LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
The 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.
Now that summer has arrived a luxury staycation experience at the Ballantyne Resort, Charlotte, NC to enjoy spa, golf, tennis, shopping or the exclusive exhibits of the Shain Gallery are now yours to experience. For the art collector or those who just appreciate art, the Shain Gallery offers one of the finest collections of contemporary art in Charlotte. A variety of styles and techniques featuring local, regional and nationally recognized artists are displayed here and something is sure to catch your imagination. Though the Golf Course is closed until September 15th, you can still visit the Pro Shop and participate at the Dana Rader Golf School. Summer Staycation rates at the Ballantyne Resort are available from June 20th through September 3rd starting at $199.
Other special Summer Staycations include a Summer Gas Credit of $25 per night, available through September 20th. Stay 2 Nights and get the 3rd Free (Thursday-Monday) and a Holiday Rates of $189 per night (tax included) at the Ballantyne is offered for the 4th of July (June 30- July 13), Labor Day (September 1- 7), Thanksgiving (November 21- 30) and Christmas (December 19-31). For a Taste of Luxury, stay 3 nights in July, August, November or December and get the 4th night free. This special features a staycation in an elegant guest room, a delicious breakfast in the Gallery Restaurant, and complementary valet parking.
Take advantage of a sizzling summer offer at the Hay-Adams, the capital's leading luxury boutique hotel. Overlooking Lafayette Square and the White House, this Washington landmark is offering an escape from the heat of the summer. Until the end of August, stay four nights in Deluxe accommodations and you'll receive the fourth night for free. This "Summer Sizzling" package includes complimentary valet parking, full American breakfast for two and a complimentary upgrade to the next room category. Rates begin at $479 per night. The Hay-Adams is also offering a fabulous "Monuments By Night" package, so that you can make the most of the history that surrounds you with a two-hour evening tour of Washington's famous monuments. Relax in luxurious comfort in your private sedan and share your deluxe goodie basket while you experience the dramatic beauty of Washington at night. Your package includes accommodations, private tour, Champagne and a full American Breakfast for two. Package rates for rooms starting at $599 per night, based on availability.
St. Moritz is renown for its clean air, clean lakes and pleasant climate and now Badrutt's Palace is making its green contribution to protecting the environment and natural beauty of St. Moritz with the new "Go Green in St. Moritz" package that offers over a 20 percent savings for the opportunity to see, stay and save green. A recent green initiative of Badrutt's Palace is the installation of an innovative heating system utilizing a heat pump that drawls water from Lake St. Moritz and reduces CO2 emissions by 1,000 tons! As part of the 3 night package for 2, tickets to discover the Clean Energy Tour around St. Moritz on your own and a guided tour of the Badrutt's Palace heating system are included. Other amenities with this package are complimentary tickets for all mountain railways and cable cars in St. Moritz, as well as public transportation within the village, hiking Map of the Region, Horse-drawn carriage trip to Poseg Glacier with return transfer to Pontresina, one organic Palace picnic basket per person, extensive buffet breakfast. free use of mini bar, movie channels, internet and free newspaper, daily set dinners with regional specialties in Palace Restaurant and upgrade to next room category upon availability. Recommended Trips in and around Badrutt's Palace include a bike tour from Lake St. Moritz to Lake Staz, on through the woods to Pontresina and back via Celerina; or for the experienced hiker, a day trip of the glacier hike from Diavolezza to Morteratsch which is available every Thursday. So for true luxury and the time to rest and relax amid the purity of nature in the Swiss Alps- GO GREEN in ST. MORITZ at Badrutt's Palace.
What better way to get the inside scoop on the locals' favorite haunts and stomping grounds? We're big fans of the series of local video guides narrated by the concierges at InterContinental Hotels. Going to Montreal this summer? (the ideal place to experience a beautiful slice of Europe in your own backyard!) Before checking into the sophisticated InterContinental Montreal*, get a head start on your vacay by following the concierge on a whirlwind tour of the city. Take a horse-drawn carriage around the magnificent Old City, visit the Point a Calliere Museum and literally see how Montreal began. Go shopping in an underground city linking over 500 boutiques, and embark on a culinary adventure with the 9-course menu at Europe.
*We recommend booking one of the 15 Tourelle Suites, located within the hotel's dramatic turret, with panoramic 180-degree views of the city of Montreal.
The Woodlands Resort & Inn is one of only three lodging properties in America to be awarded the Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond awards for both lodging and dining - in large part to Marty Wall, General Manager and InnKeeper of the property. Mr. Wall took some time to answer our questions below.
Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?
Marty Wall: By far the most distinctive characteristic or feature of the Inn is the attitude and desire to serve that exist within the staff. We have blended together personalities from all around the world who enjoy what they do and challenge themselves each day to provide the highest level of service in the most friendly and genuinely sincere manner. The service and facility would be best described as residential versus the typical commercial hotel environment. Our goal is that each guest feels that they have been invited to spend the night with family versus just buying a hotel room. Woodlands is essentially their home away from home.
Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Marty Wall: Because of our membership in Five Star Alliance, Virtuoso, Andrew Harper, and Relais & Chateaux, as well as our many national and international awards, our guests really come from all parts of the world. Also because of our very celebrated culinary team under the direction of Executive Chef Tarver King, many of our guests are here to experience what has been recognized as one of the top dining rooms in the country.
Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?
Marty Wall: There have been several movies filmed in the Charleston area and as a result we have had a number of celebrities stay with us. In an effort to protect their privacy and in hopes that we see them regularly, we prefer not to mention specific names.
Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?
Marty Wall: The Inn is actually located in Summerville, SC which is a charming bedroom community to historic Charleston. The area is rich in history and has also become a very desirable dining destination. Visiting the many historic sights, eating at the many wonderful restaurants and enjoying the numerous outdoor activities provide plenty of options for guests of all ages.
Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages? If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?
Marty Wall: We believe all of our rooms are special and each one offers something a little different or unique. Because the original house was constructed in 1906 a couple of the rooms in the original section offer distinctive features. The most noted being our 3rd floor suite that is often referred to as the "honeymoon suite". It offers a larger living room area, lofted bedroom, beautiful bathroom with a large Jacuzzi tub and the best feature is the spiral staircase leading to the "cupola" which overlooks the entire house and most of the grounds.
Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel? Perhaps a bit of history? Any special events that have taken place on property?
Marty Wall: In that the original home was built in 1906 there is a lot of history within the walls. The original owners used the house for numerous events to entertain the country's military troops during the war. The house was also regularly used to host lavish debutant parties for many of their local friends and families.
Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?
Marty Wall: If I were checking in I would definitely want to know just how outstanding the restaurant is.
Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of The Woodlands Resort and Inn?
Marty Wall: After spending several years in large luxury hotels, primarily in large urban environments, and after the birth of our third child, I was searching for a place that would provide balance in the business that I love and with my family which is as it should be, the most important thing in my life. I thought a smaller market and a smaller facility would be the answer. I had no idea I would find a place as special as Woodlands in a community as special as Charleston, South Carolina.
Five Star Alliance: What is the hardest part about being General Manager? If you could change one thing about the hotel, what would that be?
Marty Wall: There is nothing hard about my job... I LOVE what I do!!!
Five Star Alliance: Other than your own, can you share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the greatest hotels in the world? And why you think they are special?
Marty Wall: It would be hard for me to choose just 2 or 3 great hotels as there are so many incredible places in the world. Every new luxury hotel being built today is trying to provide something unique or special that you can not find anywhere else. That is what keeps us all on our toes and makes if difficult to pick what is the best... it will change tomorrow.