LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
The 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.
According to a new survey, Fortune 500 companies are prepping in a big way for the avian flu pandemic. After all, the forecasters are predicting that the avian flu could reach US shores in just a few months:
In particular, the companies are placing measures in place to track employee travel as being central to risk mitigation efforts, according to International SOS, one of the top providers of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care.
Thus, if I fly to Vietnam, China, or-- God forbid!-- France, am I considered at-risk by these same venerable companies? My travel plans and activities logged and databased to protect me from spreading the contagion?
Apparently 14 trillion unredeemed miles are floating around the black hole of frequent flier programs. According to the IHT's fabulous piece "Earning Miles: Is It Worth It?":
Since American Airlines introduced AAdvantage 21 years ago, an estimated 124 million travelers worldwide are busy counting miles with one or more of the 140 airline programs, many of which have scores of airline and non-airline partners, such as hotels, car rental firms and credit cards... Many airlines make money from the programs by selling miles to their program partners. United Airlines is said to generate more revenue from "Mileage Plus" than it does selling airline seats. Likewise, American Airlines with its "AAdvantage" program. Frequent-flier programs enable airlines to build a database of travelers, especially very frequent travelers, with the opportunity to build a direct relationship with them.
Could this really be the most successful marketing idea of all time?
Arguably the world's best spa resort, the Banyan Tree Phuket is an exotic spa paradise facing Thailand's turquoise Andaman Sea. These exquisite tropical surroundings have recently become the sought-after setting for Banyan Tree's Destination Spa program: a series of fitness, wellness and cultural activities available in three, five and seven-night packages. The program includes accommodation for two in award-winning villas at Banyan Tree Phuket, daily breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, two 90-minute massage sessions, an Intimate Moments experience, complimentary participation in daily fitness and wellness program and a special gift from Banyan Tree Gallery. In addition, guests are provided their own personal resort host to assist and recommend the best spa treatments. Rates begin at US$1,980 for a three-night package in a Deluxe Villa.
Banyan Tree Phuket, Official Site
Banyan Tree Phuket, Five Star Alliance
My home town is getting a makeover and I couldn't be happier. Kimpton-- that most delightful hotelier-- has bought the aged, decrepit Holiday Inn in Old Town, Alexandria and plans a complete overhaul. At long last: the return of glamour and class to this prime real estate in the heart of Old Town's cobblestone streets, flickering gas lamps and gorgeous colonial homes! Kimpton is pumping in $22 million in its conversion; the new Hotel Monaco, Alexandria will have 241 colorful and unique guest rooms, a pool, fitness club, and fine dining. Bring it on.
From Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications, Small Luxury Hotels of the WorldIn the last 18 months, SLH has received over 1100 enquiries for membership. In 2005 alone, the brand received over 650 membership enquiries via its website, of which only 17 hotels met the standards and earned membership for 2006.
Regionally, SLH received 23 requests for membership from hotels in Thailand but only 5 became members for 2006. 91 requests were received from the U.S.A. but only 6 became members. A total of 55 requests from Italian hoteliers lead to the biggest grouping of 11 new members; finally, 30 requests from the UK and 26 from France both only delivering two members each.
Although Small Luxury Hotels of the World continues to receive requests for membership in the traditional markets, the brand is making a concerted effort to expand into newer, emerging markets. This effort has already paid off for 2006 with the addition of hotels in Laos, China, South Korea and Russia. Areas of interest for future growth in 2007 are Dubai, South America, Eastern Europe, China and Japan where the brand is already in serious discussion with luxury boutique properties.
The total collection now stands at 359 hotels in 59 countries, and for the first time includes a presence in South Korea, Laos, St Lucia, Russia and Estonia. See the list after the jump.
In The Americas
1. Adara Hotel at Whistler; Canada
2. Le Chateau du lac Sacacomie; Quebec, Canada
3. Dolphin Bay Hotel & Residences; San Louis Obispo, CA
4. The Inn of the Five Graces; Sante Fe, NM
5. Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate; Huntington, NY
6. Goodstone Inn & Estate; Middleburg, VA
7. Marina Inn at Grande Dunes; Myrtle Beach, SC
8. Castle Hill Resort & Spa; Ludlow, VT
9.Sivory Punta Cana; Dominican Republic
10.Discovery at Marigot Bay; St Lucia
11. Gaia Hotel & Reserve; Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
In Asia Pacific
1. Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant; Katoomba, Australia
2. The Country Club Sydney; Nr Sydney, Australia
3. Island Hideaway Spa Resort & Marina; Dhonakulhi Island, Maldives
4. The Fortress; Galle, Sri Lanka
5. The Beach Negombo; Negombo, Sri Lanka
6. Banyan Tree Lijiang, Lijiang, China
7. Fuchun Resort Hangzhou; Hangzhou, China
8. Losari Coffee Plantation Resort & Spa; Central Java, Indonesia
9. Maison Souvannaphoun Hotel; Luang Prabang, Laos
10. Eros Spa & Resort Club Parthenon; Chungnam Province, South Korea
11. Hotel Hera Club Parthenon; Chungnam Province, South Korea
12. The Baan Thai Wellness Retreat; Bangkok, Thailand
13. D2hotel chiang mai; Chiang Mai, Thailand
14. The Racha; Phuket, Thailand
15. Nakamanda Resort & Spa; Krabi, Thailand
16. Aleenta Resort & Spa; Phang Nga, Thailand
1. Hoteldorf Gruner Baum; Salzburg, Austria
2. Manos Premier Hotel; Brussels, Belgium
3. Padaste Manor; Muhu Island, Estonia
4. Estate Hotel Schwarzer Adler; Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
5. Brandenburger Hof; Berlin, Germany
6. De Hoefslag; Utrecht, The Netherlands
7. Dwor Oliwski Hotel & Restaurant; Gdansk, Poland
8. Savoy Moscow; Moscow, Russia
9. Royal Park Hotel; Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
10. Chateau de Cely; Ile de France, France
11. L’Hermitage Gantois; Lille, France
12. St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel; Crete, Greece
13. Villa Le Scale; Isle of Capri, Italy
14. Albergo San Montano; Isle of Ischia, Italy
15. Townhouse 12; Milan, Italy
16. Townhouse 31; Milan, Italy
17. Townhouse 70 Suite Hotel; Turin, Italy
18. Masseria Torre Coccaro; Puglia, Italy
19. Inn at the Roman Forum; Rome, Italy
20. View at the Spanish Steps; Rome, Italy
21. Relais la Suvera; Tuscany, Italy
22. Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte; Tuscany, Italy
23. I Casali di Monticchio; Umbria, Italy
24. Selenza Thalasso Wellness Hotel; Andalucia, Spain
25. Hotel Club Maritimo Sotogrande; Andalucia, Spain
26. Vincci Seleccion La Plantacion del Sur; Canary Islands, Spain
27. Mas Passamaner; Tarragona, Spain
28. The El Rodat Hotel; Alicante, Spain
29. The Goring; London England
30. Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island; Argyll, Scotland
31. La Stampa Hotel & Spa; Dublin, Ireland
32. La Sultana Hotel & Spa; Marrakech, Morocco
Our question? Who dropped out ...Small Luxury Hotels of the World
, Official SiteSmall Luxury Hotels of the World
, Five Star Alliance
Did they neglect to read National Geographic's damning assessment of the Costa del Sol? In Traveler's yearly Destination Scorecord-- ranking the integrity of places by creating an index of Destination Stewardship-- Spain's coast has gone to the dogs. The pressures of development, pollution, globalization, and mass tourism have held sway:
...[in] Spain's Costa del Sol—the overbuilt "Costa del Concrete," which caters to package tours from northern Europe... you can hear more English or German than Spanish. As with many uncontrolled seashores, a nonstop line of characterless hotels blocks off the coastline. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has assumed management
of one of these hotels: the 112-room luxurious Villa Padierna. Though the place has got a golf course, spa, Beach Club, and rooms full of antiques, I'm still skeptical. Good luck, Ritz-Carlton. Let's see if they can turn the tide and bring back the glamor.
I dig the idea of a totally-democratized travel guide, written and edited by travelers like you and me. In the words of WikiTravel: