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.

Celebrate July 4 in Maui: Kapalua Wine and Food Festival


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz Carlton Kapalua The 26th annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival promises to be a rip-roaring good time. Wine-tasting seminars with Master Sommeliers, oodles of tastings, cooking classes with celebrity chefs (you can even partake in the cooking class with esteemed chef Michael Mina himself), golf tournaments, seafood fest, and perhaps the best part of all-- the setting at the AAA five-diamond Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui's premier resort. This culinary extravaganza will take place from June 29- July 1, so after four days of foodie bliss, why not stay on for a few more days to take in the fireworks on the 4th? Festival prices run $750 per person. The price for a four-day stay at the Ritz, including two four-day festival passes is about $3,660.


The Centre for Well-Being at the Phoenician: Michelin Star Spas in Scottsdale


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Phoenician The setting is idyllic-- nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain at Scottsdale's destination resort, The Phoenician-- and the facilities are top-notch. So it's no wonder The Centre for Well-Being was recently awarded four Michelin stars. Town and Country magazine calls it "one of the most healing and nurturing spots on the planet." Indeed, The Phoenician's spa is a peaceful sanctuary and luxurious oasis surrounded by the colorful desert landscape of the Southwest. Facilities include whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, Swiss showers, Meditation Atrium and Waters Bar featuring complimentary refreshments. Massage therapy, skin and body treatments draw from European and Eastern principles, utilizing plants and minerals indigenous to the region. The range of services is truly exhaustive. But here's a hint: reserve your treatment a month in advance. This place books fast!


Wild Hog Heaven in San Diego with Loews Coronado Bay Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Coronado Bay Resort As if the recreational options at Loews Coronado Bay Resort weren't enough. (There's tennis, three outdoor swimming pools, gondola rides on the canals, sailboat and motorboat rentals, cycling, the Sea Spa, and surfing lessons-- after all, this is San Diego we're talking about.) But now the Loews Coronado Bay Resort has added yet another activity for adventure-seeking guests. National Geographic Traveler recently discovered the men's Harley Package at Loews Coronado, where guests are encouraged to hit the open road with a 24-hour Harley-Davidson motorcycle rental. Starting at $699 per person, the Wild Hogs package includes two nights accommodations, burgers at a local biker bar, a private tasting of handcrafted beers by the Coronado Brewing Company, and access to the hotel's fitness center, pools, and Silver Strand State Beach. Rental options include Dyna Street Bobs, Soft Tails, Fat Boys, and full-service Touring Bikes complete with decked out sound systems.


Over-the-Top Building Boom in Las Vegas: The Newest Batch of Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las Vegas We've been keeping tabs on the latest Vegas growth spurt for awhile now, and it's just not slowing down. It seemed that the spotlight had shifted east to the new gambling mecca of Macau (which has surpassed Vegas in casino revenues and has opened countless Vegas-style mega-hotels). But things are only just starting to heat up in Sin City. As reported by USAToday's Hotel HotSheet, MGM Mirage just announced plans for the $700 million M Resort (MGM Mirage is only financing a paltry $160 million) to open in 2009. The outrageous building boom in Vegas has not yet reached its limit. To quote the NY Times:

Americans — and an increasing number of foreigners — can’t seem to get enough of Las Vegas. The current construction craze is driven by a 95 percent weekend occupancy rate — and rates that approach 100 percent at the city's newer properties. Last year, even the weekday rate fell just shy of 90 percent, partly because of the city’s success in positioning itself as an attractive convention destination.

Here's a taste of what's to come. The Venetian is opening a 3,200 suite tower, which will bring its room count to more than 7,000; $4.4 billion Echelon Place will open on the site of the old Stardust; the mammoth Project CityCenter will cost MGM Mirage $7 billion, the most expensive development in Vegas history.


Winvian Resort: The Ultimate Concept Hotel in Litchfield, Connecticut


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Winvian This is truly a hotel experience like no other. At Winvian, 15 architects created 18 whimsical cottages which the LA Times equates to a plush, Seuss-like playground for adults. Spend the night in a restored 1968 Sikorsky Sea King helicopter where you can "mix a drink in the plush fuselage." (And to quote the NYT: this baby's "so tricked out that Austin Powers might have piloted it.") Or go Flintstones style and choose the Stone Cottage, "a no comfort spared cave" decked out with leather curtains, boulders, slate roof, and two fireplaces. Or wake up in The Treehouse, perched 35 feet off the ground. The setting is bucolic, the quintessential New England landscape: 113 acres of meadows, forests, lakes, and farm pastures not far from the historic town of Litchfield. But an experience like this will cost you. The nightly rate ranges from $1,450 to $1,950.

Photo Via HotelChatter

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What a Hotel! Country Estate Getaway


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.

What a Hotel!

Helpful Hints: Country Estate, 600 acres, DC Getaway ...

Toni Powell and ROBERT S. RISBERG both correctly guessed Last Weeks Hotel:
What a Hotel!

Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort


Azul Blue, Tulum: The Allure of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Azul Blue Now is the time to head south of the border and check out the sun-splashed beaches and Mayan ruins of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Room rates are dropping, but don't worry-- hurricane season won't kick in for a few months. South of Cancun on the gorgeous Riviera Maya, Tulum lures visitors to its serene beaches and magical Caribbean-facing ruins. Here, the new Azul Blue hotel offers luxurious privacy and stellar service (your own personal butler will attend to your every need, while pool and beach butlers provide towel service, refreshment deliveries, and cooling vaporizers for your lounging pleasure). Listed on Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Hot List, Azul Blue features 96 oversized suites with lavish bedding, iPods and plasma screen TVs. Though you may not want to leave the comfort of the spa, there are plenty of recreational activities if you so choose-- from deep sea fishing to scuba diving.


Spa by the Sea at The Wauwinet: First Resort Spa on Nantucket


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wauwinet, Spa by the Sea Treat yourself to some serious spa relaxation while listening to the sounds of the sea from the tip of the picturesque island of Nantucket. The brand new Spa by the Sea-- located at the island's most luxurious hotel-- will open in May 2007. Rejuvenating spa treatments will be available exclusively to hotel guests. Specially-trained therapists will offer treatments that reflect Nantucket's native habitat such as the signature Cranberry Crush Body Treatment, the Garden Facial, and Atlantic Seaweed Wrap. Massages will feature seasonal wildflowers and herbs-- local rose, chamomile, rosemary, lavender, rhododendron, and hydrangea-- grown in The Wauwinet's spa garden. The surroundings are magical (how about a massage on the lawn?) and the spa menu has been specially designed by David Daniels, Executive Chef of TOPPER'S restaurant, with locally grown foods highly beneficial to the skin and body.


Presidential July 4th River Cruise with the Willard InterContinental


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Willard InterContinentalThis July 4th set sail with the Willard InterContinental on the USS Sequoia Presidential Yacht for a Fireworks Cruise on the historic Potomac River in Washington, DC. The luxury Willard Hotel is offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the national fireworks with the "Presidential Extravaganza Fireworks Cruise package". Along with the USS Sequoia cruise (featuring excellent views of the fireworks display), guests enjoy a pre-cruise cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception in a luxury Willard Hotel suite; Red Carpet hotel departure, Transportation to and from the Sequoia Yacht; Onboard gourmet buffet, open bar and champagne, music and dancing, Valet parking, Overnight in deluxe accommodation at the Willard InterContinental Washington (or transferable certificate for a one night stay valid for one year) with breakfast and parking, plus a keepsake gift.

The cost? $1890 per couple. But don't wait too long to make your reservations, the 104-foot, 100-ton wooden, teak-paneled Sequoia only accommodates 50 guests total.


Good and Bad News for Montage Resort, Laguna Beach, California


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Montage Resort First: the good news. The prestigious Mobil Travel guide has unveiled its fourth annual ratings of North America's top hotel and resort spas and Montage tops the list, along with the Mandarin Oriental, New York, as the only Mobil Five-Star winners. After all, this super-luxury resort has a serious wow-factor. Perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific in South Laguna, Montage = oceanfront opulence. Surrounded by three pools, white sand beaches and lush landscaping, the spa is as elegant as they come. Now, the bad news. On Sunday, a couple was shot dead in their resort bungalow after a confrontation with the police. Details are still emerging.

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