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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.

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.


Discover Bhutan with Aman Resorts

October 19, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bhutan Amanresorts

The walls have come down. For centuries the Kingdom of Bhutan has been closed to the outside world, its cultures and customs a mystery to the West. Sandwiched between China to the north and India to the south, Bhutan straddles high mountain valleys and remote, unspoiled wilderness. The kingdom has preserved its beautiful Mahayana Buddhist way of life, uninfluenced by the outside world. Forget coffee-table books; now is your chance to see this marvel with your own eyes. By decree of the king, visitors are now allowed to step inside the mountain walls and experience Bhutan in style: Amanresorts is the first foreign company allowed to open a series of luxury properties throughout the kingdom. Amankora opened its first location in June 2004 in Bhutan's Paro Valley. Located 2,500 meters above sea level, the luxury hotel features magnificent wood-paneled interiors, traditional wood burning stoves and glorious views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. The eight-suite Amankora Punakha is the second resort property, accessed by crossing a suspension bridge over a river. It is situated in lush rice fields near one of Bhutan’s most significant fortress monasteries.

Take advantage of the tailor-made Aman Journey, a circuitous route through the country’s diverse landscapes, for guests to experience and discover the ancient traditions of the Himalayas at each of four luxurious Aman hotels. In November and December of 2005, the Amankora circuit will be further extended with the openings of Amankora Gangtey in the remote Phobjikha Valley and Amankora Thimphu, in the Thimphu Valley, the site of Bhutan's capital city. Amanresorts will book all flights, ground transportation and take care of visas on behalf of guests. Double suites from $900, with an additional $289 for the Tourism Development Fund tax.

Amankora, Official Site

Amankora, Five Star Alliance


Make Way for Mayakoba

October 14, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mayakoba

Cancun is a mess. Mangrove swamps and coral reefs were paved over for towering high-rises and wet t-shirt contests. God bless the eco-friendly developers at Mayakoba, who are creating a new kind of luxury community just south of there on the picture-perfect beaches of the Riviera Maya. We’re carefully observing this ecoproject, which is ambitious and unique, and may set the standard for responsible, sustainable development worldwide. Mayakoba is a community of five luxury hotels—including Fairmont, Viceroy, Banyan Tree, Rosewood, and La Casa Que Canta—set within sugar white beaches and lush mangrove lagoons. Among all these celebrated resorts (of which the Fairmont Mayakoba is the first to debut in December 2005), guests can experience a range of spa and culinary choices.

Fairmont Mayakoba, Official Site

Fairmont Mayakoba, Five Star Alliance


The Lonely Planet of Airport Guidebooks (Almost)

October 13, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ever been lost in the psychedelic maze at Charles de Gaulle airport? Never again, thanks to a new world airport guide, brought to our attention by the savvy folks at Gridskipper.