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.

Afternoon Tea at the Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Windsor Arms tea roomSince 1927, the Windsor Arms Hotel has been a favorite hideaway for celebs and discerning international clientele looking for discreet, personalized service and utterly luxurious guest rooms in Toronto. Ideally located in the city's vibrant Yorkville district, this contemporary boutique hotel has a Darphin spa (one of a kind in North America) with a magnificent pool. Taking tea at the Windsor Arms has long been an afternoon tradition, an elegant indulgence. The High Tea is an absolute must. Enjoy a welcoming flute of sparkling wine or a glass of sherry as you settle into one of the plush seats or comfy sofa. Indulge in dainty sandwiches featuring the likes of baby greens with asparagus, cucumber salsa, and chive cream cheese-- or you might choose from such delicacies as goat cheese and caramelized shallot tart. Finally, give into a seductive selection of pastries and sweets, each hand-crafted. Traditional tea is served every afternoon at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. Twilight Tea is served Thursday - Sunday at 5:30 pm. Psst. The hotel offers an "Afternoon Tea" package which includes overnight accommodation in a Yorkville Suite, afternoon tea with a glass of sherry or white port and continental breakfast served in the tea room.


Summer Deals Galore: One and Only Maldives, Sanctuary on Camelback, Jamaica Inn, and more!


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Reethi Rah, MaldivesThe falling dollar soured your mood? Don't let it deter your summer travel plans. There are deals to be had out there-- from the Maldives to Scottsdale. Thanks to the LA Times Travel and Deal Blog for pointing out this fab compilation of bargains at hotels worldwide. Looking for some sun and sand? You can get 20 percent off with the "Fall for Jamaica Inn" package at the elegant Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Or how about an exotic escape? Score a savings of 48 percent in the Maldives at the exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah. A weekend getaway Stateside? Get a fourth night free from the fabled Virginia resort, The Homestead, with the "Hot Springs Holiday" package. You can also get 20 percent off at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain with the "Sonoran Sanctuary" package, which includes spa treatments. A European getaway? How does 20 percent off sound- at Edinburgh's finest hotel: Rocco Forte's The Balmoral? Choose the "Scotland Summer Spa" package and get three nights in a Classic room with an automatic upgrade to an Executive room based upon availability; full Scottish breakfast; and unlimited use of the spa, including the sauna, relaxation suite, yoga and pilates classes.


Baur au Lac, Zurich’s Most Luxurious Hotel, Plans Makeover


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baur au Lac, ZurichFor over 160 years, Baur au Lac has been the top address in Zurich, playing host to royalty and international celebrities. Notably, Baur au Lac is one of the few hotels in the world owned by the same family for six generations. Set in its own park on the shore of Lake Zurich just a short walk from the Paradeplatz, the hotel is celebrated for its elegant rooms, unequalled hospitality, and stellar restaurants. And now, this luxurious haven, one of the founding members of the Leading Hotels of the World, is getting a facelift in mid-July. Throughout its history, Baur au Lac has stayed ahead of the game by anticipating the needs of its international clientele and updating and modernizing the hotel accordingly. What's in store with the planned CHF 40 million renovation? 25 rooms will be converted to create 15 new suites and junior suites on the lakefront and canal facing side of the hotel. All rooms are slated for completion in spring 2009, and the hotel will be kept open at the hotel with inconveniences to guests kept at an absolute minimum. The gourmet restaurant Le Pavillon and the summer favorite La Terrasse will be redesigned by the famed restaurant and hotel architect, Pierre-Yves Rochon, starting in October. (He’'s the man behind the George V in Paris and a few of the Michelin-starred Joel Robuchon restaurants).


Limited Time Promotional Rates at Keswick Hall, Charlottesville


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Keswick HallVirginia's rolling Piedmont is home to a magnificent country estate called Keswick Hall. Managed by Orient-Express, this decadent hideaway epitomizes the best of the "good life." Overlooking the Blue Ridge foothills not far from Thomas Jefferson's historic Monticello estate outside Charlottesville, Keswick Hall offers a horizon edge pool, Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, spa, gym, outstanding restaurant, and myriad country pursuits. This summer, take advantage of the "Ultimate Break" special offer and you can get the resort's best promotional rates-- starting at $225 in a Signature Room (or $195 in a Hall Guestroom). Available Sunday to Thursday, July 1- September 15, 2008.


Summer Sales in Florence, Italy at Rocco Forte’s Hotel Savoy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Savoy, FlorenceLocation, location, location. The five-star Hotel Savoy has an unbeatable address in the heart of Florence, not far from the famous Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. The stylish hotel offers 88 rooms and 14 suites appointed with carefully chosen ceramics, artworks and fabrics. You'll find beautiful mosaics in the marble bathrooms. Brimming with luxury and style, Rocco Forte's Hotel Savoy promises impeccable service (how about guaranteed tix to the Uffizi?) and the highest standards of cuisine at L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant where you can dine alfresco on the piazza. Hotel Savoy has put together a special summertime package for when the Summer Sales start on July 14, 2008. They run until the first week of September, and this is your chance to secure some great bargains at the most fashionable boutiques. Starting from EUR 315 in a Classic Double room, the offer includes Daily Buffet Breakfast, a welcome gift by a renowned Italian designer in the room, and an after shopping aperitif at the fashionable L'Incontro Bar.


Raffles Dubai: Best Hotels in Glitzy Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles DubaiLooking for an over-the-top getaway in the heart of Dubai? Look no further than Raffles Dubai, the stunning 19-storey pyramid that has become a landmark on the city's skyline since its debut at the end of 2007. Easily one of the hottest hotel openings of the year, Raffles Dubai has it all: an extraordinary location in Wafi City, Dubai's ultra-exclusive lifestyle complex (read: shopping like you've never experienced), blissful pampering at the RafflesAmrita Spa, the one-hectare 'Raffles Botanical Garden', depicting the four 'Elements of Life' (earth, wind, fire and water). Don't miss Khan Murjan in Wafi City, a recreation of a 14th century souk where artisans and craftsmen display stunning gold products. Luxury abounds at Raffles Dubai, but for the ultimate indulgence, book the Royal Suite, a palatial 650 square meters of sheer opulence. You'll enjoy two separate "his and her" en-suite bathrooms, a huge master bedroom with four-poster bed, an elegant dining room, featuring a separate kitchenette with a discreet access for butlers, and an entertaining room with a gentlemen's bar. The best part of all? A terrace boasting sweeping views over Dubai.


Special Opening Rates at The Regent Bal Harbour, Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Regent Bal HarbourCheck in to unrivaled luxury in the affluent enclave of Bal Harbour Village and score special seasonal rates at Regent's new flagship in the Americas. This ultra-luxury hotel-- the first to open in Bal Harbour Village in 50 years-- entices guests with privacy and exclusivity, the likes of which the area has rarely seen. Just 15 minutes from Miami's airport and a hop from the world-renowned designer shops at Bal Harbour, The Regent Bal Harbour boasts dramatic ocean views from each of its 124 guest rooms and bathrooms, never more than two guest rooms per floor; a $4 million, privately-commissioned art collection with works by established and emerging American artists; the first Guerlain Spa in North America, standing at 10,000 square-feet; as well as the signature 1 Bleu restaurant. Above all, The Regent is getting rave reviews for its highly personalized and anticipatory service. Experience The Regent Bal Harbour and enjoy The Regent Opening Rates starting at $375 per night on weekdays and $425 per night on weekends May 1 – September 30, 2008, including superior accommodations for two and breakfast in 1 Bleu. Considering that rack rates start at $750 per night, this is a hot deal.


A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore Hotel


By: Guest Writer

A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore HotelFrom Victoria Winters

This past April I attended my girlfriend's bachelorette party in Miami, and naturally we stayed in South Beach. I had been to South Beach once before (for a the World Adult Kickball Competition I was in ... I kid you not), but was looking forward to a more upscale and relaxing vacation this time around with just the girls. We booked 2 rooms (414 and 416 at around $500 total per room) at The Sagamore Hotel for 8 women, each room was equipped with two double beds and a pull out couch. We arrived on a Thursday and stayed through Sunday.

Known as "The Art Hotel" I have to begin with the hilarious art work in the lobby. My friend and I probably spent the first 30 minutes at The Sagamore looking at photos upon photos of naked people.A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore Hotel Don't get me wrong this is tastefully done, but you would be amazed by how many people stripped down to their birthday suits for these photos….good way to avoid tan lines, I guess! Throughout the hotel (hallways, bathrooms, elevators…etc) you will constantly be engaging in new art mediums which makes for a really cool and interesting stay to say the least.

Besides staring at nudes... I also managed to experience the hotel restaurant, Social; lounge by the pool (and eat and drink poolside); go for a run at the gym; and take in some rays at the beach. The following is a list of pros and cons from my experience with the girls:

Pros:

    Excellent location (close to Lincoln Ave and all the hot night spots)

    Nice size suites (heard they are larger than the Delano)

    Excellent beds and comfortable bedding

    Pull out couch in each room

    Large L-shaped couches in rooms great for large groups and entertaining

    ipod docking station in each room with great speakers

    Separate toilet from bathroom

    Refrigerator with a good size freezer

    Excellent kitchen space for entertaining

    Excellent service all around

    Relaxing pool environment, not a pool “scene”

    Poolside bar & grill serves great drinks and food

    Private/designated beach area for guests

    Beach chairs (2 per room, additional chairs $15) and umbrella (1 per room)

    Interesting artwork throughout the hotel

Cons:

    Darks halls

    Single and shallow pool

    Odd layout of furniture in the rooms

    Weak hairdryers, if traveling with 2 or more women bring an extra

    Bad lighting in the bedroom near the mirrors which made getting ready with a group difficult

    Small gym with little equipment

    Good number of children at the pool (although if traveling with children this might be a pro)

    Social – restaurant is very cool but over priced for the food they serve

Would I go back to the Sagamore Hotel with the girls? Definitely! We loved that it wasn't "the place to be seen" which was exactly what you want the morning after a bachelorette party.


Doing Time at Boston’s Liberty Hotel: Spring Discount and More


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Liberty HotelLooking for a little solitary confinement this Spring? Boston's Liberty Hotel, the former-jail-turned-luxury-hotel that caused quite the stir when it opened last year, is offering 20 percent off plus complimentary valet parking with its Spring Special. This limited time offer must be booked prior to May 11, 2008 (mention "SPRING08" when booking). The hotel's got a killer location in Beacon Hill, and the guest rooms are positively plush. Think Molton Brown bath amenities, private bar with martini set, and flat-panel HD-LCD televisions. And the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows are stunning. Red Sox fans will go gaga over the "Swing! Batter, batter!" package offered by the Liberty Hotel, which includes lots of baseball swag, but-- as Hotelchatter advises-- doesn't promise the tickets themselves.


Now Open: The Mansion on Peachtree, Atlanta


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Mansion on PeachtreeBuckhead's newest luxury addition is now accepting reservations. We've been watching this one for months, and now Rosewood's opulent Mansion on Peachtree-- a combo of luxury residences and intimate ultra-luxury hotel-- is set to dazzle Atlanta. Plush velvet, macasser ebony, polished chrome and marble... Sound good? There's more. Each and every guest will get the personal attention of a private butler. On site: exquisite dining options (the Italian-inspired Neo and haute cuisine at Craft Atlanta), indoor lap and leisure pool, and 15,000-square foot luxury spa designed by 29 Cosmetics' Lydia Mondavi.