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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.

Taj Royal Escapes, India: Stay for Six Nights, Pay for Three!


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Lake Palace

Now is the time to plan a holiday to India: to discover the colorful culture and mythical history of the desert-state of Rajasthan, the pulsing nightlife of New Delhi, and get pampered like a maharaja staying at the glorious Taj Hotels. It doesn't get much better than this with Taj Royal Escapes. From May 1- September 30, stay at any participating Taj luxury hotel, in any combination, and the benefits are extraordinary. Stay for 6 nights, pay for 3; stay for 10 nights, pay for 5; stay for 14 nights, pay for 7. Hotels include Taj Mahal Palace and Tower (Mumbai), Taj Mahal Hotel (New Delhi), Rambagh Palace (Jaipur), Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur), and the most romantic and magical hotel in the world: the Taj Lake Palace, which appears like a brightly lit castle floating on water in Udaipur.


Cruise News: All About Luxury Cruises


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

From the New York Times to shiny glossies and guidebooks, the media is brimming with good tips about cruisin'. I've compiled some recent newsworthy articles for your planning pleasure: Conde Nast Traveler, Reader's Poll, The World's Best Cruise Ships 2006 Fodor's Travel Wire, "The Best of Cruising" Forbes, The World's Most Expensive Cruises Travel and Leisure Hot Deals, "Cell Phones at Sea" The New York Times Travel, "Bon Voyage to the Three-Bean Salad" The New York Times Travel, "Extreme Makeover: Taking High Style to the High Seas" The New York Times Travel, "Oman Anyone? More Ships, More Ports of Call" The New York Times Travel, "Mystery at Sea: Who Polices the Ships?"


Apres Ski at the Remede Spa, St. Regis Resort, Aspen


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Remede Spa

The ultimate in pampering for the discerning traveler. The flagship of the global spa brand developed for St. Regis, the 15,000 sq ft Remede Spa is the premier spa in Aspen, oozing luxury, decadence and sophistication. The comprehensive spa menu boasts customized massage, facial and body treatments, based on the skincare of Laboratoire Remede. The Spa features 15 treatment rooms including a couples room and Vichy room, men and women's locker facilities, including steam room, vapor caves and whirlpool, the Confluence room with invigorating warm and cold waterfalls, and a Movement Studio. Indulgent amenities include chilled champagne, Jacques Torres truffles and Kashwere throws. Feeling the effects of this high-altitude destination? Head to the Oxygen Lounge, relax in a chaise and take a hit from the plentiful oxygen tanks.

St. Regis Resort, Aspen, Official Site

St. Regis Resort, Aspen, Five Star Alliance


Say Hello to the Discovery at Marigot Bay, St. Lucia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Marigot Bay

Making its debut in June, the new Discovery at Marigot Bay stakes its claim to fame with a location on the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean. A member of Small Luxury Hotels, Discovery is situated on the breathtakingly gorgeous island of St. Lucia, built into a lush hillside overlooking the turquoise bay near Castries. The boutique resort offers 67 luxurious guestrooms and 57 suites (30 of them with private plunge pools), featuring dark wood furniture, romantic draped netting over king size pillow-top beds, large balconies overlooking the bay, wifi internet and flat-screen TVs. The Lapli Spa is world-class, its treatment rooms each boasting a private deck with open-air shower. Luxurious treatments use all-natural, local products created by Caribbean herbalists. This is truly an intimate paradise in a yachting capital of the Caribbean.


Beat the Winter Blues at the Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Virginia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Clifton Inn

From tragedy to renaissance. The historic Clifton Inn, one of only 44 prestigious Relais and Chateaux properties in the United States, has re-emerged in all its glory after a devastating fire two years ago that killed two guests. The tragedy and heartache of that event-- and the lawsuits and settlements that followed—no longer linger over the historic 1799 property, built by Thomas Mann Randolph, the son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson and once governor of Virginia. Renovations are remarkable. Rooms in the main house are beautifully furnished with antiques, equipped with up-to-the-minute technology, and state-of-the-art bathrooms feature Waterworks fixtures and spa jet showers. Views from the newly renovated main house overlook Monticello Mountain, the pool's cascading waterfalls, the beautifully sloping lawns and flowering gardens. The garden rooms, reminiscent of a private cottage, feature exposed ceiling beams and more unique antiques.

Take advantage of this special offer, designed to beat the winter blues. From now until March 31, these luxurious accommodations-- with breakfast and daily afternoon tea included-- are only $225 a night. Valid Sunday-Thursday.

Related Articles:

The Washington Post, "The Comeback Inn"


Gadgets on the Go: the Coolest Little Digital Camera, Nikon Coolpix P1


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nikon Coolpix P1

This marvelous Nikon has built-in WiFi Connectivity to transmit pix wirelessly to your computer. And a super-long battery life means you can take 180 images (just keep clicking away—don't bother erasing!) with the rechargeable battery. Other features we love? A sweet optical zoom, large 2.5 inch display screen, and a whopping eight megapixels. $549 ($399 at Nikon online).


Upscale Dining in Las Vegas: Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in the MGM Grand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Joel Robuchon

Upscale Vegas dining at its finest. Brought to you by the legendary Joel Robuchon, whose phenomenal Paris restaurant earned the highest honor from Michelin (three stars) in a mere three years, the fastest of any chef on earth. Named "Chef of the Century" by French guidebook Gault Millau, Robuchon has created an epic, gastronomique restaurant sure to delight the senses in a once-in-a-lifetime dining extravaganza. Indeed, the tempting 16-course menu is stacked with heavenly delights. Ready to start salivating? How about a fresh scallop cooked in its shell with a lemon and seaweed butter, duck foie gras and spring vegetables in a green cabbage ravioli, sea urchin flan flavored with fennel, or Brittany lobster under a disappearing saffron hostie in a seafood bouillon... Reservations are highly recommended-- book ahead. After all, there is only one seating of 60 for dinner. Priced at $275 per person.


Spotlight On: Four Seasons Hong Kong


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hong Kong

The new Four Seasons is the shining star of the prestigious International Finance Centre, the awesome business and shopping complex located on the waterfront of the Central neighborhood. This is easily the top location on Hong Kong Island, with unrivalled links to Hong Kong Station, and the Star Ferry just steps away. Described by the IHT as the "first major hotel to open in Hong Kong in 15 years," the Four Seasons Hong Kong opened its sleek, modern doors in September. Its 399 spacious guestrooms—with wall-to-wall windows offering views of the Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak—are well-equipped with the latest in technology, including 42-inch plasma screen TVs. Additionally, there are five excellent restaurants and bars, a fully-equipped health club, and an incredible, 2,043 sq meter spa with 18 treatment rooms including two VIP suites. The outdoor infinity pools, heated in winter, offer a pool-deck whirlpool and sweeping harbor views.

Related Articles:

IHT, "Hotel Watch: A Rare New Hotel in Hong Kong"

Four Seasons Hong Kong, Official Site

Four Seasons Hong Kong, Five Star Alliance


Check Out: the Expedition Everest at Disney World


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Expedition Everest

The craggy, mysterious Himalayas, or some faux fantasy from Disney? Looks like the real deal to me. Snowcapped peaks, colorful Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the wind, a monastery, Everest base camp, and real, imported flora and fauna. Disney's just-completed Expedition-Everest: Mission Himalayas promises to be as educational as it is action-packed. After all, the Disney creatives partnered with Conservation International and Discovery Networks and sent a scientific, exploratory mission to the Himalayas:

The team searched for new plants and animals not yet discovered in the eastern Himalayan region from China to Nepal, one of the most botanically rich temperate regions in the world with an estimated 12,000 plant species, including 3,500 found nowhere else.

Opening this April, the newest attraction takes riders to an encounter with the scary and mythical Yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman, after "trekking" into a remote Himalayan village and "exploring" local artifacts. Who cares about the lines? I'm so there.


Roast American Rack of Lamb Recipe from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

Regency Lamb

Following the success of the Penne with Vodka Sauce Recipe - The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City, has sent us their recipe for Roast American Rack of Lamb. Worried about making it yourself? You can always visit The Regency and try it - they have three restaurants to check out.

See the recipe below:

Roast American Rack Of Lamb with Spinach & Brie Potato Cake, Red Wine Jus

1 ea. Frenched Rack of Lamb

1 ea garlic clove(minced)

1 ea tomato (chopped)

1 ea shallot (chopped

1 cup Idaho Potato(shredded)

1/2 cup brie cheese(diced)

1/2 cup baby spinach

Baby Vegetables --blanched

1/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt black pepper

1 cup brown gravy

1/4 cup mint jelly

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 stick unsalted butter

Method

Rack of Lamb

Heat sautee pan with 1/2 the olive oil. Once hot sear rack of lamb on both sides until brown -approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Finish in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrrees.

Potato Cake

In small omellete pan heat olive oil until hot. In seperate bowl mix potato ,tomato, onions, brie, spinach and salt & pepper. Mix well. Add to hot pan and cook until crisp on both sides approximately 6-8 minutes or until brown. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Mint Jus

Bring brown gravy to boil in saucepan. Add chopped mint, mint jelly and butter. Bring to simmer and serve with warm cut lamb chops.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance