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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.

Sensational Summer Rates at Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jamaica InnBook a summer getaway to the Caribbean and experience real value at the award-winning Jamaica Inn, consistently awarded prestigious accolades and considered one of the finest properties in the region. Indeed, Travel and Leisure recently ranked Jamaica Inn among the Top 3 Hotels in the Caribbean for the World's Best Hotel Values (March 2008 issue). Summer rates have officially kicked in so now's the time to snag a real deal at this elegant 47-room property situated on the premier beach in Jamaica. Choose the "Quick Fix Getaway," priced at $1,541, and you'll enjoy three nights in a Deluxe Verandah Suite inclusive of Private Roundtrip Transfers from the Montego Bay Airport, Breakfast and Dinner Daily, and one 1-Hour Massage at the KiYara Ocean Spa per person. Or book the "5 for 4 Special" and you'll get a 5th night free when you pay for 4 nights! Available in the Superior Balcony Suite, the Deluxe Verandah Suite and the Premier Verandah Suite rates only. Or choose the "Girlfriends' Retreat," priced from just $1,661 for a four night stay, and you'll luxuriate in bliss at the KiYara Ocean Spa with a 1 hour and 45 minute treatment including a Cooling Aloe Mint Body Cleanser, a KiYara Deep Stress Relief Massage, and a Hydrating Aroma Facial per person. Breakfast is also included.

All the above-mentioned packages are available from May 1-October 31, 2008. The hotel will be closed from August 31-September 28, 2008 for their annual renovations.


Room with a View of Venice at Hotel Danieli


By: Madelyn Giblin

Hotel Danieli VeniceStaying in Venice has never been this convenient! From now until the end of August, travelers in Venice looking for accommodations mid-week can take advantage of the Hotel Danieli's reduced rates Sunday through Thursdays. Book one of the Hotel's luxurious Lagoon View double rooms with rates starting at Euro 420,00 per room, per night including tax. The Hotel Danieli is one of Venice's finest, with a variety of amenites as well as spectacular, breathtaking views of the canals and the Venetian sunset. The Hotel is located close to a multitude of interesting landmarks including the Bridge of Sighs and Piazza San Marco.

Space is limited, so hurry!


The New Dim Sum Brunch at Shanghai Terrace, The Peninsula Chicago


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Chicago terraceFoodies flock to The Peninsula Chicago's Shanghai Terrace for the best Chinese food in the city served on a fantastic open-air terrace amidst the skyscrapers. Inside, you'll enjoy the 1930s supper club atmosphere. And now, in addition to the fabulous Shanghainese and Cantonese dishes, Shanghai Terrace serves an elegant Dim Sum Brunch with over 30 selections of dim sum. At the new "Yum Cha at The Pen," diners can also sample drinks from the intriguing Asian tea menu. This brunch is offered from 12 noon to 2:30 pm on Sundays.

P.S. Shanghai Terrace recently introduced special lunch selections created with the busy executive in mind: The Health, Happiness, and Wealth bento boxes. The Health box ($24) features Soup of the Day, Mushroom Salad, Tofu, Ginger Fried Rice and Crème Brulée dessert. The Happiness bento box ($32) includes Soup of the Day, Asian Chicken Salad, Steamed Cod Fish, Singapore Noodles and Crème Brulée, while the Wealth bento box ($36) offers Soup of the Day, Shanghai Roll, Black Pepper Beef, Seafood Fried Rice and Crème Brulée.


The “41″ Seven-Step Program: Get Engaged in London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

41 Hotel, London, RomanceGetting ready to pop the question? London's luxurious "41" Hotel can help. "41" will set the perfect mood for you and your loved one by helping plan every detail (and ensuring that she says yes!) Simply book "41's" Romantically Package, which includes elegant accommodations, a red rose on arrival, and a choice of optional extras (think Veuve Cliquot Champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, Champagne breakfast, multi-course meal at one of London's leading restaurants, romance basket with body paint and bath oils). Just a hop from Buckingham Palace, "41" is renowned for its superb service so it's guaranteed that the staff will make your engagement a magical moment, irresistible to refuse. Starting from GBP 245 in an Executive Double Room.


Doggie Happy Hour at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria, Virginia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Doggie Happy Hour at Hotel MonacoBring your four-legged friend to the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco Alexandria every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. As pointed out by the good folks at Daily Candy, both "pups and peeps" will have a great time at this pet-friendly gathering. The hotel even has a Director of Pet Relations "Charlie" (described as a "very handsome Bischon"). Nestled in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria just minutes from Washington D.C., the Hotel Monaco recently emerged from an elaborate mega-renovation. At the Doggie Happy Hour, Fido can chow down on complimentary gourmet doggie snacks while you feast on regional American cuisine from the adjacent restaurant Jackson 20-- focusing on ingredients sourced from local waters and nearby farms.


Hot Dining in Lausanne: New Sushi Bar at the Beau-Rivage Palace


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beau-Rivage Palace, LausanneThe award-winning Beau-Rivage Palace knows a thing or two about gastronomy. As described by Travel and Leisure, the hotel is "considered by many to be the finest hotel in Switzerland" and Coco Chanel herself lived in one of the 29 suites. The Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant, La Rotonde, boasts an exquisite setting in the center of a park with views of the Alps and Lac Leman. (The wine selection is mind-blowing.) The Café Beau-Rivage is a deluxe brasserie with a large lakeside terrace. And just opened last Fall: the stylish, contemporary Miyako Lausanne, serving traditional Japanese cuisine with sushi and sashimi prepared on the spot.


“We Pay the Tax While You Just Relax” Weekend Package from Omni Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Omni HoustonGetting ready to get your Economic Stimulus Plan check? The Omni Orlando Resort and the Omni Hotels Texas Collection have come up with a clever weekend package to celebrate tax refunds. With your extra cash, treat yourself with a weekend vacay, invest in the economy, and get all sorts of credits including a $25 American Express gift card and $25 hotel food and bev credit. Additionally, Omni will pay all local and state taxes on the guests' room rate (and in Florida, hotel tax ain't cheap!) rather than guests giving a portion of their extra money back to the government. Package rates start at $179 per night; available May 1- September 30, 2008. Head to the Lone Star State and enjoy luxurious amenities at the Omni Houston Hotel, including complimentary Wifi and custom-designed four-, six- or nine-course meals at Noé Restaurant. At Omni's Orlando resort, take up golf lessons at the world headquarters of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.


Hotel Credit at the Newly-Opened Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons St. LouisThe swankiest hotel to hit St. Louis is open and ready for business. The 19-storey tower of luxury on the banks of the Mississippi has a great location and unrivaled views of the iconic Gateway Arch. You'll enjoy signature Four Seasons service, 24-hour service at the business center, and the city's most comprehensive menu of treatments at the spa. Enjoy a stay at this strikingly modern Four Seasons hotel with a special package that offers a $100 credit per room per stay to be used towards accommodations or incidentals. The two-night package starts from just $245 per night and is available until December 31, 2008.


Great Price with Free Amenities Included at Hotel Claris, Barcelona


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Claris, BarcelonaA stay at one of the prettiest boutique hotels in Barcelona, complete with a rooftop swimming pool and a museum-quality art collection, can be yours starting from just EUR 219. Hotel Claris has a fantastic location on Paseo de Gracia smack dab in the middle of the city. The two-night "Enjoy Barcelona" package includes all sorts of free add-ons-- like daily buffet breakfast, a bottle of Spanish red wine, use of a Mercedes Smart car for 1/2 day to enjoy Barcelona at your own pace, daily newspaper, parking, late-check out, and tickets to the Barcelona Egyptian Museum with the possibility of a guided tour with an Egyptologist. And that's not all. Lucky guests will also enjoy a themed guided tour in the city center accompanied by a team of professionals passionate about Barcelona. Choose either the Modernist Tour (admire the master works of the modernist architects like Antoni Gaudí at the Eixample), Picasso Tour (follow in the footsteps of Picasso), Gothic Tour (discover the city's history as you stroll through one of the best preserved medieval districts in the world) or Gourmet Tour (enjoy a flavor-filled journey through the old town and discover Barcelona's gastronomic culture).


Anantara Resort Golden Triangle, Thailand: King’s Cup Elephant Polo, Elephant Trekking and the Elephant Camp


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Resort Golden TriangleOverlooking the rugged hills of Laos and Burma and the winding Mekong River in Thailand's mystical Golden Triangle region, Anantara Resort is a luxury nature retreat set on 160 acres of tropical jungle. The resort is just as evocative as its surroundings. From your private balcony with a built-in sofa, you can check out the views of three different countries! The 58 guest rooms feature traditional Thai art, hardwood floors, and open bathrooms with oversized tubs for two. Go elephant trekking, learn exotic Thai flavors at the resort's own cooking school, take a guided excursion to Burma's colorful markets. The resort offers myriad conservation activities, and the luxurious facilities include a hilltop infinity pool overlooking the Mekong valley, pampering Anantara Spa, and signature restaurants.

Elephant Polo at AnantaraAs we've been eagerly anticipating for months, Anantara Resort Golden Triangle recently hosted the 7th King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament on a new polo pitch set just feet from the Ruak River dividing Thailand from Burma. From March 31-April 6, 2008, 12 elite teams battled it out. (There was even an all-female London-Irish team!) After some exciting matches, the Mercedes team clinched the title in a close finish against Chivas Regal of Scotland. But the real winners? The elephants themselves, as the tournaments raise money for the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. Over $200,000 has been raised to help provide protection for the threatened Thai elephant. In fact, Anantara Resort is praised for its on-site Elephant Camp where some 27 elephants are in residence. Funds have been used for a custom-built elephant ambulance and a (powder) milk bank for baby elephants.