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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.

Your Questions Answered: Where to Stay in San Francisco When You Need an Extra Bathroom

July 7, 2013
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Hotel Zetta San Francisco
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 will be coming to San Francisco and are considering staying in a hotel. Do any hotels have a room with one and half bathrooms? We will be 2 adults, 2 kids and 1 infant who would like to stay in one room, but minimum one and a half bathroom is required.
 

ANSWER: Hotel Zetta San Francisco


In a city of exquisitely edgy contrasts, Hotel Zetta offers a high level of sophistication and service without taking itself too seriously. The vibrant decor and sustainable architecture lend an innovative, creative vibe, while the high-tech conveniences, oversized guestrooms and plush pillow top beds keep things modern and always relaxed. Located in the heart of San Francisco's famously tech-savvy SoMa district and walking distance to Union Square, Hotel Zetta invites style-seeking travelers and local professionals to work, connect, play and get inspired.
Hotel Zetta offers 116 contemporary, oversized guestrooms and suites that are located in a 100% non-smoking hotel, featuring an interactive lobby and social hub with Macs and Pinko game wall. There is a full service bar, mezzanine game room and lounge featuring pool table, shuffleboard and multiple game consoles. 24 hour in-room dining is available and there will be an exclusive, destination restaurant opening in 2013. Complimentary high-speed WiFI Internet access is offered property wide. Sign in privileges are available at Burke Williams, a full service spa located in the adjacent Westfield Shopping Center. A state-of-the-art wellness center with Technogym equipment, ARKE wall and TRX station is featured. BART and other public transportation options are steps away. Hotel Zetta is one block from the historic cable car turnaround and just a few blocks to the Moscone Convention Center and Union Square. 24 hour valet parking for a fee is available as well as laundry services. Hotel Zetta is a pet friendly hotel without weight limitation
We recommend the Zetta Suite, an 800 sq ft, 1 bedroom that is the most spacious room the hotel offers, featuring a dining table, wet bat with Illy expresso machine and 1 and ½ baths. The Zetta Suite provides high speed internet access, a G-Link station for mobile devices and wireless streaming onto smart TVs. A large butcher-block desk can be used wither seated or standing and provides ample space for working, socializing, or competing over a lo-tech board game. The suite also includes a sectional sofa that opens into a queen sleeper and can be connected to a Deluxe Guestroom to create a 2 bedroom suite. You have a choice of a king bed or 2 queen bed that come fully equipped with imported linens and down comforter.

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

 

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Dog Spa Days at The New Yorker Hotel

February 11, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

The world-famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show starts tomorrow in Manhattan, and even non-show dogs are feeling the pressure to look their best. If Fido isn't quite in pageant shape, don't worry. The New Yorker hotel has come to the rescue with their Classic Dog Spa Package.  Priced at $50 per pooch, thedeal includes use of Jog A Dog™ treadmills (which are exclusive to the hotel), grooming stations, blow dryers, and indoor potty areas. Guests who book this package will also receive a special edition dog show publication, free of charge, along with complimentary dog treats.

For even more canine comforts, upgrade to the Premium Dog Spa Package, which at $75 per dog includes all of the amenities in the Classic Dog Spa Package, in addition to access to bathing areas.

Sounds like a barking good time.

 

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #14 The Umstead Hotel and Spa

December 18, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #14 spot is the Umstead Hotel and Spa which is conveniently located in Cary, North Carolina for those who want to get away or stay near the heart of it all. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- With its surrounding 12 acres of wooded land, gardens, and lake, The Umstead Hotel is a destination in itself with the cultural, corporate and recreational opportunities of the Triangle area moments away

- 24 hour business center available for guest use

- 10,000 square-feet of elegant meeting and event space featuring natural light and original artwork

- Signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Herons, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch

- Dogs are allowed with an additional cleaning fee

- Seasonal outdoor pool

- The Umstead Spa, a 14,000 square-foot spa featuring ten treatment rooms, men’s and ladies relaxation lounges including sauna, steam and whirlpool and a coed relaxation lounge and meditation garden

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Umstead Hotel and Spa here >>

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The Ritz Carlton Georgetown Tops Our List of Charming DC Hotels

November 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The problem we run into with luxury hotels in Washington DC is that they’re usually on a busy street with a lot of traffic and chaos. We set out on a mission to find a luxury hotel in a downtown location that featured a quieter, more intimate feel, and we came back successful.

The Ritz Carlton Georgetown is located a block from M Street and the heart of the nightlife and shopping of Georgetown district. This beautiful hotel features 86 oversized guestrooms and suites as well as a Boutique Spa with a variety of massages, body treatments, and facials available. The hotel staff is attentive and engaged, and the spa staff is professional and all-around wonderful. For the disbelievers, I strongly recommend the hot stone massage at the Boutique Spa; you’ll leave feeling completely refreshed, renewed, and ready for anything that lies ahead.

The Ritz Carlton Georgetown is a family and pet friendly hotel. There are 9 rooms with 2 double beds, and the suites can accommodate rollaway beds very easily for an additional $40 per night. The Ritz puts on a weekly Lifestyle Series on Fridays, and December’s feature Kelly Jenkins from Capital Décor and Events coming to speak to guests and locals about transforming a space and decorating with style.

For folks looking for an intimate luxury hotel in the heart of Washington DC, we certainly give the Ritz Carlton Georgetown a big thumbs up!

Explore photos, availability, and rates here!

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Private Homes Perfect for a Group Get-Together at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain!

October 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Arizona is a luxury hideaway overlooking the beautiful views of Paradise Valley. Voted on Conde Nast Traveler’s ‘World’s Best Places to Stay,’ this luxury resort is perfect for trips of all kinds and for folks of all ages. A few key amenities include an indoor infinity edge pool, an outdoor infinity pool, 5 tennis courts, a luxurious spa, and opportunities to partake in horseback riding, hot air ballooning, and much more.

The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain offers seven Private Homes that are perfect for a get together with friends or a family vacation. Today’s feature is the Casa Montana which is a warm private home embellished with Spanish-inspired décor. This 3,500 square foot home offers four large bedrooms, six full bathrooms, three wood-burning fire places, and a billiard room with a spacious bar and pool table. The Casa Montana also features a private pool, whirlpool spa, and a gorgeous patio. The room types include a Master Bedroom with an adjacent private study, a king size bedroom, and 2 bedrooms with double beds, each featuring its own private bathroom and walk-in closet.

 

Check availability and rates at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain here >>

 


Puppies Get Love at the W Los Angeles Westwood

March 7, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Located on the foothills of Beverly Hills/Bel Air, the W Los Angeles Westwood can be found in the heart of all the glamour, in between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches. Its 258 modern and spacious bungalow-style rooms and suites feature beautiful views of Beverly Hills and lively colors to awaken your spirit. This luxury hotel not only has exceptional rooms, but its restaurant, the Backyard offers the best alfresco dining in Los Angeles. Not only can you get incredible Cal-Med fare amid a serene garden, but now your dog can enjoy his chow right along with you. The Backyard is now offering a pet-friendly ‘Fido’s Kitchen menu.’ The menu features healthy options for your puppies such as ‘Stella’s Mutt “za” Balls,’ which is organic chicken, free range eggs and brown rice, ‘Milo’s Chopped Veggie and Chicken Salad,’ and ‘Knuckle’s Frozen POP,’ an organic yogurt with a mashed banana and peanut butter. The dishes are named after the pets of hotel staff, and the executive chef, Dakota Weiss certainly expressed his creativity and love for dogs when designing the menu. The W Los Angeles Westwood also offers P.A.W. (pets are welcome) amenities which include a custom W pet bed, bowls, and a treat at turndown.

No need to leave your furry friends behind! Make a reservation for you and your puppies at the W Los Angeles Westwood today!


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #2 The Don CeSar Beach Resort

December 30, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #2 spot we have the Don Cesar Beach Resorta beach front resort located on the island of St. Pete Beach, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Quick (or in this case, not so quick) facts about The Don CeSar:

Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort- Known as Florida's Legendary Pink Palace since 1928, the owner named it after Don Caesar DeBazan, the hero of William Vincent Wallace's opera Maritana

- The hotel quickly became a favorite romping ground for the rich and famous of the Jazz Age including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clarence Darrow, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Pink Palace continued to attract the rich and famous throughout the Great Depression, thanks in part to a deal made with New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert to house his team during spring training for three years.

- After the sudden death of Rowe without a will, "The Don" was left to his estranged wife and began to fall into desrepair until the United States entered into World War II and the hotel was bought out by the Army for $450,000. It was converted into a military hospital and reopened in December 1942. In February 1944 the Don Ce-Sar became a U.S. Air Force convalescent center. In June 1945 it was ordered closed and was vacant by September. It was converted into a Veterans Administration Regional Office by the end of 1945.

Don CeSar Beach Resort- In November 1967 the Veterans Administration began moving out of the Don Ce-Sar. By spring 1969, the once grand hotel was vacant. The General Services Administration planned to raze the graffiti-covered hotel, but this was met with fierce opposition from local residents. In March 1972 the Don Ce-Sar was sold to Holiday Inn. The Don CeSar (now spelled without the hyphen) reopened on November 23, 1973. Multiple renovations from 1985 to 2001 have updated and added on to the hotel, including a 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) spa, a signature restaurant, and a second outdoor swimming pool. After the addition of the full-service beach club and spa, the official name of the hotel was changed to The Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa.

- References in popular culture include: The Don Cesar is featured in a full-color two-page spread in a 1982 issue of National Geographic. Parts of the 1984 crime film Once Upon a Time in America are filmed at the Don Cesar. Comedian Ron White talks about his stay at the Don Cesar in the movie Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers filmed a music video at the Don Cesar in 1985. Robert Altman's film Health was largely filmed in the hotel.

- The second, fifth and sixth floors of the hotel are said to be haunted by the ghost of Thomas Rowe. His apparition has been spotted overseeing the daily operations in the hotel, smiling at incoming guests and then disappearing, and walking along the beach front, dressed in a white suit. You can read more here >>

Don CeSar Beach Resort- Lowes Loves Kids and Loews Loves Teens programs offering unique and extensive services dedicated to the principle: "the family that stays together plays together".

- Lowes Loves Pets program featuring: Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by an award-winning Master Chef. Creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers and more. Tail-wagging amenities such as dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags and more. Purr-fect indulgences like rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles. Pet-walking and pet-sitting services. Dog massages by a professional canine massage therapist, who works closely with you in the comfort of your room to design personalized treatment for your special "family member."

- The Don CeSar was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and became a founding member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America in 1989.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at The Don CeSar Beach Resort >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen  
#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore  
#18 – The Peninsula Chicago  
#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua  
#16 - Auberge du Soleil  
#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel  
#14 - The One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah  
#13 - The Hotel de Crillon  
#12 - Peninsula Hong Kong  
#11 - Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi  
#10 - Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona 
#9 - Jumeirah Essex House
#8 - Atlantis the Palm Dubai
#7 - Hotel Le St. James  
#6 - Half Moon, a Rock Resort
#5 - Charleston Place
#4 - King George Palace
#3 - La Tremoille

Check-in tomorrow to find out which hotel got the coveted #1 spot in our countdown.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #20 The St. Regis Aspen Resort

December 12, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The St Regis Aspen Resort Guest RoomIn the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests. 

In the #20 Spot we have The St. Regis Aspen Resort located at the base of Aspen Mountain. 

 

Quick Facts about the St. Regis Resort in Aspen:

 - The resort is finishing a $40 million dollar renovation leading up to the 2012 ski season, featuring 20 remodled rooms, renovated meeting and restaurant space, new library, and resurfaced pool, hot tubs, and pool deck amongst other updates.  

 - Located at the base of Aspen Mountain between the gondola and lift 1A, the resort is convenient to Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass ski areas.

- 179 guestrooms and suites, including two 2,000-square-foot presidential suites.

The St Regis Resort Aspen Outdoor Heated Pool- Dog friendly rooms available and includes in-room pet beds, dog walking service and more.

- The Resort offers the St. Regis Signature Butler Service which includes packing and unpacking, laundry service, shoe shines, and many other personal assistant services available 24-hours a day.

- Heated outdoor swimming pool with sundeck and three heated outdoor spas.

- A luxurious 15,000-square-foot resort spa with 15 treatment rooms. Remède offers a complete treatment menu in addition to customized facials and massages. Remède Spa at St. Regis Aspen is the flagship spa of a new global spa brand.

- Rated a United States Leading Ski Resort by World Travel Award.

 

View photos, read more, and check availability at the St. Regis Resort Aspen >>


Winter White Out: Discounts at Boston's XV Beacon Hotel

November 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fifteen BeaconWhen snowfall covers Boston, we can't think of a better place to warm up than XV Beacon- the stylish hotel perched at the crest of Beacon Hill. Housed in a landmark, turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts building, XV Beacon pampers guests all year round- but the winter season is extra special. Cozy up in front of the hotel's fireplace with a hot toddy (or cider), and embrace Boston's festive season with some shopping on the lamp-lit streets and cobblestone alleys. Bostonians know how to enjoy the colder weather! Splash out with a feast at one of the city's renowned restaurants, attend a show, go skating on the Frog Pond, and discover the beauty of traditional New England holidays. As an added enticement, XV Beacon is offering a "Winter White Out" deal with discounts on room rates, plus a food credit of $40 to be used at the hotel's excellent Mooo restaurant (or room service). Stay two nights and receive 15% off per night; stay three nights or more, and receive 20% off per night. Bookable now for stays starting December 1, 2011 through March 19, 2012. Rates starting from $295. Package based on availability and blackout dates may apply.


Sponsored Article: Winter Wonderland in Canada with Fairmont Hotels

November 7, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Skiing in Whistler, Fairmont HotelsLet it snow! November means it’s time to take advantage of some early-season ski deals so you can hit the powder fast. Without a doubt, the best place to embrace the winter is our neighbor to the north. Canada’s pristine wilderness is home to the number one ski resort in North America (Whistler), and Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a storybook winter setting in the Canadian Rockies. Here, the wide-open wilderness makes for some epic skiing on what feels like your very own private pistes.

Fairmont offers three legendary resorts where skiers and non-skiers alike revel in luxury while soaking up the surrounding natural beauty. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs resort is located in the heart of the park with three pristine ski resorts at your doorstep. With the “Couples Holiday Getaway,” you get a third night for free when you stay for the festive Christmas season between December 17th and December 30th, 2011. Another hot offer: With “Extend Your Stay,” you’ll get discounts until February 10, 2012. Stay two nights and save 25% off each night when you stay two nights; 30% off each night when you stay three nights; 35% off each night when you stay four or more nights.

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseAlso located in Banff National Park, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the ultimate winter playground. Oft described as Canada’s most scenic ski resort, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has 139 marked ski runs and back bowls on four mountain faces. Beyond skiing, the snow adventures are endless-- from dog sledding the Great Divide to horse-drawn sleigh rides through the glacial shadows. Take advantage of the resort’s “Ski & Play for Free” and you’re guaranteed the ski trip of a lifetime. Included in the package: luxury accommodations, two adult Lake Louise Ski Resort passes per room per night OR a $100 Fairmont Chateau lake Louise resort credit (in place of each ski day), plus transportation to the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Valid from November 15th, 2011 until May 1st, 2012, starting from $299 CAD per night.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler-- nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain-- offers ski-in/ski-out access, amenities for pets, and a lavish spa. The “Ski for Free” package means you get Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets included with your low room rates (from $269 CAD per night) until November 23, 2011. Or book the “Everyone's An Original Winter Offer “ for double airline reward miles.