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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.

Gadgets on the Go: the Coolest Little Digital Camera, Nikon Coolpix P1

February 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nikon Coolpix P1

This marvelous Nikon has built-in WiFi Connectivity to transmit pix wirelessly to your computer. And a super-long battery life means you can take 180 images (just keep clicking away—don't bother erasing!) with the rechargeable battery. Other features we love? A sweet optical zoom, large 2.5 inch display screen, and a whopping eight megapixels. $549 ($399 at Nikon online).


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.


Spotlight On: Four Seasons Hong Kong

February 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hong Kong

The new Four Seasons is the shining star of the prestigious International Finance Centre, the awesome business and shopping complex located on the waterfront of the Central neighborhood. This is easily the top location on Hong Kong Island, with unrivalled links to Hong Kong Station, and the Star Ferry just steps away. Described by the IHT as the "first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years," the Four Seasons Hong Kong opened its sleek, modern doors in September. Its 399 spacious guestrooms—with wall-to-wall windows offering views of the Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak—are well-equipped with the latest in technology, including 42-inch plasma screen TVs. Additionally, there are five excellent restaurants and bars, a fully-equipped health club, and an incredible, 2,043 sq meter spa with 18 treatment rooms including two VIP suites. The outdoor infinity pools, heated in winter, offer a pool-deck whirlpool and sweeping harbor views.

Related Articles:

IHT, "Hotel Watch: A Rare New Hotel in Hong Kong"

Four Seasons Hong Kong, Official Site

Four Seasons Hong Kong, Five Star Alliance


Check Out: the Expedition Everest at Disney World

February 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Expedition Everest

The craggy, mysterious Himalayas, or some faux fantasy from Disney? Looks like the real deal to me. Snowcapped peaks, colorful Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the wind, a monastery, Everest base camp, and real, imported flora and fauna. Disney's just-completed Expedition-Everest: Mission Himalayas promises to be as educational as it is action-packed. After all, the Disney creatives partnered with Conservation International and Discovery Networks and sent a scientific, exploratory mission to the Himalayas:

The team searched for new plants and animals not yet discovered in the eastern Himalayan region from China to Nepal, one of the most botanically rich temperate regions in the world with an estimated 12,000 plant species, including 3,500 found nowhere else.

Opening this April, the newest attraction takes riders to an encounter with the scary and mythical Yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman, after "trekking" into a remote Himalayan village and "exploring" local artifacts. Who cares about the lines? I'm so there.


Roast American Rack of Lamb Recipe from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York

February 23, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

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

Regency Lamb

Following the success of the Penne with Vodka Sauce Recipe - The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City, has sent us their recipe for Roast American Rack of Lamb. Worried about making it yourself? You can always visit The Regency and try it - they have three restaurants to check out.

See the recipe below:

Roast American Rack Of Lamb with Spinach & Brie Potato Cake, Red Wine Jus

1 ea. Frenched Rack of Lamb

1 ea garlic clove(minced)

1 ea tomato (chopped)

1 ea shallot (chopped

1 cup Idaho Potato(shredded)

1/2 cup brie cheese(diced)

1/2 cup baby spinach

Baby Vegetables --blanched

1/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt black pepper

1 cup brown gravy

1/4 cup mint jelly

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 stick unsalted butter

Method

Rack of Lamb

Heat sautee pan with 1/2 the olive oil. Once hot sear rack of lamb on both sides until brown -approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Finish in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrrees.

Potato Cake

In small omellete pan heat olive oil until hot. In seperate bowl mix potato ,tomato, onions, brie, spinach and salt & pepper. Mix well. Add to hot pan and cook until crisp on both sides approximately 6-8 minutes or until brown. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Mint Jus

Bring brown gravy to boil in saucepan. Add chopped mint, mint jelly and butter. Bring to simmer and serve with warm cut lamb chops.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance


Editorial Advisory Board Member James McBride Promoted to Regional Vice President for Rosewood Hotels

February 23, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From James McBridge, Managing Director of The Carlyle and Regional Vice President, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

James McBride Rosewood

James McBride has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board since the beginning, and we are proud to see that all of his hard work at The Carlyle in New York City has been rewarded with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts promoting him to Regional Vice President. Part of the new position (including staying at the Carlyle) is overseeing the operations of the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, which Rosewood only recently started managing in October 2005.

Read the full press-release below

Rosewood Appoints James McBride as Regional Vice President

Jan. 31, 2006

DALLAS - Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the premier manager of ultra-luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world, is pleased to announce that James McBride has been promoted to Regional Vice President, effective immediately. McBride will be responsible for overseeing the operations of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel in New York City; Inn of the Anasazi, A Rosewood Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Little Dix Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Virgin Gorda.

McBride is a veteran hotelier who joined The Carlyle as Managing Director in 2003. During his tenure at The Carlyle, the hotel has consistently been ranked in Travel + Leisure's Greatest Hotels In The World list, while maintaining its legendary reputation as one of the best hotels in New York City, and also the United States. In addition to his successful leadership at The Carlyle, McBride played an instrumental role in the recent transition of the celebrated Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe.

McBride came to The Carlyle and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts from The Grosvenor House in London where, as General Manager, he was recruited to reposition this landmark hotel after an extensive renovation. A native of South Africa, McBride received his Diploma in Hotel Management before moving to America to further his education at Cornell University. He then joined The Ritz Carlton Group, working for the company throughout the world starting in Boston followed by San Francisco, Hawaii, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and most recently, Washington D.C.

"Mr. McBride has been an incredible asset to The Carlyle and a great asset to the Rosewood team. We are very excited about this new appointment as it supports and strengthens the Rosewood team during this important stage of our company's development," stated Robert Boulogne, COO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

In his new role as Regional Vice President, McBride will handle regional responsibility over Little Dix Bay and Inn of the Anasazi as well as The Carlyle where he will remain as Managing Director. As Rosewood Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its portfolio and brand worldwide, McBride's tasks will include support of all aspects of hotel operations, including food and beverage, property management and sales and marketing.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts manages properties worldwide including The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, The Carlyle in New York, CordeValle in San Martin, California, Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, Hotel Seiyo Ginza in Tokyo, Japan, and a triumvirate of world-class Caribbean properties - Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda, Caneel Bay on St. John and Jumby Bay on Antigua.

We wish him luck!

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Official Site

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Five Star Alliance


Seven Days in Paradise: The Bali Experience at Amanresorts

February 22, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanresorts Bali

Why limit yourself to just one luxury hotel in Bali? Amanresorts has designed a genius way to experience all that Bali has to offer—from the diversity and cultural spirit to the geographical enchantment of this island paradise—with a seven-day package that can be spread out between any and all of their three Balinese resorts. What could be more perfect for honeymooners?

Amandari: The best of Bali's hill country, perched high above the Ayung River gorge overlooking terraced rice fields, is designed as a walled Balinese village of 30 luxurious suites.

Amankila: Cliff-side beach resort with panoramic coastline views offers a three-level swimming pool, private beach with expansive Beach Club pool, and thatched beachside houses—surrounded by traditional villages.

Amanusa: Located on Bali's southern peninsula overlooking the Indian Ocean, the resort boasts 35 thatched-roof suites surrounded by a bougainvillea-covered hillside. The fairways of the Bali Golf and Country Club lie just below the resort, while Amanusa's own Beach Club--10 bales each with plush mattresses and roll cushions-- is set on one of Nusa Dua's top surf and swim beaches.

The deets of the Aman Bali Experience? The unique settings of each of these resorts can be enjoyed in a seven night offer with guests' choice of stay between a minimum of two of these listed Amanresorts. Until March 31, rates start at $3,850 for a suite. From April 1- March 31, 2007, rates start at $4,025 for a suite. (Based on seven nights' double occupancy.) Included in the offer are airport and inter-hotel transfers and one specially tailored activity per day, chosen by each resort's manager.


Chill Out Before You Go Out at The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments in London With The Girls Night Out

February 22, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Jonathan Critchard, General Manager and Stephen Fox, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments

Regency Lamb

You and your girlfriends are visiting London for the theatre, a night out on the town, or just to get away from everday life, the Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments is the place to stay for a feeling of tranquillity in the heart of London. And best of all? They have a package just for the "girls" which provides the epitome of pre-party pampering. And for that post-party snack? They have 24-hour room service and an inclusive English breakfast.

Plus, if you are visiting on a Wednesday evening, you can look forward to an informal cocktail gathering at 5:30pm in the Penthouse.

See the The Girls Night Out package below ...

Chill Out Before You Go Out

Most hotels want their guests to stay in. We help you to go out with the ultimate in pre-party pampering - "Girls Night Out". This is the ultimate way to start a night out in London - Cinderella could not have wished for more ...

The fun starts straight away, as you check into a stylish apartment. From thereon, indulgence is the key: a relaxing facial, is followed by a conditioning treatment and blow-dry, whilst sipping tea and coffee and nibbling elegant home-made girly patisseries. Once the top-to-toe beautification is complete, champagne and canapes ease the way into the evening, as the party clothes go on. The next morning, a serious rundown of the night before is fuelled by a scrumptious English breakfast, served in the apartment, or the restaurant if you feel up to moving.

The Athenaeum Girl's Night Out includes:

* One night's accommodation in a private Apartment for four people

* A Facial, Conditioning Hair Treatment and Blow dry - available in room or in the Spa

* Tea, coffee and Cakes whilst having the treatments

* A bottle of Champagne with canapes served in the apartment

* English Breakfast for four

Also be sure to check out Solo Women Travelers Trends if your traveling alone ...

The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Official Site

The Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments, Five Star Alliance


New Winter Developments from Half Moon in Rose Hall Montego Bay, Jamaica

February 22, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Marcia McLaughlin, Public Relations Manager, Half Moon

Apart from the huge $2million dollar renovation of the Half Moon Golf Course (it is dubbed "one of the best walking courses in the Caribbean") which now boasts improved features for both the avid and casual golfer, Half Moon has two other winter developments.

#1. American Airlines now has non-stop service from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Montego Bay (cutting back even more on your excuses for not visiting).

American Airlines has launched its new non-stop service from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Montego Bay four times weekly; the service offers easy connections from the West Coast and feeder cities such as Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and more. This service now makes weekend getaways easier today than ever before and is just one of many ways vacation seekers across the globe can get to Montego Bay. More flight schedules to Montego Bay.

Half Moon Kids

#2. Anancy Children's Village - themed after Jamaica’s fabled children’s character Anancy the Spider.

Anancy Children's Village

Children visiting the resort will enjoy the charming new Anancy Children's Village. Borrowing from the witty spider made famous in Jamaican folklore, the new children's play area has been modeled around a village concept with buildings ablaze with a mosaic of brightly coloured hues guaranteed to enlighten the senses of young visitors. Find Out More.

The Anancy Children’s Village at Half Moon includes shaded play areas, activity rooms, a wading pool, sand box, expansive outdoor play area with each activity supervised by a well-trained coordinator.

A note to remember about Anancy's - they accept "only children that are fully potty trained aged 3 - 12. Families with children who are not potty trained can take advantage of our Nanny service and have nannies escort children to the Anancy Children’s Village."

Have kids older then 12? Don't worry, there is also plenty for older children too including tennis clinics, volleyball, nature walks, golf, squash, horseback riding and water sports galore.

Half Moon, Official Site

Half Moon, Five Star Alliance


San Diego Hotspots: Hotel Solamar, Jsix Restaurant, and Jbar

February 22, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Solamar San Diego

Kimpton, of course, is the mastermind hotelier behind this delightfully quirky, luxurious and fun hotel hotspot in the heart of San Diego's happening Gaslamp district. Decorated in vibrant pink and green tones, energetic and modern furnishings, and a very pretty clientele, the Hotel Solamar also stocks its minibars with fun and original amenities like flip-flops and art supplies. Jbar, located on the 4th floor rooftop deck of the hotel, has become a trendy urban oasis complete with fire pits, poolside cabanas and awesome views of downtown San Diego and the bay. In an exotic setting, Jsix restaurant specializes in Coastal California cuisine, with a menu showcasing innovative, regional flavors inspired by the region's Baja coastline.

Hotel Solamar, Official Site

Hotel Solamar, Five Star Alliance