
RACE & SPORTS BOOK
On game day, there is no better place in Las Vegas than Caesar's Race & Sports Book. The room buzzes with excitement as horse bettors and sports fans cheer their favorites while watching action from coast to coast.


SLOTS
Caesars Palace is the Las Vegas casino that has been the site of more $1,000,000+ slot jackpots than any other casino in the world. 

TABLE GAMES
From the iconic Palace Casino to the OMNIA gaming tables, from Craps and Baccarat to Pai Gow and Six Card Poker, you’re sure to find just the right Las Vegas gambling experience at which to test your luck and skill.

Book a stay at Caesars Palace>>


Unique Amenities: The Villas of Cabo Azul


By: Five Star Alliance

The Cabo Azul Resort, in Los Cabos, Mexico, is an all-villa masterpiece on more than 12 oceanfront acres. The resort and spa stands out from the standard Cabo San Lucas resorts and hotel choices in the San Jose del Cabo area because of the Studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom luxury villas. 

Each and every one of the villas offers:

- King-size bed
Living area with sleeper sofa
Polished natural stone floor throughout
Private patio terraces
Fully-appointed kitchen with stainless steel appliances
Entertainment center with DVD and flat-panel TV
Individual climate control w/ ceiling fans
Bedroom with in-Room spa tub
Full bathroom with two sinks & shower

Book your stay at Cabo Azul Resort and Spa>>

Cabo Azul Villas


Warped Stairs at Ritz Carlton Philadelphia?


By: Five Star Alliance

Ritz Carlton PhiladelphiaThe stairs leading to what today is The Grand Ballroom at Ritz Carlton Philadelphia (formerly the vault of Girard Bank) are warped on one side. The stairs were built for the ladies to make their “grand entrance” into the vault to retrieve their jewels on Friday for their weekend social event, and their subsequent return on Monday. The warping on that one side is from the traffic up and down—the skirts were long at the time, and there is a banister only on that side. The stairs were left as is.

 

Book a stay at Ritz Carlton Philadelphia >>


Green Initiatives at Bardessono


By: Five Star Alliance

BardessonoBardessono is one of only three hotels in the United States that has been designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest standard for environmental design. Initiatives include:

-Buildings that are designed with overhangs to reduce the heat gain from the summer sun, yet allow the winter sun's rays to enter and warm the rooms. Each room has 200 square feet of glass to allow for natural lighting. 

-When cooling is required, the first stage of intervention is for motor controlled exterior venetian blinds to lower to reduce the heat gain from the sun. When additional heating or cooling in guest rooms is necessary, water is used from 72, 300 foot wells on the property.

-The large amount of glass used in each building reduces the daytime requirement for electrical lighting. LED, halogen, or fluorescent bulbs are used in light fixtures throughout the property. Bardessono

-All glues, adhesives, finishes, paints, carpets, and fabrics used at Bardessono are required to meet low volatile organic compounds (VOC) standards to vastly improve indoor air quality. 

-The combination of low VOC compound materials, no carpeting and drapes, all organic linens, terry and cleaning supplies, greatly reduces any potential allergens in the rooms.

-Indoors, bathroom fixtures with low water flow have been installed, along with dual flush toilets and waterless urinals. Outdoors, native and drought tolerant plants have been chosen for landscaping in order to minimize water demand. 

Book a stay at Bardessono>>