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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.

Snorkeling the Lagoon Sanctuary at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

August 1, 2011
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

July 15, 2011
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!

July 8, 2011
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

July 6, 2011
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

July 1, 2011
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

June 22, 2011
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.)


Hold Your Wedding at the Taj Boston and Get a Free 6-Night Honeymoon

June 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, MaldivesNo joke. Taj Boston is giving you your honeymoon. Simply hold your fairytale wedding at the landmark hotel on Arlington and Newbury streets and receive a complimentary 6-night Taj Fantasy Honeymoon at your choice of romantic Taj destinations worldwide. The catch? You must spend at least $25,000 (not hard these days, when the average wedding in the U.S. costs over $28,000). Enjoy unrivaled wedding facilities overlooking Boston's Public Garden and then jet to paradise. We'd choose the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives (pictured)- with over-water bungalows, private plunge pools, sunset dining on a turquoise lagoon, and royal couples’ treatments at the Jiva Grande Spa.


The Ultimate Underwater Suite at Conrad Maldives

May 13, 2011
By: Meagan Drillinger

Previously, the luxurious Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was known for offering guests the chance to dine in the world's first all-glass, undersea restaurant. But have you ever wanted to know what it's like to sleep with the fishes, but get to wake up in the morning? Now you can with the Conrad's signature under-water Ithaa Restaurant which is giving guests a chance to spend a night under water in the new "Ithaa Suite."

Conrad Maldives Underwater SuiteCelebrating its fifth anniversary, the restaurant, set approximately 16 feet below the Indian Ocean's surface, offers guests a one-of-a-kind dining experience as thousands of fish swim across the 180-degree-arched glass ceiling. Now, the hotel has worked to turn the restaurant into an exclusive suite for two - talk about a room with a view!

Note Bene: The special suite is available for only one night of a guest's stay and arrangements must be made prior to arrival. Available to only one set of guests at a time, the experience comes with a private Champagne dinner and breakfast in bed.

Other Highlights of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: Private double island resort surrounded by white sand beaches and coral reefs; 50 luxurious water villas, 79 exotic beach villas and 21 fabulous spa water villas with private treatment rooms; Deluxe Beach Villas with private plunge pool and garden; Seaplane arrival. Learn more and make reservations: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island


Honeymoon Atop the Spanish Steps at the Hotel Hassler Rome

April 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Hassler RomaAs far as honeymoon destinations go, this is tops. Hotel Hassler Roma, often cited as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, sits atop the Spanish Steps in the heart of the Eternal City, offering panoramic views over Rome. The hotel of choice for visiting dignitaries and A-list celebrities, the Hassler offers more than a killer location. The Michelin-starred restaurant, Imàgo, has exquisite views from the 6th floor, while next door, Il Palazzetto offers authentic Italian cuisine in a dreamy setting, as the resto is housed in a 16th-century palazzo overlooking the Spanish Steps and the Barcaccia fountain. There's also a fitness center and an exclusive spa where you can unwind with a massage on the terrace followed by a flute of Champagne. Needless to say, this legendary hotel offers a sublime destination for newlyweds. To guarantee an unforgettable honeymoon, the Hotel Hassler is pulling out all the stops with a new package. Here's what's included:

*Three nights in a Double Deluxe room

*Daily buffet breakfast in the Hassler's Salone Eva or Palm Court Garden

*A romantic chef's tasting menu for two at Imàgo

*Couples massage at the Hassler's Amorvero Spa

*A special gift from the Hassler Roma Souvenir Collection

*A bottle of Prosecco upon arrival

*Daily fresh fruit in-room

The special offer is valid through December 20, 2011, and is priced as follows: Through April 30 and July 3-July 16 at €1,905 (approximately US$2,685); July 17-September 8 and November 1-December 20 at €1,695 (approximately US$2,389); and May 1-July 2 and September 9-October 31 at €2,205 (approximately US$3,108).


Limited Time Offer in Paris: 3rd Night Free at Radisson Blu Hotels

April 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's, ParisIt feels like summer in Paris this week. Actually, the weather's even better than summer: sunny and 70 degrees! The sidewalk cafes are packed with sun-bathers and people-watchers. Needless to say, work productivity may suffer this April... Take advantage of these glorious days in Paris with a special offer from the Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's and the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan. The two luxury hotels have launched a 3=2 offer for new bookings only. Stay three nights and pay for only two from April 15- April 25, 2011. Based on contracted mid-week rates in Deluxe rooms, subject to availability. Located between the Trocadero and the Arc de Triomphe, the neo-classical style Le Dokhan's is home to a beautiful Champagne bar. Near the Eiffel Tower, the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan features sleek contemporary interiors by designer François Champsaur (pictured at right).