The 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.

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: I’m hoping to stay at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town from October 29th – November 5th. What are the details of the One More Night 4 for 3 deal?

Answer: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa does have availability for your dates of travel, and it has a ‘Leading One More Night 4 for 3’ package available for various room types. The nightly rate shown has already discounted the free night into the price breakdown. To make a reservation at any of the room options, simply visit this website, enter your dates of travel, select the room option, and fill in the booking form.  Please be advised that the rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Ellerman House Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambiance and design. This luxury hotel is one of the world’s most exclusive and private retreats. Its perfect position sweeping over the lively city of Cape Town and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean has earned it the status of a historical landmark. This boutique hotel only has 9 rooms and 2 suites, all beautifully decorated with eloquence and style. What makes this hotel stand out from the rest is its phenomenal wine cellar of 17,000 bottles of South African wine as well as its world famous art collection. Add this hotel to your bucket list and be sure to check it out when visiting Cape Town!

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.

South Africa had a major revitilization following their hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and it continues to be one of the major getaway destinations for someone looking for something a little different from the stereotypical Caribbean island vacation.  And in the spirit of looking out for something different, the Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa is even a little different from the standard fare in South Africa.  With only 24 suites on the property, I would say the entire resort could practically fit in the palm of your hand if it werent for the fact that for those 24 rooms, it has all the facilities of a hotel ten times its size.  Especially of note is the architectural emphasis on aquatics. The hotel's crowning jewel is its gorgeous infinity pool, which you can be assured is never too crowded and actually plays underwater music.  The hotel's spa makes use of the innovative treatments, including the Rasul Chamber, which you'll just have to experience for yourself.  The Saxon makes an effort not to be just another cookie-cutter luxury destination, and if you stay on your next trip to Africa, you'll feel the difference that makes.

The Red Carnation Hotel collection is widely regarded as one of the best international collections of independent and boutique hotels.  From the currently hotly-contested 41 Hotel to the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, expect to see big things from these hotels this year.  The Twelve Apostles is opening up their newly redesigned spa alongside a series of deluxe beauty products fashioned from African plant extracts such as avocado butter and Ximenia kernel oil.  Look forward to being treated with crystal-infused body oils or a fynbos sugar scrub or other highlights of the B|Africa series at any of Red Carnation's African locations, from the Twelve Apostles to Bushman's Kloof or Durban's The Oyster Box.  The Oyster Box was itself named the Best Luxury Wellness Spa South Africa at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2011.  Capped by an iconic lighthouse and heaping helpings of colonial charm, the Oyster Box is one of South Africa's very best luxury hotels.  

As for the Twelve Apostles, you can enjoy its 55 rooms and 14 suites in any of four secluded wings, connected by open walkways and featuring gorgeous mountain and sea views.  Rooms especially for the business traveler help pull you away from the astounding vistas by offering special lighting in a generous work space and, as it almost goes without saying these days, high speed internet access.  Regardless of what brings you to Cape Town, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is certainly a great place to stay.  And you keep on the lookout for more from Red Carnation Hotels; I know I'm excited to see what they come up with next.

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #15 spot we have the Mount Nelson Hotel, set at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Quick facts about the Mount Nelson Hotel:

- The most iconic luxury hotel situated within a beautiful garden estate in the heart of Cape Town.

- Located in an urban sanctuary with a romantic heritage, distinctive style, and a commitment to excellent service.

- Small meeting rooms which can accommodate 15, 45, and 60 people.

- Nine acres of enclosed gardens, babysitting services, and various child-friendly tours.

- Located in the midst of wine country, providing guests with ample opportunities to partake in wine tours.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Mount Nelson Hotel.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here is our #16 featured hotel, the Auberge du Soleil.

Located in the heart of one of the most fascinating cities, the One and Only Cape Town is nestled between the scenic sandstone cliffs. This urban chic waterfront resort is surrounded by beauty and offers incredible views of Table Mountain and private Spa Island. Aside from being in an incredible city with incredible landscapes, this resort has recently added new wedding venues and packages, making it a perfect location to tie the knot.

The One and Only Cape Town is adding a 76-foot motor yacht and a beautiful new Ballroom to its extensive venue list for weddings and engagements. The ivory tones and 6 handmade crystal chandeliers add to the Ballroom’s sophistication and elegance. The Ballroom measures 2,314 square feet and has 648 square feet of outdoor space, making it suitable for a wedding with 50–140 guests.

If a wedding in a grand Ballroom is not quite your cup of tea, consider exploring the option of enjoying intimate moments on the Sherilyn, a luxury motor yacht. This luxurious yacht is available for sunset wedding photographs, wedding ceremonies, and even grand gesture proposals. It can accommodate up to 20 guests, and its qualified team can assist with making arrangements to create the perfect ambiance.

For those unable to choose between the Ballroom and the Sherilyn, the Ballroom Package is available, which provides exclusive access to the yacht for post-ceremony drinks.

We hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas for planning your wedding, and we hope you are able to find the perfect location with the right amenities for your special day.

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