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.

The Local Scoop from Omni Hotels: Win a Weekend Getaway


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Omni HoustonOmni Hotels is helping its guests go off the beaten path with its new Local Scoop website and travel package. Omni just launched the new site as a social networking tool for folks to share stories, swap recommendations, and upload pix of their hometown favorites. The whole idea is to get you the skinny on destinations from the locals who live there- above and beyond what guidebooks offer. You can also take advantage of a new "Local Scoop" package at Omni Hotels across the U.S. which includes a customized itinerary along with a $25 American Express gift card.

Pssst. When you share your suggestions on the site, you will be automatically registered for a chance to win an Omni Hotels weekend getaway.


Announcing The Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa - All With Private Pools


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Anantara PhuketAnantara Resorts is proudly announcing the October 2008 opening of its newest property, Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand. Located in Phuket's more secluded, natural northern coast, 15 minutes from the Phuket International Airport and just minutes from golf and beaches, this 83 all private pool villa property features unspoilt beauty, absolute privacy and fabulous dining. Special amenities include the magnificent Bill Bensley designed gardens and paths fusing the colorful tropical flora with age old traditional Thai architecture, a world renown Spa specializing in rich, lavish body treatments and scrubs and high concept dining where you pick the location and the chef transforms a meal to a memorable occasion. Special opening Anantara Breeze Packages are available from October to December 23rd offering the 4th night complimentary with a 3 night stay.


Deal Alert: Low Rates at the Luxurious ME Hotel Cancun


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

ME Hotel CancunWe've found extraordinary low rates on Five Star Alliance for Cancun's fabulous ME Hotel, an AAA Four Diamond Award-winner on the beach-- starting as low as $139 per night this summer. You'll enjoy excellent service and quality amenities like the in-room free pre-tuned iPods and private jacuzzis. Hit up Rande Gerber's Rose Bar, one of the hottest scenes in Cancun, or Mexico's largest infinity-edged pool and the Maxim pool bar. The restaurants offer Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, and everything in between. There's a well-stocked fitness center and spa, to boot.


Hot Eats in Paris: Le Meurice Restaurant


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel MeuriceThe world capital of haute cuisine is home to quite a few stunning restaurants. And one of the finest is located in Hotel Meurice, the sumptuous palace hotel boasting an unbeatable location opposite the Tuileries Gardens between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. Celebrated chef Yannick Alléno takes his inspiration from the seasonal gourmet treasures locally grown in the Parisian region. Not surprisingly, Le Meurice gastronomic restaurant holds three Michelin stars. And recently, Le Meurice was singled out by the Sunday Telegraph as one of The World's 100 Best Restaurants and one of The 20 Best French Restaurants. The restaurant also ranks 33rd in The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants. And Philippe Mille, Assistant Chef of Yannick Alléno, recently triumphed in the 6th Concours National de Cuisine Artistique and will go on to represent France at the two prestigious Bocuse d'Or contests.

PS. We're also big fans of the hotel's Le Dali restaurant, a fantastic vision by Philippe Starck.


Sinsational Sundays at Houston’s Urban Oasis - Hotel Zaza


By: Madelyn Giblin

Hotel Zaza HoustonThere's no need to rush back to the drudgery of home, with Hotel Zaza's Sinsational Sundays. Sunday is perfect for relaxing whether at the Hotel's Urban Oasis, or ZaSpa, or even with meal at either Monarch Restaurant and Lounge or Urban Oasis Spa Cafe. And now with late check-out at 5 pm on Sundays, the end of your weekend can be just as relaxing, with no stress over getting out on time and getting home. Located in the Houston Museum District, there's plenty to do outside the sensational Hotel Zaza as well. Sundays just get even more relaxing!

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: Five Star Alliance guests staying at the Hotel Zaza Houston will receive a $25 spa credit during their stay.


What’s Hot: The Geejam Hotel, Port Antonio, Jamaica


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Geejam HotelMusic producer Jon Baker created Geejam as a recording hideaway for folks like No Doubt, Common, India.Arie, Björk and Gorillaz. (Gwen Stefani gave it a shout out at the 2003 Grammy Awards.) Now it's morphed into a hotel, the ultimate insider's escape, as part of Island Outpost, the boutique hotel collection from record mogul Chris Blackwell. Nestled on six lush acres of the San San Estate, from the foothills of the Blue Mountains to the Caribbean, the property is near to the celebrated beaches at Frenchman's Cove and Blue Lagoon. As recently featured in Vanity Fair, these music veterans "have teamed up to turn the creative hideaway into a jewel box of a hotel, complete with intimate cabins, a private beach, and a treetop restaurant tucked into the Jamaican rainforest." Also included: spa, swimming pool, gym, and state-of-the-art recording studio, of course. In the hotel's guestbook, Grace Jones described her visit like this: "I came. I saw. You conquered me!"

Photo Via Hotels of the Rich and Famous


More Jefferson for Less Washingtons in Richmond, Virginia


By: Madelyn Giblin

More Jefferson for Less Washingtons in Richmond VirginiaMore Jefferson for less Washingtons! This exclusive deal in Richmond, VA from The Jefferson offers guests two nights stay in one of the Jefferson's fantastic suites, and includes sumptuous American buffet breakfast for two each morning of your stay, and complimentary valet parking during your stay. Located in the heart of downtown Richmond Virginia, The Jefferson represents the ultimate in old-world charm, luxury and personalized guest relationships. Take a trip to luxury with the Jefferson's elegant decor, and fine service. $410 for a Superior Room, $450 for a Deluxe Room.


Villa La Vedetta: Fabulous Views and Michelin-Starred Dining in Florence, Italy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa La VedettaHigh in the hills above Florence, just next to Piazzale Michelangelo in a vast garden filled with cypress and olive trees, the Villa La Vedetta offers breathtaking panoramas of the city. The Neo-classical style villa has been transformed into a refined five-star hotel with 18 rooms appointed with fine antiques, walnut floors, marble bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, and all the latest technology. Choose the two-level Bellavista suite and you'll be spoiled with the most exquisite views of Florence from the enormous windows. A member of Relais and Chateaux, the Villa La Vedetta is celebrated for its gourmet restaurant Onice, which received a Michelin star in 2004 just after its debut in November 2003. The menu changes seasonally, based on the freshest local ingredients available to the Executive Chef Massimiliano Blasone. With an impressive resume in hotel kitchens spanning the continents, Blasone is famous for his chocolate. Here's a menu sampling to tickle the taste buds: Duo of Lobster with paprika jus and crispy bread salad to start, a flan of of "Caciocavallo Podolico" cheese to follow, and then a main dish like Home Made Agnolotto filled with zucchini flowers, dried broad beans, sole with fine herbs and celeriac sauce, carrots and espellette pepper vinaigrette, followed by a second course of fish like Steamed John Dory marinated with almond's pesto, radishes, served with a tartare of sea scallops.

Nice perk: the hotel offers a shuttle service to the city center.


Audi Drive Packages at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, San Diego


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lodge at Torrey PinesTake off and explore the stunning California coast in an Audi (primed with a full tank of gas). The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the AAA five-diamond resort perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific's pristine beaches and beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, has partnered with Audi to create some packages for your driving pleasure. Site of the 2008 U.S. Open, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is the ideal location to see all that SoCal has to offer. (Plus, there's an incredible spa and ample recreational activities, to boot.) With the Audi Signature Drive Package, you get two nights accommodation in Signature Accommodations, the use of an Audi A6 for two days, a full tank of gas, and a 4 PM guaranteed late check-out. Priced at $475 per night. The Audi Suite Drive Package is two nights in a Palisade Suite and the use of an Audi RS 4 "Cabriolet" for two days, priced at $1,200 per night. And the Audi Dream Package is even better: accommodations in the Blacker or Gamble Two-Bedroom Suite, use of an Audi RS 4 "Cabriolet" for two days, full tank of gas, two 140-minute spa treatments, two spa gift robes, daily breakfast in bed for two, one dozen roses upon arrival, and 4PM guaranteed late check-out. Priced at $7,500.


Summer Bargains in the Caribbean: Radisson Aruba, Sivory Punta Cana, Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall (Jamaica), Discovery at Marigot Bay (St. Lucia)


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Discovery at Marigot BayReconsider the Caribbean in summer. In the Sunday Travel section, the New York Times explains why the summer season, contrary to popular belief, is actually the best time to head south to the Caribbean. Temperatures are only a few degrees higher than the peak season (and soothing ocean breezes mean these paradise isles are actually cooler than the popular beach spots in the U.S.). More importantly, room rates at leading resorts can be found at 60 percent lower than the winter rates. Case in point: the Radisson Aruba Resort's Summer Fun Sale means rooms can be found for $275 per night, plus a fourth night free. The ultra-luxurious Sivory Punta Cana, located on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, drops rates to $290 per night (vs. $490 in the winter season). You can snag a room at the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, Rose Hall for just $199 a night. And the gorgeous Discovery at Marigot Bay in St. Lucia is going for $330 per night (including tax and breakfast).