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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.

Celebrate Mexican Independence Day at Grand Velas Resorts

August 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Velas, Riviera MayaGrand Velas Resorts in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya are going all out to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day on September 16. Think complimentary tequila aromatherapy massages, authentic Mexican meals and thrilling adventures to teach guests more about Mexico’s vibrant culture and history. What we're most excited about: the ‘Mayan Encounter’ tour that takes adrenaline hounds zip lining through the Mayan jungle and to the top of the Yucatan’s tallest pyramid. Available from September 12-18. The Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit outside Puerto Vallarta is offering guests a third night free, a 25-minute ‘Viva Mexico’ massage, an authentic Mexican dinner complete with mariachi band, and 30% off a round of golf at Vista Vallarta & Marina Vallarta courses. Rates start at $320 USD per person per night in double occupancy in Master or Parlor Ocean View Suite. Children are $87 per child per night.

Sister property Grand Velas Riviera Maya is welcoming guests with the Mayan Heritage Experience which includes a free suite upgrade, the above-mentioned Mayan Encounter tour, and a taste of authentic Mayan fare prepared by local Mayan women. Back at the resort, guests can experience Mexican Independence at Frida Restaurant with a special menu that pays tribute to some of Mexico City’s Grand Velas Riviera Nayaritgastronomy from the past 40 years. Rates for the Mayan Heritage Experience start at $330 per person per night in double occupancy in the Zen Grand Suite. Children up to 12 years old stay free when sharing the suite with their parents and children 13 to 16 years receive a 50% discount in the Ambassador, Ambassador Pool & Grand Class suites.

Note that Grand Velas Resort’s all-inclusive rate includes luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, nightly entertainment and more. Minimum of three nights applies to both packages.


Post-Summer Detox at Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos

August 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Parrot CayToo many rum drinks this summer? Don't fret. Parrot Cay is gearing up for Wellness Month in September, where guests can partake in juice cleanses to rejuvenate and detoxify their bodies. Participate in daily yoga and Pilates classes, learn healthful tips at cookery demonstrations featuring COMO Shambhala Cuisine by Executive Chef Daniel Moran, and get access to some of the world’s leading experts and therapists. You’ll come back feeling better than when you left! Book the "Fabulous Five" spa package-- five friends, five days, a new you-- for some serious post-summer rejuvenation. Here's what's included: five nights’ accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner including the choice of our healthful COMO Shambhala Cuisine menus. There is also one private supper for your group at the COMO Shambhala spa cottage provided. Your group of five will have full complimentary access to the schedule of daily activities at Parrot Cay, which includes private yoga sessions. Costs are from US$500 per night, based on two people sharing.


Adventure in Morocco: Fly by Helicoper to Essaouira from the Royal Mansour

August 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal Mansour MarrakechLeave it to the Royal Mansour, the opulent Marrakech resort owned by the King of Morocco, to organize the ultimate adventure to the oceanfront city of Essaouira. Long considered one of the best anchorages of the Moroccan coast, Essaouira is an ancient port once settled by the Carthaginians, Romans, and then Portuguese. It's a marvelous mixmash of archeological treasures-- its medina is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site-- in a beautiful setting. The Royal Mansour Marrakech, home to a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, will fly you by helicopter to Essaouira where you'll be driven to the town of Ounagha for a wine tasting at "Val d’Argan," a French-owned winery. To cap off a dazzling day, you'll be served an extravagant lobster dinner under a Bedouin tent on the beach at Sidi Kaouki.


Book Now: Pre-Holiday Sale at Capella Pedregal in Cabo

August 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella PedregalWhen summer's in full swing, it's hard to think ahead to the wintry cold. But now's the time to book your resort vacation for the holidays. Prime destinations in the sunshine, like Cabo San Lucas, can sell out. The ultra-luxurious Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas is currently offering a 20% discount on guest rooms over the dates of December 15th - 23rd, 2011. To take advantage of this offer, reservations must be made by September 30th. Dodge the arctic temps and enjoy Cabo's perennially sunny and dry climate, while getting spoiled rotten by the staff at Capella Pedregal. The fine print: 100% payment required at the time of booking. All reservations made are non-refundable, thus the reservation in non-cancelable. No minimum length of stay restriction required.


Trends in Travel: Marco Island Resort Rewards Guests for Voluntourism

August 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Marco Island Beach ResortThe latest hotel to give travelers discounts to reward them for voluntourism work? Florida's Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort which recently launched Give & Get-- meaning 15% savings when guests use a portion of their hard-earned vacation time helping others. Available through September 30, 2011, the program features diverse volunteer opportunities: coastal clean-up with Friends of Rookery Bay, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering with the YMCA, or helping out at Marco Island’s first public high school.

Related Articles:

Voluntourism Means Hotel Discounts at Four Seasons Austin

Voluntourism in the Everglades with Mandarin Oriental Miami

Culinary “Voluntourism” at the Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

Travel Trends: Voluntourism, and Give-Back Getaways with Ritz-Carlton Hotels


Reggae, Running & Relaxation at The Caves in Negril, Jamaica

August 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Caves, NegrilWe've found a killer substitute for the NYC Marathon. Try a pasta party, post-race spa treatment, and celebratory cocktail party in Jamaica. Head south for the December 3, 2011 marathon in Negril and shack up at The Caves, the beautiful cliffside boutique hotel located near the race starting line. The resort has created a delightful "Reggae, Running & Relaxation" package for runners that even includes race transfers. Plus, if you want to stay a little longer, you'll get 10% off any additional nights booked. After you experience one of the most incredible runs of your life (along the island's north coast), you'll get whisked away to The Caves for a party in the Blackwell Rum Bar, followed by a Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub at the spa, a dip in the sea, and a snorkeling tour through the gorgeous limestone grottos.


3rd Night Free at The Carlyle in New York

August 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Carlyle, New YorkLive it up in Manhattan with a stay at The Carlyle, a timeless classic in the Upper East Side overlooking Central Park. Part of the Rosewood Hotels collection, this ultra-luxurious hotel emanates New York luxury-- from the legendary Bemelmans Bar to the jewel-like Sense Spa. (Even the tiniest guests are spoiled rotten at The Carlyle; the Rose Buds Kids program means Baby Primrose skincare products, the Madeleine tea, and lush velour terry child-sized bath robes and slippers.) Bed down in this refined residence, called home by leaders in business and society, and get a special rate this summer. Take advantage of the "MORE Rosewood" offer and get one more night on the house. Stay two nights and get the third night for free, valid through August 31, 2011.


Island Hop in Thailand with Anantara Resorts

August 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rasananda Phangan Island ResortWhy settle for one idyllic Thai island when you can experience the best of two? Embark on an indulgent and diverse getaway to the Gulf of Thailand to get a taste of the red-hot nightlife on Koh Samui and the relaxing beaches of Koh Phangan (the isle famous for its full moon parties). Anantara Resorts is whisking you away with a special offer called the "Two Island Experience." Divide your time between Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa, a hideaway near bustling Chaweng, with the dreamy seclusion of a private pool suite or villa at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort. With breakfast, sea and land transfers all included, this special package invites you to linger longer and soak up tranquil island life. Rates from THB 17,700 with three nights at each resort.


Paradise in Pasadena: Food Credit at The Langham Huntington

August 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Huntington PasadenaJust nine miles north of Los Angeles, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is a 23-acre garden oasis set against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains. The hotel's been a landmark in beautiful Pasadena since 1907, and continues to woo the fit and the fabulous for tennis, nearby golf, and spa time. And the restaurant (The Royce) is fantastic, serving "New American Cuisine" by chef David Féau emphasizing fresh seasonal produce. The Langham Huntington is the perfect place to stay and play for the whole family. A special offer valid through September 4, 2011 includes Lanai accommodations and a daily $50 food and beverage credit to be used at the pool bar. The "Family Stay & Play Package" is priced from $219 per night, subject to availability, Sunday- Thursday nights only.


Free Championship Golf at Miami's Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort

August 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort, MiamiSavor the last days of summer with a jaunt to Miami. With a private beach club, an exclusive spa, and three sparkling pools, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort will give you a reason to smile. Pay just $159 per night and get a bunch of value-added amenities built into the price. Not only that, you'll get to enjoy free golf on both of the 18-hole championship courses through September 30, 2011. This deal is so snazzy it caught the eye of CBS News; kids under five get to eat for free, and parents can tuck into a three-course Prix Fixe dinner at award-winning BOURBON STEAK for only $35.