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.

Capella Ixtapa to Open in November 2008 on Mexico’s Pacific Coast


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella IxtapaCapella Hotels and Resorts is bringing its brand new vision of luxury hospitality to the idyllic Pacific coast of Mexico at Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, a region blessed with 300 days of sunshine and world-class scuba diving and sport fishing. Founder Horst Schulze has created a brand focused on customer choice, with unmatched amenities, architecture, and individualized service. Top-tier travelers are delighted by the brand's first resorts in Velden, Austria and Cork, Ireland, and the Ixtapa property will surely dazzle. Built into a cliffside with staggering ocean views, the resort will feature 59 ultra-luxurious suites with indoor/outdoor living rooms, terraces, and personal plunge pools. What to expect? A pampering cliffside spa with treatments inspired by the local flora, complimentary bicycles to explore the village, fitness center, private beach, freshwater and saltwater pools, and exceptional dining. Set to debut on November 15, 2008, the Capella Ixtapa will complement the other Capella properties soon to open in Mexico: Capella Pedregal in Cabo and Capella Bahia Maroma in the Riviera Maya.


Fashionable Florida: Sun and Sand for the Whole Family at Acqualina Resort, Sunny Isles


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Acqualina ResortThere's a lot to love at Acqualina, Rosewood's Mediterranean villa-style resort situated on the sand between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, including off-season rates that are friendly on the wallet. Since its opening in 2006, this dazzling resort has pampered guests with the 20,000 square-foot ESPA oceanfront spa, the acclaimed Il Mulino New York restaurant, three oceanfront swimming pools and an innovative marine biology-based AcquaMarine children's program. Parents can enjoy world-class service and the ultimate relaxation, while kids are well taken care of (services on offer include arts and crafts classes, 24-hour babysitting, dinner-and-movie nights, and more.) Steal away for some r and r close to home and you'll be treated to some discounted rates starting at $350 for 3-4 night stays. During peak seasons, room rates top $850...


Pudong Shangri-La’s “Love Your Suite” Package


By: Madelyn Giblin

Pudong Shangri-LaSuites are special with the Pudong Shangri-La's "Love Your Suite" package available from now until February 28, 2009. Enjoy a stay in one of the Hotel’s fantastic Premier suites with complimentary access to the Horizon Club lounge and its host of benefits including complimentary broadband Internet access. Guests also receive a buffet dinner for two at Yi Café, the hotel's restaurant featuring 10 show kitchens offering a wide variety of international cuisine. The package also includes a signature "Chi Balance" treatment at CHI, the Spa at Shangri-La, and use of a hotel limousine for four hours in downtown Shanghai. Rates start at RMB5,888 per night.


Vienna’s Arts and Delights at the Hotel Ambassador


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ambassador Hotel ViennaFor more than 100 years, the Hotel Ambassador has been an integral part of Vienna's cultural life. Musicians have found their inspiration at this beautiful hotel, and masters like Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven have chosen this setting to present new compositions to the music-loving Viennese pubic. The Ambassador strives to combine arts and music, pleasure and relaxation in creating a luxurious atmosphere for its guests. And of course good food and wine are celebrated in this philosophy! The hotel's gourmet restaurant, "Mörwald im Ambassador", has an integrated open view kitchen and a winter garden overlooking the fountain by Raphael Donner, and the hotel's open-air café on the famous street Kärntner Straße is delightful in the summertime. The location can't be beat- with the State Opera, St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the Imperial Palace all within the vicinity. You can take advantage of last minute rates (within seven days of your check-in when the hotel has availability) at the Ambassador (starting at EUR 210 with Five Star Alliance), and the "Arts and Delights" package is another winner, with three nights of pure pleasure in this cosmopolitan Austrian destination. Priced from EUR 275, the package includes buffet breakfast, fresh fruit in-room upon arrival, late check-out, and admission to the Liechtenstein Museum and the Albertina. Plus, you'll enjoy complimentary champagne and finger food at the bar on the evening of your choice.


Kempinski Hotel Bristol: Celebrate 111 Years with EUR 111 Room Rates in Berlin


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kempinski Hotel BristolJump on this offer-- while it lasts! Berlin's glamorous Kempinski Hotel Bristol, the first five-star hotel to be rebuilt after the war and a symbol of the city itself, is celebrating a big birthday for the Kempinski Hotel Group. The Kempinski Bristol is the grande dame of the hotel group, the very reason for its name, and so it's marking the hotel company's major milestone with a fantastic offer. Enjoy accommodations in an elegant standard room and use of the Kempinski spa with pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness room-- for just EUR 111 per night! (The generous buffet breakfast can be purchased for EUR 25.) Valid until August 28, 2008, based on availability. Situated in the center of it all on Berlin's popular Kurfuerstendamm Boulevard, the Kempinski Hotel Bristol has hosted a slew of high-ranking guests over its distinguished history.

Via Halogen Guides Travel


Castello del Nero August Breeze Offer


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Castello del NeroHaven't you ever wanted to stay in a 12th century castle? Castello del Nero, is a fully restored castle with modern luxuries is located in Tuscany between Florence and Sienna. With many unique features such as a beautiful frescoed chapel and garden, Castello del Nero has 50 rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the estate olive groves and vineyards that are inhabited by peasant, deer and wild boar. The August Breeze package offers a minimum 2 night stay with complimentary buffet breakfast, sweet in room and mineral water, welcome 4 course dinner for 2 (excluding beverages), courtesy shuttle to and from the center of Florence, use of the gym, tennis and outdoor swimming pool (summer months) and daily newspaper. With this as a base you can explore the vineyards or take a cooking class or visit the many fine museums and art galleries of Florence.


St. James’s Club and Villas, Antigua: All-Inclusive Sale in the Caribbean for $299


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. James Club, AntiguaNow's your chance to escape for a blissful Caribbean holiday with savings up to 50 percent off the usual seasonal rates. Operated by Elite Island Resorts, the all-inclusive St. James's Club sits on an 100-acre estate boasting unobstructed ocean views and two white sandy beaches on the island of Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. The resort has a long-standing reputation for its exceptional service in a casual, club-like environment, with plenty of fun-filled activities and diversions. You'll enjoy complimentary non-motorized water sports such as kayaking and catamaran sailing, along with the four distinctive swimming pools, spa, tennis courts, and seaside fitness center. The resort is not just for couples; families love it too. Mom and Dad can lounge on the beach while the little ones are entertained at the award-winning Kidz Club. Elite Island Resorts is currently running a great promotion, the "$299 Island Sale"- so that you can snag a nightly rate of $299 (double) at all-inclusive properties like the St. James's Club, Palm Island, and the Verandah Resort and Spa-- including accommodations, meals, beverages, taxes and service charges. This deal is available until December 21, 2008, three-night minimum stay required.

PS. It's also possible to stay at St. James's Club on a room-only basis (not all-inclusive).


Canary Islands Getaway: Reconnect Package at Abama, A Ritz-Carlton Resort, in Tenerife


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Abama, Ritz-Carlton Resort, TenerifeSpain's Canary Islands may be crowded with tourists looking for a sunny holiday, but the Abama Golf and Spa Resort, operated by Ritz-Carlton, offers a little piece of paradise among all the bland tourist traps. The resort is vast and equipped with just about every convenience imaginable. Situated on a 160 hectare finca in a remote part of the island of Tenerife, the 478-room resort has it all: "Out of Africa"-inspired spa, 10 dining options, Dave Thomas-designed golf course, fitness center, Sánchez-Casal Tennis Academy, 8 swimming pools, and private beach accessed by a funicular from the hotel's cliff-top perch. The island of Tenerife itself is breathtakingly beautiful. Just 300 km from the African coast, just a bit north of the Tropic of Cancer, the "Island of Eternal Spring" boasts volcanic landscapes and lush vegetation surrounded by the blue Atlantic. And the views from the Moorish-style Abama Resort (and its exclusive beach) are mind-blowing. Book the Reconnect Package and you'll enjoy daily buffet breakfast, one spa experience per person, one tasting menu per person in the restaurant La Pampa Verona, and late check-out at 3 pm with your accommodations. Valid until October 31, 2008, the package starts at EUR 380 per night.


Cabo Azul: The Hottest New Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cabo Azul, Los Cabos, MexicoMexico dreaming? Just a short hop from the West coast, Los Cabos is a favorite destination for Hollywood A-listers looking for a quick getaway. Where the tip of the Baja Peninsula divides the Sea of Cortez from the vast Pacific, the resort destination has recently experienced a luxury-hotel construction boom. The latest on the scene, and named to Conde Nast Traveler's 2008 Hot List, is Cabo Azul, a beautiful 332-room property which CNT describes as "a well-kept secret"-- "tasteful despite its large scale." You can indulge in pure luxury at the state-of-the-art spa, or partake in massages in private cabanas on the beach. Take a dip in one of three huge pools overlooking the waves; this tri-level infinity pool is also the setting for fire bonfires in the evening. Retire to your villa and appreciate the thoughtful amenities including flat-screen TVs, whirlpool baths, double sinks, and full kitchens. You'll be so smitten with this place, you may even consider tying the knot here. The wedding services are top-notch, with a five-story open-air church set beside candlelit water walls.


Half Moon: How the Other Half Takes a Tax Break


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Half Moon JamaicaIf you are going to have a meeting then you need to think Half Moon, Jamaica. Why? Because article 25, paragraph 7 of the US Tax Code allows for meetings, conventions and seminars to be tax deductible. This includes accommodations, meals, meeting materials, ground and air transportation associated with your meeting, convention or seminar. Half Moon makes the ideal setting for your next meeting, convention or seminar with its 400 acre estate, 2 miles of private white sand beaches, impeccable designed and furnished rooms and suites, 27,000 square foot flex indoor meeting facilities, breathtaking outdoor event venues, state of the art communication technology, full service business centre, well trained creative event planning team with warm hospitable staff to attend to all the details, unrivaled recreations with championship gulf, horseback riding, tennis, water sports, dolphin encounters and more. The luxurious villa living features rooms with en-suite bathrooms, staffed with a personal butler, cook and housekeeper and private pool. So in planning your next rewards meeting, training seminar or society convention why not take advantage of the tax breaks and provide a sought after location for your attendees?