The 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.
It's official. Five Star Alliance, the leading online travel agency for luxury hotels, has released the annual "World's Best Luxury Hotels" lists. Our crew of somewhat obsessive luxury hotel fans gives recs so often, we decided it's important to share that info with the world. Along with the company's expertise, the criteria used to select the World's Best Luxury Hotels includes honest feedback from Five Star Alliance clients and the popularity of hotels. Since Five Star Alliance only focuses only luxury hotels, these picks are truly la crème de la crème.
These days, the adolescent set is defining a whole new list of top indulgences. Technology may be one thing (iPods, cell phones, MySpace, oh my!), but spa treatments are also topping the list. At Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vermont, a slew of teenage requests at the award-winning spa has inspired treatments specifically geared toward teens. Among the most popular: the Teen Tune-Up, where one-on-one time with a certified personal trainer means serious results. The focus is on strength training, flexibility, and cardio conditioning, and trainers also help devise home-care routines for nutrition and exercise. The Total Teen Facial involves deep cleansing, toning, steam, mask, extractions and a facial massage for faces on the grow. There's even a Teen Massage. Little wonder the spa at Topnotch has been ranked in the top ten resort spas by both SpaFinder and Conde Nast Traveler.
Imagine: splurging on $500 worth of meals at the fabulous Relais Gourmands restaurants, which together garnered over 300 Michelin stars in 2006. (The Inn at Little Washington-- pictured at right-- is a member, described by Zagat as "the gastronomic equivalent of sex.") The line-up of celebrity chefs at Relais and Chateaux is nothing short of staggering: Daniel Boulud, Heston Blumenthal, Hélène Darroze, Thomas Keller, Charlie Palmer, Charlie Trotter and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Celebrate l'art de vivre and enter the draw for the $500 gift certificate. Register by phone before September 10, 2007 by calling 877-334-6464.
Discover the historical town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. A mélange of cultural influences-- Native American roots, Spanish colonization, and Southwest spirit-- has created a city brimming with charm-- a mecca for artists. At La Posada de Santa Fe, this vibrant Southwestern culture is manifest in the details: adobe-style accommodations adorned with beautiful local artwork, kiva fireplaces, signature cuisine at Fuego restaurant, and Southwest-inspired spa treatments at the luxurious Avanyu Spa. Located in the very heart of the city, the award-winning hotel sprawls over six landscaped acres, a stunning garden oasis. Book the Bed and Breakfast package at La Posada de Santa Fe, the city's finest hotel, and enjoy one night's accommodations, daily $30 breakfast voucher, valet parking, and unlimited use of the RockResorts Spa steam and fitness rooms. Starting from $325 per night, until October 20, 2007. Priced from $231 per night from October 21- December 22, 2007.
This summer, escape to the OC for some sun and surf. Experience Bay Bliss at the award-winning Balboa Bay Club and Resort, the only waterfront luxury resort in Newport Beach. Starting from just $305 per night, your personalized package includes luxurious accommodations and your choice of amenities: lunch for two at The First Cabin, manicure or pedicure in Loran Loran salon, 25 minute massage or facial, or one hour duffy boat rental. For some serious family fun, book the Disney Package and get two Disneyland tickets, rental car for the day, and box lunch in addition to two nights accommodations. In the evening (seven days a week!), enjoy live music on the waterfront at Duke's Place. And on Sundays, guests can indulge in BBQ Sunday nights on Duke's patio. Refreshing summer cocktails accompany all your favorites like delectable baby back ribs, carved-mesquite grilled beef tri tips, and fresh grilled free-range chicken. Don't miss the new Sunday European Breakfast Buffet, with a mouth-watering selection of special entrees like Eggs Benedict with Sauce Choron, Roasted Boneless Pork Loin, Prosciutto and Rare Roast Beef as well as hot and cold plate items and beverages.
It's big, bad, and only getting bigger... The world's best known resort-casino, the gloried empire that is Caesars Palace in the heart of Las Vegas, is getting a makeover with a $1 billion expansion. There's been quite the buzz about the recent announcement by Harrah's Entertainment. Reigning over The Strip, Caesars Palace features 3,348 guest rooms, 25 restaurants, the 4.5-acre Garden of the Gods pools and gardens, Qua Baths and Spa, 240,000 square feet of premium meeting space, and the 4,100-seat Colosseum which spotlights entertainers like Celine Dion. As if that weren't enough, Caesars will soon be adding a luxury hotel tower, convention and catering facilities, pools and lavish suites in 2009. The 665-room hotel tower, dubbed Octavius Tower, will house palatial pool villa suites overlooking three new swimming pools. This billion dollar investment in the flagship property is just the beginning, as Harrah's is planning comprehensive global growth in the coming years.
In honor of the launch of the iPhone, Omni Hotels across the country are "apple-izing" with Apple-tini's, Apple Ice Sculptures, and best of all-- a huge giveaway whereby lucky winners across the U.S. will take home Apple iPhones (approximate retail value of $499.) Entries will be accepted at all participating Omni Hotels in the U.S. from 8 a.m. local time on Monday, July 23 until 6:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, July 25. (You can also register online.) The winner of each hotel's sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing at or around 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday, July 25 at each participating Omni property, and the winner of the online sweepstakes will be selected on or about the same date.
Recently named to the Conde Nast Traveler "Hot List", Herons restaurant is a culinary gem located in the new Umstead Hotel and Spa, steps away from the beautiful walking and jogging trails of Umstead State Park just outside Raleigh, North Carolina. (The Umstead Spa was also named to the Hot List, the only spa in North Carolina to earn this accolade.) Steve Eudy, the Herons Sommelier, has assembled a magnificent wine list representing 500 wines that will delight even the most sophisticated connoisseur. They've even stocked away some North Carolina wines. Sip a glass on the terrace on Thursday evening, while chowing down on the outdoor "all-grilled" menu, a memorable outdoor dining experience for picture-perfect summer evenings. Enjoy grilled meat and seafood prepared by Executive Chef Phil Evans along with new fresh fruit cocktails, live outdoor music and breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and surrounding gardens. (The Terrace will be hopping on Thursday evenings until September 28th, 2007, weather permitting.) Come check out what everyone's been talking about. During the month of July, when you reserve a guest room at Umstead, you'll receive a $50 gift certificate to use in the restaurant or spa.
Eloise may not like the new condos, but she'd be pleased to see her hotel back in business. Rumor has it that the fabled Plaza Hotel, New York's landmark luxury hotel, will reopen this fall to coincide with the property's 100th anniversary. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has gone ahead and announced the appointment of the new General Manager, Shange Krige, who hails from The Mansion on Turtle Creek, London's historic Grosvenor House and Ritz-Carlton properties in Washington D.C.. Towering over Central Park West, the 19-storey Plaza Hotel has completed a $400 million renovation which now includes private residences. Those who mourned the end of an era with the hotel's closing will rejoice at the makeover. The 282 guest room and condo-hotel units have been updated for the modern traveler, but still pay tribute to the hotel's illustrious history as a treasured symbol in Manhattan.
Uptown, the city's chic, tourist-popular enclave, will welcome a new Ritz-Carlton on August 15, 2007. This is the first Ritz-Carlton hotel to open in the U.S. in four years, and little wonder Dallas is the lucky destination; the city is touted as the most accessible setting in the continental U.S.-- less than three hours by air from nearly every point. The hotel will be walking distance to the American Airlines Center, home to myriad sports and entertainment events. As to be expected at a Ritz-Carlton, the Dallas hotel will have elegant, spacious guest rooms (with lots of sleek technology), an opulent 12,000 square foot spa, and the city's largest luxury ballroom, along with numerous meeting locations. The best part of all is Fearing's Restaurant with its interactive display kitchen. Headed by charismatic celebrity chef Dean Fearing who specializes in Southwest cuisine, the restaurant will celebrate a farm-to-market philosophy. Expect menu stand-outs like Barbecue Shrimp Taco with Mango-Pickled Red Onion Salad and Smoky Citrus Vinaigrette; Prime Cut Rib Eye Mopped over Live Mesquite with Cauliflower Twice Potatoes and Crispy Asparagus; Griddled Day-Boat Scallops on Wilted Brussels Sprout Leaves and Smoked Kentucky Ham with Tangerine Essence; Caramelized Peach and Almond Crisp with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Ginger Peach Sauce.