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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.

Image of the Day: Ritz Carlton San Francisco

January 29, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

Check out the stunning exterior of Ritz Carlton San Francisco

 

Explore rates, details, photos and more at Ritz Carlton San Francisco >>

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The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: #9 Clift

December 23, 2012
By: Shannon Sullivan

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 
San Francisco's Clift is the #9 hotel on our list!  Steps from Union Square shopping and the legendary Nob Hill, Clift is perfectly located for sightseeing, shopping and socializing. Here's a few fun facts about Clift:

-363 guest rooms are generously proportioned and elegantly decorated with luxurious fabrics- silks, leathers and velvets, all in tranquil shades- ivories, greys and lavenders.

-Digital art exhibitions located in its celebrated and legendary Redwood Room.

-Designed by Philippe Starck, the soaring lobby contains one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California, with chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali, a surreal stool by Renee Marguerite, and a sculpture custom made by William Sawaya.

-The Private Apartment is Clift Hotel in San Francisco's most sumptuously appointed guest accommodation, boasting the original wood paneled walls and fireplace, as well as beautiful custom Starck-designed furnishings.
- An inspired fusion of old-world hotel elegance with distinctly contemporary energy and glamour.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Clift>>

 

 

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Are You Ready for the iPhone 5?

September 6, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The iPhone 5 will be unveiled (drumroll please) on September 12th, 2012 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. With all of the rumors buzzing about the new phone, we certainly can’t wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve. With an influx of news media, tech writers, and journalists, hotels are selling out fast. Explore the 32 luxury hotel options in the area and make your reservations to ensure you don’t miss out on Apple’s biggest product announcement of the year!


 


A Boutique Critique: Inn at the Presidio

May 24, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

I have been spotlighting a lot of cutting edge designer hotels lately. There is another side of boutique hotel with a perfectly American flavor that is not represented in this group. The small boutique hotel can also be a down-home experience that mimics the classical elegance of the old-school inn and upscale roadhouse. The Inn at the Presidio is just that, a 22-room house that gives the impression that San Francisco was built around it, though that is not to say that it appears in any way dated. In fact, given that description, you would never expect that the Inn at the Presidio is as freshly minted as they come, opening just in April of this year. 

The interior spaces are slick and well-crafted, bringing the American Inn into the 21st century. The Inn at the Presidio is what a classic inn would be if it were opened in 2012, rather than a preservation of antique furniture. Most importantly, the privileged position afforded the Inn, right by the waterfront, means that third floor rooms boast a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The one-bedroom suites that make up the bulk of the rooms offer a separate sitting area and gas fireplace alongside the standard bedroom. While the Inn at the Presidio certainly couldn't accommodate gold rush numbers, that only enhances its charm, and you would do well to give it a gander next time you're heading westward.


The Big 7-5: Golden Gate Bridge Celebration at Cavallo Point

April 13, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

It's a hallmark occasion coming up in about a month for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. May 27th marks the 75th anniversary of the bridge's construction, and times will be hopping in the Bay Area. The Cavallo Point Lodge is making a point to celebrate in style over the weekend with a Terrace Party and Gala Dinner.  If you're looking to be in San Francisco, the hotel is the perfect place to celebrate. A breathtaking view of the bridge from the terrace is a wonderful place for a party to commemorate one of the crowning engineering achievements in the United States.

Cavallo Point has some great rooms and suites available for the weekend, and some are even original officer's residences from historic Fort Baker and have wonderful skyline views. You can also, of course, stay in any of our other fantastic San Francisco hotels. Just be sure to make it out to the bridge while you're there. 


Luxury Hotels near the San Francisco Convention Center

April 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

This blog series is for all of the business travelers who are looking for a luxury hotel that is located near the Convention Center of specific cities. We understand that you have places to be, people to meet, and conferences to attend, so we try to make your travels as stress-free and convenient as possible without forgoing luxury.

The Moscone Center in San Francisco is our center of focus for this blog post. The following are 5 and 4 star hotels located less than one mile from the Convention Center. We’ve listed them in order of proximity, and they are all a short walk or a speedy cab ride away!

Intercontinental San Francisco – 187 feet from the Convention Center

Hotel Palomar San Francisco – 0.4 miles from the Convention Center

St. Regis Hotel San Francisco – 0.4 miles from the Convention Center

W San Francisco – 0.4 miles from the Convention Center

Four Seasons San Francisco – 0.5 miles from the Convention Center

Hotel Monaco San Francisco – 0.6 miles from the Convention Center

Campton Place Hotel – 0.6 miles from the Convention Center

Clift – 0.6 miles from the Convention Center

The Palace – 0.7 miles from the Convention Center

Ritz Carlton San Francisco – 0.8 miles from the Convention Center

The Fairmont San Francisco – 0.9 miles from the Convention Center

The Huntington Hotel – 0.9 miles from the Convention Center

Four Star Properties:

Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco Union Square – 0.3 miles from the Convention Center

Hotel Nikko San Francisco – 0.4 miles from the Convention Center

JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square – 0.6 miles from the Convention Center

Sir Francis Drake Hotel – 0.6 miles from the Convention Center

The Prescott San Francisco – 0.6 miles from the Convention Center

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco – 0.8 miles from the Convention Center


Incredible Deals at the Taj Campton Place Hotel

December 7, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Taj Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco is offering a few incredible offers and promotions that are too good to pass up! This luxurious, boutique hotel offers personalized service that accommodates the needs of all travelers, and its restaurant is one of the top San Francisco restaurants, offering award-winning European cuisine. Starting now, the Taj Campton Place Hotel has the following deals that’ll be sure to inspire you to explore the Bay Area.

Shop Til You Drop Package: The Taj Campton Place Hotel is located steps from San Fran’s shopping center of Union Square and San Francisco Centre. This package is perfect for those hoping to buy all of their holiday gifts and get a little something in return. This package includes a special San Francisco cable car ornament of blown-glass and VIP treatment at Bloomingdales including: an appointment with At Your Service personal shopper, a $75 gift card, a 15% off all-day savings certificate, a signature gift, a Dior makeup consultation, and personal package delivery service to Taj Campton Place for purchases of $250 or more. This package is subject to availability, valid until January 7th, 2012, and requires a minimum two night stay. (Blackout dates may apply)

Stay a Bit Longer Package: Extend your stay and experience a little more of this exciting city. This package allows guests to stay two nights, and get the third night free! This offer is limited to a maximum of two complimentary nights available per stay. This package is subject to availability, valid until March 31st, 2012, and requires a minimum of a three night stay. (Blackout dates apply) Please be advised that the rates are adjusted at checkout. 

Suite Celebrations Package: Book a suite and enjoy a 50% discount on the second night. All of the suites at the Taj Campton Palace overlook Union Square, so you’ll get to enjoy an incredible deal along with an incredible view. This package is subject to availability, valid until March 31st, 2012, and requires a minimum of a two nights stay. Rates are subject to 14% occupancy and 1.5% tourism assessment fees, per room, per night. Please be advised that the rates are adjusted at checkout. 


What's On in San Francisco: 47th Annual Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting

November 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ghiradelli Square Tree Lighting CeremonyA tip for travelers to San Francisco this week: Ghirardelli Square will be hosting the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Black Friday, November 25. After feasting on Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings, celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with some festive merry-making (and lots of Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Squares!) in San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square. The whole family will enjoy the free, live entertainment throughout the day- with performances by the San Francisco City Opera, Contra Coastal Chorale and Yuletide Carolers. It all culminates with the lighting of the Ghirardelli Square tree at 5:30 pm.

Psst. Lola Toy Stop will be offering a small gift for each child visiting the toy stop during The 47th Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony! In addition to sampling your fair share of complimentary Ghiradelli chocolate squares, we suggest indulging in their world-famous hot chocolate, too.

Looking for a place to crash in the lovely City by the Bay? Five Star Alliance has a bevy of recommendations for four- and five-star hotels.

Photo by Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco


Top 10 Spas All Over the World

October 28, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

What do you get when you combine luxury, serenity, and incredibly gifted hands? The best spa resorts, of course! Check out our list of the top 10 luxury spas all over the world, make your reservation for that much needed vacation, and step into a relaxing paradise of mineral baths, facials, saunas, mud masks, massages, and much more.

10. The Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

This peaceful spa is surrounded by forest on the Pacific Ocean, creating the perfect, natural environment with the sound of splashing waves and the smell of the ocean permeating the atmosphere. This spa offers high-quality spa products and its estheticians focus on providing a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

9. Auberge de Soleil, United States

Located in the wine country of San Francisco, this spa is surrounded by private gardens and breathtaking views of Napa Valley. This spa offers the opportunity to partake in relaxing activities for romantic couples or friends of four with access to a private outdoor garden and hot spring. Embrace this spa’s philosophy of nurturing the body and mind while sinking into a peaceful state of relaxation.

 

8. Banyan Tree, Thailand

This one is considered to be one of Asia’s most spectacular spa resorts. All of this resort’s 123 villas have access to their own garden and an open air sunken bathtub, 52 of its villas have their own Jacuzzi, and 46 have their own private swimming pool. For the ultimate getaway, consider one of 13 villas with access to a private pool, Jacuzzi, private steam, and sauna room, and be sure to sign up for this hotel’s renowned ‘Intimate Moments’ partner massage.

7. The Grove, United Kingdom

The Grove is London’s cosmopolitan country estate, and it offers spa treatments that sooth and stimulate all of your senses. This spa prides itself on offering a total caring experience and ensuring that you escape, relax, and re-energize during your stay. Breathe in the tranquility, breath out the stress, and leave with a little more balance in your life.

6. Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa, United States

This spa is located in a private red rock canyon in Sedona, Arizona-- in what is considered to be one of the most sacred healing places on Earth. World class spa therapists create unique and memorable experiences and offer a variety of specially tailored services, aiming to provide a sense of harmony and health.

5. The Setai, United States

This Miami Beach luxury spa embraces ancient traditions and offers a complete experience with access to three private, sparkling swimming pools. This spa is dedicated to absolute privacy and relaxation, and its treatments will leave you feeling fresh and revitalized.

4. Four Seasons Hualalai Kona, United States

This exotic, Hawaiian themed spa integrates tropical gardens and exudes serenity. Its complimentary, pre-spa services include access to the lap pool, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, and cold plunges. The treatment massages can be performed outside amidst beautiful nature and bamboo that naturally bring about a sense of calm.

3. Le Sirenuse, Italy

This spa embraces the ancient philosophy of individualized treatments to reach harmony from the inside out.  Be sure to take advantage of their unique treatment options and enjoy various services made especially for your needs.

2. Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay, Indonesia

Inspired by the surrounding ocean, this resort has eight magnificent treatment rooms and offers suites equipped with outdoor soaking tubs. The spa treatments utilize essences of plants, aromas of healing flowers, and herbs and spices, all blended together to create soothing and rejuvenating recipes for an enhanced experience.

1. Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands

Dramatically located on a cliff’s edge, this spa overlooks the resort and the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Channel below. The indigenous botanical resources along with therapeutic practices make for the most relaxing spa experience. The best part, however, is that this spa is willing to accommodate you in their Cliff Spa Suite, in your room, on the beach, or even under the stars!

Try as we might, we just couldn’t pick one favorite, so we encourage you to share your favorite luxury spa experiences with us on Facebook. Is your favorite spa on our list? Let us know! We love hearing from you.


Retail Therapy in San Francisco: Holiday Shopping with the Four Seasons Hotel

October 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hotel San FranciscoThe holidays are right around the corner, and the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is getting in the mood with a holiday shopping spree and some festive cocktails. To the delight of guests, the luxury hotel in downtown San Francisco has partnered with Bloomingdale's to create a luxe holiday shopping package. Guests can indulge in some retail therapy with discounts, personal shopping services, and an après-shopping spa treatment. Bloomingdale’s flagship West Coast store is just two blocks from Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, a five-level shopping mecca of 300,000 square feet. Shop 'til you drop, then unwind with a complimentary Spiked Hot Chocolate at Seasons Bar and Lounge and a post-shopping massage at The Spa at the Sports Club/LA, located within the Hotel. (The enormous Sports Club/LA is a great place to burn off those pre-holiday calories.)

The Bloomingdale’s Luxe Holiday Package is available from November 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012 and includes:

    * Luxurious accommodations
    * $100 Bloomingdale’s gift card
    * 15 percent all-day savings certificate (see in-store certificate for details)
    * Signature Bloomingdale’s gift upon arrival at Visitor Center
    * Hotel delivery service for purchases
    * One-on-one makeup consultation and deluxe sample with Dior
    * Beauty Imaging System skin analysis and Facial Treatment Mask with SK-II
    * Appointment with a Bloomingdale's “At Your Service” personal shopper
    * Two specialty cocktails at Seasons Bar and Lounge
    * A 25-minute head, neck and shoulder massage at the Spa at Sports Club/LA