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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.

News from NYC: The Plaza Hotel Joins Historic Hotels of America

November 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Plaza Hotel, New YorkThe legendary address on Central Park is now part of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that recognizes hotels for preserving and maintaining their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance. The Plaza Hotel-- the fictional setting for Kay Thompson's Eloise character-- isn't just a NYC landmark; the storied hotel looms large in the imaginations of folks across the United States. It's the only hotel in New York City listed as a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. After a $450 million, three-year renovation completed in 2008, The Plaza Hotel continues its tradition of luxury with a Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa, one-of-a-kind suites, and high-profile restaurants.


Frosty Fridays at Boston's Colonnade Hotel: The Temperature Sets Your Room Rate

November 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Colonnade Hotel, BostonThe Colonnade Hotel in Boston's Back Bay had an extreme makeover this year- we're talking $25 million worth- and now it has all the press gabbing about its "clean, modern look" and "fab high-tech coffee makers." Within walking distance to Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Newbury Street, this Four Diamond hotel is eager to show guests that the winter season is just as fabulous in Boston, showing off New England's snow-covered splendor. So they're rolling out their popular two-night "Frosty Fridays" package- which affords guests a first-night rate according to the temperature at 5 p.m. on Friday as measured by the National Weather Service. For example: If the thermometer reads 17 degrees, guests will pay $17 for their Friday night stay and a special rate of $295 for Saturday night. "Frosty Fridays" is valid from November 15, 2011 through March 31, 2012 and includes a double occupancy luxe room; the choice of two tickets to either the Old Town Trolley Tour or admission and skating rentals at The Boston Common Frog Pond Skating Rink; hot chocolate for two at Brasserie JO; and overnight parking. Rates are based on a two-night stay and subject to applicable taxes and availability.


Pumpkins, Spice, and Everything Nice: Thanksgiving at Four Seasons Philadelphia

November 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Philadelphia, Pumpkin CelebrationNot content with just one day of Thanksgiving-style feasting, the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia is rolling out a 12-Day Pumpkin Celebration this year. Starting on November 18, 2011, pumpkin fanatics will be able to get their hands on all kinds of gourd-flavored treats (like spiced pumpkin cream cheese muffins). It's even possible to start your day with Long Island cheese pumpkin pancakes with bourbon maple syrup for breakfast, and then complete your lunch-- full of fall-themed dishes-- with a pumpkin flan. Come 5 o'clock, a bevy of pumpkin cocktails await you at the bar at Swann Lounge. Teetotalers, never fear. You can get your drink on with the Johnny Pumpkinseed, a non-alcoholic beverage that contains apple cider and sparking cider with pumpkin spiced syrup.

 


Skating in Bryant Park: Special Offer at New York's Cassa Hotel and Residences

November 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cassa Hotel and ResidencesIt's a winter wonderland out there. Sure, the blizzards blanketed the East Coast a little early, but why not take advantage of the snow and go ice skating in Bryant Park? Cassa Hotel and Residences in Midtown has partnered with Citi Pond at nearby Bryant Park to create a swell package for guests visiting NYC when it's at its best (over the holidays!). Book "Skating in the Park," starting from $329 per night, and you'll get skate rentals for two, VIP admission to the rink so you can skip the line, hot chocolate for two, and 10% off of all food and beverage when presenting your guest room card at Celsius restaurant and bar. Subject to availability.

The luxurious condo-hotel opened in 2010 to much fanfare (in-room Dean and Deluca snack bar! room service on demand! glorious design!). Needless to say, Cassa offers all the services expected at a world-class hotel- like 24 hour concierge, daily turn-down service, express dry-cleaning, babysitting, overnight shoe shine, and limo service. Spa treatments can be arranged off site.

 


Get Pampered at the Eventi Hotel After the NYC Marathon

October 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eventi Hotel in New YorkLooking for a place to crash after the NYC marathon on November 6? We know just the place. Eventi-- a luxurious Kimpton Hotel in Chelsea-- is promising to pamper all those brave runners with custom massages, soothing baths, and nourishing skin care products guaranteed to speed up the recovery process. Since it opened last year, Eventi has been getting lots of buzz for its warm service, eco-friendly spa, fitness center with city views, and complimentary morning coffee/tea bar. Here's what's included in the "NYC Marathon Package" at Eventi:

    * 50 minute Custom Massage
    * Kerstin Florian Futz Balm- soothing relief for race-tired feet.
    * Menthol, rosemary, pine, and lavender provide nourishing and protecting care for the feet.
    * $50 food and beverage credit
    * Rooms with tubs include Kerstin Florian Eucalyptus Bath to soothe tired, aching musles, feet, and joints.

Rates subject to space, availability and change, and black-out dates may apply.

Related Article: Hot Hotels in New York: Special Five Star Alliance Rates at Eventi


Dance the Night Away with the Gift of Dancing Fountains

October 24, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the winter holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your family members and friends. This year, however, we bet you want something different, something special, something extravagant, something over the top. Did we just read your mind? For the luxury seekers, the best gift givers, and the folks who always go above and beyond what is expected, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue may be just for you.

One of my personal favorite gifts offered is the Dancing Fountains from WET. WET, the company responsible for creating some of the most extravagent fountains in the world, including the Fountains of Bellagio and the Dubai Fountain is now bringing these charming creations to your home. With this fantasy gift, WET will install two underwater robotic nozzles that dance as a couple. This fountain will swirl, twirl, dip, and spin for you with the beauty of two graceful dancers. With this purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 of the proceeds to Water.org, a nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Curious what else the Neiman Marcus catalogue has to offer? Check out the Assouline Custom-Built Library, the Dream Folly, and the rest of the Holiday Catalogue.

(Photo via Neiman Marcus)


Give the Gift of Intellect from the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue

October 20, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the winter holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your family members and friends. This year, however, we bet you want something different, something special, something extravagant, something over the top. Did we just read your mind? For the luxury seekers, the best gift givers, and the folks who always go above and beyond what is expected, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue may be just for you.

For an intellectual and mind-opening gift, consider the custom library, with its shelves filled with 250 books for $125,000. This atypical gift comes from the publishing house Assouline, and the library can be added anywhere you’d like. From a house to a boat to an airplane, the sky is the limit. This gift includes a full redesign of the space of your choice by adding custom carpets, art objects, and exquisitely framed prints. After the space redesign, 250 contemporary and vintage volumes are added to the beautiful shelves in the genre of your choice. Line the bookshelves with masterpieces from renowned writers, artists, photographers, architects, designers, and culinary and fashion virtuosos. This is a gift that keeps on giving because aside from an incredible library, Neiman Marcus will also donate $2,500 to First Book, a non-profit organization that provides children in need access to new books. For details, call 1-877-9NM-GIFT, or visit neimanmarcus.com

The Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue is for the thoughtful gift-givers, and while it offers truly lavish gifts, about half are under $250, so whatever your price range, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue has something to offer you.  Looking for something a little different?  Consider booking a trip for your family and friends and spending the holidays somewhere exotic, snowy, sunny, or simply somewhere relaxing

(Photo via Neiman Marcus)


New Indian-Inspired Spa Treatments at The Pierre, New York

October 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel in New YorkNirvana in New York? Yes please! The Pierre, A Taj Hotel on New York's Central Park, is bringing a piece of India to lucky guests who need a little R&R. The luxury hotel has introduced Jiva Spa in-room treatments, inspired by India's ancient wellness rituals. Beginning with a foot bath in flower petals and soothing oil, the head-to-toe treatments range from massages to facials and everything in between. Utilizing all-natural signature Jiva products, the therapies are designed to create a holistic path to harmony and balance, and can be personalized for each guest. Only have 30 minutes? No prob! Bihar Yoga sessions are also available. These services are arranged in the comfort of your own guest room, or in the private treatment room on the third floor next to the fitness center. (A new Jiva Spa space will open at The Pierre in 2012.) A few examples from the menu:

Vishram Relaxation Massage: A full-body massage designed to melt away stress using alternating palm and thumb strokes and fragrant signature oil blends of kewda, frankincense and brahmi with infusions of sandalwood and sesame to release tension and instill ease and tranquility; 60-minutes, $220; 90-minutes, $300

Champi Indian Head Massage: This invigorating hair treatment is believed to promote hair growth and restore the natural sheen and glossiness of the hair fiber using a signature blend of traditional ingredients (amla, brahmi, jatamansi, curry leaves and neem) to instill long-lasting, enriching benefits and relieve muscular tension from the head, neck and shoulders to create a deep sense of joy and clarity of thought; 45-minutes, $180

Indian Aroma Therapy Treatment: Aromatic oil blends from Ayurveda Pharmacopoeias have been carefully chosen for these treatments, which have powerful healing properties. All ingredients used for these treatments are native to India. Choose from the selection of specially prepared signature oil blends to meet your need of the day; priced according to desired duration, from $180 - $300 for 30 - 90 minutes. 

Anana Lepa Facial: Many Indian women use homemade recipes passed down from mother to daughter to nourish their families and their skin. Following this custom, Jiva uses fresh, all natural ingredients straight from the home. Your facial will also include a face massage that tones and nourishes the skin so that you emerge with a radiant natural glow; 60-minutes, $220.


A 3-Day Weekend in New York: 30% Off at The Mark

October 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Mark, New YorkThe Mark is inviting you to make it a three-day weekend in Manhattan this Fall with a tempting 30% off when you arrive on Friday and stay for three nights. That's the equivalent of one complimentary night! So why not linger longer for less? From The Mark's address on one of the best blocks in the Upper East Side, Central Park is at your doorstep. With that extra savings, why not hit up the neighborhood's fine boutiques then splurge on an extra dessert (or two) at The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges? Housed in a 1927 landmark building from 1927, The Mark was completely reimagined by designer Jacques Granges and now offers one of the finest hotel experiences in New York.

Here's the fine print on the "3-Day Weekend" offer at The Mark: Valid on all room categories. Available for Friday arrivals only until December 31, 2011, subject to availability, and some blackout dates may apply. Additional nights offered at the Best Available Rate.

Related Article: The Mark Hotel New York Now Offers a Private Courtesy Car for Suite Guests


The New York Times Reviews The James Hotel New York

October 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James New YorkIn typical New York Times fashion, Sunday's Travel section was a whopper. A fantastic piece on Paris by Matt Gross, Fall Foliage Deals in the "Practical Traveler" column, and "Caves and Kayaks in a Quiet Corner of Thailand." We were also pleased to see an in-depth review of one of our fave hotels, The James in New York. From its location at the edge of SoHo to its rooftop pool and art collection, it's hard to pinpoint what we love most about this place. Here's a memorable quote from the most venerable of papers:

...The hotel’s striking lobby offers free use of Apple computers, alongside free happy-hour wine with snacks. Each floor features work by a different contemporary artist, with explanatory texts and mobile tagging. There’s also a small rooftop bar and heated pool; a well-equipped gym; the Treetop terrace bar; and a restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, serving modern American fare. The mini-bar was chockfull of healthy organic snacks, as well as an “intimacy kit.”...

 

Bottom line: If you picture life as a magazine spread-- where the architecture is modern, the art cutting-edge and everything else organic or free-range — then the James New York may fit you to a T.

Interested in seeing photos or booking the hotel? Click here.