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.

Beware the Avian Flu (Hype)

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rooster in Tonga

I just worked myself up into a real scare reading the latest National Geographic article on Avian flu. Like seriously freaking out. This could be the next world pandemic! Spanish flu to mammoth proportions! The virus jumping from birds to pigs to vulnerable humans! (Can you spy the seemingly innocuous rooster in the pic to the right? The lush tropical garden is just an illusion of tranquility when such a beast lurks in its midst.) Forget this blog-- I’m headed to to look for flights to the Pacific Islands, the only place left unscathed by Spanish flu. Or better yet-- I’m holing myself up in one of those desert caves in Afghanistan!

Not so fast, the ever-rational World Tourism Organization soothes my fears. All the media talk about Avian flu is dangerous hype that could hurt world tourism, especially in Asia and the developing world.

Trends: Solo Women Travelers and Female-Friendly Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Emergency Kit

Everyone’s talking about women’s travel these days. This month, Travel and Leisure reports on female-friendly hotels: the Sanctuary South Beach offers discounts for women traveling solo, the St. Regis Shanghai offers a Ladies Floor staffed by female butlers, the Mandarin Oriental, New York has created the whimsical Girl’s Guide to Glamour in Gotham (a Chanel makeover, a manicure at Bergdorf’s and a shopping tour by limo), and London’s Berkeley offers the Girls Night In weekend, a pampering extravaganza complete with in-room manicures, Cosmopolitans, Bliss products and late-night snacks.

My pick for solo women travelers? Vancouver’s Le Soleil Hotel, with its Elle Suites specifically designed for the female business traveler. Amenities available include office supplies, soaker tubs with bath bombs and essential oils, Aveda body products, make up mirror, small wooden body massager, a selection of women magazines, low fat and low carbohydrate snacks in the mini bar and a selection of nylons and feminine hygiene products. Hotel Le Soleil's concierge will also provide an up to date list of around town events that may be of particular interest to women.

Also, be sure to check out Tango Diva—an online magazine devoted to women travelers.

And for women on the go... A fashion crisis on the road? Check out Diane Von Furstenberg's emergency kit (pictured) sold at W Hotels online store.

Take Your iPod on the Road (or in the Sea)

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Who cares about the iPod nano when you can dress up your iPod with a snazzy underwater case?! For the next kayak or surf adventure, bring all your tunes-- with the protection of the indestructible polycarbonate case made by Otterbox. And beyond the nifty gadgets…Check out the travel podcasts created by itoors: exciting audio walking tours covering all range of subjects. And the leader of guidebooks just launched its own serious of podcasts, including conversations with Lonely Planet authors across the globe.

Conde Nast Business Travel Awards

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

CN Traveler October 2005

The die’s been cast; road warriors have picked the world’s best airlines and hotels—published in this month’s issue of CN Traveler. In the United States and the Americas, Mandarin Oriental tops the charts, while Ritz-Carlton takes Europe and Africa, and Peninsula (surprise, surprise) prevails in Asia. Singapore Airlines still reigns supreme as the best business-class service in the world.

Top U.S. Hotels for Thanksgiving

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Leave it to HotelChatter to add some spice to T&L’s hotel recs for your family feast this year. Get the inside scoop on the best Thanksgiving grub, whether you’re craving roasted scallops or some traditional turkey with all the fixin’s. My vote's for the Ritz-Carlton New York-- what about you?

Get Fresh With Beauty Products Sky-High

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Inflight Kit

OK, so I´m guilty of reading inflight magazines (along with—um-- the Economist and Finding George Orwell in Burma*), but how else to hear about the latest Inflight Kit from Fresh? Convenient zippered bag includes cleansing towelettes with lotus and pomegranate, in-flight mask, and post-flight serum with green coffee. $130

*ok, ok, add to that the occasional US Weekly probe of Brangelina and TomKat also. It´s just sooo scintillating

Flying with Fido: Travel with Pets to Europe

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

This month's issue of National Geographic Traveler explains the regulations required by the European Union when traveling with a pet. It's pretty gnarly. Not just rabies vaccinations-- we're talking microchips embedded in your little mutt. You may want to skip the bureaucratic mayhem and leave Fido at home.The rules as outlined by the United Kingdom's DEFRA