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.

Traveling with kids can be difficult with many hotels enforcing maximum occupancy policies, so we love when hotels are able to provide room options and rates ideal for family travel! The Hotel Palace Barcelona has family specials running from November 1st 2012 – March 31st 2013. This luxury hotel has various options available since families come in different shapes and sizes. No cookie-cutter short cuts here; pick the room type that’s right for you and start planning your holiday in Spain! (Counting Crows, anyone?)

Accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children (age 11 and under):

- Junior Suite with a sofabed for the 2 children to share. No extra person charges.

- 2 Rooms for Families option which has 2 interconnecting Classic Deluxe rooms.

- 2 Bedroom Suite option.

Accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children (one under 11 and one as adult):

- Junior Suite with a sofabed for the 2 children to share. Extra person charge of 80 Euros per night for the third adult.

- 2 Bedroom Suite option. Extra person charge of 80 Euros per night for the third adult.

Accommodation for 2 adults and 3 children:

- 2 Rooms for Families option which has 2 interconnecting Classic Deluxe rooms. If any of the children are older than 11, an additional 80 Euros will be applied to the rate per night, per adult.

- 2 Bedroom Suite option. Extra person charge of 80 Euros per night for any additional adult over the age of 11.

To view rates and availability, simply visit this website and enter your dates of travel!

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: We need two rooms, and we'd like to stay at the Abama Golf and Spa Resort from January 30th - February 6th in an Ocean View room. What is available and at what rates?

Answer: The Abama Golf and Spa Resort – Guia de Isora, Spain has availability from January 30th - February 6th, and its Deluxe Rooms with an Ocean View are currently 335 Euros per night. To make a reservation for this room type, simply visit this website, enter your dates of travel, select the room type, and fill in the booking form. To make a second room reservation simply repeat the process. Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

We sift through newsletters, promotions, updates, rants, raves, and reviews to find the absolute best luxury hotels in various categories. Our team of luxury travel experts certainly knows a thing or two about what’s considered to be an exceptional hotel, so we’ve put our top picks together to create a list of Five Star Alliance Favorites!

Lucy, our Director of Digital Operations here at Five Star Alliance, has voted the Gran Hotel la Florida in Barcelona as one of her favorite spots in Spain. This hotel is perfectly situated 300 meters above the city, offering spectacular views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. Our insider sources tell us that Bruce Springsteen (Lucy’s favorite singer) stays here when he’s in Barcelona, which may very well be reason enough to find this hotel as a charming gem in the bustling city in Spain. A few key highlights of the Gran Hotel la Florida include:

- Children service's including baby sitting and special activities upon request.

- Heated indoor /outdoor Swimming-pool. -

- ZenZone SPA including Sauna, Steam Bath, Pressure Showers, Ice Fountain, Jacuzzi, Hydrotherapy and treatment cabins.

- Wine & Cava cellar tours and tastings. 

Explore more photos, availability, and rates at the Gran Hotel la Florida here. >>

Visiting the Prado Museum, strolling through Retiro Park, and enjoying a few tapas at an outdoor café are all wonderful activities every visitor to Madrid should experience, but once you’ve checked these must-sees off your list, how should you spend your time? Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few fun places to explore and things to do during your visit to various cities around the world that you wouldn’t come across in every tour book.

Experience a new side of Spain by visiting the Alcala de Henares, one of the first designated university cities. Its located about 20 miles outside Madrid, and it’s the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the author or the world renowned book, ‘Don Quixote.’ The center of the city remains relatively medieval with beautiful, winding cobblestone streets and preserved, historic buildings. The city has a Moorish, Jewish, and Christian quarter, earning it its reputation of “the city of three cultures.” Make your reservations at any of our luxury hotels in Madrid and take a day trip to Alcala de Henares to fight windmills and rescue damsels in distress!

Photo of the Mirasierra Suites Hotel

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.

Ohla, la. The Ohla Hotel in Barcelona is looking good enough to make a slightly inappropriate reference to consuming it. Wow, I could just eat it up. Near the Plaza de Catalunya, the small 74-room boutique was built just last year, and while it's still just stretching its legs, it came out of the womb a freakishly mature adult, ready to hit the ground running. Customizability is the name of the game at the Ohla Hotel. Its 24-hour room service offers an a la carte menu for just about everything in the room. Sheets, pillows, aromas for your linens, even films and music. Yeah, you saw that right. You can select what your sheets smell like. I often make the same choice every night at home, but that's more an indication that I should stop eating take-out in bed. Take-out certainly won't be necessary at the Ohla. Just head to the Sauc restaurant which has gotten its very own gold (Michelin) star. If you want to see downtown Barcelona from a room you've made your very own, you can't do better than the Ohla Hotel.

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 Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambience and design. This luxury hotel offers some of the most exclusive accommodations in Barcelona with only 98 rooms and suites. Its modern designs incorporate subtle reflections of their oriental heritage, and it is a staple hotel in the Mandarin Oriental collection. Views are either of their interior garden or the Passeig de Gracia, a stylish boulevard. A number of guest rooms have a balcony or terrace allowing guests to take in the sweeping beauty of Barcelona. The charm behind this hotel is certainly in its design, for it has the feel of a small, personal boutique hotel, but provides the amenities and service expected from an established, large hotel.

Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona!

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

 Named for the king who commissioned in in 1928, the Hotel Alfonso XIII is located in the heart of Seville, and it was designed to be Europe’s most luxurious hotel. It symbolizes the city’s Moorish influences and provides easy access to the Guadalquivir River and the Santa Cruz neighborhood. Its 151 rooms pay tribute to the various eras in Seville varying from Isabelline Baroque, Castilian, and Moorish-style. Every room has lively walls covered with a blend of silk and linen, and the rooms are adorned with beautiful, authentic antiques. It’s phenomenally located minutes from the Reales Alcazares and Plaza de Espana, among the arches and arabesques of the historic downtown. This hotel has an Olympic size seasonal pool; it offers private massages, babysitting services, and easy access to Calle Sierpes and other wonderful cobblestone shopping streets in the phenomenal city of Seville.

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 #10 spot we have the Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona, located on Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona’s most exclusive shopping street.

Quick facts about the Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona:

- Walking distance from Barcelona’s most exciting landmarks including Las Ramblas, the Plaza de Cataluna, the Gothic Quarter, and Gaudi’s major architectural works.

- Offers 276 rooms and 41 suits, all renovated and new in 2011.

- Rooms use the most up-to-date technology including a Satellite Newspaper kiosk to access 168 international newspapers.

- Offers Smart Roadster Convertible cars with GPS, and this service is free for one day for guests who reserve a suite.

- Business Center features 5 PCs with Windows XP, laser and ink-jet printers, photocopier, fax, scanner, shredder, and office supplies.

- Outdoor, rooftop pool offers guests incredible views of Barcelona.

- The Penthouse is the most exclusive and luxurious room option. It offers the most impressive panoramic view of the city, two private terraces, and 6 plasma screen televisions.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona.

Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is a historic city with tiny, winding, bustling streets and a rich culture symbolized by Moorish influence. If you’re in search of an energetic nightlife or a cultural excursion to discover some of the most renowned monuments in all of Europe, consider visiting the heart of Southern Spain.

In the center of Seville lies Hotel Alfonso XIII, named after the king who commissioned it 83 years ago. This luxurious hotel offers rooms with varying themes and styles including Isabelline Baroque, Moorish, and Castillian. Hotel Alfonso XIII is situated downtown, just minutes from the Royal Alcazar Palace and the Plaza de España, making this hotel the perfect, centrally located destination.

Seville has an incredible charm emanating from the streets, and the people have a very relaxed attitude about life. I encourage you to fully embrace the culture and see a flamenco show, or try the pairing of green olives with beer, or sip on a Tinto de Verano, which is a light, refreshing blend of red wine and lemon soda.

Be sure to get your shopping done in the morning or evening, as many store owners close down their shops for a few hours in the afternoons for a siesta. My recommended hotel is currently closed for renovations, but it’ll reopen in March 2012, just in time for the beautiful spring months and Semana Santa, which is one of the most significant, traditional events in Seville. Can’t wait that long? Consider some of the other incredible resorts located all over Spain, and get ready for a fiesta!