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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.

Pet Pampering at Loews Hotels

March 2, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

Loews Loves Pets Program

If you were watching the NBC Today Show on Wednesday morning, March 1st, you may have seen Mike Leonard's report on Loews Hotels and pet vacations titled "Pamper your pooch with a trip fit for a king". The packages they focused on - "The Hound of Music", "Su'ruff Camp", and "Outward Hound" - aren't available at all of the Loews Hotels, but the "Loews Loves Pets" program has been in place at each and every Loews Hotel since 2000.

As part of the program at the 18 Loews Hotels, each visiting VIP (Very Important Pet) can travel in first-class comfort with gourmet room service, specialized bedding, a pet amenity, and guest services designed to make pets and their owners feel right at home.

Each pet is welcomed with a personal note from the hotel's general manager which includes a listing of pet services available at the hotel including a map of the area with dog-walking routes highlighted, and information on veterinarians, pet shops, groomers, pet attractions, pet-friendly restaurants, and other resources. In the guestroom is a special ...

... amenity that includes special pet place mats with food and water bowls, toys and treats, and a "Do Not Disturb" sign that let housekeeping know that a pet is in the room. Pet walking and pet sitting services are available through the hotels' concierge desks. The latest addition to the Loews Loves Pets program is the "Puppy Pager" service. For the duration of their stay, pet owners are asked for a cell phone number or provided with a pager that enables the hotel staff to contact them immediately in case of emergency.

Don CeSar Pet Program

Finicky felines and hungry canines can choose from their own special room service menu that was designed to provide proper nutrition to help pets deal with travel stress including jet lag and altitude adjustments. The pet room service varies at each hotel and most include items such as roasted salmon and tuna delight for cats and bow wow burgers, chicken and rice and grilled filet for dogs. All menu items and preparations for the room service menu were developed and approved by a licensed veterinarian.

The newest item on the menu is "HERO STARS," gourmet dog biscuits which benefit the American Kennel Club's "DOGNY" Canine Support and Relief Fund for Police Search and Rescue Dog Teams across the country. A tasty and healthy new addition to the Loews Loves Pets offerings, HERO STARS are available for $10 at Loews Hotels in-room mini bars. Beverages include bottled water and milk. Additionally, selections of dry and canned pet foods are available for in-room delivery.

Loews Hotels also loans its guests pet necessities such as dog and cat beds in different sizes, leashes and collars, and pet videos. Kitty litter boxes and litter, pooper-scoopers, and a selection of pet toys (such as rawhide bones, catnip, and scratch poles) are also available for purchase.

Each hotel has established special cleaning procedures for pet stays including the use of HEPA-filtered vacuums so that all traces of pet allergens are removed in preparation for the next guest. Some of the Loews Hotels charge a one-time pet fee, guests should check with the individual properties to determine their policy.

Charlotte St. Martin, executive vice president for marketing for Loews Hotels says - "Pets provide unconditional love and people love their pets unconditionally. At Loews we've found that taking care of pets is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and give our guests—and their companions—a good night's sleep."

She's right.

Loews Hotels, Official Site

Loews Hotels, Five Star Alliance


Miami Seaquarium Re-opens

March 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dolphin Swim Miami Seaquarium

Southern Florida's premier tourist attraction is back. After a large clean-up and renovation in the wake of Hurricane Wilma's wrath, the marine park opened its doors again on February 11. Located in a picture-perfect spot on Biscayne Bay, the Seaquarium offers a host of marine-life shows and exhibits. Sharks and Dolphins and Sea Lions, Oh My!


W Hotels Reopens New Orleans Hotels

March 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W New Orleans French Quarter

You may have missed Mardi Gras, but Jazz Fest is on the horizon. And both W hotels—which had sustained serious wind and water damage from Hurricane Katrina—have recently reopened in time for the best of spring festivals. W French Quarter is contemporary and full of sleek technology—as all W Hotels are—yet plenty romantic and old-world European at the same time. Plus, as its name suggests, it's in the heart of it all in the French Quarter. Its restaurant Bacco is considered one of the best in the city. Hot and hip, the other W New Orleans is equally well-located, a trendy and fashionable hotel that is the home of Rande Gerber's happening bar Whiskey Blue.

W New Orleans, Official Site

W New Orleans, Five Star Alliance

W French Quarter, Official Site

W French Quarter, Five Star Alliance


A New York Landmark - The Carlyle

March 1, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From James McBride, General Manager, The Carlyle

The Carlyle Hotel

The Carlyle Hotel in New York City has a long (by US standards) and varied history - dating back to 1930 where it was considered the "home away from home" for discerning luxury travelers in Manhattan.

Mr. McBride showed us where deep within the hotel's website they offer up 10 Fast (and ultra interesting) Facts. Then at the bottom we've added even more facts that you might be interested in about the Carlyle.

Check them out ...

Fast Facts

- Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter and Reagan have called The Carlyle their “unofficial” New York home.

- Each guest room has a direct telephone line to Sotheby’s, for those who don’t feel like venturing out or wish to place their bids in privacy.

- During the Kennedy administration, owner Robert Dowling always kept the “Kennedy duplex” empty just in case the President decided to come to New York.

- Composer Richard Rodgers was The Carlyle’s first tenant back in 1930.

- The Carlyle is a showcase of great art. Bemelmans bar contains the only surviving public murals of artist/author Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the famed Madeline children’s book series. Additional works by Audubon, Kips, Redoute and Vertes adorn the hotel’s walls creating a veritable gallery environment.

- Diane Ginsberg Jaffe, the daughter of the hotel’s founder, named The Carlyle after British writer Thomas Carlyle.

- The two Jan Weenix murals in the lobby were originally owned by William Randolph Hearst.

- The Carlyle is a virtual catalog of design history, home to the work of some of the world’s most legendary decorators including: Dorothy Draper, Mark Hampton, and Renzo Mongiardino.

- The Carlyle is alive with music; 23 suites have Steinway or Baldwin baby-grand pianos tuned twice a week.

- The Carlyle has been the hotel of choice for Hollywood’s elite since Ingrid Bergman checked in after completing Intermezzo.

Some additional Fun Facts we found ...

- The hotel designed by the architectural firm of Bien & Prince, was completed in 1930. A newspaper account of the time described the design as a "diversified setback style," which provides private terraces for some guest rooms and suites.

- The hotel's first decorator was Dorothy Draper, a mid-20th-century feminist who decorated in the "Empire manner."

- One of the country's foremost decorators, the late Mark Hampton, updated many of the guest rooms with a contemporary interpretation of the understated elegance achieved by Dorothy Draper 70 years ago.

- In 2002, interior designer Thierry Despont restored Bemelmans Bar and the lobby.

- Each room is characteristically unique with such color schemes as Chinese red, burnt orange and celadon. The walls are decorated with Audubon prints, architectural renderings by Piranesi or the English country scenes by Kips.

- The hotel was created by Moses Ginsburg, a Russian emigrant whose wealth was in real estate, the hotel was intended to secure Ginsberg’s position in society.

- Two elegant banquet rooms, decorated by Mark Hampton, are the venues for private parties and functions.

- There have only been five ownerships in its history - currently Philip F. Maritz, President of Maritz-Wolff & Company

- During the hotel's 13-month construction, Wall Street crashed. Knowing he would lose millions, Ginsberg forged on. When the banks foreclosed in 1930, the Carlyle was off to a less than auspicious start, but of course survived.

- Bellman Michael O'Connell, who joined the Carlyle in 1949 fresh out of college and is still on the staff, remembers John Kennedy bidding him farewell the night before the President’s assassination in Dallas in 1963.

- In 1940s, the wealthy tycoon Robert Dowling purchased the Carlyle and, like Ginsberg, saw an opportunity to set the highest standards of innkeeping and establish his own place in New York society. Run like a private club, social references were required to obtain a room or an apartment in the 1950s.

- In 1967, the Carlyle was purchased by real estate entrepreneur Peter Sharp. A native New Yorker whose family owned and operated the Ritz Tower, the Delmonico and the Stanhope (all residential hotels). When Peter Sharp died in 1992, the hotel was run by a board of directors until an appropriate owner could be found.

- Each guest room features an armchair designed by Mark Hampton which is named after his daughter Alexa.

- The Gallery, also known as 'The Living Room', is a favorite among East Side residents, foreign diplomats, politicians and celebrities, it was there that Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn, arriving together by chance, introduced themselves and sat down for a chat.

- The afternoon tea is enhanced by real Devonshire cream flown in from England.

- The 2005 Oscar Goody Bag for celebs included a voucher for the Carlyle.

- In February 2006, the Carlyle announced the opening of the Royal Suite after a redesign.

- In 2006, All Madelines are invited to go to the Manager at Bemelmans Bar and say "Bonjour. My name is Madeline" and they will receive a three-tiered tea, served among the renowned Madeline murals, on fabulous Madeline-inspired linen and china. (more details)

We're sure to be missing even more fun, fast facts about The Carlyle, so visit New York and the hotel to learn even more and then let us know.

The Carlyle, Official Site

The Carlyle, Five Star Alliance


South Beach Spring Special at the Setai, Miami

March 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Setai

The art deco landmark and oceanfront South Beach destination is surrounded by tropical gardens and turquoise pools overlooking the Atlantic. Originally built in the 1930's as the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, Adrian Zecha's Setai opened to much fanfare in 2005. In the hot South Beach scene, The Setai stands out for its intimacy, impeccable service, and elegant Asian touches. 75 guestrooms and 50 suites are detailed with exquisite amenities: espresso machines, in-room bars, Bose surround-sound DVD/CD systems, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, luxurious bath amenities, and flat screen LCD and plasma TVs. Enjoy a deep therapeutic massage at the luxurious spa overlooking the sand and sea, and then savor the gastronomic delights at the Crustacean restaurant. With the South Beach Spring Special, take advantage of special rates starting at $675.

The Setai, Official Site

The Setai, Five Star Alliance


Welcoming Maui’s Newest Luxury Addition: Wailea Beach Villas

February 28, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maui

With white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and lush, green landscapes, Maui has always appealed as a picture-perfect paradise and renowned destination for honeymooners and families alike. Thus we've been eagerly anticipating the April opening of the Wailea Beach Villas: its elegant private residences offering the intimacy of private homes, but with all the facilities and amenities of a grand resort. Daily housekeeping, concierge assistance, swimming pools, and a spectacular beachfront location overlooking the West Maui mountains. The villas are stocked with fine linens, signature bath amenities, and fabulous gourmet kitchens. And of course the island paradise offers a bounty of activities: scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, boating, kayaking, surfing, fishing, horseback riding, jeep and helicopter tours.

The only complaint? In a tropical island paradise like Maui, is a gated community-- touting serious 24 hour security and surveillance-- absolutely necessary?


Escape Overnight in the NEW Premium Guestroom at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver, Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics

February 28, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Kostas Christopoulos and Don MacCorquodale, Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver

Sutton Place Guest Room

So you just finished watching the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy and you are thinking forward four years to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games (good for you thinking ahead). The Vancouver Organizing Committee announced that "in association with the regional tourism associations and hotel associations, thay are in the early stages of an accommodation plan for spectators that will be traveling to Vancouver and Whistler for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. More information on how and when reservations can be booked will be available in late 2006." So before then, we recommend you take a trip to Vancouver and visit the luxury hotels that will be the first to fill up and experience the awesome city of Vancouver to understand why it was chosen for the Games. Our favorite? The Sutton Place Hotel with 46 Executive and Grand bedroom suites in addition to the luxurious 350 guestrooms.

Check out the detals of the Sutton Place five million dollar renovation and new premium guestrooms from Mr. Christopoulos and Mr. MacCorquodale at the hotel below ...

Don't just "stay" overnight ...

Escape overnight in the NEW Premium Guestroom

Guests that reserve a Premium Guestroom at The Sutton Place Hotel, experience a stay unlike any other. Located at the top of the world, the 21st floor at The AAA Five Diamond rated Sutton Place Hotel - Premium Guestrooms offer a combination of luxury and European style, all set against a majestic backdrop of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

In addition to the already stunning five million dollar renovation on all guestroom floors, our "Premium" guestrooms offer travellers breathtaking cityscape or mountain views and the total body experience in our new signature Serenity Sleeper Bed which has a delicate feather and cotton down comforter, twill weaved, 250 thread count, and the finest natural cotton sheets. Each Premium Guestroom also features a full Entertainment Center with Flat Screen Television, our Rain Showerhead for a shower that will invigorate your senses and Gilchrist & Soames London Collection amenities.

The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver, Official Site

The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver, Five Star Alliance


Apres Ski at the Remede Spa, St. Regis Resort, Aspen

February 25, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Remede Spa

The ultimate in pampering for the discerning traveler. The flagship of the global spa brand developed for St. Regis, the 15,000 sq ft Remede Spa is the premier spa in Aspen, oozing luxury, decadence and sophistication. The comprehensive spa menu boasts customized massage, facial and body treatments, based on the skincare of Laboratoire Remede. The Spa features 15 treatment rooms including a couples room and Vichy room, men and women's locker facilities, including steam room, vapor caves and whirlpool, the Confluence room with invigorating warm and cold waterfalls, and a Movement Studio. Indulgent amenities include chilled champagne, Jacques Torres truffles and Kashwere throws. Feeling the effects of this high-altitude destination? Head to the Oxygen Lounge, relax in a chaise and take a hit from the plentiful oxygen tanks.

St. Regis Resort, Aspen, Official Site

St. Regis Resort, Aspen, Five Star Alliance


Beat the Winter Blues at the Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia

February 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Clifton Inn

From tragedy to renaissance. The historic Clifton Inn, one of only 44 prestigious Relais and Chateaux properties in the United States, has re-emerged in all its glory after a devastating fire two years ago that killed two guests. The tragedy and heartache of that event-- and the lawsuits and settlements that followed—no longer linger over the historic 1799 property, built by Thomas Mann Randolph, the son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson and once governor of Virginia. Renovations are remarkable. Rooms in the main house are beautifully furnished with antiques, equipped with up-to-the-minute technology, and state-of-the-art bathrooms feature Waterworks fixtures and spa jet showers. Views from the newly renovated main house overlook Monticello Mountain, the pool's cascading waterfalls, the beautifully sloping lawns and flowering gardens. The garden rooms, reminiscent of a private cottage, feature exposed ceiling beams and more unique antiques.

Take advantage of this special offer, designed to beat the winter blues. From now until March 31, these luxurious accommodations-- with breakfast and daily afternoon tea included-- are only $225 a night. Valid Sunday-Thursday.

Related Articles:

The Washington Post, "The Comeback Inn"


Upscale Dining in Las Vegas: Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in the MGM Grand

February 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Joel Robuchon

Upscale Vegas dining at its finest. Brought to you by the legendary Joel Robuchon, whose phenomenal Paris restaurant earned the highest honor from Michelin (three stars) in a mere three years, the fastest of any chef on earth. Named "Chef of the Century" by French guidebook Gault Millau, Robuchon has created an epic, gastronomique restaurant sure to delight the senses in a once-in-a-lifetime dining extravaganza. Indeed, the tempting 16-course menu is stacked with heavenly delights. Ready to start salivating? How about a fresh scallop cooked in its shell with a lemon and seaweed butter, duck foie gras and spring vegetables in a green cabbage ravioli, sea urchin flan flavored with fennel, or Brittany lobster under a disappearing saffron hostie in a seafood bouillon... Reservations are highly recommended-- book ahead. After all, there is only one seating of 60 for dinner. Priced at $275 per person.