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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.

Hot Off the Press! Mobil Travel Guide’s 2006 Five Star and Four Star Winners

October 27, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Washington DC

This year, the Four Seasons Washington D.C. is the only new hotel to join the prestigious list of 32 Mobil five-star hotels in the United States and Canada. The three new five-star restaurants include New York’s per se, the White Barn Inn Restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine and West Hollywood’s Bastide.

Four Seasons Washington D.C., Official Site

Four Seasons Washington D.C., Five Star Alliance


Westin Renewal Suite and Revitalized Minibars

October 27, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

I’m diggin’ the TravelPost.com blog. Especially their description of Westin’s new Renewal Suite at the Westin New York, Times Square. (This is the same hotel where Martha Stewart’s Apprentice candidates struggled to create their ultimate themed hotel suite.) The Renewal Suite is complete(ly absurd) with DVD spinning classes, bamboo flooring to relieve stress, and Hepa air purifiers. As for Westin’s new mini-bars? TravelPost.com says it all.


Travelers are Flocking to China; Our Pick? Yunnan’s Banyan Tree

October 26, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Great Wall

Numbers don’t lie. According to the World Tourism Organization, China recently replaced Italy as the 4th most visited nation. Is this due to more tourism among the country’s ginormous population? If anything, an increase in tourism among the Chinese themselves is a fabulous indicator of previously-rigid walls coming down…. (Last year I remember watching the sun set behind snow-capped peaks near China’s Myanmar border, with Chinese tourists who had previously never left Shanghai and Beijing.) And Westerners are discovering that China offers a lot more than the Great Wall and Forbidden City. The southwest province of Yunnan, for example, is a wonderland of geographic marvels, history and cultural tradition. Luxury resorts have already staked an interest in Yunnan; Banyan Tree just opened a resort there, in “Shangri-La country,” complete with heavenly spa.

Banyan Tree Ringha, Official Site

Banyan Tree Ringha, Five Star Alliance


Trends: Solo Women Travelers and Female-Friendly Hotels

October 24, 2005
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.


The World… in Dubai

October 24, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The World in Dubai

In the luxury resort market of Dubai, nothing surprises me. Home of the only 7 star hotel in the world (Burj Al Arab), the latest SKI? resort (as Gridskipper reports today about Ski Dubai), and the development of The World-- in miniature man-made islands shaped like the continents of the world. The US$1.8 billion project, expected to be complete by the end of 2005, consists of 250 to 300 private artificial islands divided into four categories—private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands. Hell, you could even buy a continent! The World is located four kilometers offshore from Jumeirah, close to The Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab.


The Chic Make-over of Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho

October 23, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Valley Ho

These days, Scottsdale is where it’s at. (The NYT weighs in on the hype.) And starting in December, the legendary Hotel Valley Ho will re-emerge downtown as the place to see and be seen. The original hide-away for Bogart, Bing and Marilyn has been made-over into a hip urban resort. First opened in 1956, the Hotel Valley Ho basks in its classic mid-century design. The chic rooms feature all-glass walls opening onto private patios, flat-screen TVs, WiFi, terrazzo tile bathrooms, and feather-top beds with 300-thread-count linens. Lounge on the sofas by the pool, pamper yourself with a massage in the private cabanas, work out in the VH Spa overlooking the perfect circle pool, or slurp a cocktail at the Oh Pool Bar + Cabanas. Plus, Hotel Valley Ho offers dining options aplenty. At Cafe ZuZu, enjoy classic American comfort food. Or head to Trader Vic’s, the Polynesian classic reinterpreted by Chef Charles Wiley, with outdoor dining on the lushly landscaped patio. From December 20th to December 29th, take advantage of the Opening Special of $195.60. (How clever! The hotel first opened on December 20, 1956.) Includes accommodations in a signature guest room, complimentary valet parking, complimentary access to VH Spa, and a Fifties Fun Pack of treats.

Hotel Valley Ho, Official Site


Orient-Express Joins Marriott Rewards as a Redemption Partner

October 22, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Orient Express in Venice

Hot off the Newswire! Members of Marriott Rewards can now redeem their points for Orient-Express hotels in locations worldwide. Including the spectacular Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg, Hotel Cipriani in Venice, and the Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy. And not just hotels. We’re talking luxury safaris in Botswana also.


Forbes.com Most Expensive Resorts

October 21, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Turtle Island, Fiji

Forbes.com released their list of the world’s most expensive resorts. Hmmmm, a mere $10,000 at Rania in the Maldives? Bring it on! But does expensive necessarily mean the best?


Conde Nast Business Travel Awards

October 20, 2005
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.


Starwood Hotels Auction for Victims of Hurricane Katrina

October 20, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The observant folks at Luxist brought our attention to the upcoming Starwood Hotels auction: an extraordinary benefit for the Starwood employees affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Bidding will take place October 20-27. The items (all pretty sweet) include exclusive stays in luxurious Presidential suites at the best hotels worldwide, a walk on role in The Devil Wears Prada starring Meryl Streep, and an insider pass to the PGA tour and year golf passes to the world's most famous courses.