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.

E-Scape to South Africa with Twelve Apostles Hotel and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and SpaNow is the time to get a dose of some African sunshine. The award-winning Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town's finest, has partnered with the legendary Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve to create the perfect South African adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy the gorgeous sea-scape of Cape Town, the wine-scapes of the Bouchard Finlayson vineyard, and the remote land-scapes surrounding the luxurious wilderness retreat of Bushmans Kloof. The five-star journey begins at the very tip of South Africa with three nights of indulgence at The Twelve Apostles. In addition to the lavish accommodations and renowned service, you'll experience a special chef's tasting Fynbos menu at Azure Restaurant, a specialized spa treatment using indigenous healing aromatherapy, a trip to the top of Cape Town's famed Table Mountain, a visit to District 6, one of the most famous segregated areas under apartheid and now a museum, and a visit to a local arts and crafts village market managed by underprivileged women.

Before heading to the magical wilderness area at Bushmans Kloof, you'll take a day-trip by chauffeur-driven car to the Bouchard Finlayson Vineyard for a tour and tasting of the complete range of wines. When you stop for lunch at one of the town's best seafood restaurants, you'll enjoy a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson white wine.

Next stop: the luxurious eco-resort at Bushmans Kloof, a member of Relais & Chateaux, situated 270 kilometers from Cape Town in an extraordinary Natural Heritage Site. Surrounded by the grandeur of this dramatic landscape, you'll enjoy 3 nights in a deluxe room, 4 meals a day, including High Tea, dinner in a unique location each night (even outdoors under the stars in a natural sandstone amphitheater), early morning Rock Art excursions, evening nature drive with drinks and snacks at sundown, and 1 specialized spa treatment per person. Also includes all lodge activities, like canoeing and archery. The E-Scape package is valid until December 19, 2008.


Easter Delight in Singapore at The Fullerton


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Fullerton, SingaporeWhat could be more blissful than an Easter getaway to Singapore at the city's landmark hotel, The Fullerton? The accolades are impressive: The Fullerton was chosen as the Best Hotel in Singapore in Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List 2007, voted the Best Hotel in Asia in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards 2006, and named One of the World's Top 100 Hotels in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards 2007. The "Easter Delight" package, available from March 20-24, 2008, includes luxurious accommodations, a classic Afternoon Tea for two in The Courtyard, buffet breakfast at Town Restaurant, complimentary Easter goodies, and late check-out until 3 p.m. Priced at S$368 per night.

Don't miss a meal at Jade, where contemporary Chinese specialties are served in an elegant setting.


Buzzworthy: InterContinental San Francisco Opens its Doors


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental San FranciscoThe City by the Bay just got a new luxury addition. Joining sister property InterContinental Mark Hopkins, the 550-room InterContinental San Francisco is located in SF's South of Market area (SOMA) on the corner of Howard and Fifth streets right next to the Moscone West Convention Center. You can't miss the translucent glass high-rise of 32 storeys towering over the city skyline. Choose a suite on the top floor of the hotel and gape at the breathtaking views. Though you'll find incredible views from any room in the house-- as they're all outfitted with floor to ceiling windows. Guest rooms are appointed with comfortable contemporary décor and cutting edge technology including iPod clock radios, multiple phone lines, and 42 inch Plasma TVs. The signature restaurant, Luce, serves Italian cuisine with a California twist. Created in partnership with Michael Mondavi, son of local viticulture pioneer Robert Mondavi, the restaurant is a wine-lover's dream. The 8,000 square-foot spa and health club, I-Spa, offers an indoor lap pool, spacious terraces, and 24-hour fitness center with free weights, cardio, and resistance equipment. Plus, the InterContinental San Francisco boasts 43,000 square feet of dedicated meeting and function space. The debut of InterContinental's new San Francisco hotel is indicative of the enormous growth of the luxury hotel brand. By the end of 2008, there will be five more InterContinental Hotels and Resorts in the American West-- from Monterey Bay, CA to Paradise Valley, AZ.


Buy One Night, Get the Second Night Free at The Arrabelle at Vail Square


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Arrabelle at Vail SquareSince the resort's opening this winter, there's been lots of buzz about The Arrabelle at Vail Square. Just steps from Vail's Eagle Bahn gondola, the luxury resort ups the ante for the region's luxury resorts. The 36 guest rooms are lavish, averaging 500 square feet each, and come with in-room martini bars, fireplaces and five-piece baths. Designed to reflect the ambiance of the European Alps, the resort has an après ski scene to match: with a grand lobby with bar and fireplace, rooftop pools, and an après ski deck. Guests are pampered with their very own personal concierge services (plus ski and book valet and storage). Take advantage of a special offer, "Buy One, Get One," from now until March 13, 2008. When you stay Sunday-Thursday at The Arrabelle at Vail Square, you'll get a complimentary second night stay when you buy one night. Rates starting from $425.

Note: The RockResorts Spa, fitness center, pool and hot tubs at The Arrabelle at Vail Square should open this weekend.


Business or Pleasure at the InterContinental Grand Mumbai


By: Madelyn Giblin

InterContinental Grand MumbaiIntercontinental The Grand Mumbai offers an exotic stay in culturally-rich India. Located close to the international airport and a few minutes drive from Mumbai, the area offers plenty of activities to do during your vacation. Some activities include visits to the Elephant Caves, shopping, and the fairgrounds close by. The Grand Mumbai offers seven floors of luxurious guest rooms complete with kitchenette, mini bar and complimentary buffet breakfast. The hotel also offers amenities such as an outdoor pool, sauna, and whirlpool. There is also a babysitting service if you need to get away and take some personal time. The Grand Mumbai is also an excellent place for your next business conference with several exquisitely decorated conference rooms and a fantastic ballroom for business receptions or other formal events. Intercontinental The Grand Mumbai is the perfect place for your next vacation or next business trip.


Relaxation and Culture at Villa Spalletti Trivelli in Rome


By: Madelyn Giblin

Relaxation and Culture at Villa Spalletti Trivelli in RomeFor a fully enlightening and personal experience in Rome, enjoy the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's "Relaxation and Culture Discovering Rome" package. This special offers a three-night stay in one of the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's luxurious Deluxe Double Rooms complete with a welcome gift, fruit and cheese gift awaiting you in your room upon arrival and daily newspaper. The package also includes a three-hour guided personalized tour of Rome designed to your interests in a chauffeur-driven car throughout the city.

In addition, guests are treated to a one-hour personal spa treatment of their choice, and are provided with two admission tickets into a museum in Rome, as well as the "Tea for Two" in the Sala de Camino. The Villa Spalletti Trivelli also offers full complimentary access to Hammam/Engery Bar, Turkish Baths, Tepidarium, and Gym and Relax Room. Enjoy this personal comprehensive experience of the Eternal City, rates start at € 2.800,00.


Historic AAA Five Diamond Luxury with the Langham Hotel Pasadena


By: Courtney W. May

Langham HuntingtonThe Ritz Carlton Huntington in Pasadena, California used to be an icon in the region. As of January 2008, luxury travelers will now get to experience this AAA Five Diamond historic retreat as The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena. Just nine miles north of Los Angeles, renowned for its near-perfect climate, magnificent mountain views, museums, nearby golf courses, relaxing spa retreat, luxury bungalow resorts, shopping, outdoor activities and more - the Langham Hotel Huntington is set on 23 acres overlooking San Marino. Throughout 2008 enjoy Advance Purchase Specials by booking 10 or 28 days in advance. Langham Treat rates are discounted by booking 10 days in advance, and the Enticing Langham rates take $30 per night off the best rate by booking 28 days in advance.


Luxury Hiking and Biking Tours in South America with AuroraEco


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort CarmeloDiscover the scenic destinations of South America-- Uruguay's colonial cities on the banks of La Plata River and upscale Punta Del Este, Mendoza wine country, Patagonia, Brazil's Bahia beaches, the glacial lakes of Argentina-- with top-tier trips offered by AuroraEco. Distinguished by the quality and attention of their expert guides (one guide for every four people), AuroraEco chooses only the very finest restaurants and accommodations for each meticulously-researched tour. Luxury accommodations include the breathtaking Hotel Llao Llao in spectacular northwest Patagonia, the Four Seasons Carmelo on the Rio de la Plata, and Relais & Chateaux properties. Trips average 16 miles a day (biking) and 6 miles a day (walking).


What’s Hot: qualia, Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

qualia resortA new resort is making waves in the Whitsundays on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Just a stone's throw off the Queensland coast, qualia, pronounced kwah-lee-ah, is described as a "unique Australian expression of world-class luxury." And the Sydney Morning Herald, present at the resort's launch in late 2007, couldn't agree more, praising qualia as a "coming-of-age for Australian resorts." Situated on the secluded northernmost tip of Hamilton Island, qualia puts the stunning wonders of the Reef at your doorstep. With kayaking, diving, seaplane flights, fishing, and bushwalking, thrill-seekers will find heaven on earth. At this adults-only resort, everything has been meticulously anticipated to provide the ultimate pampering experience. Surrounded by native Eucalyptus, the resort's 60 one-bedroom pavilions were handcrafted from the finest timber and stone. Choose either the Leeward or Seaward pavilions, outfitted with sundecks and private infinity-edge plunge pools, or the exclusive Beach House. What's more: Accommodations include all on-island transfers, meals in both restaurants, non-alcoholic beverages, plus access to your own two-seater electric golf buggy to explore the island. Get ready to get spoiled.


Edible Easter at the Mandarin Oriental New York


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental New YorkCelebrate Spring with an "Easter Escape" in Manhattan that includes a complimentary upgrade, daily continental breakfast for two, and a Vitamin Infusion in the hotel's five-star spa. As we've raved before, Mandarin Oriental is the ideal choice for luxury accommodation when traveling with 3+ in the city... plus it's just steps away from Central Park and the city's finest shopping, museums, and theater. The "Easter Escape" package is priced from $1,650 in a Premier Hudson River View Room and is available March 16- 31, 2008. Kids will go gaga over the Lobby Lounge's Easter Chocolate Workshop led by the famous chocolatier, Jacques Torres on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. The "Edible Easter" Package includes accommodations for the family (one night in a Corner Hudson River View Room with an adjoining Superior Double Room for $1,750) and complimentary breakfast for up to four people.

P.S. Nothing beats a carriage ride around Central Park when the flowers are in bloom.