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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.

Claude Monet Exhibit Opening at Bellagio las Vegas

January 4, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Known for exhibitions that showcase exceptional art in an unrivaled setting, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) presents “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” opening Feb. 18, 2012.

Organized in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), this landmark exhibition will feature works that illustrate the height of Claude Monet’s engagement with color and light. BGFA will showcase 20 pieces by Monet, the founder of French Impressionist painting, accompanied by eight additional canvases by the master’s predecessors and contemporaries. All of these works are drawn from the MFA, which holds one of the largest collections of paintings by Claude Monet outside of Paris.

“Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art’s mission has always been to present exhibitions that engage and excite lovers of all genres of art, from classical to modern to contemporary,” said BGFA Director Tarissa Tiberti. “Exhibiting Monet and the French Impressionists provides historical background to some of the more contemporary shows we have presented over the last three years.”

Spanning four decades of Monet’s career and featuring many of the artist’s most celebrated and recognized paintings, “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light” will also highlight paintings by other masters of the genre including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Camille Pissarro and Eugene Louis Boudin. It was from Monet’s collaboration with these painters, along with his solitary explorations of the French countryside, that his own signature style eventually emerged.

After exploring Monet's incredible masterpieces, check into the Bellagio and take in the beauty of the Lake Bellagio, the pristine pools, and the stunning courtyards. 

This article information originally appeared on our sister website, Travel Agent Central.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #11 Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

December 21, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts One & Only Maldives at Reethi RahWorldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #11 spot, we have the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, a charming Santa Fe retreat.

Quick facts about the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi:

- Every room at the Inn of the Anasazi evokes the creative spirit of the Anasazi people, the Native American tribe that once inhabited much of New Mexico. Handcrafted doors, sculptured stairways and sandstone walls all work together to create an intimate and traditional Pueblo atmosphere.

- Ideally located on Santa Fe Plaza, the hotel is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the unique, cultured charm of the surrounding city.  

- Kiva-shaped gas fireplaces, which warm the room to a cozy temperature during the cooler desert nighttime, are featured in every room, along with great four-post beds that even come with a special stepping stool to help release you from an unendingly downy sleep.

- The hotel offers daytrips to the Rocky Mountains and closer skiing at Taos and other local mountains.  

One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah- Similarly, explore the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and White Sands National Monument all within a few hours of the Inn.

- Take a trip through the skies and land at the Canyon de Chelly for a horseback ride led by a Navajo tour guide. 

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown as we spotlight a new hotel every day until the New Year!


Party Down, Vegas-style: Celebrity New Year's Appearances in Vegas

December 16, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

If you're interested in doing a little stargazing this New Year's Eve, Vegas.com has compiled a list of the top ten star-studded New Year’s Eve festivities, in order to help visitors plan their celebrations for the end of 2011.  Check out the highlights of the star-studded parties below, and make sure to check out the nearby five-star accommodations in Las Vegas to find a place to come back to once you're done partying in the New Year with some of the world's famous.

1. LAX Nightclub will feature hip-hop artist B.o.B.

2. Stevie Wonder will perform at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

3. The Bank will begin their celebrations with Grammy-winning artist, Bruno Mars.

4. The Second Annual Old School New Year’s Eve Party will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton. It begins at 9:30 p.m., in the ballroom, and will include music, dancing and a champagne toast.

5. LMFAO will perform at the ARIA nightlife venue, Haze Nightclub.

6. Visitors can attend the New Year’s Eve Bridge Bash at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

7. Fergie will host the grand opening of 10AK Las Vegas, Mirage’s newest nightclub. The celebration starts at 9 p.m. and will feature the music of DJ Jesse Marco.

8. Chris Brown will be the entertainment at PURE Nightclub, inside Caesars Palace. Guests will also be able to go to the outdoor area to see the fireworks display over the Strip at midnight.

9. Holly Madison, PEEPSHOW starlet, will be the host at the Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood Resort. Everything begins at 10 p.m.

10. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick will both be hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris on New Year’s Eve.

Thanks to Nicole Lowary from our sister publication, Travel Agent Central. Visit www.vegas.com/newyears/


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #16 Auberge du Soleil

December 16, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #16 spot we have the Auberge du Soleil, a lovely terraced boutique hotel in the heart of the Napa wine-country.

Quick facts about the Auberge du Soleil:

- The sophisticated hillside hotel takes advantage of its roots as a fine-dining establishment, and in the eyes of many, the Auberge remains a restaurant first and a hotel second, so high is the quality of its cuisine.

- The mediterranean decor, inspired by the European influences in California's wine-growing, sets apart the Inn of the Sun as the uniquely American experience: A cultural fusion of the best the occidental has to offer.  

- Limited to residents of the hotel, the Inn's 7,000 sq. ft. spa is guaranteed to provide a quiet and relaxed atmosphere for innovative and local body and facial treatments.

- The hotel is the perfect jumping off point for tours of Napa Valley's finest wineries.

- Private terraces offer an unparalleled view of the surrounding fields of grapes.  

- The hotel is entirely newly renovated and has even launched its own custom-made bath amenities including the softest plush robes and slippers you've ever felt.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Auberge du Soleil >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen

#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

#18 – The Peninsula Chicago

#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua


Icing Age: The Rancho Las Palmas Gingerbread House

December 9, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Winter is here (or summer for our Southern friends) and that means the Holiday season is starting to get into full swing. For some in the culinary arts, this is the perfect chance to show off their skills, and the team at Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in California have taken the challenge to heart. Their premiere pastry chef’s creation is anything but half-baked. Weighing it at over 200lbs, the grandfather of all gingerbread houses couldn’t compete in a boxing match below heavyweight. You’d likely die from a sugar overdose if you tried to bring it down to size, but at least if it came to life and made a break for it, it’d be no problem to catch.

Taking more than 100 hours to make over 15 days of work, the saccharine landscape pays homage to Ice Age, an animated film significantly faster paced than its geological counterpart. The scene features 100 rocks, 40 flowers, and 35 trees, serving as a backdrop for the 15 movie characters that define the action. All of this was baked and formed using a diverse color palette of sugary mixes.

To see the gingerbread house to end all gingerbread houses, all you have to do is book a room at the Rancho Las Palmas before Christmas, and the confectionary creation will be on display for all to see in the hotel lobby. Sweet!

Photo and Story via Rancho Las Palmas Facebook


Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, is Perfect Family Winter Destination

December 8, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Traveling with a family can be quite difficult, and I’m not just talking about restless babies or the endless games of “Are We There Yet?” It can also be an effort in itself to find a hotel that is kid-friendly in its room design. Most luxury hotels have adopted the two-adults-per-room model, so it’s refreshing to find a property that keeps families in mind when laying out its rooms. The Resort at Squaw Creek features Queen Rooms as a standard, and they include not one but two queen beds, so your kid(s) can cozy up together, and you won’t have to split up the family while enjoying the premiere mountain resort in California. This site of the 1960 Winter Olympics has everything you need to enjoy some skicapades with or without kids in tow. The Resort at Squaw Creek is one to keep in mind for the winter season.


Incredible Deals at the Taj Campton Place Hotel

December 7, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Taj Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco is offering a few incredible offers and promotions that are too good to pass up! This luxurious, boutique hotel offers personalized service that accommodates the needs of all travelers, and its restaurant is one of the top San Francisco restaurants, offering award-winning European cuisine. Starting now, the Taj Campton Place Hotel has the following deals that’ll be sure to inspire you to explore the Bay Area.

Shop Til You Drop Package: The Taj Campton Place Hotel is located steps from San Fran’s shopping center of Union Square and San Francisco Centre. This package is perfect for those hoping to buy all of their holiday gifts and get a little something in return. This package includes a special San Francisco cable car ornament of blown-glass and VIP treatment at Bloomingdales including: an appointment with At Your Service personal shopper, a $75 gift card, a 15% off all-day savings certificate, a signature gift, a Dior makeup consultation, and personal package delivery service to Taj Campton Place for purchases of $250 or more. This package is subject to availability, valid until January 7th, 2012, and requires a minimum two night stay. (Blackout dates may apply)

Stay a Bit Longer Package: Extend your stay and experience a little more of this exciting city. This package allows guests to stay two nights, and get the third night free! This offer is limited to a maximum of two complimentary nights available per stay. This package is subject to availability, valid until March 31st, 2012, and requires a minimum of a three night stay. (Blackout dates apply) Please be advised that the rates are adjusted at checkout. 

Suite Celebrations Package: Book a suite and enjoy a 50% discount on the second night. All of the suites at the Taj Campton Palace overlook Union Square, so you’ll get to enjoy an incredible deal along with an incredible view. This package is subject to availability, valid until March 31st, 2012, and requires a minimum of a two nights stay. Rates are subject to 14% occupancy and 1.5% tourism assessment fees, per room, per night. Please be advised that the rates are adjusted at checkout. 


Luxury Resorts on the Slopes in the U.S. with Availability in December

December 5, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

We’re pretty excited about ski season, and apparently so are our luxury travelers! A number of hotels are solidly booked for the end of December, but there are still incredible hotels with availability. Be sure to make your arrangements pronto, and you’ll be swishing down the mountain before you know it!

The St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah is located in a private, gated community, and it stands upon the beautifully covered slopes of the Wasatch Mountains. The Snake River Lodge and Spa in Teton Village, Wyoming is located slope-side at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City, Utah is located within the mountainside village of the Canyons, and this all-suite property offers room options for families with easy slope access. The Four Seasons Resort Vail in Vail, Colorado is located high in the Colorado Rockies, and it is consistently ranked among the world’s top ski destinations. The Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colorado offers a unique experience at the base of Aspen Mountain. Last but certainly not least, the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, California, is nestled at the base of Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Looking to go outside the United States and ski new terrain? Then check out our list of the top ski resorts all over the world!

Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.


Buzzworthy: Special Intro Rates at the Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

November 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Saguaro

There's a new hotel on the Scottsdale scene and it's causing quite the stir. Inspired by the contemporary architecture of Mexico and the Arizona desert, The Saguaro is the place to go to "stay cool in the desert." Awash in vivid color, the hotel is the first property for a new brand developed by Sydell Group, and Joie de Vivre-- famed for fun hotels across Cali (like Hotel Vitale in San Francisco)-- has been tapped to manage it. To quote the Los Angeles Times: "So what does this new translation of the desert look like in a hotel motif? Forget cool beiges and browns; the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale takes its cue from bright yellows, oranges and pinks derived from the flowers that bloom there." Smack dab in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, the hotel has a spa featuring indigenous treatments; two outdoor, heated pools with cabanas; and a large fitness center. Snag the "Centennial Rate" to celebrate Arizona's 100th year of statehood, and you'll be living large for just $100 per night. That's a savings of 50 percent. This rate is available for the first 100 rooms booked each week, ending March 1, 2012.


What's On in San Francisco: 47th Annual Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting

November 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ghiradelli Square Tree Lighting CeremonyA tip for travelers to San Francisco this week: Ghirardelli Square will be hosting the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Black Friday, November 25. After feasting on Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings, celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with some festive merry-making (and lots of Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Squares!) in San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square. The whole family will enjoy the free, live entertainment throughout the day- with performances by the San Francisco City Opera, Contra Coastal Chorale and Yuletide Carolers. It all culminates with the lighting of the Ghirardelli Square tree at 5:30 pm.

Psst. Lola Toy Stop will be offering a small gift for each child visiting the toy stop during The 47th Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony! In addition to sampling your fair share of complimentary Ghiradelli chocolate squares, we suggest indulging in their world-famous hot chocolate, too.

Looking for a place to crash in the lovely City by the Bay? Five Star Alliance has a bevy of recommendations for four- and five-star hotels.

Photo by Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco