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.

Babymoons and More: Complimentary Fourth Night at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor GulchWinter is certainly not the only time to visit this Rocky Mountain luxury destination. Situated next to Beaver Creek Mountain and surrounded by vast, sublime wilderness, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch exudes the pioneering spirit of the American West. A year-round destination resort, guests can enjoy Colorado's highest rated golf courses, with preferred tee times courtesy of the private Red Sky Golf Club, countless outdoor adventures, Wolfgang Puck's Spago restaurant, and the unrivaled luxury of The Bachelor Gulch Spa, the Vail Valley's only Mobil Four-Star Spa. And of course this AAA Five-Diamond resort offers the finest service, in the Ritz-Carlton tradition, with a Guest Relations team who will help custom-design your Vail Valley experience even before your arrival. Here's a special for American-Express Cardholders: Book 3 consecutive nights at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and the fourth night is on the house! (Payment must be made by American Express card. Valid through September 30.) Plus, parents-to-be can enjoy a Babymoon Spa Experience at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulf, recently highlighted as a Deal of the Week by the New York Daily News. Start off with a 30-minute prenatal yoga class for moms-to-be while dads get personal training tips with a certified fitness instructor. Next, the couple will enjoy side-by-side massages (the women get the Mellow Mama Maternity Massage, while les hommes get the Bachelor Gulf Signature Massage.) You’ll also get a picnic for two. Available through October, with rates starting at $420.


What’s Hot: Edible Cocktails at the World’s Best Hotel Bars


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beverly Hills HotelEdible cocktails are all the rage. The barman at the Plaza Athenee in Paris makes a mean ice-cream cocktail. And Bar Nineteen 12 at the Beverly Hills Hotel serves solid gourmet shots like the blueberry martini, pear martini, and B-52 (made with Kahlúa, Baileys and Grand Marnier.) Let's not forget the three different types of sorbet cocktails: pomegranate mojito, grapefruit margarita, and lavender pear martini-- best eaten with a spoon. Now the brand new Regent Bal Harbour has introduced cocktails for dessert. Executive Chef Gerdy Rodriguez of 1Bleu has created some delightful concoctions like the Pina Colada of dark rum gelée, pineapple granite and coconut foam, and the Cosmopolitan of vodka gelée, orange sorbet, cranberry cloud and lime zest. Mmmm.

Image of Bar Nineteen 12 at the Beverly Hills Hotel Via LA Times


Groove with the Grapes: Summer Concerts, Spa and Golf Specials at Chateau Elan, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau ElanJust 40 minutes north of Atlanta, the Chateau Elan is a winery and resort that has it all- golf, a spa, and 3,500 acres of blissful quiet. There's a devoted clientele that continues to flock here (just check out the rave reviews on Five Star Alliance)- and it's easy to understand why: guests experience a little piece of the French countryside and five-star Southern hospitality not far from home. This summer, Chateau Elan will play host to a summer concert series where live bands will play your favorite beach music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s under the twinkling lights of the Winery Pavilion on select weekends through September. Enjoy a picnic with friends and dance lessons before grooving to the tunes. The upcoming show schedule:

July 26 - The Tams (a.k.a. Joe Pope Tams)

August 2 - Holiday Band

August 9 - The Embers

August 31 - Swingin' Medallion

In addition, Chateau Elan is offering a Summer Spa Special for a heavenly day at the spa. The Spa Day Package includes one 80-minute Ultimate Spa Massage followed by a 25-minute minute Château Refresher Facial, full use of all the Spa Facilities (locker room, sauna, whirlpool, fitness classes), and Afternoon Tea at the Spa. Priced at $199, from Monday-Thursday only. You can also take advantage of the Summer Golf Special and enjoy a Deluxe Overnight Stay for Two with unlimited golf play for two on the Chateau, Woodlands, and Par 3 Courses, for only $199. Must tee off after 3 pm on arrival day, and before Noon on the day of departure. Available Monday-Thursday, through August 28.


Toronto’s Buzzing: The Rooftop Bees at the Fairmont Royal York


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Royal YorkThe cat's out of the bag about the roof of the Paris Opera House, literally abuzz with bees producing gallons of gourmet honey for the city's urban beekeepers. But did you know that the rooftop of Toronto's grand landmark, The Fairmont Royal York, is also being used for that purpose? Hotelchatter reports that the hotel has added three beehives to its rooftop terrace where it will produce lots of honey for the hotel kitchen in addition to the vegetables and herbs grown there. The names of the hives? The Honey Moon Suite, The Royal Sweet and the V.I. Bee Suite. Smack dab in the center of the city, just steps from all the top sites in Canada's largest metropolis, the Fairmont Royal York has created a green, rooftop oasis buzzing with 40,000 bees. Take advantage of the hotel's B&B & Bee Package, and you can enjoy a daily tour to check out the beehives- Plus you'll get breakfast for two, valet parking, a $1 donation to the Toronto Beekeepers' Cooperative, and souvenir bee soap, along with your accommodations. Starting from $224.


Free Room, Food and Spa Treatments at Hotel Esencia, Playa del Carmen, Mexico


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

EsenciaTo honor the birthday of its founder (an actual Italian Duchess), the Hotel Esencia is going wild and giving guests a free night of lodging, dining, and spa treatments galore on August 24, 2008. This chic, 29-room hotel is nestled on the sugar-white beaches of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula just south of Playa del Carmen, and once served as the exclusive beach-side retreat of the Duchess D'Ferrari. The atmosphere is positively indulgent: luxurious accommodations with the finest linens and Molton Brown amenities, gorgeous pools, organic spa, exquisite Meso-american-style cuisine, and a beautifully manicured estate. Book the Duchess's Birthday Party Package and you'll get the free night's lodging, food, and spa treatments on August 24. Priced from $525 per night; four night minimum stay required. Via Washington Post


The Qasr Al Sharq: True Arabian Splendor with VIP Arrival at the Jeddah Airport, Penthouse Women’s Spa, and Personal Butlers


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Qasr Al SharqWe told you this place was swanky. The Qasr Al Sharq, otherwise known as the "Palace of the Orient," was recently written up as a "boutique hotel for the billionaire."

There are 130 pounds of gold leaf applied throughout the hotel, 600-thread-count sheets with gold embroidery on all the beds, and 220 staff – including a butler for each suite.

Situated on the Red Sea in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Qasr Al Sharq hosts both business travelers and guests interested in making pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina. (The hotel can arrange religious guides to escort guests.) Managed by the Waldorf-Astoria Collection, the hotel is known for its extravagant Palace Suite which goes for $13,500 a night, and the breathtaking lobby that houses a Swarovski chandelier with 600,000 crystals hanging over the three-story circular staircase. Considering that many guests are Saudi families who come to Jeddah on royal court business, the facilities and business amenities are second-to-none: laptop computers and personal fax lines supplied to each guest.


St. Regis Hotel Planned for the Rapidly Growing City of Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

DubaiThis just in: St. Regis is planning to enter the hotel craze in Dubai with a hotel and branded residences to open in 2012. As if the Middle East's hot spot needed any more uber-luxurious hotels. To quote the official press release:

Following in the tradition of the legendary The St. Regis New York, The St. Regis Dubai will feature the famed hallmarks of St. Regis hotels including the iconic St. Regis Butler Service, bespoke guest experiences and luxury accommodations tailored to global travelers. Trained in the English tradition, the butlers provide ever-present, yet unobtrusive service while anticipating guest and resident needs and customizing each stay according to his or her specific tastes and preferences.

Overlooking Dubai Creek, The St. Regis Dubai and The Residences will feature 220 guest rooms, including 44 Junior Suites, and 80 branded residences as well as three top-notch restaurants, two bars, a fitness center, swimming pool, shops and more than 4,500 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and banquet space.


Chic Picnic at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Chicago Water TowerJust minutes from the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue, and the Art Institute, the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower bids you welcome with world-class accommodations in a spectacular building overlooking the lake. This landmark building, designed by the French architect Jean-Paul Viguier as a 32-floor prism of glass, is a haven for modern design and architecture in the heart of Chicago's downtown. Here you'll be charmed as much by the sleek, designer rooms as by the service. And let's not forget the award-winning Café des Architectes, where Head Chef Gilles Arzur serves up skillfully crafted French cuisine beloved by a city full of foodies. This summer, the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower makes it easy to indulge in this haute cuisine, with a package that includes accommodations, full American breakfast, a three-course dinner at the hotel restaurant, and an assortment of 4 chocolates with a shot of sediment port wine. (Choose the "Haute Cuisine" package.) An even better way to enjoy the sultry Chicago summer? With the "Chic Picnic" offer, where the hotel packs a gourmet picnic basket with starters, main courses, desserts, and plenty of drinks and Champagne. You'll get late check-out, to boot. Available until August 31, 2008.


Take a Plane Tour of Dallas with the InterContinental Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental DallasSoar over the skies of Dallas and see it in a way that few people have ever experienced. The InterContinental Dallas has created an insider experience that allows guests the opportunity to see the city at its most thrilling: from the window of a historic biplane during a 30-minute tour. You'll be taken by private car to Addison Airport where you'll board the plane for an amazing flight over the sprawling city. With this package, you'll also enjoy breakfast for two in the hotel, a welcome gift, and late check-out along with your luxurious accommodations. Priced from $349 per night.


Children on Stage in London - The Montague’s Unique for the Kids


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Montague on the GardensThe Montague on the Gardens - is an ultra family friendly townhouse hotel which sure knows how to set the stage. Their latest offering is Children on Stage with a 2.5 hour Les Miz Kids Club experience at the Queen Theatre. Here the kids get to enter the world of theatre with a backstage tour, drama workshop and opportunity to meet Les Miserable's Cast Members. Parents can drop off the kids and then enjoy shopping or a leisurely lunch prior to collecting the kids in time to witness the dramatic and moving matinée performance of Les Miserable's. The Children on Stage package is valid from July 25-28 and includes the Les Miz Kids Club experience and tickets to the matinée for the parents (July 26th), welcome pot of tea on arrival, 2 nights family accommodations (either a triple room or 2 adjoining rooms), tour of The Montague on the Gardens kitchen (where the kids can prepare lunch for Mon and Dad), special menu for the kids, child size fluffy robes and slippers, welcome pack with games, and special turn down treat each evening (only if everyone is good!). The Montague on the Gardens prides itself in offering a blend of up to the minute city vibrancy with old Bloomsbury charm. You are sure to enjoy quiet privacy, warm understated elegance, discreet services just a step away from the British Museum, West End Theatre, and shopping in SOHO or Covent Garden at The Montague on the Gardens.