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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.

Las Vegas Sands Plans Resort for Hengqin Island, China

January 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sands Macau

It's good to go. As reported by Reuters, the Chinese government has given the thumbs up to Las Vegas Sands for its $9-$12 billion resort project slated for the small island of Hengqin, located near the world's gambling capital of Macau. Las Vegas Sands has already set up its first casino in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. The Sands Macau opened in 2004 and the Venetian Macau (the $800 million dollar sister hotel to Las Vegas's Venetian) is just months away from launch. The company's plan for Hengqin covers about 80 million square feet of space, with the resort initially opening its doors in the summer of 2008. Las Vegas Sands is hoping to break ground before the Chinese New Year in February. With the new Venetian Hengqin International Convention and Resort, Las Vegas Sands will solidify its role as one of the top resort developers in Asia.

Related Articles:

The World's Gambling Capital Shifts East: The Mad Macau Makeover


Maison 140, Beverly Hills: Vin et Fromage Tasting Series

January 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maison 140

Right in the heart of Beverly Hills, there is a perfectly stylish pied-a-terre managed by Kor Hotels (of Viceroy Santa Monica and Tides Miami fame). Maison 140 is an intimate, 43-room boutique hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler Interior Design with a contemporary (and Asian) twist on the classic Parisian inns of the last century. This unique luxury hotel toasts 2007 with a Vin et Fromage Tasting Series at the swanky Bar Noir. The monthly wine and cheese tasting event is hosted by Avalon's Gabrier Gil and Cindi Byun, along with Viceroy's Ben Meyer. Sessions will be held the third or fourth Monday of each month, and will feature a themed selection of labels, international cheeses, and specially-created canapés. Guests enjoy a fun-filled evening while learning about vintage history, tasting notes, and the proper pairing of cheese and wine. Vin et Fromage 2007 begins on January 22, 2007 with Fireplace Cabernets, paired with artisanal cheeses from classic Cabernet regions around the world. Each event is priced at $45 per person and runs from 6:30-8:30 pm. Parking is complimentary. Reservations are recommended, and a special $40 per person rate is offered with advance purchase. Note: You can also book privately scheduled Vin et Fromage sessions for that next business meeting or celebratory event.


Chateau Mcely, Czech Republic: Historical Grandeur Restored

January 10, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau Mcely

Welcome to the most luxurious hotel in the Czech Republic. (According to Dolce Vita magazine, anyway.) A proud member of Small Luxury Hotels, Chateau Mcely has opened as a five star hotel after an incredible renovation project. The former rural manor of the Thurn-Taxis aristocracy, the 17th century castle has a long and fascinating history. It is situated in the middle of the legendary St. George Forest above a small village, just an hour's drive from Prague. When the current owners discovered the property, it was a devastated ruin. The restoration of the chateau was close to miraculous; the sensitive attention to detail won the hotel an award for the "Best of Realty 2006 in Hotel Projects." Situated next to the lush Jabkenice Game Park (1,200 acres of forest and fish-filled lakes, with excellent walking trails), Chateau Mcely provides beautiful vistas for as far as the eye can see. The 24 guest rooms and suites are exquisitely decorated, each with its own style and name. Enjoy an aperitif at the Alchymist Bar and Plate Hall; choose from the fine selection of Czech and international wines, drinks, and single malt whiskies. Indulge in a massage at the Wellness Center. Go on a hot-air balloon ride, or marvel at the beautiful surrounding landscape on the ground, with the assistance of the Forestry Center.


Golf Improvement Program at Sea Island Resort, Georgia

January 10, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Golf Improvement Program

Ranked number 1 in Golf Digest's "75 Best Golf Resorts in North America," Sea Island Resort boasts 54 holes of elegant fairways and greens. The three championship golf courses include the Seaside Course (updated in 1999 by Tom Fazio and now considered one of the top 100 courses in the US), the Plantation Course (a dazzling mix of ancient live oak forest and tidal creeks, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean), and the Retreat Course (designed by PGA Champion Davis Love III). On March 15-17, 2007, join five of the resort's nationally recognized instructors-- Jack Lumpkin, Todd Anderson, Mike Shannon, Randy Myers, Dr. Morris Pickens-- for the intensive 16-hour evaluation and instruction program. On the first day, experience a four hour evaluation of your game, equipment, body and mind. Then, on the second and third day, spend five and a half hours working on a program that is specifically designed to improve the weak areas of your game. (Includes optional afternoon lesson, video analysis using V1 computer graphics and swing comparison with take home video or DVD, and a club fitting using Trackman Launch Monitor.) $3,300 per person, with Sea Island gift bag and notebook, and dinner with the Instructors on the first night. Limited to ten students.


Suite Luxury at The Madison DC

January 10, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

In yet another installment of our series on the highest luxury level suites at the best hotels worldwide, below you can find more information (and some awesome photos) regarding the Presidential and Royal Suites at The Madison, a Loews Hotel in Washington, DC. Enjoy.

Presidential Suite

Location: 15th Floor, Size: 1370 sq. feet

Description:

Includes the Main Parlor/Master Bedchamber, Bedchamber Two, and may connect to additional rooms. The Presidential Suite features antique furniture and objet d'art throughout, unique imported fabrics from Italy and France, marble foyer, butler's pantry, dining area with stately Charleston dining table with Hepplewhite shield back mahogany chairs, large sitting area, 52" plasma TV with surround sound speakers, and custom designed US Axminster carpets. (See images after the jump below)

Royal Suite

Location: 15th Floor, Size: 1320 sq. feet

Description:

Includes the Main Parlor/Master Bedroom, and may connect to additional rooms. The suite includes a private balcony, butler’s pantry, powder room, large flat screen TV, foyer with marble floor, coat closet, sunken living area dressed in golds, peaches and greens, sitting alcove, ad black lacquer dining table with fully upholstered chairs.

View pictures of the rooms after the jump ...

The view from the Presidential Suite

Madison Presidential Suite

The Parlor of the Presidential Suite

The Madison Presidential Suite Parlor

The Bedroom of the Royal Suite

The Madison Royal Suite Bedroom

The Parlor of the Royal Suite

The Madison Royal Suite Parlor

Check Availability, Details, Photos and Make Reservations »


Give your Valentine the Gift of Good Health with Four Seasons Chicago

January 10, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Chicago

Diamonds? Chocolate? Pink hearts and white doilies? Who needs 'em when you can really do Valentine's Day right with the My Healthy Valentine Package in Chicago. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago has partnered with the Center for Partnership Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to create an unforgettable Valentine's Day experience. Take care of your heart--and the heart of your beloved--with the My Healthy Valentine Package. Experience a romantic getaway at the plush Four Seasons as well as a comprehensive physical and one-of-a-kind health assessment from the Center for Partnership Medicine with top specialists. (In addition to the physical and screenings, dieticians will help you develop nutrition and exercise plans for a healthy lifestyle for the New Year.) After your physicals, check into your luxurious suite at Four Seasons and let the pampering begin. The package includes the Couples Harmony Massage in the Spa, a romantic, candle-lit dinner in your room featuring a healthy menu specially prepared by Executive Chef Kevin Hickey , and an in-room welcome amenity of red wine and dark chocolate as well as signed copies of Dr. Michael Roizen's YOU: On a Diet and YOU: The Owner's Manual. The one-night package rate begins at $8,900 per night, including the health experience. Rates for additional nights begin at $635.


Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains: Sir Richard Branson’s Euro-Chic Morocco

January 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kasbah Tamadot

Perched high in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, just 45 minutes from Marrakech, Virgin's latest retreat is the ultimate luxury hideaway. The sumptuous Kasbah Tamadot boasts one of the most dramatic views on earth: soaring mountain peaks above hillside Berber villages and the river valley beneath. The grounds are meticulously landscaped with rose, fruit, and cactus plants, enhanced by courtyards, terraces, and the gorgeous infinity pool. There is a spa, gym, hammam, tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, and acclaimed restaurant with sweeping views. The accommodations are nothing short of magnificent: each room is individually designed with terracotta tiles, patterned rugs, antique doors, and hand painted furniture. The three-bedroom master suite, called "The Studio," is situated away from the main building in its own private haven beyond the rose garden. It is rich in architectural detail, with all the luxurious contemporary conveniences. The lower level has two spacious bedrooms (one with a private pool). There is another bedroom on the upper level with an expansive roof terrace.


Cuisines of Asia Demo and Dinner Series: Echo Restaurant, Palm Beach

January 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Echo, The Breakers, Palm Beach

Located at the world-famous Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Echo restaurant serves diverse and delicious flavors of Asia in a lovely setting accented by vibrant decor and Asian-influenced art. The menu is composed of the Five Elements; make your selections from Wind (small plates to begin the journey, Fire (the wok), Water (beverages, sushi, seafood and shellfish), Earth (meat, game, poultry, and produce), and to complete your trip, Flavor (desserts and sweets). Back by popular demand, Echo is resuming its wildly successful Demo and Dinner Series this January. Enjoy a series of interactive evenings with the restaurant's most popular Asian dishes prepared before your eyes. The four-course dinner features a half-price specialty drink to complement the cuisine and is priced at $70 per person. The series begins with The Art of Japanese Cuisine on January 10, 2007. The Art of Thai Cuisine will take place on February 7, followed by The Art of Chinese Cuisine on March 7, and The Art of Vietnamese Cuisine on April 11.


Carnival in Curacao: Special Winter Rates at Hotel Kura Hulanda

January 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Kura Hulanda

Soft sandy beaches. Excellent scuba diving. Beautifully colored colonial houses and architecture that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A vibrant cultural melange (including Arawak, Dutch, Spanish, West Indian, Latin, and African). Lively nightlife. Curucao has it all. And in the winter months, these islands-- about 35 miles north of Venezuela and a 2 1/2 hour flight from Miami-- host one of the best festivals in the Caribbean: Curacao's Carnival. As described by Fodor's:

Starting in early January, street dances, parades and parties -- called "Jump-ups" -- get underway every weekend through the end of Carnival. The main parades, featuring fantastic floats and costumes, take place in February and early March. (Parade routes vary from year to year, so ask your hotel concierge about special seating for tourists.)

Where to stay? Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino is the only five-star hotel in Curacao. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, the hotel and its new sister property, Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club, are located in central Willemstad, overlooking the glorious St. Anna Bay. Kura Hulanda is itself a museum, offering a superb collection of 18th and 19th century architecture in this Dutch Colonial historic district. The 80-room luxury boutique hotel is nestled within a village complex which is part of this exciting historic and environmental preservation project. Take advantage of an excellent Winter Value Rate of $210 per room, per night at both properties, available until April 8, 2007.


Ski the Pyrenees in Cauterets, France

January 8, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cauterets

Fringed by the tall, snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees, the French village of Cauterets is a picturesque resort destination, famed for its seasonal recreational activities. In the winter, Cauterets is almost always shrouded in a thick blanket of snow, and entices skiers and snowboarders of all levels to hit the slopes carved from the surrounding mountains. This year's scant snowfall has compelled most French ski resorts in the Pyrenees to close-- with the exception of Cauterets, of course. The town's proximity to some of the best hiking trails in France (the National Park of the Pyrenees straddles the Franco-Spanish border and boasts a wealth of natural beauty) ensures plenty of summertime visitors as well. After a day on the slopes, relax fatigued muscles in Les Thermes, the Roman style bath complex fed by hot springs. (The naturally-warm water may reek of rotten eggs, but the jet pools and showers are divine.) Sip an aperitif at one of many cozy bars or hit the casino, located near the river which flows through the town. At the small covered market, foodies drool over perfect wedges of local cheese, homemade blueberry torte, and seasoned charcuterie. Note: most shops are only open in the morning and evening hours.