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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.

Savor the Sights of Florence at Hotel Continentale's Rooftop Bar

May 31, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 Hotel Continentale

The only thing better than being in Florence? Being on a rooftop in Florence.  Our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, has a peek at Hotel Continentale's rooftop bar, La Terazza. Jena Tessa Fox writes:

 

Perched on top of a 13th century medieval tower, Florentine architect Michele Bonan reinterpreted the glamour of the 1950s Italian film and fashion scene in his re-design of La Terazza. With the addition of an open fireplace and heated benches the Continentale’s rooftop terrace La Terrazza will be open to welcome guests all year round.

To coincide with the re-launch of La Terrazza, the Continentale has been working with some of Florence’s best mixologists to develop a new drinks menu. Featuring signature Italian cocktails such as the Negroni – a blend of gin, vermouth rosso and Campari – and new interpretations of the Vesper Martini (made famous by fictional spy James Bond), La Terrazza has something for everyone.

 

More about La Terraza >>

 

 

 

View rates, details, and more photos of Hotel Continentale >>

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Red Carnation Acquires the Historic Ashford Castle

May 22, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 

Ashford Castle will be soon be seeing red.  Our sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor, has reported that Red Carnation Hotels has taken over the historic property. Ashford Castle is the former estate of the Guinness family. It dates back to 1228 and is set on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake, in the picturesque village of Cong. Jena Tessa Fox reports that:

Ashford Castle

 

 

Red Carnation Hotels' Managing Director Jonathan Raggett said that the team was looking forward to working with Ashford's General Manager Niall Rochford and to growing the workforce with local talent. "We will be working with local suppliers and partners on a refurbishment program that will restore this illustrious hotel to its former glory, and build on the fine reputation that the hotel already enjoys," Raggett said.

 

 

More on the acquisition >>

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Burj Al Arab Goes for the Gold iPad

May 21, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Burj Al ArabThink a gold credit card is impressive? Not anymore. Burj Al Arab, the super-luxury hotel in Dubai, has introduced the latest status symbol for luxury travelers: The gold iPad.

 

Guest at Burj Al Arab often arrive one of the world’s largest chauffeur-driven fleets of Rolls Royce’s or by a dedicated helicopter transfer service. After check-in, the 24-karat iPad, which is worth approximately $10,000, is yours to play the world's most expensive game of Angry Birds on. Or, guests can use the virtual concierge program that comes loaded on the gadget to take advantage of the hotel's many bespoke services. The hotel introduced a similar amenity back in October 2012, with a 24-carat rose gold iPad that was designed as part of its Breast Cancer Awareness month program. 

 

Sadly, the iPad, much like a room key, has to be returned to the front desk upon check-out. Although you can purchase your own in the hotel's boutique, along with a gold iPad minii and a gold iPhone5.

View rates, details, and more about Burj Al Arab >> 

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Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives Lands a Private Runway

May 19, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

 

Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and SpaHave a private jet? Now you have somewhere to land it the next time you visit the Maldives.  Our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, has the scoop on a new private jet airport terminal at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa

 

Globetrotters now have a new reason to touch down in the Maldives. We hear Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa is gearing up to have its own private jet airport terminal.

Located at Gan International Airport in Addu Atoll, the terminal is for the exclusive arrival and departure of the resort’s guests, including those on commercial flights to and from Male International Airport. The terminal is five minutes by speedboat from the resort and has two lounges and a VIP room. Extra Touch: A private lounge is reserved for guests arriving by private jet and offers one-stop immigration, custom and baggage screening services.

Those looking to leap on this opportunity can take part in the Private Jet Experience, which features stays in a presidential villa and other benefits. The Private Jet Experience benefits include welcome champagne; a dedicated villa butler; dolphin cruise; daily massage at CHI, The Spa; personal mobile phone and the bespoke “Dine by Design” experience.

 

 

View rates, details, and more photos of Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa >>

 

 

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Happy 100th Birthday Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla!

May 17, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Grand Colonial Hotel La Jolla

 

Happy 100th Birthday Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla!  The oldest hotel is La Jolla is celebrating its centennial this year. As part of the year-long Centennial celebration, the hotel will offer:

• A Time Capsule Contest

• Specials and packages for overnight guests

• Centennial merchandise for sale

• Throw-back cocktail menus at NINE-TEN Restaurant

• Weekly social media contests on Facebook 

• A historic video montage, which can be seen on the hotel's YouTube Channel.

 

 

History buffs will enjoy a special booklet prepared by the hotel. The booklet highlights five chapters of the hotel's history:

Grand Colonial Hotel La Jolla

•La Jolla: A Jewel from the Start

•A Landmark for La Jolla

•Putnam’s Legacy

•Hollywood and the Hotel

•Guests or Ghosts?

The Grand Colonial may be 100, but it doesn't look its age. The hotel features a five-story main building and three adjacent private buildings, all encompassing guest rooms and suites updated with every contemporary comfort. Also offered are 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space - most with ocean views - for weddings, meetings and special events. The award-winning ZAGAT-rated NINE-TEN Restaurant is a La Jolla dining landmark - boasting nationally acclaimed chefs, "Evolving California Cuisine" and a Wine Spectator-recognized wine list.

 

View rates, details, and more photos of Grand Colonial Hotel La Jolla >>

 

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The (Summer) Bar is Open at Mandarin Oriental Munich

May 15, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

 

Mandarin Oriental Munich

 

 

The (summer) bar is open at Mandarin Oriental Munich! Our sister publication, The Luxury Hotel Advisor, recently reported on drinks al fresco at the German luxury hotel:

 

 

Rooftop season has descended upon Munich, we hear, with the opening of China Moon Roof Terrace at the Mandarin Oriental, Munich. The seasonal venue has a 360-degree view of the city, including the Frauenkirche church and the Alps. Open from May through October, guests can enjoy Asian, Oriental and international specialties along with a long list of trendy cocktails. New this year: China Moon has a new corner bar with city views. Guests can also enjoy an art exhibition by painter Shirin Donia.

 

View rates, details, and more photos of Mandarin Oriental Munich >>

 

 

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Hotel de Crillon Renovations Revealed

May 14, 2013
By: Guest Writer

 

Hotel de Crillon

 

The legendary Parisian Hotel de Crillon recently closed in order to go a major renovation that's expected to last two years. Our sister publication, The Luxury Travel Advisor, got some inside information on what future guests might expect.

 Here's what writer Jena Tessa Fox found out about the renovations: 

Architect Richard Martinet, along with Artistic Director Aline d'Amman and three Parisian decorators – Cyril Vergniol, Chahan Minassian and Tristan Auer – are working to bring the historic hotel into the 21st century. And although both management and designers have revealed little in the way of details, a recent press release offered a hint: "The 7th floor … will be imagined as a 'quarter within the hotel' where fashion designers and brands can collaborate with the Crillon to decorate the suites." The hotel's management contract, the story continues, may take a page from the Kempinski model - an established brand that manages a number of historic hotels. And the Crillon will need a special kind of care to balance contemporary tastes with classic style: It is 250 years old, and several rooms are listed as national historic monuments. But the "Louis XV" decor, while never lacking for gilding, can seem a tad dated, and when the French Ministry of Tourism was handing out "palace" status to hotels in 2011, the Crillon was absent from the list. It is worth noting that Mohamed Al-Fayed's Paris Ritz also lost out and has also recently closed for a 27-month refurbishment. The renovated hotel will open its doors again in 2015.

 

We look forward to seeing the stunning results! 


Fancy a Fizzy Lifting Cake? Chesterfield Mayfair Plans Willy Wonka Tea Party

May 11, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

 

Willy Wonka Tea

 

What kid (or adult) hasn't seen Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and dreamed of visiting Willy Wonka's workplace? Well, you may not be able to go to the factory, but if you find yourself in London, you can head over The Chesterfield Mayfair for their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea. The The new stage musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be opening at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane in June, and starting May 13, and the luxury hotel is celebrating with Oompa Loompa Cupcakes, A Golden Egg, Blueberry Macaroons, and Fizzy lifting Cake.

 

Other treats served at Charlie at The Chesterfield include a choice 18 loose teas, fruit scones served with clotted cream and jam, chocolate chip scones, and savory finger sandwiches.  Tea is concluded (naturally) with a golden ticket that offers guests a chance to win a selection of fantastical treats at the hotel, with every ticket guaranteed a prize.  Prizes range from champagne to a free weekend stay in a Junior Suite. The chocolate afternoon tea at the Chesterfield runs until September, at a price of £32.50 per person plus service charge.

 

The only drawback to this afternoon tea is that it's not served by Oompa Loompas.

 

View rates, details, and more photos of The Chesterfield Mayfair >>

 

 

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Shangri-La Hotel Beijing Launches the Beaming Faces Bloom Campaign

May 10, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Shangri-la Beijing

 

To help celebrate Children's Day on June 1, Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing has launched the "Beaming Faces Bloom" campaign. The luxury hotel invites you to submit photos of the innocent smiling faces of children aged 0-16 years (unlimited entries).

The photos collected will be put together to form a giant mosaic to be displayed in the hotel lobby, and uploaded to the hotel's and group's official website and on some press sites in celebration of the Children's Day on June 1.

Anyone submitting the photos will get a chance to win a two-night stay in a Presidential Suite in any of the Shangri-La Group's hotels.

Enter from now until May 20, 2013. To enter, forward photos along with the child's name, nationality, parent's name, and contact (phone and email) to communications.slb@shangri-la.com.

 

 

More about the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing and the Beaming Faces Bloom Campaign >>

 

 

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W New York Union Square Renovations Revealed

May 8, 2013
By: Guest Writer

 

 

Jena Tesse Fox recently wrote for our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, about the renovations at The W New York - Union Square:

 W New York Union Square

 

Heads up, New Yorkers! The W New York - Union Square has unveiled the results of a major renovation project. The transformation is part of the W brand's plan to renovate more than 11 of its properties across North America, and includes a full re-design of the hotel's 270 guestrooms and top suites, W Living Room, Todd English's Olives New York, and destination bar Lilium by Gerber Group (previously Underbar). The renovation also preserves original design details of the landmark 1911 Beaux Arts building, including its turn-of-the century Great Room with 23-foot high gilded ceilings and grand windows, which was restored late last year.

 

The W Living Room:  The new design of the W Union Square Living Room, by New York based design firm Krause + Sawyer, is good for for conducting business by day and unwinding by night. A black steel communal table, equipped with inlay plugs for chargers, encourages guests to mix and mingle while staying connected.

 

The Guest Rooms + Suites: Each of the hotel's 270 remodeled guest rooms and suites are anchored by a sculptural headboard representing an abstract view of Union Square. Silver window coverings are brightly stitched together with silk fabric mimicking a man's tie, while wall coverings in a soft, sophisticated "Park Avenue" white are contrasted with a bohemian metallic blue. Cool touch: The Extreme WOW Suite (the W brand's take on the Presidential Suite) is equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video capabilities including wall units that can easily interchange from dining room table to space for a DJ booth.

 

Lilium and Olives New York:  The hotel's renovation also includes the re-design of its destination bar Lilium, as well as a complete renovation of Todd English's Olives New York restaurant. Lilium, the hotel's subterranean nightspot, sits beneath the hotel's façade. Key features of the 1,600 square foot interior include a twisted metal ceiling that cascades down the walls and complements the sculptural black steel lilies, created by metal artist Scot Brown. At Olives, the expanded bar, now located in the center of the space, creates a vibrant hub in the heart of the restaurant while new seating choices include u-shaped banquettes, an elevated chef's table or a nine-seat raw bar along the signature open kitchen. For more information, visit www.whotels.com/unionsquare.

 

Read more at Luxury Travel Advisor >>