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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.

Hot Eats in South Florida: Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina at Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Turnberry Isle ResortAfter an $100 million resort transformation, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club is dazzling South Florida. Conveniently located between the two major international airports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the resort offers 392 newly-renovation oversized rooms, two brand-new golf courses, a newly-redesigned spa, a new tennis facility, and a lagoon-style pool. But the best part of all? Michael Mina, the legendary restaurateur and winner of two distinct James Beard awards, is bringing his contemporary American steakhouse to South Florida. Bourbon Steak is now accepting reservations. Discover Michael's Classics like the Maine Lobster Pot Pie, Tapioca-Crusted Yellowtail Snapper, Olive-Oil Poached Aspen Valley Rack of Lamb, and fabulous all-natural raised Angus beef (and American Kobe beef) from the wood-fired grill.


Relax, Relieve, Rejuvenate with the Aleenta Spa Detox Retreat


By: Madelyn Giblin

Relax Relieve Rejuvenate with the Aleenta Spa Detox RetreatShed all your worries and problems at the refreshing Aleenta Spa Detox Retreat. Enjoy the retreat's rejuvenating menu of organic fruits and vegetables, low fat meals and natural juices, all designed to get your body back in sync with your life, and leave you feeling refreshed and energized. The spa offers personalized treatments and relaxing activities to renew your body and your mind. Located in Hua Hin - Pranburi & Phuket - Phangnga, the award winning Aleenta Resorts and Spas are the perfect way to recapture your inner balance.


Parc & Mid Week Package at Park Hotel Weggis


By: Christina Vasquez

Park Hotel Weggis If you plan on traveling to Lucerne, or are lucky enough to live in the area, be sure to take a midweek spa getaway at the Park Hotel Weggis. Check in Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and inquire about the hotels "Parc & Mid Week Package" which includes two nights' accommodations as well as additional amenities that will invigorate and refresh you through an otherwise hectic work week. The package includes daily Sparkling Breakfast Buffet, one three course dinner at the Restaurant The Grape, one four course dinner at the Restaurant Sparks, one ninety minute Holistic Treatment, and one ninety minute KANEBO Harmonising & Care Facial Treatment. Two hour individual use of the hotel's SPA cottages is also included in this package so that you can enjoy your Holistic Treatment or KANEBO Harmonising & Care Facial Treatment in privacy. Top off your midweek getaway at Park Hotel Weggis with a leisurely afternoon stroll through Sparkling Open Eyes Path and enjoy wonderful views of Japanese Zen gardens with an impressive mountain and lake backdrop.


See the Taj Mahal from Every Room at the Luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Oberoi AmarvilasA trip to see the "world's greatest monument to love" is a once-in-a-lifetime must. The gleaming white Taj Mahal is as breathtaking in person as in all the photos. The place to stay is the opulent Oberoi Amarvilas, located just 600 meters from the Taj. A masterpiece inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the Oberoi boasts views of the Taj from every single room in the hotel. Though if you choose a Luxury Suite, you can check out the monument from a telescope in the living room. You'll get spoiled like a maharajah at this grand hotel that epitomizes over-the-top luxury in every way. Don't miss the specialty baths at the Spa, operated by Banyan Tree. While soaking in warm water floating with flower petals, you can gaze out at the shimmering Taj Mahal.


Hopper and Homer at the Art Institute of Chicago with The Conrad Hotel


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ChicagoNow's the time to check out the Hopper and Homer exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago-- running until May 10, 2008. Check into the Conrad Hotel, a bastion of contemporary luxury smack dab on the Magnificent Mile and within walking distance to the Art Institute, and you'll be spoiled rotten by the cool amenities on offer. Unleash your inner artist and book the special "Homer and Hopper" package. Starting from $420 per night and available for a limited time, the package includes accommodations, an in-room interpretation of the works of Homer and Hopper amenity prepared by the hotel's Executive Chef, two tickets to the Homer and Hopper Exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago, audio tour for two for the exhibit, and a gift certificate for $25.00 to Blick Art Supply. [Map]


Mi Casa, Mi Chef at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sanctuary on Camelback MountainSpa-lovers come for the intimate Sanctuary Spa with its luxurious Asian-inspired treatments. Feeling zen? You'll appreciate the movement studio and quiet corners for relaxation. Foodies are delighted by the farm-fresh cuisine with Asian accents prepared by Executive Chef Beau MacMillan (yup, he's appeared on the Today Show a couple times). Offering dramatic mountain and spa casitas with breathtaking views of Paradise Valley, the award-winning Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is the swanky Arizona hideaway of choice. And since last year's debut of the "Mi Casa, Mi Chef" program, gastronomes are going wild. This package is the ultimate epicurean getaway, where four couples can enjoy the instruction of their own personal chef in a private mountain home:

From the farmer's market to the kitchen of a private mountain home, guests join Sanctuary Chefs for the ultimate in bespoke dining. As a guest of the Mi Casa, Mi Chef package you will work hand-in-hand with the Chef to plan your customized dining experience, and work side-by-side to prepare the feast. The Chef will join you for you dinner, expertly pairing wines to complement the meal. This feast for the palate ends with a feast for the senses, as the sun sets over the Sonoran skyline.

The package includes two nights in a private mountainside home, a chauffeured trip to the local farmer's market with your Chef to shop for that evening's customized menu, interactive cooking session and dinner paired with wines, and one 60-minute spa treatment in the private home for each person. The "Mi Casa, Mi Chef" experience is available once per month through December 31, 2008, subject to availability. Pricing starts at $8,000.


Live Royally in New York City at The Carlyle - The Royal Suite


By: Courtney W. May

The CarlyleI recently traveled to New York City on business, and of course in my line of work, I stayed in three hotels over the course of five nights. One of those properties was The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, located on Madison Avenue at 76th Street. The hotel strives for a "private residential atmosphere" and they more than succeed. The dedication to creating that feeling is demonstrated by the Managing Director choosing to live on the property with his family.

I was spoiled like a princess at The Carlyle in the hotel's "Royal Suite" - room 2209. The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 FloorplanThe Royal Suite is located on the 22nd floor along with three other suites and is a short ride with the white-gloved elevator operator from the lobby. The Carlyle's Royal Suite floor-plan (click on the image at right) doesn't do justice to how spacious the Royal Suite actually feels. After stepping inside, I thought I had entered into someone's Park Avenue apartment with gorgeous hardwood floors, area rugs, and fabric wall coverings.

According to The Carlyle -

    With just 187 rooms and suites distributed among the hotel's 60 residential apartments, The Carlyle offers the exclusive ambience of an Upper East Side pied-a-terre. The Royal Suite is an elaborate two-bedroom suite offers 1,700 square feet of living space and features both a king-bedded and twin-bedded bedroom. There is a full kitchen, dining room for six, two marble bathrooms, a double-high ceiling in the raised living room, grand piano and mantle fireplace. This suite is located on the 22nd floor and features views sweeping skyline and East River views. Tastefully appointed and individually decorated by Alexandra Champalimaud, the Royal Suite features original hardwood floors, area rugs, luxurious fabrics and linens, and unique artwork adorning its walls.

The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 Living Room ViewThe hotel's description fails to mention that from the kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom you can see views of New York's Central Park - and that these impressive views are from windows which open all the way ... without screens or safety nets. I loved it, but I can imagine it would be terrifying for others.

The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 2nd BedroomAfter wandering through the suite for a half hour, I called friends of mine who live in New York and invited them to share the second bedroom of the suite. I thought they might enjoy the extra space! The suite easily fits four adults or two adults and two children. The sofas are not pull-out for sleeping, but I can admit that I did take a small nap in one accidentally.

The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 Stairway to Living Room I honestly have nothing but wonderful things to say about The Carlyle's Royal Suite and amenities. The suite has a very regal feel with rich colors, black marble and deep woods – but the large open windows, mirrored walls, and high ceilings keep it from being oppressive. The standard published rack rate for the Royal Suite is $6000 USD per night for 2 adults (I personally did not pay that much!). The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 2nd BathroomThe most standard, basic rooms at The Carlyle start at $755 USD per night for two adults. Just for comparison sake, the hotel's most spectacular suite is the 2600 square foot duplex on floors 28 and 29 which features three bedrooms, full park views in the tower and is $15000 USD per night.

Below are more photos I took during my stay in the Royal Suite as well as two that the hotel provides as the stock photography for the suite presentation. The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 Living RoomThe representation is very accurate.

My picture of the living room area from the top of the stairs - looking towards the fireplace to the right, piano straight ahead, desk and television to the left. (I wish I had a better camera or lighting for this one).

The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 Master Bedroom The main bedroom with king bed, door to the right, standing in the bathroom doorway. There was an iPod docking station, multiple closets, television, great views, and of course slippers and robes for two.

The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 Masterbath The main bedroom's bathroom is pictured with open French doors looking towards the sink area straight ahead, shower and toilet to the left, sunken tub to the right.

The Carlyle Hotel NYC Royal Suite - Dining Area The Carlyle Royal Suite dining area - the mini bar is in the cabinets and six person dining table is in the middle of the room to the left.

The Carlyle Hotel Royal Suite - #2209 Grand Piano The working grand piano located in the living room area.

The 2 stock photos provided by the hotel ...

The Carlyle Royal Suite Living Room New York The Carlyle Royal Suite Bedroom New York City - Stock Photo

Don't forget - Guests who make their reservations through Five Star Alliance for The Carlyle will receive a special welcome gift upon check-in, a $50.00 food and beverage credit as well as a complimentary in-room continental breakfast daily for up to two guests.

Learn More about The Carlyle Hotel in New York City >>


Historic Views at the InterContinental Sydney


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Historic Views at the InterContinental SydneyHistoric Views at the InterContinental SydneyPerhaps no other address offers the prestige, historic significance and convenience you'll enjoy at InterContinental Sydney. Renovated in 2004, the hotel features a heated indoor pool and onsite health and fitness facility.

Five Star Alliance client Christine N., of Perth, Scotland said the following about her stay at the InterContinental Sydney:

    "The view of Sydney Opera House and Watson's Bay was fantastic - enhanced by the huge windows and very comfortable window seats (I didn't want to leave). The room itself was tremendous with many little touches that were much appreciated. Hotel staff very helpful with restaurant reservations - would recommend the Cafe Opera for the buffet."

Click on the images above or below to watch a video and tour the spaces of the InterContinental Sydney Hotel >>

Historic Views at the InterContinental SydneyHistoric Views at the InterContinental Sydney

Make reservations for the InterContinental Sydney here >>


Eos Airlines Launches Flights Between London and Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos AirlinesFans of the luxury airline will be pleased about this one. Starting July 6, 2008, Eos will start daily service between London Stansted and Dubai's international airport. So now lucky passengers can enjoy the Eos Class experience when heading to the world's most outlandish, over-the-top destination. We've talked up the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, but now Dubai's also getting one of the biggest malls in the world-- a gargantuan, 12-million-square-foot development complete with an indoor aquarium and an Olympic sized ice skating rink. Tickets to Dubai onboard Eos will be available starting in April.


Celebrate Quebec’s 400th Birthday at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Le Chateau FrontenacThis summer Quebec City will be going off. The splendid European-style city-- a UNESCO World Heritage Site of cobblestone streets, charming facades, and walled ramparts-- is celebrating its 400th anniversary. In fact, the big bash promises to be the party of the century. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, North America's only fortress city has been partying hard since the beginning of 2008, with events scheduled for the entire year. But July will mark the crème de la crème of celebrations-- with a fireworks competition, urban opera, and exclusive shows from Quebec-based Cirque du Soleil. This is the ideal time to visit and say bon anniversaire. The place to stay is the award-winning Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, the marvelous state heritage hotel situated high on a bluff in the very heart of Old Quebec. In fact, this castle is Old Quebec. Offering exquisite dining opportunities through renowned Executive Chef Jean Soulard, luxurious guest rooms and a distinctive European charm, the Fairmont promises a memorable stay during Quebec's 400th anniversary celebrations.