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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.

Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Unveils New Spa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ponte Vedra Inn and Club

It's no wonder the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club is the recipient of the coveted AAA five diamond award, one of only 30 such resorts in the United States. With its opulent accommodations and top recreational facilities, this 300 acre oceanfront resort leaves nothing to be desired. Miles of windswept Florida beaches. 36 holes of golf. 15 hydro tennis courts. Four heated pools. Bicycling, boating, and fishing. Excellent restaurants and lounges. Children's Playground and Nursery... Truly a landmark in American hospitality, the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club has indulged three generations of guests since its celebrated opening in 1928. To quote Zagat: "rooms and service are rated extraordinary to perfection."

But now Ponte Vedra Inn and Club has improved on perfection-- with the November opening of its new, sophisticated spa. At 30,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility is the region's largest. Situated on three acres amidst signature waterfalls and water sculptures, the spa offers an extensive menu of over 100 services including the Lomi Lomi Massage, Fiji Tropical Isle Coconut Scrub, Rose Hydrating Cocoon, Hydra Pure Hydration Facial, La Stone Therapy, Body Polish, Hot Paraffin Manicures, Pedicures, and Hair Care. There is even a Men's Barber Shop on-site. Escape to Florida's sunshine and indulge in some luxurious spa treatments at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. For a limited time, guests can take advantage of the Spa Getaway Package, which includes lodging and a pampering spa service, from just $269 a night (based on double occupancy). Available through February.

Via Travel and Leisure Hot Deals


Luxury Cruises: Cunard Launches the New Queen Victoria


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Queen Victoria

When Cunard unveils its newest ship, Queen Victoria in December 2007, three ships will sail together under the Cunard banner for the first time ever. The ships-- Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2, and the Queen Victoria-- are part of a legacy of ocean-crossing that symbolizes the refinement and elegance of a bygone era, when trans-Atlantic journeys were civilized events for the privileged few. These glorious voyages continue today with ocean liners that are "floating palaces of art deco splendor and Edwardian excess." Cunard pampers guest with every comfort and elegance in the ultimate luxury travel experience. The maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria is scheduled for December 11, 2007. Amenities include the dramatic three-tier Grand Lobby, Winter Garden (with glass roof), Royal Court Theater, a two-story library, and a Todd English Mediterranean style restaurant. Sweeping staircases, soaring ceilings, and elaborate chandeliers will dazzle the passengers. 86 percent of the 1,007 guest staterooms will be outside, and 71 percent will have a private balcony.


Be My Valentine at Hotel Jerome, Aspen


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Jerome

This Valentine's Day, hit the slopes at Aspen and indulge in a stay at the quintessential Aspen hotel. Opened in 1889 at the height of Colorado's silver boom, this luxurious boutique hotel has become a symbol of Aspen itself. Surrounded by the majestic Rocky mountains, Hotel Jerome is just minutes from downtown Aspen. The hotel features 92 sophisticated guest rooms which have been individually decorated with luxurious amenities. Guests enjoy exquisite American cuisine, excellent service, year-round heated pool and two Jacuzzis, and ski resort transfers. Hotel Jerome has created the Be My Valentine Package for the perfect Valentine's getaway. Available from February 13-15, 2007, the package includes deluxe room or suite accommodations, Champagne and a special treat prepared by Pastry Chef Heather Campbell in your room upon arrival, daily lift tickets for two, candlelit dinner for two in the Century Room, nightly bath butler service, and daily continental breakfast buffet in Jacob's Corner. Rates start at $595, two nights minimum stay required.

Related Articles:

Frommer's, "Valentine's Day Deals Worth Their Weight in Chocolate"


Coeur D’Alene Resort, Idaho: Escape the Winter Blues


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Coeur D'Alene

Head to the Winter Blues Festival at Coeur D'Alene Golf and Spa Resort and ditch those winter blues. The idyllic landscape at the resort's lakeside setting may be cure enough for the inevitable wintry blahs (not to mention the luxurious accommodations, spa treatments, and sumptuous cuisine). But this award-winning destination resort has designed an added enticement: the Winter Blues Festival on the weekend of February 16-18, 2007. The Northwest's preeminent blues artists will be showcased at this inaugural event, including Seattle's Lloyd Jones Struggle and "Blueswoman of the Year" Nicole Fournier (& Her 3 lb. Universe). The lineup features nine bands playing the blues for some 15 hours over the three evenings. All the musical events will take place at four intimate music venues conveniently located inside the resort, including two stages inside the newly remodeled Conference Center as well as an exciting Blues Cruise on the lake Saturday after dark. Take advantage of the special Winter Blues Festival Package which includes accommodations and access to all the music venues for the weekend. Packages begin at $149 per person nightly. Daily tickets are $10 Friday and Sunday, and $35 on Saturday.


Gourmet Fine Dining in British Columbia: Hastings House Country House Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hastings House

This is one of the best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Hastings House prides itself on incorporating the finest regional ingredients into its pris fixe menu. Each day, Chef Marcel Kauer designs a new menu to reflect the freshest local products: herbs, greens and fruit from the kitchen garden and orchards, fresh seafood from nearby waters, and meat, poultry and game from Salt Spring Island farmers. These constantly-changing menus, an effortless balance of texture and taste, revolve around what is fresh and in season from the "Organic Gardening Capital of Canada" (aka Salt Spring Island.) Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its remarkable wine list, the restaurant is a culinary delight as much for its food as for its excellent service and spectacular views of Ganges Harbor. The four-course menu, with amuse bouche and palate cleansing sorbet, is priced at $95 (three courses is $85). Note: Now you can take a little piece of the kitchen home with you with the Hastings House Country Estate cookbook. The elegant 96-page hardcover blends colorful history with a passion for food. Great recipes are interspersed with fascinating anecdotes and stunning photography.


Maison 140, Beverly Hills: Vin et Fromage Tasting Series


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maison 140

Right in the heart of Beverly Hills, there is a perfectly stylish pied-a-terre managed by Kor Hotels (of Viceroy Santa Monica and Tides Miami fame). Maison 140 is an intimate, 43-room boutique hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler Interior Design with a contemporary (and Asian) twist on the classic Parisian inns of the last century. This unique luxury hotel toasts 2007 with a Vin et Fromage Tasting Series at the swanky Bar Noir. The monthly wine and cheese tasting event is hosted by Avalon's Gabrier Gil and Cindi Byun, along with Viceroy's Ben Meyer. Sessions will be held the third or fourth Monday of each month, and will feature a themed selection of labels, international cheeses, and specially-created canapés. Guests enjoy a fun-filled evening while learning about vintage history, tasting notes, and the proper pairing of cheese and wine. Vin et Fromage 2007 begins on January 22, 2007 with Fireplace Cabernets, paired with artisanal cheeses from classic Cabernet regions around the world. Each event is priced at $45 per person and runs from 6:30-8:30 pm. Parking is complimentary. Reservations are recommended, and a special $40 per person rate is offered with advance purchase. Note: You can also book privately scheduled Vin et Fromage sessions for that next business meeting or celebratory event.


Golf Improvement Program at Sea Island Resort, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Golf Improvement Program

Ranked number 1 in Golf Digest's "75 Best Golf Resorts in North America," Sea Island Resort boasts 54 holes of elegant fairways and greens. The three championship golf courses include the Seaside Course (updated in 1999 by Tom Fazio and now considered one of the top 100 courses in the US), the Plantation Course (a dazzling mix of ancient live oak forest and tidal creeks, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean), and the Retreat Course (designed by PGA Champion Davis Love III). On March 15-17, 2007, join five of the resort's nationally recognized instructors-- Jack Lumpkin, Todd Anderson, Mike Shannon, Randy Myers, Dr. Morris Pickens-- for the intensive 16-hour evaluation and instruction program. On the first day, experience a four hour evaluation of your game, equipment, body and mind. Then, on the second and third day, spend five and a half hours working on a program that is specifically designed to improve the weak areas of your game. (Includes optional afternoon lesson, video analysis using V1 computer graphics and swing comparison with take home video or DVD, and a club fitting using Trackman Launch Monitor.) $3,300 per person, with Sea Island gift bag and notebook, and dinner with the Instructors on the first night. Limited to ten students.


Suite Luxury at The Madison DC


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

In yet another installment of our series on the highest luxury level suites at the best hotels worldwide, below you can find more information (and some awesome photos) regarding the Presidential and Royal Suites at The Madison, a Loews Hotel in Washington, DC. Enjoy.

Presidential Suite

Location: 15th Floor, Size: 1370 sq. feet

Description:

Includes the Main Parlor/Master Bedchamber, Bedchamber Two, and may connect to additional rooms. The Presidential Suite features antique furniture and objet d'art throughout, unique imported fabrics from Italy and France, marble foyer, butler's pantry, dining area with stately Charleston dining table with Hepplewhite shield back mahogany chairs, large sitting area, 52" plasma TV with surround sound speakers, and custom designed US Axminster carpets. (See images after the jump below)

Royal Suite

Location: 15th Floor, Size: 1320 sq. feet

Description:

Includes the Main Parlor/Master Bedroom, and may connect to additional rooms. The suite includes a private balcony, butler’s pantry, powder room, large flat screen TV, foyer with marble floor, coat closet, sunken living area dressed in golds, peaches and greens, sitting alcove, ad black lacquer dining table with fully upholstered chairs.

View pictures of the rooms after the jump ...

The view from the Presidential Suite

Madison Presidential Suite

The Parlor of the Presidential Suite

The Madison Presidential Suite Parlor

The Bedroom of the Royal Suite

The Madison Royal Suite Bedroom

The Parlor of the Royal Suite

The Madison Royal Suite Parlor

Check Availability, Details, Photos and Make Reservations »


Give your Valentine the Gift of Good Health with Four Seasons Chicago


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Chicago

Diamonds? Chocolate? Pink hearts and white doilies? Who needs 'em when you can really do Valentine's Day right with the My Healthy Valentine Package in Chicago. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago has partnered with the Center for Partnership Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to create an unforgettable Valentine's Day experience. Take care of your heart--and the heart of your beloved--with the My Healthy Valentine Package. Experience a romantic getaway at the plush Four Seasons as well as a comprehensive physical and one-of-a-kind health assessment from the Center for Partnership Medicine with top specialists. (In addition to the physical and screenings, dieticians will help you develop nutrition and exercise plans for a healthy lifestyle for the New Year.) After your physicals, check into your luxurious suite at Four Seasons and let the pampering begin. The package includes the Couples Harmony Massage in the Spa, a romantic, candle-lit dinner in your room featuring a healthy menu specially prepared by Executive Chef Kevin Hickey , and an in-room welcome amenity of red wine and dark chocolate as well as signed copies of Dr. Michael Roizen's YOU: On a Diet and YOU: The Owner's Manual. The one-night package rate begins at $8,900 per night, including the health experience. Rates for additional nights begin at $635.


Cuisines of Asia Demo and Dinner Series: Echo Restaurant, Palm Beach


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Echo, The Breakers, Palm Beach

Located at the world-famous Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Echo restaurant serves diverse and delicious flavors of Asia in a lovely setting accented by vibrant decor and Asian-influenced art. The menu is composed of the Five Elements; make your selections from Wind (small plates to begin the journey, Fire (the wok), Water (beverages, sushi, seafood and shellfish), Earth (meat, game, poultry, and produce), and to complete your trip, Flavor (desserts and sweets). Back by popular demand, Echo is resuming its wildly successful Demo and Dinner Series this January. Enjoy a series of interactive evenings with the restaurant's most popular Asian dishes prepared before your eyes. The four-course dinner features a half-price specialty drink to complement the cuisine and is priced at $70 per person. The series begins with The Art of Japanese Cuisine on January 10, 2007. The Art of Thai Cuisine will take place on February 7, followed by The Art of Chinese Cuisine on March 7, and The Art of Vietnamese Cuisine on April 11.