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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.

Experience London This Summer without the Olympics Crowds

July 11, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Being in the city hosting the Olympics can be an exhilarating experience, but at times you may feel like you need to take a step back and experience the beautiful city you’re in on its own without the chaos and crowds that come with a competition. The Dukes Hotel in London is located in a quiet courtyard in the heart of St. James’s, and it’s within walking distance from Jermyn St, Bond St, The Royal Academy of Arts, and Buckingham Palace. Take advantage of the custom-made picnic hampers and the bicycles available to guests perfect for taking a ride through the park or exploring London. We invite you to experience the best of both worlds and take advantage of everything London has to offer by staying at the Dukes Hotel this summer!


A Boutique Critique: Ballyfin

May 30, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

There are few places in the world as storied as Ireland, and people travel there specifically for the romance of the countryside. Why then would one stay in a large city hotel when your accommodations can be as magical as the views? Ballyfin, at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, was restored in an eight year process that just finished in 2011 to allow it to open as a 5-star country house hotel with the pure Gaelic soul of the rolling hills. 600 acres of land hold just fifteen rooms, so you'll experience the greenery in perfect quiet. 

Open to children 14 and over, the all-inclusive resort maintains the original 1820s design, full of antiques and gorgeous art. Row boats are available on a nearby lake, and you can even go ice skating in the wintertime. This small boutique hotel is the perfect destination for a wedding or retreat, and, listed as a Forbes Top Life Hotel, it has the accolades to back up its reputation. If you want to experience Ireland as she's meant to be, then you should think about staying at Ballyfin.


It's Business Time: Claridges Best Business Hotel London

May 22, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

There's a very interesting split in the travel industry between business and leisure travelers. And if you're one of the business types, you know well that you're on the road constantly and the things that matter to you, travel convenience, efficiency, and connectivity, are almost the opposite of what a leisure traveler might want. If the word 'secluded' ever appeared in a hotel description, you'd cross it off the list immediately. So I'm here to use some adjectives you might appreciate hearing in describing some of the world's best business hotels. Today? London.

London is a very unique city when it comes to business travel. It has such an established infrastructure compared to some of the eastern centers of business and finance that hotels are in no short supply. Whereas somewhere like Hong Kong or Singapore has a much younger financial sector that was all fabricated at the same time, London is more distributed. It makes selecting great business hotels a little more depedent upon the needs of the individual than in other cities. For general purposes, Claridges is certainly one of the top business hotels in London. Rooms and suites are properly jacked into the information age, and an impressive ballroom can play host to large conferences and receptions, up to 400 people. A full-service business center will also make sure you have everything you need to put the finishing touches on your project. Meet with clients in the renowned Gordon Ramsay and unwind at the spa facilities within the Olympus Suite. If you need to be anywhere near Mayfair for your next business trip to London, check out Claridges.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons

May 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for food. This luxury hotel is nestled in the beautiful Oxfordshire village of Great Milton in Oxford, United Kingdom, which is renowned as one of Britain’s best gastronomic experiences. This luxury hotel is recognized for its two Michelin Star modern French restaurant for 27 years. The manor only has 32 rooms creating an extremely personal and intimate setting for guests. Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons has a 2 acre vegetable and herb garden which adds organic produce to the kitchen and allows the chefs to create phenomenal, epicurean experiences!

Make your reservations at Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons for a culinary and luxurious journey unlike any other!


The Grove Is an In-Spa-Ration To Us All

May 14, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

There's always a lot of hullaballoo around hotels in London. It's a major destination, and everyone wants to be in the middle of the action. The Grove, however, takes exactly the opposite tactic, catering to those of us who want to get away from the rush of the hectic city, and instead relax and enjoy the countryside. The 18th century house is such an idyllic backdrop for relaxation that I keep imagining I'll run into someone who claims to be named Ernest and has a ward of eligible age. While I doubt that a vacation to the country should result in an unexpected engagement, you can be sure that you'll come back from your own Bunburying feeling quite refreshed. 

If there's one thing that goes hand-in-hand with a rejuvenating retreat, it's top-notch spa facilities. The Grove is a country estate in nearby Hertfordshire, and its spa facilities are second-to-none. 12 specially designed treatments rooms and a VIP double room are more than enough to serve up all of the latest in the various greek and latinate treatments: aromatherapy, thalassotherapy, phytotherapy, and hydrotherapy. If there's a prefix for it, they have a spa treatment of it. There is plenty of fine dining available on site, and you'll never be wanting for activities at the former home of the Earls of Clarendon. Sporty types will find ample tennis courts and an golf course that hosted the 2006 World Cup. So next time you need a break, pack up your hatboxes and sensational diary and head to The Grove in Hertfordshire.

 


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Coworth Park

May 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

Coworth Park is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. This luxury hotel is set in 240 acres of tranquil Berkshire Parkland in the United Kingdom, and Coworth Park is a restored Georgian Manor-House and estate with only 70 rooms and suites. The charm of the estate has been enhanced through a contemporary decorative flair which includes English smoked oak flooring and exquisite craftsmanship. This luxury hotel has earned recognition for its leisure facilities, and it’s certainly the perfect spot for guests to take pleasure in England’s greatest traditions including afternoon tea at the conservatory, croquet on the lawn, a round of golf, or even a picnic in the woods.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Coworth Park here!


A World Food Marathon at the Andaz Liverpool Street London

April 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Andaz Liverpool Street London is getting hyped and ready for the 2012 Olympics with a World Food Marathon! We can’t think of a better way to welcome fans from all over the world than with international dishes to give folks a taste of something new or a dish to make them feel welcome and right at home. From July 2nd to the 27th, each of Andaz’s restaurants will create a different international dish, drawing inspiration from the staff members’ native countries. The 26 phenomenal dishes will lead up to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, and each staff member worked with the chef to ensure that the recipe was correctly recreated. A few dishes to look forward to include a spicy pork from Korea, golabki from Poland, and Mango Pavlova from Australia. If you plan to be in town for the Olympics, definitely add a visit to the Andaz Liverpool Street London hotel to the list of things to do for a unique and exciting culinary experience!


Condé Nast Traveler Hot List 2012: 45 Park Lane

April 25, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Conde Nast Traveler, purveyor of fine hotel reviews and travel advice, has just released its 2012 edition of the Hot List, a list of hotels that are setting the hotel world aflame with fresh designs and new concepts, or maybe just a solid new look at classic luxury. 41 reporters embedded themselves anonymously in hotels across the globe to review their targets. What results is a list of 121 hotels around the world that are so on fire they should be put on your watch list, just in case they end up burning down.

Going through for a preliminary look of the hotels that made the Hot List, 45 Park Lane jumped out at me as the clear forerunner for our first spotlight. Always one of my favorite hotels, for I am a sucker for a nice boutique design hotel with Art Deco sensibilities, 45 Park Lane was described by the Conde Nast reviewer as "seemingly a stack of nine vintage American diners with metal fins," and that's the highest recommendation in my book. Always on the verge of but never crossing into the territory of straight camp, 45 Park Lane manages to keep its style classy while harkening back to an era of American renegade mythology, evoking the New Jersey diners that spawned Bruce Springsteen and inspired James Dean. It's culturally active and forward-thinking, and the wraparound penthouse suite is to die for. This is one hotel whose unique style really commands your attention, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a hotel in touch with the underground American scene in London.


Conde Nast Platinum Circle 2012: Chewton Glen

April 17, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

We've been spotlighting a list of Conde Nast's award-winning Gold List Hotels for 2012, and each one is amazing in its own right. In a clear case of never enough of a good thing, Conde Nast has yet an additional level to their awards, the meta-prestigious Platinum Circle Hotels, distinguished for being consistent Gold List winners for the last five years. Perhaps it could have been more aptly named the Conde Nast Award for Continued Excellence in the Having of Conde Nast Awards, but that's probably just my jealousy talking. It takes a certain level of cachet to be able to recognize someone for being recognized by you, and the Conde Nast Awards carry that weight. Regardless, the Platinum Circle hotels are undoubtedly some of the best of the best and have the mark of consistency that other hotels can only aspire to.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The less-than-appetizingly named Chewton Glen is today's entry in our continuing exploration of the Conde Nast Platinum Circle.  Just 20 minutes from the English Channel, Chewton Glen is the epitome of classic English style. And the pinnacle of this epitome is the expansive croquet lawn that fronts the beautiful 18th century manor house. With only 59 rooms, the service at Chewton Glen is exceptionally personal and comes with the British flair for understatement that, like a nice crumpet, no afternoon tea is complete without. The 100,000 acre national forest on the edge of which the hotel sits offers miles of hiking trails and a 9-hole par three golf course and indoor/outdoor tennis courts mean you can also stay on the grounds to break a sweat. Its spa has been named the best in England, and its hydrotherapy pool is perfect for a refreshing soak. If you want all the gentlemanly sensibilities of a five-star London hotel but want to stay out of the city, Chewton Glen is the hotel for you. 


A Boutique Critique: 45 Park Lane

March 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

I like hotels with numbers in their names.  Though the 41 may be my all-time favorite hotel name if simply for the fact that it left the alpha- out of alphanumeric, my definite second-favorite London hotel in the field of using numbers that begin with 4 is the 45 Park Lane.  Interestingly enough, I've found that there's more in a number than meets the eye.  Many hotels with numbers in their names are not without their similarities.  As is the case with the 45, numbered hotels are often looking to stand out from the crowd with a stark, modern decor and may go a bit off the beaten path.  But there's a lot more to love about this boutique hotel than just its love of numbers and modernism.

The hotel's 45 rooms and suites (see what they did there?) all offer views of Hyde Park, and their penthouse suite has a wraparound terrace that puts less-ideally-located penthouses to shame.  CUT at 45 Park Lane is Wolfgang Puck's first European restaurant, and the refined take on on American steak is a pure joy.  The hotel is just steps from the famed Dorchester Spa, and you can get outdoors in Hyde Park.  I love what New York architect and designer Thierry Despont has done with the place, and 45 Park Lane is definitely one to check out for your next trip to London.