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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.

Double the Bedroom, Double the Fun: Great Two-Bedroom Suites in Los Angeles

March 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Maybe you've got a really big family or you're just traveling with a person you can't stand and you want a plausible way to get away from them under the guise of giving them the very best.  Well, there's not a lot of hotels that offer full two-bedroom suites, but there are at least two in the Los Angeles area that offer an affordable option for the opulent traveler.  The Sunset Tower Hotel and the Chateau Marmont both offer great choices around the Hollywood area.

Sunset Tower's two-bedroom suite comes with two king beds, a full two bathrooms and spacious living room area.  Classy, modern decor accentuates the roomy common area and the sheets are only the finests Egyptian linens.  The hotel itself is right on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and a heated outdoor pool deck gives loves views of the surrounding city.  A 7,000 sq ft salon and spa offers a getaway from the city, and you can dine very well indeed at the critically acclaimed Tower Bar.

Nearby Chateau Marmont is a much-needed getaway from the bustle of the City of Angels. The smaller boutique hotel is fashioned after a French countryside castle and boasts a Gothic flair that hints at its more decadent side.  As Harry Cohn once said, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont." The great variety of rooms at the Chateau let you make trouble in just the way you'd like, too. Starting with the two-bedroom suite with queen and twin beds, large living room and a full kitchen, you've already got a home-away-from-home.  And it only goes up from there.  Their hill- and poolside bungalows are the perfect way to get a whole building all to yourself.  Up to three bedrooms offer enough room for either a very large family or a party of bachelors, and with the poolside bungalows, you even get direct access.  It's perfect for the adventurous types who want to get away from the city while staying in the city.

To find out more about the Sunset Tower Hotel and the Chateau Marmont or see rates and availability, check them out here and here.


Puppies Get Love at the W Los Angeles Westwood

March 7, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Located on the foothills of Beverly Hills/Bel Air, the W Los Angeles Westwood can be found in the heart of all the glamour, in between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches. Its 258 modern and spacious bungalow-style rooms and suites feature beautiful views of Beverly Hills and lively colors to awaken your spirit. This luxury hotel not only has exceptional rooms, but its restaurant, the Backyard offers the best alfresco dining in Los Angeles. Not only can you get incredible Cal-Med fare amid a serene garden, but now your dog can enjoy his chow right along with you. The Backyard is now offering a pet-friendly ‘Fido’s Kitchen menu.’ The menu features healthy options for your puppies such as ‘Stella’s Mutt “za” Balls,’ which is organic chicken, free range eggs and brown rice, ‘Milo’s Chopped Veggie and Chicken Salad,’ and ‘Knuckle’s Frozen POP,’ an organic yogurt with a mashed banana and peanut butter. The dishes are named after the pets of hotel staff, and the executive chef, Dakota Weiss certainly expressed his creativity and love for dogs when designing the menu. The W Los Angeles Westwood also offers P.A.W. (pets are welcome) amenities which include a custom W pet bed, bowls, and a treat at turndown.

No need to leave your furry friends behind! Make a reservation for you and your puppies at the W Los Angeles Westwood today!


The Shuttered Life: Shutters on the Beach in California

February 29, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The city of Los Angeles is pretty well known for a couple of things.  There's the glitzy, glamorous side, Hollywood in all of its glory, and there's the less charming urban sprawl, full of smog and angry drivers.  However, there's a third, hidden side to the City of Angels.  Tucked away on the beaches of Santa Monica is Shutters on the Beach, a wonderful hotel that explores all that this third face of Los Angeles has to offer.  Windswept beaches and the comfortable elegance of an exclusive resort are the marks of an escape from the bustle and adventure of the city.  Shutters on the Beach is everything that Los Angeles isn't; serene, idyllic, and personal.

The Conde Nast Award Winner plays host to all of the pampering activities we've come to love from beachfront resorts.  Its spa offers Shiatsu, Deep Tissue massage, and Reflexology, and oceanfront fine dining is just steps away from your room. Twenty six miles of beaches are the perfect setting for a morning run, and you'll find unsurpassed views from the three presidential suites that make up the top floors.  Shutters on the Beach is one of my favorite properties, and simply for the reason that it's everything you wouldn't expect, and more.

 


Whitney Houston's Beverly Hilton Tragedy

February 14, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Since one actor locked himself in a hotel room for over a month to research the role that would ultimately precede his untimely death, the hotel world has been no stranger to the unfortunate ends of celebrities. And now we've all been grieving for the last few days over the loss of another great, one of the iconic voices of the 90s. RIP Whitney Houston, your powerful love ballads and singing of the 1991 Superbowl national anthem helped define a decade.

Perhaps some of the most shaken up are the staff of the Beverly Hilton where Houston was found submerged in her bathtub, possibly from a Xanax overdose. Her daughter even arrived at the hotel to try to see her mother and had to be hospitalized for shock and dehydration. It's a sad day when any death occurs, especially one as unfortunate as Whitney's, and our hearts go out to family and friends as well as the workers at the otherwise lovely Beverly Hilton who were on hand to witness it.  


Romantic Packages and Escapes at the Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena

February 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena is situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in beautiful Pasadena, California. Its elegance and award-winning service have made this hotel a southern California landmark. It is the only AAA Five Diamond hotel in the area and has a spa recognized as one of North America’s Top 10. Its luxurious accommodations, incredible spa, and outdoor heated pool all make this hotel a phenomenal choice for a Valentine’s Day getaway. And with the following incredible packages available in February, it’s hard to say no to the Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena.

Linger Longer for Less

Stay longer and get rewarded for it! Stay 2 nights and get 10% of the best available rate, stay 3 nights and get 15% off the best available rate and continental breakfast for 2, stay 4 nights and receive 15% off the best available rate, continental breakfast for 2, and in-room internet, stay 5 or more nights and receive 15% off the best available rate, continental breakfast for 2, in-room internet, and an upgrade to the next room category (based upon availability at check-in).

Valid for stays through February 29th, 2012, subject to availability, and not valid for groups.

Great Getaway Package

This package includes overnight accommodations, continental breakfast for 2 in the Terrace, and valet parking.

Subject to availability and not valid for groups.

Experience the Arts Package

Enjoy the arts and culture in luxury while staying at the Langham. This package includes overnight accommodations, 2 VIP Museum passes valid at more than 18 Institutions in the Los Angeles Area ($250 value), valet parking, and complimentary shuttle services to museums in Pasadena.

Valid until March 28th, 2012, subject to availability, and not valid for groups.

Grand Romance Package

Enjoy Valentine’s Day in style with this package which includes overnight accommodations, rose petal turndown, breakfast in bed, and valet parking.

Valid in February 2012, subject to availability, and not valid for groups.


Keeping it Chilly at the W Los Angeles Westwood

November 21, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

We can definitely see the humor and fun in ice skating without heavy winter clothes holding you down, so we’re thrilled that the W Los Angeles Westwood has recently re-opened its signature ice rink for the third year in a row! This hotel’s 1600 square foot ice rink is made with environmentally friendly ice hybrid and is open for use by hotel guests until January 1st, 2012. This ice rink will also be the hot spot for access to the Ice Bar, serving signature food and cocktails, a skate-up cabana, a gingerbread cookie decoration station for kids, and regular Saturday performances by the BH Cabaret Theater. The ice rink is open from 3pm – 10pm on weekdays, 10am – 10pm on weekends, and $10 gets you a full hour of skating and includes a skate rental. The gingerbread cookie decoration station is open on weekends from 11am – 1pm, and the BH Cabaret Theater puts on a show at 6pm.

The W Los Angeles Westwood is conveniently located between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches, and it is surrounded by beautiful boutique shops and beaches. Be sure to add this hotel to your list of places to stay and practice your ice skating tricks.


Holidays in the Sun: Fun Freebies at Santa Monica's Hotel Shangri-La

November 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Shangri-La Santa MonicaA dose of California sunshine could be just what the doctor ordered this holiday season. Why not take a break in style at Santa Monica's Art Deco beacon on the bluff? Newly revamped, the Hotel Shangri-La promises Old Hollywood glamour just steps from the sand and the historic Santa Monica Pier. Each room captures gorgeous ocean views, as does the posh rooftop bar, Suite 700, where the sunset-viewing is out-of-this-world. As if you needed more tempting, the Hotel Shangri-La has rolled out the "Holidays in the Sun" package which is packed with freebies: freshly baked cookies & milk upon arrival, two complimentary holiday cocktails, a $50 VISA gift card, Ice Skating for two (one hour), and complimentary valet parking. Available November 15, 2011 – January 31, 2012 from $385 in a one-bedroom suite with a full gourmet kitchen.


Who Won the 2011 Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize?

October 31, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Plaza Athenee, ParisWe've been waiting with bated breath to find out which talented designer would nab the prestigious Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize. The luxury hotel group-- celebrated for iconic hotels in urban centers in Europe and the U.S.-- launched the Fashion Prize to honor the work of young designers- and it's gotten some serious buzz in the press. Just this past weekend, the prize was bestowed in The Rodeo Ballroom at The Beverly Hills Hotel after a runway presentation featuring models from cycle 18 of America's Next Top Model. (The event was filmed for an upcoming episode to be aired in spring 2012.) After much deliberation, the judges chose the collection by Anndra Neen as best representing “the spirit of individuality, luxury, style and craftsmanship" of The Dorchester Collection's hotels. Anndra Neen received $40,000 and will have the opportunity to display their work at the fabulous Hôtel Plaza Athénée (pictured) during Paris Fashion Week in 2012.


And to All a Free Night: Spend the Holidays at the L'Ermitage Beverly Hills

October 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

L'Ermitage Beverly HillsWhat will you be doing this winter? Ditch the snow shovel and sniffly nose for the warmer climes out west. If you spend the holidays at L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, the glamorous hotel that's earned the rare distinction of both the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards, they'll throw in a third night for free along with daily American breakfast and two signature holiday cocktails. ("Reindeer Games" sounds like our kind of a tipple.) The sun is shining over Beverly Hills all year round, and the boutiques of Rodeo Drive await... Get spoiled rotten at this legendary address which quite a few celebs have called home. "And to All a Free Night" is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other promotions. Valid until January 8, 2012.


Four Seasons L.A. Launches ICE Technology, and It's Changing the Way We Stay

October 21, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles is the first Four Seasons to embrace ICE technology to digitally connect every room to all parts of the hotel. Before we dive into what that means for travelers, let’s explore what this Four Seasons has to offer. The Four Season Hotel L.A. has a tropically landscaped rooftop pool, Jacuzzi, and a pool grill, allowing you to indulge in seasonal specialties in full relaxation mode. Aside from rooftop fun, the Four Seasons L.A. also has a full-service spa where you can unwind in the steam sauna or pamper yourself with various spa treatments. After a day of exploring Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, enjoy a leisurely dinner at the award winning Gardens Restaurant.

With the launch of ICE Technology, all of the amenities available to guests remain the same, but the way you can access and utilize those amenities will change. All of the guestrooms and suites will have iPad2 devices, permitting guests to customize their stay with the push of a few buttons. Guests will be able to make restaurant reservations, order in-room dining, research nearby attractions, call valet parking, coordinate airport transportation, make beauty and spa appointments, make specific housekeeping requests, research transportation options, schedule wake up calls, check out of the hotel, and much more. Is this technology essentially eliminating the need for face-to-face customer service? Not necessarily. According to Mehdi Eftekari, the General Manger at the Four Seasons Los Angeles, “most of our guests travel with a smartphone, tablet, or both, so it made sense to provide access to the hotel’s services through the same intuitive touch interface.” How are guests reacting to this new technology? Mehdi Eftekari reports that “guests are very impressed. The interface is so intuitive and easy to use, they feel right at home.” What do you think about this new development? Check into the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles to experience it for yourself.

We encourage you to check out the article about ICE technology by Melanie Nayer here.