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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.


Featured Journeys: Hawaiian Islands

Introducing Featured Journeys from Five Star Alliance. Each month we're pulling together a luxurious multi-destination itinerary to discover. First up, the Hawaiian Islands. Offering a plethora of landscapes, scenery, and activities, the U.S.A.'s 50th state has much to be discovered.

Oahu
Maui
The Big Island

Oahu

We recommend starting your journey on the island of Oahu, home of the Honolulu International Airport with nonstop flights arriving daily from around the world. Explore the cosmopolitan city, walk along Waikiki Beach, hike atop Leahi (Diamond Head), and visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. To experience a laid back surf town, take about a one-hour drive to Haleiwa, on the island's North Shore, where visitors can experience the island's history, dine in restaurants set within former plantation buildings, browse charming art galleries, and shop surfing boutiques. For kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing, and bodyboarding, head to Kailua Beach Park on the Windward Coast. Known for white sand and turquoise water, it's an ideal spot for exploring. Nearby Kailua Town offers a range of restaurants, including Island Snow, serving shave ice treats and frequented by the Obama family. 

Here are a few of our top-rated Oahu Hotels:

The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian

Since opening in 1927, The Royal Hawaiian Resort has provided guests with a luxurious Hawaiian setting, along the shore of Waikiki Beach. Learn to surf, experience a luau, or watch the sunset while sipping a tropical drink at the Mai Tai Bar. 

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina

Completely renovated in 2016, the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is set on a private beach with a four-level Naupaka Spa & Wellness Centre providing Hawaiian-inspired treatments. Plus, the Ko Olina Golf Club, outrigger canoeing, and sport fishing.

Halekulani

Halekulani Pool

Situated along Waikiki Beach, the Halekulani has an iconic, mosaic-bottomed freshwater pool with ocean views. Along with the award-winning, five-star rated Le Mer Restaurant serving French cuisine infused with tropical ingredients in a romantic setting. 

Discover all Oahu Luxury Hotels

 

Maui

Next, hop a flight to the island of Maui. Referred to as the "Valley Isle," Maui offers a taste of the island's locally sourced cuisine, artist communities, and charming towns. The island is also known for whale watching, and it is located withing the Hawaiian Islands Humpack Whale National Marine Sanctuary. From January to April, Lahaina Harbor offers a wide range of whale watching tours, along with historic attractions from the whaling village's past. For a historical and botanical experience, head to the Iao Valley State Park to see the monument where Kamehameha defeated the Maui army in 1790, and walk the Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop to learn about the flora that Hawaiians brought to the island. For scenic views, Haleakala National Park is home to the island's highest peak, and Kaanapali Beach offers signature Hawaiian sunsets. Don't forget to travel the road to Hana for breathtaking and panoramic scenery. 

Here are a few of our top-rated Maui Hotels:

The Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

The Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

Fresh off a massive renovation, the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea provides a beachfront setting with a range of activities including tennis fantasy camps, photography tours, Kona Coffee helicopter tours, culinary experiences at Hana Ranch, and whale watch photo excursions. 

Montage Kapalua Bay

Bathroom at the Montage Kapalua Bay

Featuring a multi-tiered lagoon pool and island-inspired cuisine, the Montage Kapalua Bay is located on 24-acres of oceanfront property in Lahaina. The all-suite property has accommodations with private lanais, luxe bathrooms, and fully equipped kitchens.

Andaz Maui at Wailea

Infinity pools at Andaz Maui at Wailea

LEED-certified, the Andaz Maui at Wailea is a contemporary beach resort set along a 1.2-mile-long stretch of land along Mokapu Beach. The apothecary-style Awili Spa incorporates locally sourced and destination-inspired ingredients, plus there are three infinity pools, kayak tours, hula, and ukelele lessons. 

Discover all Maui Luxury Hotels

 

The Big Island

Finally, travel to Hawaii Island. Known as the "Big Island," it is the largest of the islands and is constantly growing due to magma flows. It offers the most diverse climate of all the islands with snow-capped mountains, black-sand beaches, uplands, and rainforests. Begin by flying into Kona International Airport where you can discover the Kona coffee plantations, historic Kailua Village, and the resorts along the Kohala Coast. Take a day to head south of Kona to the sacred Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, then onto the Punaluu Black Sand Beach.  Make sure to allow an entire day to explore Volcanoes National Park, a world heritage site with the Kilauea volcano, lava tubes, and deserts. 

Here are a few of our top-rated Big Island Hotels:

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Pool at the Four Seasons Hualalai Kona

Providing authentic Hawaiian luxury, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai features accommodations set within two-story bungalows. There are three restaurants, seven swimming pools, kids' club, Jack Nicklaus' signature Hualalai Golf Course, outdoor movie nights, tennis programs, sunrise meditation, and PiYo classes. 

Fairmont Orchid Hawaii

Fairmont Royal Orchid

Along the Kohala Coast, the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii is set amongst 32 acres of tropical foliage. Offering the Spa Without Wallas, tennis, and an oceanfront swimming pool, guests have access to a variety of activities, including hiking to petroglyph fields, lei making, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, and outrigger canoe paddling in the open ocean. 

Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hilton Waikoloa Village Pool

Spread throughout 62 acres of oceanfront property, the Hilton Waikoloa Village is a destination resort with Polynesian and Asian Artwork. Guests can stroll flagstone pathways, or be transported via air conditioned trams. The on-site Dolphin Quest provides an opportunity to swim with dolphins, and the Legends of Hawaii Luau features traditional island cuisine with hula and fire dancers.

Discover all Big Island Luxury Hotels

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Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years, but even the most hip and trendy luxury hotels need a face lift every now and then. This beautiful Hawaiian hotel has earned its reputation for its gracious hospitality, impeccable service, and incredible cuisine, and with its updates, the Halekulani is now that much more stunning and reputable. For the past year, the Halekulani has been sprucing all of its rooms and suites as well as enhancing guest experiences, services, and amenities. The hotel has also added a new French Bar, L’Aperitif at La Mer, and a new Afternoon Tea experience. Each guestroom has been improved with new furnishings, accessories, amenities, new lighting design, bedding, and enhanced in-room technology. We simply love the new look and feel of the Halekulani and admire how a stunning property can undergo a major improvement period without losing its historic and charming feel. Explore the new look of the Halekulani for yourself and let us know what you think!


Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel: It means no worries for the rest of your days.  At least while you're there. Which probably means that if you stay there, you'll end up extending your vacation indefinitely until you forget to return home, abandoning life as you know it to sit on a Hawaiian beach, relaxing to the soft sounds of waves lapping at your ankles as the wind ruffles your thematically appropriate tropical shirt.  That sounds pretty good actually.  Maybe we should all take a little more vacation. I know when I do, my next one will be to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

On the Kohala Coast, the Hapuna Beach Hotel shares 1,839 acres of beachfront property with the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, another gorgeous five-star property.  With that much space, you're practically lost in the wilderness. The rooms and property itself are wonderful, modern and understated, allowing the natural beauty of the surroundings to shine through and carry the experience of the true escape.  The Hapuna Beach Hotel is the perfect Hawaiian getaway.


Quiet! Do you hear that rustling? What is that there in the leaves?  Ah, ha! Got it! It's the elusive combo hotel, and I'm showing it to you now, live, on national television for the first time.  And what a beauty she is...Look at those greens, those bungalows, I've never seen anything like it.  You can tell from the way she lies there that's she cold-blooded, all that lying around in the sun.  

Now what exactly is a combo hotel? It's an incredibly descriptive term that I've just now invented to explain the incredibly elusive bungalow hotel that is also a golf resort.  Now, normally when you think of bungalows, you get lost in an afternoon of daydreaming, but then you remind yourself that you were actually trying to remember where you might find them, and then you think of the Maldives, the native habitat of the quiet and reserved bungalow hotel.  And then you imagine a golf resort, and it carries you across the world to Scotland, or any of the mainland courses from Kiawah Island to Pebble Beach. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is a holy union of these two concepts, bungalow housing with breaktaking ocean views and a golf course that hugs the shores like it loves them more than its own mother.  

For the gender normative family, Mauna Lani's two championship golf courses give the guys a place to play while the children enjoy the Mauna Lani Camp and disinterested spouses relax at one of the "World's Best Spas" according to Travel & Leisure magazine.  A less stereotypical family might send the men to the camp, the women to golf and the children to the spa, but I'm pretty sure that violates some kind of age requirement.  Either way, you're sure to have some fun at the Mauna Lani, and I haven't even mentioned the farm-to-table dining at the Canoehouse, their signature restaurant.  I better stop now before I get carried away.  I've probably already oversold the place, and now they're going to be booked up when I try to reserve.  To get in before I do, just head on over here to check availability and learn even more about the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows.

 


Lorien HotelGearing up for Black Friday? Planning your strategy for Cyber Monday (the biggest online shopping day of the year)? Expect deals galore, especially if you're looking to travel. Hotels are catering to travelers looking for internet savings. We've been keeping tabs on the great online deals available. And the offers keep flooding in! Here's a sampling.

Marriott’s Florida Resorts (like Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach and Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort) are joining together to offer up to 25% savings on Cyber Monday with rates starting from $95 to $186 per night. Available online on Monday, Nov. 28 only, the savings can be applied on stays from Nov. 29, 2011 through Jan. 8, 2012.

Kimpton is holding a 72-hour Cyber Monday Sale, starting 12 am on Monday, November 28, 2011, for 12 Mid-Atlantic region hotels in DC, Virginia and Maryland, giving away top suites and specialty rooms for the price of a standard guestroom. Hotels include Hotel Palomar Washington DC and the Lorien in Alexandria, where you can nab an overnight stay in the one-of-a-kind Diplomat Suite, featuring a 550-foot private furnished balcony, wet bar, and oversized bathroom for just $159 per night.

Trump ChicagoThe newly-renovated Warwick New York Hotel is offering a four-day Black Friday deal of 30% off the best available rate with savings extending through Feb. 29, 2012.

The Trump Hotel Collection is offering 30% off all suites that are booked on November 28, 2011 only. Available for travel January 1- March 31, 2012 at all Trump Hotel Collection properties – New York (Central Park and SoHo), Chicago, Las Vegas, Waikiki, Panama and Toronto (opening Jan. 31, 2012).


With the winter months rolling in, it may be time to steal away from the brisk winds and soon-to-be snowy sidewalks to the beautiful, warm, sunny beaches of Hawaii. The scenic islands of Hawaii offer something for everyone, so whether you want to go scuba diving, jet skiing, sailing, wind surfing, golfing, shopping, or simply want to sunbathe on the beach all day, Hawaii has something for you. Interested? Consider the Kahala Hotel and Resort in Honolulu. It’s set on a secluded beach, making it the perfect place to find your Zen and take in the salty breeze and beauty of the clear blue ocean. If that’s not enough to send you packing, consider this: The Kahala Hotel and Resort has a private, 26,000 square foot lagoon with its own resident dolphins! Embark on a Dolphin Quest and encounter these magnificent creatures face-to-face, in the water. So whip out your hula dancing skirt, start practicing your dolphin squeaks, and make a reservation for the Kahala Hotel and Resort today!


Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Hawaii

This just in:  The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering crazy deals for the fall season. Situated on the Kohala Coast in Hawaii, the hotel is home to 1,839 acres of scenic beachfront which it shares with just one other hotel. Its name is derived from a series of underground springs that used to bubble to the surface and form Artesian fountains, providing fresh water to weary travelers. Now the Hapuna Beach is home to an 18-hole championship golf course and offers a ridiculous variety of activities: swimming, snorkeling, outrigger-canoeing, sailing, kayaking, whale watching, and deep-sea fishing. Or you could just sit on the beach all day and enjoy the view of Hawaii’s twin volcanic mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Either way, the resort is offering some great deals, including getting your third night free. So escape the fall weather and check out this amazing island location. In no time, the headlines will be reading, “travelers tired of tourist traps try traditional, topnotch retreat.”