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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.

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.


Opening Soon: Dorchester Collection's 45 Park Lane in London

August 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

45 Park Lane, LondonIn just a matter of days, a new luxury hotel will be making waves in London town. The Dorchester Collection's newest property, 45 Park Lane, is just a stone's throw from the hotel flagship, overlooking Hyde Park in Mayfair. In perhaps the biggest news of all, 45 Park Lane will be home to Wolfgang Puck's first restaurant in Europe: CUT, a modern American steak house. Acclaimed architect Thierry Despont was behind the renovation. There are 45 guest rooms, all with views of Hyde Park, plus a Penthouse Suite with sweeping views of London from a wraparound terrace. Hot rates: From September 1- 11, 2011, guests can take advantage of an introductory rate of £350 (approximately $567 USD). Wifi is included.


VIP Access to the Shedd Aquarium with The Blackstone, A Chicago Renaissance Hotel

August 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Blackstone, a Chicago Renaissance HotelThe Shedd opened on May 30, 1930 as Chicago's first stand-alone aquarium, launched by the retired president of Marshall Field & Company, John G. Shedd. Today the popular attraction houses nearly 22,000 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters all over the world. Experience the historic Shedd Aquarium, a.k.a., "The World's Aquarium," with a special package from The Blackstone Hotel. Priced from $179 per night, the Aquarium Escape! includes two VIP non-timed/non-dated tickets to the Shedd Aquarium (read: no waiting in lines!) along with your overnight accommodations at The Blackstone. What's more, you'll be given a complimentary upgrade to a "View Room." Based on availability Thursday - Sunday only; valid through December 31, 2011.


Pick Your Perk: $79 Rates at Arizona's Wigwam Resort

August 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wigwam ResortNow through September 5, the historic Wigwam resort in Phoenix is sending off summer by offering its lowest rates of the season with rooms for just $79. Not only that, but you get to "Pick Your Perk" and enjoy the hotel's newest amenities for a fraction of the price (think half-price poolside cabanas and free dessert at the new farm-to-table restaurant, Litchfield's). The Arizona resort recently underwent a $7 million dollar renovation and has a new main pool complex, outdoor plaza, dining concepts and hotel lobby. Special summer guest activities including Bocce ball, swim-up blackjack, water balloon tosses, and more. The “Pick Your Perk” promotion includes a $79 room rate and the option to enjoy all of the following for stays Aug. 1 - Sept. 5, 2011:

* Half-price Cabana Rentals with 10 percent off food and beverage.

* Complimentary Wine or Dessert with an entrée purchase at Litchfield’s restaurant

* $25 Greens Fee for golf, includes a sleeve of Nike Power Distance golf balls.

* $45 Three-course Dinner for Two at Red Allen’s restaurant overlooking the Wigwam fairways.

* Half-price Tennis Clinics at the resort’s world-class championship tennis facility.


Boston Restaurant Week: Specials at the Taj Boston

August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj BostonBoston restaurant week is in full swing, meaning you can score a deal at some of the city's finest restaurants. Try a two-course lunch for $15.11, three-course lunch for $20.11, and three-course dinner for $33.11. For the occasion, the Taj Boston-- the landmark hotel at Arlington and Newbury streets overlooking the Public Garden-- has introduced new menus available August 14-19 and August 21-26. Snag a table in The Café, the hotel’s charming 66-seat restaurant with perfect people-watching views of fashionable Newbury Street shops, and dig into these tasty favorites:

* Starters: Indian Spiced Fish Cake with Cucumber Salad and Mint Chutney OR Escargot and Orecchiette Pasta with Woodland Mushrooms and Lemon Garlic Butter

* Entrees: Methi Murg Chicken (a flavorful red curry) with Sweet Onion and Cashew Gravy and Fenugreek; East Coast Seafood Cioppino with Garlic Toast and Herb Aioli, OR o Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with Corn Yukon Mashed and Mustard Barbeque Sauce

* Dessert: Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries, OR Coconut Caramel Cake with Candied Bananas and Passion Fruit Coulis


Private Tours of the MoMA with The Setai Fifth Avenue

August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Setai Fifth AvenueGet a load of this. The Setai Fifth Avenue-- the luxurious, Capella managed hotel in Midtown-- now offers guests private tours of the MoMA. Before New York's world-famous Museum of Modern Art opens its doors to the daily hordes of tourists and art enthusiasts, hotel guests can get a private viewing of "the greatest collection of modern art in the world" (to quote The New York Times).

This distinctive offering is part of "The Connoisseur" package, which also includes swank overnight accommodations and a complimentary breakfast delivered to the room. "The Connoisseur" is available at a starting rate of $1,046. All guests of The Setai Fifth Avenue also enjoy signature Capella Hotels and Resorts amenities such as the attention of personal assistants; complimentary snacks, water and soft drinks stocked and replenished in-room daily.


Hogwarts Halloween at Ireland's Ashford Castle

August 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ashford CastleHarry Potter's magical world of witches and wizards will come to life this Halloween at Ireland's Ashford Castle. Situated on 350 acres on the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong in County Mayo, Ashford Castle dates back to 1228. The resort's activities run the gamut from falconry to golf, and Ashford Castle continually ranks as one of the best resorts in the world. For Halloween, families are welcome to the estate for a fun-filled weekend for magicians in the making. It's the ideal setting: secret rooms, hidden alcoves, and mystical woodland surroundings... Two "Hogwarts Halloween" packages are offered from October 28th through November 6th. 

October 28, 30; November 1, 3, 5

Noon - "Forbidden Forest" treasure hunt for entire family

3pm - Visit to the hiding place of Dingle, Ashford Castle's resident owl (supervised)

4pm - Afternoon "Chamber of Art" painting class (supervised)

5pm - 6:30pm: Kids' dinner in the Ardilaun Suite (supervised)

6:30pm - 9pm: Harry Potter movie evening (supervised)

From 7pm - George V Table d'Hote dinner for Mom and Dad

October 29, 31; November 2, 4, 6

Noon - "Hidden Garden" treasure hunt for entire family

3pm -"House Elves" cooking class (supervised)

4pm-5pm - Afternoon "Chamber of Witchcraft & Wizardry" (supervised)

5pm - 6pm - Kids' dinner in the Ardilaun Suite (supervised)

6:30pm - 9pm - Harry Potter movie evening (supervised)

From 7pm - George V Table d'Hote dinner for Mom and Dad

The one-night package is priced at €495 (approximately US$709) and the two-night package is priced at €950 (approximately US$1,361); both offer accommodation in a Deluxe Family Room. Both packages are based on two adults and two children under the age of 12. An additional charge of €85 (approximately US$122) per night may be applied for each additional child.


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

August 11, 2011
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.


A To-Die-For Breakfast in San Diego at Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

August 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Colonial Hotel La JollaBreakfast fans, it doesn't get much better than this. Fresh, homemade pastries and breakfast breads, salmon smoked right in the restaurant kitchen, authentic New England maple syrup, fresh-made smoothies and juice drinks... NINE-TEN, celebrating its 10th year as one of San Diego's first (and finest) farm-to-table restaurants, has a killer breakfast and brunch spread. And when you book the "San Diego Bed and Breakfast" package at the Grand Colonial Hotel La Jolla, you'll get breakfast for two included with your room. (Rates from $229 based on availability.)

So you're not the breakfast type? Sleep in (and savor those ocean views) because you can get an extra night on the house. The Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla is letting you stay three nights but pay for only two with a special package.

Located only a short distance away from beautiful Torrey Pines State Park, The Grande Colonial also has its share of picture-perfect California coast nearby, with Blacks Beach, Windansea Beach, and La Jolla Cove all within close range of the hotel.


Eat, Pray, Love in Italy at the St. Regis Grand Rome

August 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Grand RomeSmitten with the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and looking to recreate author Elizabeth Gilbert's pasta-filled trip to Italy? Follow in her footsteps to Rome for some feasting and frolicking-- exploring the ancient streets on the back of a Vespa. The St. Regis Grand Rome has put together an "Eat, Pray, Love" package that includes lavish accommodations in a double room, a three-course Mediterranean dinner at Vivendo restaurant or Le Grand Bar for two (excluding beverages), and a four-hour tour of Rome on a vintage Vespa for each guest, including driver and pick up/drop off at the hotel. (Minimum three-night stay required. Rates from 545 euros per room per night.) The hotel is positively sumptuous-- the perfect place to sip a Negroni in style. Did we mention the signature St. Regis butlers who attend to guests' every whim?