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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.

Friday Photos: Paradise in the Greek Isles at Porto Zante


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Porto Zante

Turquoise water, crescent-shaped beaches, a perfect Mediterranean climate... Paradise found in the Greek Isles. Porto Zante Villas and Spa is located on the island of Zakynthos, the third largest of the Ionian Islands, just west of the Greek mainland. Its contemporary-style villas-- some equipped with private pools-- all face the sea, and boast dreamy amenities (like Bulgari bath products and Valentino robes). No wonder this place is frequently named one of the "best hideaways" in the Greek isles.

Porto Zante


Friday Photos: Mayan Riviera Magic at Maroma Resort and Spa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maroma Resort and Spa

 

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more postcard-perfect setting. White, sandy beaches fringed by verdant jungle... And a spectacular coral reef, just offshore in the lapis-blue Caribbean waters, teeming with colorful underwater life. Maroma Resort and Spa, a Yucatan paradise by Orient-Express, is the spot for pure escapism. Indulge with a spa treatment, based on ancient Mayan healing, at the resort's Kinan Spa. (You can even take a class on Stress & Anxiety Reduction or Insomnia Relief.) Tuck into a ceviche and tequila feast on the beach, or experience a wine tasting in the Wine Cellar. After a day snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, or sailing, unwind in your luxurious guest room, appointed with unique handpainted tiles, soft wool rugs, original art and furniture from the resort's own workshops.

Maroma Resort and Spa


Island Hop in Thailand with Anantara Resorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rasananda Phangan Island ResortWhy settle for one idyllic Thai island when you can experience the best of two? Embark on an indulgent and diverse getaway to the Gulf of Thailand to get a taste of the red-hot nightlife on Koh Samui and the relaxing beaches of Koh Phangan (the isle famous for its full moon parties). Anantara Resorts is whisking you away with a special offer called the "Two Island Experience." Divide your time between Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa, a hideaway near bustling Chaweng, with the dreamy seclusion of a private pool suite or villa at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort. With breakfast, sea and land transfers all included, this special package invites you to linger longer and soak up tranquil island life. Rates from THB 17,700 with three nights at each resort.


Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties in Las Vegas: Free Suite at the Mandarin Oriental


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental Las VegasVegas, baby, Vegas. When planning your bachelor or bachelorette party in Sin City, consider the glam Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Located at the entrance of CityCenter at the heart of The Strip, this urban retreat has it all-- from a AAA Five Diamond spa to a stellar restaurant by chef Pierre Gagnaire. It's a casino-free hotel, so after tempting Lady Luck at Las Vegas's famous casinos, you can escape to luxurious calm at the Mandarin. The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas has a special treat for bachelors and bachelorettes looking to party in Las Vegas. Receive a complimentary suite when booking five or more rooms. Available through December 30, 2011, the getaway includes an array of Spa experiences, a poolside cabana with catered lunch and a celebratory bottle of Champagne at Mandarin Bar. For more information, please call +1 (702) 590 3031.


Snorkeling the Lagoon Sanctuary at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort Bora BoraThe Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora isn't just about plush, over-water bungalows. Sure, they've got those, perched on stilts over the turquoise lagoon, some even equipped with private pools. It's a spectacular snorkeling location with over 100 colorful species in the Lagoon including the octopus, eagle ray, lizardfish, Picasso trumpetfish, soldierfish, firefish, unicorn fish, spotted pufferfish, parrotfish, peacock damselfish, clownfish and butterfly fish. But more than that, the Lagoon Sanctuary is also a research facility for studying and protecting the marine eco-system. Directed by marine biologist Oliver Martin, the Lagoon Sanctuary offers activities for guests of all ages, including snorkelling, coral grafting discovery, discussions on Polynesian ecology, fish and octopus feeding and more. The Lagoon Sanctuary is maintained in partnership with the Pacific Eco-World Initiative, a non-profit organization committed to learning more about the changing marine environment and working to conserve it.


Friday Photos: Living it up on Lake Como at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Lake Como

Dreaming of Lake Como? So are we. Blame it on all those paparazzi photos of George Clooney riding around the Italian countryside with ex Elisabetta Canalis on the back of his motorcycle. With its beautiful blue water backed by green mountains, Lake Como has been a favorite playground for celebrities for centuries. One of the most splendid hideaways on the lake is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni- with its sprawling Mediterranean gardens overlooking one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world. Talk about a picture-perfect location! The hotel itself is perched on a promontory jutting into the lake and offers a spa, lakeside swimming pool, tennis courts, gym, and boat cruises from its private dock.

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Lake Como


Calling All Bachelorettes: Win a Trip to Taiwan!


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Hotel TaipeiCelebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2011, Taiwan's in the spotlight. Not only that, faithful Bachelorette viewers will get to check out the country's wonders on the next episode of the show. Ashley Herbert will have all kinds of romantic adventures in Taiwain- from riding scooters through the mist-covered mountains to living it up in luxury at The Regent Taipei. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau sponsored the episode scheduled to air on July 11 in order to promote "Asia's best-kept secret." And they've also joined forces with a few other sponsors for a fabulous giveaway contest: fans of the show can win a 5-day trip for two "to live out their own romantic adventures in Taiwan" including two nights in the TaiPan Elite suite at The Regent Taipei. For more details on"The Bachelorette Ultimate Getaway Sweepstakes," check out the website.

Pictured: The W Hotel in Taipei.


Sponsored Article: A Real Luxury Experience in Rome in Hotel Hassler's Renovated Penthouse Suite


By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Hassler RomaPerched atop the Spanish Steps in Rome, the Hotel Hassler has long been a favorite destination for visiting dignitaries and A-list celebrities for its glorious views over the Eternal City. The Hassler Roma is indeed one of the best hotels in all of Europe. From the third-floor spa, you can marvel at the historic sites across the city, while also reveling in the luxurious touches found inside the hotel itself: original paintings by Titian and Tintoretto Schools, bathrooms finished in precious Italian marble and 23-carat gold plated faucets, walls covered in frescoes.

As if that's not enough, guests looking for an incredibly luxurious hotel experience (think Roman holiday-style honeymoon!) can now check into the hotel's Presidential Suite Penthouse, entirely renovated and reopened in May 2011. Located on the 7th floor of the hotel, the Penthouse offers breathtaking views from its private 160-square-meter terrace. The new interiors reflect a modern style embued with Classical accents. The sitting room features a large plasma-screen TV and a lovely alcove looking out to the terrace. The dining room has mirrored walls and a floor-to-ceiling window.

A sliding door separates the dining area from the bedroom. The room is done up in soft white, beige, and grey hues, accented with red decor, and the floors are made of beige-toned Botticino marble, which also lines the walls of the master and guest bathrooms. Not forgetting the walk-in closet and master bathroom with a Jacuzzi and Amorvero bath products!

A fireplace with a large TV placed above it in the gazebo dining-area provides an ideal space for relaxing and al-fresco dining.

The starting price of the Penthouse Suite is 3,800 euros per night. Enjoy a real experience of elegance, style, at the highest level of service and hospitality.


Celebrate New York's Historic Marriage Decision at The Pierre Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Pierre Hotel New YorkThere's been much rejoicing in the wake of New York's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. And for those newly betrothed who want to live large in the Big Apple, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel has announced the "Modern Marriage Package." Spend your wedding weekend in the privacy of a sumptuous suite high above Central Park and get treated to a variety of delights. Priced from $2,095 per night in a City View Suite ($3,500 per night in a Luxury Grand Suite), the package includes:

* All the festive wedding trimmings: A welcome cocktail, personalized wedding cake by The Pierre's expert pastry chef and a luscious floral arrangement designed by L'Olivier Atelier

* Indulgences: Relax with breakfast in bed, an in-room couple's massage and a late night aphrodisiac menu with selections that include oysters, chocolate and Champagne

* A special gift for your wedding celebration: A memorable carriage ride through Central Park, followed by a specialty picnic basket for lunch in the world's most romantic park

Valid through September 11, 2011. Subject to availability, blackout dates apply.


Have a Blast on St. Barts with Savings at Hotel Carl Gustaf


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Carl Gustaf, St. BartsThe best time to hit up St. Barts could be the off-season. You've got the idyllic island to yourself, and you can score amazing deals at some of the posh island resorts. Case in point: Hotel Carl Gustaf is currently offering "value summer rates" until August 31, 2011, with a 50% discount off rack rates, starting from 345€/night inclusive of French Continental breakfast served in your suite, round trip airport transfers, access to the fitness center, and complimentary wifi. Situated above the glittering harbour of Gustavia in St. Barts, the hotel offers 14 one- or two-bedroom suites located in pretty cottages surrounded by tropical vegetation. It has a devoted following among the cognoscenti. (And honeymooners can't believe their good luck when checking in.)