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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.

Spring Skiing the Big, Bad Whistler

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pac Mountainside

Now is the time for an end-of-season hurrah. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the most fabulous. Whistler boasts the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (we're talking 8,171 acres). Additionally, there's a meager 100,000 acres of Heli and SnowCat backcountry skiing on the surrounding Coast Mountain range. Where to stay? The Pan Pac is where it's at, consistently rated the best, most luxurious spot in Whistler. Here's why: the suites offer full kitchens, balconies, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains. Resort amenities are world-class: outdoor heated swimming pool, outdoor hot tubs with spectacular mountain views, fitness center, spa and steam room.

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside, Official Site

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside, Five Star Alliance


Chocoholics Rejoice! The Chocoholic Bar at The Sutton Place Vancouver

March 10, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Kostas Christopoulos and Don MacCorquodale, The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver

Sutton Place Vancouver Chocoholic Bar

After finishing a five million dollar renovation of the guest rooms, The Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver (again a recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award in 2006) has added a sweet touch to its tradition of elegance with the unique Chocoholic Bar. The Bar is the city's only all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet.

Famous with local Vancouverites, the Chocoholic Buffet provides delectable offerings including an array of home made luscious cakes, pastries and pies, exquisite sorbets and ice creams, topped only by the Bar's own renowned Brittany crepes, a house specialty made right before your eyes. Join The Sutton Place Hotel's Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef Wolfgang Dauke for an evening of sinful delights.

This chocolate-lover's dream come true, the Chocoholic Bar, is offered in two seatings, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Fleuri Restaurant, located on the lobby level.The buffet is $23.00 per person and is also available for banquet or catering functions outside the hotel.

Is it possible to overdose on chocolate?

The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, Official Site

The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, Five Star Alliance


The Farce of Frequent Flier Programs

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Apparently 14 trillion unredeemed miles are floating around the black hole of frequent flier programs. According to the IHT's fabulous piece "Earning Miles: Is It Worth It?":

Since American Airlines introduced AAdvantage 21 years ago, an estimated 124 million travelers worldwide are busy counting miles with one or more of the 140 airline programs, many of which have scores of airline and non-airline partners, such as hotels, car rental firms and credit cards... Many airlines make money from the programs by selling miles to their program partners. United Airlines is said to generate more revenue from "Mileage Plus" than it does selling airline seats. Likewise, American Airlines with its "AAdvantage" program. Frequent-flier programs enable airlines to build a database of travelers, especially very frequent travelers, with the opportunity to build a direct relationship with them.
Could this really be the most successful marketing idea of all time?


The Destination Spa Program at Banyan Tree Phuket, Thailand

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Phuket

Arguably the world's best spa resort, the Banyan Tree Phuket is an exotic spa paradise facing Thailand's turquoise Andaman Sea. These exquisite tropical surroundings have recently become the sought-after setting for Banyan Tree's Destination Spa program: a series of fitness, wellness and cultural activities available in three, five and seven-night packages. The program includes accommodation for two in award-winning villas at Banyan Tree Phuket, daily breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, two 90-minute massage sessions, an Intimate Moments experience, complimentary participation in daily fitness and wellness program and a special gift from Banyan Tree Gallery. In addition, guests are provided their own personal resort host to assist and recommend the best spa treatments. Rates begin at US$1,980 for a three-night package in a Deluxe Villa.

Banyan Tree Phuket, Official Site

Banyan Tree Phuket, Five Star Alliance


Easter at the Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca, Spain

March 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter at Son Net

This Easter, think Spain. The gorgeous Mediterranean isle of Mallorca, awash with flowers and olive groves, is home to the 17th century hacienda-turned-boutique hotel: Gran Hotel Son Net. Its 25 rooms are each unique, lavishly and individually decorated; the suites boast large windows overlooking the countryside, and private terraces, gardens and swimming pools. The Easter special includes four nights luxurious accommodations, four Son Net breakfasts, cava and fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, traditional Good Friday dinner and Easter Buffet-Brunch at the L'Orangerie Restaurant, and private transfer service from and to Palma airport. Starting at EUR 1,670, valid April 13-18.

Gran Hotel Son Net, Official Site

Gran Hotel Son Net, Five Star Alliance


Going to Buenos Aires: the Grand Alvear Palace Hotel

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alvear Palace Hotel

Welcome to the most elegant hotel in Latin America. The awards are numerous--Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report ("Among the World's 20 Best"), Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler (Top Hotels in the World)-- and the service, impeccable. Among the wide avenues, magnificent architecture, and splendid boutiques of the elegant Recoleta neighborhood in the "Paris of South America," the Belle Epoque Alvear Palace is a city historical monument. Furnished in the style of Luis XV, the rooms and suites are adorned with antiques and crystal chandeliers. Amenities include Hermes de Paris bath products, personal butler service, 500 thread Egyptian cotton sheets, telephone with intelligent screen to regulate AC, Wifi, and DVD players. Bathrooms are nothing short of magnificent, often equipped with jacuzzi and sauna. Guests are treated to the best buffet breakfast in the city, at Orangerie Restaurant, and the fine-dining restaurant-- La Bourgogne—is considered the best in the city, awarded "Latin America's Best Restaurant" by Wine Spectator. Indeed, the Alvear Palace Hotel is itself a symbol of Buenos Aires.

Alvear Palace Hotel, Official Site

Alvear Palace Hotel, Five Star Alliance


Maybourne Hotels London - March and April Offers

March 9, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Paul Reynolds, The Maybourne Hotel Group

Berkeley Blue Bar

Madonna "Adores the Blue Bar" at The Berkeley. Claridge's main restaurant is run by (and named for) celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. You can find out why so many people want to associate themselves with the London hotels of the Maybourne Group this March and April with 4 special deals. 'Suite Dreams' deals start at 299 pounds for a Deluxe Junior Suite at The Connaught, 339 pounds for a Superior Junior Suite at The Berekley and 359 pounds for a Deluxe Junior Suite at Claridge's. The 'April Special' allows you to 'sample five star luxury at an affordable price'. 'Work from 'Home' without the inconveniences' during March and April with a special rate for single occupancy of Queen-bedded rooms at The Connaught. Lastly, check out the specials being offered during Easter week with reduced rates at The Berkeley, Claridge's, and The Connaught.

Maybourne Hotel Group, Official Site

Claridge's, Five Star Alliance

The Connaught, Five Star Alliance

The Berkeley, Five Star Alliance


A Jet Set Masseuse for the Masses

March 9, 2006
By: Guest Writer

By Courtney W. May Cal Simmons recently brought to my attention Mr. Mohammed Bendraoua. Recently profiled in "Under Pressure" from Daily Candy, Mr. Bendraoua is famous for his luxury service and travel schedule. What does he do? His card states that he is a global 'relaxiologue' nomad. Traveling between New York, Paris, Milan and London-- he brings to you his bed, candles, iPod, and famous hands. The Oct 8, 2005 New York Times article "France's Trendy 'Relaxiologue'" states:

Mohammed Bendraoua spends several months of the year following the fashion circuit and handling the undressed bodies of the personnel responsible for telling the rest of the world what to wear. Mr. Bendraoua's card calls him a "relaxiologue," which translated liberally means masseur, although one who uses a variety of techniques to restore equilibrium. The method that has made him one of the better-kept secrets of the fashion circuit is an unorthodox melange of Eastern and Western therapeutic techniques, married to an instinct for restoring bodies contorted by permanent jet lag and a willingness to work weird hours. A massage from Mr. Bendraoua typically lasts three times as long as a psychotherapy session, but with faster results.
But now you have the chance to get in on the deal: Mr. Mohammed Bendraoua can be reached by email at mohparisfr@yahoo.fr or +00 33 6 13 21 39 79.


Gadgets on the Go: the Monsterpod Digital Camera Tripod

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Monsterpod

This ain't no suction cup. The Monsterpod stick-to-anything tripod is pretty revolutionary technology, billed as the "most incredible digital planet tripod on planet earth." The "patent pending viscoelastic morphing polymer super grip tripod" sticks to more than 1,000 objects (you know, the usual suspects: trees, traffic lights, windows...) Small, compact, and a mere $29.95.

Via Uncrate


Extreme Makeovers: Kimpton Hotels Comes to Alexandria, Virginia

March 9, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

My home town is getting a makeover and I couldn't be happier. Kimpton-- that most delightful hotelier-- has bought the aged, decrepit Holiday Inn in Old Town, Alexandria and plans a complete overhaul. At long last: the return of glamour and class to this prime real estate in the heart of Old Town's cobblestone streets, flickering gas lamps and gorgeous colonial homes! Kimpton is pumping in $22 million in its conversion; the new Hotel Monaco, Alexandria will have 241 colorful and unique guest rooms, a pool, fitness club, and fine dining. Bring it on.