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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.

Romance in Houston at The Lancaster Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Lancaster

An intimate luxury hotel in the heart of Houston's business and nightlife district, The Lancaster is a legend among guests who return again and again for the stately elegance and excellent personal service. The hotel enchants with its European charm and grand tradition of hospitality. The Bistro serves scrumptious regional American cuisine, and the popular Bistro Bar, rated one of the top ten bars in the county by Food and Wine magazine, is a favorite among trendy locals. The handsomely appointed rooms feature dark wood two-poster beds topped with down duvets and feather pillows, marble bathrooms, and state-of-the-art technology. With the Romance Package, enjoy an unforgettable evening at The Lancaster. Your room or suite will be meticulously prepared for your arrival with chilled champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries presented on a silver tray. The following morning, enjoy a romantic American breakfast for two served in the room or Bistro. Starting from $229.


The Best Views in Barcelona: The Gran Hotel La Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sky Terrace Suite

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better spot in Barcelona. Situated high on Mount Tibidabo, 25 minutes from the city center, the Gran Hotel La Florida features spectacular views overlooking Barcelona and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. The resort's 74 rooms include eight designer suites with jacuzzis, gardens, and large terraces, designed by world-renowned decorators and architects. The Sky Terrace Suite, for example, sits on the hotel's top floor, with an enormous 80 sq meter terrace with unsurpassed views of Barcelona and the Pyrenees. Designed by Rebecca Horn, the spacious suite consists of a large bedroom and living area, with dining table, sun beds, and awesome bathroom with Philippe Starck bathtub perfectly situated to contemplate the sweeping city views. Other hotel perks: it's decked out with an exquisite art collection; the outdoor scene at Miramar Bar, complete with swimming pool and summertime DJ; and the ZenZone Spa, with Hammam, sauna, caldarium, and fitness center. The Spa's infinity pool is extraordinary, seeming to flow from the side of the mountain down into the city beneath. The Gran Hotel La Florida is the best kind of urban oasis.


Spotlight On: The New Vaclav Nijinsky Suite at the Hotel de Russie, Rome


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de Russie

Located in the heart of the eternal city, between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, the stunning Hotel de Russie is unique among luxury hotels in Rome because of its extensive, terraced gardens which provide a peaceful refuge in the center of the bustling city. The Hotel de Russie has recently opened a Butterfly Oasis, created in collaboration with WWF International, in the hotel's ancient Secret Garden, where visitors can observe rare butterflies while strolling or dining alfresco. The hotel also has one of Rome's best health clubs and spa with a hydropool, jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish steam bath, beauty treatments and gym. In mid September, the Hotel de Russie will inaugurate the new Vaclav Nijinsky Suite, named after the great Russian ballet dancer. The ultra-spacious suite will feature a 250 sq meter terrace, two bedrooms, dining room, living room with a piano and a 50-inch flat-screen TV, a bar, walk-in wardrobe and a large bathroom with separate shower, steam bath and television. In addition, in September and October 2006, The Stravinskij Bar invites resident and non-resident guests to experience a special "aperitivo" moment. Offer consists of half-bottle of Krug and tapas for two at EUR 90.


Picture-Perfect Prague: Third Night Free at the Hotel Palace Praha


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Palace Praha

Located in the city center of Prague, within walking distance of the city's historical tourist attractions, the Hotel Palace Praha has been a distinguished center of social and cultural life since 1909. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the luxurious hotel blends traditional style and modern comfort in its 124 beautifully furnished rooms and suites. Guests enjoy the state-of-the-art technology and an exquisite dining experience at the Gourmet Club Restaurant, one of the top restaurants in Prague's city center. For a limited time, take advantage of the 3 for 2 package: a luxurious three-night stay for the price of two! Includes buffet breakfast, free sauna and business center access, and welcome amenity in-room upon arrival. Starting from EUR 242. Valid until October 31, 2006.


Colonial Hill Towns in Malaysia and the New Cameron Highlands Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cameron Highlands

The newest member of Small Luxury Hotels is situated 200 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur at the highest point on the Malaysian mainland, 1,500 meters above sea level, surrounded by lush, rolling greenery. Cameron Highlands Resort is a luxurious boutique with 56 rooms and suites overlooking the 18-hole golf course. An elegant colonial design, the resort is located in the state of Pahang, where tea plantations and fields of strawberries create the backdrop of breathtaking scenery. The climate here is cool and refreshing, and visitors enjoy golfing, jungle trekking and exploration of the surrounding plantations. The hotel's Spa Village offers exotic treatments with a focus on the healing and restorative properties of tea.


What’s Hot: The Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

Highlighted on Travel and Leisure's "It List" of the world's hottest new hotels, the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt is the gorgeous new sensation in the fashionable capital. And this summer, as the mag pointed out, "all of Buenos Aires eagerly anticipated the grand opening." Located in the exclusive Recoleta shopping and residential district on Avenida Alvear, the hotel much resembles the fascinating city of Buenos Aires itself, with its integration of history and innovative modern design. The luxurious hotel is appointed with ultra-modern comforts—flat screen LCD TV and CD-DVD player, high speed Internet and wi-fi access, bathrooms with separate bath and walk-in rain shower, 24-hour concierge, butler and clothes pressing service.

For the ultimate in luxury, the Duhau Suite—located on the top floor of the Palacio—features stunning views of the city from its wrap-around private terrace. The suite includes a dining area for eight people, a living area, fireplaces, a private pantry, master bedroom, and luxurious marble bathrooms with separate baths and walk-in showers, double sinks with vanity, Jacuzzi and a spacious walk-in closet. (And bulletproof windows, of course, for the max security for high profile guests.) The Spa has an indoor heated swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, and five exquisite treatment suites for holistic and beauty treatments. But the real highlight at the city's most exclusive hotel is the magnificent garden, designed by Carlos Thays (who plotted the city's botanical gardens).


Super Savings at Eden Rock, St. Barts, French West Indies


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eden Rock

Off-peak destinations—a glamorous Fall holiday in the Caribbean-- provide a world of savings for the savvy traveler. One such steal is a five-day escape to Eden Rock, one of the hottest hotels on the fashionable island of St. Barts. The award-winning boutique hotel is situated on a heavenly stretch of sand in a secluded spot next to the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The individually designed accommodations are breathtakingly beautiful—the height of luxury and design. Guests enjoy the latest addition to the hotel: a well equipped fitness center where personalized fitness programs, yoga, and pilates can be arranged for guests. At the restaurant On the Rocks, enjoy delicious dishes such as the home-made terrine of fois gras with a quince and lime chutney, lasagna of mushrooms and tiger shrimp served with tempura vegetables and black truffles, and the sea-bass glazed with soya and served with potato and leek parmentier. Or sip a cocktail and dine beachside at The Sand Bar. Take advantage of the "Good As New" package for a five-nights stay at Eden Rock, with a savings of up to 33 percent until November 14, 2006. The package includes five-night accommodations, a daily breakfast, a five-day car rental, and airport transfers. Package prices are based on double occupancy and range from EUR 1,900 for a cottage to EUR 3,750 for a Premium Ocean View Suite.


Destination London: The Baglioni Hotel


By: Guest Writer

Baglioni Hotel

By Alex Rose

The Baglioni is a very stylish, intimate, and sophisticated hotel that balances both luxe elegance and discreet personal service. And it's absolutely first-rate where it matters-- in accommodations and service. The hotel resides in a Victorian building in the heart of Kensington, with sweeping views of Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens and Palace, and Hyde Park (which is close enough for a leisurely stroll), while some of west London's best-known shops and boutiques are only few moments away. The rooms are spacious, with welcoming hues, and for those amorous couples looking for an intimate weekend, the bedrooms are very comfortable and made for play. One nice touch is the lit candles in the bedroom and bathroom every night, compliments of the hotel. The bathrooms are decadently ornate with marble floors, elegant fixtures, and rich colors throughout. There are many complimentary "perks" available to guests such as high-speed internet (WiFi available in the lobby), flat-screen interactive plasma televisions, an expresso machine in each room, a large selection of on-demand music and movies available, and a personal butler for each floor. Unique services such as a baby-sitter and personal shopper are available to guests for a fee. Honorable mentions go to the spa for a full-range of health-and-beauty treatments, the Brunello restaurant for excellent Italian cuisine, and the swank private hotel bar, Boutique 60. Enjoy your stay!


Live in the Sky and Drink at the Highest Bar in Thailand


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

lebua at State Tower, Bangkok, Thailand Sky Bar - lebua at State Tower Between August 1st and October 31, 2007 - lebua at State Tower in Bangkok is offering the "Sky Night @ Sky Bar" package for two. Benefits include: * Daily full breakfast * Complimentary local calls * Early check in 1200 hrs (subject to availability) * Late check out 1800 hrs (subject to availability) * Complimentary minibar softdrinks only * Complimentary high speed internet access * Complimentary usage of Fitness center facilities and swimming pool * Welcome fruits and flowers * Daily newspaper * One Sky Bar drink for two persons at Sky Bar (once per stay) And all it takes is a minimum 2 consecutive night stay between now and the end of October next year - 2007. Nightly rates for 2006 start at around US $105 (subject to 10% service charge and applicable government tax) for a one-bedroom suite.


Escape to the Tetons: Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa, Jackson, Wyoming


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Buffalo and Tetons

The award-winning Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa is a Jackson Hole delight, with luxurious amenities, a courteous staff, and a host of exciting outdoor activities, like the Grizzlies and Wolves Safari, where adventurers can observe predators roam in evergreen forests and elk and bison gather in beautiful rolling meadows. Just three blocks from Jackson's Town Square, the Lodge offers a down-to-home luxury in an oasis of quiet. Enjoy hearty breakfasts every morning, soak in the outdoor hot tub overlooking the majestic peaks, or relax by the fireplace with a cocktail. This getaway is one of the finest and luxurious in Jackson. The Nature's Bounty Spa Package, available until September 23, 2006, is a lavish three-day package of pure pampering, with two two-hour treatments per person at Rusty Parrot's on-site Body Sage Spa. Each guest may select two Indigenous Treatments, which feature handcrafted products using ingredients from the region, including organically grown local herbs and wildflowers, hand-blended essential oils, Snake River stones, Great Salt Lake salt, and a rare Big Horn Mountain bentonite clay known to Native Americans as Eh-Wah-Kee, "the mud that heals.' Package includes three nights lodging, choice of four two-hour treatment combinations (two per person), full chef-prepared breakfast each morning, and dinner for two in the Four Diamond Wild Sage restaurant. $1095 per person, based on double occupancy.