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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.

Word to the Wise: Stay and Save at the Hotel Plaza Athenee New York

January 5, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

If you're sitting at work thinking, boy it's really about time I got that promotion I deserve, you need wait no more.  The Hotel Plaza Athenee New York is offering you not just one but five promotions, all available through March 31st.  They might not come with a raise, but they might as well, since you'll be saving a good chunk of cash while staying at one of the top hotels in New York.  

First up are the straight money-saving specials.  Stay three or more nights in an executive room and save 30% off the BAR (not including amenities).  If you're looking stay just three nights, then go ahead and book two and get the third free in either Superior or Deluxe rooms. 

If you'd rather just be getting more for your investment, then the Winter Nights, City Lights promotion offers a guaranteed upgrade from Classic to Superior and Superior to Deluxe on any length stay.  Or go for Serenity in the City and wake up every morning to a delicious continental breakfast for two and receive 25% off BAR.  The Classic Suite Special is a similar 20% off BAR and free breakfast for the suite-minded folks.  It's hard to go wrong when such a great hotel, just a short stroll from Central Park and all of Midtown, is ushering in the New Year with some great specials.  I know I resolved to travel more this year, and this might just be what gets me out the door.  So maybe I'll see you at the Plaza Athenee New York!


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #8 Atlantis the Palm Dubai

December 24, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Atlantis the Palm DubaiWorldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #8 spot, we have the Atlantis the Palm Dubai, an aquatic Dubai resort.

Quick facts about the Atlantis the Palm Dubai:

- The entire Atlantis is built around an oceanic tribute to a mythological age where sharks and dolphins roam the seas and Poseidon invites guests to enter his realm of aquatic beauty.

- On the coastline of the largest man-made island in the world, Atlantis the Palm is surrounded by the sea of the Arabian Gulf at the very tip of the palm island crescent.

- With over 1,500 rooms and suites available and 16 restaurants, the sprawling Atlantis never lacks for entertainment, fueled by 15 million gallons of salt and freshwater attractions.

Atlantis the Palm Dubai- Aquaventure, the waterpark, includes a 30-meter ziggurat that sends swimmers down waterslides that pass through shark-infested waters (with glass safely in between, don't worry).  

- Its pool/aquatic experience came up #2 on our list of the Ten Best Hotel Pools in the World, and here's what we had to say about it:

'Atlantis the Palm Dubai may just be the best thing ever. If you got all the things together in one place, and made me pick, I’d say, “I want that thing. It looks like the best thing.” So what is this thing I’m so excited about? Well, it just might be a standard luxurious hotel pool, only it’s attached to a full water park! I don’t bandy about with exclamation points lightly, but this seems to be worth one. If you, like me, have ever thought, “wow, this vacation is really relaxing, but what I’d really like is to go launching out of a ziggurat at high speeds into a pool of water,” then this is the destination for you. And even more than that, much of the hotel is themed around this aquatic experience. There are underwater mazes, a four-and-a-half hectare dolphin habitat, and something they just call Aquaventure.'

- Atlantis the Palm even includes a specialized kids program through the Atlantis Kids Club and Club Rush, where your children can go to enjoy the aquatics either with their parents or supervised by specialized Atlantis staff, so you can enjoy some more adult vacation time.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Atlantis the Palm Dubai >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown as we spotlight a new hotel every day until the New Year!


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #11 Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

December 21, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts One & Only Maldives at Reethi RahWorldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #11 spot, we have the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, a charming Santa Fe retreat.

Quick facts about the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi:

- Every room at the Inn of the Anasazi evokes the creative spirit of the Anasazi people, the Native American tribe that once inhabited much of New Mexico. Handcrafted doors, sculptured stairways and sandstone walls all work together to create an intimate and traditional Pueblo atmosphere.

- Ideally located on Santa Fe Plaza, the hotel is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the unique, cultured charm of the surrounding city.  

- Kiva-shaped gas fireplaces, which warm the room to a cozy temperature during the cooler desert nighttime, are featured in every room, along with great four-post beds that even come with a special stepping stool to help release you from an unendingly downy sleep.

- The hotel offers daytrips to the Rocky Mountains and closer skiing at Taos and other local mountains.  

One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah- Similarly, explore the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and White Sands National Monument all within a few hours of the Inn.

- Take a trip through the skies and land at the Canyon de Chelly for a horseback ride led by a Navajo tour guide. 

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown as we spotlight a new hotel every day until the New Year!


Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Andaz Wall Street

December 19, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance know better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance, and design.

This entry in the Gold List is a special property indeed. The Andaz Wall Street is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, and it stands at the forefront of a design renaissance sweeping the area.  Rather than a traditional lobby, the Andaz features a lounge space that combines the check-in counter with a contemporary conversational feel. You don't check-in, you relax and even have a drink with a concierge.  This transformation from business to leisure is precisely what the hotel embodies; its clean lines and remarkable efficiency are always the result of impeccable design. In many ways, the Andaz Wall Street is the iPod of New York hotels: It's not that it's fundamentally redesigned the hotel experience, but at every turn it's just a little bit more intelligently designed, a little smoother, and a little more elegant.


Suite Temptation: Mandarin Oriental Paris Opens Doors of New Suites

December 16, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

The Mandarin Oriental Paris is one of the hotels that's constantly driving things forward, looking to stay one step ahead of the competition.  And with the unveiling of 37 new suites, they're certainly prepared to bring hotel accommodations in Paris up a notch.  All of the suites offer the most modern technologies including 32"-40" LCD TVs, iPads, and even Playstation 3's, not to mention a mirror tv.  The top-floor Atelier suites overlook Paris for a romantic view of Montmartre that will be sure to inspire your love ballads.

The flagship suite is definitely the Royal Mandarin Suite, nearly 4,000 sq. ft. in size, occupying two different floors, and having a bathtub with a view of the Eiffel Tower.  I'm sure you could count on one hand the number of bathtubs in the world that could rival that vista.  

If you're in the market to try out some of the premiere new suites in Paris, make sure to check out the Mandarin Oriental.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Henry Jones Art Hotel

December 15, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Henry Jones Art Hotel in Tasmania, Australia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambiance and design. This luxury hotel is the first and only dedicated art hotel in Australia. It presents an atmosphere that allows guests to enjoy art in a unique manner. The public areas in the hotel have 300 paintings and sculptures, many of which are for sale. There are beautiful works of art in every guest room, exposing guests to sophisticated art all the while providing them with a luxurious experience.


Nothing Cheap About It: Cheap Sally's Top Amazing Hotel and Spa Destinations

December 12, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

It's not every day that an infographic so awesome comes around.  Over at Cheap Sally, an online discount site, their travel experts have aggregated a list of some of the wildest hotel and vacation sites in the US, and it features some of our favorite US properties.  For the whole list, check out the infographic below, but I'd like to highlight some of our favorites.

Long at the top of our list of the Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the world, The Point at Saranac Lake, NY, is so exclusive, you aren't told where exactly on the pristine Adirondack lake it is until you've confirmed your reservation.  Complete with a 3-star Michelin chef and only 11 rooms on the property, you are guaranteed to experience a personalized, secluded stay in one of the world's most elite properties.

In terms of crazy spa treatments, it's hard to top the over 250-gallon Evian bath only available in the penthouse suite of the Hotel Victor on Miami Beach.  This spa treatment costs only slightly less than the suite itself and features a bath of pure Evian water sprinkled with rose petals.

But if you're like me and you like your baths with a little more kick to them, then the Kenwood Inn and Spa vinotherapy treatment is just what you're looking for:  Bathe in wine and grape seed extract to soak your skin in the antioxidant polyphenol which powerfully slows the aging of skin.  You'll come out looking and feeling younger than even a couple glasses of the same wine would make you feel.

There's a just a few of the wonderful and crazy hotels and spas located around the US, and you can some more great examples below.  Make sure to check out Five Star Alliance to book these great destinations or if you're looking for a deal or digital coupon for any of over 11,000 retailers, Cheap Sally is your girl.  

Click for full image.

 

Infographic courtesy of Cheap Sally


Very Bad Santa Is Very Good: Hotel Monteleone for Christmas

December 8, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another article from yours truly! Don’t know who I am? That’s okay, sometimes I wake up in a fit of existential angst and ask myself the same the question. But regardless, I have some great news that I’m sure you’ll be excited to hear: The Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans has a suite of featured events for the hotel seasons, including the grand reopening of its cocktail bar. And with signature drinks such as the Joyous Noel or Papa’s Nightcap, they’ll warm your heart and your belly. I’m not even going to tell you what happens during the Very Bad Santa Crawl, but needless to say, if you’re even thinking of staying there on December 10th, it’s a must-see. If you’d rather be a good Santa, they’re offering a children’s holiday tea time. And Christmas day things really cut loose, gourmet-style. And by that, I mean a family feast prepared by their signature chefs. If you’re looking to get away to more cajun climes for the holidays, I can’t think of a better place than the Hotel Monteleone.


Bunker-in-Chief: The Greenbrier Gets Presidential Patronage in War and Peace

December 6, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Here’s an interesting tidbit, courtesy of Dan Lewis of Now I Know: Having hosted 26 U.S. presidents, the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia is a traditional home away from home for America’s Commander-in-Chief. However, with fears of the Cold War looming, it became much more than that. When it sought to expand into a new “West Virginia” wing, Congress stepped in and had them construct a secret bunker underneath to house them in case of impending nuclear war. Not only that, in order to remain in a state of emergency readiness, Congress set up a nearby dummy corporation to house the staff that would support them in case of emergency. Ultimately, it was discovered in 1992 by the Washington Post and Congress had to discontinue it as a site, since its usefulness depended on its secrecy. They had even had it constructed such that broadcasts out mirrored the backdrops of their broadcast offices in DC, so that it would appear as if they had not relocated. It was never used, and now the Greenbrier is only prepared to offer service to presidents and other luxury-minded travelers in peacetime. So I’d advise checking out The Greenbrier on your next vacation, both for its quirky top-secret government hideaway and for the wonderful accommodations that lured generations of presidents in the first place.

 

 


I Declare: Exclusive Rates at the Keswick Hall at Monticello

November 21, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

We’re proud to announce that the Keswick Hall at Monticello is now offering specially exclusive Five Star Alliance rates, and I, for one, am tickled pink at the thought of heading down there. Located in Monticello, Keswick makes its home in a region fit to hold the house of many a founding father in its rolling landscape. The father found the most around Keswick is Thomas Jefferson himself, the author of the Declaration of Independence and famous as a collector of books. Keswick reinvigorates the 18th century equestrian lifestyle with modern amenities, supplementing hiking, biking, and fly fishing with its very own 18-hole golf course and luxurious spa. Framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll never feel more at home at a traditionally American hotel.

And these special rates just sweeten the deal.  We know you love free things, so good through 2012, Five Star Alliance guests who book our rate get a free room upgrade on arrival and a wine tasting for two. The room upgrade is subject to availability, of course, and the wine tasting is subject to your desire to enjoy some seriously fine American wines in the Virginia tradition. So if your idea of a vacation is getting away with that special someone and enjoying a glass of fermented grape, look no further than the Keswick Hall at Monticello.