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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.

Inn at Harbour Town is a Hotspot for Eco-Tours

July 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Ecotourism has been growing in popularity with more and more luxury travelers searching for hotels that support conservation efforts and encourage socially responsible travel. Taking advantage of natural activities is a positive way to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries while remaining active. Prepare for an exciting adventure and get ready for countless beautiful photo opportunities and a few fun facts learned along the way!

The Inn at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina is a charming and intimate European style hotel that has 605 acres of forest preserve for exploration. Hop on a hard-bottom inflatable boat for a guided tour through Calibogue Sound. Get ready to see shore birds, sea turtles, and bottom nose dolphins, and be sure to hop off at an island beach to find beautiful shells. If you’re hoping for something a little slower paced, check out the Alligator Wine and Cheese tour. Sail away on a sunset cruise on the freshwater lakes and discover native plants and animals while sipping on complimentary wine and nibbling on complimentary cheese. Whether you’re looking for exploration, relaxation, or a little bit of both, the Inn at Harbour Town has abundant ecotourism opportunities for a range of interests.


Your Questions Answered: Best Luxury Hotels in Anguilla for a Family of 4

July 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We are planning on going to Anguilla for a family vacation. Could you let us know about availability from July 23rd to July 31st 2012? We are traveling with 2 kids ages 11 and 15 and would prefer to stay in one room. What are a few good options?

Answer: A few great luxury hotels for families in Anguilla that have availability for your dates of travel are the CuisinArt Resort and Spa and the Cap Juluca. The CuisinArt Resort and Spa has a Beachfront Junior Suite with either 1 king or 2 twin beds with a queen sized pullout sofa bed in the living area. There would be an extra person charge for the 15 year old child of $80 per day, and the hotel would also be able to add an additional rollaway bed to the room if the kids did not want to sleep on the same sofa bed at no additional charge. Cap Juluca has an Oceanfront 1 bedroom patio suite which has a separate sitting area where 2 rollaway beds can be added at no additional cost. The suite has one full bathroom and a second bathroom with a shower. To make a reservation at either of these hotels, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, select the room option, and fill in the booking form. Please fill in the special request field stating that you will be traveling with a two kids ages 11 and 15 so the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as the extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Deals and Steals at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa in Australia

July 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance know that you, our loyal travelers, are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you, so be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa is perfectly located on the Gold Coast of Australia which is known for its stunning skyline, world famous beaches, and its beautiful sub-tropical climate. This stunning luxury hotel features 329 rooms and it’s situated on a riverfront site just minutes from the heart of Surfers Paradise.

Advance Purchase Rate

This deal is for people who have their plans set in stone and who are willing to prepay in exchange for a discounted rate. This deal is available for ocean view rooms with 1 king or 2 double beds, and the reservations are non-cancellable and non-changeable.

Escape! Honeymoon Package

This package includes hot breakfast for two adults daily, dinner for two adults daily at Citirique, 1 bottle of champagne upon arrival at French Champagne, self-parking, 100 AUD Lattouf Hair Spa coupon, and late checkout.

Elandra Retreat Club

This package includes Club level access which includes continental breakfast, midday snack, afternoon tea, hors d’ouevres, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages. This package also includes complimentary valet parking and turn down service.

These packages and specials are based on double occupancy, subject to availability, and exclusive of tax. Be sure to make your travel plans today to take advantage of these unbeatable deals!


Five Star Alliance Photo Submission Contest!

June 27, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We love having a relationship with our luxury travelers, hearing about your adventures, and seeing your vacation photos, so we invite you to submit your favorite vacation photo to us by August 1st, 2012 to be entered to win a free iPod shuffle! Your photo can be of your favorite hotel, a beautiful sunset, a shot of you drinking out of a coconut on the beach, etc. We certainly encourage creativity and would love to see what sort of vacation destinations you enjoy. We’ll post your photo in an album on our Facebook page, and our team of luxury travelers will choose a winner based on location, quality, style, and creativity, so hook up that digital camera and submit your favorite vacation photo to us today here!

Terms and conditions: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing information to Five Star Alliance, not Facebook. Liking or commenting on a photo on Facebook will not increase your chances of winning, but we certainly love and encourage participation! A photo must be attached to your entry to be eligible to win. The photo must be your own and free from third party copyright restrictions. Only one photo submission per person. Five Star Alliance reserves the right to delete any photos it deems inappropriate without notification. By participating in this competition, you authorize Five Star Alliance to announce your first name and use your image on our Facebook page. We will not share or sell contact details or use full names. The winner will be contacted on August 3rd, 2012 via email from an @fivestaralliance.com email address and will have seven (7) business days to respond or the prize will be forfeit.


Your Questions Answered: Best Luxury Hotels in Jamaica for a Family of 3

June 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We are planning on coming to Jamaica next month. Could you let us know about availability from July 11th to July 20th 2012? We are a couple with a 7 year old daughter.

Answer: A few great luxury hotels for families in Jamaica that have availability for your dates of travel are the Round Hill Hotel and Villas as well as the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall Jamaica. The Round Hill Hotel and Villas has one bedroom and villa suites available that would be able to accommodate 2 adults and 1 child for an additional $30 per night, and the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall Jamaica has Garden View Suite with a king bed and a sofa bed that would be able to accommodate your family of 3 as well. To make a reservation at either of these room options, simply click on the hotel name, enter your dates of travel, select the room option, and fill in the booking form. Please fill in the special request field stating that you will be traveling with a 7 year old child so the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as the extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

Explore all of the luxury hotels in Jamaica here >>


Celebrate the Fourth of July in DC!

June 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We can’t think of a better place to celebrate our country’s Independence Day than our nation’s capital! Take advantage of the mid-week holiday by taking an extra-long weekend to explore and take in everything DC has to offer. With 37 luxury hotels located in various parts of the city, Washington DC certainly has the perfect hotel for your individual stay. Take advantage of the free Smithsonian Folk Life Festival which celebrates unique cultures with music, food, demonstrations, and more on the National Mall as well as the patriotic programs put on at the National Archives, the National Cathedral, and the Smithsonian Museums. For more information about the happenings in Washington DC, check out washington.org. Explore the various hotel options and make your reservations in Washington DC to ensure you’re in on all the action this Fourth of July!


Question: Best Luxury Hotel near Tours for Families

June 20, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Earlier today Five Star Alliance recived the following question from one of our clients:

My husband and I are traveling with our 15 year old niece for 2 nights in August. I'm looking for a suite that will accommodate all 3 of us, but with privacy for us as well. We may need two rooms instead of one suite. If there are chateaux hotels available near Tours, that would be lovely. Thank you for your asssistance.

We did some research, especially when it comes to Tours -  known for its wines, the battle of Tours in 732, and the Paris-Tours cycling race, then reviewed our properties and came back with the following suggestions:

Chateau d'Artigny Junior Suite Duplex in Ariane PavilionChateau D'Artigny is in Montbazon, about 20 minutes South of the center of Tours. The Chateau offers the following for 2 adults and 1 teenager, or 3 adults:

JUNIOR SUITE GUEST BEDROOM - The Luxurious Junior Suites and duplex are spacious, located in main chateau, Ariane Pavilion or Fragrance House overlooking the Chateau, gardens, park or woods. Sofa bed possible for children under 12. Flat screen, Air conditioning. Sleeps up to 2 adults (or up to 3 adults with extra bed).

Located at right is the Chateau d'Artigny Junior Suite Duplex in the Ariane Pavilion. 

Currently rates for August 4, 2012 for 2 nights are starting at EUR 520 per night for 2 adults. However rates are being pulled live from the system, and are subject to change based on availability.


Chateau d'Esclimont Exclusive Suite with Park and Pond ViewChateau d'Esclimont is located in Ile, about 2 hours north of Tours. The Chateau offers 2 different room types to accommodate you, your husband your neice.

JUNIOR SUITE GUEST BEDROOM - Single floor or duplex, very spacious, comfortable and tastefully decorated. Junior suites consist of one bedroom and a private lounge with sofa bed. The bathroom has a shower and a separate bath. Fitted with, Wifi access, minibar, 42 square metres. Sleeps up to 2 adults (or 3 adults/2adults 1 child with extra bed).

Currently rates for August 4, 2012 for 2 nights are starting at EUR 545 per night for 2 adults. As mentioned before, rates are being pulled live from the system, and are subject to change based on availability.

EXCLUSIVE SUITE PARK AND POND VIEW - With its beautiful high ceiling, fireplace, stylish furniture and huge four poster bed, the Exclusive Suite emanates a true fairytale castle atmosphere (pictured at right). Overlooking the pond and the protected park. It has a delightful private lounge with sofa bed and a splendid black marble bathroom with separate shower and bath. Minibar, free wifi access. 80 square metres. Sleeps up to 2 adults (or up to 4 adults with extra bed).

Currently rates for August 4, 2 nights, are starting at EUR 895 per night for 2 adults. And again, rates are being pulled live from the system, and are subject to change based on availability.


Domain des Hauts de Loire ApartmentDomaine Des Hauts De Loire is 45 minutes NorthEast of Tours and offers 11 Carriage House Apartments. This Relais & Chateaux hotel is an old hunting lodge located along the Wine Route in Loir-et-Cher.

The apartments (pictured at right) are located 30 meters from the main house and feature a sitting area, bathroom, mini bar, safe, wireless internet, tv, telephone, air conditioning and the option for an additional bed for a fee. They are between 50 and 60 sqm. These apartments are currently shows at EUR 480 per night for 2 nights on August 4th.
 

All Luxury Hotels near Tours can be found here >>

Do you have other suggestions for 3 adults or a family near Tours, France? Let us know >>


Question: Which Luxury Hotel in Hong Kong for 2 Adults 1 Child

June 15, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

We recently received the following question from a Five Star Alliance client:

I am travelling to Hong Kong in early - to mid August with my wife and 7 year old daughter. I want my wife & daughter to have a wonderful luxurious stay in Hong Kong. My wife needs shopping areas nearby and my daughter would love a luxury hotel with bathtub. We all prefer a Continental Buffet Breakfast. Please kindly provide your suggestion as to which of the following luxury hotels I should book for my family in Hong Kong. They are first time visitors to HK & I want their stay as wonderful as I can.

Our response was as follows:

Langham Hong KongThe Langham Hong Kong

The following rooms allow 2 adults and 1 child (under 12): Deluxe Room, Deluxe Langham Room, Grand Room (Premier), Executive Suites, Penthouse Suite, Vogue Suite, Premier Suite, 2 Bedroom Penthouse Suite. All rooms include deep bathtub and freestanding shower.

The Langham is close to the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping area (Harbour City, ELEMENTS, Granville Road, Canton Road and Nathan Road).

The Family Plan: Children below the age of 12, and staying in their parents' room can enjoy a complimentary extra bed (maximum one child per room).

The Family Wonderland Package includes: Round trip pick up either by limousine or seven seated van, Complimentary internet access in all guest rooms and public areas, Daily breakfast buffet for two adults and one child, Three hours of free baby-sitting service per stay (subject to availability and upon request), Tiffin afternoon tea at Palm Court, Complimentary cartoon DVD rental, Charming ‘Theodore’ Pin & Back pack welcome gift, No handling fee for Ocean Park tickets purchased from the hotel, Concierge Desk, Welcome fruit plate, Daily local newspaper, Complimentary access to 24 hours gym and Outdoor Swimming Pool.

The Perfectly Langham Package includes: Daily Breakfast in Palm Court for 2 adults (child cost extra).

Grand Hyatt Hong KongGrand Hyatt Hong Kong Hotel

The following rooms allow 2 adults and 1 child (under 12): Grand King, Grand Twin, Grand Harbor King Bed, Grand Harbor Twin, Club King, Club Twin, Club Harbor King, Club Harbor Twin, Grand Executive Hbr Suite. Rollaway Beds: not available for double rooms, fees may apply. All rooms offer marble bath with separate tub and shower.

The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is close to the Wan Chai shopping area (Tai Yuen Street), Causeway Bay shopping area (Fashion Walk, The Lee Gardens, Lee Theatre Plaza, Times Square, Windsor House, wtc more, Jardine's Crescent), Admiratly shopping area (Pacific Place), and Central shopping area (Li Yuen Street East and West).

The Bed & Breakfast package (if available for the dates you check) offers the following: Breakfast daily for 2 adults, 2PM late check out subject to availability, Breakfast served in Grand Cafe or in-room dining. Full breakfast featuring a range of international and traditional Chinese breakfast selections - Valid 7 days a week.

Do you have other suggestions for this family with 2 adults and 1 child looking for a luxury hotel in Hong Kong? Let us know >>


Luxury Travel Advisor Tours The Brand New Palace Hotel Tokyo

June 15, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Palace Hotel TokyoFive Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor recently had the pleasure of touring the brand new Palace Hotel Tokyo.  Travel Guru Joe Pike (you can read more from Joe here: http://www.thejoepikeblog.com/) offers the following details about his recent stay:
 

Demolishing an iconic hotel isn't always a smart decision for a tourism-entrenched city to make, but when you replace it with a new, luxurious, $1.2 billion, modern chic hotel bearing the same name, it quickly turns into one of the best business decisions a destination can make.

Luxury Travel Advisor toured Wednesday the new Palace Hotel Tokyo, which officially reopened on May 17. It replaced the previous Palace Hotel Tokyo, which opened in 1961, was located at the same site and knocked down in 2009.

Here's what you need to know to pitch one of Japan's hottest new hotels.

The Rooms

All of the rooms face one direction, meaning every VIP, no matter what category they are staying in, gets view of the city.

Luxury Travel Advisor stayed in room no. 2207, a Club Deluxe Room W/ Balcony. Note: not all of these rooms have balconies, so be sure to request a balcony. Without a balcony, the room simply lacks one of our favorite features. There is nothing like seeing the city lit up at night, while enjoying a beverage on the terrace.

The best room here is the Palace Suite, which is the hotel's version of a Presidential Suite. The room is roughly 2,200 square feet. It comes with one bedroom with double beds, but can also connect. There are a lot of powerful colors in this room, including a lot of black and gold throughout the bedroom. Note: This room is a traditional Japanese style room and it's typical for Japanese couples to sleep in separate beds. There is also a very large balcony, 60-inch televisions in both the bedroom and the living and a separate kitchen and dining area. Tip: The dining area can be used for private dinners, including wine and sake pairings.

Restaurants and Bars

All of the restaurants are open to locals, which is why it is very important for advisors to book reservations for VIPs at least two weeks in advance since there is a huge local contingent of businessmen who frequent the hotel's restaurants.

The Grand Kitchen is located on the first level and where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Nice Touch: There is a small garden area outside that seats roughly 25 guests while another outdoor terrace area can seat up to 40 guests. Tip: Both outdoor areas can be rented out for small groups. The Grand Kitchen serves a number of cuisines from pasta to pizza to paelle. We ordered the "Hirata Farm" Pork Loin with mash potatoes, mushrooms and sage.

The Palace Lounge is a great place to have a cocktail. It has a very living room type feel and feels very homey. The lounge also has a piano with live performances nighty. Afternoon tea is served here from 2 - 4p.m. with more than 45 different teas offered.

The Royal Bar, located on the first floor is a very sophisticated bar with an impressive piece of abstract art occupying an entire wall. Fun Fact: The piece of an abstract dragon is meant to be an ode to the year the hotel reopened.

Wadakura is the hotel's signature restaurant, serving such Japanese favorites as sushi and tempora. It seats up to 118 people but is so scattered that it doesn't feel so large. In fact, there is a separate Tempora bar, called Tatsumi, located within Wadakura. Nice Touch: The restaurant offers nine private rooms, serving anywhere from four to 10 people. Note: We were told these are usually the first rooms to be reserved so be sure to book this at least two weeks in advance as well. Also, located within Wasakura is a separately managed sushi bar as well as Go, an area dedicated to teppanyaki.

The Crown restaurant is the hotel's French dining option. This restaurant has a strong art deco feel with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering an incredible view of the city.

Prive is another impressive lounge. It's very similar to the Palace Lounge except its a bit sexier, a bit more modern chic. Like the Palace Lounge, it also offers tea, but with a more French inspiration. The ambience of this lounge is designed to give VIPs a forest-like feel. Its basically a really chill, relaxed environment. Nice Touch: There is also a small outdoor lounge area with black leather seats and couches.

Amber Palace is the hotel's Chinese restaurant. There are a lot of amber hues throughout the restaurants, hence the name.

The Spa

The hotel is home to the Evian Spa, which takes the name of the famous brand of bottled of water. In fact, Evian water is handed to VIPs along with a fresh towel as they workout in the fitness center, which is open 24 hours a day and offers city views from all of its treadmills. The spa is made up of just five treatment rooms and one spa suite. VIPs who pay for a treatment can use all of the spa's facilities. There is a modest fee to use the pool, however, if VIPs don't have a spa treatment. The fitness center is free for everyone. Note: Club Members, those staying on floors 18-23 and also in some select rooms on the 16th and 17th floors, have free access to the pool regardless of whether they have a spa treatment or not.

Weddings

The hotel is home to a Western-style chapel, which can have up to 12 weddings a day. There is also a Japanese shrine for more traditional weddings, but we were told roughly 80-90 percent of the guests use the Western-style chapel.

Who to Book For

Roughy 60 percent of the VIPs here are business travelers while the remaining 40 percent are leisure travelers. There are roughly 15-20 percent Americans here. We would suggest the hotel for business travelers or couples and families looking for a hotel just 20 minutes away from the famous Ginza shopping district.

 


A Tall Order: Dine with a Giraffe in Nairobi

June 6, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I've been to some crazy dinner parties, but I don't think I've ever had anything quite so incredible as a giraffe in attendance before. At Giraffe Manor in Nairobi boasts its very own herd of Rothschild giraffes, and they're liable to stop by your dinner party just to say hello. You might be munching on a breakfast scone when the world's tallest land mammal decides to pop its head to join your tea party. Ever the gentleman, it is much too polite to ever ask that you pour it a glass. Giraffes aren't the only animal to call the Manor its home. You can spot over 180 different species of bird and may even befriend the appropriately hilariously named dik dik.  

With all the attention focused on the hotel's resident animals, don't worry that those of us with two legs and exorbitant texting plans have been forgotten. The hotel's six guest rooms are styled after an original 1930s manor house, and meals are served either indoors in striking wood-panelled dining room or outdoors on the patio. Be sure to check out both the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Karen Blixen Museum while you're there. The latter is the former home, from 1917 to 1931, of the author of Out of Africa. Nairobi's Giraffe Manor may be a little bit off the beaten path, but nowhere else can you stay as close to some of the most incredible animals found in the Serengeti.

 Photo via Tamimi