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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.

Coming Soon: The New Mondrian Hotel Scottsdale


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mondrian Hotel West Hollywood

Who would've thought that the heart of Scottsdale would become the center of hip? And in this newly-glamorous and fashionable city, the Mondrian Hotel Scottsdale stands out as the sexiest thing around, much like its sister hotel in West Hollywood. Morgans Hotel Group (with its luxurious design-focused boutique hotels) has done it again. This 200-room "Urban Resort" is sophisticated and exciting, conveniently located overlooking the Scottsdale Mall gardens. Guest rooms are sleek and comfortable, with Wireless Internet, 42-inch plasma TVs, 300-thread count luxury bedding and European pillow top mattresses topped off with six pillows, Agua bath products, 200 movies on-demand and a deluxe CD sound system with an iPod connection. The suites boast deep tubs and wrap-around patios. Of course the Mondrian Scottsdale features signature design elements such as the Indoor/Outdoor Lobby, the Bar with large, open fireplace, and two beautifully designed swimming pools and jacuzzi. Morgans Hotel Group is planning the hotel's re-launch for later this year, with the opening of the legendary Skybar and Jeffrey Chodorow's Asia de Cuba. Rock on.


Go West, Young Man: Summer Deals at the Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colorado


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Jerome

Gas prices hovering at obscene highs put a damper on your travel plans? Fear not, a dose of summer sunshine and gorgeous scenery may still be in the cards, with the "Free Gas and Deals on Wheels" package offered by the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado. The National Register Landmark is the quintessential Aspen hotel, just minutes from downtown and surrounded by the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Guest rooms are individually decorated, with luxurious amenities; guests gratefully retreat to their elegant and comfortable haven after a day spent exploring the surrounding countryside (or lounging by the beautiful pool).

The "Free Gas and Deals on Wheels'' package includes a voucher for $50 in gas, free parking, two passes to the Aspen Recreation Center ($30), two bus rides to the Maroon Bells ($14) and two free one-day bicycle rentals. Rates start at $380 for a deluxe king, through Labor Day. Valid through Labor Day.

Via San Jose Mercury News


New York City Summer Restaurant Week


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nobu restaurant

The city that never sleeps is open 24/7. As a cute reminder of this fact, New York is celebrating its annual Summer Restaurant Week with its finest restaurants serving up three-course prix-fixe lunches for $24.07 (three-course dinners are $35, with beverages and taxes additional). July 10-14, and July 17-21, Monday-Friday only. The list of participating restaurants is extensive (200 of them!), covering all neighborhoods, and includes 21 Club, Asia de Cuba, FIVES at The Peninsula, Gramercy Tavern, Mercer Kitchen, and Nobu.

Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"


The New Spa Suites at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Los Cabos, Mexico


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las Ventanas

The resort and its spa have been acclaimed worldwide as the premier five-star experience in North America. And now Las Ventanas brings its clients a fundamentally new way to experience a resort spa, with is three new Spa Suites that offer a self-contained "total spa lifestyle" within the privacy of your own ultra-lavish suite.

These suites feature a dedicated Spa Butler who coordinates your personalized spa program, a state-of-the-art, in-suite treatment room, and a spa ambiance that includes organic mini-bar, magnetic mattresses, infrared sauna, Infinity-edge Jacuzzi (with a breathtaking view over the Sea of Cortez), and iSqueeze Reflexology Boots for daily foot massages. The 3,893 sq. foot suites offer two full bedroom suites (master and guest) with full baths, oversize jet tubs, living room, full kitchen, two patios, adobe fireplaces, and telescopes for whale-watching.

The individualized spa activity program-- built around health, fitness, nutrition, and beauty-- is results-oriented, with multi-faceted activities (bodywork, meditation, nutrition, facials, herbal remedies, swimming, saunas, etc.) Starting at Las Ventanas, guests achieve measured results, and then continue an at-home program for a lasting lifetime impact.

Rates for Spa Suite Programs start at $13,425 for a four-night program for two.


The Remaking of Los Angeles: Plans Unveiled for Downtown Luxury Hotel Complex


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

LA Convention Center and hotel complex

Hurray for downtown LA. Developers and urban planners are on a mission to revamp the city's downtown, and remake it as an attractive travel and business destination. Long devoid of a viable city center, LA has now pinned its hopes on the revitalization of downtown. Thousands of condos and apartment units have been constructed recently, restaurants and shops are springing up in their wake, and downtown may actually be evolving into a noteworthy destination.

Indeed, developers just unveiled their plans for a ginormous 1,000-room, 54-storey luxury hotel complex for the Convention Center, which will include downtown's first five-star hotel, a 124-room Ritz-Carlton, and a four-star Marriott Marquis, with the largest ballroom in the city. The $750-million project, slated to open in 2010, will be one of the city's largest buildings, with a whopping 2 million square feet. The chic, glass high-rise will center around L.A. Live, the 27-acre sports-entertainment complex that has everybody talkin'.

Via Los Angeles Times

Photo Credit: LA Times


Join the Quest for the Kermode Bear Experience: King Pacific Lodge, British Columbia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

King Pacific Lodge

Black bear sightings, excellent King Salmon fishing, kayaking through fjords with orca and dolphin-viewings, heavenly spa treatments, extraordinary outdoor adventures… The season has begun at King Pacific Lodge, a luxurious haven in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Named the world's # 1 Wilderness Lodge by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, King Pacific Lodge is located on Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, and offers an unparalleled, exclusive wilderness experience. A Rosewood Resort, the King Pacific Lodge is the essence of luxury, its seventeen oversized accommodations showcasing sumptuous down duvets, window-side seating areas that overlook spectacular views of the landscape, and slate-lined bathrooms with deep soaker-tubs. A peaceful and unspoiled getaway in the midst of nature's rugged marvels. The Lodge is now promoting a special offer, to celebrate the recent creation of the Great Bear Rainforest protected area (and the Spirit Bear being named BC's official animal). Guests booking a stay at the lodge in September will receive a one-day complimentary bear-viewing eco-adventure.


What’s New for The Tides South Beach


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Tides South Beach The Kor Hotel Group has big plans for this chic oceanfront boutique. Kor purchased "The Diva of Ocean Drive" in January, and recently announced a $7 million makeover for the sophisticated Art Deco landmark. The refurbishment will take place during the low-season (when the hurricane threat keeps most travelers at bay) from July to September. The redo is all cosmetic-- guest rooms, public spaces, the pool and front terrace--led by famed interior designer Kelly Wearstler, known for her design of the Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant in NYC and the Hard Rock High Roller Suite in Las Vegas. The hotel's sleek and spacious suites, each with ocean views, are a huge draw for the celebrities who flock here. (Along with the three penthouse suites with private sundecks and Jacuzzis.) The planned makeover will no doubt enhance these cutting-edge interiors, while preserving the historical Art Deco exterior so cherished by the city and its visitors. Via TravelWeekly


Escape World Cup Madness with SLH Member Hotels


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

from Courtney W. May and Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications for Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Chateau St Gerlach

Now that the World Cup is officially underway in Germany (my bracket has the Czech Republic walking away with it all - even though I am a huge US fan), some travelers might be looking for alternatives to dealing with the crazed soccer fans who have descended on Germany this summer. Personally, I can't imagine not wanting to be in the thick of things, but if you're one of those looking to go away during June, SLH has the following promotion "7 : 0 for Small Luxury Hotels: Best Escapes from the Soccer World Championship".

With World Cup madness hitting Germany and much of Western Europe, here are seven ways to visit the region and escape to a world of private luxury and ultimate experiences.

Wild Water Rafting in the Austrian alps: Around Kitzbuhel numerous river routes through spectacular mountain gorges are available for wild water rafting excursions, which the Hotel Tennerhof (www.slh.com/tennerhof) can arrange for its guests. A more tranquil alternative exclusiv for hotel guests: Fishing at a lake nearby where the Tennerhof holds private fishing rights.

Falconry in baroque gardens: As stylish as the ambiance of the castle hotel Chateau St. Gerlach (Netherlands) are the leisure activities of this SLH hotel: Golf, Horse-Riding, Tennis and falconry are on offer in the hotel's baroque gardens and in the wonderful nature of the Geul valley. (pictured)

Clay Pigeon shooting high above Mozart town: Salzburg lies afoot the Vitalhotel Kobenzl. On the Gaisberg mountain, high above the city, which celebrates this year Mozart's 250th anniversary, the Hotel offers attractive sporting alternatives: Clay Pigeon shooting, fishing, mountain hiking and biking as well as sailing, tennis and croquet.

Hot Air Balooning in the Black Forest: The Hotel Belle Epoque (www.slh.com/belleepoque), a neo renaissance villa from 1870, arranges sightseeing flights from Baden-Baden into the wonderful nature of the Black Forrest.

Archery in nature's paradise: Golf, Horse-riding, archery, mountain climbing and many more activities offers the Hoteldorf Gruner Baum (www.slh.com/grunerbaum) in the spectacular mountain world of Gastein. The main building of the hotel was built 1831 as hunting lodge for Duke Johann. Besides the countless leisure activities of the hotel the surroundings tempt visitors with romantic castles, dripstone caves and the national parc Hohentauern.

Formula 1 at the Hotel die Hirschgasse: The hotel offers a Formel 1-Package, which includes a three nights stay in a suite with jacuzzi, daily breakfast buffet and a bottle of champagne at arrival. Tickets and transfer to the Grand Prix at Hockenheimring can be arranged by the concierge. The package is available from 27 to 30. July 2006 and costs 1.300 Euro per room. www.slh.com/diehirschgasse

Arlberg from a bird's eye view: Many guests of the SLH Hotel Kristiania Lech in Austria (www.slh.com/kistiania) arrive by helicopter and enjoy a bird's eye view of the wonderful alpine nature: only 300 metres from the hotel, guests can also find a paragliding field .

View more Small Luxury Hotels with Five Star Alliance.


25th Annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, Maui, Hawaii


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kapalua Wine and Food Festival

As if you needed an excuse to jet to Hawaii. The 25th annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, Hawaii's most prestigious and exciting festival of its kind, kicks off on July 6 with a "Silver Salute" four-day culinary extravaganza. Look no further than this for pure gastronomic bliss. World-renowned winemakers, top master sommeliers, celebrated chefs and industry insiders lead themed tastings, seminars, and gala evening events. Cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars and winemaker dinners are but a few of the highlights of this event. The festivities begin with the Grand Tasting on Friday, July 7th and culminate with the popular Seafood Festival on Sunday, July 9th.


The Grand Reopening of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

National Portrait Gallery

After an extensive renovation, the National Portrait Gallery celebrates its grand reopening July 1 with fourteen new exhibitions. The National Landmark Historic Building that houses the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum now has 30 percent more exhibition space, redesigned galleries, a conservation lab, and an enclosed courtyard. The gallery's 20,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings portray the individuals who have made signature contributions to the history and culture of the US. All exhibitions will open July 1, and include "Americans Now," which showcases individuals prominent in sports, entertainment and other fields in the last 25 years, and "Eye Contact," which will feature masterpieces of 20th century portraiture from the National Portrait Gallery's drawing collections. Folks can even "Adopt-A-Portrait" in celebration of the reopening.

Where to stay in Washington DC? The Hay Adams, of course! Enter our luxury hotel Giveaway for a chance to win two free nights in a Junior Suite in this fabulous DC establishment.