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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.

W Hotel South Beach Turns 2, Gives Away a Luxury Stay

July 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel South Beach'Tis the season. For contests and giveaways, that is! First we told you about Trump Chicago's babymoon contest on Facebook, and now we've got the scoop on another fun one. W Hotel South Beach is celebrating its second birthday with a Sweepstakes on Facebook. When they reach 10,000 fans, they'll give away a two-night stay-- filled with glamorous treats-- to one lucky Facebook fan. You'll get to bed down in an oceanfront Mega suite with its very own plunge pool and outdoor BBQ. As part of the "Built for Two" anniversary package, you'll enjoy: a Jetski rental for 2, 2 express services at Bliss Spa, daily breakfast for 2 at Solea, 2 cool cocktails at the Living Room Bar, and a limited edition 2 Year Anniversary gift. Must be at least 21 years of age to enter. The Sweepstakes ends on July 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm (EDT).

Want to learn more about the hotel? Here's how it's billed: "In the playground of celebrities and on the boardwalk of the fashion jet set is where you’ll find W South Beach, a beachfront oasis dreamed up by international tastemakers, framed by famed art deco and in the heart of Miami’s hottest nightlife."


Viceroy Hotels Heads to Abu Dhabi and the Maldives

July 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Yas Hotel, Abu DhabiViceroy fans will be pleased as punch to learn that the brand has taken over management of the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi (you know- the one that's located in the very middle of the Yas Marina Circuit offering unobstructed views of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix). Not only that, but Viceroy is setting its course for the Indian Ocean, with the hotly anticipated opening of the Viceroy Maldives in December 2011. Located on the idyllic crescent-shaped island of Vagaru in the Shaviyani Atoll, just one hour north of the capital Male, the Viceroy Maldives will feature 61 villas with interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg, an over-water spa, a complete range of watersport activities and five restaurants. All surrounded by the turquoise sea and sky...


The Charles Hotel in Cambridge Preps its Dazzling New Corbu Spa

July 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Charles Hotel, CambridgeGet ready, Boston. In just a matter of weeks, a new luxury spa will be upping the ante. The Charles Hotel-- located just outside Boston in Cambridge's Harvard Square-- is launching Corbu Spa & Salon this summer. Named after famed architect-designer Le Corbusier, the 4,000-square-foot spa will offer an all-organic treatment menu featuring ingredients handpicked from the hotel’s gardens. In this regard, the spa takes a cue from the hotel's renowned restaurants, Rialto and Henrietta's Table, both industry leaders in the farm-to-table movement. Get this: Spa Director Pamela Baldwin Adami will also be crafting salt scrubs, sugar buffers, and lotions right in her own home. The best part of all: Corbu is a “Spa with a Heart" with special packages providing donations to select charitable organizations like Partners in Heath, MSPCA, the EcoLogic Development Fund, and the Steppingstone Foundation.


More Details on the Andaz Shanghai, Opening This Summer

July 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz Wall StreetEver since the story broke that Hyatt would be exporting its trendy boutique brand to Shanghai, we've been waiting with bated breath for more news. And now we've got it. The brand spanking new hotel-- expected to open this summer-- will have 307 rooms "all with vibrant views over Shanghai and impressive LED lighting where guests can customise the colour to suit their mood." Of course, this hotel will have all the complimentary inclusions that makes Andaz such a beloved brand: non-alcoholic minibar drinks and snacks, local telephone calls and wireless internet access. There will also be a spa with a juice bar, fitness center, and swimming pool, along with a healthy selection of dining options: Éclair, billed as an "all-day patisserie specialising in classic, cream-filled French pastries," the Andaz Lounge; and Hai Pai- a Franco-Shanghainese brasserie.

Pictured: The Andaz Wall Street in NYC.


Hotel Trends: Unplug with a "Digital Detox"

July 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lake Placid LodgeCan't stop checking your email while on vacation? You're not the only one. When it comes to detaching from their cellphones, tablets, and other digital devices, some 79% of travelers expect to stay connected on their next vacay-- according to a recent survey by American Express. To help these folks help themselves, a growing number of hotels are offering "unplugged" and "digital detox" packages- reports The Wall Street Journal. From Washington D.C. to Teton Village, Wyoming, hotels are rolling out the discounts and stress-reducing amenities like spa treatments. To quote the WSJ: "Starting this month, guests at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel can book "Zen and the Art of Detox" on some summer weekends. The Hotel Monaco Chicago offers anyone who reserves its "tranquility suite" the option to add a "Technology Break." The Lake Placid Lodge (pictured) also offers a similar package.


Steve Wynn Decorates His Macau Casino Resort with $12.8 Million Chinese Vases

July 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn MacauIn 2006 Las Vegas was eclipsed by Macau as the gaming capital of the world. Not far from Hong Kong, the former Portuguese colony of Macau attracts millions of visitors from mainland China keen to wager their bets at legal casinos. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that gambling revenue in Macau just hit an all-time record high- at $3 billion in the month of May. Little wonder then that casino mogul Steve Wynn has been investing heavily in his resorts there. (Wynn Macau looks hauntingly similar to its Vegas predecessor.) The latest? Wynn shelled out $12.8 million at a London auction recently for a set of four 18th-century Chinese porcelain vases that will adorn his new Cotai Resort Hotel, scheduled to open in 2015 in Macau. Bloomberg has the skinny on the vases:

The 4-foot (1.2 meter) vases, painted with Buddhist and Taoist emblems and embellished with 19th-century gilded metal mounts, were the most expensive of 50 lots at Christie’s International’s “Exceptional’’ sale in the U.K. capital. Sold by a private collector, the Jiaqing period (1796-1821) vases had formerly been in the collection of the Scottish aristocrats, the Dukes of Buccleuch, and had been estimated at 600,000 pounds to 1 million pounds.


Langham Hotels Heads to Chicago

July 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, PasadenaBig fans of Langham Hotels, we've been keeping a keen eye on the development of a brand spanking new hotel in Chicago. Set to open in May 2013, the 320-room hotel will occupy floors 2-13 in the former IBM Building downtown, an architectural icon designed by Mies van der Rohe. This will be the third U.S. hotel for the Langham chain, joining the Boston and Pasadena properties (not to mention the gorgeous London flagship and acclaimed Hong Kong hotel). A recent article on Katie Benson, regional vice-president for Europe and North America for Langham Hotels International, gave us a few more deets about this hotly-anticipated debut. Straight from the horse's mouth:

"...I think it will have the best rooms product in town, but that's the advantage of being new, and also the advantage of having floor-to-ceiling windows. I think the service style is a bit different. We will have a club lounge with spectacular views. This hotel will have our signature brand Chuan spa, which is our own spa brand built on traditional Chinese practices, and that will be I think a first in Chicago."

Related Article: Open Today: The Chuan Spa at The Langham, London

Pictured: The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, California


Sailing the Chesapeake Bay from The Tides Inn

July 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Tides Inn, Irvington, VALong a favorite stopover for yachts sailing the Chesapeake Bay, The Tides Inn is a destination resort located on Carters Creek in Irvington, Virginia an hour outside of Richmond. Locals adore the farm-to-table cuisine featuring veggies plucked ripe from the garden (and paired with local Mid-Atlantic wines), and visitors from farther afield appreciate the inn's sublime Chesapeake setting. News: The Tides Inn recently installed a state-of-the-art Floating Dock to its marina, adding 24 new boat slips that can harbor weekend cruisers and charter vessels up to 150 feet. The dock features include electric, water, cable, TV and a pump out. Sail into the Tides Inn and order up a signature Lancaster Lemonade made with vodka, limoncello, fresh lemon juice and ginger ale served over ice and garnished with herbs from the Inn's own garden. Guests may decide to extend their stay longer than a weekend; the inn's rooms have recently been refurbished with new carpeting, and the beds are wrapped with 300-thread-count sheets by Frette and sumptuous down duvets. Book a massage at the spa, or play a round of golf. Now that's a blissful break! Summer rates at The Tides Inn start at $210 per night.


Calling All Bachelorettes: Win a Trip to Taiwan!

July 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel TaipeiCelebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2011, Taiwan's in the spotlight. Not only that, faithful Bachelorette viewers will get to check out the country's wonders on the next episode of the show. Ashley Herbert will have all kinds of romantic adventures in Taiwain- from riding scooters through the mist-covered mountains to living it up in luxury at The Regent Taipei. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau sponsored the episode scheduled to air on July 11 in order to promote "Asia's best-kept secret." And they've also joined forces with a few other sponsors for a fabulous giveaway contest: fans of the show can win a 5-day trip for two "to live out their own romantic adventures in Taiwan" including two nights in the TaiPan Elite suite at The Regent Taipei. For more details on"The Bachelorette Ultimate Getaway Sweepstakes," check out the website.

Pictured: The W Hotel in Taipei.


Sponsored Article: A Real Luxury Experience in Rome in Hotel Hassler's Renovated Penthouse Suite

July 6, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Hassler RomaPerched atop the Spanish Steps in Rome, the Hotel Hassler has long been a favorite destination for visiting dignitaries and A-list celebrities for its glorious views over the Eternal City. The Hassler Roma is indeed one of the best hotels in all of Europe. From the third-floor spa, you can marvel at the historic sites across the city, while also reveling in the luxurious touches found inside the hotel itself: original paintings by Titian and Tintoretto Schools, bathrooms finished in precious Italian marble and 23-carat gold plated faucets, walls covered in frescoes.

As if that's not enough, guests looking for an incredibly luxurious hotel experience (think Roman holiday-style honeymoon!) can now check into the hotel's Presidential Suite Penthouse, entirely renovated and reopened in May 2011. Located on the 7th floor of the hotel, the Penthouse offers breathtaking views from its private 160-square-meter terrace. The new interiors reflect a modern style embued with Classical accents. The sitting room features a large plasma-screen TV and a lovely alcove looking out to the terrace. The dining room has mirrored walls and a floor-to-ceiling window.

A sliding door separates the dining area from the bedroom. The room is done up in soft white, beige, and grey hues, accented with red decor, and the floors are made of beige-toned Botticino marble, which also lines the walls of the master and guest bathrooms. Not forgetting the walk-in closet and master bathroom with a Jacuzzi and Amorvero bath products!

A fireplace with a large TV placed above it in the gazebo dining-area provides an ideal space for relaxing and al-fresco dining.

The starting price of the Penthouse Suite is 3,800 euros per night. Enjoy a real experience of elegance, style, at the highest level of service and hospitality.