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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.

Seville on Sale: Exceptional Christmas Getaway at Hotel Alfonso XIII


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Alfonso XIII, SevilleA vibrant mix of flamenco, tapas, guitarists and bullfights, Seville is the pearl of Southern Europe, the cradle of Andalusian spirit. In this exuberant cultural capital, taste some delicate tapas, indulge in siestas, explore the city's historical riches, and discover one of the finest hotels in the world. The Hotel Alfonso XIII, a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection, was designed to be Europe's most luxurious hotel by mandate of his majesty King Alfonso XIII (the hotel's namesake). Built in 1929, the posh royal palace is strategically situated in the heart of the historic city center and a few minutes away from the Reales Alcázares and the Plaza de España. The hotel is an emblem of true Spanish beauty, with its intricate carvings, genuine crystal chandeliers, astounding arches and arabesques. It's easy to see why the Hotel Alfonso XIII is a fixture on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List. Spend Christmas in Seville and score an unbelievable package at the Hotel Alfonso XIII. Including accommodations, buffet breakfast, and a fabulous Christmas lunch for two people on December 25, 2007, the getaway is priced from just EUR 343.


Breaking News: Viceroy Resort Planned for Zihuatanejo


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides ZihuatanejoThe Kor Hotel Group manages some swanky properties, its Viceroy label encompassing all that's cool, inventive, and provocative in the luxury hotel business. The glamorous experiences found at the Viceroy Santa Monica and Viceroy Palm Springs will soon be matched by the stylish Viceroy experience in new locations: Miami, the Riviera Maya, and-- hot off the press-- Zihuatanejo. This new Mexican property, to be situated on the Playa La Ropa Beach, will open in 2010. This is the second Zihuatanejo property for the Kor Hotel Group, along with the dreamy Tides Zihuatanejo, recognized as one of the world's best resorts. Kor knows good real estate when it sees it. And guess what: award-winning architect Jean-Michel Gathy and his design firm, Denniston International, will create the interior and exterior experience for Viceroy Zihuatanejo. That's music to our ears.


What’s Hot: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alain Ducasse at The DorchesterDucasse's arrival in London is causing quite the stir. The new restaurant will open at The Dorchester, the landmark Mayfair hotel of great repute, on November 13, 2007. For over 75 years, The Dorchester has represented the pinnacle of London luxury, and now, in addition to the glorious dining at China Tang, the hotel will offer an extraordinary restaurant experience at Alain Ducasse. The celebrity chef already has a restaurant at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris, part of the Dorchester Collection. The new restaurant will seat 82 guests, including the intimate private dining areas. The chef-entrepreneur is working on an entirely new and original menu which will no doubt catapult the restaurant into prime position as a quintessential London hot spot.


St. Kitts Goes Classy: New Hotels by Auberge Resorts and Mandarin Oriental


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Auberge Resort, St. KittsJust across from the isle of Nevis in the lower Caribbean, St. Kitts hasn't defined its own tourism niche the way neighboring Nevis has lured well-heeled travelers. Until now, anyway. There's a new high-end development in store, and it promises to dazzle. Christophe Harbour, the 2,500-acre development, will boast luxury hotels from Mandarin Oriental and Auberge Resorts. And if Auberge's new Sandy Bank Bay is any bit as exceptional as its other properties (Auberge du Soleil, Esperanza, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff), we're in for a treat. Situated on a peninsula, the resort site features seven miles of sandy coastline facing both the turquoise Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. There will also be a spa and a Tom Fazio-designed golf course. Auberge's resort is slated for 2009, with the Mandarin Oriental following in 2010.


Burj Dubai: The World’s Tallest Building Keeps Getting Taller


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj DubaiIf the Burj Al Arab is the icon for modern luxury hotel design, then the Burj Dubai, like a phoenix rising from the construction chaos of Dubai, should most definitely be a contender for the next round of "The New 7 Wonders of the World." It is now the tallest building in the world, and it keeps getting taller. Every three days, another floor goes up and no-one really knows how high it is going. Officially, the projected final height of Burj Dubai is being kept a secret-- due to intense competition. In fact, the good folks at Wikipedia can't keep the entry updated fast enough. Rising from the center of the Emaar development, the Burj Dubai claims to be "the most exclusive address in the world." As described by the Washington Post:

From its heights, the super wealthy who have bought one of the project's luxury condominiums will survey the boomtown of boomtowns, a city-state so rich and ambitious that it is remaking its geography, building man-made islands and peninsulas, and a 46-mile, $11 billion canal (to give waterfront access to new real estate developments).

Related Articles:

What's Up With the Burj Dubai?

Kuwait Plans One-Kilometer Tall Skyscraper

The Tallest Building in North America


Elegance and Etiquette Weekend at The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island, South Carolina


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Sanctuary at Kiawah IslandSo you've committed some ugly etiquette atrocities. Elbows on the table isn't the worst of it. You've written Miss Manners hoping for her unfailing wisdom on correct behavior. But really, what you need is a dose of the South: a weekend of elegance and etiquette at one of the top resorts in the U.S. After all, Charleston-- only a short drive from the island-- is considered the most mannerly city in America, where etiquette is considered an important part of everyday life. And the resort's AAA Five-Diamond Sanctuary Hotel prides itself on having class, composure, and elegance. To help you and your family learn the etiquette of the south, The Sanctuary has designed a special Elegance and Etiquette Weekend to be held on November 9-11, 2007. The Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette will help you refine your social skills: both in the business environment and social arena (the art of dining, and host/guest etiquette). Meanwhile, your kids will learn all sorts of useful tips: setting the table, dining in style, writing thank-you notes and invitations. The two-night event package includes accommodations, welcome tea reception, Etiquette Program sessions, one lunch and dinner, one brunch, and a thank-you cards amenity. Priced from $2,169 for one adult and one child at The Sanctuary (oceanview accommodations).


Shop Til You Drop in San Francisco with Campton Place


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Campton PlaceFashion divas, heed this one. Now you can hit San Francisco's best, most exclusive addresses for Fall Fashion with the help of Campton Place, the celebrated luxury boutique hotel located right on the edge of Union Square. Find the season's top designs in ultimate comfort with the "Shop Til You Drop" package. Enjoy four nights at the intimate Campton Place Hotel and get spoiled with gracious personalized service (more akin to a stay at an elegant residential apartment). You'll get airport transfers, welcome cocktails, daily breakfasts for two, plus 12-hours in a limo to shop the designer boutiques on Union Square, the chic shops in the Marina and Pacific Heights, galleries across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, the upscale malls in Napa, and even all the charming boutiques of Palo Alto. Available until November 21, 2007, the package is priced from $3,750 and includes all gratuities.


Fuchun Resort: High-Design Heaven in China’s Hangzhou Province


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fuchun ResortJust 150 miles from Shanghai, you'll find a stylish sanctuary-- a modern day imperial compound-- that's hailed as China's leading resort. Nestled in the tea-covered hills of Fuyang village in Hangzhou province, the magical Fuchun Resort was inspired by a 700-year old painting. These lush surroundings were where Yuan dynasty painter Wang Gongwang went into exile, and it's easy to see why this storybook setting prompted his classic landscape painting, "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains." And with villas designed by Jean-Michel Gathy of Amanresort fame, it's no wonder Condé Nast described the Fuchun Resort as one of the World's Best New Hotels (2005)-- the only hotel in China to make the list. The accommodations are stunning, with Jacuzzis and oodles of technological gadgetry. From your private balcony, you'll contemplate incredible mountain views. Other facilities include a glamorous spa, golf course, two tennis courts, a mountaintop conference pavilion, and a ballroom.

For more photos, check out Flickr


Christmas on Ice at Claridge’s and The Berkeley, London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ice Skating in LondonLondon sparkles at Christmastime, so why not hit the shops, take in a Christmas show, go merry-making around town? Complete the experience with a stylish overnight stay at Claridge's (that glamorous establishment) or The Berkeley (the Knightsbridge home of Petrus restaurant and the hip Blue Bar), where you'll find some dazzling good deals available over the holidays. The "Christmas on Ice" package promises a welcome bottle of champagne, two tickets for ice-skating at the National History Museum with a basket filled with hot chocolate and stollen cake to sustain you, and traditional English breakfast next morning. Festive rates start at just GBP 289.


Last Minute Special at Chateau Elan, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau ElanHurry! The award-winning Chateau Elan, the wildly popular winery and resort situated just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, has announced a last-minute Spooky Weekend Special. Buy one night at the regular rate of $199 and get the second for free! Looks like it's all treats and no tricks for the folks that can snag this offer. (Only a limited number of rooms are available at this special rate.) Book for Friday and Saturday night (October 26 and 27, 2007) or check in on Saturday and enjoy your free night on Sunday, October 28.