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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.

Free Theme Park Tickets from Loews Universal Orlando Hotels

March 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando Stay 4 nights, play 4 free! Enjoy all the fun of Orlando's action-packed theme parks and relax at the AAA four-diamond award-winning Loews hotels onsite at Universal Orlando. Book four or more nights at Loews and receive two free tickets for unlimited admission to Orlando's top attractions. Book a stay at Portofino Bay Hotel and enjoy the Mandara Spa, three themed pools, Campo Portofino children's activity center, and the festive harbor piazza filled with Italian sports cars and Vespas. Or choose the Hard Rock Hotel and check out the 12,000 square foot pool with sand beach, massive slide, and underwater stereo. Or escape to the Royal Pacific Resort and enjoy its Polynesian themed pools, restaurants, and entertainment.

4 nights= 2 free tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks.

5 nights= 2 free tickets to the Universal theme parks, plus 1 free ticket to Wet 'n Wild.

6 nights= 2 free tickets to both Universal Orlando theme parks, Wet 'n Wild, and SeaWorld Orlando. Available April 15-June 6, 2006.


California Dreaming: Spring Break Fun for the Family at Estancia La Jolla

March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Estancia La Jolla Escape to the San Diego sunshine for a Spring Break the whole family will enjoy. Consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world, Estancia La Jolla is a California Rancho-style coastal retreat surrounded by lush gardens, only minutes from San Diego's attractions and the beaches of La Jolla. At this garden oasis by the sea, indulge in memorable meals, pool-side lounging, and excellent spa services. The world-class facilities and gracious hospitality ensure an extraordinary spring getaway. The Spring Break Getaway, priced from $795 for the family of four, is available from March 30-April 14, 2007, and includes:

*Three nights in a luxurious double queen Verandah room

*Family Picnic Lunch and Beach Bundle For Four (includes sand toys, beach blankets, and umbrella)

*Estancia Classic: 2 hour on-site kid's golf clinic hosted by a Torrey Pines Golf Course Instructor. Available for children 7 and up.

*Flick & Float movie tickets for family movie night by the pool (Each Saturday Night at 6:30pm)

*Complimentary Valet Parking


Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colorado: Luxury Eco-Getaways

March 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Devils Thumb Ranch These days, we're all about sustainable luxury. And this spot--5,000 acres of raw and gorgeous Colorado terrain-- will take your breath away. Devil's Thumb Ranch is a year-round resort and spa with rustically upscale accommodations, fine dining, year-round swimming pools overlooking the mountains, and winter/summer outdoor recreational activities galore. It's been dubbed "the eco-getaway that leads the way." Outside Magazine applauds the geothermal heating, low-emissions chimneys, and the organic menu with free-range antelope steaks. Located 65 miles west of Denver, the resort ranch sits at the foot of the Continental Divide in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Thousands of acres of countryside means cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horse back riding, fishing, hiking, downhill skiing, river rafting, and more. After a day exploring this majestic wilderness, relax with a culinary feast and divine fine wines. (Check out the Barrel Room, a hand-crafted wine uncorking room, pictured at right.)


Hands on Cooking in Rome at The Fortyseven

March 20, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

This November take the kids (they have to be over 12), spouse, or friends to the boutique Hotel Fortyseven in Rome and learn to cook! With their hands-on classes, Fortyseven will help create an unforgettable holiday that combines Italian food & wine with tips to take home with you. The promotion includes: 3 nights stay in the Double Deluxe room, Italian cooking course for 3 hours per day with a "surprise" at the end of the course, lunch (3 free courses) following the lesson with a wine presentation, coffee break during the lesson and aperitif with the chef, Kitchen "Apron", and daily buffet breakfast. Rates for the Cooking Class package at Fortyseven begin at 750 Euros for two and will be well worth the future dinners you will be able to make.


Half Moon Offers Summer Vacation Solution

March 19, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Rose Hall JamaicaHalf Moon's Camp Half Moon program in Rose Hall, Jamaica is an exciting adventure camp for children age 6 – 12, filled with exciting competitions for the top prize of a return trip for a family of four. (Who knew you could use your kids to pay for family trips?)

The four-day Camp Half Moon, which runs from Mondays through Thursdays starting on June 4 until August 30, will see children grouped into teams with a team leader/supervisor at the start of the camp and presented with their team colours; then the fun begins. Camp Half Moon includes:

  • a welcome social,
  • scavenger hunt,
  • kayak race,
  • mini triathalon,
  • log rolling and many other team and individual competitions.

There is a fee for participation, but includes all activities, team shirts, welcome social and farewell barbecue, and prizes.

Check availability for you and your clan at Half Moon Rose Hall, Jamaica >>


Easter in London: A Thumper of an Offer at The Berkeley and Claridge’s

March 16, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maybourne Hotel Group How's this sound for Easter? Hop into The Berkeley and Claridge's between April 6- April 10, 2007 for as little as GBP 199 a night, including scrumptious, handmade Easter Eggs for the whole family. This is a sensational rate at two of the Maybourne Group's super-luxury London hotels. (The Connaught is currently under renovation.) Situated in fashionable Belgravia, The Berkeley is a true London establishment, home to the Michelin star rated Petrus restaurant, uber-cool Blue Bar, and the Caramel Room, where the celebrated afternoon tea (Pret-a-Portea) is a creative indulgence for fashionistas. The art deco jewel Claridge's is located in the heart of Mayfair, adored for its superlative service. It's no wonder Nota Bene calls it "London's most glamorous and celebrated hotel."


Spring Fling at Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland

March 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beau Rivage Palace Spring is in the air on Lake Geneva. The stunning Beau-Rivage Palace, one of the most beautiful palace hotels in the world, is celebrating the arrival of spring with two special packages. Overlooking Lake Geneva, this iconic landmark boasts the cutting-edge Cinq Mondes Spa, rated by Forbes as one of the most luxurious spas in the world. Escape to Switzerland and frolic in the spring temperatures. With the Spring Promotion, available from April 1-June 30, 2007, guests enjoy a fantastic daily room rate of CHF 450 (double occupancy) which includes breakfast. Or head across the pond for a pampered Easter break, where the kids will go gaga over the elaborate Easter egg hunt. From April 6-April 10, 2007, rates are as low as CHF 395 per night including breakfast.


Welcome Back Spring at the Hay-Adams (with Sake!)

March 12, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The Hay-Adams is almost exactly a mile from the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin and on the walk over you'd get to pass 1) The White House, 2) Old Executive Office Building, 3) Washington Monument and 4) The National World War II Memorial. This year, the predicted peak bloom will be April 4th (although they start to bloom around March 30th). Hay-Adams Cherry BlossomsThe Hay-Adams "Cherry Blossom Package" includes a minimum of 2 nights, Cherry Blossom Fesitval information, a special amenity, and complimentary parking (normally $35.84 per night with the valet). Rates start at $369 for the package and will sell out quickly (check real-time availability here). Other packages available to welcome back spring to the area include "Spring Break" (low rates, breakfast and accommodations) and the "Sake Dinner Package" (five-course Asian influenced dinner, 5 different Japanese sake, breakfast, free parking, and of course the room). If you live in the area or are visiting and not staying at the Hay-Adams (shame on you) but want to partake in the "Sake Dinner" the night before the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival, the cost for two is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Call the Lafayette Room at 202-220-4853 to make reservations - 6:30 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Dinner.


An Interview with the General Manager: Tony McHale of Keswick Hall

March 9, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Tony McHale of Keswick HallTony McHale is the current General Manager at Keswick Hall in Keswick, Virginia - just outside Charlottesville. He took some time out of his busy schedule (you'd be busy too if you had an Arnold Palmer golf course at your office) to answer some of our questions.

Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?

Tony McHale: I was the General Manager of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, also an Orient Express property, and transferred to Keswick following Katrina.

Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?

Tony McHale: Keswick is like a country home. It is intimate and charming with gracious service and hospitality, in a breath taking setting, on a private 600 acre Estate.

Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?

Tony McHale: Private, yet just 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. Curl up with a book in front of one of the six fireplaces, or enjoy golf on our private Arnold Palmer Championship Golf course. Hot air ballooning, shooting, riding, fishing or biking are one of many pursuits.

Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed at Keswick Hall, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?

Tony McHale: Mic Jagger, James Brown, Michael J. Fox, Sissy Spacek, Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, and Paul Newman to name a few.

Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages?

Tony McHale: Balcony State Rooms 9 and 27: Both are corner rooms located on the 2nd floor. They have private balconies and exquisite views overlooking the Arnold Palmer Golf Course. They are requested time and time again by our regular guests.

Five Star Alliance: If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?

Tony McHale: A favorite Signature Room (standard) would be # 10. It has a full size balcony overlooking the Horizon Edge Pool and Arnold Palmer Golf Course.

Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Tony McHale: Strongest markets are New York and Washington, though people travel from all over including Europe.

Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?

Tony McHale: Check-in/out times, dining options (both on and off property), recreational activities, things to do in the area: shopping, wineries, etc, parking fee, and safety deposit box.

Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?

Tony McHale: Villa San Michele in Florence and the Maroma Resort in Cancun.


Easter at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

March 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Easter at Kiawah Island Celebrate Easter traditions at Kiawah and treat your family to a memorable stay at the AAA Five Diamond-rated Sanctuary Hotel or in a spacious private home or villa. The weather is spectacular, the variety of activities is endless, not to mention the fantastic Easter Dining and fun holiday festivities. (Sand sculpting contest, fabulous food and wine bar, live music, Easter Egg Hunt, and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny!)

Take advantage of the Sanctuary Easter Package starting from just $639 per room, which includes one night accommodation in a garden view room, buffet breakfast for two, and the Grand Easter buffet for two adults. With the Villa Easter Package at Kiawah, enjoy buffet breakfast for two, and Easter Buffet at Osprey Point (for two), along with the luxurious accommodations in a one bedroom scenic view villa. Starting from $382 per night, seven-night minimum stay required.