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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.

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


A Jewel-Inspired Afternoon Tea at The Langham London

August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Langham LondonThe Langham London is legendary as the birthplace of Afternoon Tea, that quintessentially British institution. The luxury hotel opened in 1865 and began serving this "afternoon snack" favored by Anna Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford, as a way to ward off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner. The Langham continues to serve up this indulgent ritual in Palm Court, garnering multiple accolades in the process. Recently The Langham announced an exclusive new tea, created in collaboration with the renowned jewelry designer, Stephen Webster. Inspired by Webster's latest collection (called "Murder She Wrote"), Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden has designed some glittering pastries that are almost too beautiful to eat: the Crystal Clear Diamond, a Guinness macaroon with blackcurrant jelly; the Poison Apple, a red peppercorn and dark chocolate shortbread; and a roasted green pistachio Chantilly with airy meringue sponge inspired by Stephen Webster's Armadillo ring. The Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea is priced at £49 per person (approx. US $79), inclusive of VAT, and is available from September 1, 2011 - March 31, 2012 in the Palm Court.


Spa Retreat in New York: Spend the Day at the Plaza Athénée

August 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Plaza Athenee New YorkDid you know you can get a room at Manhattan's Hotel Plaza Athénée just for the day? Yup, the Upper East Side hotel, located just one block from Central Park, is the ideal spa retreat for New Yorkers looking to disconnect from their blackberries and unwind in luxury. Get ready for some head-to-toe pampering. The package includes a 50 Minute Signature Plaza Athénée Massage, a 50 Minute Valmont Signature Facial or Detoxifying Body Treatment, and a manicure and pedicure. After blissing out in the spa, relax in your guest room for the day, as the "Spa Retreat" package comes complete with day use in a Classic guest room from 10 am - 7 pm. Rates are $700 for the first guest, $500 for each additional guest. Subject to availability. Gift certificates are also available.

Additional articles about the Hotel Plaza Athénée:

An Insider's View of Central Park

Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York: Pillows and Penguins Children’s Package

Thanksgiving at the Hotel Plaza Athenee New York (and Hot Rates Post-Fete)


Take the Family to Brussels: 40% Discount at the Conrad Hotel

August 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad BrusselsThere's a lot to love about a city break in Brussels. You can scarf down the best chocolate in the world, trace the trail of famous Belgian beers, get up close with Tintin at the fabulous Comic Strip Center, marvel at Magritte at the surrealist's namesake museum, and of course go have a peek at Manneken Pis. Take advantage of the "Family Summer Break" at the Conrad Brussels and you'll benefit from a special 40% discount on the bed and breakfast BAR rate (Best Available Rate) in a Queen Premium room (for two adults and two kids). Also included: an extensive buffet breakfast in Café Wiltcher's, Playstation and Wii games in the room, and in-room amenities for the little ones. Offer valid through November 6 (must book by September 7, 2011), subject to availability.


Picnic by Lake Geneva with Chic Treats from Hotel President Wilson

August 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President Wilson, GenevaThe annual Geneva Festival is in full swing, a 10-day extravaganza of concerts, sporting events, lakeside games and good eats. The best part of all is on August 13th, when thousands of spectators will be privy to one of the finest fireworks displays in the world. Lucky guests staying at the Hotel President Wilson, recently emerged from a full renovation in 2009/2010, should consider reserving a picnic basket to nosh on gourmet treats while taking in the spectacular light show over the lake and Mont Blanc! The luxury hotel, the choice of traveling dignitaries and celebs, offers chic picnics during the summer months. The "traditional" version features a tomato mozzarella delight, grilled artichokes with black olives, club sandwiches, lemon rice salad with tuna, fruit salad, chocolate bars, chocolate cookies, and four drinks per person. (Cost: CHF 45 per person.) There's also an "oriental" version with hummus, tabouli, tomato meatballs, Lebanese desserts and more... (Cost: CHF 50 per person.)


Hayman Island Resort Celebrates Reopening with Special Offer

August 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hayman Island ResortAustralia's Hayman Island-- oft described as one of the most stunning resorts in the world-- was severely damaged by cyclones earlier this year, and had to close for repairs. Now it's back, and better than ever. The five-month renovation, explains The Sydney Morning Herald, "touched almost every aspect of the Great Barrier Reef resort, starting with a 16-hectare garden landscape created by horticulturalist and TV star Jamie Durie." A new botanical garden centerpiece showcases 33,000 new plants and 327 new species; the landscaping alone cost A$4 million.

Hayman Island ResortLucky guests who check in now will experience a top-to-bottom refurbishment. And when you book the "Hayman Reopening Offer," you'll score an A$400 Resort Voucher to enjoy during your stay. This reopening offer is basically the "Hayman Escape" package which includes twin share accommodation and daily beachfront breakfast at Azure, along with the bonus resort voucher. Hayman Escape packages start from A$885 per person for 3 nights, and are available for sale until August 31, 2011 for travel from October 1, 2011- June 30, 2012. Valid for new bookings only, and subject to availability.


Win a Free Night's Stay with Langham's "Linger Longer" Campaign

August 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Huntington Hotel, PasadenaBack in May, the Langham Hospitality Group launched a special offer called "Linger Longer for Less." Available through August 31, 2011 at Langham hotels worldwide (including Pasadena, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Shanghai), the promotion translates to real savings: stay two nights and get 10% off, stay three nights and save at least 15 percent with complimentary breakfast, linger four nights and save at least 20 percent with free breakfast and internet access. If you stay five nights, you'll get even more benefits: room upgrade included!

As part of this "Linger Longer" campaign, Langham recently announced a global social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo to search for top travel tips in key Langham cities. The prize? A free night's stay. To enter the contest, simply answer the question “If I could linger longer in a city with a Langham hotel, what would I do?” and email it with a photo (optional) to linger@langhamhotels.com. The most popular answer based on the most likes, comments and shares will win a free night’s stay in the Langham of the nominated city.

For more information, head over to Langham's Facebook page.


The U.K.'s Largest Spa is Now Open at The Corinthia London

August 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

ESPA Life at Corinthia, LondonThe Corinthia Hotel's launch in London has not been a quiet affair. Over-the-top in every way imaginable, the opulent new hotel opened a spa in July that's been the talk of the town. The latest spa by industry leader Sue Harmsworth MBE, the ESPA Life at Corinthia is the largest spa in the U.K.- measuring over 37,000 square feet and covering four levels. It's also the worldwide flagship for ESPA, and the first location to offer the brand’s new ESPA Life concept, an integrated wellness approach that incorporates complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into a luxury spa environment. There's an entire floor devoted to thermal and wet areas including an indoor pool, black mosaic steam rooms, and an amphitheater sauna. Treatments include new age-defying facials and a ‘Rush Hour Beauty’ menu.


The Cool Pool Scene at D.C.'s Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel

August 3, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington DCBeat the heat with cool drinks and a soak in the pool on the rooftop of the Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel. "No matter the temps," says Washington Flyer, "the rooftop at the Liaison Capitol Hill is one of the best spots in town." They've got the requisite cabanas, DJ, delicious bites (from Art and Soul) and shimmering pool for guaranteed fun and the sun. For early risers, rooftop yoga takes place at 7:30 am for sun salutations overlooking the nation's capital. (Reservations required.) Enjoy this cool retreat with the "Dive In, Chill Out" package, starting from $169 per night. Here's what you get:

* Access to the rooftop pool

* Breakfast for two at Art and Soul

* Complimentary Yoga on the Roof classes daily

* A "Sun Yourself" kit with sunscreen, lip balm and bottled water

* A comfortable Affinia room personalized to your preferences

Available until September 4, 2011.


10th Annual Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament at Anantara Hua Hin Resort

August 3, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

King's Cup Elephant Polo, Anantara resortThe highly popular Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is celebrating 10 years this year. The charitable event-- always a smashing success-- is a major event on the Thai tourism calendar, raising money for the country's National Elephant Institute in Lampang. 2011's event is extra special, marking a decade of polo excitement on and off the pitch. Save the date! The 10th anniversary event takes place from September 4 - 11 on grounds adjacent to Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa, a Thai village-style resort located on 14 acres of beachfront gardens and lagoon pools facing the Gulf of Thailand.

A 3,000 seat stadium is being built for the occasion, and entrance is free for everyone. New editions include Chang Noi Children’s Day, an opening parade with army brass bands, Thailand’s last elephant spirit men, and traditional dancers to entertain the crowds. Anantara has currently launched a contest for the "Roving Elephant Reporter," aged between 7 - 15 years, who will become the star of the elephant polo circuit as they deliver news coverage from a VIP seat!

Fun fact: All the elephants playing have been rescued off the streets and enjoy a week-long holiday with free veterinary check-ups and sumptuous elephant feasts.