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.
Think 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.
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.
History buffs will enjoy a special booklet prepared by the hotel. The booklet highlights five chapters of the hotel's history:
•La Jolla: A Jewel from the Start
•A Landmark for La Jolla
•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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Paradisus Palma Real, the luxury all-inclusive Punta Cana resort, has completed its comprehensive redesign, adding 110 Royal Service Suites, as well a new Royal Service Lounge with its own private Italian restaurant, new juice bar, pool, ECO spa, and fitness areas. The resort’s service has also been upgraded, from pre-arrival to Punta Cana and resort arrival, as well as personalized and intuitive butler service throughout.
As part of the improvements to service, once guest books their stay at Paradisus Palma Resort, a staff member will contact them to discuss preferences, dietary restrictions, and their vacation desires. The resort will then make recommendations, pre-book reservations, and help create the perfect vacation.
Paradisus signature Royal Service Suites offer unparalleled all-inclusive luxury in an adults-only atmosphere. Each of the 220 Royal Service Suites comes complete with an in-suite Jacuzzi. Modern touches include 32-inch flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations, Expresso coffee machines and now customized mini-bars, bathrooms are stocked with Thierry Mugler bath amenities. The resort has also taken their service standards up a notch, now providing one modern certificated butler per every six Royal Service Suites.
The additional Royal Service ECO Spa is exclusively for Royal Service guests, featuring five massage treatment eco palapas. A water ritual area – comprised of two hot tubs, pool with hydrotherapy, cold plunge, pediluvio foot bath, showers, steam room and sauna – will be located adjacent to the new Royal Service pool.
The new Italian restaurant, Il Palazzo, will be exclusive for Royal Service Guests, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. This modern Italian experience is located within the new Royal Service lounge and offers unobstructed views of the Caribbean. The Royal Service white sand beach area will now boast a new Juice Bar. Guests will be able to order smoothies and freshly squeezed juices, including the signature passion fruit drink. The new Juice Bar is open daily, from morning to early evening. The resort’s main lagoon-style pool will now feature a designated and dedicated Royal Service area, which connects to the Royal Service Lounge. Paradisus Palma Real’s new Fitness area, YHI Moves, will be over 2,000 sq. ft, boasting new Life Fitness equipment and a large cardio and weights area, attended by professional personal trainers, offering assistance and complimentary yoga, pilates and stretching classes. The resort’s new Red Lounge is an all-day lobby bar and after-dinner lounge, which changes ambiance to suit the mood and tempo of day and night-time entertainment.
Breakfast in Bali has never tasted so good! Bamboo Chic, Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran’s newest restaurant boasts its delicious take on Pan-Asian cuisine with a Balinese twist. Le Meridian Jimbaran Bali has gone through a total renovation that displays a beautiful mix of traditional Jimbaran heritage amidst global contemporary design. This mix of traditional Jimbaran culture with the styles of global contemporary can be seen within the flavors of the newly opened restaurant at Le Meridian Jimbaran Bali’s restaurant: Bamboo Chic.
Guests can enjoy their meals in their 3-story restaurant and bar, or can even dine on their roof-top terrace to enjoy a beautiful Bali sunset while eating next to the man-made salt water lagoon. Run by executive chef Paul Lewis, who keeps the Le Meridian farm-to-table food concept alive by using local fresh ingredients and fresh catch-of-the-days in the menu. Bamboo Chic provides food options for all ages, complete with a delicious buffet spread that caters to many taste preferences. The restaurant is well-known for its Pork Hock dish that has a very distinct Balinese twist. Always on the menu, but in different forms, the pork is definitely a must-try at Bamboo Chic!