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.

America’s Favorite Architecture: Willard InterContinental, Washington DC


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Willard InterContinental An American institution that has hosted almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce, The Willard InterContinental was recently listed as one of the most iconic buildings in the US. The Empire State Building and the White House topped the list of America's Favorite Architecture, according to a public poll of the 150 best works of architecture conducted by Harris Interactive and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The only DC hotel on the list, The Willard dominates the Pennsylvania corridor between the White House and the Capitol and was originally built in 1901 on the site of an older Willard property. At that time, Joseph Willard Jr. decided to create one of the city's first skyscrapers to "out-dazzle" anything else on the Washington horizon. The hotel's style? French Second Empire Beaux-Arts, distinguished by vast proportions and great columns, with an interior marked by huge chandeliers, inlaid mosaic marble tile floors, elaborate plaster work and painted and carved ceilings. Truly majestic. The newspapers of the day raved that The Willard was "The Handsomest of Washington Hotels," and today, guests are still dazzled by the hotel's architectural magnificence.


Dining in Scottsdale: Cafe Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Valley Ho The Monday Night Chef's Table continue to dazzle diners at the ultra-cool Café Zuzu, located at Scottsdale's hip urban resort, Hotel Valley Ho. Since the hotel's opening in late 2005, Café Zuzu has been racking up the awards. Critics swoon over the stylish American comfort food, hand-crafted cocktails, and fun retro setting. The next Monday Night Chef's Table: The Great White-- Rediscovering Chardonnay on Monday, March 5. A note of explanation from the witty chef:

A few months ago, a Monday night theme was ABC (Anything But Chardonnay), a sentiment shared by some wine lovers in the '90s when overly oaky, flabby and overpriced renditions of the grape were emerging from California. It's not that we have anything against chardonnay; we simply wanted to expose our guests to some alternatives. The truth is though, when chardonnay is poorly done it's extremely difficult to pair with food. We do enjoy a well made chard however, so we thought it was high time to rediscover this extremely popular varietal and design a menu around it ("The Great White") just in time for summer.

The menu looks divine: Smoked Salmon (hearts of palm and garlic cream), Braised Pork Belly (roasted cipollini and foraged mushrooms), Pheasant Breast (truffle gnocchi, English peas and tomato confit), and Peach Tarte Tatin (honey mascarpone cream and blackberry nectar). From 6:30-8pm, priced at $42 per person.


Be a ‘Very Important Meeting Planner’ with Loews Regency NYC


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Hartmann LuggageThe Loews Regency has just launched a new program that will let those haggard meeting planners forget the freight and just focus on the event. With the VIMP Promotion, meeting planners are eligible for complimentary shipping of meeting materials and related luggage. Additionally, planners are rewarded with a peice of Hartman Luggage when they book their meeting at the Regency over selected dates throughout the year.

See more details >>


What’s Hot: Montreal High Lights Festival


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Montreal High Lights FestivalThe Montreal High Lights Festival is in full swing. One of the best urban festivals of the season, Montreal's fabulous citywide festival includes culinary and wine events, art exhibits, and free concerts and performances. Foodies will be thrilled by the culinary tours, wine tasting events, gourmet dinners, lunches, and cheese-making course. Feast on a five-course gourmet dinner prepared by one of the world's leading chefs, glide under the stars at the ice skating rink, take in a concert, visit an exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and enjoy the fabulous fireworks. The festival runs until March 4, 2007, so don your scarf and mittens and embrace winter in Montreal!

Image Via Smugmug


Elegant Dining in Buckhead, Atlanta at the Grand Hyatt


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Hyatt Atlanta Where to dine in the trendy, popular neighborhood of Buckhead? Head to the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, where Cassis and Onyx Bar have made names for themselves in a crowded (and distinguished) playing field. Recently featured on Fox 5's "Good Day Atlanta," Executive Chef Billy Skiber has set the gold standard for hotel dining. Cassis is one of Atlanta's most successful kosher kitchens. This is the perfect place to enjoy an extravagant Sunday brunch; the spread includes everything from crab cakes to made-to-order omelets. Dinner is likewise memorable, pleasing palates with eclectic takes on traditional continental cuisine. For after-work happy hours and evening cocktails, head to Onyx Bar, where the extensive bar menu features fine liquors from around the world. Don't miss the elegant HyTea on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 6 pm served in the chic bar overlooking the tranquil Japanese gardens.


Barefoot Luxury at Edgewater Beach Hotel, Naples, Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Edgewater Beach Hotel Treat yourself to a winter getaway in paradise starting from just $349 per night. Bordered by seven miles of palm-dotted beaches, the Edgewater Beach Hotel is an all-suite beachfront hotel on the Gulf of Mexico. With a chic, newly renovated lobby, new Coast restaurant, and enhanced services, this Naples hotel is all about casual luxury and barefoot elegance. So kick off your sandals and give in to indulgence. The Edgewater features 125 guest suites with private balconies, heated swimming pool and poolside bar, state-of-the-art fitness room, spa services, onsite restaurants, and engaging children's programs.


Silverjet: The First Carbon Neutral Airline


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Silverjet That's right. The low-fare luxury airline, which offers exclusive, premium class service between London and Newark, is environmentally friendly. The UK-based carrier builds carbon offsetting into the price of every ticket. This mandatory carbon offset contribution is invested by the airline's climate consultancy partner, The CarbonNeutral Company, to ensure that every tonne of CO2 associated with your flight is matched by one tonne saved through climate friendly projects around the world. Examples of projects supported by Silverjet to neutralize its carbon impact are:

Jamaican energy efficient project- subsidises the cost of energy efficient lightbulbs to encourage use. Benefits to the island include less dependence on depleted oil reserves and less power cuts, which in turn promotes the prime industry- tourism. New Zealand wind farm- one of the few gold standard carbon offset projects worldwide, this provides an alternative to non-sustainable power sources. US methane- methane is 23 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and it leaks from many disused mines. This project captures methane and 'flares' it which converts methane into CO2.

Wow. Now if only the other airlines would follow Silverjet's example.

Related Articles:

Frommer's, "How to See the Planet and Save It at the Same Time"

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Spring Fever at Sea Island Resort, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sea Island ResortGeorgia's Sea Island Resorts, renowned for its championship golf and exclusive accommodations, is welcoming the arrival of Spring with a slew of recreational activities. Beach walks for bird watching. Hands-on nature programs about raptors, reptiles and gifts from the sea. Cooking schools and wine tastings. Golf clinics to ready your game. Dance lessons and etiquette classes. Escape to Sea Island and break out of your winter shell. A visit to the magnificent 65,000- square-foot Spa at Sea will provide a rejuvenating spring glow. Enjoy the blooming azaleas and soak up the sunshine. And get ready to get doused in some serious Southern hospitality; the service at Sea Island is legendary.


Get Your Groove On: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

New Orleans Jazz FestThe line-up for Jazz Fest is looking good. Who's not going to be there? Dr. John, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Jill Scott, Irma Thomas, Ludacris, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Lucinda Williams, Soulive, Harry Connick Jr., Steely Dan, ZZ Top, John Legend, Allen Toussaint, Counting Crows, New Edition, George Benson, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Allman Brothers Band, Better Than Ezra, Joss Stone, Stephen Marley featuring Jr. Gong, Taj Mahal... (And the list goes on, and on.) Scheduled for April 21-29 and May 4-6, 2007, New Orleans' Jazz Fest draws tens of thousands of fans annually. Celebrate the rebirth of the Big Easy and enjoy ten stages of simultaneous music programming complemented by an unparalleled Food Fair with 100 varieties of authentic Louisiana cuisine (jambalaya, anyone?) Head to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and shack up at The International House, the stylish, contemporary boutique hotel just two blocks from the French Quarter. "If New Orleans is the best place in the country to party, then International House is the best place to sleep it off," says Travel and Leisure about this hip spot.


Three Night Special Offer at Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, NY


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Whiteface LodgeGet a load of this fantastic offer at the Whiteface Lodge. Stay three nights at the special rate of $395 per night for two people, and receive a $300 credit towards your room rate at check-out. Now pick that jaw up from the floor, and call 1-800-903-4045 to make reservations. Available March 1-May 24, 2007, subject to availability, one bedroom suite only. Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in Lake Placid, the luxurious Whiteface Lodge offers the rustic sophistication of the Adirondack Great Camps with refined service and contemporary amenities. "The whole place radiates rustic good taste," says the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List. Indulge your inner epicurean at the celebrated Kanu restaurant, and enjoy Chef Brian Moyers' culinary creativity at the Exhibition Kitchen. Relax at the premier spa, the only spa on the East Coast to offer 24-hour treatments in the Spa Suites. Exciting resort activities include The Canoe Club, health and fitness center, year-round heated swimming pool, year-round ice skating rink, movie theater, family game room, ten-pin bowling alley, platform tennis, and hiking and cross-country skiing trails.