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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.

A Mancation at TI Las Vegas (Treasure Island)

March 23, 2007
By: Guest Writer

Treasure Island from VenetianStory by Devin Herbers

I snuck off to Vegas for a Bachelor's party over the weekend in one of the few JetBlue flights that boarded during last Friday's east coast snowstorm. The 16 of us booked our accommodations at Treasure Island (now called TI) because it was the most affordable option for a big group. TI's facilities were for the most part mediocre but their recently installed spa "Wet" had an impressive layout, great massage options, and a fantastic weight room. Our room at TI was a Premier Suite and it was equipped with two marble bathrooms, a terrific Elite SensaTIonal bed, and a 50 inch flat screen - great for us group of guys.

However, my tastes for entertainment were better satisfied at The Venetian (located directly across the street from TI and recommended by Five Star Alliance) which was currently undergoing some new construction (but only mildly noticeable) to add another building/wing. The addition to the Venetian is nearly complete and when finished, it is proclaimed to be the "Biggest Hotel in the World." I spent a lot of free time in their new poker room - opened in late 2006. It was massive and the poker tables were the nicest I had ever laid my hands on (pun intended). I also made my way to the Venetian's nightclub Tao which is a big celebrity hotspot and deserves to be – it features the new trend of combining fine dining and nightlife into one.

The weekend was dubbed by ESPN (because of March Madness) as "the best four days of the year. It starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday and doesn't end until 7 p.m. on Sunday. It's just a whirlwind. It looks like a frat party from morning 'til night. Those are special days." That's a great way to describe a destination bachelor party in Las Vegas.

Visit the Treasure Island website for more information on the Premier Suite. You can also contact Devin for more juicy details.


What a Hotel! Luxury Hotel in a City Center Location

March 23, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

We've decided to expand our "What a Hotel!" feature, which has been such a hit over at The Informed Traveler Newsletter and other Five Star Alliance publications, by sharing the challenge with our blog readers. Each week we let you test your luxury travel savvy. View the awesome images, take an educated guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think the photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer, the winner and new image.

For our first edition of "What a Hotel!" (drumroll please) ... You've seen the photo at the top of the page, now take a guess in our comments section for which luxury hotel it belongs to ...

What a Hotel!

Hints to Help: Central Location, Famous Park & Shopping, Rocking with Rockefeller, Frickin' Modern ...


Raffles Comes to St. Lucia, West Indies

March 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Lucia Hot off the press. Raffles will open a spectacular luxury resort in St. Lucia. What to expect at Raffles' latest dazzling property? Exquisite fine dining, five pools, the 10,000 square foot RafflesAmrita Spa, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the centerpiece of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club St. Lucia, with stunning views of the Caribbean and the island's dramatic coastline. St. Lucia is a logical choice for the setting of the newest Raffles Hotel. The idyllic island-- an undeveloped tropical paradise with lush mountainous landscapes and picture-perfect beaches-- is the latest "it" spot in the Caribbean. New properties like The Discovery at Marigot Bay have been making waves in the region.

P.S. The opening date has not yet been announced.


California Dreaming: Spring Break Fun for the Family at Estancia La Jolla

March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Estancia La Jolla Escape to the San Diego sunshine for a Spring Break the whole family will enjoy. Consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world, Estancia La Jolla is a California Rancho-style coastal retreat surrounded by lush gardens, only minutes from San Diego's attractions and the beaches of La Jolla. At this garden oasis by the sea, indulge in memorable meals, pool-side lounging, and excellent spa services. The world-class facilities and gracious hospitality ensure an extraordinary spring getaway. The Spring Break Getaway, priced from $795 for the family of four, is available from March 30-April 14, 2007, and includes:

*Three nights in a luxurious double queen Verandah room

*Family Picnic Lunch and Beach Bundle For Four (includes sand toys, beach blankets, and umbrella)

*Estancia Classic: 2 hour on-site kid's golf clinic hosted by a Torrey Pines Golf Course Instructor. Available for children 7 and up.

*Flick & Float movie tickets for family movie night by the pool (Each Saturday Night at 6:30pm)

*Complimentary Valet Parking


The Caves, Negril, Jamaica: The Sports Illustrated Models Hang-Out

March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Caves, Negril Beyonce's cover shot for the Sports Illustrated 2007 Swimsuit Issue sure generated a lot of buzz. But even more buzzworthy is the Jamaican setting for the photo shoot. Where exactly were the Sports Illustrated models cooling off by the ocean? Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coral reefs, The Caves in Negril provided the beautiful sanctuary and luxurious accommodations for the magazine's 2007 issue. Ten handcrafted cottages are nestled in lush gardens at the edge of the sea. Within a grotto in the cliff overlooking the ocean, the restaurant is impossibly romantic, lit by candles and strewn with flower petals. There's even an Aveda mini-spa. The Caves is a favorite for high-profile events, but also adored by couples who value their privacy. On the island's westernmost tip, Negril entices with the best beaches in Jamaica and miles of coral reef just offshore, teeming with marine life for excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors are drawn to Negril's laid-back roots, and casual, cool attitude.


Dispatch from France: New High Speed Train to Connect Paris and Eastern Europe

March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

TGV Est It's almost finished. On June 10, 2007, the new Eastern-European TGV line will open in Paris. Traveling at speeds of 320 kilometers per hour (approximately 200 miles per hour), the high speed train will reach Strasbourg and Luxembourg in under 2.5 hours. Passengers will zoom into Zurich in a little over 4 hours. Munich? A mere 5.5 hours. And the best part of all? The train's brand new interiors were designed by Christian Lacroix. Serious discounts will be offered on the TGV's official website for summer travel, starting on April 10.


Powder Play at Whistler: Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside

March 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside Enjoy a last winter romp at Whistler, North America's top ski destination. Whistler Blackcomb, the biggest, baddest ski resort on the continent, boasts the biggest vertical rise in North America (a mere 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres). Check into the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside and enjoy the year-round outdoor heated swimming pool and the hot tubs with spectacular views of the mountains. The award-winning boutique hotel offers 121 well-appointed rooms, a fitness center, spa, steam room, and the popular Dubh Linn Gate Restaurant and Pub.


Golf in Scottsdale at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

March 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Play like a pro (or at least feel like one) on some of the top rated courses in the world. The AAA five-diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the magnificent destination resort which boasts one of the best spas in North America, is offering the Championship Golf Package for avid golf enthusiasts to walk in the footsteps of some of the PGA TOUR's finest players. Now's your chance to take your best shot on what the resort's Golf Concierge calls "the Four Grand Slam Courses" in the Valley. Package includes accommodations, daily breakfast, one round of golf per person (per paid night) at any of the resort's preferred courses, complimentary use of practice facility prior to your round, transportation to/from the courses, and, of course, complimentary Golf Concierge service. Starting from $569 per room, this spring.


Retreat to the Carribean Spa at Peter Island

March 21, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Peter Island ResortNow that it is officially spring (yup, it's finally March 21st) hotels and resorts are releasing more information about their summer packages. Peter Island Resort is offering the "Summer Spa Retreat" beginning April 16 and running through November 16th, 2007. The 5-Night Retreat Package includes one spa treatment per day:

* Day 1 West Indian Honey and Sesame Seed Glow (80 min)

* Day 2 Frangipani and Coconut Moisturizer (80 min)

* Day 3 Sun Kissed Soother Facial (60 min)

* Day 4 Peter Island Sea Spa Pedicure (75 min)

* Day 5 Cucumber Aloe Sun Soother (50 min)

The package runs 6 days/5 nights and also includes the following amenities for two: Full American Plan (Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Refreshments, and Dinner), round trip airport transfers, unlimited ferry services to/from Tortola, and unlimited use of all Peter Island Resort complimentary activities.

The cost? Daily rates for the package start at USD $4090 for an Ocean View Room and USD $5515 for a Beach Front Junior Suite.

UPDATE: Thanks to Matt bringing it to our attention - the hotel accidently put "daily rate" instead of "total rate" regarding the cost above. This package is now much more affordable!


Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colorado: Luxury Eco-Getaways

March 21, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Devils Thumb Ranch These days, we're all about sustainable luxury. And this spot--5,000 acres of raw and gorgeous Colorado terrain-- will take your breath away. Devil's Thumb Ranch is a year-round resort and spa with rustically upscale accommodations, fine dining, year-round swimming pools overlooking the mountains, and winter/summer outdoor recreational activities galore. It's been dubbed "the eco-getaway that leads the way." Outside Magazine applauds the geothermal heating, low-emissions chimneys, and the organic menu with free-range antelope steaks. Located 65 miles west of Denver, the resort ranch sits at the foot of the Continental Divide in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Thousands of acres of countryside means cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horse back riding, fishing, hiking, downhill skiing, river rafting, and more. After a day exploring this majestic wilderness, relax with a culinary feast and divine fine wines. (Check out the Barrel Room, a hand-crafted wine uncorking room, pictured at right.)