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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.

Tiny Diplomats: Fairfax at Embassy Row Family Rooms

March 1, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Traveling with a family can be a bit of a hassle, and we're not just talking about the toys and diapers.  Finding a good hotel room that can accommodate a whole family is about as difficult as a colicky baby on an airplane.  And among cities in the US, none is a more popular family destination than Washington, DC (no, Disneyland's not a city).  Full of historical significance and museums aplenty, you can pretend to teach your kids something while they run off to see the dinosaurs.  And don't forget the national zoo.  The red pandas are too much.

But as for those accommodations, the Fairfax at Embassy Row has some perfect family rooms to accommodate you.  Junior suites with two queen beds can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 kids, plus even a toddler.  Their even larger cousins, the Superior and Fairfax suites offer one king bed for you and two additional sofa beds for the kids.  It's the perfect jumping off point for an adventure in the city, and not far from the zoo.  The Fairfax at Embassy Row gets a gold star from us for keeping families in mind.

 


Trump Comes to DC, but Maybe Not Like He Imagined

February 8, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The news broke at the Washington Post yesterday that ex-presidential hopeful Donald Trump has turned the long-reaching tendrils of his well-coiffed hair towards the Old Post Office in Washington, DC, by buying it up as a hotel property. While he may be moving in next door to his dream house like an overzealous ex-boyfriend, this is undeniably good news for the hotel industry and for DC as well. The Old Post Office, while home to a few government offices, is also well-known for being a just a little bit abandoned and run down. And since it's on prime real estate in the middle of the city, hearing that Trump and investors are willing to put down a cold $200 million to renovate and revitalize the building should put a spring in the step of anyone looking to stay near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or even just walk by on the way to work.

The hotel will likely open its doors to more than 250 rooms for guests in 2016. Importantly, the Vice-Trump, daughter Ivanka, who headed the acquisition, said that the reconstruction is committed to preserving the historic facade of the original 1890s post office. Making way for the hotel will be National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which probably holds some kind of metaphorical significance, but maybe they'll get swankier offices elsewhere. The hotel itself should be an interesting take on an unorthodox space. The pavilion in the interior makes for a central space that itself has a lot of aesthetic possibility but also limits the floor design. I'm intrigued to see what Mr. Trump's team will do with the place. In the meantime, there are plenty of other Washington hotels within a stone's throw of the White House. [Editor's note: Do not throw that stone.]

Photo via Old Post Office DC Pavilion


New Hotel Openings in 2012: The Capella Georgetown

January 2, 2012
By: Courtney W. May

The Capella Georgetown Artist RenderingCapella Hotels & Resorts recently announced plans to convert a former five-story office building into The Capella Georgetown alongside the historic C&O Canal and cobblestone sidewalks of Georgetown, in the capital city of Washington, D.C.. Soon to begin construction, the property is slated to be opened in December 2012 at 1050 31st Street, NW.

The Capella Georgetown will feature 48 guest rooms and suites, an elegant restaurant and lounge, featuring seasonal dining overlooking the Canal, highlights amenities that include an executive boardroom, a rooftop pool and bar and exclusive spa. The hotel's premier location will offer dramatic views of the city's iconic landmarks.

According to the press release: "The Capella Georgetown interiors are being designed by renowned interiors architect Peter Silling & Associates and will include an intimate signature restaurant & bar with outdoor seating along the historic C&O Canal, a modern and elegant private rooftop lounge, a rooftop indoor-outdoor pool overlooking the Potomac River and several Washington landmarks, a guest only spa and fitness center, the pre-arrival services of personal assistants, luxury car service, 24 hr room service and unique wine cellar for private dining."

We'll update you with more information as construction progresses.


Luxury Hotels near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

December 7, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

This blog series is for all of the business travelers who are looking for a luxury hotel that is located near the Convention Center of specific cities. We understand that you have places to be, people to meet, and conferences to attend, so we try to make your travels as stress-free and convenient as possible without forgoing luxury. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC is our center of focus for this blog post. The following are 5 star hotels located less than a twenty minute walk away from the Convention Center. We’ve listed them in order of proximity, starting with the hotels located a nine minute walk away to hotels a seventeen minute walk away from the Convention Center.

Hotel Monaco Washington DC

Sofitel Lafayette Square

The St Regis Washington DC

The Madison Washington DC

The Jefferson Washington DC

TheWillard InterContinental


Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.: Middleburg and More

November 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Goodstone Inn and Estate, MiddleburgJust an hour west from Washington D.C., the rolling hills of Virginia's Piedmont make for a fantastic day trip or weekend outing from the nation's capital. A number of vineyards offer wine tastings (in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahannock Counties), and for those seeking adventure, excellent hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains abound. This is horse country (read: you should dress the part) so pick up some threads in the charming stores that line Middleburg's main drag, where you'll also find all kinds of organic goodies at the Home Farm Store (Ayrshire Farm's gourmet retail shop). For a sweet treat and an excellent cup of coffee, Warrenton's Red Truck Bakery is *the* place to go.

Looking for a place to stay in the countryside? Folks make pilgrimages to The Inn at Little Washington in Rappahannock County for some of the best food you'll eat in the US of A. Another good bet: The Goodstone Inn and Estate, recently profiled by the good folks at Daily Candy. To quote: "Pretend you’re visiting a rich uncle’s estate at the welcoming Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. Book a room in the carriage house for breathtaking views or gather a weekend party group to rent an entire house (bonus: A chef can make your meals using local ingredients and freshly picked veggies from the garden). Then unwind in the spa or stroll the grounds to visit with farm animals."

For more information about visiting Virginia, check out Virginia is for Lovers, the Official Tourism Website of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


WWWD: What Would W Do? Host a Turkey, That's What.

November 23, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

While we’re all going to be busy gobbling up our food, there’s one gobble that’s escaping the avian terror that sweeps our nation this holiday season. The aptly named Thanksgiving is not just a day for giving thanks, it’s a day for giving forgiving. And every year, the President of the United States, and in this case, his two daughters Sasha and Malia, give a pardon to one very lucky turkey. Though he hasn’t run afowl of the law, the bald-headed birdy is certainly happy to be spared the feasting.

Instead of gracing our dinner tables, the pardoned turkey will be staying the night in the famed W Hotel Washington DC and getting the five-star treatment before the official ceremony. And his thankfully vegetarian thanksgiving feast comes in the form of a Munchie Box: cranberries, soy, and corn comprise the free room service. The room even gets an extra bedding of sawdust to spend the night in comfort regardless of where he chooses to bed down. I think we can all agree that’s the kind of special guest worthy of exclusive service. After pardoning, the nation’s feathered friend will live out his days in peace on a farm in Mount Vernon, VA. So when you’re staring down at your roasted feast, take a moment to think of the one bird who is flying free (as well as a turkey can fly, at least) and meeting the president this weekend.  Not to mention a stay at the W Washington DC!


Luxury for Less: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hotel Deals

November 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

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).


Calling All Food Lovers in D.C. and New York

November 11, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

If you’re a food connoisseur looking for a true epicurean experience, then check out the East Coast Travel package put on by the Westend Bistro, a Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C. restaurant and Le Bernardin, Chef Ripert’s New York restaurant.

The dine and travel weekend will kick off with a 3-course lunch at Le Bernardin in New York City. After an incredible meal by Chef Ripert, participants will hop on the Acela Express train to D.C. and check into the Ritz-Carlton with accommodations on the hotel’s Club level. For dinner, participants will enjoy dishes at Westend Bistro, which is located in the lobby of the hotel. Guests will savor a 3-course meal with a behind the scenes view into the kitchen to participate in an intimate and stimulating dining experience.

This package is priced from $1,025, and we encourage you to visit www.westendbistrodc.com for more information.


Mandarin Oriental Redesigns, Relaunches YouTube Channel; Still No Cat Videos

October 20, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

This will be a quick one because I like to let the talking pictures speak for themselves. Mandarin Oriental has relaunched its YouTube channel, and it’s gotten a full makeover and is chock full of pretty pictures and promotional interviews, like a piñata filled with the dreams of an overworked marketing executive. Go check out their new content here.


Bazaar-o World: Extraordinary SLS Hotel/José Andrés Restaurant Is Going Global

October 19, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Being a Washington, DC, local, I can’t help but fall in love with the cuisine of José Andrés, the James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur. He has pioneered the field of molecular gastronomy by cleverly manipulating texture to subvert our expectations. For instance, at his signature DC restaurant, Minibar, instead of a salt-lined margarita glass, you can expect an aerated salty sea-foam floating above your drink. His visionary view of food’s potential to surprise and entice has inspired a new direction in the culinary arts.

So when I heard that his SLS Hotel restaurant in Los Angeles, the Bazaar, is thinking of going global with its brand, I practically jumped out of my chair in anticipation. José Andrés is already slated to open another establishment at the upcoming SLS Hotel in South Beach, Florida, and Robbie McKay, Director of Communications for SBE, the luxury hospitality group who owns the Bazaar, says that they have their eye on the DC market as a possible next location. Keep an eye out on this one folks. This is a hotel restaurant that is far more than the standard luxury fare.

For now, you can only dine at the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.  It's well worth the trip.

Via Tim Carman (@timcarman) at the Washington Post.