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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.

Sheraton Addis: A Taste of Real Luxury in Africa


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton AddisBy far the best hotel in Ethiopia, if not the entire continent, the Sheraton Addis was the first hotel in Africa to join Starwood's Luxury Collection. It's the hotel of choice for business travelers, with an impressive 1,500 square meters of meeting space, the largest banquet and conference facilities in the country. There's a state-of-the-art business center and a professional staff on-hand to help with even the most menial of requests. Computer rental, translation services-- no sweat. And the Sheraton Addis is centrally located: opposite the National Palace on a hilltop overlooking the city.

Sheraton AddisLeisure travelers are likewise thrilled with the facilities at the Sheraton Addis: the Aqva Club with massage services, sauna and jacuzzi, outdoor swimming pools with underwater music, and an array of dining establishments serving International, Italian and French cuisine. Guests can take advantage of great rates on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, starting from just $200 per night with a hearty buffet breakfast and late 4 p.m. check-out included.


SPA V at Hotel Victor


By: Madelyn Giblin

Hotel Victor Spa VTake advantage of the powerful restorative effects of gold at Spa V at the Hotel Victor. The Gold Bubble Jelly Pedicure combines the cleansing effects of gold with a relaxing jelly pedicure procedure that leaves your tired feet relaxed and refreshed and glowing from the Maica Gold. A Hotel Victor exclusive, the Gold Bubble Jelly Pedicure is the best way to give your hard working feet the reward they deserve.

Also offered is the Gold Facial, fit for a queen, literally! The treatment is based on Ayurveda, an ancient treatment that dates back to Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Proven by research to help remove toxins and tighten skin, the 24-karat gold used is easily absorbed into the skin leaving you looking young and fresh.


Andrea Robinson’s Weekend Immersion Wine and Food coming to the Mandarin Oriental, New York


By: Madelyn Giblin

Andrea RobinsonWhether you consider yourself to be a long-time connoisseur, or just someone looking to learn more about wine, you'll enjoy Andrea Robinson's Weekend Immersion Wine and Food course coming to the Mandarin Oriental, New York May 16th and 17th, 2008. One of only sixteen women in the world to earn the prestigious title of Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson offers a wealth of knowledge on the topic of wine. And her two-night course offers a comprehensive study of various wines and what foods to pair them with. On Friday night, the course provides an introduction to tasting and pairing, while Saturday features a variety of foreign and domestic wines-- worth over USD 1500.

Mandarin Oriental New York Guest RoomGuests attending Ms. Robinson's Weekend Immersion program can also take advantage of the Mandarin Oriental, New York's Weekend Immersion Wine and Food Course Package. The package includes a stay in one of the hotel's spectacular rooms and participation for two guests in Andrea Robinson's Weekend Immersion program. Rates vary from USD 2420 for a Deluxe Room to USD 3,195 for the extraordinary Central Park View Suite.

    About: Andrea Robinson is one of only 16 women in the world to hold the title of Master Sommelier from the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. Through her best-selling books, wine course DVD, award-winning television shows, andreawine.com Web site and Health and Eating Well magazine columns, Andrea talks and teaches about wine with hundreds of thousands of wine consumers and professionals each year.


Spring Break in Paris at Hotel La Tremoille


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La TremoilleNothing beats Paris in the springtime. La Trémoille offers a quiet, indulgent sanctuary in the heart of the Golden Triangle, tucked in a quiet street between Montaigne Avenue, George V, and the Champs-Elysées. Talk about a killer location in the City of Light! Behind the Hausmann-style façade you'll find 93 comfortable, contemporary guest rooms and the hip Le Louis² restaurant and bar. This Paris gem has slashed their spring rates with a special offer. You can book a Standard Room for EUR 335 (as opposed to EUR 531), a Superior Room for EUR 390 (instead of EUR 616), a Deluxe Room for EUR 430 (instead of EUR 676), Junior Suite for EUR 465 (usually EUR 736), and a Suite for EUR 710. Continental breakfast is included for two people, and the offer is valid until May 11, 2008. Note: If you book with Five Star Alliance, you'll also get a box of scrumptious Laduree macaroons in-room upon arrival.


Celebrate the 10th Anniversary with 1998 Rates at Gran Hotel Son Net, Mallorca


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gran Hotel Son NetMallorca's exquisite 5-star Gran Hotel Son Net is commemorating its 10th anniversary with a special offer: Guests can book rooms at the original 1998 rates during the month of October 2008, the 10th month of the 10th year. You can even score special rates-- guaranteed dollar prices-- at the newly opened Grand Suite Villas. All guests will also receive a complimentary bottle of Mallorcan wine during their October stay. But hurry, the hotel is bound to fill up fast! Situated in the rugged Tramuntana mountains just 15 minutes from Palma, this 31-room boutique hotel is housed in a farmhouse dating from the 17th century surrounded by olive groves and orange trees. Dine poolside or at the gourmet Oleum Restaurant, lounge in a private cabana by the beautiful pool, or indulge in a beauty treatment at the Zen Zone center. Rates starting from $300.


Great Golf Package at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Ventana Canyon ResortTee off at one of two Tom Fazio-designed PGA golf courses with views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and Ventana Canyon. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is offering a golf package that's a great value-- and even includes taxes. The package combines a stay in one of the luxurious guestrooms-- some feature fireplaces and jacuzzis-- with a round of golf. Rates start at just $149 in low season (late June, for example), and $499 in high season. Available until December 31, 2008. After a round of golf, relax with a spa treatment at the 7,000 sq. ft. spa or catch some sun by the beautiful swimming pools.


Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the ShangriLa Barr Al Jissah ResortShangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort in Muscat, is much like Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah Resort in that it is comprised of three distinct hotels. At Barr Al Jissah, travelers can choose to stay at the Al Waha, Al Bandar, or Al Husn depending on their rooming needs. The complex is set on 124 acres, providing excellent views of both the desert and the sea, and only 15 minutes drive from Muscat's city center.

Al Waha, or "The Oasis", is family friendly and has several swimming pools surrounded by date palm trees. Located at the base of a mountain range, a tunnel was created to allow visitor access by car. There are 262 guestrooms in Al Waha, with room sizes starting at 37 square meters. All rooms have a balcony or patio, and most importantly, all are sea-facing.

The central point of the resort is Al Bandar, or "The Town", a hotel that features eight restaurants and cafes, 11 meeting rooms, and the Barr Al Jissah Ballroom. This hotel was inspired by old Muscat and looks as though it was composed from several different buildings, of different heights and styles. Al Bandar has 198 sea-facing guestrooms, with their starting room categories being a little larger than Al Waha's at 45 square meters. The guestrooms at Al Bandar are also sea-facing and have balconies or terraces.

Luxury at its Best in Muscat at the ShangriLa Barr Al Jissah ResortAl Husn, "The Castle", is known as being the most exclusive of all the properties. All rooms and suites have direct views of the Gulf of Oman, and access to the secluded Mahhara Beach and Beach Bar are reserved only for guests at Al Husn. The 180 guest rooms are the largest, not to mention the most luxurious, in all of Oman. Complimentary in-room high speed internet access, Ipods, and DVD entertainment systems are available to guests at Al Husn. If you choose to reserve on of their suites, you will be able to enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail and canapés service as well.

Good luck trying to pick just one! No matter which one you choose, all Five Star Alliance guests visiting the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort will receive a complimentary upgrade to next room category upon check-in, subject to availability.


The Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Rois Welcomes Chef Peter Knogl


By: Madelyn Giblin

The Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Rois Welcomes Chef Peter KnoglBeginning in April 2007, the Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Rois will benefit from the talents of their new chef Peter Knogl. Awarded a Michelin star for his work at the Las Dunas Beach Hotel and Spa, as well as several other awards for his cuisine at various other restaurants, Peter Knogl comes well recommended and with plenty of experience in gourmet cuisine. Open five days a week, the Cheval Blanc offers an impressive wine list, and offers a wide range of haute French cuisine. The wine list offers approximately 700 different positions, including rare vintages, and was recently awarded 17 points in the Gault Millau. Enjoy exceptional wine, and fine French cuisine and a romantic atmosphere along the Rhine at Les Trois Rois.


Langham Place Eco Resort, Krabi: Tempting Offer in Thailand


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Place Eco Resort, KrabiExperience the pinnacle of luxury for a song. The Langham Place Eco Resort and Spa, the new eco-friendly hideaway on the small island of Koh Lanta off the southwest coast of mainland Thailand, has a special package for just $185 per night including transfers, a bountiful breakfast, daily fresh fruit basket in-room, and complimentary late check-out at 4 p.m. Play some tennis, hit the gym, enjoy the use of the non-motorized water sports equipment and the movie house and music room-- all included. The three-night "Buy Me" Package is priced from Baht 6,000 ($185) and is available until October 31, 2008.

P.S. The pix will make you pine for paradise-- soft sand, crystal clear water, dramatic infinity-edge pools with uninterrupted views to the Andaman Sea. And the accommodations, infused with authentic Thai style, are equally as inspiring.


Seattle’s Best: Don’t Miss a Stay at the Pan Pacific Seattle


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific SeattleNamed as one of the "Hottest Hotels in 2007" by Conde Nast Traveler, the 160-room Pan Pacific has made quite the splash on the Seattle scene. Amenities at this elite, urban destination are sophisticated but what really has tongues wagging is the incredible hospitality (just check out the rave reviews on Trip Advisor). They've introduced the concept of the "total stay experience," designed to provide service and amenities tailored for each individual guest. The Pan Pacific's motto? "Of Course...It's Your Stay." You'll even find pet concierge service here. The focal point of the 2200 development at the gateway to Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, the Pan Pacific features Hirsch Bedner designer guest rooms with sweeping views of the Space Needle, South Lake Union and downtown Seattle. Stacked with luxurious amenities and state-of-the-art technology, these rooms are downright lavish. Hypnos beds, Egyptian cotton bedding, Herman Miller chairs, HD plasma televisions, complimentary Internet, and four-fixture bathrooms with oversized tubs, separate showers, plus a shoji screen-style wall to open the space into one large master suite. And every request is fulfilled at the touch of a button. Talk about indulgence. Buzz: Later this month, the Pan Pacific will open the new Vida Wellness Spa, the first U.S. location for this luxury spa company.