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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.

Pre-Packaged Florence Experiences At Your Fingertips!

July 23, 2013
By: Elaine Lee

Hotel Il Salviatino
If you are planning on visiting Florence, Italy and tired of surfing the Internet on places to go and things to do in order to maximize your experience in the area, look no further than Il Salviatino! With the property being just as beautiful as the views it provides, also takes the guess work out of planning your trip with their pre-packaged experiences that cater to different types of guests. Their Dine Around package is ideal for foodies on the hunt for a Tuscan gastronomical experience. The package comes complete with hand-picked restaurants to help tourists discover the best of Florence through the best Italian fare.

For those looking for a romantic way to propose, look no further than the Perfect Proposal package Il Salviatino provides. It even comes up with a backup plan option, providing guests with an all-night open-bar if their proposal is rejected.

Hotel Il Salviatino

Not ready to get engaged? Il Salviatino has a Romantic Getaway package for you, complete with romantic activities for you and your loved one to participate in while enjoying Florence and each other. If you are looking to vacation in the more relaxed side of things, try the Relax and Enjoy Florence package, ideal for spa enthusiasts.

 

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Dining al Fresco: Hotel de Sers

July 16, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel de Sers is a 19th century mansion that has been artfully restored to offer its guests small chateau charm with star quality. The hotel features an impressive portrait gallery, a charming wood-panelled lounge, an imaginative restaurant, and a lovely courtyard garden.

Hotel de Sers

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The Story of The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, recently acquired by Omni Hotels, set atop Sunset Mountain features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course and is is one of the South's best-loved resorts. Celebrating its Centennial today, the luxurious Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Here's the story of how it all began: 

The Grove Park Inn - Then and Now"Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the "Father of Modern Asheville" was born in 1850 on a small farm in Tennessee. After serving in the Civil War he had a very definite plan for his life and career – the pharmaceutical business and the determination to rise from his early poverty to great wealth and success.

He purchased a pharmacy in Paris, Tennessee in his mid-twenties. He put all of his energy into formulating a tasteless quinine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease that permeated the South in the 19th century (he suspended quinine in liquid form). After experimenting for several years, Grove introduced Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic and experienced immediate success. In the late 1890's Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove had sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. 

Grove himself was often ill, afflicted with periods of bronchitis and exhaustion and his doctors recommended the clean mountain air of Asheville, NC to relax and recover. He spent time in Asheville throughout the year and that is where he would realize his next big dream.

While still pursuing new pharmaceutical inventions, Grove met Fred Seely in Detroit, who was making a name for himself in the pharmaceutical business. While working together in Detroit, the two sparked a friendship and mutual admiration. Grove invited Seely to his summer home in Asheville. One week later he left his position in Detroit to work for Grove and his Paris Medicine Company. But business was not the only thing that interested Seely. When Grove introduced his daughter, Evelyn, to the bachelor, within 24 hours Grove had given Seely permission to wed her.

Grove Park Inn and SpaSeely began working for the Paris Medicine Company in June 1898 and in October of that year married Evelyn. Both men ventured into other businesses including real estate. In Asheville Grove began purchasing property, he had successfully developed residential neighborhoods in Atlanta and was considering doing the same in prospering Asheville. With the expansion of the railroad and publicity surrounding the opening of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House, Grove was positioning himself as a serious investor in the future of Asheville. In 1909 Grove purchased 408 acres in north Asheville, including what would become The Grove Park Inn. But he would concentrate on residential neighborhoods before ever considering building a hotel.

Two years later Grove began to plan the building of a hotel on Sunset Mountain. In 1911 Seely became involved with the plans. After reviewing the plans of several prominent architects, Grove did not find any of them satisfactory. The consummate visionary, Seely presented a sketch of the proposed hotel to Grove and he not only accepted the plan but gave Seely the enormous task of building the hotel.

Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel. Seely kept his promise to be open for business in less than one year from the ground breaking.

Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. 

Another version of this story is available at http://www.groveparkinn.com/the-grove-park-inn-story

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Did You Know? Thornbury Castle

June 7, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Thornbury Castle

 

Thornbury Castle is the only Tudor Castle in all of England. Work on Thornbury Castle started in 1511 under the direction of Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham. Unfortunately, the work was halted in 1521 when the Duke was executed on the orders of his distant cousin Henry VIII for alleged treason. But all seemed to have been forgiven and completed by 1535, when King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, stayed at the castle. Princess Mary, later Queen Mary I, also lived here for several years. 

Today, much still remains of the original 16th century building. Everywhere there is fascinating historical detail to enjoy – coats of arms, intricate oriel windows, arrow loops and ornate carved ceilings. Thornbury has also always had a vineyard within the castle walls and Thornbury Castle wine is still produced today.

 

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A Romantic Getaway in Venice

June 6, 2013
By: Elaine Lee

 

Luna Hotel Baglioni
If you are looking to plan a romantic getaway this summer, what better place to experience romance than in the charming water city of Venice? Luna Hotel Baglioni have sparkling views of the St. Mark’s Basin, Canal Grande, and the San Giorgio Maggiore Basilica. Some rooms even have distant views of The Lido.  What kind of room should you stay in? Here's what you have to choose from:

 


Superior Rooms
Luna Hotel Baglioni features 28 Superior Rooms, traditionally decorated with period-style furniture and fine draperies. Silk fabrics cover the walls whilst hand blown Venetian chandeliers and stuccos adorn the ceilings. The Superior Double Room has an elegant entrance, an Italian marble bathroom and a pleasant and comfortable bedroom. Superior double rooms are equipped with wireless and internet high speed cable connection, ensuring the most modern services to all Guests.

 

Deluxe Rooms
Luna Hotel Baglioni offers 39 Deluxe double rooms, beautifully appointed with silk wall coverings, precious objects d’art and Venetian chandeliers. They feature an elegant entrance, a refined Italian marble bathroom and a pleasant and comfortable bedroom with a small ambience for relax and a desk with internet connection. The bathroom is lavishly decorated with precious details and it is equipped with luxury bathroom products.

Guests are immersed in elegance from the silk, antique décor and access to the property’s very own private gondolier! The Luna Baglioni experience, will make you feel like you and your lover are living the life of characters in a classic romance novel.

 

 

 

Luna Hotel Baglioni
Suites
The Suites of the Luna Hotel Baglioni, where guests can enjoy a classic style and refined luxury, are characterized by the most modern comfort combined with sophisticated elegance. A large entry welcomes guests in an ambience enriched with precious furniture, with peculiar attention to details: antiques, damasked fabrics, brocades and crystal chandeliers make the room and the parlor the most refined and sophisticated environment. The room also features a convenient wardrobe. The bathroom, spacious and comfortable, is made of fine Italian marble and has double washbasins, makeup mirror, telephone and all the necessary facilities Some have a terrace with a breathtaking view of the Lagoon and San Marco Basin, where during the warmer months romantic candlelight dinners are served. The Suites exist in the Classic, Lagoon View and Grand Lagoon View formats.
 

 

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Focus on Matakauri Lodge

May 23, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 

Matakauri Lodge offers eleven luxurious suites and villas, each with private terraces looking out to a dramatic Queenstown lakeside, with mountain views.  

 

 

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Be Nautical at The Inn at Perry Cabin

May 1, 2013
By: Elaine Lee

 

Ahoy, mateys!

inn at perry cabin

The Inn at Perry Cabin is located on the Maryland Eastern shore, alongside the Chesapeake Bay. The location alone makes it an ideal vacation spot for sailing enthusiasts to set a course to this nautical friendly destination. The Inn at Perry Cabin caters to its location and sailing enthusiasts with an array of exciting excursions, tours and activities that are available on stand by. Guests can anchor aweigh on one of the many vessels for a sailing tour along the Chesapeake Bay, or spend a day running a trotline and dipping crabs while munching and sipping away on The Inn at Perry Cabin delicacies. At the end of your crabbing trip, the employees at The Inn at Perry Cabin will steam their guests' catch and deliver them fresh to eat for dinner that same night! The Inn at Perry Cabin provides two different sailing courses through the Chesapeake Bay's Offshore Sailing School, located on their property. The Inn provides a novice Learn to Sail course to get the basics of sailing down, and a five day Bareboat Cruising course for the more experienced sailing Enthusiast. Or guests can stay ashore and learn traditional boat building by becoming an apprentice for a day. Sail away towards The Inn at Perry Cabin, to indulge your sailing dreams!

 

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The Cove Eleuthera Reemerges After $30 Million Renovation

May 1, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

Eleuthera remains an undiscovered paradise. Lying 45 miles east of Nassau, the island is 110 miles long and nearly a mile wide. 

 The central location of The Cove Eleuthera allows resort guests the freedom to explore the island's magnificent shoreline and peaceful pink sand beaches. Five Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently wrote about the Cove's renovation.

The Cove Eluthera"The Bahamas is celebrating the rebirth of an island icon. Last month, The Cove reemerged after a $30 million renovation to become The Cove, Eleuthera, a 40-acre luxury resort of cottages and villas.

The new construction included two three-bedroom residential villas, each with private pool and staff. A two-story Sanctuary including 20 suites was also part of the new debut, along with eight Bush cottages and Bar Tony, a bar built into a point reaching 600 feet into the Caribbean Sea. All rooms and suites have iPod docking stations, 500 thread-count linens, 50-inch flat-screen TVs and more.

Significant improvements were put into the Library interior and open-air fine dining restaurant Freedom. A new 110-foot infinity pool overlooking the sea was also developed.

The resort debuted with total fanfare as guests feasted on Bahamian delicacies and were treated to performances from singer Aaron Neville and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band of New Orleans.

Getting There: The Cove, Eleuthera, wants guests to arrive in true VIP style. The resort’s own private plane offers daily nonstop flights to and from Fort Lauderdale, FL, on its own Hawker 800XP. Daily flights are also offered from Fort Lauderdale and Miami to the Nassau and Eleuthera airports. A water taxi takes guests from North Eleuthera Airport and a Range Rover escorts guests to the hotel."

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The Salamander Resort & Spa Sets August 2013 Opening

April 1, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VASalamander Resort & Spa, set on over 300 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia's famed horse country and lush vineyards announced that it is set to open this August. Located in the 18th century village of Middleburg, Salamander Resort is 30 minutes west of Dulles International Airport and an hour from downtown Washington, DC.

Set on 340 acres of farmland, the brand new resort will offer what was said to be "an unparalleled luxury experience in the region" with 168 guest rooms and suites; a culinary program led by Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant in DC including two restaurants, wine bar, cooking studio and two-acre culinary garden; a spa with 14 treatment rooms and a couples suite; and various activities including an onsite Equestrian program, with a 22-stall barn, practice ring, riding trails and instructional classes.

The Salamander Resort outside Washington, DCThe property similarly boasts tennis courts and an outdoor pool complex, and guests have privileges at the nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Fifty wineries are within an hour's drive of the resort, as are opportunities for whitewater rafting, sporting clays and raceway spectating.

Salamander Resort is also eyeing to be a destination for meetings or events. The property features a 5,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, as well as more intimate settings including a 1,800 square foot Junior Ballroom, Executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms, hospitality suites and 2,000 square foot Presidential Suite with an entertainment balcony.

Indoor and outdoor event facilities at Salamander are eyed to make events stand out, including the Equestrian Barn event room, the Stallion Barn, a, over a hundred year old stone building adjacent to the Grand Lawn, and the Cooking Studio, which may be reserved by groups for private events.

 


Sponsored Article: Porto Zante Villas and Spa

March 18, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Contemplating a villa getaway to Greece? May we suggest a stay at Porto Zante Villas and Spa

Porto Zante Villas and Spa, located on a beautiful sandy beach on the island of Zakynthos, combines the privacy & space of world class luxury villas with the amenities and services of a leading five star hotel. This intimate boutique hotel is comprised of award-winning villas right on the beach, all with private heated pools. Each of the luxury villas offers privacy and splendid views of the nearby island of Kefalonia, the Peloponnese peninsula, and the endless crystal blue Ionian Sea.

Here are a few villa options:

-The One-bedroom Deluxe Spa (85 m²), located on the beachfront, has a private heated swimming pool. It is comprised of a large master bedroom with a king size bed and an open plan living area with a Kitchenette. There's also a separate additional living room with a sofa bed, and a desk with a personal computer. The large en-suite bathroom is lined with Dionysian antique marble and features a Jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower cabin with hydro-jet devices.

-Taking the family with you? Try the The Presidential Spa Villa, also located on the beachfront. This 2-Bedroom luxury villa (170 m²)  has panoramic glass doors that lead out to a private deck which has direct access to a private swimming pool and a beautifully landscaped garden with sun beds, teak garden furniture, and dining area. This luxury villa consists of an entrance hall, two master bedrooms with king size beds, two en-suite marble lined bathrooms featuring a Jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower cabin with hydro-jet devices, walk-in dressing rooms, a luxuriously decorated living & dining area, a desk with a PC, and a small kitchen.

-Taking all your friends with you? Consider the Imperial Spa Villa, which sleeps 8-12 people.  It's perfect for those who want to rent a private estate with its own private area on the beach and large tropical gardens. The Imperial Spa Villa, offers a private area on the beach with personal sun beds & umbrella. It is a 4-Bedroom luxury villa (420 m²) with a private heated swimming pool and an outdoor Spa pool. The villa’s private estate entrance & gated back yard  makes for the ultimate in privacy & security. This luxury villa consists of an entrance hall, four master bedrooms with king size beds, four en-suite antique Dionysian marble lined bathrooms featuring a Jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower cabins with hydro-jet devices, large walk-in dressing rooms, a luxuriously decorated living & dining area with a fireplace, a desk with a PC, and a large fully equipped kitchen.

Guests at Porto Zante Villas experience an exceptional level of personal service, away from the stress of large impersonal hotels.  If the private pools and beaches aren't enough, guests can choose from a number of activities during their stay, from scuba diving & snorkeling to a spa treatment and private in-villa dining. 

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