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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.

Did You Know? Park Hyatt Sydney

By: Five Star Alliance

Park Hyatt Sydney features an outdoor rooftop heated swimming pool with spa, private sun-deck, and cabanas. Oh, and a pretty nice view of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House.

Park Hyatt Sydney

View rates, details, and more images of Park Hyatt Sydney >>

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Did You Know? QT Sydney

By: K. Clare Johnson

QT Sydney, a boutique hotel in the city's central business district, is set within the heritage-listed Gowings department store and the State Theatre. Pairing stars from stage and screen that have performed in the State Theatre over the past 80 years, and the classic retail of the Gowings department store, the QT Sydney captures the intrigue and excitement of the past in an edgy, contemporary design style.

QT Sydney

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The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations in 2012: #9 Sydney

By: Christopher Roney

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

                                         Park Hyatt Sydney

 As of today, Five Star Alliance features 25 luxury hotels in Sydney, Australia. Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, is the biggest and most populous city in Australia. Sydney is one of Asia-Pacific's most popular tourist destinations thanks to its sunny weather, fine beaches and landmarks like the Sydney Opera House (pictured above). 

What makes our guests love Sydney?

-Of the approximately 10,000 beaches in Australia, 70 of them are in Sydney. Bondi Beach, arguably Sydney's most famous sand spot, is  more than 100 meters wide and stretches for well over a kilometer.

-Beach, mountain, or city? No matter what type of vacation experience you like, Sydney has it.  Relax and take in the stunning views at Echoes Resort Blue Mountain (pictured), stay harbourside at The Darling Hotel Sydney, or be in the heart of the CBD (Central Business District) at The Westin Sydney

-November to February is the most popular time to visit Sydney.

Where to stay?

-As of this writing,  New Year's Eve was still available at select Sydney luxury hotels. Nightly rates range from $385 at  Blue Sydney to $622 at Westin Sydney $1646.20 at Wolgan Valley Resort.

-Planning ahead for Valentine's Day? The gorgeous Park Hyatt Sydney (pictured at top) is available for nightly rates starting at $1,102. The Langham Sydney also has city view rooms available for nightly rates starting at $369.

Did you know?

-The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 and is still the largest steel arch bridge in the world measuring 1,149 metres in length and 134 metres from sea level to the top of the arch.


Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Sydney>>

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Top 30 of 2012 Honorable Mention: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

By: Shannon Sullivan

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! But there were a few more hotels we absolutely had to mention. Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!


Here are a few fun facts about the stunning eco-resort Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa:

- The resort comprises 40 free-standing suites for up to 90 guests and a main homestead with a full range of luxury facilities, including the stand-alone Timeless Spa.

- The resort, which borders the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in Australia, has been designed to co-exist with its environment in a manner that is sympathetic to the very special natural, cultural, and scenic values of the valley.

- Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is an exclusive conservation-based resort that offers a myriad of activities; including mountain biking, ecological tourism, hiking, and horseback riding.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa>>


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Posted in: Sydney, 'Best Of' Lists

The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #25 Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

By: Shannon Sullivan


In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney has one of the most famous views in all of hotel-land, that of the Sydney Opera House.  Here are a few more
fun facts about the hotel that is #25 on our list:

-CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. CHI treatments are inspired by traditional Asian healing philosophies. The spa boasts the most luxurious private spa suites in Sydney.

-One of the few Sydney hotels that boasts amazing views of both the famed Opera House and the renowned Harbour Bridge. 

-The floor-to-ceiling windows at Altitude Restaurant allows diner to enjoy oustanding Sydney Harbour views along with top-rated contemporary Australian cuisine.

- Located in Sydney's historic Rocks district, the historic site of Sydney's first European settlement, which is well known for exciting nightlife, terrific shopping, and great restaurants.

-All 563 spacious and luxurious guest rooms and suiteshave harbour views and are the largest in their class in the city.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney >>

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New Hotel Openings: QT Sydney

By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The QT Sydney is Australia’s hottest new hotel situated in the historic former Gowings department store and historic State Theatre. This luxury hotel features 200 guest suites that retain many of the building’s most distinctive features including a blend of Gothic and Art Deco style that form the stunning exterior of the building. The most raved about amenity of the QT Sydney is the elevator. Each lift senses how many people are in the elevator and plays music appropriately. When alone, the elevator played All By Myself and when in a crowd it played pump up tunes.

Check out the swanky QT Sydney here >>

Image of the Day: Park Hyatt Sydney

By: Five Star Alliance


Park Hyatt Sydney offers a magnificent view of the famed Sydney Opera House.



Posted in: Sydney, Hot Spots

Your Questions Answered: Romantic Hotel Recommendation in Sydney, Australia

By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We’re looking for a luxury 2 night romantic stay in a hotel overlooking Sydney Harbor & the Opera House, a day spa, and a large spa bath in the suite. The dates are September 21st – 23rd, 2012. What can you recommend?

Answer: The Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay is a great luxury hotel option that has availability for your dates of travel. It is located in the heart of Circular Quay, overlooking spectacular Sydney Harbour. Ideal for business or pleasure, the hotel is moments away from the world famous Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and historic Rocks district and a vibrant array of galleries, restaurants and theatres.

This hotel has rooms starting from 249 AUD, approximately 259 USD per night (advance purchase, non-refundable rate). This hotel has rooms that have views overlooking the city, overlooking the Opera House, and a partial view of the Harbour Bridge. For a romantic weekend, I would suggest booking the 'Couples Getaway' package which is in a Spa Suite that has a bathtub with spray jets and a whirlpool that fits 2. The nightly rate breakdown of this room option is below. Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

Nightly Rate Breakdown

2012-09-21 AUD 529.00

2012-09-22 AUD 599.00

To make a reservation for this room option, simply visit this website, enter your dates of travel, select the 'Couples Getaway' room type, and fill in the booking form.

Goodnight, Moon: Observatory Hotel Sold by Orient Express

By: Christopher Roney

It wasn't long ago that we wrote about the Observatory Hotel and lauded its prime location, by the Observatory Park and not far from the Sydney Opera House, and great service and amenities. Current owners Orient Express are saying goodbye to the property while they finalize the sale of the property and transitioning the hotel to Langham Hospitality Group, owners of great hotels like the Langham London and closer by Langham Melbourne. The transaction is expected to close on August 8th. A continued relationship with Orient Express just wasn't in the stars for Observatory, but guests have no reason to worry that the transition should disrupt their upcoming stays. If anything, with new ownership comes the desire to make a great first impression, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Langham plan a few things for their newest acquisition. We'll have to keep our telescopes trained on the Observatory Hotel for any sign of a new vision for the hotel's future.

Sponsored Feature: The Orient Express's Casa de Sierra Nevada and Observatory Hotel

By: Christopher Roney

What follows are impressions of two of our favorite Orient Express properties, the Observatory Hotel in Sydney and the Casa de Sierra Nevada, in many ways very different hotels, and in more than just their geography.  

Observatory Hotel, Sydney, Australia

I'll confess a fair bit of ignorance about why the Observatory Hotel is actually called the Observatory. Perhaps it was the site of a revolutionary astronomical discovery or it used to house the local planetarium in a forgotten back room. Maybe it just has a habit of flowering the walls at a party in order to better watch the crowd. It's a mystery as enigmatic as the stars in the sky, and we may never know. Well, it probably has something to do with the adjacent Observatory Park, but why spoil the hyperbole?

What I do know is that the Observatory Hotel is a perfect luxury hotel to use as jumping off point for exploring Sydney, a city that thrums with the heartbeat of a constantly evolving culture. Not far from the Rocks and Circular Quay, not to mention the Sydney Opera House, you're right in the middle of the action. As a break from experiencing all the city has to offer, you can retreat back to the quiet inner sanctum of the Observatory to enjoy an afternoon tea at the Globe Bar & Brasserie. For more substantial fare, head to Galileo in the evening, and you'll experience their amazing interpretation of fine French cuisine (the mystery of the name is quickly unravelling faster than the flat earth theory). If you're looking to stay in the utmost of style, make sure to book their gorgeous presidential suite, a study in aesthetics that makes extensive use of objects d'Art and features a four-poster bed. The Observatory Hotel is an extra-classy place to stay for the discerning traveler who finds themselves in Sydney.

Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Across the world from the Observatory Hotel, you'll find the Casa de Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende. Built in 1580, the Sierra Nevada is one of the smallest hotels in our collection. With just 33 rooms, the hotel is a serene escape from the bustle of everyday life. An inner courtyard is the perfect enclosure to keep the busy noise of the outside world at bay while you relax and refresh in one of the most historic towns in Mexico. Importantly, the hotel allows no children under the age of 11, so you won't be disturbed while you crack open the novel you've never gotten to or just soak up the rays of the sun. The National Institute of Anthropology and History was so enamored with the hotel's repurposed homes that they are designated historical landmarks. The surrounding mountainous landscape seems to be a backdrop that could only be dreamed up in a movie studio, but you can experience the unparalleled quietude and incredible service of the Casa de Sierra Nevada in real life. It's just one trip away.