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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.

Summer Weekend in Music City: The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Hermitage

Tennessee's most treasured landmark is also a 2005 AAA five diamond award recipient and listed in Robb Report's Best of the Best. The historic Hermitage Hotel, newly emerged from an 11 month, $19 million renovation, stands as the city's finest hotel. Located in the heart of downtown, across the street from the State Capitol and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the Hermitage is known for its impeccable service and elegant grandeur. The lobby is an opulent delight--stained glass ceiling, marble columns and staircases, and Russian walnut paneling--as are the guestrooms. The roster of famous guests has delighted in this luxurious hotel since its opening in 1910.

This summer, a fabulous Music City Weekend awaits at The Hermitage. The weekend package includes luxurious accommodations, breakfast in bed, overnight valet parking, $20 gift card to iTunes, and a chance to win a new iPod Nano from Apple. Rates from $289 per night. The Hermitage is also offering a weekday Summer in the City package: reservations from Sunday-Thursday are just $209 and include an All-American breakfast for one and value parking. All guests receive complimentary wireless internet, fitness center use, morning coffee, afternoon sparkling cider and cookies, and daily newspaper.


Great Summer Rates at Utell Hotels: Fifty Percent Off


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Majestic

Utell has just announced a fantastic promotion, with rates up to 50 percent off the normal rack rates at many of their luxury hotels worldwide. Participating hotels include the Hotel Majestic Barcelona, the elegant neoclassical landmark on Paseo de Gracia in the heart of the city, Le Soleil Hotel and Suites, the award-winning boutique gem in Vancouver, the Inn at Lost Creek, Telluride's romantic and charming inn named one of the best hotels in the world by leading travel magazines, and Grand Hotel Villa San Mauro, with panoramic views overlooking Caltagirone, Sicily. When making a booking, choose "Great Rate" or "Utell Luxury Hotel Promotion."


Romantic Getaway Package at Banyan Tree Bangkok


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Bangkok Spa

Voted to the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List of the World's Best Places to Stay, Banyan Tree Bangkok is located in the heart of the bustling commercial center of the city. With easy access to the shopping and entertainment access of Silom road, the all-suite Banyan Tree Bangkok is a rejuvenating sanctuary away from it all. Dining is a treat, both for the tasty gourmet meals and the superb views over the city. These fine dining establishments are the highest in the city (Vertigo Grill is on the 61st flooor!) The Spa--a heavenly oasis with the service and quality of treatments to be expected at Banyan Tree--is likewise situated high above the city: a whopping 54 floors above Bangkok. For the ultimate luxury, reserve the Presidential Suite (the preferred choice of presidents and business leaders), which consists of a two-storey glass dome with spectacular city views, and a loft style bedroom. The Spa Suites are similarly lavish, with their own private treatment rooms, and your choice of bath salts, scrubs, essential oils, and incense.

Splurge on a romantic getaway to Bangkok: immerse the senses with the incredible cultural stimuli of the city, and then retreat to your private urban oasis at the Banyan Tree where you can indulge in sumptuous spa treatments. The Romance in Bangkok Package includes: daily continental breakfast for two persons, one romantic dinner per stay at Bai Yun or Saffron restaurant, choice of one 2-hour 'Rejuvenation' or 'Renewal' spa treatment per person per stay, one 'Intimate Moments' suite decoration including one bottle of wine per stay, Banyan Tree Gallery gift, 10 percent discount at Bai Yun, Saffron and Rom Sai restaurant, and return transfer by Mercedes Benz limousine from the airport to the hotel. Starting at $305 per night. Valid until December 31, 2006. Minimum three night stay.


Babymoons at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

The award-winning Chicago hotel caters to expectant couples who seek a weekend of pampering, and a few days of revelry as a couple, before the baby's arrival. Babymoons are all the rage these days; USA Today reports that 60 percent of new parents opt for a babymoon these days. And at Four Seasons Chicago, they do it right, with the ultimate in lux accommodations and lots of fun amenities. Here's the scoop on the Expecting You Package: includes plush accommodations (with sweeping views of the city and Lake Michigan and body contour pillows to keep comfortable the mother-to-be), a copy of the book "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" with a book light for late night reading, complimentary manicure from the Spa when booking a pregnancy massage, complimentary "Toast to Fatherhood" in Seasons Bar for the dads-to-be, complimentary Midwest breakfast from Room Service or in the Cafe, complimentary visit from The Ice Cream Man, and special savings from premier shopping partners (for example, receive a complimentary bassinet at Neiman Marcus with any $200 purchase in Layette clothing). Rates begin at $480 per night.


Summer in the City at The Jefferson, Richmond, Virginia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jefferson

An American landmark since 1895, The Jefferson is one of only 23 hotels to hold both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. This crown jewel is a charter member of Historic Hotels of America, celebrating its historic details and distinct architecture. Located in the center of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is a luxurious haven of old-world charm and personalized service. Signature features include the antique furniture, tapestries, faux-marble columns, the 70-ft ceiling with stained-glass skylight, and the sweeping staircase that looks straight out of Gone With the Wind. The 264 guestrooms are opulent, with high ceilings, tall windows, and custom-designed furnishings such as mahogany armoires and beautiful carpets. Facilities include a fitness center and pool. The Champagne Brunch on Sunday is not to be missed: this Richmond tradition is served in the Rotunda lobby amidst the columns-- the buffet is lavish with freshly made omelettes, waffles, carving station, seafood, imported cheeses, signature spoonbread and desserts.

Take advantage of the exceptional "Twice as Nice" package, where guests can score 1 room for 2 nights, or 2 rooms for 1 night. Superior accommodations are $299, and deluxe are $339. Valid until September 4, 2006. The Jefferson is also offering the "Summer Bed and Breakfast Package" which includes buffet breakfast for two in Lemaire (the hotel's AAA five-diamond restaurant) and accommodations. Superior is priced at $215 per night, and deluxe at $235 per night.


A Recipe for Romance: The Cook Together Package at The Lodge at Sea Island, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Lodge at Sea Island

How's this for a romantic retreat: a weekend at the legendary Lodge at Sea Island devoted to cooking classes and culinary delights (of course there's superb golf and relaxing spa treatments, too!) The award-winning resort-- rated number one small hotel and number 1 for top dining in the 2006 Zagat survey top US hotels, AAA five-diamond award, Mobil five-star award three years in a row-- pampers its guests with genuine Georgia hospitality and unparalleled personal service. This summer, The Lodge at Sea Island has plans for great food, fine wine and good times with its weekend Cook Together Package. The package includes luxury accommodations for the weekend, private reception and dinner with Chef Johannes Klapdohr in The Lodge Wine Cellar, Cooking School with lunch prepared by the participants, "How To's" of wine tasting with Lodge sommelier Jane Rate, and monogrammed Chef's jackets. The July Cooking School Themes are Grilling and Smoking, including barbecue shrimp and fallen'-off-the- bone baby back ribs, on July 8-9, and Summer Soups and Salads, featuring heirloom fruits and vegetables, on July 21-22. From August 2-5, the theme is Grilling and Smoking. And on August 18-19, the class focuses on Tailgating Octoberfest Style, with lessons on cooking schnitzels, sourbraten, spatzle and more. Cook Together Package starts at $825 per room per night, with a two-night minimum stay required.


Family Vacation in Las Vegas at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas

Just 17 miles from the Vegas strip, the AAA five-diamond Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas is close enough to enjoy all that Vegas has to offer, and yet far enough away to experience the beautiful seclusion of the Nevada desert and surrounding mountains. The Tuscan-inspired lakeside resort has a breathtaking setting; its 349 guestrooms enjoy panoramic views of the high-desert mountains. The facilities are in a category all their own: 36 holes of championship golf designed by Nicklaus and Weiskopf, the award-winning spa and fitness center (one of the top in the country), beach and lake sports, indoor and outdoor dining, heated outdoor pool, lakeside entertainment and concerts, excellent kid's program and activities. This is the ultimate family retreat, with something to please the whole family. From now until September 4, 2006, the luxurious resort is offering an unbeatable Vegas Family Vacation Package. Starting at $249 a night, the package includes complimentary breakfast and lunch for kids under 12, 50 percent spa savings for parents, and a fourth night free of charge. (Kids under 12 can share a room with their parents with no extra cost.)


Special Offer for Business Travelers at the Conrad Chicago


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Chicago

In the heart of Chicago's financial district, the Conrad Chicago is one of the most prestigious addresses on the Magnificent Mile. Within walking distance of The Loop, The Merchandise Mart, and Lake Michigan, the Conrad is a perfect urban oasis, with the best restaurants and shopping experiences at its doorstep. The luxury hotel offers 311 guestrooms with incredible views over the city skyline. Decorated in a classic contemporary style, the spacious rooms feature state-of-the-art technology, such as three dual-line phones, complimentary high-speed Internet access, CD player with clock radio and premier luxury amenities. The Conrad Chicago also offers 12,000 square feet of technologically advanced meeting and conference facilities, a fitness center, stylish bar and signature restaurant. From now until the end of the year, take advantage of the luxurious "Business Retreat" package at the Conrad Chicago. From just $235 per night, enjoy a host of added amenities, including complimentary coffee with wake-up call, complimentary dry cleaning for one suit, complimentary one-hour administrative services, a choice of one book from the New York Times bestseller list, and a personal shopper to find a gift for loved ones at home.


Family Fun in the Sun at Esencia, Playa del Carmen, Mexico


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Esencia The newest chic spot on Mexico's Riviera Maya, Esencia is a small boutique hotel which was once the home of a European duchess. Located on one of the best white sand beaches on the Yucatan, Esencia has been recognized for its elegant cuisine, personalized butler service and modern amenities. The 29 rooms and suites offer exquisite views, private gardens and pools, and in-room bathtubs. The luxurious Aroma Spa prides itself on its organic focus, with plant extracts and botanical essences used in the treatments. From now through August, Esencia is offering a five-night "Family Fun in the Sun" package with discounts of more than 30 percent. The package includes a garden suite with plunge pool, daily breakfast and transfers, for two adults and one child under age 12. Starting at $1,725. (Nightly rates usually start at $475) Via Washington Post "What's the Deal?"


Desperate Housewives Deal at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pac in the Summertime

The Pan Pac Whistler Mountainside, nestled in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, is a tempting destination in both winter and summer. Excellent skiing is complimented by sunshine-filled days of hiking and swimming during the summer months. The luxurious boutique hotel has recently launched its Desperate Housewives Package, a clever and fun summer getaway designed for women seeking a little r and r with their girlfriends. To quote the Pan Pac:

For women who find work, the kids, the spouse or any other of life's challenges making them desperate for the ultimate girlfriend getaway, Pan Pacific Whistler has designed the perfect solution... the property's 2006 "Desperate Housewives" package.

Valid until November 23, 2006, the package rates start from CAD$375 (US$325) per person (based on quadruple occupancy), and includes accommodations in a luxurious Two Bedroom Valley View Suite as well as the following components: Beauty Boot Camp for four women at Vital Spirit Spa which includes a 45-minute massage, 30-minute Essential Facial and mini manicure and mini pedicure; breakfast for four in the guest exclusive Pacific Suite; welcome martini basket; and complimentary Mountain View upgrade when available.

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"Fun Family Adventure at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside"