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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.

Autumn in New Zealand: Millbrook Resort, Queenstown

April 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Millbrook Resort, New Zealand The scenery doesn't get any more spectacular than this. Surrounded by the majestic peaks, roaring rivers, and vast alpine pastures of Lord of the Rings country, the five-star Millbrook resort is only 20 minutes outside Queenstown, but a world away in the tranquil majesty of the setting. Recently named as one of the highest ranking hotels for value within New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific by Travel and Leisure magazine, Millbrook resort is a year-round recreational paradise which embodies the relaxed New Zealand country lifestyle. Enjoy the resort's renowned golf course, enjoyed by enthusiasts from around the world, relax in the world-class spa facility, dine at the award-winning restaurants, or venture out to the surrounding countryside for wine-tasting, shopping, and adrenalin adventures like jet boating and helicopter sightseeing. Book the Autumn Colors package and enjoy accommodation in a luxurious Village Inn room, full buffet breakfast, and a bottle of Central Otago wine and handmade Belgian chocolates. All for just $180 per person/per night (based on double occupancy)-- and that price is quoted in NZ dollars. Available until June 30, 2007.


Azul Blue, Tulum: The Allure of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

April 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Azul Blue Now is the time to head south of the border and check out the sun-splashed beaches and Mayan ruins of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Room rates are dropping, but don't worry-- hurricane season won't kick in for a few months. South of Cancun on the gorgeous Riviera Maya, Tulum lures visitors to its serene beaches and magical Caribbean-facing ruins. Here, the new Azul Blue hotel offers luxurious privacy and stellar service (your own personal butler will attend to your every need, while pool and beach butlers provide towel service, refreshment deliveries, and cooling vaporizers for your lounging pleasure). Listed on Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Hot List, Azul Blue features 96 oversized suites with lavish bedding, iPods and plasma screen TVs. Though you may not want to leave the comfort of the spa, there are plenty of recreational activities if you so choose-- from deep sea fishing to scuba diving.


Spa by the Sea at The Wauwinet: First Resort Spa on Nantucket

April 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wauwinet, Spa by the Sea Treat yourself to some serious spa relaxation while listening to the sounds of the sea from the tip of the picturesque island of Nantucket. The brand new Spa by the Sea-- located at the island's most luxurious hotel-- will open in May 2007. Rejuvenating spa treatments will be available exclusively to hotel guests. Specially-trained therapists will offer treatments that reflect Nantucket's native habitat such as the signature Cranberry Crush Body Treatment, the Garden Facial, and Atlantic Seaweed Wrap. Massages will feature seasonal wildflowers and herbs-- local rose, chamomile, rosemary, lavender, rhododendron, and hydrangea-- grown in The Wauwinet's spa garden. The surroundings are magical (how about a massage on the lawn?) and the spa menu has been specially designed by David Daniels, Executive Chef of TOPPER'S restaurant, with locally grown foods highly beneficial to the skin and body.


Memorial Day Savings in Amsterdam: The College Hotel

April 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amsterdam Tulips A luxury hotel, run by students, housed in a converted 19th century school building. The College Hotel is aptly named! Welcome to Amsterdam's chic and elegant boutique hotel, founded as a training hotel for the exceptional students of the Amsterdam Hotel Management School, Bakery and Tourism. (Never fear-- no wild keg parties for these students-- they are under the supervision of world-class professionals.) The College Hotel's 40 rooms and suites are each individually designed with luxurious details, beautiful bathrooms, and state-of-the-art technology. Head to Amsterdam to check out the springtime tulips and enjoy spectacular savings. The Spring Special is an absolute steal at just EUR 235 a night in a Superior Double Room, breakfast included. Valid until June 30, 2007.

Via Sherman's Travel Magazine


Presidential July 4th River Cruise with the Willard InterContinental

April 25, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Willard InterContinentalThis July 4th set sail with the Willard InterContinental on the USS Sequoia Presidential Yacht for a Fireworks Cruise on the historic Potomac River in Washington, DC. The luxury Willard Hotel is offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the national fireworks with the "Presidential Extravaganza Fireworks Cruise package". Along with the USS Sequoia cruise (featuring excellent views of the fireworks display), guests enjoy a pre-cruise cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception in a luxury Willard Hotel suite; Red Carpet hotel departure, Transportation to and from the Sequoia Yacht; Onboard gourmet buffet, open bar and champagne, music and dancing, Valet parking, Overnight in deluxe accommodation at the Willard InterContinental Washington (or transferable certificate for a one night stay valid for one year) with breakfast and parking, plus a keepsake gift.

The cost? $1890 per couple. But don't wait too long to make your reservations, the 104-foot, 100-ton wooden, teak-paneled Sequoia only accommodates 50 guests total.


Good and Bad News for Montage Resort, Laguna Beach, California

April 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Montage Resort First: the good news. The prestigious Mobil Travel guide has unveiled its fourth annual ratings of North America's top hotel and resort spas and Montage tops the list, along with the Mandarin Oriental, New York, as the only Mobil Five-Star winners. After all, this super-luxury resort has a serious wow-factor. Perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific in South Laguna, Montage = oceanfront opulence. Surrounded by three pools, white sand beaches and lush landscaping, the spa is as elegant as they come. Now, the bad news. On Sunday, a couple was shot dead in their resort bungalow after a confrontation with the police. Details are still emerging.

Related Articles:

Laguna Beach Montage Resort: Surrender Spa Package for Men


Announcing the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place

April 25, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Jakarta Get ready, Jakarta. The city's getting another luxury addition. Ritz-Carlton has staked its claim to the city's newest and hottest development, Pacific Place, where the hotel company is planning to open a 62-room boutique hotel sometime this year. Located in the heart of Jakarta's central commercial district, adjacent to the Jakarta Stock Exchange, Pacific Place is described as "the nation's benchmark development." Ritz-Carlton is promising the largest suites in the city, a 44,000 square foot ballroom, and dedicated concierge service with complimentary food and beverage presentations throughout the day in the Club Level. Of course the biggest draw is access to Pacific Place's upscale shopping, dining, office tower, and entertainment.

Photo Via National Geographic


Dining in San Francisco: Michael Mina at Westin St. Francis

April 24, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Michael Mina High-end restaurants in SF abound. But Michael Mina's namesake restaurant, housed in the landmark Westin St. Francis on Union Square, genuinely dazzles serious SF diners with create-your-own prix fixe three-course dinners centered around fresh seasonal ingredients. Offerings are unique and extravagant. Plus, the wine list includes 2,200 wines from all over the world. Awarded two Michelin stars, Michael Mina continues to get lots of hype. Executive Chef Michael Mina was named Bon Appetit Chef of the Year 2005-2006, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005-2006, as well as Restaurateur of the Year 2005-2006 by the International Food and Beverage Forum.

Related Articles:

Gridskipper, Weirdest Menus in San Francisco

The Lobby, San Francisco History at the Westin St. Francis

SFist, Gastronomique: Thomas Keller Kicks Alice Waters's Michelin Ass!*


Mad about Madrid: The Rooftop Pool and Lounge at Hotel Urban

April 24, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Urban, Madrid Sexy and sophisticated, Hotel Urban boasts much more than a fantastic location (within walking distance to the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, and the Puerta del Sol). The most stylish hotel in the city also showcases the coolest terrace in the city, where hipsters imbibe cocktails under the stars overlooking the urban center of Madrid. La Terraza del Urban is located at the highest point of the hotel and, like the hotel itself, is a wonder of modern design. The swimming pool and solarium are added draws. This place is simply hopping.


Mansion on Forsyth Park: Southern Comfort in Savannah, Georgia

April 24, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Mansion on Forsyth Park Plan a spring escape to the magical city of Savannah and experience the ultimate in Southern hospitality at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. Housed in a restored Victorian mansion in the heart of the historic district, the hotel is magnificent: onyx marble lobby, opulent furnishings, graced by the collection of over 400 pieces of original artwork. Rooms are likewise swoon-worthy, appointed with sumptuous fabrics and all of the technological conveniences expected by the 21st century traveler. Relax at the spa and indulge in the celebrated cuisine at the hotel's restaurant. Or try your hand at preparing your own tasty meals at the hotel's 700 Kitchen Cooking School, where hands-on classes are overseen by Chef Darin Sehnert, Culinary Director. (You can even arrange a private party or special event at the cooking school.) Hone your culinary skills and learn new flavorful recipes with the two-night Culinary Getaway Package at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. Sherman's Travel Magazine recommends the package as a real deal. Priced from $437 per night, the package has extras which are worth $300 alone. Includes two nights in a Premium King room, one culinary class per person at 700 Kitchen Cooking School, gourmet breakfast for two, three-course dinner for two at 700 Drayton restaurant, and complimentary 700 Kitchen aprons.