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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.

Your Questions Answered: What Orlando Family-Friendly Luxury Resort Would You Recommend?

August 4, 2014
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate
We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: What Orlando family-friendly luxury resort would you recommend for a family of four, children ages 8 and 11?

ANSWER: Omni Orlando Resort At Championsgate 

The four-diamond Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is located within 10 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort, and just 20 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld. Surrounded by 36 holes of Greg Norman designed golf, the resort is also home to the David Leadbetter Golf Academy World Headquarters. Five unique dining options on-site include PanAsian, Italian and American cuisine. In addition to superb golf, guests enjoy 15 acres of recreation and relaxation. Guests may grab a tube and ride the long and winding lazy river, splash in the zero entry family pool with pool slide and nearby water playground, or relax by the quiet formal pool in their own private cabana. Fitness options include tennis, basketball, and sand volleyball courts, a lighted, nine-hole par three golf course, walking and jogging trails, and a state-of-the-art fitness center that is available for guests to access 24 hours a day. A full service European-style Spa rounds out the amenities with the highest level of personalized attention. 
Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate
All 720 guest rooms are beautifully furnished and feature luxury linens, bathrobes, executive work chair and desk, wired and wireless internet access, dual line telephones with voicemail (one cordless), flat screen TV with on-demand movies, coffeemakers, safes (accommodates laptop), hairdryer, lighted makeup mirror, iron, and ironing board. Spacious two and three bedroom villas feature stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble clad baths with Roman tubs and spectacular golf and pool views. Master bedrooms feature king size beds, and master baths. Each villa offers a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room for six, spacious living room, and den with sleeper sofa.

For Your Family's Needs, We Recommend:
2 Bedroom Villa - 1 King Bed And 2 Double Beds. Two-bedroom villas will accommodate up to eight guests comfortably. These spacious accommodations feature a master bedroom and bath with a king bed and a second bedroom with one or two beds. Each villa includes a fully equipped kitchen, a living room, a dining room with a wet bar, a separate den, and a private terrace or balcony. Maximum Occupancy 10. 1,543-1,620 square feet.

View rates, details, and more images of Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Your Questions Answered: What is the Pet Policy at the Hyatt Regency Cypress Orlando?

July 7, 2014
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando
We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: What is the pet policy at the Hyatt Regency Cypress Orlando?


ANSWER: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando

Discover a secluded luxury hotel set in the heart of Orlando theme park country near Lake Buena Vista. Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is surrounded by 21 acres of shimmering lakes and lush landscaping, offering an ideal destination for leisure or business travelers looking to unwind. Just one mile from Walt Disney World Resort and five miles from Sea World, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress also offers such an impressive collection of on-site activities. Want to learn to scuba dive or improve your tennis game? Guests can take a lesson from the on-site professionals. The whole family will love to waterslide in an 800,000 gallon lagoon-style pool, or teeing up on a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course. Or, just have a relaxing spa treatment while the kids enjoy their day at Camp Hyatt.

Pet Policy
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress OrlandoDogs are allowed. There is a maximum 50 poounds for 1 dog, 2 dogs of no more than 75 pounds combined weight. There is a one-time $150 fee for the first 6 nights. There are specific rooms set aside for pets. Guests bringing pets need a shot record and 3 day pre-stay notice for reservation with a pet.

View rates, details, and more images of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.
 


Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving at the Omni Orlando Resort

November 12, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family without the stress and hassle of spending hours in the kitchen. Check into the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving brunch from 11am – 3pm. Specialties include roasted pork loin, chicken provencal, wild salmon, a variety of traditional and modern side dishes, and of course, dessert. The cost is $39 for adults and $14.95 for children. Space is limited, so make your reservations today!

Explore the Omni Orlando Resort here >>


Your Questions Answered: Best Hotels in Orlando for Family of 4

August 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: What hotels have rooms that can accommodate 1 adult and 3 kids ages 8, 10, and 12 in Orlando?

Answer: The following are a few hotel options that would be a good fit for your family of 4. The Peabody Orlando has a Deluxe Room with 2 queen beds that can have an additional rollaway bed added to the room at no extra charge for a child. The Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes has an Executive Suite with 2 double beds, 1.5 baths, 960 square feet and a separate living area that could have a rollaway bed added for an additional $15 per night. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress does not have a room that can accommodate a family of 4, but its Buena Vista room with a king bed can interconnect to the Buena Vista room with 2 double beds, so that may be another good option for your family. To make a reservation at any of these hotels, simply visit their page by clicking on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, click on the 'Available' box for the specific hotel, select the room type, and fill in the booking form. Be sure to fill in the special request field stating that you'll be traveling with 3 kids ages 8, 10, and 12 and will require a rollaway bed.

Please be advised that the rates and availability are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

Photo of the Peabody Orlando


The New Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Set to Open in 2014.

January 27, 2012
By: Daniel L. Moses

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
I go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida quite often. As a seasoned traveler and travel writer, many people ask me why I would even bother visiting a place that many feel is... less challenging. It's a good question, I always say, and it is true that trekking across East Africa while trying to remember how to negotiate a bus fare in Swahili makes for a good adventure and an even better story. Nonetheless, sometimes I don't want to work when I travel, rather I prefer the ease of a place that takes that burdenaway, and just let's me relax and enjoy. That place, often as not, is Walt Disney World.

Yet while Disney offers a fine selection of on-site hotels to choose from, the latest announcement got me all in a tizzy. Amazingly, a world-renowned luxury hotel brand was given permission to open up its own property among the Mouse House's best, and just steps away from the theme parks. Ladies and gentelmen, I present to you: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World!!!

No, that is not a mistake! The one and only Four Seasons brand is bringing their unique luxury to Walt Disney World, allowing my perfect, relaxing stays to get that much better. Not only will I have the wonder of Disney Magic, but also the luxuriousness of the Four Seasons. Opening in 2014, the new property will be spacious at 444 rooms, with all the amenities like golfing, spas, and fine dining that they're known for. Plus, being on-site at Disney World allows easy access to all four theme parks and Downtown Disney with the comfort and speed of Disney's transportation network. Oh yeah, and if that isn't enough, you get to stay late in Disney parks as part of the on-site Extra Magic Hours privileges! Of course, with the plush Four Seasons rooms to come home to, coming back for a nap just got a little more inviting.

So look for the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World as it opens in 2014. Be sure to book ahead, as the place will certainly fill up fast. And look for me when you get there. I'll probably be relaxing by the pool, daydreaming about that bumpy ride on potholed roads in Tanzania, and darn glad that I'm somewhere a little less challenging.

The New Four Seasons Resort Disney World will include:

  • Several dining venues including a rooftop restaurant with Magic Kingdom views
  • 14,000 square foot (1,300 square metre) spa with 18 treatment rooms and fitness center
  • Three pools and a “lazy river”
  • Sports facilities including tennis courts, basketball court and climbing wall
  • Two recreational centres for children, teens and families
  • Approximately 37,750 square feet (3,500 square metres) of meeting and event space plus a business centre.

From the Four Seasons press release: "The development will encompass the existing Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Ridge 18-hole championship golf course, which will be renovated and subsequently managed by Four Seasons. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is an enclave located within the Golden Oak residential community, created and master-planned by Disney."

 


How to Choose the Best Luxury Hotel when Traveling with Kids

October 24, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

It’s a common misconception that traveling with kids means you cannot stay in 5-star, luxury hotels. While it is true that the industry standard is double occupancy, many luxury hotels are willing to make adjustments and modifications to best accommodate you and your travel companions. In order to choose the best room(s) at the best rate(s), we’ve come up with 5 tips to help you plan your next travel excursion, and ensure an enjoyable trip with kids.

#1: Provide the hotel with details including the number of kids traveling with you as well as their ages. This is to make sure the hotel is prepared for your arrival and has time to make the necessary adjustments to your room. Providing this information will also ensure that the appropriate adjustments are made, and that a crib is not added for the 13-year-old teenager traveling with you.

#2: Many hotels will be able to provide extra bedding for one child, but it is unlikely that they will be able to provide bedding for two or more children in one room. If you’re traveling with another adult and two or more kids, consider booking a suite, but be sure to double check with the hotel to find out how many people the suite sleeps, and make your travel plans from there.

#3: If you are traveling with children that are older, and the hotel of your choice does not have suites that suit your needs, consider reserving 2 rooms and requesting that they be adjacent, adjoining, or connecting rooms.

#4: If you are traveling with children that are younger and two adults, we advise that you book two rooms, request that they be adjacent, adjoining, or connecting rooms, and have one adult stay in each room.

#5: Be flexible, open, and willing to take advice and make adjustments as need be. Please be aware that all requests are simply requests only, and cannot be guaranteed until confirmed with the hotel.

We hope these tips ease the stress of planning your next trip with kids, and we wish you happy travels and a truly memorable experience!


Escape for Columbus Day: DIY Projects with Erica Domesek at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

October 3, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Waldorf Astoria OrlandoWhat are you doing for Columbus Day weekend? For all the Do-It-Yourself design enthusiasts out there, we have just the thing. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is partnering with Erica Domesek*, designer DIY expert and author of P.S. – I Made This..., for an exclusive "P.S. – I made this...at Waldorf Astoria Orlando" weekend retreat from October 7-9, 2011. Guests will receive a copy of Erica’s book upon check in, and learn her contemporary, user-friendly crafting techniques with hands-on instruction to create home design pieces as personal souvenirs of their stay. Starting at the welcome cocktail reception on Friday, where guests will meet Erica, the fun-filled weekend continues with various "how-to" sessions and craft classes. The package is $199/night, based on a two-night minimum.

*Erica Domesek has had projects featured in Glamour, InStyle, Self, Lucky, The Wall Street Journal and Teen Vogue. A sensation in the DIY world, she's also appeared on the Nate Berkus show, Martha Stewart, NBC, E!, and CBS.


World's Largest Four Seasons Resort Planned for Walt Disney World

September 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort, Disney World

Get ready, Orlando. The Magic Kingdom is getting a luxe addition. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced that it will begin construction on a $360 million luxury resort in December. Slated for 2014, this will be the largest resort for the brand on the planet- encompassing 444 guest rooms, 40 time-share units, 90 Four Seasons private residences (any buyers out there?), a rooftop resto with views of Walt Disney World, and a "lazy river" water complex. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Four Seasons snatched up the real estate in August 2008 for $51 million, including Disney's Osprey Ridge golf course, which will become part of the resort.


$89 Per Night: Limited Time Offer at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

August 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorldSitting pretty just across from SeaWorld and adjacent to Discovery Cove, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld is inviting families to come play this summer. The "Splash & Stay" package, available for a limited time, is a great deal. A family of four pays just $89 a night and kids under 12 eat free throughout their stay. The hotel launched this exclusive family package to commemorate the grand opening of its water park R Aqua Zone-- a great place to splash and play. Think shooting water jets, a water windmill, and a pint-size water slide for toddlers! Must be booked by August 31, available for stays through October 1, 2011. America's favorite playground awaits...


Celebrate Disney World’s 40th Anniversary in Style

July 19, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses

Walt Disney World HotelThe 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World is upon us, with the Magic Kingdom opening its gates for the first time in 1971.  At the time, Orlando was little more than a swampy, central Florida outpost, but now has grown to one of the premier vacation destinations in the world.

Despite the many options for visitors, Orlando is not known for luxury.  Rather Disney World, and other theme parks of its ilk including Universal Studios and Sea World, was built with the goal of  giving every traveler a quality, fun place to visit, no matter the price threshold.  Nonetheless, for luxury travelers, there are several excellent options, and due to the abundance of hotel rooms in the area, prices for luxury Orlando, and luxury Disney, hotels are offered at incredibly affordable prices.

 No discussion of luxury Disney vacations can be complete without bringing up Disney's own Grand Floridian Resort.  Disney's flagship hotel is centrally located just between Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and convenient to both via the always popular monorail.  The Grand Floridian is themed as a turn of the century getaway, and the Disney cast members make sure to stay in character throughout the luxury experience.  With a world class spa on-site, and a AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Victoria and Albert's, tempting your taste buds, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is the first choice among Disney luxury seekers.

The Peabody OrlandoIf your taste is more modern, there are luxury Orlando hotels located convenient to both Disney and other theme parks.  The centrally located Peabody Orlando is among the best.  Remodeled just last year, the Peabody hotel brand speaks for itself, but the Orlando Peabody takes the next step by offering a staggering 1641 rooms with nearly 200 suites.  Size isn’t often an indicator of quality, but the Peabody treats each guest as if the large hotel was just for them.  In addition, with a massive spa and fitness center, huge meeting room space, six on-site restaurants and 3 bars, a layered grotto pool, tennis courts, incredible golf packages, and a concierge desk well versed in all the cultural and fun sites around Orlando, including the house of mouse, Disney World, the Peabody checks all the boxes on luxury and convenience.
 

Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes, OrlandoAnother option for celebrating the 40th anniversary is the serene Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. Located just down the road from Disney World, the Ritz Carlton's quiet setting makes it feel as if you're in another time zone from the bustle of the theme parks.  Ritz Carlton, long the hallmark name in luxury hotels, offers a quiet retreat at Grande Lakes.  For duffers, the golf packages are excellent, but with an 18-hole course right on site, you can practically drive your cart right from your room to the course!  The Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes gives luxury travelers to Disney and Orlando priceless, luxurious comfort.

So however you choose to celebrate Disney World's 40th anniversary, make sure you do so in luxury style.  Affordable packages are available for booking throughout the rest of 2011 and 2012, with the famed Florida weather offering warm temperatures all year long.  And with the classic Grand Floridian, the convenient Peabody Orlando, or the serene Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes, you can't go wrong.