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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.

Deals and Steals at Charleston Place in South Carolina

May 17, 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!

Charleston Place is a charming luxury hotel located in the heart of the historic district on King Street in the beautiful town of Charleston, South Carolina. Its Italian marble lobby and signature Georgian open arm staircase evoke the feeling of a grand 17th century residence, providing guests with stunning and luxurious accommodations and amenities. Its 435 beautiful rooms and suites, award winning dining options at the Palmetto Café and Charleston Grill, and its full service spa with rooftop indoor and outdoor pool and Jacuzzi all contribute to make this one of the finest hotels in Charleston!  Be sure to check out the following packages and deals to make the most out of your trip to this beautiful southern town!

75 Credit Summer Savings Package

Looking to get the most out of your summer family vacation? Check out this package which includes luxury accommodations, a Passport to Savings book worth $75 to be used towards the Spa, restaurants, and bars, and children ages 12 and under eat for free when dining with a paying adult.

Breakfast and Valet Parking Package

Perfect for the business traveler, this package includes luxury accommodations, daily a la carte breakfast for 2 in the Palmetto Café (to the value of $40 per room), valet parking for one car, complimentary wireless internet access, and a daily newspaper.

Continental Breakfast Grill Gourmet Package

This is the ideal package for a romantic getaway, and it includes luxury accommodations, one dinner for 2 at the Charleston Grill (to the value of $120 per room, per stay), one Continental Breakfast for 2 at the Palmetto Café, sparkling wine, and a special amenity, complimentary wireless internet access, and a daily newspaper.

115 Credit Spa Experience Package

Perfect for a relaxing retreat, this package includes luxurious accommodations, $115 spa credit per room, per day for use in the Charleston Place Spa, complimentary wireless internet access, and a daily newspaper.


Bucking the Trend: New Mandarin Oriental Opens in Atlanta

May 3, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta, Buckhead is now open for business, which created a bit of a conundrum for me. See, there are just so many great headlines for Buckhead. Alternate titles included, "Ahead of the Trend," "The Buck Stops Here," and "Mandarin Oriental Opens a New Hotel in Buckhead," which was the generous contribution of the portlier half of my brain. Thanks, left brain, but you're not very good at this. Anyway, after my painstaking research into optimized punnillanimity, I turned my eyes to the actual details of the newest addition to the Buckhead neighborhood. The Mandarin Oriental promises terrace views of the city skyline from some of the rooms on higher floors, and its Premier Terrace Suite offers a more panoramic view from either of its two balconies, from which you can enjoy some fantastic in-room breakfast or dinner.  Stay in any of its 127 guest rooms to enjoy its 15,000 sq ft spa and Taipan Cocktail Bar.  Also, look for the More in Atlanta package to grab a third night free. 

Via Luxury Travel Advisor.


Deals and Steals at the Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE in Houston, Texas

April 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance know that our 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. 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!

Today’s feature is the Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE in Houston, Texas. This 5-star hotel is located in west Houston’s prestigious CITYCENTRE development just a few miles from the Energy Corridor and Westchase District, and it’s surrounded by sophisticated retailers and fine dining options. The Hotel Sorella is elegantly decorated with a unique European Murano glass chandelier and custom graphite colored ceramic floors. It features 244 guest rooms and suites all beautifully decorated to make you feel right at home. Check out the following deals and packages that’ll send you cowboy boot shopping today!

Stay Two or More Nights Package:

Enjoy a discounted nightly rate in a Traditional Room, Deluxe Room, or Junior Suite with breakfast included. The rooms have either 1 king bed or 2 double beds, and the size of the rooms range from 410 to 525 square feet.

Corporate Rates:

Traveling on business? Take advantage of the discounted corporate rates available for Traditional Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, as well as Junior Suites.

Stay and Dine at Bistro Alex Package:

Choose from a Traditional Room, Deluxe Room, or a Junior Suite and get ready for a taste-bud assaulting experience. This package includes luxurious accommodations, 2 pre-dinner cocktails at the Monnalisa Bar, and a $100 gift card to Bistro Alex, where the menu features classical favorites as well as lighter fare all prepared with a progressive twist. Dinner reservations are recommended.

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 the incredible packages and deals that await you in Houston!


The Chase is On: Embassy Suites Chevy Chase Pavilion Re-Opens

April 26, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The Embassy Suites Chevy Chase Pavilion, a feature of northwest DC, has finished up its eight weeks of renovation and is gearing up for its reopening come May 7th.  Located within one of the northwest's great shopping centers, the Embassy Suites is a great DC Hotel, and their renovation is polishing all the corners and reapplying a fresh coat of paint to an already modern hotel. Grab one of their reopening packages for a crazy set of amenities:

 - Complimentary Wifi
 - Two free all-day metro passes
 - Discounted $10 metro parking
 - Free tote bag (Oh, yeah!)
 - Complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast
 - Manager's evening reception

Photo via Embassy Suites


New Spa Cabana at the Sunset Key Guest Cottages a Westin Resort

April 18, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Sunset Key Guest Cottages is a Westin Resort located on Sunset Key, a beautiful, secluded 27 acre Florida Island. The cottages comprise 7 acres of the island, and they are designed for the sophisticated traveler who demands the best of the best. The perfectly appointed cottages are nestled between the swaying palm trees alongside the white, sandy Florida beach. Breathtaking Ocean and garden views are offered, and each cottage is fully equipped with a kitchen, living and dining area, bathroom(s), and a beverage and pantry bar.

The Sunset Key Guest Cottages just recently opened its new Spa Cabana where guests can enjoy a variety of massages all while indulging the senses in the island surroundings. The Spa Cabana is on the waterfront on a quiet corner of Sunset Key Beach with a thatched roof and open wall design, providing guests with the opportunity to take in the warmth of the sun, scent of the sea, and the sound of the waves. Enjoy the most relaxing massage and experience the best of the Sunset Key by making your reservation for the Sunset Key Guest Cottages today!


Chemical Romance: The Dupont Circle Hotel

April 10, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The Dupont Circle Hotel recently renovated in 2009 to a new and innovative concept. Apart from renovating their rooms and suites, the hotel added an entire new floor. The secret 9th floor, in order to outdo the 13th floor of many buildings were the owners suffer from a bit of triskaidekaphobia, also doesn't  appear on the elevator, but that's because it has its own private one. A wholly separate experience from the rest of the hotel, the 15 suites on the 9th floor have a separate concierge service and special culinary preparations that are exclusive to those guests. You also learn a secret handshake on arrival.*

Outside of the enigmatic Grimmauldian world of the 9th floor, the Dupont Circle Hotel still has a lot to offer. 9,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space is available for larger parties, and you can get in-room fitness training, massage, and spa services, as well as fine French-American cuisine on site and plenty of fine dining establishments in the surrounding Dupont area.  Dupont Circle is right in the heart of the more social parts of DC that are active in the evening, and a short metro trip or cab ride to the National Mall.  If I were visiting DC, the Dupont Circle Hotel would definitely be on my short list.

*Disclaimer: You don't actually learn a handshake. But you could make up your own.


Upping the Tempo: Tempo Miami Rechristened Casa Moderna

April 9, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

In the spirit of the holiday, the Tempo Miami has rechristened itself as the Casa Moderna Miami. The new hotel is celebrating the name change in style, and there's not been a better time to stay in one of its 56 rooms and suites on gorgeous Biscayne Bay. Enjoy the view from its 14th-floor sky pool deck or lounge in its 8,000 sq ft spa.  The boutique resort is perfect for someone who wants to get out to the beaches of Miami without the bustle of the larger hotels.  

Casa Moderna is making a concerted effort to upgrade its dining experience as well. For the month of April, you can even text 'fresh' to 84700 in order to receive a coupon for a free Tea Forte cocktail at their delicious restaurant, Amuse. They are celebrating the addition of the new Executive Chef, Kenneth Williams, to their team, and I'm looking forward to the great things he'll be up to.  He was wonderful at the Fisher Island Club and Gotham Steak.  It will be great to see if the rebranding efforts will run deeper than the new website and new name to the essence of the hotel. At the very least, the new leadership for Amuse should provide an interesting change of pace.  Learn more about the Casa Moderna here.


Hotels with a History: Keswick Hall at Monticello

April 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

This landmark estate is framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers 600 acres in the heart of Keswick, Virginia. No other place combines the equestrian lifestyle, wine making, and American history together quite like this luxury hotel. Keswick Hall is a beautiful mansion surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and home to horse races, hunts, and vineyards. It has its very own Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course and a lavish spa. Enjoy the plethora of activities available on site or nearby including swimming, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, winery tours, with the list going on and on! Located a short drive from Washington DC, make your reservations for a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle and learn the true meaning of rest and relaxation at the Keswick Hall at Monticello!


Experience the Festival of Flowers at the Grand Bohemian Hotel

April 4, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Grand Bohemian Hotel brings boutique comfort to the beautiful town of Asheville, North Carolina. This welcoming, Tudor-style hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village and it’s set among the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel between April 7th and May 20th to take part in the Festival of Flowers. The gardens of the Biltmore Estate come alive with thousands of azaleas, tulips, and other flowers reaching full bloom! The Festival of Flowers is an annual event featuring live music and complimentary garden seminars. Experience the best of spring from the luxurious and art-filled setting of the Grand Bohemian Hotel where exceptional service and gourmet cuisine come together.


Hostile Takeover, Literally: Lehman Bros Busts into Setai with Armed Guards

April 2, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

It's not often that the hotel industry gets good drama.  In a move that I imagine happening a little something like this, the Setai was invaded by armed enforcers, who physically removed managing hotel group, General Hotel Management, from the premises.  The enforcers were controlled by the Setai owners, affiliates of Lehman Brothers Holdings, who were clearly unsatisfied with the way their property was being managed.  GHM President Hans R. Jenni claimed they were completely blind-sided by this maneuver, even noting that they had posted the second highest profits of any year immediately prior to their displacement.  This in answer to the allegations that the management group was overspending.  The staff is reported to be filing an injunction against Lehman Brothers, but in the past such moves have been met with little success.

Executives from all sides are claiming that this should have no effect on your stay at the hotel, but we can bet that at the very least, you'll be hearing some good gossip from the staff.  It's not every day that an armed posse of off-duty cops and private security storms into your place of work to eject your boss from the building.  My favorite part of this story is that the folks doing the accusations of money mismanagement are most well-known for their 2008 Chapter 11 bankruptcy that catalyzed a national recession.  So at least we know they're in good hands.  Head on over to the Setai in Miami Beach to see for yourself.

 Read more about the two sides at HotelChatter.