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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.

Image of the Day: Solage Calistoga

By: Five Star Alliance

Solage Calistoga is situated on 22 acres in the heart of Northern California wine country, and surrounded by panoramic Mayacamas and Palisades mountain ranges.

Solage Calistoga

Current nightly rates at Solage Calistoga start at $360 per night>>

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Did You Know? Meadowood Napa

By: Five Star Alliance

Meadowood Napa

Ninety-six percent of Napa Valley vineyards are family-owned. At Meadowood Napa, guests are invited
to come together every afternoon for a tasting of outstanding Napa Valley wines. The luxury resort typically
feature two varietals, one red and one white. On Friday afternoons the tradition is to share a Napa Valley
sparkling wine to welcome the weekend.

View rates, details, and more images of Meadowood Napa >>

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The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #4 Auberge Du Soleil

By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Coming in the #4 spot is the Auberge Du Soleil which is located just off the Silverado Trail, outside of Rutherford, overlooking Napa Valley. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- All accommodations at Auberge du Soleil feature Mediterranean-inspired decor with original contemporary art

- Auberge du Soleil began as a restaurant created by visionary restaurateur Claude Rouas

- Maintained its legacy as a culinary destination, where innovative menus inspired by the bounty of Napa Valley are paired with wine in ways that delight and inspire longtime devotees

- Auberge Spa occupies a 7,000 square feet stucco building, overlooking the Napa Valley

- Napa winery tours can be arranged in advance

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Auberge Du Soleil here >>

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The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations ins 2012: #13 Napa

By: K. Clare Johnson

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!


As of today, Five Star Alliance features 15 luxury hotels in Napa, California. Napa, or Napa Valley  is the term used for an area of Northern California known for its regional wine industry. Cities in the Napa Valley include Yountville, Calistoga, St. Helena, and Napa.

Why do our guests love Napa?

- Napa Valley is home to more than four hundred wineries, including well-known producer Mondavi. Grape varieties grown include Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  

-The famous hot springs found in Calistoga are known for their relaxing and restorative properties. There's also the Old Faithful geyser, which erupts every 40 minutes. Solage Calistoga (pictured below) has a 20,000 square foot spa and is offering nightly rates as of this writing that start at $350.

-Visitors enjoy the creative ways to taste the grapes, like the Napa Valley Wine Train. Ride and quaff in restored 1917 Pullman train cars.

-The accommodations in Napa range from LEED Platinum-Certified Bardessono to the sophisticated urban boutique style of Andaz Napa to the foodie paradise that is Auberge Du Soleil.

Where to Stay?

-The peak time for wine tasting in Napa Vallye is May through October.  As of this writing, a mid-May stay at Carneros Inn (pictured at top) starts at $466 per night.  Yountville's Vintage Inn has nightly rates starting at $370. Plan a bit further ahead for a mid-August stay and nightly rates start at $299 at the Westin Verasa Napa, or splurge at Calistoga Ranch, where a deluxe lodge with private fireplace and outdoor shower is $850 a night.

Did you know?

-About 5 million people visit Napa Valley each year. 

Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Napa >>

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Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #17 Bardessono

By: K. Clare Johnson


In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Lucky #17 on our countdown is Bardessono, located in the heart of Napa Valley. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

-One of only three hotels in the world to be LEED Platinum certified.

-Enjoy private in-room spa services in the intimate sanctuary of your guest room. Or visit the The Spa at Bardessono, where each treatment is designed around the needs of the season.

-Lucy’s Garden (onsite at Bardessono) serves as the foundation of the entire food & beverage program. Chef Victor Scargle is so committed to a "garden first" approach that the garden serves as the restaurant’s namesake.

-Sustainable design is at the heart of Bardessono’s vision of luxury hospitality. Each guestroom is a sanctuary of timeless indulgence, from the organic cotton bed linens to the hand-crafted bath products.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Bardessono>>

Posted in: Napa, CA

Image of the Day: Auberge Du Soleil

By: Five Star Alliance


An unusual treetop perspective of Napa's Auberge Du Soleil.

Posted in: Napa, CA, Hot Spots

Your Luxury Summer Travel Guide: Wine Tasting at the Auberge Du Soleil

By: Oksana Balytsky

Swimming, fishing, hiking, sun bathing, and kayaking are just a few of the various activities to partake in during the incoming summer months. We’ve combined luxury hotels with exciting activities to give you the ultimate summer luxury travel guide perfect for folks looking for an adventure, a weekend away, or just an opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful weather! Check in with us often for a few ideas on where the summer should take you!

Our featured activity today is wine-tasting, and we can’t think of a better place in the United States to swirl, sip, and spit than Napa Valley, California. The Auberge du Soleil is one of northern California’s most revered dining establishments, and its located on a hillside with fantastic views of Napa Valley. Its 52 luxury rooms feature Mediterranean inspired décor and private outdoor terraces for relaxing and dining. The restaurant at the Auberge du Soleil features delectable dishes perfectly paired with wines in ways that delight and inspire even the greatest of food connoisseurs. And with over 120 wineries open to the public in Napa Valley and a concierge to assist with planning your itinerary, the Auberge du Soleil is the perfect luxury hotel for a food and wine-filled summer weekend!

Curious what other luxury hotels await you? Check out the other phenomenal options in Napa Valley here!

What Wine Goes Best with your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

By: Oksana Balytsky

You read the title correctly. Today we’re not exploring what wine compliments Alaskan Salmon or risotto; we’re bringing you recommendations of which wine goes best with various Girl Scout Cookies. Kris Margerum, the wine director at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley has gone through the vast 17,000 bottle wine cellar to suggest the absolute best wine-cookie pairings. Check out the pairings below and enjoy the adult, edgy rendition of Girl Scout Cookies.

Savannah Smiles go best with a 2010 Dr. Loosen ‘Bernaksteler Lay’ Riesling-Kabinett. As stated by Kris Margerum and reported on HotelChatter, ““The lemon notes and powder sugar create an amazing match with this off-dry, high- acid white wine.”

Trefoils-Old Fashioned Shortbread go best with the 2007 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine. "The creamy richness of the shortbread is balanced by the fresh lively notes of the Sparkling Wine." 

Dosidos-Peanut Butter Cremes go best with a 2009 Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Zweigelt. "The light bodied and fruity Zweigelt paired with the Do-Si-Dos brings home the flavors of peanut butter & jelly."

Samoas go best with a Graham’s 20-Year Tawny Port. "The coconut is an ideal blend with the oak-aged port, while the Noval Vintage Ruby Reserve Port is rich enough to match the chocolate and mint flavors of the popular Thin Mints." 

Tagalongs-Peanut Butter Patties go best with Rare Wine Company’s “Imperial-Old Reserve” Malmsey Maderia, “Nothing goes better with sweet Maderias than chocolate and nuts.”

We certainly encourage you to explore the room types, rates, and photos of the Auberge du Soleil here! Make your reservations today and get ready for an incredible time in phenomenal wine country, cookies and all!

This article originally appeared in HotelChatter.

Romantic Hotels Perfect for Valentine’s Day

By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of the usual dinner and chocolates, consider doing something a little more extravagant and exciting this Valentine’s Day, like planning a surprise getaway to an extremely romantic, luxury hotel! Here are a few of our favorite romantic spots, perfect for a weekend away for you and your loved one.

La Casa Que Canta in Playa la Ropa, Mexico

This hotel appeared in the film When a Man Loves a Woman, and it’s beautifully perched on a cliff surrounded by the sea. The resort features 2 of the most elegant swimming pools, and the freshwater infinity pool is located on a promontory overlooking Zihuatanejo Bay. This hotel offers 10 pool suites, 11 grand suites, and 3 terrace suites facing the ocean, all inspired by the loveliness of Mexican art. Privacy, elegance, and superb hospitality are of the most importance at this luxury resort, ensuring an extremely romantic and peaceful escape.

Auberge Du Soleil in Napa Valley, California

Perfect hotel to soak up the sun, sip a glass of California wine, and enjoy a beautiful California day. The Auberge Du Soleil is terraced down the hillside with breathtaking views of Napa Valley. All of the accommodations feature Mediterranean-inspired décor, and certain guest rooms feature private outdoor terraces for dining and relaxing. This luxury hotel began as a restaurant 25 years ago, and it has remained a culinary vision today. Be sure to visit for a truly amazing and romantic experience.

Halekulani in Honolulu, Hawaii

Halekulani has been welcoming visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. This luxury hotel has earned a reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service, and splendid cuisine. Take a swim in the heated fresh water pool overlooking Waikiki Beach, which has a stunning mosaic of an orchid, comprised of 1.2 million pieces of imported African glass tiles, explore each of Halekulani’s award winning restaurants, and walk to the beautiful beach to watch the romantic sunset.

Check out our list of the top most romantic hotels in the world, or search romantic hotels by city!

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

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