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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.

Top 10 Spas All Over the World


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


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

 


Hot Rates: Spend the Holidays at the Westin San Francisco for $135


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin San Francisco Market StreetThis just in. We've found unbelievably low rates for the holiday period in San Francisco. Needless to say, we don't often see prices like this at four-star hotels in the City by the Bay. We're talking $135 per night when you reserve seven days in advance at the Westin San Francisco Market Street. But we say book today to ensure availability! Valid for stays from November 20-27 and December 2, 3, 11, 15-18 and 22-29. That's not all. When you stay two nights- and if you're a Facebook friend and Twitter follower of the hotel- you'll get a free upgrade to the next room category. Located in SOMA (the South of Market district), the hotel offers spectacular views of the city from floor-to-ceiling windows in every guest room. Plus, Westin Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Bath, flat-screen TVs, and High Speed Internet Access to make you feel right at home.


New in San Francisco: Trace Restaurant at the W Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel San FranciscoThere's no shortage of excellent restaurants in SF. And now we're hearing about a new, farm-to-table eatery that could give them all a run for the money. Located in the posh W Hotel, Trace restaurant opened on September 5 to much fanfare. Its mission? To quote the official website: "TRACE is committed to fusing the vibrant, local personality of the Bay Area with a dedication to socially responsible food prepared from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, led by Executive Chef Paul Piscopo and Executive Sous Chef Alaun Grimaud." Daily Candy sings its praises: "Upscale food styling elevates already-satisfying small plates and entrees like homemade ravioli with summer squash and grilled rib-eye with pillowy gnocchi and lobster mushrooms." And Eater SF has some swell photos of Stanley Saitowitz’s interior architectural design. This being the W, there's a happening bar and lounge scene, to boot.


Suite San Francisco: Savings at Taj Campton Place


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Campton Place, San FranciscoHere's your chance to live the suite life in San Francisco. (Just check out the pic of the Executive Suite at Taj Campton Place.) Just off Union Square, the hotel offers a sophisticated haven (and a healthy dose of world-famous Taj hospitality) just a stone's throw from the financial district, art galleries, museums, and the city’s best known stores and restaurants. The 110-room Taj Campton Place is inviting you to stay in style this summer with the "Suite Celebration" offer. Book a suite for a night at the Best Available Rate and enjoy the next night at half price. Valid through August 31, 2011, the package is subject to availability and certain blackout dates.


A New Look for Kimpton’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco

The beloved icon in San Fran’s Union Square was looking a little worn around the edges. Now loyal Sir Francis Drake fans are toasting their good luck; the hotel is undergoing a glamorous makeover to be revealed in early summer. And some of the rooms have already been done up. From the website: “The fresh new design is a take on a contemporary interpretation of the classic attitude and elegance of the era of Sir Francis Drake– the Elizabethan period of English history – woven into a modern vision that honors Kimpton’s grand boutique roots.” Expect elegant art, custom wool carpets, and regal lounge chairs in the 417 guest rooms. Public spaces, including Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, will also be getting dolled up.

Traveling to San Francisco? Best available rates can be found at the Sir Francis Drake for $149 per night.