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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.

Personalized Gourmet Package at Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing

September 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Yannick Alleno at Shangri-La Hotel BeijingWe've been keeping our eye on this for many (hungry) months, and now star chef Yannick Alléno has opened the doors to his new S.T.A.Y. Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing. For those not familiar with this French hot shot, his cuisine at Le Meurice in Paris has scored rave reviews, not to mention three Michelin stars, and he now has eateries around the world-- from Dubai to Marrakech and now Beijing. This is one of the Chinese capital's most anticipated restaurant openings... So it's little wonder we are drooling over the hotel's new Gourmet Package. Here's why: You get to savor a Beijing culinary journey personalized by the dynamite chefs at S.T.A.Y. Think five-course meal* with wine pairings at the Chef's Table, a guided tour of a local market, a to-die-for breakfast, a dim sum lesson, and a Chinese tea ceremony. And did we mention that the chefs can greet you at the airport... with Champagne? This fully customizable package is available until December 31, 2012, priced according to your itinerary.

*A few of the signature dishes at the resto include Quail Eggs with Coral Sea Urchin; Black Cod in Seaweed Butter, mmmmm...


How to Get a Table at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

September 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dinner by Heston BlumenthalThe awards keep coming in for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal-- easily the best new restaurant in London this year. The latest for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's eatery? It was selected as "Top Newcomer" at the Awards Ceremony for 2012 Zagat London Restaurants Guide. Needless to say, it's impossible to get reservations at a restaurant of this quality. (For more information about Chef Heston Blumenthal's masterpiece, check out this article in Luxury Travel Advisor.) But we just got a clue-- in the form of an email-- about how you can increase your odds. If you book the Suite Gourmet Package at the Mandarin Oriental at Hyde Park, you'll get a priority booking for two people at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal with a with a food credit of GPB 200 credit room. You'll enjoy accommodations in one of the hotel's spectacular suites, full English breakfast, and a signed copy of Heston Blumenthal's Cook Book. Valid until December 31, 2011, from just GBP 745, subject to availability.


Pink Ribbon Pedicure at Waldorf-Astoria's Guerlain Spa for Breast Cancer Awareness

September 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Waldorf Astoria, New YorkOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an annual international health campaign to raise awareness of the disease and raise funds for research. Many will wear pink ribbons, volunteer at local charities, and participate in the National Race for the Cure. Hotels are also giving back and supporting the cause. Case in point: The Waldorf=Astoria in New York is offering the "Pink Ribbon Pedicure" at its swank Guerlain Spa during the entire month of October. $10 of the $90 treatment will be donated to help fund breast cancer awareness and research. What's in store for lucky ladies? While sipping on a sparkling pink champagne cocktail, they'll indulge with an ultra pampering luxury pedicure topped with P.Y.T. pink polish.


Wild, Wild West: Blacktomato Offers Luxury Frontier Package

September 21, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Tanque Verde Ranch

Think back to childhood. Picture yourself chasing after your friends, finger cocked into the shape of a pistol. “Bang, bang. I got you! You’re dead!” you’d yell, but your friends would never just fall down. They’d have a million reasons why not: “You missed me!” or “I’ve got armor!” or “I’m superman – bullets don’t hurt me!” or “Nuh uh!” You probably wrestled a bit until Mom told you to come inside and have your dinner already, it was getting cold.

Remember that? Now you get a chance to bring those childhood afternoons spent playing "Cowboys and Indians" to life. Blacktomato has created a 12-night luxury tour to showcase the modern Wild West adventure. Travel the edge of the Grand Canyon, wrangle cattle, and visit the most awe-inspiring of desert oases. It’s so authentic you might forget when you’re out in the wilds that you’re not spending your nights in a small, sweltering tent, but instead getting refreshed and rejuvenated at some of the world’s most prestigious hotels. They suggest, as we do, that you spend at least part of your stay at the Amangiri, a secluded resort so built to blend into the landscape that you’ll think it’s a mirage. Unlike most vacation packages, which offer you a set itinerary, Blacktomato recognizes that you want to take control of your own destiny, and their 12-night package is nothing more than a suggestion for things to see and do as you explore the western frontier:

  •  • Begin at Las Vegas and experience the strip in all its neon-bathed glory.
  •  • Leave the city to explore the rugged, scenic vistas of the Grand Canyon.
  •  • Continue on to the hidden desert oasis of Amangiri.
  •  • Experience the majestic red rock formations at the Enchantment Resort.
  •  • Live the life of a cowboy at the Tanque Verde Ranch.

Blacktomato will work with you to craft the perfect journey through America’s wildest of regions, and trust us; you can’t go wrong.


The Zurich Film Festival Honors Actor/Director Sean Penn

September 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Baur au Lac, ZurichThe Zurich Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and the largest city in Switzerland will be welcoming filmmakers, critics, and movie enthusiasts from around the world to a beautiful setting on Lake Zurich with the Alps as a backdrop. The annual Zurich Film Festival will run until October 2, 2011, and this year's guest of honor is actor and director Sean Penn. If you're lucky, you might still be able to grab a room at the inn. The Baur au Lac, the award-winning hotel which dates back to 1844, is offering a "Film Festival" pacage that includes accommodations, fresh fruit and chocolates in-room, a daily buffet breakfast or in-room Continental breakfast, two tickets to the film festival, a five-course dinner in the newly renovated Pavillon restaurant, and unlimited use of the rooftop fitness club. Valid through October 2, 2011, priced priced from CHF 1,042, subject to availability.


3rd Night for $11.04 at Puerto Rico's St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

September 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto RicoLooking for a little tropical luxury not far from the East Coast? You can't go wrong with the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico. Nestled on a Caribbean coconut plantation between the lush El Yunque National Forest and the sparkling sea, the resort is just a 30 minute drive from Old San Juan. It was designed with the entire family in mind with a slew of activities to keep everyone entertained-- from pampering treatments in the indoor/outdoor Remède Spa to games at the Iguana Kids Club. Tee off at the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. golf course, indulge in Jean-Georges’ acclaimed cuisine at Fern, lounge at the pool, or bask on the pristine Bahia Beach. Special offer: The St. Regis Beach Resort, Puerto Rico is celebrating its one year anniversary in November 2011 with a deal. Reserve two nights and enjoy your third night for only $11.04 (in honor of the resort's opening date)! Reserve and stay now through December 15, 2011. Three night minimum stay required.


Fall Foliage and Homemade Cider at Boston's Fifteen Beacon Hotel

September 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fifteen Beacon Hotel, Boston'Tis the season... for leaf-peeping at New England's splendid fall foliage, and savoring the scents of autumn (like warm spiced cider). Head to Boston, one of the world's best walking cities, for a private guided tour through the city's historic heart, soaking up the last days of summer warmth and enjoying mild temperatures. Fifteen Beacon Hotel, the luxury landmark standing at the crest of Beacon Hill, has an enticing package to help you get the most out of the season. Book "Only in Autumn" and you'll enjoy homemade spiced cider and donuts, a private tour of Boston (the most historic city in America) for prime leaf-peeping and historic sightseeing, and an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability. Please book at least two weeks in advance. Rates starting from $800. Blackout dates may apply.


Halloween in London: Tarantula Cocktails at The Langham

September 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Langham London, cocktailWe've tossed back our share of scary libations (oh Jägermeister, how you warm the hardest of college-age hearts)... But never have we seen anything quite like this. The Langham in London is getting in the Halloween spirit by serving up “Tarantula and Scorpion Cocktails” at its Artesian bar. (This swank watering hole has garnered all kinds of awards, including “World's Best Cocktail Menu" at this year's Spirited Awards.) Artesian's mixologist Alex Kratena created the drink with Courvoisier punch infused with oven baked tarantula and scorpion which is said to “add notes of wood and tobacco to the cocktail.” Staying in London for Halloween? The Langham is offering its annual October package for £333 (the same number as The Langham's most haunted room) including overnight accommodation for two persons, a Tarantula Cocktail for two in Artesian, a Jack The Ripper Walking Tour and a complimentary history book (complete with ghost stories) of The Langham, London from The Langham Book Butler.


Don a Dirndl, Grab a Stein of Beer: Oktoberfest in Munich with The Charles Hotel

September 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Charles Hotel, MunichIt's our favorite time of year. Sunny days with a slight chill in the air... And Oktoberfest is here! Planning to hit up one of the world's biggest parties in Germany? (Munich is calling your name.) Do it right and don a custom-made dirndl for the occasion. The Charles, a Rocco Forte hotel, has partnered up with Schatzi Dirndl, the well-respected Bavarian costume designer, to dress its guests in style. Not only that, but the hotel will hook you up with beer spa treatments! Reserve the ‘Wiesn Warm-Up Spa Treatment’ and you'll be indulging with a beer footbath, a hops and salt scrub and a revitalizing back-and foot massage, followed by a refreshing Bavarian wheat beer. Did we mention the "Hangover Massage" for post-Oktoberfest recovery? Book the Oktoberfest Package, available from now until October 4 and priced from 925 euros for two nights, and you'll get: accommodations with breakfast for two, one personalized dirndl by Schatzi Dirndl, transfers to and from Schatzi Dirndl for fitting, Bavarian gift in room upon arrival, an welcome drinks.


A London Hotel for Insomniacs: Sweet Dreams at The Milestone

September 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Milestone Hotel, LondonCalling all you insomniacs out there... Sometimes even a Hästens mattress wrapped in 300-thread-count sheets and feather duvets is not going to cut it. You need tips from a specialist to ensure a "sound sleep experience." Enter The Milestone Hotel and Apartments, the award-winning property in Kensington. According to London Hotels Insight, the boutique hotel launched a package this summer which includes a luxurious night’s stay, a private, one-hour consultation with sleep therapist Tej Samani, treatments in the hotel’s spa therapy room and an assortment of aromatherapy oils, eye masks and other helpful aids to help you drift off. Get this: You can even take advantage of the Alpha Sleep Pod, "a matchbox-sized machine with earphones that pump out audio to match your sleep dilemma, whether you can’t fall asleep, can’t get back to sleep or just want a power nap." Starting at £976 per room per night based on two people sharing a Deluxe King room.