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.

Design Your Own Italian Itinerary with Orient-Express Hotels in Venice, Florence, Portofino and Ravello

July 30, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel CarusoDiscover Italy's glorious destinations while staying at true gems of refined hospitality. With a new special offer, Orient-Express allows guests to customize their own itineraries with exclusive add-ons. When you reserve a minimum of 6 nights in at least two Orient-Express hotels in Italy, you gain access to your personal private capital of "Golden Coins"- a virtual currency by which you can "buy" value-added amenities of your choice. There is a tempting menu of choices, ranging from private limousine transfers to pampering spa and beauty treatments, from memorable experiences to very romantic options. For example: when you stay 3 nights, you get 9 golden coins with which you could treat yourself to a 50-minute Renew Rose Radiance Facial (1 credit), a 3-hour guided walking tour of "Secret Venice" (3 credits), a chilled bottle of French champagne with cold canapés served wherever you like on the hotel premises (2 credits), a romantic dinner for two served in the secluded privacy of your terrace (3 credits), and many more specially designed services!

With the "Italy, My Way" package, you can customize your stay exactly as you want- at no extra cost. And if this isn't enough, every day you also get full American breakfast, served at the hotel's restaurant or in the privacy of your room, as well as one à la carte meal (either lunch or dinner) with regional wines, served in the hotel's fine dining room. Pricing is as follows:

Villa San MicheleHotel Caruso (pictured, top right), the spectacular cliffside hideaway on the Amalfi Coast: Three nights for EUR 3,300

Hotel Splendido, Europe's legendary resort overlooking Portofino: Three nights for EUR 3,750

Villa San Michele (pictured bottom right), the picturesque Florentine estate housed in a converted 15th century Franciscan monastery in the hills outside Florence: Three nights for EUR 3,750

Hotel Cipriani, the splendid Venetian resort located at the tip of Giudecca Island a short boat ride from St. Mark's Square: Three nights for EUR 4,650


July 30, 2008
By: Madelyn Giblin

Rosewood CaribbeanThere's no better time to escape to the Caribbean than this summer and fall with Rosewood Resorts Escape Rates. The dreamy Caneel Bay Resort is offering rates from $325 for bed and breakfast through September 2nd. With spectacular window views overlooking pristine white sand beaches, Caneel Beach is perfect for forgetting your work week woes.

Rosewood's Little Dix Bay is also offering discounted rates of $425 for bed and breakfast from now until December 19th. With brand new villas just opened Little Dix Bay offers the ultimate luxury Caribbean vacation.

Buzz: North America’s First Shangri-La Hotel Will Open in January 2009 in Vancouver

July 30, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La Hotel, VancouverWe love us some Shangri-La style, and now the Hong-Kong based hotel chain (of deluxe five-star properties) is coming to the Americas. The company currently owns and/or manages 55 hotels in Asia, Australia and the Middle East, and soon-- in just six months--Vancouver guests will get a taste of this renowned Asian hospitality. (Think welcome tea awaiting at arrival and wireless in-room check-in.) The Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver has just topped 61 stories (647 feet), making it the tallest building in the city. Notably, this multi-purpose complex was built to LEED green building standards, and the environmentally-friendly space will also house residential living, high-end shopping, restaurants, and an outdoor public art space curated by the Vancouver Art Gallery. The 119-room hotel will have some of the largest guest rooms in Canada (averaging 592 square feet) and fabulous in-room entertainment centers and spacious bathrooms. Also on-site: CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La offering a range of therapies based on the ancient healing traditions, philosophies and rituals of China and the Himalayas. Let the six-month countdown begin!

A “Mag” of a Deal at Hotel ZaZa Houston

July 30, 2008
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Hotel Zaza HoustonHotel ZaZa, the most exquisite luxurious accommodations in Houston, is offering a "Mag" of a Deal from now until August 30, 2008. Stay one night in one of their magnificent seven suites and get the second night at half price. Each of the luxurious suites have private access, breath taking views, whirlpool tubs, chandeliers and other exquisite appointments. You can choose from 1 or 2 bedroom plans. With names like Rock Star, Houston We Have A Problem (pictured), Black Label, and Tycoon, your uniquely decorated suite will embody the decadent urban resort with a mix of glamorous warmth, high style and creative comforts that the Hotel ZaZa is known. Located in the Houston Museum district, the Hotel ZaZa Magnificant Suites provides the perfect accommodations, whether it is for private events, intimate meetings or just overnight.

Ritz-Carlton Takes Over Management of St. Regis Fort Lauderdale

July 30, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Fort LauderdaleThe oceanfront paradise on Florida's Gold Coast will soon be taken over by Ritz-Carlton. Celebrating its first anniversary this year, this ultra-luxury beach resort is distinguished by its service (a private army of St. Regis butlers) and indulgent facilities. The St. Regis Fort Lauderdale boasts unobstructed views of the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway from the 192 guest rooms, decorated by the celebrated interior designers, Hirsch Bedner Associates. Come August 11, 2008, Ritz-Carlton will take over management of the property. Reminiscent of the grand ocean liners of a bygone era, designed to evoke the glamorous era of vintage yachting, the stylish resort is home to the largest oceanfront ballroom in the city and a gorgeous spa. Until the hand-over, St. Regis is offering a First Anniversary Package that includes overnight accommodations, a complimentary third night with two paid nights (adjusted at checkout), half bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, strawberries and overnight parking for one vehicle per stay. From $289 per night with a two-night minimum.

America’s Best Restroom: 21C Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky?

July 29, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

21C Museum Hotel, LouisvilleNo joke, you can vote for 2008's best public restroom and help crown the King of all Thrones. The nominees are in, and the swank 21C Museum Hotel tops the list. Since it opened in Louisville, Kentucky, the hotel has grabbed the media's attention with its innovative concept: a 91-room hotel dedicated to world-class luxury and contemporary art from living artists, exhibited throughout its galleries and public space. Already voted? Plan a trip to the destination hotel in Louisville that has everyone talking. You'll swoon over the award-winning design and décor, and relish the upscale offerings: iPods with a wide variety of music for guests' listening pleasure, poster art, 42" HDTV flat screen televisions, WiFi, 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets imported from Italy, silver mint julep cups, gourmet coffee makers, mini-bar refrigerators, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, and penguins galore! Daily Candy recently pointed out a pretty fabulous special offer- snag a free third night at 21C when you pay for two!

Anti-Jet Lag Experience and Free Nights at Le Meridien Barcelona

July 29, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Meridien BarcelonaHave an early morning arrival in Barcelona? Le Meridien Barcelona, perfectly situated on the famous boulevard Las Ramblas, understands how red-eye flights to Europe require a little pampering and energy! When you arrive at Le Meridien, you'll be greeted with a freshly-brewed premium Illy coffee and a pastry of your choice to stimulate your senses and get you ready for your day. The hotel even allows early check-in at 10 a.m. so you don't have to wait around for your room! Refresh in your contemporary-style room and enjoy luxurious amenities like the blissful Rain Shower, pillow-top mattress with feather down duvet, and plasma TVs and smaller LCD TV in the bathroom. The "Arrive Early and Be Ready" package also includes a full buffet breakfast in the hotel's signature restaurant Cent Onze overlooking Las Ramblas and is priced from EUR 249 in Deluxe Room accommodations. Escape to Barcelona this summer and discover an exciting cultural mecca with Gaudi's vibrant architecture, lively cafés and bars, and sun-splashed beaches. The longer you stay, the better the discount you get at Le Meridien Barcelona. Stay 2 nights, get 20 percent off... Stay 3 nights, get the third night for free... Stay 4 nights, get the fourth night for free...

Live La Dolce Vita like a Medici at Villa La Massa, Florence

July 28, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa La Massa, FlorenceIf you could imagine savoring the artistic and cultural riches of Florence without the crowds, what comes to mind? A 16th century Medici-style villa in a tiny village in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, just a few miles outside of Florence? On the banks of the Arno River, no less? With a guest list that includes celebs like Clark Gable, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? This little piece of paradise does in fact exist. Indeed David Bowie and Iman took over the Villa La Massa for their wedding. Owned by the same folks who run the magnificent Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the Villa La Massa is brimming with ancient frescoes and luxurious touches. After its major spruce-up in 1998, the New York Times raved:

Beyond the iron gates of the buttercream villa with sage window shutters, there is a four-story atrium in the main building decorated with the flags of Tuscan nobles, dark antique furniture and pots of white flowers. All 34 guest rooms are furnished with antiques, silks and brocades, and linen sheets. Many feature oversize bathrooms of a pale green Iranian marble called Verde Atlantide.

There is a majestic 22-acre park surrounding the villa, and the seasonal produce from the chef's garden is served in Il Verrocchio restaurant on a terrace overlooking the Arno River and famous Rufina hills. The breakfast buffet is sumptuous: fruit juices, fruit, cheeses, Tuscan cured meats, cereals, yogurt, organic jams and marmalade, prosecco, and fresh eggs straight from the hotel's hen-house, cooked to the clients requests.

Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport: Rejuvenate in Style when Traveling to Malaysia

July 28, 2008
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International AirportFlying into or out of Kuala Lumpur? Or maybe you have a long lay-over between flights? Travel-weary guests nest at the Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport, easily the best airport hotel in Asia. Conveniently located next to the main terminal building (connected via a sky-bridge), this award-winning hotel provides a slew of five-star services and amenities to make your travel experience as stress-free and painless as possible. Can't even handle the five minutes walk to the hotel? No worries- there's a complimentary buggy shuttle service between the airport and the hotel. The Pan Pacific understands that time is valuable, so the hotel has introduced a hotel check-in counter at the airport so that you can check into your room while waiting for your baggage. With lush tropical landscaping, a sparkling pool, and fully-equipped 24-hour fitness center, the Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport provides the ultimate rejuvenating break for jet-lagged travelers. Plus, the hotel is honoring Malaysia's 50th birthday with a special "Visit Malaysia 2008" package- where you get buffet breakfast and late check-out starting from just $137 per room.

Win a Free Island Hotel Stay with HotelChatter and Michael Kinsley

July 28, 2008
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Layover Contest HotelChatterOur friends over at HotelChatter have a fun contest running through Thursday, July 31st that we suggest you mull over (your suggestion is important) and enter.

"Pick a Layover Stop for Michael Kinsley and Win a Free Island Hotel Stay"

From HotelChatter:

That's right. We said "A Free Island Hotel Stay" and all you have to do is enter a comment on HotelChatter. For realz! Ok so we're slightly getting ahead of ourselves here but this is the 411.

Not all of us can enjoy a cushy layover in an airport hotel like the Grand Hyatt Dallas Fort Worth, but Condé Nast Traveler's Michael Kinsley is determined to find the best layover cities around the world in case we do get stranded somewhere with hours of nothing to do on our hands.

Kinsley actually completed this challenge back in 1988 but since that was before the internet, before boutique hotels became lodging staples and before low-cost-carriers took off, he's decided to make the trip again in September.

This time he wants suggestions from you readers about which airports he should check out in which cities and what he should do while he's there.

So we're teaming up with the Perrin Post and Jaunted to bring you this fun contest. If your layover suggestion gets picked for Kinsley's itinerary you could win a Palm Centro Smartphone. And if Kinsley finds your tip to be his absolute favorite, you could win a killer stay at The Regent Palms Turks and Caicos.

Keep reading to learn how to win these goodies and to enter >>