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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.

Desperate Housewives Deal at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside

June 28, 2006
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.

Related Articles:

"Fun Family Adventure at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside"


Watch the Tour de France 2006 from the Hotel de Crillon, Paris

June 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de Crillon

Let the countdown begin. The Tour de France is set to kick off in July, and all eyes are on this year's post-Lance race, the exciting 93rd Tour. And for the best vantage point to view the finish of the Tour de France at the Place de la Concorde, the Hotel de Crillon is the place to be. Overlooking the finish line in the heart of Paris, the legendary Crillon is a unique historical monument offering an exceptional five-star hotel experience in the City of Light. The best views, of course, are from the posh Presidential Suites, and for this momentous occasion, the Hotel de Crillon has created an exclusive package. "Tour de France 2006" includes two nights accommodation (Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23), afternoon tea served in one of the grand Presidential Suites while watching the race on giant screen televisions, American buffet breakfast and access to the Fitness Center. The package rate is from EUR 1,210 for a Superior Room, subject to availability, inclusive of taxes and service. Other room categories are also available.


Eos: The Luxury Airline that’s like a Five-Star Hotel

June 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos Airlines

Our adoration for Eos is hardly a secret. A recent Business Week article, "Eos Airlines, Your Airborne Concierge" applauds the airline for its "business class services with a five-star hotel twist for passengers flying from New York's JFK airport to London's Stansted." The interior is luxurious and spacious, with 48 seats in a jet originally designed for 220 people. The individual passenger seating area is like a suite, with flatbed, worktables, personal entertainment units, and business travel conveniences. And it's a staggering 21 square feet per person. Not too shabby. The airline even offers "turndown service," with high-thread-count seats, cashmere blankets and Bose noise cancellation headphones. To quote Business Week:

While mainstream carriers such as US Airways are making headlines by eliminating packets of peanuts on board, Eos takes the opposite track by promising "restaurant quality, gourmet meals" with aesthetic presentation, along with a high-end wine and beverage selection. Passengers set their own eating pace by selecting either a five-course meal to be eaten at leisure or an "express" meal served at once.

Price? $6,500 for an unrestricted fare.


Perfect Summer Getaway at The Fearrington House, Pittsboro, North Carolina

June 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fearrington House Country Inn

Located just minutes from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Fearrington House Country Inn is situated on an 18th Century Dairy farm surrounded by acres of stunning gardens. Each of the 33 guest rooms are distinctively decorated with European antiques, Southern artwork, rich fabrics, canopied beds, hand-painted mantels, and pine flooring. The bathrooms are luxurious and comfortable, with marble vanities, plush robes and slippers, Molton Brown bath products, and heated towel racks. Guests enjoy traditional southern hospitality and fine dining at the restaurant. Stroll the expansive grounds and admire the water sculptures and manicured English gardens, browse the unique Village shops, or relax on the front porch in a rocking chair gazing at the pasture full of cows. Traditional English afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and scones, and a full gourmet breakfast-- with hearty choices such as shrimp and grits and eggs bendict-- are included in the room rate. The Fearrington House Country Inn has devised some exciting Summer specials. The "Summer Getaway" package includes one nights accommodations, English afternoon tea, gourmet dinner for two, hearty breakfast, and a $25 gift card. From $295, limited availability through August. And with the "Fearrington Escape Package", stay two nights and receive the third for free! Includes daily English tea, daily hearty breakfasts, a bottle of chilled Champagne in the room for arrival, gourmet dinner for two, casual dinner at The Market, a picnic in the Gardens, two one-hour massages. From $895.


Hotel Star Ratings in the Caribbean, Courtesy of Mobil

June 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

It's about time. The Mobil Travel Guide--the illustrious bible which has provided comprehensive hotel ratings in the US and Canada since 1958 (using 750 criteria, no less)-- has announced plans to bring that expertise to evaluation of Caribbean hotels. Mobil bills itself as the "originator of the prestigious Five-Star ratings and certifications program for hotels, restaurants, and spas." The company's evaluation of Caribbean hotels, in of the most popular tourist regions in the world, is the beginning of an effort to bring their renowned rating system to properties worldwide.


Queen’s Birthday Offer at the Dukes Hotel, London

June 26, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dukes Hotel

The award-winning, classic Dukes Hotel, tucked in its own courtyard in a quiet corner on St. James's Place between Mayfair and Green Park, is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the special exhibition in honor of the Queen's 80th birthday. On display at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace in honor of Her Majesty's birthday, the extensive exhibit showcases the Queen's evening dresses (80 of them! from the 1940's to the present) and personal jewelry, including private gifts and historic pieces, such as the Vladimir Tiara, the Cambridge Emerald Necklace, two brooches set with stones from the famous Cullinan Diamond, and a pair of Boucheron aquamarine and diamond clip brooches given to then Princess Elizabeth by her father, King George VI, for her 18th birthday. Visitors to the exhibition see the Palace's 39-acre garden, and appreciate rare views of the Palace's garden façade and the 19th-century lake. As part of Her Majesty's Birthday Celebration, Dukes Hotel is going over the top (try this for British pomp and pageantry) with a special package. "Her Majesty's Birthday Celebration" includes a two-night stay in a Classic Double room including daily breakfast and afternoon tea and two tickets to the "Special Exhibition" with entrance to Buckingham Palace. Priced at GBP 525, inclusive of VAT, available from July 26 to September 24, 2006.

(Guests will also enjoy Duke's luxurious spa and the world-famous Dukes Martini at the bar.)


The Latest Trends with Designer Boutique Hotels

June 26, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The New York Times dazzles with its savvy weekend piece "The Latest Splash? Baths and Pools." The next big thing for hip hotels includes "Peekaboo Baths" (where, in places like Madrid's Hotel Puerta América and the Hotel Rival in Stockholm, "bathers are exposed to their fellow guests" in an open-plan bathroom), "Pools with a View" (the rooftop bar and pool craze first started at The Standard in downtown LA), "Guest Galleries" (the trendy 21cMuseum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky is first and foremost an art gallery), and "Megasuites," like the EUR 30,000-a-night Penthouse suite at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes.


The Return of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square, New York

June 26, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Knickerbocker Vintage

Hot off the press! The classic New York landmark that sits at 6 Times Square has just been sold to Istithmar Hotels, an investment arm of the royal family of Dubai, for $300 million-- to be restored to its former glory as a five-star hotel. The original Knickerbocker Hotel was built between 1901 and 1906 for John Jacob Astor IV, a luxurious hot spot for celebrities in the heart of Manhattan. As described by the Hartford Courant:

The one-time Knickerbocker hotel in Times Square has an illustrious history: Enrico Caruso sang from its balcony; Maxfield Parrish's 30-foot-long painting "Old King Cole" hung in its barroom; and the martini is believed to have been invented there. Now the beaux-arts-style Knickerbocker, long since converted into apartments and textile showrooms, may become a hotel again.

Once known as the Newsweek Building when it housed the magazine's offices, the Knickerbocker hotel's building is also known to be the place where the famous gang leader, Monk Eastman, was captured by police while having a shoot-out with a Pinkerton detective. In its heyday, the Knickerbocker hotel boasted 556 rooms, a phenomenal restaurant-bar, and its own subway entrance. (The mysterious locked door is still visible at the northern end of the platform at Times Square subway station.) No wonder the city's elite flocked there.

Related Articles:

The Morning News, "The Knickerbocker"

Forgotten NY, "Behind the Locked Door"


The Art of Celebrity Living at the Alexis Hotel, Seattle

June 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alexis Hotel

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Alexis Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel as committed to its history as it is to the contemporary Seattle arts scene, displaying original pieces throughout the guestrooms and public spaces. The Alexis offers elegance mixed with a lot of whimsy smack dab in the middle of it all in downtown Seattle. Guestrooms also feature beautiful antiques, wood burning fireplaces, and two person tubs. The Library Bistro is known as one of the best restaurants in Seattle-- its ambience reminiscent of a 1940s supper club with faux lizard skin high back booths and dramatic lighting, and serving new American cuisine with an emphasis on locally grown vegetables and fresh seafood. Now at the Alexis Hotel, enjoy "The Art of Celebrity Living, Seattle Style," featuring a weekend of pampering and sampling of the city's hot art scene with the centerpiece, a chartered helicopter trip to a concert at The Gorge Ampitheatre, the top outdoor concert venue in the United States.

Here's the skinny:

Arrive via chauffeured limousine; accommodations for two in luxuriously appointed suite complete with a gorgeous floral arrangement, a pair of emerald earrings from Turgeon-Raine Jewellers, and a local eyewear boutique will pay you a visit with a selection of "rock star" designer sunglasses to choose from; following a scrumptious breakfast in bed, you will have your choice of "Seattle Style" experiences: a private glass blowing class, coupled with your choice of either a private art gallery tour led by Barbara Shaiman (the Alexis' own art curator) or a behind-the-scenes tour of the acclaimed DoubleTake fine art exhibit at the Experience Music Project (EMP); take a chartered chopper for a trip over the Cascade Mountains to attend a concert at The Gorge Amphitheater, arriving just in time for sunset; the Alexis' executive chef, Tim Ferguson will prepare a special "Cristal and caviar" picnic dinner for you to enjoy during the concert; finish off this rock-star weekend with a mimosa brunch at the Alexis' Library Bistro; as a special memento, the complete Alexis bedding set will be shipped to your home along with a CD collection of the artist you've just seen at The Gorge.

The Art of Celebrity Living package is priced at $10,000 and is valid until September 3, 2006.


Beau-Rivage Palace Summer Spa Retreat at the Cinq Mondes Spa

June 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beau Rivage Palace

Switzerland's stunning Beau-Rivage Palace is easily one of the most beautiful palace hotels in the world. Overlooking Lake Geneva, the historic Beau-Rivage is a world-recognized landmark, renowned by leading travel magazines as one of the world's best places to stay. The hotel invested CHF 12 million in their new, cutting-edge Cinq Mondes Spa, where 15,000 sq feet are devoted to healing and harmony, with luxurious treatments from the world's greatest healing traditions: Japanese, Ayurvedic, North African, Taoist and Balinese. In addition to the nine treatment rooms, there is a private spa suite reserved for couples. Pamper yourself this summer with a unique package offered by the Beau-Rivage Palace. The "Summer at the Cinq Mondes Spa" package includes two nights accommodation, full buffet breakfast in "Salon Grammont" or Continental in-room breakfast, one Spa Ritual Sojourn of five treatments over two days per person, one healthy cocktail at the Spa per day, per person, one lunch at the terrace of the Spa per person and free access to the tennis courts, swimming pools and fully equipped gym. The package is priced from CHF 2000 per room double occupancy for the two nights (approximately U.S. $1,660).

Guests participating in the package can choose from the following Spa Ritual Sojourns:

Taoist Ritual From China:

20-minute Aromas and Flowers Japanese Bath

20-minute Aromatic Scrub with Spices

50-minute Taoist Massage

80-minute Taoist Face Care Massage

20-minute Plantar Reflexology

Spa Ritual Experience:

20-minute Aromas and Flowers Japanese Bath

20-minute Aromatic Scrub with Spices

50-minute Ayurvedic Massage

35-minute "Rituel Fleurs de Bali" Face Care Massage

50-minute Balinese Massage

Bliss for Two Ritual Sojourn:

20-minute Aromas and Colors Hammam

20-minute Aromatic Scrub with Spices

50-minute Ayurvedic Massage

20 minute Aromas and Flowers Japanese Bath in a double bath

Choice of 80-minute Taoist Massage or Taoist Face Care Massage