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.

The New Jing An Shangri-La in West Shanghai to Open June 2013

By: Five Star Alliance

June 2013 will mark the opening of Jing An Shangri-La Hotel, West Shanghai designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, this is Shangri-La’s third luxury hotel in Shanghai, following the well-established Pudong Shangri-La and the contemporary Kerry Hotel, both located in East Shanghai.

Jing An Shangri-La West ShanghaiShangri-La Hotels and Resorts' newest flagship hotel will open in the heart of Shanghai. The 508-room Jing An Shangri-La in West Shanghai on the top 29 floors of the 60-storey main tower will envelop guests in a world of luxury and modern glamour befitting one of the most exciting and influential international cities.

The hotel is the cornerstone of the new Jing An Kerry Centre, a 450,000- square-metre integrated complex with prime retail, office and residential space located in the fashionable Jing An District in Puxi, Shanghai. Jing An Shangri-La will present an approachable contemporary design that evokes a strong sense of place complemented by Shangri-La's inimitable heartfelt hospitality.

Every detail of the hotel has been meticulously considered, from the staff uniforms designed by top Chinese designer Han Feng, to over 80 intricate silk lanterns that appear to float magically in the Summer Palace Chinese restaurant, to the commissioning of large-scale artwork from two of the most renowned Chinese contemporary artists - Zeng Fanzhi and Zhou Chun Ya.

Jing An Shangri-La overlooks the focal point of Jing An Kerry Centre - a 3,000-square meter piazza featuring pathways, gardens, water features and al fresco dining. Guestrooms will occupy the top 29 floors of the hotel's 60-storey main tower, while restaurants, offices and retail shops will be located on the lower levels.

Jing An Shangri-La West ShanghaiThe spacious guestrooms' rich yet delicate interiors are a foil for the stunning views of Shanghai visible through nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. All guestrooms will feature bathrooms with heated marble floors as well as LCD TV and digital clock embedded in the bathroom mirrors.

The most spectacular view can be seen from the hotel's Horizon Club Lounge, which takes up the entire 55th floor and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Shanghai. Horizon Club Lounge access will be available to guests staying in the 62-square-meter Grand Premier Room category and all suites.

Among Jing An Shangri-La's many draws is its array of restaurants and lounges. Shangri-La created a distinct environment for each venue.

The unique destination restaurant, Summer Palace, serves Southeastern Chinese cuisine with Cantonese flair. Inspired by Chinese ink paintings of poetic landscapes, a series of contemporary dining chambers each provide a different dining ambiance and menu. The colorful rooms flow from the casual Pantry Chamber serving dim sum, to the Lantern Chamber with an open kitchen specializing in clay pot cooking, to the exquisite Imperial Chamber for formal dining.

The 1515 WEST, Chophouse & Bar is where old Shanghai film making meets classic American bar and grill decor. Executive Chef Franco Brodini will bring "ranch to table" dining to Shanghai, serving beef from hand-selected cattle raised in Australia specifically for The 1515 WEST. The main dining room features an open-grill kitchen complemented by a raw bar and The 1515 WEST bar, serving signature cocktails from a team of world-class mixologists.

The hotel's two-level Cafe LIANG & mezzanine will add a new twist to the gourmet international buffet dining experience Shangri-La hotels are known to offer. The cafe will feature a "tick box" menu card for main courses, integrating a buffet and table service experience. Main courses can be served family style for sharing, and al fresco dining will be available in the piazza area. A la carte Japanese cuisine will be served on the mezzanine level.

Opposite Cafe LIANG in the piazza is a modern Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar in a striking stand-alone two-storey glass-roof building clad in bamboo.

Jing An Shangri-La West ShanghaiAlso located within the piazza is the home in which Chairman Mao Zedong spent several months in 1920. Preserved amid the Jing An Kerry Centre's gleaming modern towers, the heritage home is currently being restored with the support of Kerry Properties and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in collaboration with the Jing An District Government.

Anticipating a need for meeting and event space in the central business district, the hotel offers an unparalleled 4,465 square meters of function space in West Shanghai. Jing An Shangri-La's Event Centre is housed in a five-storey podium block with a direct passage to the hotel tower on the third storey.

Its 1,740-square-metre pillarless Jing An Grand Ballroom is the largest in West Shanghai and boasts a 10-metre-high ceiling. The ballroom is complemented by a roof garden and a 1,039 square-metre pre-function area. In addition, the Event Centre houses a 514-square-metre junior ballroom plus six function rooms covering 659 square metres of space.

One signature event venue will be the Lifestyle Suite. Designed to provide the perfect combination of privacy and exclusivity, the self-contained Lifestyle Suite has its own bar, reception area, living room, dining room and courtyard. It can cater up to 80 guests.

Other offerings at Jing An Shangri-La include Shangri-La's signature CHI, The Spa, a state-of-the-art health club and a 25-metre heated indoor sky-dome lap pool.

The hotel is steps away from the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Jing An Temple and the famous Nanjing Road shopping street. It sits on a network of public transportation, including Metro Lines 2 and 7. It is a 45-minute drive from Pudong International Airport and a 20-minute drive from Hongqiao Airport via the adjacent elevated Yan'an Middle Ring Road.

The hotel and entire Jing An Kerry Centre development has been awarded the LEED Gold Pre-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai is the third Shangri-La property in the city, joining the luxurious Pudong Shangri-La located in the city's financial centre opposite the Bund, and the vibrant Kerry Hotel, Pudong, a luxury lifestyle hotel located near Century Park and the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

Fun Fact Friday! Break a Sweat at the Kerry Hotel Pudong Shanghai

By: Oksana Balytsky

Let’s face it; working out while traveling in hotel gyms that are outdated and cramped is pretty unappealing. Finding the energy to work out at all is a feat, and to get through a workout in a hotel gym is truly an accomplishment I have yet to cross off my list. Luckily, a few luxury hotels sympathize with our struggles and have created a work out environment that some may find hard to leave!

The Kerry Hotel Pudong Shanghai has extensive facilities covering 6,000 square meters over 3 floors, making it the largest gym in China. The gym features more than 80 weight machines and cardio equipment as well as an ‘Iron Man’ zone with training tools for triathletes. The best part of this stunning facility is that it sports panoramic views of Century Park, allowing gym goers to enjoy a beautiful view while breaking a sweat!

Check out photos, availability, and rates here!

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Cool New Addition: Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Shanghai

By: K. Clare Johnson

Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Shanghai is now accepting reservations for stays starting August 28, 2012. This Shanghai
luxury hotel offers an ambience inspired by Shanghai moderne, dialled up for hip, 21st-century tastes.

This Shanghai luxury hotel offers wall-to-wall views of the ever-changing cityscape. Highly functional, with
extra-large marble bathrooms, the room designs anticipate sophisticated travel needs.

Whether you're making your mark in today’s fast-paced, high-energy business environment or luxuriating during
some well-deserved downtime, we offer the ideal combination of modern amenities and renowned Four Seasons service.

It's Getting Hot in Here: Conde Nast Hot List 2012

By: Christopher Roney

Conde Nast Traveler, purveyor of fine hotel reviews and travel advice, has just released its 2012 edition of the Hot List, a list of hotels that are setting the hotel world aflame with fresh designs and new concepts, or maybe just a solid new look at classic luxury. 41 reporters embedded themselves anonymously in hotels across the globe to review their targets. What results is a list of 121 hotels around the world that are so on fire they should be put on your watch list, just in case they end up burning down. 

A couple highlights from the Hot List that caught our eye:

The Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver was originally opened in 1927 but after an illustrous career that saw the likes of Elvis Presley and Katherine Hepburn grace their front steps, the hotel went dark for a while. Emerging from its cocoon in 2011, the hotel is looking to recreate the legend it forged in the last century.

The Andaz Shanghai brings the contemporary style of the Andaz brand to the heart of China. Its minimalistic design and great spa are the perfect combination for any type of traveler to the Shanghai area. The customizable LED lighting featured in its premium rooms and suites is also incredibly fun.

Keep on the lookout as we take a more in-depth look at a few of our favorites from the Hot List in the days to come.

On the Hot(el) List: Waterhouses at South Bund

By: Christopher Roney

In a fantastic renovation project, korean lawyer-turned-hotelier Loh Lik Peng has turned an old warehouse located in the old dock district of Shanghai into one of the edgier contemporary hotels that's around: The Waterhouse at South Bund.  Making the Conde Nast Hot List for 2011, the broken-down building has been given a thorough scrubbing and made leaps and strides into modernity. Designer furniture accents minimalistic rooms that allow the peculiarities of a building definitely not built to be a hotel to shine through.  The external maintains a facade of the original industrial architecture that hides within it the intimate boutique hotel.

Small projects like this are the perfect province of boutique hotels. The small scale allows the designers to take risks that would never fly for larger investors who want a safe, guaranteed return.  Cutting-edge properties like this one are, in my opinion, where the real innovation in luxury design happens.  Public and private spaces are integrated into one another, allowing glimpses of the other side. The Waterhouse is part of a Chinese aesthetic revolution that is grasping at the old classics and transforming them into something wholly new.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong Voted "Best Hotel in the World"

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong set the bar high when it opened on June 21, 2010. Literally, the hotel caps off Cesar Pelli’s IFC Shanghai building with an incredible rooftop bar on the 58th floor that's the tallest in Shanghai. Gadling buzzed about the hotel as "luxury in a modern Mandarin-style shell." Travel + Leisure said: "The 285-room hotel places you in a cloud-level fantasy." And now the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine (U.S. edition)-- besotted with all the hotel's superlatives-- have voted it the 'Best Hotel In The World' in the magazine's 24th annual Readers Choice Awards. Two top awards were bestowed upon the hotel in one evening, Best Hotel in Asia Pacific, and then Overall Best Hotel in the World. Collecting the award on behalf of the hotel was The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company President, Herve Humler.

Opening Soon: The Andaz Shanghai Debuts in January

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz Liverpool Street in LondonAs fans of Hyatt's Andaz brand, we've been keeping our eye on this story for awhile. Come January 1, 2012, Andaz will be arriving in China with a cool new hotel in Shanghai's Xintiandi district. HotelChatter recently got the scoop from a very-excited tipster who claimed the property was originally slated to belong to Jumeirah. From the hotel's official website, there's a lot to be thrilled about. A spa with a swimming pool and juice bar. An all-day patisserie called-- what else?-- Éclair. A fun lounge and restaurant that combines a "French bistro and Shanghainese brasserie." A Glass Pavilion for weddings and red carpet events. Not to mention the rooms with a view, all equipped with an "impressive LED lighting where guests can customise the colour to suit their mood." In Andaz fashion, all non-alcoholic minibar drinks and snacks, local telephone calls, and wireless internet access are free.

Pictured: Andaz Liverpool Street in London.

The Peninsula Shanghai Celebrates 11.11.11, The Century's Most Auspicious Date

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula ShanghaiWhere will you be on November 11, 2011? According to Feng Shui masters, November 11 (11.11.11) is the most auspicious date of the 21st century, a moment when the pillars of heaven and earth will be in balance. To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion, The Peninsula Shanghai is rolling out two exclusive 11-themed special packages. Don't forget to fete this unforgettable date! The Peninsula Suite 11.11.11 offering includes:

* a one-night stay in a Peninsula Suite with a personal butler

* round-trip airport limousine service by Rolls-Royce

* 24-hour use of a Peninsula Shanghai Rolls Royce Phantom

* 1,111 roses arranged inside the suite

* 11 types of chocolate

* a 111-minute treatment for 1+1 in The Peninsula Spa by ESPA’s private suite

* American breakfast for 1+1

* a deluxe hamper filled with 11 gourmet items from The Peninsula Boutique and 11 different light snacks

* 11 cheeses

* 11 types of liquor

* 11 bottles of mineral water to share with 11 family members, friends or colleagues in the Peninsula Suite

This package is priced at RMB 111,111 per night for a minimum stay of two consecutive nights. The Deluxe Suite 11.11.11 offering, priced at RMB 11,111 per night for a minimum two-night stay, includes:

* a one-night stay in a Deluxe Suite

* round-trip airport limousine service by Rolls-Royce

* a deluxe hamper filled with 11 gourmet items from The Peninsula Boutique

* 11 types of chocolates

* 111 roses placed inside the Suite Daily

* American breakfast for 1+1 a 111-minute spa treatment for 1+1 in a private spa suite at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA.

More Details on the Andaz Shanghai, Opening This Summer

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz Wall StreetEver since the story broke that Hyatt would be exporting its trendy boutique brand to Shanghai, we've been waiting with bated breath for more news. And now we've got it. The brand spanking new hotel-- expected to open this summer-- will have 307 rooms "all with vibrant views over Shanghai and impressive LED lighting where guests can customise the colour to suit their mood." Of course, this hotel will have all the complimentary inclusions that makes Andaz such a beloved brand: non-alcoholic minibar drinks and snacks, local telephone calls and wireless internet access. There will also be a spa with a juice bar, fitness center, and swimming pool, along with a healthy selection of dining options: Éclair, billed as an "all-day patisserie specialising in classic, cream-filled French pastries," the Andaz Lounge; and Hai Pai- a Franco-Shanghainese brasserie.

Pictured: The Andaz Wall Street in NYC.

A Glowing Review of The Peninsula Shanghai

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Hotel ShanghaiA warning: Read this review of The Peninsula Hotel Shanghai and you might change your summer plans to include a trip to China. The first new building to be constructed on the Bund in 60 years, The Peninsula scores a perfect 10 in just about every category. Here's how The Globe and Mail describes it:

"A Peninsula hotel is like that frustrating friend who, no matter how hard you look, has no flaws. Not one. You could say the luxury chain favours quality over quantity, given that it has fewer properties in the world than you have fingers. Its latest creation occupies a prime spot on Shanghai's Bund... it overlooks the gardens of the former British consulate and has commanding views of the city's hyper-developed Pudong district, the Huangpu River and the Yangtze in the distance. As rusty boats, the symbols of old China, slide inland or out to sea, the Peninsula stands majestically above the shoreline, representing all that new China has to offer, a place where luxury and history intersect to create a spectacular sleepover experience."

The Peninsula ShanghaiNot sold yet? Read on:

"Want to lower the blinds from bed? Just press a button. Need to make a phone call or put on the privacy sign when you're soaking and watching TV in the opulent bathtub? You can do that too. Feel free to dial international numbers so you can boast to friends and family about your surroundings – the Peninsula has VOIP service so long-distance discussions won't cost you a dime. The rooms also have iPod docks, 42-inch plasma TVs, Nespresso machines and Internet radio with hundreds of channels to choose from... And don't forget the Peninsula's signature “nail dryer,” the can't-do-without for women who would rather be painting the town red than watching polish dry. If you plan to stay in, be sure to book a room overlooking the Huangpu River so you can watch Pudong light up and stare at the still-futuristic-looking Pearl of the Orient."