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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.

The Value of an All-Inclusive Resort

By: Five Star Alliance

Wes Moss recently asked the question "Is the all-inclusive vacation a good deal?" in the personal finance section of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Five Star Alliance features a number of luxury all-inclusive resorts (you can view our favorite's here) and we get asked that question a lot.

Spring break is over. Mercifully. When there’s no school for the kids, but mom and dad still have to work, it’s no vacation for anyone. All of a sudden, it’s a circus at the house. It’s enough to make you think it will be worth the money to go somewhere.

Exterior of Grand Velas All Suites and Spa Resort All Inclusive HotelI’ve always wondered about the financial wisdom of the all-inclusive trip. Is it really a good deal? So this year I talked to several families that went to an all-inclusive resort with their children for spring break. I found out the real numbers behind (at least one) popular family destination.

I looked specifically at Beaches, a company that offers all-inclusive packages in Turks & Caicos, which is just a quick – and direct! – two-and-a-half-hour flight from Atlanta. A passport is required, and I’m not factoring the cost of a passport into my calculations. You’d need it for this destination whether you were going all-inclusive or pay-as-you-go.

Here’s the math. Minus airfare, here’s what a day in an all-inclusive paradise will cost you, based on a family of four. I’m assuming there are two adults and two kids.

Five nights (Sunday through Thursday) will run you about $3,750. Spring for a sixth night, and you’re looking at about $4,500. Either way, the average cost, including lodging, food and all the incidentals at the all-inclusive resort cost is $750 per day.

Patio of Barcelo Puerto Vallarta All-inclusiveNow, let’s break down what a typical day, per family, costs at a place where you’re paying a la carte. These costs may even be on the low side. Kids have a way of turning parents into human ATMs:

Breakfast buffet: $15 x 4 = $60
Snacks and desserts: $30
In-room waters/soda: $15
Kayaks and windsurfing: $15
Kids' camp in the morning: $60
Kids' camp in the afternoon: $60
Lunch $ 17.50 x 4 = $70
Dinner for the two grown-ups, with drinks: $100
Afternoon drinks, 5 x $10 = $50 (One for each family member, plus an extra)
Other (there's always something else!) and after-dinner drinks: $50
Nightly entertainment/shows for the whole family (fire twirlers, comedy): FREE
Gym workout (For your sanity – not for the kids) FREE
Hotel: $250 (at least) per night
Without the hotel, we're looking at approximately $510 a day in food, drinks and fun. And that doesn’t even count gratuity. That could be another 20 percent on top of $515 per day. If you pay $102 a day in tips, your per day total is $612.

If you add in a hotel room for $250 per night, we're at $862 – certainly higher than the $750 per night at the all-inclusive resort.

And at the all-inclusive place, you've also saved yourself the hassle of paying for every meal, drink, dessert, show and bottled water.

Throw in Xbox games, water slides, a lazy river, ice cream three times a day, another umbrella drink for mom and dad at the pool, souvenirs, sunscreen, aloe for the sunburn and all the other extras, and it looks like all-inclusive is the better deal.

Next spring break, go all in(clusive).

The original article by Wes Moss is posted at The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Find, research, and book your luxury all-inclusive resort now >>

The Salamander Resort & Spa Sets August 2013 Opening

By: Five Star Alliance

Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VASalamander Resort & Spa, set on over 300 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia's famed horse country and lush vineyards announced that it is set to open this August. Located in the 18th century village of Middleburg, Salamander Resort is 30 minutes west of Dulles International Airport and an hour from downtown Washington, DC.

Set on 340 acres of farmland, the brand new resort will offer what was said to be "an unparalleled luxury experience in the region" with 168 guest rooms and suites; a culinary program led by Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant in DC including two restaurants, wine bar, cooking studio and two-acre culinary garden; a spa with 14 treatment rooms and a couples suite; and various activities including an onsite Equestrian program, with a 22-stall barn, practice ring, riding trails and instructional classes.

The Salamander Resort outside Washington, DCThe property similarly boasts tennis courts and an outdoor pool complex, and guests have privileges at the nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Fifty wineries are within an hour's drive of the resort, as are opportunities for whitewater rafting, sporting clays and raceway spectating.

Salamander Resort is also eyeing to be a destination for meetings or events. The property features a 5,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, as well as more intimate settings including a 1,800 square foot Junior Ballroom, Executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms, hospitality suites and 2,000 square foot Presidential Suite with an entertainment balcony.

Indoor and outdoor event facilities at Salamander are eyed to make events stand out, including the Equestrian Barn event room, the Stallion Barn, a, over a hundred year old stone building adjacent to the Grand Lawn, and the Cooking Studio, which may be reserved by groups for private events.


Top 10 Most Romantic Luxury Hotel Ideas

By: K. Clare Johnson


Couples massages. Champagne and strawberries. Rose petals scattered on the bed and tub. A hammock made for two. These are just a few of the romantic gestures you will find at almost all luxury hotels. But we wanted to find some of the more creative choices available for lovers.  These suggestions might be too late for this year's Valentine's Day, but there's always next year!

1. Floating love seat at Four Seasons Bora Bora. Guests will enjoy weightlessness on an inflatable love seat, which is anchored to their bungalow or delivered to their villa for the day.

2-Stargazing at Post Ranch Inn. The night sky in Big Sur is just one of the romantic activities available at the ranch.

3-Bryant Park Hotel offers a sex toy menu. Options from swanky adult toy store The Pleasure Chest are available for couples or singles.

4-Mondrian Hotel has a minibar that offers, in addition to upscale snacks, intimate accessories for the discerning couple.

5-Beverly Wilshire has a Rolls Royce Phantom guests can employ to squire that somebody special around town.

6-Conrad Maldives will transform its underwater restaurant into a one-night only underwater suite. Gives sleeps with the fishes such a positive spin.

7-Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego has a 33-foot gondola equipped with two professional massage beds. After leaving the resort’s private marina, guests enjoy a 40-minute massage.

8- Six Senses Hideaway at Zighy Bay will allow you to make a dramatic entrance. Strap yourself to a professional paraglider and soar to the resort’s front steps from a nearby cliff.

9-The Surrey New York has an in-room mixologist is on call 24 hours a day, arriving within minutes with a fully stocked cocktail cart.

10-The Lodge at Doonbeg offers an on-site geneaologist, so your Irish lad or lass can trace their roots and visit their ancestral villages.

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The Goring is Royally Warranted

By: K. Clare Johnson


A Royal Warrant has been issued for The Goring Hotel.  For those not familiar with it, a Royal Warrant is a mark of recognition that tradesmen are regular suppliers of goods and services to the royal households. Royal Warrant holders may display the relevant Royal Arms with the words "By Appointment" on their product, stationery, buildings, vehicles, advertising, and packaging. 

Fans of The Goring will remember it as the hotel where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a single lady. The Family-owned and run five-star deluxe hotel is located in Belgravia, adjacent to Buckingham Palace.


12 Days of Hotels: 5 Best Hotels & Resorts for Destination Weddings

By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Five Star Alliance is having its own countdown featuring 12 Days of Hotels! We unfortunately don’t have a song to go along with our countdown, but we will be featuring a variety of categories. Today we’re featuring the 5 best hotels to tie the knot!

1. The Oberoi Udaivilas

Udaivilas is a luxury resort located on Udaipur's legendary Lake Pichola overlooking its beautiful island palaces and the Udaipur city palace. It is accessible by land and boat.

2. One and Only Palmilla

Considered The "Jewel Of Baja" And Located On Once the tropical hideaway for the likes of Hemingway and Harlow, the serenely private and sensually elegant One&Only Palmilla features expansive ocean-facing accommodation, each with veranda, sunbeds, and indulgent amenities.

3. Hayman Island Resort

Surrounded by idyllic coral fringed beaches and lapping the waters of the Coral Sea, on the south-western side of the island, Hayman offers 244 guest rooms, suites, penthouses and a beach villa.

4. Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

The luxurious Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa lies where earth, sea and sky meet, poised above Atlantic rollers and flanked by the majestic Table Mountain and The Twelve Apostles Mountain Range in glorious Cape Town, South Africa.

5. The Point

The Point Resort is a unique, private Adirondack estate where you are free to enjoy your special time in splendid circumstances. It's a vibrant and exclusive house party, an elegant hideaway, the essence of rustic splendor, luxury and whimsy amid Adirondack Mountain wilderness.

12 Days of Hotels: 7 Best Honeymoon Resorts

By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Five Star Alliance is having its own countdown featuring 12 Days of Hotels! We unfortunately don’t have a song to go along with our countdown, but we will be featuring a variety of categories. Today we’re featuring the 7 best and most romantic honeymoon resorts!

1. Burj Al Arab

This all-suite hotel reflects the finest that the world has to offer for the newlywed couple trying to escape from the world.

2. Hotel de Crillon

Even if you and your spouse did not fall in love in Paris, you will fall in love with Paris while gandering at the Tour Eiffel from your room at the Hotel de Crillon.

3. Hayman Island Resort

With the largest swimming pool in the Southern Hemisphere, the resort is surrounded by idyllic coral fringed beaches in tropical elegance.

4. Peter Island Resort

The resort's self-contained luxury villas are unmatched in creating an idyllic pasture for you, your spouse, and wedded bliss.

5. Villa San Michele

Only a few minutes from the center of Florence, Villa San Michele is a sanctuary of peace and unsurpassed beauty designed to indulge newlyweds.

6. The Tides Riviera Maya

This adults-only resort features exclusive villas, stunning spa, and seven-miles of white-sand beach.

7. Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort

You are in the middle of nowhere at Ponta dos Ganchos and it delivers the dream: idyllic landscapes of emerald sea and forest.

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Your Questions Answered: Honeymoon Packages at Parrot Cay Turks and Caicos

By: Five Star Alliance

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.


Question: I am getting married and in the process of planning our honeymoon. I would like to stay at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. Are there any romance or honeymoon packages available? Also, what is the weather usually like in June?


Answer:  We are showing lots of availability and packages at Parrot Cay during your travel dates. We are showing a Romance Package which includes:

- accommodation

- return airport transfers by boat and hotel car on scheduled flights

- daily breakfast, lunch & dinner in choice of restaurant (3 course - no beverages)

- fruit basket replenished daily

- group Yoga and Pilates classes, non-motorised water-sports and use of hotel gymnasium

- spa cottage experience including couples massage

-choice of two of the below activities for BEACH ACCOMMODATION ONLY

*Excursion to Iguana Island & Snorkeling

*Romantic Candle Lit Lunch or Dinner At Pool Tiki Hut

*Excursion to Dand Dollar Island & Snorkeling

*1 X 60 minute private Yoga class for 2

*Private dinner in beach house or villa

*Romantic Castaway Picnic

We are also showing a Discover Como Shambhala which includes:

- accommodation

- return airport transfers by boat and hotel car on scheduled flights

- daily breakfast, lunch & dinner in choice of restaurant (3 course - no beverages)

- fruit basket replenished daily

- group Yoga and Pilates classes, non-motorised water-sports and use of hotel gymnasium

- 6 spa treatments per room (3 treatments for single occupancy).

Choice of treatments apply 

* 1hr Purify Facial

* 1hr Como Shambhala Massage

* 1hr Deep Tissue Massage

* 1hr Indian Head Massage

* 1hr Shiatsu Treatment

* 1hr Relexology Session

-10% discount off of each additional treatment

Rates, availability and reservations are available through this link:

Availability and pricing can change frequently.

Temperatures in Turks and Caicos during June generally vary between an average high during the day of 86.0 degrees F and an average low at night of 79.0 degrees F. The chance of rain, on average during that period is only 5-10% at the very highest. Please visit the following URL to check for prices and availability over your travel dates for the packages referenced above. Also, when making a reservation there will be a special request field where you can mention it's your honeymoon so that the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival.

Your Perfect Wedding Proposal Awaits at the Cap Maison Resort and Spa

By: Oksana Balytsky

You’re ready to get down on one knee, but you’re a little nervous, a little unsure of how to make the experience perfect, and basically need a little help upping the romance. The Cap Maison Resort and Spa in St. Lucia takes the stress out of planning the momentous occasion with the help of its Proposal Concierge. The Proposal Concierge (also known as your new best friend), is the ultimate partner in discretion, elegance and creativity who works quietly to handle all details and ensure that every answer is the only answer – YES! A few creative proposal ideas include sailing aboard a private yacht, kneeling under a full moon and returning to a beautifully decorated suite filled with tropical flowers, or enjoying the sunset on a cocktail deck perched above the waves where the ring gets zipped down the Champagne Zip Line. Make your reservations today and take advantage of the Proposal Concierge’s services to ensure an elegant, memorable, and perfect proposal.

Aleenta Phuket Launches a Secret Dinner Series

By: Oksana Balytsky

The Aleenta Phuket Phang Nga Resort and Spa in North Phuket, Thailand is proud to present the NA THALANG Ancestral Siamese Cuisine Secret Dinner series every Monday until further notice. Prepare to experience traditional and authentic dishes from the kitchen of Chef Premchit Prateap Na Thalang prepared from secret recipes passed down through 12 generations. The menu will feature distinctive southern Siamese cuisine with Chinese and Indian elements and fresh ingredients from the forests and seas of the Andaman coast. The courses will feature juice, canapés, an aperitif served at 7:00pm, and an 8-course tasting dinner served at 7:30pm.

The Aleenta Phuket is a beautiful boutique hotel with only 40 rooms and 15 suites including pool villas, ocean view lofts, and private 2 and 3 bedroom beachfront villas located steps from the beach. This luxury hotel is only 20 minutes from the Phuket International Airport and a short distance from the Blue Canyon Golf Course and the beautiful Phang Nga Bay.

Be sure to explore this simply stunning hotel and make your dinner reservations to embark on a truly authentic and once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience!

Saint Barbara's Jardín: Inn of the Spanish Garden

By: Christopher Roney

In veneration of the Honorable Alex Kozinski (don't click this until the end, or you're cheating), we're going to do a little something special with this post. It's risky business when two ideas face off in a single article. On one level, I'll be talking about the wonderful Inn of the Spanish Garden. On the other, well, see if you can find the clue, or, perhaps, I've left you clueless. In any case, let's get to it.

Opening just eleven years ago in 2001, the Inn of the Spanish Garden brings a distinctly Mediterranean flavor to the West coast. It is a true American beauty, the fusion of European sensibilities with a level of relaxation only California could achieve. Staying in any of the 23 rooms at the Inn is just about as good as it gets. The small size means that the 24-hour staff is available to personalize your experience so you can have it just as you like it. With either a private balcony or patio in every room that may open up to the secret garden within their beautiful courtyard, you don't have to leave the outdoors behind. Their 30-person banquet hall is perfect for parties looking to host a small wedding or party in a small hotel that you can really make your own. The verdict? The Inn of the Spanish Garden is a great escape from the bustle of the world outside.