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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.

Winter Warm-Up at Keswick Hall: Third Night Free in Charlottesville, Virginia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Keswick HallHibernate in style at Keswick Hall, the magnificent estate managed by Orient Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises. Enjoy a winter sojourn in a destination that Thomas Jefferson called "Eden," just minutes from Jefferson's historic Monticello in the heart of the Virginia Piedmont. Explore the antique shops and delightful boutiques of Charlottesville, and go wine tasting in the surrounding vineyards. Return for an epic meal at the award-winning Fossett's Restaurant, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase a magnificent vista. Curl up with a good book in front of one of the many fireplaces. When you book the "Winter Sojourn" package, you pay for two nights and get the third night for free. Rates starting from $295 per night in a Signature Room.


Big Break in Boston: Winter Savings at the Taj, Langham, Liberty, and Charles Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Hotel BostonHeading to Boston? Now's your chance to score unbelievable deals at the city's most fashionable hotels: The Taj (the Grande Dame of Boston has the best possible address-- at the corner of Arlington and Newbury Streets overlooking the Public Garden), The Langham (the elegant national landmark housed in the former Federal Reserve Bank), the much-hyped Liberty Hotel (the notorious, historic jail recently converted into a luxury hotel), and The Charles (situated just off Harvard Square in nearby Cambridge.) The February rates couldn't be better, starting at $169 per night at The Taj, $185 at The Langham, $239 at The Charles, and $275 at The Liberty when you book with Five Star Alliance.


Traveler IQ Challenge: Check Out This Widget


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Warning: You will get hooked; work productivity will be threatened. After hearing about a new, highly-addictive travel widget making its rounds, we couldn't help but check it out. The Traveler IQ Challenge is an interactive geography quiz from the folks at Travel Pod. Can you make it to the last level?


Starwood’s Luxury Collection - Pulitzer is a Prize


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

With 70 properties worldwide, Starwood's Luxury Collection is a group of unique hotels and resorts offering exceptional service to an ultra-elite clientèle. Hotel PulitzerOne of those classic luxury properties is the Hotel Pulitzer. Overlooking two of the city's most picturesque canals, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht, Hotel Pulitzer is ideally located in the middle of the old city center of Amsterdam. This unique property is comprised of 25 restored 17th and 18th century canal houses. Each of the 230 distinctive guest rooms represents a small piece of Dutch history and culture. And although the hotel does have the historical feel and look, it also offers all the upgraded facilities and services of today - like wifi Internet, air conditioning, and full fitness facilities.

PS - I know the above title is cheesy - I had to do it - give me a break.


Ocean Front vs Ocean View Room Descriptions


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

People are frequently confused over the terms "ocean view" versus "ocean front" as found in hotel room descriptions. Cambridge Beaches oceanfrontMost beach resorts will try to best describe the room views to make sure guests are fully informed. In the rate terms, oceanfront (Cambridge Beaches pictured at left) means that you will have the best possible ocean views from your windows and, if available, balcony. Your room will be directly facing the ocean - frontage views. Of course, ocean-front rooms are always the most expensive as well. But if your idea is to lay in bed and look out over the ocean, these are the rooms that will guarantee you that opportunity.

 

On the other hand oceanview rooms (Cambridge Beaches pictured) will have some possible view of the ocean - whether it is out certain window to the side, available at an angle, or seen from the side of your balcony. Cambridge Beaches Ocean ViewOcean-view usually guarantees at least a sliver of ocean will be seen from somewhere inside, or even directly outside, your room. If seeing the ocean is really important to you - then you definitely need to reserve an ocean front room to be on the safe side and get the best possible views.


Smokin Hot Deal: La Perouse Hotel, Nice, French Riviera


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La PerouseNow's the time to jet to the Cote d'Azur for the biggest event of the season: The Carnival of Nice. Think crazy, colorful costumes, parades and pageantry, floats and fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais. The two-week extravaganza runs from February 16 – March 2, 2008. The place to stay is the elegant La Perouse Hotel, where rates can be found as low as EUR 130 per night in mid-February during the Carnival. Tucked into the hillside below the chateau and just a stroll from Old Nice, this charming hotel overlooks the Mediterranean. (These views of the Baie des Anges are what inspired artists like Matisse.) Note: If you book with Five Star Alliance, you get complimentary in-room continental breakfast.


Lie-flat Massage Seats in Business Class: Emirates Airlines Racks Up the Awards


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Emirates AirlinesFlying to Dubai? Go with Emirates Airlines, awarded top honors in a series of readers' choice awards: Best Airline in the Middle East, Best Business Class to the Middle East, Best Airline for First Class... And it's no wonder everybody's talking. The First Class privacy suites and updated lie-flat Business Class seats means an outstanding in-flight experience for passengers. The non-stop New York-Dubai flight almost passes too quickly with perks like these. The First Class suite has that fully-flat bed with in-seat massage, dine-on-demand service, a personal mini-bar, and sliding doors for the ultimate in privacy. Business class also has lots of space, and those famous lie-flat massage seats. Plus, the entertainment system features 1,000 different channels.


Singles in the City with Hotel FortySeven, Rome


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel FortysevenRoses and bubbly? Chocolates, pink hearts, hovering cupids? Who needs 'em! Valentine's Day looms but you can dodge that bullet with a perfectly-timed European escape to the Eternal City. The Hotel FortySeven in Rome has tailored a Made for Singles package perfect for you and your pals. Situated in Rome's historical center just across from the Temple of Vesta inside the Roman Forum, the Hotel FortySeven is a sleek boutique hotel where each of the five floors is dedicated to a 20th century Italian master: Mastroianni, Greco, Modigliani, Quagliata and Guccione. From each and every guest room, the city views are priceless. There's a beautifully landscaped Roof Garden, a downstairs Lounge for conversation and cocktails, and a gym with a Turkish bath. The offer includes two nights in a Deluxe Room or Suite, daily buffet breakfast, welcome drinks upon arrival, and your choice of a personal shopper for 2 hours or a personal trainer for 1 hour. Available from February 1- March 31, 2008, and July 15- August 31, 2008 (black-out dates: March 13-16, and March 22-24). Priced from EUR 650.


The New York Times Talks Business-Travel Blogs


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

We want to give a shout-out to the NYT for yesterday's reportage on blogs and business travel. Along with Gridskipper and CloudTravel, we were listed as an important resource for business travelers looking to get insights on destinations and flights.

Tracy Gamble, vice president for business development at Propylon, a software company, has found travel blogs to be a great resource. Ms. Gamble, who is based in Dallas and spends half her time traveling, reads three or four travel blogs regularly, including the Informed Traveler, CloudTravel and Gridskipper. "I regularly consult these blogs before making client dinner reservations," she said. She also uses them, she said, to keep up on travel news like changes in government security procedures.
Quoted from "Wisdom of the Web," Jane L. Levere


Bryant Park Hotel: The Essence of Chic in Midtown Manhattan


By: Christina Vasquez

Bryant ParkFor a first time visit to New York City, I have to say that ours was amazing. Not only were we able to spend the Christmas holiday in one of the most exciting cities in the world, but we were also able to stay at one of the most fashionably chic boutique hotels. The Bryant Park hotel is conveniently located in midtown and walking distance from major New York sites such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and major shopping on 5th avenue.

We were surprised at the contrast between the classic architecture of the exterior of Bryant Park and the ultra chic décor of the interior. We stayed in a Deluxe Room, which was very modern and stylish, with simple detail and a pleasing color palette. Be advised though that the Deluxe Room Categories do not have park views; however this did not make us enjoy our room any less. The plush bathrobes, the spa-grade sunken bath tub, Soundscape sleep machine, plasma screen television, and BOSE Sound system more than made up for the lack of park view. My only disappointment: the hotel's bar/lounge, Cellar, was closed during our stay (It's closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) - we visited Underbar at the W Hotel instead. That aside, the hotel's staff was courteous and unpretentious, and our concierge, Marco, was extremely helpful in getting us last-minute reservations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner at two wonderful restaurants!