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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.

The Dashing New Renaissance Lucerne Hotel in Switzerland

June 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance Lucerne Hotel, SwitzerlandThe St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London may be hogging the spotlight (understandably, its extravagant renovation has tongues wagging!), but the newly-opened Renaissance Lucerne Hotel also deserves a little press love. Located in the very heart of Lucerne (just a few minutes from both the train station and Lake Lucerne), this century-old palace offers just 86 guest rooms with decorative ceilings meticulously restored after an ambitious renovation. Behind the historic facade, a contemporary hotel offers great dining options (Mexican eats at Pacifico, Asian plates and cocktails at the Blue Bar & Smoker's Lounge). The setting in the historic city center is fabulous; the concierge team can hook you up with boat excursions on the lake to take in the views of the iconic peaks, Pilatus, Rigi and Titlis.


Reveling in Russia at the New W Hotel St. Petersburg

June 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel St. Petersburg, RussiaStarwood's cool brand of design-led W Hotels is taking the world by storm. The new W in London's Leicester Square has been a smashing success, and W St. Petersburg-- which debuted in April 2011-- is also drawing the cool crowd. Just a stone's throw from the city's major landmarks (like St. Isaac Cathedral and the Winter Palace), the 137-room hotel has a Bliss Spa, indoor swimming pool, SWEAT fitness center, and signature miX restaurant and rooftop lounge (by acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse). The W St. Petersburg was designed by the Milan-based Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel Partners; Departures Magazine notes that the team "took aesthetic cues from the city's architecture as well as the regal jewel tones of the Fabergé egg. Though Russian history plays a part in the look, the structure's limestone and marble façade and supersleek interior make it a refreshingly modern addition to the city's lineup of opulent hotels." Your wish is their command-- even booze cruises on the Neva River-- as the W St. Petersburg has imported the brand's signature Whatever/Whenever concierge service.


The Amazing Rebirth of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans

June 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hyatt Regency New Orleans

After sustaining serious damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans underwent a $275 million dollar renovation and redesign, and will be reopening to much fanfare in October 2011. Billed as one of the "most significant hospitality developments in New Orleans in over a decade," the restored hotel is now the city’s premier meeting and convention hotel- having doubled its meeting and exhibition space. Anchoring the Sports and Entertainment District in downtown New Orleans, the 32-storey hotel has 1,193 guest rooms and expansive food and beverage offerings. News from NOLA: The Hyatt Regency New Orleans has partnered with Make It Right-- Brad Pitt's nonprofit-- on a fundraising campaign to build 150 environmentally friendly homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, the neighborhood hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Buzz in Paris: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Opens Soon

June 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental ParisOne of the most talked-about hotel openings of the year is the Mandarin Oriental Paris, debuting on the fashionable Rue Saint-Honoré in a matter of days (June 28th). A high-profile team of architects and designers (including Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Sybille de Margerie, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku) worked their magic on the building, which now offers an indoor garden, spa, and restaurants overseen by super chef Thierry Marx, the Michelin-starred "Bruce Willis lookalike" who champions molecular cuisine and is a judge on Top Chef. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the "J’aime Paris" opening offer is now available for stays between July 17 and August 28, with rates from $1,110 a night inclusive of a $435 credit per room and $725 credit per suite that can also be redeemed at the hotel’s spa or restaurants.


Night Snorkeling at Jalousie Plantation (Soon To Be Called The Tides Sugar Beach)

June 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jalousie Plantation, Saint LuciaBack in 2008, we got giddy over the news that The Tides brand of chic, high-design hotels was planting a flag on the paradise island of Saint Lucia, "the Caribbean's "it" spot of the moment." The Jalousie Plantation is currently undergoing a $100 million makeover project and will be relaunched as The Tides, Sugar Beach in 2012. (The transformation thus far has included the construction of new luxury villas and a first-class spa.) Nestled in 192 lush acres of rainforest and white sand beaches overlooking the sea, The Jalousie Plantation is the only resort on Saint Lucia to offer night snorkeling- an incredible experience that provides an up close look at the nocturnal wonders in the National Marine Reserve beneath the Anse des Pitons.


Look out, London: Bulgari Hotel Set for Spring 2012

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bulgari Hotel MilanAfter the successful opening of the Bulgari Hotel Milan and Bulgari Resort in Bali, the brand is readying for the Spring 2012 debut of the Bulgari London- just in time for the Olympic Games. The British capital has seen a slew of fabulous hotel openings recently- from the dramatically renovated Savoy and the happening W Hotel Leicester Square to the Corinthia and the ultra-high-tech Eccleston Square Hotel. So the Bulgari London-- a posh pad with 85 rooms and suites equipped with ample Bulgari bath amenities-- will be in good company. HotelChatter reports that the hotel "will be located in the uber-posh Knightsbridge nabe" on the site of the old Knightsbridge Palace Hotel, and that the hotel's penthouse will have a nightly price tag that "only Russian billionaires can afford." What else is in store? Seven Bulgari suites, a destination restaurant and bar, a large ballroom, a private cinema and a 2,000 square meter Spa and fitness center with 25 meter indoor pool.

Pictured: The Bulgari Hotel in Milan.


Stays at the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo Benefit WISH.forJapan

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La Hotel, TokyoTravelers to Tokyo can check into the Shangri-La Hotel and have the proceeds from their stay go to WISH.forJapan, the charitable program launched by Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo to support earthquake victims in the north-eastern coastal regions of Japan. The organization purchases food and other daily necessities more economically via its own distribution system, and delivers the purchases directly to victims in small shelters in the earthquake-affected areas. The special hotel package, multi-course restaurant menus, and a spa treatment at CHI are available until June 30, 2011. To quote the Shangri-La, Tokyo: "We hope that our WISH will reach the hearts of many people in Japan and abroad, as our thoughts remain with the victims and their families during this difficult time."

Related Article: Tokyo Treats: Free Breakfast and Chocolate at the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo


Amanresorts Heads to Turkey's Aegean Coast with New Amanruya Resort

June 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amanruya, TurkeyFans of Amanresorts will fall in love with the luxury hotel company's latest property: a Mediterranean village-inspired resort nestled among olive groves overlooking Turkey's gorgeous Aegean coast. Come August 2011, luxury lovers (and Aman junkies) will be blissing out at Amanruya, comprised of 36 pool terrace cottages just 30 minutes from Bodrum. Each of the elegant accommodations comes with a private pool (averaging 115 square feet), outdoor shower, fireplace, and four-poster bed. The resort's name is a combination of the Sanskrit word for peace ("aman") and the Turkish word for dream. Understandable, given the dreamy setting and luxurious Aman-style facilities: a three-story library, a terrace and wine lounge, an art gallery, two spa suites, a marble swimming pool, tennis court and beach club.


Trump Makes a Splash in Panama with New Hotel

June 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower PanamaLook out Panama! When the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama opens on July 6, 2012, it will be the largest hotel in all of Latin America. And what a hotel it is! Soaring 70 storeys above the Punta Pacifica peninsula, the sail-shaped building (not unlike the Burj al Arab in Dubai) will feature 369 rooms (including 47 suites), a floor of elite boutiques and shops, multiple restaurants, a pool deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (Opening later in the year: a 10,000-square-foot spa, a casino and (ooh la la!) a private beach club on nearby Isla Viveros.) Plan a trip to Panama for the resort's opening season and score introductory rates starting at $279. The city's cultural calendar is packed with fun events like Fashion Week (July 14-16), Fiesta Patronal de Santiago Apostol (July 25), Festival Manito de Ocú (August 11-14) and the International Fair of Books (August 24- 28).


Hotel Buzz: Orient-Express Announces New Project, Palacio Nazarenas

June 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Orient-Express Palacio NazarenasThe Orient-Express collection of luxury resorts, trains, safaris (et al.) offer extraordinary travel experiences. Hotels like Keswick Hall, an estate in Virginia’s horse country, and the Villa San Michele, a former monastery with a façade by Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, are firmly grounded in their settings. The company already has five hotels in Peru, and now we hear they’re opening another one in Cuzco, right next door to the famous Hotel Monasterio. Hailed as “the brand’s most ambitious project to date,” Palacio Nazarenas, housed in a former palace and convent, will open on June 12 after an incredible three-year restoration project “carried out under the guidance of eight full-time archaeologists and the supervision of Peru’s National Institute of Culture (INC).” You can bet your bottom dollar that these 55 suites will be absolutely gorgeous.