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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.

Say Hello to the New Getty Villa Malibu

January 27, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Getty Villa

At long last, the new, fabulously improved Getty Villa Malibu opens on Saturday. After extensive renovations—this was the original home of the Getty Museum—the Villa will reopen as an educational center and museum dedicated to ancient Greek and Roman art and culture. How to score tix? The process for free admission is the same as the stupendous Getty Center that we know and love (I admit it: I've lured friends and family to the top of that hill just to walk the grounds and gape at the architecture, gardens and view. Forget the art, this is the best vista in all of LA!) Advance, timed tickets are required for each individual and can be obtained online or by calling (310) 440-7300. Parking is 7 dollars a car. (Take note: the Villa is closed on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)


Special Travel Bargains: A Taste of Thailand on Cathay Pacific

January 26, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

For 722 bucks from LA, and 782 from NYC (and this is the airline voted #3 in the mag's readers' choice world's best international airlines!) Thanks to Travel and Leisure's Hot Deals-- which is hotter than hot, with featured deals including Belgian Bargains (winter weekend with airfare and hotel for mere pocket change) and Luxury Alaska Cruises for 3,497 bucks.


Travel to France in Winter: The Allure of the Off-Season

January 25, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau de Mirambeau

Consider this. The Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame without the summer hordes. No line at Andre's in

Atlantic-facing La Rochelle for a sumptuous poisson feast (or other decadent items from the tempting menu du jour), while gazing at the ancient ramparts and centuries-old towers jutting over the sparkling sea, even the gargoyles seeming to smile down in languid contentment. Indeed the crowds have evaporated, leaving the majestic Loire chateaux and even Versailles empty for the taking (and gaping). The icing on the cake? A temperate climate that never sees the ghastly winter lows of Washington DC, so one could even score a bit of a sun tan basking in the sun (while bundled in a trendy winter coat, of course.)

Interested in the pictured Chateau? It's dreamy, and just a hop from Bordeaux and Cognac.


Where To Go In 2006

January 25, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Courtesy of Forbes.com (and we are proud to say our very own Manager of Client Services-- Sarah Anderegg-- helped compile the domestic travel spending data), an interesting article on travel spends and hot spots for the new year:

With the new year comes the inevitable tide of resolutions, remorse (for overdoing it during the holidays), anticipation for the 12 months ahead and, for many people, a bad case of the winter blahs.
Time to hit the road, to such sought-after locales as the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, Thailand or The Palms in Turks and Caicos, or the brand new Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.


Pink Dolphins? Hong Kong?

January 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pink Dolphins

You've got to be kidding me. But as CNN reports, HK is no longer just about glitzy skyscrapers, designer shopping and gourmet eats. Throw ecotourism in the mix; the city is one of the best spots to see Indo Pacific humpback dolphins, which just happen to be totally, completely bubblegum-pink. Sign up with tour operator Hong Kong Dolphinwatch, who normally spots these uncanny creatures 97 percent of the time on tours in the South China Sea.


Don’t Buy in Dubai

January 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Speaking of the devil... The Times UK reports that many British homeowners regret their decision to invest in Dubai. That terrible third-rate workmanship of "luxury" properties and poor management belie the slick, glossy brochures advertising the glittering sea, sand and skyscrapers of developments in Dubai. (Thanks Alex!)


Let’s Talk About Dubai

January 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj al Arab

Why exactly is it so appealing? Since I'm a Dubai virgin-- passing through the airport on a Delhi-Moscow flight doesn't count for much-- I can only hazard a guess or two. Beaches, warm climate, awe-inspiring architecture that continues to push the envelope, underwater restaurants, the world's only seven star hotel... But Europeans calling it the new Côte d'Azur and buying up real estate like it's their job?! Proximity can't be the reason. Dubai is hot; it's been marketed as hot, and the incredible development continues to gather steam. Thus I implore you, dear reader... let's talk about Dubai. What makes it so damn hot?


LA Abandons $11 Billion Airport Modernization Plan

January 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Charles de Gaulle

Can they send the funds to Paris Charles de Gaulle instead? The airport is the pits. I'm sure when it was constructed in the 70's, it was considered the epitome of cool. A space age vision of the future. Escalators and moving walkways ascending and descending hills through the maze of flashing white lights, crisscrossing the vast circular interior through plastic tubular structures. (The French tell me it resembles-- um-- camembert cheese.) Good luck trying to find the shuttle to the TGV. (It would require a map and pages of carefully detailed instructions.)


Eos Airlines Rocks with the Absolutely, Positively Best Frequent Flyer Program

January 18, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Redeem awards for unrestricted travel on any airline? Or take those miles and stock up on goods like iPods, Bose sound systems or lux spa treatments? No, this is not a joke. Just when almost every other airline out there has raised the number of awards necessary to get a free ticket (and upped the blackout dates), Eos-- the premium airline I've obsessed over before-- has introduced a brilliant frequent-flyer program. Both Travel Weekly and the Online Travel Review are talking it up this week. (And it's easy to understand why.)


Martin Luther King Day at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

January 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Dr. King

In honor of Dr. King, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is offering free admission all day long. Opened in 1992, the Institute offers the best, most comprehensive and moving exhibitions on the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. A walk through the galleries—past replicas of segregated streetcars and fountains, a replica of the bombed and scarred Freedom Riders' bus, films and media presentations—is a journey through the events of the 1960s and the struggle for equality and racial justice. Importantly, the exhibitions highlight the Civil Rights Movement in relation to the ongoing international human rights movement today.