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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.

Experience the Balloon Festival at Thornbury Castle

August 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Thornburry Castle, the only Tudor castle in England to open as a hotel, has been considered home to kings, queens, and travelers alike. Its heavy oak doors, roaring fires, and luxurious bedchambers make this 500-year old castle palace a must-visit for travelers searching for a historic adventure. Be sure to explore Thornburry Castle this summer to experience the Bristol International Balloon Festival which is Europe’s largest annual hot air balloon event going on August 9th to the 12th. The event (or should we say party) attracts half a million visitors and is free for all to attend. The mass Hot Air Balloon rises at 6am and 6pm, and it is surely a sight you don’t want to miss!

Click here to explore Thornburry Castle and make your reservations!


Au Revoir, Hotel Ritz Paris!

August 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Hotel Ritz Paris has closed its doors for an extensive 2 year renovation period on August 1st, 2012. Built in 1898, this stunning hotel has served as an opulent home away from home for familiar faces such as Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel, Elton John, and Oscar de la Renta. Below is a letter from the general manager sent out to guests:

The legendary Ritz Paris has closed its doors to embark on a two-year restoration program. Rooms, suites, restaurants and bars, the spa and the famous Ritz Escoffier cooking school will all be carefully restored and recreated under the direction of the internationally renowned interior designer Thierry W. Despont. We will ensure that the charm and personality of the Ritz Paris is kept alive and that we continue to satisfy even the most discerning travelers. We certainly hope that you will follow our progress on www.ritzparis.com or through our social media channels. All of us at the Ritz Paris are looking forward with great anticipation to welcoming you back in 2014 for the reopening of your home in Paris.

Sincerely, Christian A. Boyens, General Manager

Frank J. Klein, President

We hope the Ritz Paris can update its look without losing its classic French style and feel, and we certainly look forward to seeing how the renovations progress. Planning a trip to Paris now? Not to worry; we have 72 luxury hotels waiting just for you!


Not Your Average Vacation in Madrid, Spain

August 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Visiting the Prado Museum, strolling through Retiro Park, and enjoying a few tapas at an outdoor café are all wonderful activities every visitor to Madrid should experience, but once you’ve checked these must-sees off your list, how should you spend your time? Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few fun places to explore and things to do during your visit to various cities around the world that you wouldn’t come across in every tour book.

Experience a new side of Spain by visiting the Alcala de Henares, one of the first designated university cities. Its located about 20 miles outside Madrid, and it’s the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the author or the world renowned book, ‘Don Quixote.’ The center of the city remains relatively medieval with beautiful, winding cobblestone streets and preserved, historic buildings. The city has a Moorish, Jewish, and Christian quarter, earning it its reputation of “the city of three cultures.” Make your reservations at any of our luxury hotels in Madrid and take a day trip to Alcala de Henares to fight windmills and rescue damsels in distress!

Photo of the Mirasierra Suites Hotel


A Sneak Peak into the James Royal Palm in Miami Beach

July 31, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s “top 10 most anticipated openings of 2012,” the James Royal Palm is certainly making a splash in the Miami Beach hotel arena. This luxurious beachfront property is situated in the heart of South Beach, Florida and is immersed in a new and vibrant scene. Aside from a new and swanky luxury hotel popping up in South Beach, we’re especially exited for the hotel’s pools (yes, that’s plural), its beautiful interior design, and its full service spa with salt-infused treatments. The interior of the James Royal Palm was created by Rottet Studio, and here’s what Lauren Rottet had to say about her inspiration in Boutique Design magazine: "After eating in some Cuban cafes and talking with local artists, I started thinking about Jean-Michel Basquiat (the late graffiti/neo-expressionist artist) meeting Virginia Woolf at the James and staying up long into the night talking about art and poetry." Not quite what we would imagine to be the driver of inspiration, but we certainly love the outcome and encourage you to make your reservations come this October to be among the first to experience the James Royal Palm!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Intercontinental Thalasso Spa Bora Bora

July 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Intercontinental Thalasso Spa Bora Bora in French Polynesia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel is located on Motu Piti Au or ‘Two Hearts’ in Tahitian, and it offers revolutionary solutions in both comfort and environmental protection. Its 80 over-water bungalows are decorated in a bright color palette and have floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious terraces, and private platforms for sunbathing. A few of the InterContinental’s phenomenal facilities available to its guests include a beautiful infinity pool, a fitness center, and a stunning spa. The service at the hotel and the spa is truly exceptional with the staff going above and beyond to ensure that your experience is relaxing and rejuvenating. This luxury hotel’s most unique trait is that its spa features glass-floor treatment rooms so guests can view the marine life while enjoying their spa appointments! Make your reservations at this phenomenal luxury hotel here!


Lights, Camera, Action at the Peninsula New York

July 27, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Peninsula New York is launching a monthly rooftop French film series starting this Monday, July 30th. The series is called “Ciné Sous Les Étoiles,” and it will feature classics such as A Very Long Engagement, Chocolat, The Artist, and Amelie, a 2001 romantic comedy which will kick start the series this Monday. The movies will be shown at Salon De Ning’s West Terrace the last Friday of every month, and cocktails as well as snacks such as popcorn, hotdogs, nachos, and ice cream will be served throughout the screening. No reservations are needed, but there is a one cocktail minimum requirement. We can’t think of a better way to generate buzz for Peninsula’s next big luxury hotel opening in Paris than creating a Parisian feel in the heart of New York City!


Hotels with a History: The Driskill Hotel

July 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

Cattle baron Jesse Driskill built his hotel in 1886 to serve as the “Frontier Palace of the South” in the capital city of Texas. The Driskill Hotel was opened during a time when the United States longed for architecture that represented the American dream, and Jesse Driskill’s strong attention to detail created an icon that served and continues to serve Texas proud, openly welcoming guests from all over the world. It has remained a landmark of Texas hospitality and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, offering guests an elite level of luxury. This historic hotel is located in downtown Austin and provides easy access to the convention center, opera, symphony, fine dining, shopping, and the 6th street music scene. Make your reservations at this baron’s luxury hotel and feel the pride and history that emanates from its walls for yourself.


Updates are Underway at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

July 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Mansion on Peachtree is now the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta, and this luxurious new Mandarin property has a number of updates and improvements up its sleeve. The spa at Mandarin Oriental has updated its treatment menu and it now includes an Oriental Essence massage, a Peaches and Cream treatment, and a Red Clay Scalp massage. The hotel also plans to infuse an Asian touch by offering a foot ritual treatment as well as offering its spa guests various nibbles of Asian-style foods. The rooms and suites offer guests the most spacious luxury accommodations in the city, and the higher floors have incredible views over Atlanta’s tree-lined streets. Enjoy the perfect mix of Southern hospitality and oriental charm by making your reservations at this new Mandarin Oriental property in Atlanta!


Your Questions Answered: Anantara Seminyak Spa Treatments and Transportation

July 23, 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: We would like to know the rate of the Anantara Suite Luxuriously Furnished Ocean View which includes breakfast from August 13th – 16th, 2012. We would also like to know airport pickup service prices and what sorts of treatments are offered at the spa.

Answer: The Anantara Seminyak Resort and Spa in Bali, Indonesia has an ocean view suite with breakfast included available for your dates of travel at a rate of $630 per night plus $529.20 in taxes. For transportation, the hotel offers limousine service in VIP Van between Ngurah Rai International Airport and Anantara Seminyak Resort is at a rate of USD 45+ per car per way, for a maximum of four persons with luggage. The hotel has a few signature spa treatments, and the details are listed below:

Rooftop Signature Massage (90 minutes)

Relinquish your senses to our exquisite signature massage treatment, and experience therapeutic relaxation for mind and body. Using our signature Vanilla Magic oil derived from the seeds of vanilla pods found deep in the jungles west of Bali and prepared fresh before your treatment, our therapists incorporate long, soothing strokes to stretch and relax your muscle fibres together with acupressure to allow your body to let go of accumulated stress. Pure bliss, dedicated to new beginnings.

Anantara Retreat (150 minutes)

Surrender your body and mind to a top to toe escape that will leave your body deeply relaxed and your spirit balanced. Begin with a head to toe Body Scrub, selecting from a range of exfoliating and conditioning ingredients to nourish and prepare the skin’s surface. Then, enjoy a thoroughly relaxing Anantara Signature massage using luxurious Vanilla Magic oil. Complete your journey with an aromatic bathing experience or a therapeutic session of foot reflexology. aspx

To make a reservation for this room option, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, select the room option, and fill in the booking form. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as the extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


The Reefs Earns the #1 Resort Award!

July 19, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Congratulations to The Reefs for being named the #1 Resort in the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas in the 2012 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards! This stunning 5 star property is located in Southampton, Bermuda on a private beach along limestone cliffs, and it serves as the perfect romantic getaway escape or setting for a family vacation. Wake up to breathtaking ocean vistas from any room, enjoy gourmet dining options on site, take a dip in the outdoor pool, and lounge and relax on the pink sandy beach. Grab a seat atop the limestone cliff before entering the Relaxation Room at La Serena Spa and enjoy incredible views of the secluded beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  For the adventurer in you, be sure to check out the two tennis courts, outdoor pool, and the water sport opportunities in order to have both a relaxing and exciting vacation. Make your reservations and see for yourself why The Reefs is considered to be the #1 luxury hotel in Bermuda!